News from Kochi-power Research Institute (Part 6)
The release of the movie “Shin Ultraman" has been postponed.
Looking at the video on the official website, I’m worried that Ultraman’s visuals have become “normal" compared to the initial announcement. I hope there is no pressure from the toy makers. Also, there are monsters that look like “Neronga" and “Gabora", but at this stage I feel that Computer Graphics feeling is too strong.
How do you perceive “Shin Godzilla“?
To tell you a little bit, the last scene felt unsatisfactory compared to the tension in the first half. I thought that railroad company would never cooperate with such an absurd operation. I also thought that it would be unrealistic for concrete pump cars to approach Godzilla with their booms raised and to put chemicals into Godzilla’s mouth.
I feel you don’t like “Shin Godzilla."
I don’t think of that at all. Unlike in the 1960s and 1970s, movies that assume that giant monsters live on Earth are no longer accepted. However, even if the reason for the existence of the monster is explained carefully in the movie, the realism will not increase and the story will only be boring. For this reason, in modern times, monsters are often depicted as beings that transcend living things. Under such circumstances, I think it is commendable that “Shin Godzilla" emphasized the individuality as a super-living body by giving Godzilla the biologically creepy metamorphosis for the first time.
So what is your favorite Godzilla movie?
After “The Return of Godzilla" (1984), I also like “Godzilla vs. Biollante" (1989), but my best favorite is “Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack" (2001) directed by Shūsuke Kaneko. My daughter of an elementary school student who went to see “Hamtaro" screened together also said that Godzilla was more interesting than Hamtaro …I think it was a rare movie in modern times which managed to draw the “fear of the appearance of a monster" such as the scene where an general citizen(played Tomoe Shinohara) was hit by Godzilla’s tail and died. The talent of director Kaneko who led the success of “The Heisei Gamera Trilogy" was outstanding in this movie as well.
※"The Heisei Gamera trilogy" were all directed by Shusuke Kaneko, and their hard stories that can be appreciated by adults have gained high supports from fans (1st work: “Gamera: Guardian of the Universe," 2nd work: “Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion," 3rd work: “Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris“).
Anyway, it seems that the box office record of “Shin Evangelion" that is open to the public is also good, and it seems that the production of “Shin Kamen Rider" has also been decided. From now on, it’s the era of “Shin OOO."
If this happens, “Shin Shinkansen Daibakuha," “Shin Shin Jinginaki Tatakai," and “Shin Shin Getter Robo" will also be made into movies!
※The English title of “Shinkansen Daibakuha" is “The Bullet Train, Super Express 109“(1975）.
※The English title of “Shin Jinginaki Tatakai" is “New Battles Without Honor and Humanity“（2000）.
※The English title of “Shin Getter Robo" is “Getter Robo: Armageddon“(1998）.
Color photo version “Large Monsters of the Ultra " (Asahi Sonorama)
By the way, I would like to introduce the Asahi Sonorama’s pictorial book “Large Monsters of the Ultra" that I cherished most when I was a kid, but …
You don’t seem to be reluctant, what’s wrong?
This picture book contains two pictures of that famous alien.
※The alien’s name is “Spell" and it appeared in the 12th episode. The appearance of the alien was reminiscent of the A-bomb survivors, and the nickname was “A-bombed alien," so the episode was permanently broadcast prohibited due to complaints from activists.
I don’t see whether the fact is known well or not, the book has been trading at a fairly high price these days. I got a book in 2017 and a flexi disc in 2018 at auction. I was fortunate that I was able to make a successful bid for a relatively beautiful item for less than 10,000 yen. The value of this book is that it has a broadcast list of “Ultraman" and “Ultraseven“, which is epoch-making at that time. Also, unlike other illustrated books, it is aimed at the upper grades of elementary school, and the dramas of flexi discs are also somewhat suitable for adults. The flexi disc contains the song and drama of “Ultraman" on the A side, and the song and drama of “Ultraseven" on the B side. When you listen to the drama, you can see that Ultraseven’s voice is “shea!" It is same as Ultraman’s but not the original “juwa!" It’s interesting that the original voice is no longer used even though it’s only been two years since the end of “Ultraseven."
