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In our previous Tokusatsu actors articles, we have talked about how these actors gained rapid popularity through their respective genres. However, did you know that some of these actors have actually been part of the acting industry for some time but only have small roles before they donned the costume? Here is a list of background actors who eventually ended up becoming Super Sentai heroes!
1. Furuhara Yasuhisa 古原靖久
Mach Zenkai! Before he was the leader of the Go-ongers, Furuhara Yasuhisa started his acting career in the J-drama, Nobuta wo Produce, which was popular high school drama back in 2005 with Kamenashi Kazuya, Yamashita Tomohisa and Horikita Maki as the main leads. He was one of the main leads’ classmates.
2. Suzuki Katsuhiro 鈴木勝大
As mentioned in one of the previous articles, Suzuki Katsuhiro debuted alongside Kamen Rider Fourze‘s actor, Fukushi Sota, in a high school drama entitled Misaki Number One!! back in 2011 before he grabbed the role of Red Buster in Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters. Before that, he was actually competing with Fukushi for the role of Kisaragi Gentaro but it eventually ended up in the latter’s hands.
3. Ryusei Ryo 流星涼
He insists that everyone should call him King in Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger, but before he deserved that title, Ryusei Ryo started his career in the 2010 J-drama Sunao ni Narenakute, as one of the students of the female lead, Ueno Juri. He also became a background student once again in HAMMER SESSION! One of his prominent roles before his time as KyoryuRed was in the live action drama adaptation of Ouran High School Host Club, where he co-starred alongside other Tokusatsu actors such as Yamamoto Yusuke (Kamen Rider Sasword), Takagi Manpei (GekiBlue) and Chiba Yudai (GoseiRed).
4. Shiono Akihisa 塩野瑛久
Just like his Kyoryuger co-star, Shiono Akihisa kicked start his acting career as one of the background students in Great Teacher Onizuka 2012. He was hardly recognizable until he was casted as KyoryuGreen/Rippukan Souji, where he demonstrated an amazing ability at swordplay.
5. Nishikawa Shunsuke 西川俊介
We all know and despise him for being a Kiryu Daigo wannabe and for his terrible acting, but before we came across this idiotic hero of all time, Nishikawa Shunsuke was a background student in Great Teacher Onizuka 2014. Interestingly, he was one of the guys within Ryusei Ryo’s (yes, King himself!) basketball group in the series.
While there are many other Super Sentai actors/actresses who appeared in several J-dramas prior to their heroic role in the franchise, I have decided to list these five as they were purely background actors (as in you wouldn’t even know they were there) than any others I had in mind.
Next up, we will look at Kamen Rider actors in Part 2 of “Background Actors who became Tokusatsu Heroes” so stay tuned!