News from Kochi-power Research Institute (Part ５)
"Uchū no Sushi, Uchū no Sushi, Tekkamaki~ ♫"
※The end of the theme song of Japanese TV anime “Tekkaman, The Space Knight" is “Uchū no Kishi, Uchū no Kishi, Tekkaman" in Japanese. This means “Space knight, Space knight, Tekkaman." Professor’s song, “Uchū no Sushi, Uchū no Sushi, Tekkamaki" in Japanese, means “Space Sushi, Space Sushi, Tuna sushi rol," imitated Tekkaman’s theme song.
What happened to you suddenly singing a song?
Well, when I was thinking about “Tekkamaki (Tuna sushi rol)" while I was in the hospital, I suddenly remembered TV anime “Tekkaman."
Speaking of “Tekkaman," it is an animation produced by Tatsunoko Production that was aired in 1975, and it seems that there are still core fans, but I think it was discontinued in half a year. As with the name “Tekkaman" similar to “Tekkamen(means Iron mask)," the main characters were “Warudasutā" similar to “Waru(means evil) + Star," “Ranbosu" similar to “Ranbōsuru(means rough) or Ranbō + Boss," and “Andorō Umeda" similar to “Andromeda." There were many pun-like names that didn’t suit the hard content.
I don’t think there are any visitors to this blog who don’t know “Tekkaman," but in fact, Jōji Minami, who transforms into Tekkaman, is the only hero in the history of Japanese animation who has committed manslaughter! See below (from the Professor’s TV recording).
Right: Jōji Minami, who hates aliens, discovers a spaceship approaching the earth and transforms into Tekkaman. The spaceship is destroyed by Tekkaman without any resistance.
Left: The title of episode 11 “Lost spaceship“
Right: According to the investigation by Director Amachi, the destroyed spaceship is found to belong to a friendly alien who has visited the earth so far. Jōji was disappointed with his mistake.
Left: Jōji steals a Warudasutā’s spaceship unharmed, then points a gun at Karen, the only surviving “Yukoku" alien, and urges her to “shoot me." Karen tries to trigger, but in response to Andorō Umeda’s persuasion and robot Pegas's plea, she puts the gun down and returns to her home planet on the spaceship stolen by Jōji.
Right: Jōji, who is left alone, shouts in tears. “How do you apologize! I made a mistake, will I shed tears saying that I will never do it again? Can I make such a whining? Can I make up for my failure? I’m a human being on earth, a man! I could only think of giving my life to atone for the sins I had committed …"
It’s a great story that doesn’t seem like a children’s program.
Yup. I remember some stories of heroes falling into enemy traps and being arrested for murder and other crimes, but most of them were innocent. Jōji Minami is the only hero who has really lost many good lives due to negligence. I was really surprised when I saw this for the first time.
There is no choice but to praise the creators at that time who tried to portray human suffering head-on.
Perhaps the sponsors who didn’t complain for professional work were also adults. Even so, Bob Sakuma's BGM is absolutely wonderful. I think his work is comparable to Hiroshi Miyagawa of “Space Battleship Yamato" and Kōichi Sugiyama of “Space Runaway Ideon."
“Space Monster Picture Book" (Asahi Sonorama)
By the way, Professor, I think that “News from Kochi-power Research Institute" is more focused on TV programs …
Hmmm, thinking so, I decided to introduce my books from this time. The first is Asahi Sonorama's “Space Monster Picture Book."
・ Asahi Sonorama’s “Space Monster Picture Book"
・ List price 380 yen, issued on June 30, 1971
・ Composition: Shōji Ōtomo, article: Shoji Otomo, Masaki Tsuji
・ “Large color pictures of 22 monsters," “Monster photo directory," “7 secrets of monsters," “Introduction to monster science"
・ Flexi disc song “Space March," drama “Rampage! Space Monster" (Screenplay: Masaki Tsuji)
While playing the flexi disc on a record player, I read the Asahi Sonorama’s monster picture book without getting bored every day.
Looking at the cover, it seems that it mainly deals with monsters of “Captain Ultra" …
It basically introduces the space monsters that appear in “Ultraman" and “Captain Ultra," but there are also “Wū vs. Gigas" and “Masked Ninja Akakage's 3 Great Monsters" in the monster pictures, so I don’t really understand the policy. However, don’t you think that the monster of “Captain Ultra" is quite unique? Among them, the metal human “Metallinome" is my favorite. In the monster pictorial, most of the monsters of “Captain Ultra" are drawn by Tatsuji Kajita. It is one of the values of this book.
