Missing Cyborg Case / Kamen Rider No.1

In May 1972, The staff of Kamen Rider got shocked. Hiroshi Fujioka ran away from filming of Kamen Rider. Through the media even kids got to know this incident.
According to the media, Fujioka had auditioned a drama titled “Akahige” supposed to start airing on October 6 1972. Fujioka had successfully got a role of Noboru Yasumoto, an important character in the drama. The appearance on this drama would give Fujioka much more popularity. However, Toei company hadn’t been informed of his audition, and it had already decided to secure a booking at Kamen Rider. Appearing both on ‘Kamen Rider’ and on ‘Akahige’ was impossible due to their filming schedule. Consequently Fujioka had to give up ‘Akahige’ by contract. Fujioka was so depressed and secluded himself.
All of staff were soon convened and started considering the best course of action. The producers agreed on making an episode where Takeshi Hongo didn’t show up. Then Masaru Igami wrote up a script for episode #66 “Shocker Hakaba Yomigaeru Kaijin-tachi (Shocker Graveyard, Revived Monsters)”. At this point there occurred another problem. The producers’ discussion took too much time to design and to make a costume of a new monster. They had no choice but used a costume of ‘Kamikirikid’ which was supposed to make its brilliant debut on the second movie of Kamen Rider titled “Kamen Rider vs Jigoku Taishi”.

Fujioka was still missing. The staff had to make another episode which didn’t require the presence of Hongo. They made a decision to use a costume of ‘Girizamesu’, a monster supposed to be the true identity of Shinigami Hakase(Dr.Death God). Then episode #67 “Shocker Shuryou Shutsugen Rider Ayaushi (The Shocker Leader Appears! Riders in Danger)” was filmed.

Meanwhile one news reporter found Fujioka at Izu, Shizuoka prefecture. Fujioka told him what in his mind, and the story became an article, which made his fans feel sympathy for him. Mainichi Housou company, the TV station broadcasting ‘Kamen Rider’ was soon bombarded with inquiries from his fan seeking for better solutions.

Consequently Fujioka apologized to Toei and Mainichi Housou to make this incident come to a settlement. Mainichi Housou announced they would arrange the filming schedule of Rider to let Fujioka appear on other programs. In reply to this announcement, Fujioka declared he was going to do his best and to set up his fan club.
As his announcement, ‘Hongo Takeshi no Kai (Takeshi Hongo Fan Club)’ was organized on June. The member could get a budge, an ID card and a newsletter published every two months. At its peak 60,000 kids joined it. In addition a telephone information service that you could hear a message from Hongo started. Rumor has it soon after the beginning of the service, a flood of telephone calls caused a telephone company to go out of service.

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