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No.16
・Half a century of “Lupin III”
・Villains, again
・Revive toys whose power units are omitted or broken (NO.2)

2021-08-18

Marusan "Ebirah" and Aoshima "Sushi Iccho: Shrimp"

News from Kochi-power Research Institute (Part 16)

■"Lupin III" 50th Anniversary

 To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the animation, it seems that the new animation of “Lupin III" will start in October.
 It is already “Part 6" …Personally, both “Part 4" and “Part 5" were interesting, so I’m expecting them as a fan, but like “Ultraman" and “Kamen Rider," TV stations are too dependent on past popular programs, aren’t they? They don’t have passions to create new TV programs and nurture new characters. Most new TV series end in about 10 times, but once they become popular, they continue to air for a disgustingly long time. There are many TV programs that are just a collection of videos shot by amateurs, and I wonder where the creative spirit of TV writers went.
 Suddenly a harsh opinion …
 Returning to “Lupin III," the first series (October 1971-March 1972) is overwhelmingly supported by our generation. This is largely due to the ability of director Masaaki Ōsumi. After Mr. Ōsumi who dropped out in the first few episodes, Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki took over the production, but since then, Lupin has become the figure of Lupin that everyone knows. It is different from “Ōsumi Lupin" (although he says that it should not exist 1)). I think Mr. Miyazaki had said that “the old Lupin did not kill people," but Lupin was the boss of a criminal organization in the first place, and at the beginning he killed quite a few enemies.
 The characters that appeared in the first series were also unique.
 Mr. Ōsumi said in the production, “I thought it was important to start working again from the place where I was completely immersed in the original world." 2) I especially like the second episode in which the magician Pycal appears, but I think Mr.Ōsumi’s technique to make it an interesting work for children without spoiling the taste of the original, which is suitable for adults, is amazing. It has been proven not only in “Lupin III" but also in the anime “Moomin" directed by him, but it is a pity that the work was banned from broadcasting due to the complaint of the original author.
Note 1) and 2): From an interview with Masaaki Ōsumi of “100 Ten Land Anime Collection ⑥ Lupine III 2" (Futabasha)

 Speaking of “Lupin III," I was thinking it was the world of Hayao Miyazaki.
 Of course, along with the animation director Yasuo Ōtsuka, Mr. Miyazaki has made great achievements. The second series (October 1977-October 1980) was completely disappointing for fans of the first series, but Mr. Miyazaki’s works of the movie “Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro" (December 1979), episode 145 “Albatross: Wings of Death" (July 1980) and the final episode “Aloha, Lupin" (October 1980) satisfied “hunger" for fans seeking true Lupin. Of course, I was very excited to see the movie at the cinema when it was first released, and I watched the two works in the second series repeatedly until the recorded tape was worn out.
 Why is the first series still memorable?
 As mentioned above, it’s a completely different work from the beginning of the first series and after that. When I was a kid, the first work I saw was for adults, so it may be particularly impressive. Anyway, if the TV station intends to continue making new works, please remember to thank Mr. Ōsumi and Mr. Miyazaki and make them more interesting than old works.

■Let’s talk about villains again

 Since I picked up strong characters such as Pycal and Goemon, I would like to introduce the villains I personally like.
 In the 9th article, you talked about Borg and Alien Baltan, but this time is the continuation, isn’t it?
 The strongest villains, such as Raoh from “Fist of the North Star," Younger Toguro from “Ghost Fighter," and Char from “Mobile Suit Gundam," will vary from person to person, but the following are my favorites.

1)Borg: “Star Trek The Next Generation" episodes 42, 74, 75, 123, 152, 153 (1987-1994)

"STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION" Borg Cube
Video Source: “Star Trek VIII First Contact" DVD (Distributor: Paramount Japan Co., Ltd.)

