Feb 1, 2009
“Gozonji! Gekkou Kamen-Kun”, aka “Little Moonlight Rider”, is a comic homage to the original Japanese super-hero TV series of the late 1950s “Gekkou Kamen”. Gekkou Kamen is now old and retired on the moon. When alien evil again threatens the Earth, Gekkou Kamen wants to go back to fight it, but unfortunately his back is too sore and he is no longer able to be the super-hero that he once was. So Gekkou Kamen sends his loyal motor bike Scooter to Earth to find a new hero who will become the new Gekkou Kamen.
Scooter, who has the personality of a matron aunt, chooses a
rather ordinary 5th grader named Naoto to take on the job. At first Naoto finds the mask, cape and uniform cool as he rides around to the cheers of the older folks in his neighbourhood who remember the original Gekkou Kamen. But soon Naoto finds that things are no longer the same, the Bad Guys are actually quite popular with the locals, and that being a super-hero isn’t as easy as it was in the past. In the meanwhile, a much bigger threat to the Earth is building unbeknownst to either Naoto or even his enemies.
This Tokyo Movie Shinsha/TV Tokyo series from 1999 is a wonderfully funny, thoughtfully poignant, and surreptitiously cynical re-telling of the old super-hero tale. The animation design is relaxed and straight forward, while the background animations have a water color appearance that captures the feel of small Tokyo neighbourhoods very accurately. The music is subtly updated from the rousing original theme and suits the series very well.
Although the series received a release on VHS when it first came out, it has, unfortunately, never been released on DVD.
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