Fireman (aka Faiyâman/Magma Man) is an interesting tokusatsu series featuring a kyodai hero (giant hero) that aired in Japan on Nippon Television in 1973. It was made by Tsuburaya Productions, who was also responsible for the popular Ultraman series and Fireman had many things in common with that show.
In the series, the handsome Japanese actor Naoya Makoto (Goranger, Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, etc.) plays the powerful hero Fireman. Fireman belongs to a race of unusual beings that live deep inside the earth. When earth is attacked by giant monster-like aliens (kaiju), Fireman rises to the surface, takes a human form and joins Japan’s Scientific Attack Force (S.A.F.) so he can help defeat the evil invaders. Much like Ultraman, Fireman is able to grow and become giant size in order to fight the various kaiju monsters he encounters. He also has many special powers and weapons.
Fireman was directed by Jun Oki and written by Bunkou Wakatsuki. Jun Oki had previously worked on various science fiction shows for Tsuburaya Productions such as Ultraseven (Urutora sebun, 1967), Ultraman Returns (Kaettekita Urutoraman, 1971) and the wonderful mystery/horror series Operation: Mystery! (Kaiki daisakusen, 1968), which I hope to write about in more detail soon. With Fireman, Oki was in control of the direction of the series as well as the special effects, which were often very impressive. Like Silver Kamen which I briefly reviewed here earlier, Fireman was a bit more adult than other similar shows that were airing in Japan at the time. The series often contained more mature stories and some unpredictable twists that were rather unusual for a show typically aimed at a young audience.
Fireman ran for 30 episodes and features a great soundtrack by Toru Fuyuki that was undoubtedly one of the Japanese composer’s best efforts. In the “Battle Sequence” featured in the clip below you can hear some of the terrific music that Toru Fuyuki composed for the series while Fireman fights a kaiju monster called Dorigoras. You’ll cheer, you’ll laugh, and you might even cry, but whatever your expectations are, few things can prepare for you for the action-packed wonder that is Fireman!
Battle Sequence 002: Fireman – Episode #2 (S.A.F. Weapon is Science) – 1973