News from Kochi-power Research Institute (Part ９)
Please tell me your favorite villain.
I like the “Borg" that appears in “Star Trek: The Next Generation." The villain should be overwhelmingly strong and should not be very descriptive about its identity. If all the identities of the enemy is known, the tension of the battle will be lessened and the catharsis of defeating the enemy will not be able to obtained. In that sense, Borg is an ideal villain. However, I think that the appearance of the female boss of Borg in the movie “Star Trek: First Contact" was a failure because of ruining the mystery of Borg.
What do you think about the Ultra series?
After all, I wonder if the “Alien Baltan" will be the closest existence. The unidentified and monster feeling was shocking when it first appeared, such as the unique cry of “Foo Foo Foo", the eyeballs that move around, and the alter ego whose purpose is not well understood. But the Alien Baltan is too weak. He would have been a historic villain if he had ever cornered Ultraman.
Does Ultraman have no real rivals?
There is no such thing as Borg who sometimes makes guest appearances and afflicts the main character. In recent series, “Belial" often appears as the strongest rival, but this one is originally Ultraman, and the character is also human-like and not so mysterious.
Alien Baltan has appeared in the Ultra series many times, hasn’t he?
There is an interesting description about this in the article “The Genealogy of Alien Baltan Evolution" in the book “Talk about Ultraman!" (published by KK Bestsellers), so I will introduce it with a little excerpt.
G The first Baltan was portrayed as an alien who could not understand the concept of life. However, when Baltan Jr. said, “Father’s enemy," the definition of Alien Baltan changed, and the view of the world respecting for science fiction gradually deteriorated. And the first generation were impatient since the mother star of Baltan had disappeared, but by the time of “Ultraman 80," probably because the “Planet R" found by the second generation has been changed to the star of Baltan, their livelihood became afford and the reasons for the invasion became more diverse.
S It may be called an invasion for invasion. The title “Alien Baltan’s Endless Challengeful Soul" when 6th generation appeared is too wonderful!
G It’s just too wonderful that a race which once didn’t understand the meaning of life has a challenging soul!
As mentioned above, the Alien Baltan has become more anthropomorphic and gone away from the villain defined by me. But in the end, it was in that “Ultraman 80" that I realized again that the most attractive thing about Baltan is his cry. Baltan, who made guest appearances twice, had a really terrible look (pig nose), and he said cheesy lines saying, “Even Shaka doesn’t know･･･" But I remember reviewing the video many times because the Baltan’s cry that was silent when he appeared in “Return of Ultraman" and “The Ultraman" was revived after a long time.
■The most problematic work in the Ultraman series: A female member was tied up by a human male.
By the way, I would like to introduce a work that I personally think the most problematic in the Ultraman series. It is “The appearance of a super-beast for 300 million years!" the 4th episode of “Ultraman Ace."
It’s a story that Professor’s favorite TAC member “Noriko Mikawa" was confined by a human male.
Well, I’m lucky I saw this kind of work during my sensitive adolescence and didn’t fall into the wrong path like Belial. In the first place, the audience rating was the second lowest in the first 13 episodes because this title is completely non suitable, and if it was the one shown in the figure, it must have exceeded 30%.
There is no such long title in the Ultraman series …
The development of the first half was just like “Nikkatsu Roman Porno," famous as Japanese adult movies. Besides, Keiko Nishi, who played Mikawa, was a little sexy for a children’s program and had an adult female atmosphere. I felt a strange motivation in the director Eizō Yamagiwa's production, and I wondered if it would cross the line as a children’s program. The work “Ultraman Ace" has an eerie atmosphere as a whole like the name “YAPOOL" that is reminiscent of the Japanese famous SF / SM novel “Yapu the Human Pet (kachikujin yapū)." This is remarkable, for example, in episodes 23 and 24 of the script / director Tadashi Mafune and episode 48 of the script by Shinichi Ichikawa. Many of the ways to defeat super-beasts seem cruel, and unlike the previous work “Return of Ultraman" there is a slightly decadent atmosphere throughout the series. Next year will be the 50th anniversary of the broadcast of “Ultraman Ace," and I hope that this program will be evaluated again.
Anyway, you shouldn’t imagine a situation where a female member or heroine is attacked.
Left: Opening (The following are all from TV recordings)
Middle: Title “The appearance of a super-beast for 300 million years!"
（This title came from YAPOOL’s conversion of living fossils of ancient creatures that lived 300 million years ago into super-beasts.)
Right: Mikawa is informed that her class reunion will be held and visits the house of Mushitarō Kuri, a popular manga artist.
(Kōji Shimizu, a characteristic actor, plays Kuri.)
Left: Mikawa is confused by Kuri, who confesses that he has loved her since he was a junior high school student.
Middle: Mikawa loses consciousness after drinking a drink containing sleeping pills. Kuri told her a lie the class reunion would be held.
Right: Kuri, who has signed a devil’s contract with YAPOOL and gained supernatural powers, made the super-beast Garan to rampage as drawn in the manga.
