November 19, 2015
Apologies to Spy Vibers for the blackout this week. I injured my back during a mission (carrying a "wish tree"-ironic!) and had to lay low. But I'm on the mend and Spy Vibe is in action! We've got some great interviews lined up around new books about The Avengers, The Persuaders, as well as Ian Fleming's James Bond Letters. It's all for your eyes only, so stay tuned! While I was walking stiffly around the Spy Vibe lair like Get Smart's robot colleague Hymie, a cool video appeared on my radar via groovy-hunter extraordinary, Jhalal Drut. He and I both studied Japanese and he sometimes posts great discoveries from the world of anime and manga. The designs I found on-line reminded me of Takao Saito's work on James Bond, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and Golgo 13, so I vowed to seek out more info. Skyers 5 was a series that was adapted to television in the late 1960s. Some of the serialized manga appeared alongside Gerry Anderson's Captain Scarlet! Twelve 25-minute episodes were produced and transmitted on TBS in Japan. The anime also got some international release as El Agente S-5 in Spanish and Tarot Kid in Portuguese. The show was broadcast in black and white in 1967 and then returned in a color series between 1971-1973. Billed as an adventure/crime/sci-fi hybrid with James Bond/Thunderbirds action, the series featured five members of a planetary police force who fought an international crime syndicate led by diabolical mastermind called The Ghost. The main character was Falcon Taro, who joined the force to avenge the death of his family. Like any good team of Sci-Spy agents, the series was filled with futuristic vehicles and gadgets. But maybe the most unusual feature was the addition of playing cards, which were thrown (like shuriken) to disarm or kill their opponents. Likewise, each of the team was associated with a playing card and they dressed a bit like casino dealers. According to my sources, the heroes were Falcon Taro (Ace of Spades), Sayuri/Lilly (Ace of Hearts), Samson (Ace of Clubs), Polka (Ace of Diamonds), and their The Boss. The Skyers 5 team also had a mascot called White Lion. Spy Vibers with an all-region player (and deep pockets) can pick up a 4-DVD Region 2 box set at Amazon here. Vintage images and both b&w and color title sequences below. Enjoy! Stay tuned for news re: my novel Miki Zero (making the rounds with agents). Related posts: U.N.C.L.E. Japanese Editions, James Bond Japanese Editions, Ian Fleming's Japan, Green Hornet Manga, U.N.C.L.E. and Batman Manga, Spies Robots & Monsters, Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot, Spies Robots & Monsters II, Marine Boy, Interview: Kevin Dart's Powerpuff Girls and Yuki 7.
Selected Spy Vibe Posts: 007 SPECTRE Comics, Casino Royale Folio, New James Bond Comic, Diana Rigg BFI Interview, Callan Documentary and Set, Casino Royale Interview: Mike Richardson, Early Saint Box Set, Lost Diana Rigg Interview, Diana Rigg Event, Ian Fleming Letters, New Gillette 007 Covers, Pirate Radio, Spectre Advanced Poster, Honor Blackman at 90, UNCLE School, Ian Fleming Memorial, Radiophonic Exhibit, Portmeirion Photos, Doctor Who Exhibit, Farewell Steed, Pussy Galore Returns, Diana Rigg birthday, Sherlock at 221B, Invisible Agent, Saint Interview: Ian Dickerson, Saint Doppelgänger, Fleming's Typewriter, Rare Fleming, Fleming's Music, Ian Fleming's Japan, Jim Wilson Corgi Interview, Fantomas Design, Jeremy Duns on Bond, John Buss interview, Avengers Season 5 Titles, Saint Volvo, Mod Tales Interview, Agente Secreto Comics, Danger Man Comics 2, Danger Man Comics, John Drake Comics, Der Mann Von UNCLE, Golden Margaret Nolan, Man From UNCLE Rocksteady, Pussy Galore Calypso, Cynthia Lennon R.I.P., Edward Mann Fashion, Leonard Nimoy Tribute, Shatner at 84, Bob Morane series, Thai Bond Design, Bond vs Modernism, Art of Modesty, Tokyo Beat 1964, Feraud Mod Fashion, Green Hornet Manga, No 6 Festival, Avengers Interview: Michael Richardson, Ian Fleming: Wicked Grin, Jane Bond Hong Kong Records, Ryan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E., Comics Week: Archie, Comics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMAN, Comics Week: Jimmy Olsen, Shakespeare Spies: Diana Rigg, Shakespeare Spies I, Rodney Marshall Avengers Interview, Richard Sala: Super-Enigmatix, Cold War Archie, Playboy Bunny Interview, The 10th Victim Japanese and Kindle, U.N.C.L.E. Japanese Books, Trina Robbins Interview, Catsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.