Translation of Mitsunobu Kaneko's Interview – Fantastic Collection No. 24
(Giant Robo special edition), issued in December 1981, published by Asahi Sonorama

After 13 years of interval, Mr. Mitsunobu Kaneko, who performed as Daisaku Kusama
(a.k.a. Johnny Sokko) talks about Giant Robo

Click the pic for the article
in Japanese

Well, after performing in the NHK TV drama “Ten to chi to (literally translated: The Heaven and the Earth)” when I was 6th grader of elementary school, I had quit actor, so that I’m embarrassed when asked about things for long time ago.

Now I am a university student, not performing any more. But people get to know who I am, as they watched the TV drama that I performed. Only this thing people get excited about me, but a year ago screening of Akuma-kun was held, I was surprised to receive a phone call and asked to come. When I arrived at the venue, there were many people and I felt like I am happy or embarrassing. Ex-producer of Toei film company Mr. Hirayama revealed who I am, so that I was asked for autograph by many people.

I was born on September 25th in 1957 and now I am 24 years old. When I was a kindergartener I was scouted by a man of theater company in town, that is why I entered into the show business. Since then I had been working many, such as in TV dramas, movies, commercial films, stage play and model on magazines, and in 1965, I performed in the TV drama “Spy-Catcher J3” by Toei. In the following year, as Mr. Tsuneo Kobayashi, director of that drama produced “Akuma-kun”, he recommended me to be the lead.

I performed “Akuma-kun” regularly, and consecutively I was given privilege of performing as the boy; Daisaku Kusama (a.k.a. Johnny Sokko) in the “Giant Robo”. It was such a lot of fun at that time. Staff and costars were always playing with me. As everyone took care of me including Mr. Shozaburo Date, I have really good memories. In particular, I was very happy to go on location. The location frequently went were Shakujii Koen Park and Jogashima Island, I remember most of the location. The only one thing I didn’t favor, it was the school. At that time I was 4th grader of elementary school. But I could hardly go to school because of work. That is only thing I have regret.

But it was really great that I was able to perform in “Akuma-kun” and the “Giant Robo” regularly. Personally I think the “Giant Robo” is splendid. He has very good face, it has attractiveness that no animation robots nowadays have. It is hard to explain, but his face has quite friendly impression.

What impressive stories of the “Giant Robo” are, first of all, when “GR2 (Story 16)” appeared. He was cool. And “Doctor Germa (Story 23)”, which they had two-Johnnys. Particularly I love “Mysterious Secret Agent X7 (Story 18)”. I was very impressed even though I was a little kid. I love the last scene holding X7 at the set in Toei studio.

I, Mitsunobu Kaneko, performed in the “Giant Robo”, but it was my childhood, not myself in this time, and what everyone knows about me is just simply Johnny Sokko in the film. Is it a strange feeling that I, once performed in the past, presently appeared in public like this…."

Translated by Iku

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