The official website for WOWOW‘s Kinnikuman: The Lost Legend live-action series revealed last week that the series has cast Gou Ayano as himself. In the show’s story, he plays the role of Robin Mask and takes acts as a producer of the in-story film Muscleman. Ayano will be a key part of the story, directing the investigation of what is preventing the production of the Muscleman film.
The show’s story centers around the fictional production of a live-action movie based on Yudetamago‘s wrestling superhero manga Kinnikuman. The series is set in 2019, when the Kinnikuman manga inspired the (fictional) production of a movie titled Muscleman. On the day before the movie’s announcement, the production team runs into trouble. In the story, Gordon Maeda (seen below) has been cast as the character Warsman in Muscleman. He and his co-stars embark on a journey to discover the “secret past” of Muscleman, in order to get the movie’s production back on its feet.
Tina Tamashiro (seen below) and award-winning director Sion Sono will both play themselves in the show. Tamashiro is cast to play the character Alexandria Meat in the in-story film Muscleman, while Sono is the director of that film. In the story, Ayano has cast Tamashiro and Maeda.
The series will premiere on WOWOW on October 8. Tetsuaki Matsue is directing the series, and Takeshi Takemura is penning the scripts. (The two previously collaborated on the manga-based documentary series Yamada Takayuki no Tokyo Kita-ku Akabane.)
The manga creator duo known as Yudetamago resumed their original Kinnikuman wrestling manga as a free web manga in 2011. The creators went back to their first 1979 Kinnikuman storyline and continued where they last left the story in 1987. The original manga has inspired various television anime series and films. Yudetamago previously published a Kinnikuman one-shot manga in Shueisha‘s Grand Jump magazine in 2015, and then published a one-shot in Weekly Shonen Jump for the first time in 11 years in June 2019.
Toy figures of Kinnikuman were imported into the United States under the “M.U.S.C.L.E” brand name in the 1980s. Viz Media then released Takashi Shimada and Yoshinori Nakai‘s Kinnikuman Nisei – Second Generations manga sequel in North America as Ultimate Muscle: The Kinnikuman Legacy, and 4Kids Entertainment broadcast the anime adaptation on television.