Cult TV

Cult TV Essentials: The Kagestar

The Kagestar was a 1976-77 Toei live action tokusatsu television series in which young shadow puppeteer turned salaryman Kageoh Sugata (Naoki Tachibana) gained, thanks to an electric shock received while rescuing his wealthy boss’s daughter from kidnappers, the ability to merge with his shadow and transform into Kagestar (“kage” is Japanese for “shadow”).

An Evel Knievel-inspired red, white and blue-clad, manga-eyed helmet-masked superhero with a swirling star-spangled striped cape he could use like a weapon, he rode a winged white motorcycle called the KageroCar he kept housed in a big and quite bizarre-looking anthropomorphic aircraft called the Kageboosee which he summoned with his flashlight-gun. He could also, as in the later video game and anime Blue Dragon, bring his silhouette-style shadow to life in giant form to battle the forces of evil.

Originally fighting American comics-style costumed crooks, in later episodes his foes became Kamen Rider-style mutated monsters created by his archenemy Dr. Satan (Goro Naya), a former Nazi scientist turned megalomaniacal mastermind also identified in some English language sources as Dr. Saturn.

Kagestar was assisted his similarly empowered white-skirted partner Bellestar (Emi Hayakawa) who rode a motorcycle of her own called the BelleCar and had a small bell on her bracelet that rang to warn her of danger.

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