I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Ichiro Mizuki -- Bokura no Barom-1 (ぼくらのバロム・1)

Actually, I don't remember the theme song at all for the early 70s tokusatsu show, "Barom-1". However, it is the first tokusatsu show that I had ever seen during my very first visit to Japan in 1972. And for an impressionable 6-year-old boy like me, watching anything tokusatsu along the lines of "Ultraman" or "Kamen Rider" was like giving catnip to a cat. It was definitely one of my still-strong memories of my time in my grandfather's farm in Wakayama Prefecture.

(from about 4:10)

I had no idea that "Chojin Barom-1"超人バロム・1...Superman Barom-1)originated from a 1970 manga series. It was always about the show. There was the one frail-looking boy and the fat kid who were granted the power to henshin into the powerful superhero, and Barom-1 had this disc which looked like a modern-day computer mouse that could transform into a kickass vehicle that looked like a mix between a road racer and a hydrofoil (apologies for the overuse of relative pronouns here). Of course, Barom-1 could pretty much kick the bad guys into next month as all of these heroes could. Unfortunately, it's been lost somewhere but I used to have a kids' book which was the comic version of an adventure from the TV show.

As for the theme itself, it was performed by anison and tokusatsu veteran Ichiro Mizuki(水木一郎with assistance from the Columbia Yurikago Kai(コロムビアゆりかご会). Written by Saburo Yatsude(八手三郎)and composed by Shunsuke Kikuchi(菊池俊輔), "Bokura no Barom 1"(ぼくらのバロム・1...Our Barom-1) is that fine example of a tokusatsu hero march with that urgent beat exhorting the hero to get the job done. It also has some of the more interesting examples of onomatopoeia that I ever came across in any song.

The one other interesting thing about "Chojin Barom-1" is that I think the show probably sent a lot of kids into fetal-position terror. There was one episode in which the prologue had the gruesome monster of the week show up in some alley somewhere when a drunken nearsighted salaryman just happened to bump into it. For several seconds, the drunken guy tried to apologize to the monster as he fumbled about for his glasses and when he finally put them on, he recognized his one-sided conversation for what it was and screamed. The monster swallowed him whole and then spat out his clothes...rather cleanly, I have to say.

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