Left & Middle: Mikawa is confined in the attic with both hands and feet tied up.
Right: Kuri appears in front of Mikawa who is trying to contact TAC via a communication device.
Left: Kuri tells her that anything will become a reality.
Middle: “You’re going to marry me." “If you’re too stubborn, you’ll become like a person in front of you." Kuri points to the skeletonized corpse.
Right: Mikawa tries to escape.
Left: Kuri found her, but she kicked him. Yoshimura, who came to help her, fainted Kuri, and the two escaped from the mansion.
Middle: A super beast appears. Mikawa ignores the captain’s order to wait and tries to sortie. “Garan chased me."
Right: Kuri continues to draw manga like crazy.
Left: Garan and Kuri suffer from Ace's weapon ray. Ace emits the “Metalium Ray."
Middle: The mansion explodes and burns with the death of Garan.
Right: Mikawa burns a love letter which is the painting of Garan drawn by Kuri when he was in junior high school, and she shows a smile.
(If she had a stiff look, it would have made the viewer think a lot, but it might have been difficult because it was a children’s program.)
My favorite robot toys; Episode ５ “Remote control Robot Hiryū"
This time, I will talk about Marui's plastic model “Remote control Robot Hiryū." As the “Red Baron" series, it was released together with the leading role “Remote control Super Robot Red Baron." When I was a kid, there was an implicit rule between friends to buy as different types of plastic models as possible in order to let the plastic models fight each other. Therefore, I actually wanted Red Baron, but my friend bought it first, so I had no choice but to buy Hiryū. In fact, there was a big difference in performance between Hiryū and Red Baron, as only Red Baron could launch missiles from the chest with a remote control. It is an excellent mechanism that controls whether or not the missile stopper is released by the direction of rotation of the gear, and I think it is Marui’s masterpiece. On the other hand, Hiryū only walked in one direction, and the missile on the wrist was manually launched, so I was not satisfied with the same price of 700 yen as Red Baron (Although Hiryū came with a small plastic model of Red Baron). However, many of the plastic models made by children at that time did not walk satisfactorily, but this series really walked without problems. In addition, Hiryū and Red Baron are molded with modeling technology comparable to scale models, and I personally think that they are at the top of the robot plastic model.
It is a famous story that both Hiryū and Red Baron were remodeled into different robot plastic models and continued to be sold, and because there are no existing molds, they are sold at high prices in the second-hand market. The price of unassembled one is out of my league, which is 100,000 yen or more. Unlike the original, my Hiryū does not have bellows covers on the both shoulder joints. That should be it, I got a junk item that lacked both arms and remote controller. I completed it using both arms borrowed from Marui’s “Walker Suit 05," which is said to be a modification of Hiryū, and an Imai's remote controller that is almost the same as the original. Even so, it costed more than 10,000 yen, but when I pick it up, it’s a wonderful gem that brings back memories of my childhood, such as the fun of assembling it as a plastic model and the fun of playing as a toy after completion.
Celebration! “Return of Ultraman" 50th Anniversary.
The project to make soft vinyl monster dolls walk on batteries
（No.９ hermit crab monster “Yadokarin"）
Do you know a plastic model “Hermit Crab" made by Bandai? It was an excellent thing which runs around while expanding and contracting eyeballs and which is able to exchange shells. This “Yadokarin" is a hermit crab monster, so I thought I’d make it as interesting as this plastic model.
As a result, as shown in the photo, it became a surrealistic thing which Yadokarin on a strange dolly runs around. The features of this time are as follows.
・It automatically repeats forward and backward movement.
・Whether moving forward or backward, it automatically backs up when it hits an obstacle.
・ It runs in an S shape while changing direction.
・The above operation is performed by one motor (the drive unit is used by partially modifying Tamiya's Universal Gearbox).
・ Four-wheel drive using Tamiya’s drive belt.
・You can make it cry.
Since the rod protruding horizontally from the dolly controls the forward and backward movement by mechanically switching the switch, the mounting position of each part was carefully adjusted. Also, since it is necessary to slide the 3mm output shaft of the Universal Gearbox forward to arrange the vertical rod used for turning, a worm gear was put on the orthogonal 2mm output shaft and an additional drive case was installed.
In addition, although I used a soft vinyl doll made by the manufacturer called “M1–gō" as the material, I bent its hind legs backward and installed so that it sits on a dolly.
Photo-1: Front side after completion
Photo-2: Back side after completion
Photo-3: Right side after completion
Photo-4: The horizontal movement of the rod switches the selector switch ON-OFF. The rod is held in a horizontal position by a magnet (to avoid the switch being neither ON nor OFF due to vibration during movement).
Photo-5: The vertical rod moves up and down due to the crank gear added to the top of the Universal Gearbox.
Photo-6: The underside of the dolly. You can see the worm wheel inside the added drive case to slide the 3mm output shaft forward.
Photo-7: Automatic forward / backward switching mechanism. The protrusion ① attached to the rotating gear pushes the disk ② of the horizontal rod, and the rod slides in the horizontal direction.