News from Kochi-power Research Institute (Part 21)
■That joining a defense organization is too easy
If aliens were to live in the guise of earthlings, they would have a hard time with the language and work issues.
For some reason, the residents of the Ultra Country visit only our country and stay for a long time (a year at most), so it is possible that the Japanese language is taught in their schools. The teacher, of course, is Ultraman 80, aka Ultraman Teacher. Rather than that, I would like to point out that the fact that they are allowed to join defense organizations so easily is a serious problem for our national security.
They’re on the side of justice, so why not?
Who would trust a man who wrote on his resume that he was 48 meters tall and could fly at Mach 10? They are either disguised as ordinary earthlings or borrowed bodies to take the entrance exam. There must be a lot of drama in the process, but so far the only film that has seriously depicted the Ultraman enlistment process is “Return of Ultraman." There’s also Kaito Touma (“Ultraman Max“), who failed the “DASH" enlistment test. The worst was the case of “Ultraseven," where the “Terrestrial Defense Force" recruited the “windbag" Dan Moroboshi, who was wandering around the mountains, without testing him. If Dan had been an Alien Cool instead of Ultraseven, the Terrestrial Defense Force would have been wiped out in the first episode of the broadcast.
Do we really need that much realism in a children’s show?
It’s true that joining a defense organization may be more difficult than joining the Takarazuka Revue, so if the enlistment process is visualized in detail, it’s unlikely able to be finished during the broadcast period. I think the quickest way to do this would be to have Ultraman possess the main character, who is in the defense organization from the beginning. Well, it’s a good thing that Ultraman’s collision over Lake Ryūgamori was with Hayata, an elite member of the team. If he had collided with Ide or Arash, he would have just walked away.
What kind of hero flees the scene of a collision he caused?
■My favorite “Ultra" actresses
Have you seen an increase in articles about the Ultraman series lately?
I can’t help it, as it increases the number of visitors to this blog. Next time, I’ll be prepared to provide a socially-oriented article.
Are you going to bad-mouth the Olympics again?
Idiots! I just don’t like the “Tokyo" Olympics, and I don’t blame any of the athletes competing in the Olympics. I’m rooting for all the players, but it’s hard on my body because of the lack of sleep due to the late night TV broadcasts.
Well, this time we have a special feature on Professor’s favorite actresses.
My favorite actresses range from Junko Igarashi to Kumiko Okae(deceased) in the past, and Masami Nagasawa and Honoka Matsumoto in recent years, but I would like to introduce the top five actresses associated with the Ultraman series. Note that Yuriko Hishimi, a.k.a. Anne Yuri, was selected unconditionally because her fans would be upset if she was not featured.
(1) Yuriko Hishimi
She is an actress with a deep-rooted popularity for her role as Anne Yuri in “Ultraseven," which I don’t need to explain now. She was 20 years old when she appeared in “Ultraseven." Her features are that she looks smaller than she actually is and her husky voice. The photos are from the broadcast ban episode 11. She looks like a child at the base, but when she confronts the suspicious man at the coffee shop, she shows a stern expression. Director Akio Jissōji liked to portray the feminine side of Akiko Fuji in “Ultraman," but in the case of Anne, she was often portrayed as more of a mascot-like existence, so it seems that he dared to bring out the side of a woman who is faithful to her duties. The highlight of the film was Hishimi’s passionate performance that captured the intentions of the director, but unfortunately, the work was put on hold.
①Six years after the end of “Ultraseven," she appears in “Ultraman Leo" as a woman in kimono who is raising an alien child for some reason. Notice the difference in her facial expressions before and after her separation from Dan.
②Forty years after the end of “Ultraseven," she and Dan appear together again in “ULTRASEVEN X." She was portrayed as a woman who was eagerly awaiting her partner’s return. At that time, Hishimi had also reached the age of 60, giving the impression that she had become a very mature woman.
(2) Rumi Sakakibara
She appeared in “Return of Ultraman" as Aki Sakata. She was 20 years old at the time. There has never been an example of such a successful actress appearing in the Ultraman series before or since. She has a healthy sex appeal and a carefree smile, but her acting shines in episodes 16 and 17, where she shows her feminine side when she suspects that Hideki Gō and her best friend Yukiko are getting along. In particular, the scene in episode 16 where Ken Sakata (played by Shin Kishida) smiles when he sees Aki being slapped by Gō, and later gently comforts her who is enduring sadness is one of the best scenes in the Ultraman series.