A group of mysterious creatures that move at high speed in space on a giant cubic spaceship called the Borg Cube, and absorb and assimilate all the advanced civilizations they encounter. It has overwhelming scientific power, and it is hard to beat in the fleet of the United Federation of Planets. Borg abducts Captain Picard and transforms him into a cyborg, but after the captain is retaken, a weakness of the Borg Cube is attacked by the United Federation of Planets, and the situation is reversed.
 The setting that we can not win the Borg even if we fight normally is wonderful, such as that the fleet was annihilated with only one Borg Cube, and that the Phaser Gun is effective only once on the complex life form called Drone. Is it the influence of “Captain Scarlet and The Mysterons" that there is an overwhelming difference in strength with aliens and that the main character once becomes an enemy’s minion? (I haven’t actually seen “Captain Scarlet and The Mysterons." I’m sorry if I made a mistake.)

2)Martin: “BAOH" (Hirohiko Araki) (1984)

Martin: "BAOH" (Hirohiko Araki)
Reprinted from Volume 1 of Jump ComicsBAOH" (Shueisha)
Martin: "BAOH" (Hirohiko Araki)

Martin" is a mandrill that was improved by Dr. Kasuminome of the secret organization “Dress" that is chasing the biological weapon “Baoh" and trained by the soldier for battle. He has slaughter tools hidden in his hair and stomach. Martin fought well until he was about to defeat Baoh, but died because his brain was broken by Baoh’s special move “Reskiniharden Saber Phenomenon."
 I have few manga books, except for “BAOH." I have been paying attention to this manga since it was serialized in “Shōnen Jump." I haven’t read Araki’s “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure" at all, but I think he is a talented manga artist. Anyway, Baoh’s special move feels good when shouted, such as “Baoh Meltedin Palm Phenomenon" or “Baoh Break Dark Thunder Phenomenon."

3)Assassins: “Samurai Champloo" (2004)
 Ronin Inuyama: Episode 2 “Redeye Reprisal
 Blind female itinerant performer Sara: Episode 20 “Elegy of Entrapment(VERSE.1)," Episode 21 “Elegy of Entrapment(VERSE.2)"

In “Samurai Champloo," assassins employed by the shogunate court appear one after another, but these are all those who are so strong that Jin and Mugen can’t compete with them. In the historical drama, the story of the main character fighting a superior swordsman is by far the most interesting, and Shūhei Fujisawa's “Love and Honor," which became a hot topic in the movie starring Takuya Kimura (2006), is a good example.
 Arnold Schwarzenegger's “The Predator" (1987), in which he fought against an alien with his bare hands, and “End of Days" (1999), in which he fought against Satan, also have the theme of competing against enemies that cannot be defeated. Schwarzenegger may have retired as an actor because he has no other opponent than Godzilla and King Kong.

4)Garmillas: “Space Battleship Yamato" (1974-1975)

Garmillas" was so famous that I wondered if it should be taken up, but at the stage of the first episode, it was interesting because Garmillas was regarded as an overwhelmingly powerful mysterious space fleet. Many of you may remember the scene that planetary bombs are dropping toward the earth while the female singing voice is flowing as BGM.
 "Time was 2199 AD, and the Earth was about to reach its final moment. The mysterious starfleet, which has been steadily invading space since the beginning of the 21st century, finally reached out to the solar system. They continue to make indiscriminate attacks on the Earth with planetary bombs … " I am moved by the narration that flows after the commercial of the first episode. However, as the identity of the Garmillas Empire becomes clear, the number of human-like episodes of the enemy will gradually increase. As a result, after Susumu Kodai destroyed the Garmillas Empire, he regretted saying, “We should have loved each other." Since the story becomes too secular, I don’t like the space opera heavily focused on human drama, but I think “Space Battleship Yamato" has become popular because of that.