How many such pictorial books do you have?
Following my mother’s instructions, when I became a junior high school student, I disposed of all the books along with the plastic models … Most of the books I have now are what I made successful bids at auctions in recent years. In 2015, I got both a book and a flexi disc of “Space Monster Picture Book," but I was lucky to get them without spending 10,000 yen. Asahi Sonorama ended the business without reprinting this picture book, so I think that the complete product with a flexi disc is quite a treasure.
My favorite robot toys; Episode ２ “Robot plastic model I bought for the first time"
This time, I would like to talk about “Super Robo." It is a product made by “(Tokyo)
Marui" famous for airsoft guns today . When I was in elementary school, I was a latchkey kid, and after school I used to go to the clothes store in the supermarket where my mother works. One day, I found Marui’s plastic model “Super Robo" at a toy store in the same supermarket and bought it. It seems its price was 200 yen from the first edition, but I remember it was 150 yen, so the shop may have re-pasted the price tag. Anyway, it was the first plastic model I bought for me. Because of his face like “Gigantor (Tetsujin 28-gō)" and Pinocchio-like nose, “Super Robo" is so popular that unassembled one is often traded for 50,000 yen or more. The one in the photo was not assembled, but the back part and the spring(“Super Robo" is a wind-up toy) were missing. I made a successful bid for it in 2016 for just over 10,000 yen. The following year, the back part was also obtained and completed (thus, the abdomen and back are in different colors). However, the spring is diverted from “GR2“(made by “Crown“) of “Giant Robo."
Unfortunately, it rarely walks on the table, back then and now. This is because the stopper, which controls the backward movement of the sliding foot, and which generates forward force, is the steel claw, and so, it slips on a slippery surface. I was often frustrated by the robot-to-robot battle, but it was a memorable plastic model that had been in my toy box for a long time.
Photo-1:The molding color of the back and belly is different.
Photo-2:It is equipped with two missiles.
Photo-3:If the stopper slips, it will not move forward.
Celebration! “Return of Ultraman" 50th Anniversary.
The project to make a soft vinyl monster dolls walk on batteries
（No.５ optical monster “Prizuma"）
This time, as the name suggests, I will introduce “Prizuma" from the 35th episode “Cruel! Optical monster Prizuma," which is famous for the script written by actor Shin Kishida. The material is a soft vinyl of the “Kaijūkyō" brand. The Prizuma slides on the ground, so there is no problem with running on the tires, but I wanted to somehow reproduce the cry like a soprano singer and the light emission of the whole body.
For the cry, I recorded the scene appearing at the baseball stadium on a voice recorder and used it. In addition, three white LEDs are placed inside the body for whole body light emission, and Tamiya’s RC Parts “Rainbow Light / Random Flashing" are used for the colorful light emission of the core part.
Photo-1: Back side, Photo-2-5: Colorful light emission of the core (squealing state), Photo-6: Whole body light emission (running state).
（Professor’s one-point advice）
In most soft vinyl electrification projets, one or two lithium batteries “CR2" (3V) are used as the power source. Originally, I used an inexpensive alkaline battery (1.5V), but to make it emit white light like Ultraman’s eyes, a LED(voltage depends on the resistance, but it is about 3-4V) is necessary instead of a miniature light bulb. Since the voltage of two alkaline batteries is often insufficient, I decided to use “CR2," which is compact but has twice the voltage of alkaline batteries.
“CR2" is very expensive and costs around 500-700 yen per bottle. Therefore, I use a rechargeable battery that can be used repeatedly, but since major domestic manufacturers do not produce rechargeable batteries, I think it is necessary to be careful about fires caused by ignition.
In addition, soft vinyl electrification projects often provide a function to reproduce the monsters’ cry. The voltage of the voice recorder used is generally 4.5V (using 3 × 1.5V button batteries). In that case, two “CR2″s will be used in series (6V), but the motor for the drive unit has a working voltage range of 1.5 to 3V, so if you continue to use batteries at 6V, they will affect the motor’s life. Since a voice recorder may be able to play even at 3V, it is important to form a simple circuit in advance and check whether the function you want to give will be defective depending on the number of “CR2."