Kaiketsu Lion Maru

April 1, 1972 - April 7, 1973, 54 episodes

Kaiketsu Lion Maru

Created by Ushio, Sh˘ji

Character Actor
Shishimaru Ushio, Tetsuya
Kaiketsu Lion Maru Kamoshida, Kazu
Saori Kuj§, Akiki
Kosuke Umechi, Norihiko
Great Devil Gosun (voice) Kobayashi, Kiyoshi
Debonoba (voice) ╬zuka, Sh˘z˘
J§nosuke [episodes 27-30, 36-41] Tonohiro, K§zi
J§nosuke [episodes 42-51] Fukushima, Yoshitaka
Tiger Jo Fukushima, Shingo
Narrator Shinohara, Daisaku

Stuck In Somebody's Frame

Kaiketsu Lion Maru (Swift Hero Lion Maru) takes place in feudal Japan, the time of the samurai and ninja. Such programs were common in Japan at the same time as westerns were popular in the USA.

It's the late 1500s. Japan is in the midst of a long period of civil wars. As some seek to unite Japan in order to bring peace there are others who forment conflict in order to empower themselves.

Osho-sama, Shishimaru, Kosuke and Saori Shishimaru, Kosuke, and Saori

Three orphans, a young man (Shishimaru), a young woman (Saori) and a young boy (Kosuke) travel around saving people from Akuma Gosun (Devil Gosun).

henshinKaiketsu Lion Maru
"Kaze O! Hikari O! Ninp˘ Shishi-Hengen!"

Shishimaru carries two swords, an ordinary sword with which he fights most of his battles and a magical sword given to him by his mentor Osho-sama. It is this sword which transforms him into Kaiketsu Lion Maru. Shishimaru wears the sword on his back. The sword is locked, with a chain, into its sheath and can only be removing when Shishimaru recites the magical words "Kaze O! Hikari O! Ninp˘ Shishi-Hengen!" ("Wind, Light, Ninja Skill, Lion-Transform!"). The sword has a mind of its own and will not always open the first time.

Kaiketsu Lion Maru destroying monsterKaiketsu Lion Maru destroying monster

After slicing the monster Kaiketsu Lion Maru draws his hand down the backside of his sword, when he does this the monster explodes. He also has the power to make the wind blow against the monsters (Ninp˘ Hurricane) and to heat his sword. After Kaiaketsu Lion Maru has defeated the monster he sheathes the sword, which causes him to revert back to Shishimaru. Shishi is Japanese for "lion".


Saori is very dextrous, sometimes taking an enemy's sword and fighting two handed using her own sword (given to her by Osho-sama) and the villain's sword.


Osho-sama gave Kosuke a flute, the sound of which summons Hikarimaru, a white pegasus (winged horse). The flute can also be used like a blowgun.


In addition Kosuke carries a supply of black powder which he uses to produce small bombs.

The name Kosuke is a pun. The word translates to English as "little help". Kosuke has his own theme song I Am Kosuke.


Hikarimaru is ridden by Shishimaru or Lion Maru. In episode 42 Hikarimaru gains the ability to make its wings completely disappear, before they just folded up. Hikarimaru is a physical representation of the spirit of the Shismaru's mentor Osho-sama.

Gosun baseGreat Devil Gosun

Kaiketsu Lion Maru fights Akuma Gosun (Devil Gosun). In episode 8 the leader of Akuma Gosun makes a monster out of water and charges it with the taks of killing Lion Maru. This creature takes charge of the other monsters, instructing them in how to kill Lion Maru.

J§nosukeTiger JoJ§nosuke
(J§nosuke as played by Tonohiro, K§zi)                                                                                                     (J§nosuke as played by Fukushima, Yoshitaka)

After his second in command is killed (episode 20) the leader of Gosun picks a human warrior, J§nosuke, to give a magic sword which transforms him into Kaiketu Lion Maru's equal Tiger Jo (episode 27).

"Wind, Light, Ninja Skill, Lion-Transform!"

The opening theme song "Oh Wind And Light" was recorded by Hide, Yuki (best known for opening and ending themes to Jinzo Ningen Kikaida) and Young Fresh. Hide, Yuki died in January of 1999. The ending theme "Come Along Lion Maru" was recorded just by Young Fresh.

Kaiketsu Lion Maru

The Songs

Fuun Lion Maru

Kaiketsu Lion Maru was followed by a similar series called Fuun Lion Maru.

P-Productions also produced Magma Taishi [Ambassador Magma] (1966-1967), Kaiju Ouji [Monster Prince] (1967), Supekutoruman [Spectreman] (1971-1972), Fuun Lion Maru [Storm Cloud Lion Maru] (1973), Tetsujin Taiga 7 [Ironman Tiger 7] (1973-1974) and Denjin Zab˘gÔ [Electroid Zab˘gÔ] (1974-1975).

Kaiketsu Lion Maru

Back To Henshin Hall Of Fame

Last modified Monday , August 4, 2008

Title screen and several color pictures provided by Seijin X
Henshin sequence photos provided by "Shin Hayata".
First picture of Kaiketsu Lion Maru sent to me by Giovanni Favero.
Saori in combat, Kosuke bomb, J§nosuke and Tiger Jo photos from George B.

Kaiketsu Lion Maru © 1972 P-Productions