Today, NHK announced an all-new tokusatsu inspired drama series, Chosoku Parahero Gandine (Super Speed ParaHero Gandine). The series features a groundbreaking premise that combines disabled sports with transforming heroes. The series will heavily focus on wheelchair related combat and action, as the protagonist is paraplegic. In addition, the series’ paraplegic protagonist will transform into a typical ‘henshin hero,’ who uses a superpowered wheelchair. However, Chosoku Parahero Gandine is special mini-series that will span three episodes rather than having 12 or more episodes. Furthermore, the main cast features several actors, previously associated with the tokusatsu-genre.
The official series synopsis from NHK:
Daishi Morimiya is a high school student who aims to become a top athlete in wheelchair track and field. Former track and field athlete, Kyo Fukai takes on the role of coach with such aspirations. Surrounded by his father, Gen Morimiya, a childhood friend, Rio Seino, and a trio of employees at the town factory run by Gen, he and Kyo are eager to train for an upcoming race.
Then one day, a mysterious object (actually, a spaceship escape pod) falls from the sky with a roaring sound. Inside is a handsome alien named Goo. Yet, following after him is the giant monster Lagert, which appears to attack the town, and factory. Goo gives Daishi the Mode Shifter which begins to emit light and wraps his body in it. The result is Daishi transforms into the superhero “Gandine,” and he rushes to defeat the monster!
Daishi Morimiya portrayed by Sō Okuno (Kamen Rider Zi-O/ Sougo Tokiwa)
A high school student who turns into a superhero.
A bright, positive second year high school student. 17 years old. He is in a wheelchair due to a car accident when he was eight years old. He dreams of being an astronaut. He likes to train para-athletics classes (1500m) to improve his body. With the powers provided to him from aliens, Daishi has the ability to transform into Gandine.
Mika Kei portrayed by Fuka Koshiba (Tokusatsu GaGaGa’s Kano Nakamura)
Always supports Daishi, the Devil Coach.
Works at Asahi Sports University. 24 years old. Was once on track team member, but she felt like that there is a limit on her talent, so she changed to be a coach. Although she is not involved with any sports activities associated with the disabled, she somehow ended up being Daishi’s coach.
Gen Morimiya portrayed by Takeshi Tsuruno (Ultraman Dyna/ Shin Asuka)
Always support Daishi from the back.
Daishi’s Father. 44 years old. He is more active than Daishi. An engineer that work outside of Tokyo, “Moriyama Motor.” In order to grant Daishi’s wish to be an astronaut, he is currently developing a special space rocket.
Phos known as Goo portrayed by Karasu Hayashi (Ultraman Z’s Shinya Kaburagi)
A handsome alien who dropped from the sky.
A Maiden Tribe from Planet Alert, around 17 to 19 years old. Currently, trying to escape from Eltron Tribe who also came from Planet Alert. Goo came to Earth with a mission, to give Daishi the transformation powers. Also, he has power that he does not even notice.
Seina Rio portrayed by Mori Nakamura
Gives out a unique sense as a high school student.
Daishi’s childhood friend. 17 years old. Often visits the Moriyama House, and helps to make dinner. Despite having very unique taste in cooking and fashion sense, it also seems to be her special ability…
Sakamoto Motou portrayed by Wada Sohkoh
A 44 year old professor at Asahi Sports University. Gen’s friend who persuaded Daishi to participate in wheelchair racing.
Yuya Wakabayashi portrayed by Taketo Kubota, Miki Akagi portrayed by Sachiko Aoyama & Momen portrayed by Breeze.
A three-person group of employees working in Gen’s factory. They all possess a vast knowledge on high-tech skills and development. They were the ones to develop the Hyper Wheel that Gandine uses.
Gandine’s Accessories & Lagert
To transform into Gandine, Daishi uses the Mode Shifter which is powered by the user’s ambition. Whereas, the Hyper Wheel has two units, one based on wheelchair rugby and the other specifically for racing. However, as Gandine, Daishi will require both to save the world.
The Kaiju, Lagert (Lagerto)
From Planet Alert, the monster Lagert is sent to Earth by the Eltron Tribe. Its goal is to hunt down Goo. It is a half mechanical living entity. Height: 12 meters.
Chosoku Parahero Gandine will also feature special guests. These special guests will consist of actual disabled athletes in Japan who participate in various wheelchair sports. Higuchi Masayuki who holds the record for the men’s 5000m and 1500m in Japan’s races will act as coaching advisor to Kei. Whereas, other guests will include Masayuki Higuchi, Ryuta Yoshida, Takeru Sato, Rinpei Sasaki, and Takuho Sasahara.
Now, directing the series is Takanori Tsujimoto who currently known for contributing as a director for the Ultraman series. Whereas, the screenplay has been written by Yukiko Manaba (episode 1 & 2) and Hirotoshi Kobayashi (episode 3). Also, the character designs were all provided by the legendary designer, Shinji Nishikawa. Finally, Chosoku Parahero Gandine will be broadcast across three weeks airing on June 26, July 3, and July 10 at 5 p.m. JST. The expected runtime for the series is around 45 minutes per episode.
Nevertheless, this series is set to air next month, and I am honestly surprised that this show even exists. It is not everyday that viewers get to see a tokusatsu series feature a disable hero, let alone one in a wheelchair. Also, to have the lead protagonist be the disabled character is very ambitious, and I should know that. So, if this series receives an international broadcast or release, I will surely have to check it. Heck, I might even review Chosoku Parahero Gandine for the site, so readers please stay tuned for all possible updates.