5)Z-ton: “Ultraman" series (1966-)

"Ultraman" Z-ton the first and the second
Left: Z-ton the first, Reprinted from “Ultraman Pictorial Vol.1" (Takeshobo)
Right: Z-ton the second, Reprinted from “Return of Ultraman Album" (Asahi Sonorama)

 Didn’t you say that Alien Baltan is the villain of Ultraman?
 Only in the 70’s that this blog deals with, the appearance of Z-ton the second was so poor that I could not recommend it as a villain, but since he appeared in “Ultraman Max," his costume and battle record have been wonderful. So, “Z-ton" is probably the best in the entire series.
 The 13th episode, in which Z-ton appeared after a long time, was the script of Shōzō Uehara, who returned to the Ultraman series for the first time in a long time.
 Yeah, I personally think “Ultraman Max" is the last “good quality" Ultraman series. There are many masterpieces such as episodes 2, 13, 15, 22, and 24. When weird capital comes in, the company will not try to offer good quality products even if it ignores profitability, but the situation is the same in the world of video.
 Until the end this time, your opinion was harsh.

Revive toys whose power units are omitted or broken (NO.2)
Marusan and Bullmark products (Part 2)

In this second installment of “Revive non-powered toys," I will introduce examples in which I remodeled reprints of Marusan and Bullmark by manufacturers other than Nostalgic Heroes introduced last time.

Revive non-powered toys of the Marusan and Bullmark products
(Part 2: Products reprinted by other manufacturers)

1)Marusan plastic model “Daimajin" reprint soft vinyl doll (made by M1-gō)

Marusan plastic model "Daimajin" reprint soft vinyl doll (made by M1-gō)
Completed in 2005

Marusan's “Daimajin" is very popular due to its elaborate modeling that makes it hard to believe that it is a plastic model, but it is relatively often seen. However, a completely unassembled original product is likely to be exorbitantly priced. According to a survey by “Aucfree," there have been no listings of original, unassembled items in the last five years. In addition, one item being assembled had a winning bid of 250,000 yen, one assembled item had a winning bid of 106,000 yen, and one replica item had a winning bid of 32,000 yen.
In 1997, the manufacturer “M1-gō" in Koriyama reprinted “Daimajin" as a soft vinyl doll with a box and an assembly explanatory drawing. I think the price was probably 6,500 yen. I forgot how I got the soft vinyl doll, but I think I bought it in 2005 at a price close to the list price.
It was a very thick soft vinyl, so I scraped the inside with an electric router all day to install the drive unit. Because I wanted to reproduce that characteristic footsteps, I installed a voice recorder near the face that was activated by a switch near the ear in the early type. The remote control is also made of soft vinyl, but because it is too thick, D size battery same as the original cannot be stored, so I have changed it to C size battery specification.
“Daimajin" is the first work that I remodeled a soft vinyl doll to walk on batteries. Its walking performance is extremely poor, but since it’s a wonderful model, I enjoy watching it.

Marusan plastic model "Daimajin" reprint soft vinyl doll (made by M1-gō)

Left: Inside the initial type. At the throat is a voice recorder, Middle: Current inside, Right: Current sole

Left: Right side after completion, Middle: Back side, Right: Left side

2)Bullmark plastic model “King Joe" reprint model kit (made by ALEX)

Bullmark plastic model "King Joe" reprint model kit (made by ALEX)
Completed in 2009

After the bankruptcy of Marusan(Maruzan), Bullmark, which was launched by Marusan employees, grew rapidly on the second monster boom. Bullmark also released many plastic models of monsters, but their scales were one size smaller than the ones of Marusan, and the powers were changed from batteries to mainsprings. Several of these plastic models were later resold by Bandai, but “King Joe," “Eleking," “Alien Baltan," and “Detton" were not resold, so they are currently trading at fairly high prices.
According to a survey by “Aucfree," “King Joe" has 4 unassembled items listed in the past 5 years, and the average winning bid was about 110,000 yen. In addition, two assembled products were listed and the average winning bid was 51,500 yen, and one empty box was listed and the winning bid was 7,250 yen. I forgot the details, but in 2009 I got a model kit made by a manufacturer called “ALEX" for about 10,000 yen. Since it is a very thick kit that seems to have been made by taking only the female mold from the original plastic model, the work of scraping the inner surface with an electric router was even more demanding than “Daimajin." As for the power unit, the mainspring of Nitto's resale plastic model “Zigra" managed to fit inside, but the body is considerably heavier than the original product, so the power of the mainspring is a little lacking. For the reverse rotation prevention roller on the sole of the foot, I use the rubber tube for fixing the screen door, which was first used in 3) “Ebirah." It is a low-priced product and sold everywhere, so please try it once.
As you may have noticed by looking at the photo, the correct direction of the marks on the four protrusions on the waist are “┃" instead of “." However, as described in the assembly explanatory drawing, I dared to assemble it in the direction of “."

