|This article is about a/an episode in Hikari Sentai Maskman.|
The Mysterious, Beautiful Runaway (美しき謎の逃亡者 Utsukishiki Nazo no Tōbōsha) is the first episode of Hikari Sentai Maskman.
A race is underway in Hayami Stadium. From the sidelines, driver Takeru's pit crew—Kenta, Akira, Haruka and Momoko—cheers him on. As he makes a pit stop, a strange woman in purple runs into the stands, and spotting him, frantically shouts his name.
While running, she loses a shoe, and flashes back to unexpectedly coming up in a manhole, startling Takeru on his motorcycle and causing him to fall over, and then them meeting again and him presenting her with that same pair of shoes. Back in the present, she tries to get his attention, but fails.
In the Underworld Castle, a voice declares that the Underground Mutants' way of life, 5,000 years of hiding underground from the sunlight, is about to change. Of course, they intend to rule the world, transforming it into their dark, sunless domain. Zeba, their leader, appears to the crowd of Mutants, who hail him as he materializes before them.
Back on the surface, the woman finally runs into the racetrack to flag Takeru down, and he stops. Climbing onto Kenta's shoulders to see better, Akira recognizes the woman as Mio, to everyone's confusion. Mio tells Takeru that he has to come with her, and that the Underground Empire Tube is going to invade.
Anagmas reveals that one of the Underworld's spies on the surface has betrayed them. Unconcerned, Zeba begins the invasion, particularly assigning two monsters named Igua and Doggler who fight as a single being. As Takeru and Mio ride his motorcycle, he asks her how she knows about this Empire. Mio avoids the question. They are soon overtaken by Tube ships and blasted off the motorcycle. As they run, the ground opens up before them and they both fall in. Mio is dragged underground by Igua Doggler, but manages to pass a pendant to Takeru before she disappears.
Prince Igam, Baraba, Oyobu and Fumin lead an attack of the city. However, several machines appear to combat them, clearing a wide swathe through the invading force. Gathering, the vehicles' drivers exit, revealing themselves as four Maskmen—Yellow, Pink, Black and Blue. Baraba summons Igua Doggler to fight them. As the generals move in for the kill, another, red vehicle appears in the sky, strafes the villains and takes out their air support.
Landing, Red Mask—Takeru—makes a dramatic entrance, to the relief of his teammates. He announces to the Tube Empire that their invasion was foreseen by the team's master, who assembled the Maskmen to fight them.
The Sentai take on the Ungler Soldiers and defeat them, only for the generals to step in. Takeru battles Igua Doggler, and is soon joined by the others, who utilize their weapons to destroy the monster.
The Maskmen return to their base and Commander Sugata, triumphant at their victory, only to be told they've only encountered the beginning of Tube Empire's forces. When Takeru asks how they can win, Sugata tells him they must master the Aura Power. Revealing a futuristic base at the click of a remote, Sugata strikes a meditative pose, and the episode ends. To be continued...
- Takeru (タケル): Ryousuke Kaizu (海津亮介 Kaidu Ryōsuke)
- Kenta (ケンタ): Koichi Kusakari (草刈滉一 Kusakari Kōichi)
- Akira (アキラ): Issei Hirota (広田一成 Hirota Issei)
- Haruka (ハルカ): Yuki Nagata (永田由紀 Nagata Yuki)
- Momoko (モモコ): Kanako Maeda (前田夏菜子 Maeda Kanako)
- Commander Sanjuurou Sugata (姿 三十郎 Sugata Sanjyurō): Hayato Tani (谷 隼人 Tani Hayato)
- Earth Emperor Zeba (地帝王ゼーバ Chiteiō Zēba, Voice): Seizō Katō (加藤 精三 Katō Seizō)
- Earth Imperial Commander Baraba (地帝司令バラバ Chitei Shirei Baraba): Keijiro Shiga (志賀圭二郎 Shiga Keijirō)
- Earth Imperial Ninja Oyobu (地帝忍オヨブー Chiteinin Oyobū): Yoshinori Okamoto (岡本美登 oshinori Okamoto)
- Earth Imperial Prince Igam (地帝王子イガム Chiteiōshi Igamu), Princess Ial (イアル姫 Iaru-hime): Mina Asami (浅見 美那 Asami Mina)
- Earth Imperial Ninja Fumin (地帝忍フーミン Chiteinin Fūmin): Kaori Kubota (久保田香織 Kubota Kaori)
- Earth Curiosities Beast Anagmas (地奇地奇獣アナグマス Chiki Chikijū Anagumasu, Voice): Takuzou Kamiyama (神山 卓三 Kamiyama Takuzō)
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- This episode, preceded by last season's opener and followed by the next, are three 80s examples of teams who have their powers from the beginning. However unlike the other two, this opener have the Maskmen already in action but without their power source, with no knowledge of Aura Power until the end of this episode and the next two about achieving access to their power for the season.
Hikari Sentai Maskman Volume 1 features episodes 1-10.