Kamen Rider Baron is trading in his banana spear for a flaming torch this year as Kamen Rider Gaim actor Kobayashi Yutaka will represent Japan as a torchbearer in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Though many of us know him as the uncompromising dancer-turned-antihero Kumon Kaito, both befriending and often clashing with his superpowered rival Kouta, he first made his name as a member of the J-pop group BOYS AND MEN, whose website made the announcement of his Olympics involvement. With vivacious period costumes and inventive style, they caught the eye of many enraptured fans. Their songs “Boymen Ninja” and “Wanna be!” both climbed to the top of the Japanese music charts, securing Kobayashi’s stardom for years to come.

Japan will compete in the Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. A location that suddenly became the subject of scrutinous magnifying glasses as a geographical map on the official PyeongChang website was found to have omitted the country of Japan from its place on it. The Japan Sports Agency issued a demand that this immediately be corrected, to which representatives responded that this omission was merely an accident. This occurred as many disputes between the two nations over post-wartime property ownership remains ongoing to this day.

In any case, Kobayashi and his fellow torchbearers are expected to be in a celebratory mood, honoring the achievements of those in attendance representing their home countries in the spirit of competition.

Japan competes in the 2018 Winter Olympics from February 9 to 25.


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