In a world where injustice rules the day and fear stalks the night, the people cry out for someone to stand up for the weak and oppressed. The world needs a hero. Someone to right wrongs and fight injustice. Someone who will put the needs of others above his own. Someone like 27-year-old Tadahiro Kanemasu of Tokyo, Japan.
When he’s not playing the role of mild mannered shop assistant at a greengrocer, Kanemasu dons his green costume (Did you know you can get a Power Rangers costume for about US$41? Kanemasu bought three!) and prowls the western end of Tokyo’s subway station…
To help people carry their stuff up the stairs.
Alright! Maybe he isn’t battling muggers or mutant cannibals or whatever, but don’t take what Kanemasu does for granted. A lot of Japan’s subways only have a loooooong flight of stairs to get in and out of them. No elevators, no escalators and they’re often poorly lit too. Not good if you’re elderly or carrying a lot of stuff. Are the authorities doing anything about this injustice? No! They’re leaving innocent commuters to fend for themselves. Commuters with heavy bags and/or children!
Kanemasu may not be the hero Tokyo deserves, but for damn sure, he’s the one it needs right now.
People who know Kanemasu are not surprised by his taking on the role of Tokyo’s subway step guardian. His coworker at the store, Hayato Ito, said Kanemasu has displayed a level of kindness to others over the years that made this transition the natural next step.
Some of you may be wondering, if all he does is help people with their bags, why he needs to wear a mask to do what he does. That’s a fair question. You see, Kanemasu wears a mask not to protect his own identity, but to protect the Japanese citizens… from themselves. This is because the Japanese are very wary of accepting help from others. They naturally feel obligated to anyone who helps them and, as such, would rather handle their problems on their own. Superheroes, though, are fair game. Everybody knows that superheroes don’t ask for a reward, so you can accept their help guilt free.
Kanemasu does admits that, like with most superheroes, the initial reception from the civilian public was one of skepticism, but eventually they now he has become accepted by those over whom he keeps guard and they welcome his help.
However, Kanemasu does have one foe with which he must contend. Time. No, that’s not the name of some supervillain in a cape, who bludgeons you with a giant hourglass, or anything. I mean he has to battle actual time. At least, I don’t think time wears a cape…
Since his work schedule means he can only afford to give a few hours per day to helping Tokyo’s commuters, Kanemasu worries for the people under his protection when he is not there to fight the good fight. This is why he is now looking to recruit a few faithful sidekicks to aid in his battle. They’ll wear different colored suits (Obviously) and I guess they’ll work in shifts. Actually he’s already got two applications in. Thus proving that all it takes is for one man to stand up against injustice, for others to heed the call and join the fight.