Transition of the wet suit body


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B Type suit

According to Akira Sasaki, a silver wet suit and a bright red one imported from the US were cut and pasted into one for the body of C Type Ultraman.

At any rate, a lot of development can be seen in the transition of the body of Ultraman as well.

Though Satoshi (Bin) Furuya‘s body shape remained unchanged, the costume of Ultraman was getting well-built as it was newly made because it was stuffed with urethane to make it look muscular.

 

The B Type costume looks more muscular than that of the A Type, but it often shows wrinkles in its belly characteristically.

I don’t think it doesn’t jump to the eye so much, but it seems the production people didn’t like them.

And they got the wrinkles out in making the C Type suit.

The C Type suit looks most muscular among the three types of Ultraman’s costumes.

 

The C Type suit is admired among the fans as the completed Ultraman including the head.

Personally, I love the flavor of each one from the A Type to the C Type.

And the B Type Ultraman is my favorite among them.

Any way, the production people were absolutely uncompromising in pursuit of making Ultraman look cool.

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C Type suit

Use of a wet suit for the body


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A Type Ultraman has its own attractiveness

It’s well known a wet suit was used for the body of Ultraman.

It’ said that the material was used for the body of Kemur for the first time in “Ultra Q.”

It was also played by Satoshi (Bin) Furuya, actor for Ultraman.

Along with the first use of a wet suit, how it looked turned out to be very much satisfactory to Tohl Narita, designer.

 

And then a wet suit was adopted again for the body of Ultraman.

According to the change of its head three times in the series, the wet suit was also newly made.

The wet suit used for A Type Ultraman is said to have been the one all black, that was called “aqualung suit” in those days.

It was painted silver and bright red.

 

According to Mr. Furuya, the one all black was used only at the very beginning because it was thin and easily tore.

And the one all bright red was imported from the US, and silver was added to it.

Akira Sasaki, who involved in making the Ultraman costume, says they obtained a all silver suit and added bright red to it.

Though their remarks are contradictory, given a long time has passed since then, it can’t be helped.

Use of FRP for the mask


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Nanairo Kamen

I’m not sure but, as a hero with the face entirely covered by a mask, Nanairo Kamen (Seven-colored Mask) might be the first one.

It’s a superhero featured in a monochrome TV series “Nanairo Kamen” (broadcast from 1959 to 1960).

Along with “Gekko Kamen” (Moonlight Mask; broadcast from 1958 to 59), he’s one of the heroes in the early period of such superhero TV series of Japan.

These two were produced by the same author, Kohan Kawauchi (1920-2008).

 

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Gekko Kamen

I don’t know much about this hero because it was broadcast before I was born.

It’s likely the mask material is unknown.

So the head of Magma Taishi may be the first one made of FRP.

It’s said Magma Taishi was supposed to be played by an actor exposing his gold-powdered face in the planning stage.

Magama Taishi with the actor’s face exposed can be actually seen in the pilot film.

 

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Magma Taishi in the pilot film

It seems that, as the gold powder wet with sweat easily got off and so on, it was decided to use the FRP mask.

That shows the producers had a continuous process of trial and error in those days.

At any rate, you will be aware of the extraordinary uniqueness the appearance of Ultraman has among these superheroes.

I love the flavor of each one of them, though!!!

Secret of Ultraman’s eyes


Actually, though the gimmick to make the mouth of Ultraman movable was abandoned, the
same attempt was made about the head of Ultra Seven.

The slit of the earliest head of Ultra Seven is likely to show the trace of an attempt to make the lower lip and jaw movable.

And then an attempt to move only the lower lip movable was made.

Finally, like Ultraman, the idea to make the mouth movable was given up.

 

With regard to the eyes of Ultra Seven, the eye holes were put in the center of the eyes.

Looks like Tohl Narita found it so regrettable that he had to give Ultraman the the eye holes inevitably at last.

He was thinking of finishing the eyes of Ultraman by fitting transparent plastic parts in the eyes to secure the visibility for Satoshi (Bin) Furuya inside.

But due to the shortage of time, he had to just drill holes under the eyes.

 

Mr. Furuya says in his memoir (“A Man Who Became Ultraman”) that Mr. Narita looked angry at that time.

After a while, it’s likely Mr. Narita told Mr. Furuya how much unwillingness he felt when he had to give the drill holes to the eyes of Ultraman.

Regarding the A Type head, you can see the eye holes become bigger to increase the visibility as the shooting progressed.

Head variations of Ultraseven


Much is known about the head variations of the costume of Ultraman.

Actually, there are also variations with regard to the head of Ultraseven’s costume though the differences are so subtle to be noticeable.

In the case of Seven, it’s not that the different types of the head were sculpted like Ultraman.

 

Though they were made from the same mold, they show slight differences in the details.

The cover photos in “Ultraseven Pictorial” show some of the head variations of Ultraseven, which is very much interesting.

The variations of Seven’s head seem to be classified as A Type – D Type among fans. (The photos above are NOT meant to show each one of those.)

 

I can’t tell which is which accurately, but there seems to be differences in the shape of the heat-pressed eyes (conspicuous in the shape of the eye holes) and of the mouth.

The earliest head (far left) has a slit around the mouth and jaw, and the eye shapes also look slightly different.

The first two of the above from left should be the same head with the slit partly puttied.

The eyes characteristically have horizontal shadows that go across the center of the whole eyes.