・ Color photo version “Large Monsters of the Ultra"
・ Publisher: Asahi Sonorama
・ List price 390 yen, issued on September 7, 1970
・ Supervisor: Shōji Ōtomo
・ Cooperation: Tsuburaya Productions
・ Introducing 32 monsters with color photos
・ Flexi disc: Songs and dramas of “Ultraman" & “Ultraseven"
・ Drama Screenplay: Keisuke Fujikawa, Cast: Aoni Production and Acoustic: Weimer Sound Visual
Please comment on the alien.
I would like to refrain from making inadvertent remarks on this matter. A person who has never faced this kind of problem will not know the hardships of the parties. However, when I said the impression of watching the video, the story’s impact was weaker than other works by the same combination of Mamoru Sasaki and Akio Jissōji, and I didn’t think it is a masterpiece as it is said in the streets. The pair probably didn’t want to focus on the story of radiation exposure. I get the impression that only the appearance and name of aliens have been regarded as a problem. However, I think that if I order this pair to write and direct again, they may make the following works.
(Synopsis) Tired of the nuclear war on its own planet, Alien Spell visited the Earth, the only planet in the same galaxy that has evidence of the use of nuclear bombs. Alien Spell hoped that there would be something to learn from Earth about tips for ending the war and how to deal with the health hazards of radiation. However, he was disillusioned with the Earth people who are still producing nuclear bombs despite the end of World War. Alien Spell thought that sooner or later the Earth would be destroyed in a nuclear war, so he planned to take the children of the Earth to his own planet and use them as soldiers. The plan of Alien Spell to guide children to his secret base with sleeping devices installed in space watches was blocked by the Ultra Guard. The angry Alien Spell became huge and rampaged, but was defeated by Ultraseven’s Eye Slugger. “Only I, who know the threat of nuclear weapons, can stop the stupid leaders …" Alien Spell muttered and died. The last narration. “Thus, the evil plan of Alien Spell has been stopped. Well, is it an alien who will destroy the earth, or …? Even if the nuclear threat is not taught by aliens, we already know it enough. If we pretend to be unaware of the immediate crisis, it won’t be long before Earth becomes like the planet of Alien Spell … “
My favorite robot toys; Episode ３ “This is the rumored Explo Robot."
This time, I would like to introduce “Dynamite Robo (official name; EXPLO Dynamite)." Originally, this toy, whose English name is “EXPLO ROBOT," was sold as the “ROBOTRONS" series by Topper Toys of the United States. Details are unknown, but according to the information obtained on the internet, it is determined that it was manufactured by a toy maker called “NIKKO" in Japan. Also, it seems that it was sold in a paper box in the United States and in a transparent cylindrical plastic in Japan. I think the selling price at that time was 650 yen.
When I was in elementary school, I bought it at the toy department of a supermarket. Since it was a high-priced product that was twice as much as pocket money, the purchase cost was naturally borrowed in advance. The gimmick, that explodes and breaks apart after walking for a certain period of time, and its transparent body were epoch-making.
I’ve only seen it listed on Yahoo Auction twice so far. I was lucky enough to win the bid, but I forgot when and how much it was (maybe it was quite expensive).
The “Missile Robo," whose official name is “ROCKY Missile" and English name is “ROCKY," of the same “ROBOTRONS" series is also quite rare, and I have never seen it at Yahoo Auction except when I made a successful bid in 2019. This is also an excellent toy that launches three missiles with a time lag while walking.
“Dynamite Robo": After the explosion
Celebration! “Return of Ultraman" 50th Anniversary.
The project to make soft vinyl monster dolls walk on batteries
（No.６ space large monster “Bemstar" ）
This time, I will introduce Bemstar, the space monster that appeared in the 18th episode “Ultraseven is come!“
Contrary to its cute looks and cry, it is a space monster that is extremely strong and defeated Ultraman once. It is a popular monster of the second Ultra series.
For electrification, I used a soft vinyl doll of the “Kaijūkyō" brand, which is a very well-made one. This time, I have adopted an orthodox walking style with an auxiliary rod, whose purpose is to prevent falls, on the sole of the foot . This style is called “Aoshima style" in this project. It swings its arms and walks with its mouth open and closed. Of course, you can also play the cry.
Photo-1: The soft vinyl is disassembled
Photo-2: After assembling the drive unit
※Initially, the sole of the foot was a transparent plastic plate, but due to difficulty in durability, it was improved to the current steel plate + steel rod in 2013. What looks like black tights are stretchy materials that have been partially replaced with soft vinyl.