(3) Kaori Okano (former stage name: Keiko Yamada)
She has long been loved by special effects fans as a pure and innocent actress with double teeth and long hair. At the age of 17, she made a guest appearance in “Mirrorman" as Lisa, a truly lovely young girl who betrays the “Invaders" and loses her life, and became unforgettable presence. Later, at the age of 19, she appeared in a regular role as Momoko Yamaguchi in “Ultraman Leo." With that, she changed her name from Keiko Yamada, her real name, to Kaori Okano, but regrettably disappeared from the entertainment industry the following year, 1975. I pray that she had a happy life after that, even though she had many unfortunate roles.
(4) Takami Yoshimoto
As you know, she is the daughter of Susumu Kurobe, who played Hayata in “Ultraman," and played the role of Rena Yanase in “Ultraman Tiga." She was the first heroine to marry the hero (Daigo). She was 25 years old at the time of her appearance.
The photos were taken from an interview in the magazine “Ultraman Walker" (Kadokawa Group Publishing). As of 2013, she revealed in the same magazine that she lives with her child on Ishigaki Island.
(5) Hikari Mitsushima
She became a great actress, but her real debut as an actress was in “Ultraman Max," in which she played regularly the role of Elly when she was 20. She is an actress with a neat face, but at the time she was a little chubby and her cute image was stronger. “Ultraman Max," she’s an android, but there are episodes where she becomes the main character, which I found interesting.
(Postscript) Kiyoko Matsutani as Izumi Moriyama in “Ultraman Taro," Mayumi Asano as Kyōko Aihara in “Ultraman 80," Mayuka Suzuki as Ayano in “Ultraman Cosmos," Keiko Gotō as Shiori Hiraki in “Ultraman Nexus," Hitomi Hasebe as Koishikawa Mizuki in “Ultraman Max" (also a regular in “Ultraman Geed"), Sāya Ishikawa as Yuki Misaki in “Ultraman Mebius," and Ayane Kinoshita as Saki Mitsurugi in “Ultraman R/B" are also actresses I like and would like to introduce, but I will do so another time. Note that Hiroko Sakurai (who appeared regularly in “Ultra Q," “Ultraman," and “Ultraman Max"), Keiko Nishi (who played Noriko Mikawa in “Ultraman Ace" as previously introduced), and Mitsuko Hoshi (who played Yūko Minami in “Ultraman Ace") are in the Hall of Fame and I did not dare to introduce them.
Celebration! “Return of Ultraman" 50th Anniversary.
The project to make soft vinyl monster dolls walk on batteries
（No.15 Compatible monster “Leogon"）
This is the project’s first full-fledged quadrupedal monster. The “Kingsaurus III" that I introduced earlier also moves its four legs, but I mentioned that the front legs do not contribute to forward motion. The walking system of this “Leogon" is the “Imai (insect series) type" in the classification defined in the 7th article. In terms of plastic models, the insect series by Imai and Bandai, and Nitto's “Jiger" and “Wanigon" are representative. The drive unit of this “Leogon" was made referring to the Imai “Walking mainspring."
By the way, this quadrupedal walking mechanism is more complicated than I expected. The following is an excerpt from “The Mechanism of Walking Toys" in the “Encyclopedia Nipponica." As the “front leg" of Imai “Walking mainspring" and “Leogon" moves up and down with a crank contrary to the commentary, please read the latter half with the “front leg" and “back leg" interchangeable.
Walking toys, however, are simple and cleverly made. In a four-legged walking toy, the four legs are designed to move in opposite directions at the same time. In other words, the right front leg and left back leg move forward, then the left front leg and right back leg move forward. It consists of left and right front and back legs each in one piece, with the center of movement back and forth on the centerline of the underside of the torso, connected by bars so that the front and back legs move in opposite directions. The back leg can move slightly up and down as well as back and forth, so it is always supported by three points: two points on the front legs and one point on the back leg, so the body will not fall. The front legs just slide across the floor, but one point on the back leg also works to move forward.
※From the commentary on “The Mechanism of Walking Toys" by Encyclopedia Nipponica
According to this, in the end, the front legs (the back legs in “Leogon") are just sliding on the floor, which are the same as walking only on back legs (the front legs in “Leogon"). However, by moving the front legs (the back legs in “Leogon"), the entire center of gravity is kept within the triangle composed of the three legs landing on the floor, thereby preventing falls. I am not an expert in this field, so my interpretation may be wrong, but the point is that making a quadruped walk is not as easy as it looks.
For this project, I used the soft vinyl doll “Leogon (MAT Gyro captured version)" from Kaijūkyō as the material, so I decided to also move the MAT Gyro captured by the ivy. The movement of the Gyro is performed by attaching a crank arm to the 2mm output shaft of the “Universal Gearbox" and converting its rotational motion into vertical movement.