The third clip in Cinebeats’ ongoing Battle Sequence Series is from Condorman : Symbol of Justice (Seigi no shinboru Kondoruman). Condorman was an entertaining action-packed tokuatsu series created by the great Kôhan Kawauchi (aka Yasunori Kawauchi), which aired on Japanese television in 1975. Kawauchi is responsible for creating the first Japanese superhero television show in 1958 known as Moonlight Mask (Gekko Kamen), which shares some obvious similarities with Condorman. The heroes of Kawauchi’s shows have a similar look and episodes often featured cliffhanger endings. They also both drove their own groovy vehicles. Moonlight Mask had a motorcycle and Condorman had his own special car called the Mach Condor.
Condorman starred a little known Japanese actor by the name of Hitoshi Sato who was a former race car driver. His driving skills gave him the ability to handle driving the Mach Condor on the show. As Condorman, Hitoshi Sato would fight evil monsters who disguised themselves as humans and were out to pollute planet earth’s water and air supply, among other things. Condorman was able to see through the monster’s human disguises with his “Condor Eye” and he used many special powers such as “Condor Thunder” and “Condor Hurricane” to stop them. Besides all the various monsters, Condorman also had to deal with their numerous henchmen who all looked like Nazis wearing Lucha Libre masks.
Just a small sampling of the strange monsters Condorman had to fight.
In some ways the important messages in Condorman that warned viewers about the negative effects of pollution, inflation and other ills made the show ahead of its time. Condorman also featured some spectacular action sequences, as well as colorful costumes and prop designs. The monsters he fought were often very unusual and included a sombrero wearing smog creature, a giant cockroach, a green-haired batgirl and strange robots.
Unfortunately Condorman never really caught on with kids or adults and the show stopped airing after only one season. Some episodes of the series were released on video in Japan and I believe the series was also made available on Laser Disc, but it has never been released on DVD. Information about the series is scarce and the show has never been subtitled, but I think some English dubbed episodes of Condorman aired on Hawaiian television in the late seventies.
The clip below features Condorman battling a robot-like monster called Sadora (aka Sadler), who was played by the Japanese actor and playwright Toshiaki Nishizawa. Sadora has help from his evil henchmen, but fortunately for Condorman, Sadora ends up killing many of his own men in the chaos that follows.
Battle Sequence 003: Condorman – Episode #1 (Birth of Condorman) – 1975