Friday, July 6, 2012

Wishful Casting: Another Agito Edition

When I first watched all of Kamen Rider Agito, a highlight of one of the later episodes was Yutaka Hirose's return to tokusatsu after a five year absence. But...I was disappointed to find that he was playing such a small role, that of a corrupt G3-Unit chief who's only in a handful of scenes. And then it dawned on me...

Why didn't they get Hirose to play Kaoru Kino/Another Agito? Can you think of a more perfect Kamen Rider for him to play? He was written to be older, an anti-hero. Another Agito's Yutaka Izubuchi design was a throwback to Showa Riders, with his bike Dark Hopper's name possibly being a nod to the Battle Hopper of Kamen Rider Black, the Kamen Rider role Hirose auditioned for in '87. Also, Agito main writer Toshiki Inoue always likes to write parts for Hirose, and director Takao Nagaishi always likes using him, so I just couldn't understand why they'd give Hirose a small part instead of a role so perfect for him...

I had a theory that maybe he was intended to play Kino, but took the small role in gratitude -- maybe he was still upset about losing the Black part, maybe it's because he was getting ready to put acting aside to focus on being a talent manager. However, I recently discovered that he wasn't considered for the part, that they thought of him from the start for the Naoyuki Shirakawa role. Pretty disappointing, if you ask me. And while I really like what Takanori Kikuchi ended up doing as I said, I think Kino would have been a perfect fit for Hirose, and a great note for him to end his tokusatsu run on.

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