Bullmark plastic model "King Joe" reprint model kit (made by ALEX)

Left: Outer box of ALEX kit, Middle: Original assembly instructions (Copy), Right: Inside box

Bullmark plastic model "King Joe" reprint model kit (made by ALEX)

Left: With the mainspring of “Zigra" attached, Middle: Situation where the rotation bearings of both legs are fitted, Right: Reverse rotation prevention roller on the sole of the foot. Consists of the rubber tube for fixing the screen door + Tamiya's “Push Rivet."

Bullmark plastic model "King Joe" reprint model kit (made by ALEX)

Left: Installation status of power unit, Middle left: Front side after alignment of parts is completed (Since one shaft on the top was broken, “Push Rivet" is used instead), Middle right: Right side, Right: Back side

3)Marusan plastic model “Ebirah" reprint mini plastic model (made by Banprest)

Marusan plastic model "Ebirah" reprint mini plastic model (made by Banprest)
Completed in 2009

Marusan's battery powered plastic model “Ebirah" is truly a monster in the used plastic model market, and if it is an unassembled product, the selling price at the shop is expected to be about one new car. It ’s a crazy world, but as the appraiser of the TV program “Become fortunate! Anything appraisal team" said before, isn’t the fact the following?: this treasure is the same price as a Mercedes Benz car, but there are only a few in the world unlike luxury cars and many people want to obtain it.
According to a survey by “Aucfree," no original products have been listed in the last 5 years. 8 replicas have been listed. Four “Aurora fan club" products have been listed and the average successful bid price including unassembled and assembled products was about 35,000 yen. And four other products have been listed and average successful bid including unassembled and assembled products was about 30,000 yen. In addition, one precision replica product has been listed, and the winning bid was 160,000 yen.
The “Ebirah" in the photo is a modified version of Banprest's mini plastic model collection. It was sold for 550 yen around 2005. It may have been originally developed for game giveaways. It seems that it was manufactured from the 3D scan data of the original product, but if the mold was more finely processed, I think that it could have been enlarged and restored to the original product. Also, although it is 1/3 of the original scale, I wanted it to be at least 1/2 of the scale.
Tamiya’s gearbox can not be stored in the body, so I made my own gearbox and pushed it into the body together with the mini motor. As you can see from the photo, a thin rubber tube for fixing the screen door is used for the reverse rotation prevention roller. Also, since there is no battery that fits in the attached small remote control, I installed it as a switch in the AA battery box.
There is a limit to slowing down with gears, and the finished product moves very quickly unlike the original, but I am satisfied because I was able to obtain 1/3 scale Ebirah with a total production cost of about 3,000 yen. Also, on the same scale as Aoshima's plastic model “Sushi Iccho: Shrimp," “Sushi Iccho" runs on a pullback spring, so I think it would be interesting to confront Ebirah.

Marusan plastic model "Ebirah" reprint mini plastic model (made by Banprest)
Self-made gearbox and its installation status. Epoxy putty was used to slightly spread the back of Ebirah to fit it in the body.
Marusan plastic model "Ebirah" reprint mini plastic model (made by Banprest)
Upper left: Left side after completion, Upper right: Front, Lower left: Ventral, Lower right: Back side