Lion Maru (Swift Hero Lion Maru) takes place in feudal
Japan, the time of the samurai and ninja. Such programs were common in
Japan at the same time as westerns were popular in the USA.
April 1, 1972 - April 7, 1973, 54 episodes
Created by Ushio, Sh˘ji
Kaiketsu Lion Maru
Great Devil Gosun (voice)
J§nosuke [episodes 27-30, 36-41]
J§nosuke [episodes 42-51]
Stuck In Somebody's Frame
It's the late 1500s. Japan is in the midst of a long period of civil wars. As some seek to unite Japan in order to bring peace there are others who forment conflict in order to empower themselves.
Three orphans, a young man (Shishimaru), a young woman (Saori) and a young boy (Kosuke) travel around saving people from Akuma Gosun (Devil Gosun).
Shishimaru carries two
swords, an ordinary sword with which he fights most of his battles and
a magical sword given to him by his mentor Osho-sama. It is this sword
which transforms him
into Kaiketsu Lion Maru. Shishimaru wears the sword on his back. The
sword is locked, with a chain, into its sheath and can only be removing
when Shishimaru recites the magical words "Kaze O! Hikari O! Ninp˘
Shishi-Hengen!" ("Wind, Light, Ninja Skill, Lion-Transform!"). The
sword has a mind of its own and will not always open the first time.
"Kaze O! Hikari O! Ninp˘ Shishi-Hengen!"
After slicing the monster Kaiketsu Lion Maru draws his hand down the backside of his sword, when he does this the monster explodes. He also has the power to make the wind blow against the monsters (Ninp˘ Hurricane) and to heat his sword. After Kaiaketsu Lion Maru has defeated the monster he sheathes the sword, which causes him to revert back to Shishimaru. Shishi is Japanese for "lion".
Saori is very dextrous, sometimes taking an enemy's sword and fighting two handed using her own sword (given to her by Osho-sama) and the villain's sword.
Osho-sama gave Kosuke a flute, the sound of which summons Hikarimaru, a white pegasus (winged horse). The flute can also be used like a blowgun.
In addition Kosuke carries a supply of black powder which he uses to produce small bombs.
The name Kosuke is a pun. The word translates to English as "little help". Kosuke has his own theme song I Am Kosuke.
Hikarimaru is ridden by Shishimaru or Lion Maru. In episode 42 Hikarimaru gains the ability to make its wings completely disappear, before they just folded up. Hikarimaru is a physical representation of the spirit of the Shismaru's mentor Osho-sama.
Kaiketsu Lion Maru fights Akuma Gosun (Devil Gosun). In episode 8 the leader of Akuma Gosun makes a monster out of water and charges it with the taks of killing Lion Maru. This creature takes charge of the other monsters, instructing them in how to kill Lion Maru.
After his second in
command is killed (episode 20) the leader of Gosun picks a human
warrior, J§nosuke, to give a magic sword which transforms him into
Kaiketu Lion Maru's equal Tiger Jo
(J§nosuke as played by Tonohiro, K§zi) (J§nosuke as played by Fukushima, Yoshitaka)
The opening theme song
"Oh Wind And Light" was
recorded by Hide, Yuki (best known for opening and ending themes to Jinzo
Ningen Kikaida) and Young Fresh. Hide, Yuki died in January
of 1999. The ending theme "Come
Along Lion Maru" was recorded just by Young Fresh.
"Wind, Light, Ninja Skill, Lion-Transform!"
Kaiketsu Lion Maru was followed by a similar series called Fuun Lion Maru.
P-Productions also produced Magma Taishi [Ambassador Magma] (1966-1967), Kaiju Ouji [Monster Prince] (1967), Supekutoruman [Spectreman] (1971-1972), Fuun Lion Maru [Storm Cloud Lion Maru] (1973), Tetsujin Taiga 7 [Ironman Tiger 7] (1973-1974) and Denjin Zab˘gÔ [Electroid Zab˘gÔ] (1974-1975).
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Last modified Monday , August 4, 2008
Title screen and several color pictures provided by Seijin X
Henshin sequence photos provided by "Shin Hayata".
First picture of Kaiketsu Lion Maru sent to me by Giovanni Favero.
Saori in combat, Kosuke bomb, J§nosuke and Tiger Jo photos from George B.
Kaiketsu Lion Maru © 1972 P-Productions