Photo-3: Right side after completion
Photo-4: Back side
Photo-5: Sole of the foot
（Professor’s one-point advice）
Adhesion is the easiest way to put back the soft vinyl that was disassembled for installation the drive unit, but then you need to remove the adhesive after each maintenance. Therefore, in this project, I am using screwing with a self-made connection device. As I announced before, it doesn’t require welding and all the materials are available at home improvement stores or mail orders, so I think it’s easy to make. This time, I will introduce how to make a connector using M2 bolts. It may seem awkward to make by looking at the group photo below, but as shown in the conceptual diagram, all you have to do is make a plate with a nut fixed to one of the two holes. Instead of welding, it is an image of sandwiching a nut in a folded metal plate and fixing it.
① Cut out a 10 mm x 40 mm strip-shaped plate from a stainless-steel plate (thickness 0.3 mm) sold at home centers, etc. (The photo shows the blue sticker on the back with the dimensions marked).
※ Aluminum plate is softer and easier to handle, but stainless-steel plate will be cleaner after completion. I think the point of sticking to the magnet is also advantageous.
② You can cut it with ordinary scissors, but it may hurt your hands, so use the one dedicated to steel.
③ Make a hole in the center 15 mm from the edge with an awl (the position of the second or third + mark from the edge in the photo of ①). You don’t need a very big hole.
④ The state where the hole has been drilled.
⑤ An electric drill is an essential item. Here, a bit with a diameter of 2 mm is used.
⑥ Re-drill the position of the hole made with the awl with an electric drill.
※ If you suddenly drill a hole with an electric drill, it will take time, and the bit will escape during the work and the hole will shift, so be sure to drill the hole in advance with an awl.
⑦ If you make a hole with an awl, burrs will be generated around the hole, so you are removing the burrs with a cutter (If you remove the burrs with a router as in ⑬, you will not be injured).
⑧ Pass the machine screw M2 through the hole and tighten the hexagon nut so that the screw does not pop out.
⑨ Bend the stainless-steel plate lightly from the center so that the nut is on the inside.
⑩ Press the area around the nut with pliers until the hexagon is lightly raised.
⑪ Open the stainless-steel plate from the center line, remove the screws and nuts, and fold it lightly from the center again. Pass an awl through the hole and make a hole that penetrates the two plates.
⑫ Drill a hole with an electric drill (2 mm diameter bit).
⑬ Remove burrs.
⑭ Open the stainless-steel plate slightly from the middle line and peel off the blue sticker on the inside.
⑮ Drop the nut into the hexagonal dent made in ⑩.
⑯ Firmly press the area around the nut with pliers to fix the nut so that it does not move.
⑰ If it is better to bend the connector to fit the shape of the soft vinyl, screw it through in advance and then bend it.
※ If you bend the connector without passing the screw, the hole may shift and the screw may not pass later.
⑱ On the opposite side of the hole for removal (15 mm from the end), use an awl and an electric drill to make a hole for fixing.
⑲ Remove burrs.
⑳ Completed connector. The top is a hole for fixing, and the bottom is for removal.
㉑ In the project, the screws used for removal (top of the photo) are frequently opened and closed, so durable steel screws are used. Also, for the screws used for fixing (bottom of the photo), transparent plastic screws are used to prevent make an accidental loosening the screws. However, please note that the plastic screw breaks quite easily.
㉒ A state in which a connector is installed on the ventral side of the soft vinyl that is divided into two parts. In this case, the dorsal side is the hole for removal.
※ Placing the holes for removal on the dorsal side makes it difficult to see the steel screws from the front. If you are concerned about the plastic screw on the ventral side, please paint it.
㉓ A state in which a screw was passed through the hole for removal and the back and belly were connected (the top is the belly and the bottom is the back). When making a hole from the outside of the soft vinyl at the hole for fixing position, if the hole position shifts, a gap may be created between the back and belly of the soft vinyl. In that case, make the hole for fixing of the connector long and adjust.
㉔ It is enough to connect at 5 places, 2 places on the left and right neck or shoulders, 2 places on the left and right flanks, and 1 place on the crotch (or the base of the tail), but if you care about the gap between the soft vinyl, please add connectors.