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Invisible Avenger, The

Entry updated 16 January 2023. Tagged: Film.

Japanese film (1954). Original title Tomei Ningen; vt The Invisible Man. Toho. Directed by Motoyoshi Oda. Written by Shigeaki Hidaka. Special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya. Cast includes Seizaburo Kawazu, Minoru Takada and Yoshio Tsuchiya. 70 minutes. Black and white.

During World War Two, Japanese Scientists secretly created a troop of invisible soldiers (see Invisibility); it was believed that they all died in battle at the end of the war, but at least two survived.

In the present day, there is a car accident: the driver gets out but cannot see what he has hit, until blood appears ... then a body becomes visible (maintaining the tradition or Cliché of an invisible man becoming visible when he dies). The victim is one of the survivors: a Suicide note is found, and it mentions the existence of the other invisible man. Noting that this news is causing public alarm, gangster Yajima (Takada) decides take advantage of the situation: his men cover their faces with bandages and wear sunglasses to commit a series of robberies.

Newspaper reporter Komatsu (Tsuchiya) discovers the surviving invisible man, Takamitsu Nanjo (Kawazu). He works as a clown, as this allows him to wear make-up and so hide his condition: they work together to defeat the gang. After teasing them by playing musical instruments at their club, Nanjo beats up the gang members. He pursues Yajima when he flees, culminating in a fight at an industrial refinery, where the gangster falls to his death.

Nanjo is a tragic figure, having to hide his true nature in order to live something approaching a normal life; sadly, he dies in the end. The well-executed special effects were by Eiji Tsuburaya. This film should not be confused with the US Invisible Avenger (1958). [SP]


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