Japanese Superheroes Encourage Kids to Keep Smiling

John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
Japanese Superheroes Encourage Kids to Keep Smiling

Some of the most touching relief efforts in the wake of the Japanese natural disasters are coming from characters who don't actually exist.

By now I'm sure most (if not all) of you are familiar with the devastating Sendai earthquake [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Sendai_earthquake_and_tsunami] and tsunami that rocked Japan last week. People all around the world have joined together in offering support to the island nation through donations of money, food and medical supplies. However, there's a type of relief that can't be quantified in dollars, and it's the type that keeps people's spirits up in the wake of a disaster - and Japan's tokusatsu heroes have risen to the challenge.

For those of you not familiar with the tokusatsu [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokusatsu] genre, it's a genre that revolves around a costumed fighter (or team of fighters) battling evil monsters, who are usually just guys in obvious rubber suits. While the tokusatsu genre enjoyed brief popularity in the West during the 1990s thanks to the advent of shows like Power Rangers, it's been popular in Japan for decades - and remains so to this day.

In the aftermath of the Sendai earthquake, Japan's many tokusatsu stars have been fighting a different sort of battle than the one they wage against evil forces on TV. Tokusatsu heroes past and present have been posting encouraging messages to a special Twitter account, the aptly named @tokusatsuhero [http://twitter.com/tokusatsuhero], encouraging their younger fans to keep up hope in times of crisis.

The @tokusatsuhero [http://twitter.com/tokusatsuhero] account was started by actor Teruaki Ogawa, known for his role as NinjaRed in Ninja Sentai Kakuranger, but the comments are coming from dozens of fictional heroes. The actors are the ones who are writing the messages, of course, but they're written wholly in-character and signed as the actual heroes from series like Ultraman, Kamen Rider and Super Sentai:

[blockquote]Children, please endure these tough times just a little bit longer. Please, keep it up. Just remember that us heroes will always be by your side. - Kotaro Minami (Kamen Rider Black [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamen_Rider_Black])

You've all done well up until now! Things may be difficult even from now but only you can help the people who are around you. You have a power that even we cannot match! That is the finishing attack known as a smile! Even if it's hard now, someday you will be able to save people too! - Ultraman Agul/Hiroya Fujimiya (Ultraman Gaia [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultraman_Gaia])

Is everyone ok? The earthquake was scary huh? But now is the time where we all need to combine our powers!! Don't be down, let's use our fantastic technique of a smile to bring smiles on others! GekiBlue - Retsu Fukami (Juken Sentai Gekiranger [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juken_Sentai_Gekiranger])

To the boys and girls of this disaster. I'm sure things are painful for you right now. If it is hard on you, you should know that crying is ok. You don't have to hold in your tears. However, you must keep your mind/spirit strong. If you show your strong self, surely that will help the people around you. I also have to keep strong. shu*~ -From Kamen Rider Hibiki (Kamen Rider Hibiki [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamen_Rider_Hibiki])[/blockquote]

As an adult looking in on the Japanese recovery from the outside, it's tempting to just shrug your shoulders and roll your eyes at this whole thing. Obviously, these messages aren't coming from the real heroes - they're just coming from actors who play them on TV. There are probably more than a few of you who think this is all a bit silly.

But imagine that you're a ten-year-old kid in Japan. You've had to evacuate your home and you're living in a shelter. You're scared and a bit confused, and so is everyone around you - and then you get a message from one of the heroes you admire on a TV show you love, telling you "Hey, it's okay to be scared, but keep your head high because we'll get through this." That's the sort of impact that simply can't be measured.

It's easy to forget that in times of crisis, emotional and spiritual aid is just as important as physical and medical aid. Luckily, Japan's tokusatsu heroes haven't forgotten.

A collection of translated messages can be found here [http://over-ti.me/?p=713], as translated by 4chan's /m/ board. Never let it be said that Anonymous never helps.

(@tokusatsuhero [http://twitter.com/tokusatsuhero])



New member
Nov 19, 2010
That's really sweet and should be uplifting to the kids. God knows they need to hear these kinds of things.

Ben Simon

New member
Aug 23, 2010
That is really, really cheesy. But still, given the seriousness of the situation, I guess every bit helps.


Elite Member
Sep 28, 2009
Gacchi Rangers should be there aswell...j/k ;)

Dem Japanese rangers are cool, brofisting for justice.


New member
Feb 18, 2009
As a fan of tokusatsu, this really warms my heart that this going on. Proof that real heroes don't need gadgets or powers, but simply need to inspire hope in those that watch them. Props to the actors for remaining in character and using that to help in this devastating time for their countrymen

(End mushy somewhat unprepared rant)


Oct 6, 2009
maybe they need a huggies commercial to brighten their day.
Seriously though, good for them, I hope this blows over soon.


This is the most wittiest title
Oct 26, 2009
Aww. That's touching. It's good that they think of how more devastating the catastrophe can be for the kids.

On a complete side-note: It looks like John Funk is going over 9000.

Chase Yojimbo

The Samurai Sage
Sep 1, 2009
There are the Three Kingdoms of Man. The Body, Mind, and Spirit, and right now the Japanese are the embodiment of all three. Even as an young adult I can understand that even the children require this reassurance that they have a part to play in this crises. This may seem cheesy to some, but it's important.


New member
Aug 31, 2009
That's really touching. It's horrible over there and it's good that they're helping, if only in an emotional sort of way. (not crying)


New member
Dec 10, 2008
The real heroes are the 50 Guys fighting Day and Night to keep the reactors from exploding though while exposing themselves to the radiation.
I hope the Japanese Media is praising these people and give them more attention than made-up heroes.


New member
Apr 8, 2008
Anything to keep them going.

Notice no riots, no whiners, no looters...

No people saying "The emperor must not like Japanese people."

Or any foolishness... seriously, this is why I love the Japanese culture and it's people.


New member
Apr 15, 2010
Did anybody think about the eight melodies theme from earthbound play in your head as you read the encouraging words of the super heroes?


New member
May 21, 2010
icyneesan said:
I believe I speak for everyone when I say, FUCK YEAH KAMEN RIDER!

For about two seconds, I was like "What the Fuck is that a picture of"

Then read bro-fist

Now I simply agree with the picture


Citation Needed
Nov 28, 2007
Seems cool to me, a lot like other celebrities pitching in to increase morale in other disasters. I see nothing to criticize here honestly.

What annoys me is when celebrities show up at disaster sites with a shovel or something to grab a quick headline or photo op. Sending support this way and keeping out of the way is pretty cool though.

Now let's hope that we don't see a Japanese version of Kayne West going off about the old Eta class or something. :)

( While not as big a deal as it once was, the Eta class was the lowest caste of Japanese society in the old days who did all the worst jobs. Even when done away with there has been discrimination against them, including things like people snooping family records of grooms and brides to ensure there was no Eta connection in someone's bloodline. Every once in a while you still hear a little something about it in discussions about discrimination on a global scale ).


New member
May 23, 2010
Yeah, that's pretty awesome.

What? You want me to make a post with actual content? There's nothing more to say. It's awesome, final.