Tatakae! Dragon (Fight! Dragon)
Tatakae! Dragon (Fight! Dragon) ran from July 2, 1974 through December 24, 1974 (for 26 episodes)
|Shiranui, Ryuma aka Dragon||Kurata, Yasuaki|
|Musashi, Kojiro||Akatsuka, Makoto|
While visiting Hong Kong, Dragon acquires a side kick the bumbling but well meaning Musashi, Kojiro. The character is named after two Japanse master swordsmen Miyamoto Musashi and Sasaki Kojiro, Their duel is stuff of legends. Musashi, Kojiro is badly misnamed, he is nothing like either of them. He is bad at karate because he's lazy and doesn't practice enough, he also overeats.There are a few occasions where he gets lucky and actually wins a battle but for the most part he's there to give Dragon someone to rescue and to provide comic relief. His best episode is episode 11 in which he dawns multiple disguises to follow Flying Squirrel, the only Shadow Assassin he is actually able to best, mostly by accident.
As Dragon is flying back to Japan from Hong Kong he discovers Lin, Shu is on his plane claiming he's going to Japan to learn Karate from Dragon and its okay with his parents. Not being able to drop the boy off mid flight he has no choice but to take him to the orphanage, "The Acorn House". Connected to the Acorn House is Dr. Kuri's Clinic and Dragon's dojo. Dr. Kuri likes alcohol too much.The "Acorns" as Dragon refers to the orphans are only seen in the early episodes. Although the assassin in episode 13 threatens to kill "every man, woman and child" at Acorn House and tells his men to "start with the small fry" none of the children are actually seen in the episode. Shu's mother becomes ill in episode 14 and he is placed on a plane to fly back home at the start of the episode, and is never mentioned again. None of the other children are there to say good bye and Dragon never refers to the Acorns again in fact the location is only referred to as "Dr. Kuri's Clinic". After appearing at the end of episode 15. Dr. Kuri is missing until episode 19 when he appears having been asleep and immediately wants a drink.
For the first part of the series (episodes 1-15) the Shadow assassins guild seems to be lead by the mysterious Black Jaguar whose face is never seen (until just before he dies), only his a hand holding a cigar appears on camera. And he uses a disguised voice. There are clues to his identity and if you pay close enough attention you should be able to figure out who is before Dragon does. All off te assassins under him are named after animals and most have a color in their name. Only a handful actually dress in the color matching their name however. The henchmen who assisst the assassins may wear black shirts with a Jaguar image on them or they may wear briighter colored shirts without the logo. They're mixed in episodes 14 and 15. Before he dies, Black Jaguar warns Dragon that even if he is killed Shadow will go on. Naturally the Jaguar shirts are never seen after episode 15.
After the demise of Black Jaguar, Dragon is told that Shadow is an international organization, something he should have realized having fought them in Hong Hong, Macao, Japan and Manilla, and that Black Jaguar was merely the regional boss, stationed in Japan The new boss seems to be a pinstriped suit wearing, pipe smoking, American known as Eyes of Darkness. To prove that Shadow is international and that he is not Japanese he speaks four words of English "he must die" and "go" (not the Japanse word for five) in episode 16. In episode 17 he states that he came to Japan from America to complete unfinished business in Japan and that he will return to America soon. His assassins are Cold Wind & Gale.
Eyes of Darkness proves to be a man of his word when he is replaced as the boss of Shadow Japan (episode 18) by Dark Tiger. Apparently all Shadow bosses must be smokers. Despite his animal based name most of his assassins are named after natural forces (mostly wind) not animals. Dark Tiger appears in episodes 19, 20, 23-26. Dark Tiger greets people, friend and foe alike with "A'salam", when its Dragon he is speaking to he makes "peace" sound like a threat. In episode 24 he uses the full "As-salamu alaykum", so he's apparently supposed to be Arabic and possibly a Muslim, though of course the rest of his dialogue is in Japanese. Dark Tiger is more obssessed with defeating Dragon than either Black Jaguar or Eyes of Darkness. As a result of Dragon's constant interfernce in Shadow Japan's operations its decided that the Japanese branch is costing too munch money and it is to be shut down. Before leaving Dark Tiger tries one last time to elimnate Dragon. He arrogantly (and blasphemously) refers to his final four assassins as "Shadow's Great Gods: God of Wind, God of Water, God of Lightning and God of Fire".
(Clicking on an episode title will lead to an episode summary [including photos] which will contain spoilers, especially epsiode 15's
Clicking on the assassin's name will just display a photo with no other spoilers.)
07/02/1974 Dragon Files To Hong Kong
07/09/1974 Dragon's Foe Is Purple Snake
Tiger & Purple Snake
07/16/1974 The Messenger Of Evil Is Red
07/23/1974 Dragon VS, Black Jaguar
07/30/1974 The Frightening Silver
Silver Praying Mantis
08/06/1974 Dragon VS, Female Dragon
Striped Wolf & Spotted Wolf
08/13/1974 Onward Dragon! To Devil's
08/20/1974 Dragon In Danger! Certain
Spider & Golden Bat
08/27/1974 The Bizzare Dark Karate
Dark Lizard & Shadow Weasal
09/03/1974 Dragon Fights To The Finish
09/10/1974 Dragon Goes Missing
Gray Fox & Flying Squirrel
09/17/1974 Shadow's Invitation To Death
Yellow Sea Snake
09/24/1974 Dragon's Great Escape
One-Eyed Condor & Jackal
10/01/1974 Touch And Go For Dragon
Brown Moray Eel & Black Jaguar
10/08/1974 Who Is Black Jaguar?!
Black Jaguar (different mask)
10/15/1974 The Dark Dojo Of Fear
10/22/1974 The Mysterious Demon Fist!!
10/29/1974 Dragon The Great Turnabout
Flash, Thunder, Rock Storm<
11/05/1974 The Enemy With The
Strongest Tai Chi
11/12/1974 The Demonic Wrestler
11/19/1974 The Black Rider Assassin
Magnum & Winter Wind
11/26/1974 The Incredible Man From Hong Kong
Violent Wind & Sea Storm
12/03/1974 Challenge: Hurricane Karate!
12/10/1974 Target: The Karate Champion
12/17/1974 Counterattack! The Dark
Dark Tiger, Wind, Water, Lightning, Fire
12/24/1974 Farewell, Dragon
Wind, Lightning, Water, Fire, Dark Tiger
At the end of episode 26, Dragon finally understanding that all he has done is wipe out Shadow Japan, that Shadow is an international assassins guild, boards a jet plane (destination unspecified) to "wipe out Shadow every where in the world". The final words are however, Kojiro's "Bro! (with tears in eyes) followed by a short prayer for his safe return and one last "Bro!" (aniki). THE END. (1st credit sequence repeating opening theme runs as usual, followed by second ending credits sequence with "Lonely Dragon" playing for the last time).
ended with the following warning: "KARATE REQUIRES PROPER PRACTICE
IMITATE WHAT YOU SEE" (In Japanese of course). In the first episode its
only printed on the screen, beginning with the second episode Dragon
recites the warning, probably in case there were children watching who
hadn't learned to read yet.
Tatakae! Dragon (Fight! Dragon) was released on DID by BCI Eclipse, in Japanese with English subtitles.
When BCI Eclipse went bankrupt its properties were acquired by Mill Creek Entertainment
which rereleased the DVD set under its logo on March 9, 2010.
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Tatakae! Dragon (Fight! Dragon) is a Senkousha / Tokyo Channel 12 Production