I Have Also Got A Toy Mask Of Ultraman!

In addition to the plastic model posted yesterday, I bought a fun thing: Omen of Ultraman. (Click the images for enlargement)

Omen means mask in Japanese. Compared with another term kamen also meaning mask, omen often represents a toy mask for kids.

There were toy masks of Ultraman around in our childhood, but they were based on the Type A mask, and they didn’t look like the real mask.

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Ultraman (Type C mask)

Oddly enough, there were omens with octagonal eyes, and their jaws and even mouths were painted red although they showed features unique to the Type A mask.

Come to think of it, they had red ears somehow as well.

You can see a standard Ultraman omen of the time based on the Type A mask in Episode 26 of Ultraman featuring Gomora that was worn by Osamu.

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Ultraman (Type A mask)

But this omen I’ve got is very much faithful to the Type C mask of Ultraman and looks so cool although I also love the touch of the old masks that I now find attractive enough.

The mask makers’ adherence to trying to imitate the real Type C mask makes me feel their affection and respect for the Ultra Series.

Looks like an omen of Ultraseven probably in the same omen series is also very much well made, so I’d like to get one sometime.

Anyway I’m going to display the omen of Ultraman somewhere in my room.

I personally want an omen of the Type B mask to get produced.

Osamu and one of his friends playing Ultraman and a kaiju (Peguila)

I Have Just Got Mini/Triangle VTOL!

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The other day I got a plastic model of the Mini VTOL (Triangle VTOL).

This is one of the tiny plastic model series I posted before.

While I had purchased the other ones, this one was not released yet at that time.

One of my readers kindly posted a video (sorry, the video in Japanese) on these model series in his comment on the above post.

And it tells us the kits can be assembled quite easily by snapping in each part without using adhesive.

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Billy Joek just for comparison in size

No painting is necessary, either, because the kits are distinctively colored from the very beginning.

To make it look more realistic, you can apply the decals which come together with the kit.

So these models are to be built without spending much time.

Despite the easiness of assembling and the sizes, I’ve found the finished models shown in the video look attractive and realistic enough.

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This kind of snap-in style models were not around when I was a kid, but I now find this could be the main stream of plastic models (especially in Gundom models) here in Japan.

As I wrote before, this series of tiny models stemmed from the Space Battleship Yamato series sometime around in the 1980s while I have none of them with me any more unfortunately.

They were highly reputed as well-made models despite the size and price then, and I had to use glue and paint them at the time although it was fun as well.

Daily hustles and bustles have still kept me from building these models at leisure (I don’t want to do it hastily), but I look forward to building them before long.


SHADOWMAN

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Episode Episode 33: The Dead Invaders
Alias Resuscitated Mysterious Man
Features See below
Actor Ryumei Azuma, Nobuyoshi Takemura, Hiroshi Takigawa and more

Shadowmen are, to put it bluntly, ghosts of the dead manipulated by unidentified aliens with telekinesis.

The aliens used them to steal a microfilm of secret data (specifying the locations of the worldwide TDF Bases) out of the TDF Far East Base after it was brought in from the Paris Headquarter under strict security alert.

In the first place the aliens stole the dead bodies for autopsy out of a hospital and sent them around the Base as ‘moving dead bodies.’

As soon as the bodies were recovered into the Base, their spirits started acting behind the scenes as Shadowmen.

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A walking man accidentally hit by the Pointer was…

They stole the microfilm kept under lock and key and transmitted the data to the District K of Tokyo through the communication device of the Operations Room of the Base.

After rushing to the District K, the Ultra Garrison found an antenna to receive electric waves and forward them up to space.

Dan aboard the Ultra Hawk 2 found the aliens’ space station in space, and he transformed into Ultraseven when the Hawk 2 was blasted by an attack from the station.

The station captured Ultraseven and tried to take him away.

But the Ultra Hawk 1 that rushed there with the other UG members on board rescued Ultraseven.

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Ultraseven left trapped, of all things, in a glass by Shadowmen in the TDF Base

Ultraseven managed to destroy the space station finally, and the crisis went away.

This is the first episode of Ultraseven featuring no alien and no monster, and, although it should be attractive enough as a sci-fi drama, I found it so unsatisfactory as a child.

As to the alien who didn’t appear at all, it seems that an alien named Alien Yuri (pronounced as yuuree) was to show up initially but it was rejected eventually while I think the alien should have appeared.

The name Yuri came from the Okinawan term meaning ghost (yurei is the Japanese equivalent),  and it’s likely that the artwork of Alien Yuri drawn by Noriyoshi Ikeya still remains unused.

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The aliens’ space station trying to take Ultraseven away

AGIRA

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Episode Episode 32: The Wandering Planet

Episode 46: The Duel: Dan vs. Seven

Alias Capsule Monster
Height micro – 45 meters
Weight 0 – 12,000 tons
Homeplace Planet Animal of Nebula M78
Features Agility
Designer Noriyoshi Ikeya
Sculptor Ryosaku Takayama
Actor Kunio Suzuki (32): Unknown (25)

Agira is the third Capsule Monster that appeared in Ultraseven with a frill like a dinosaur.

He was a little inconspicuous compared with the other Capsule Monsters Windom and Miclas because he looks so simple and plain.

But he’s now found adorable and loved by people due to his attractive gestures and behavior.

He’s good at agility and fought bravely against Riggar using side steps.

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vs. Riggar

In Episode 32 featuring Riggar he was called in while Dan was unable to transform into Ultraseven because of the electromagnetic waves of Asteroid Din.

Agira was defeated after Riggar slapped him with its tail repeatedly until he got all weak.

In Episode 46 he was called on and battled against Fake Ultraseven because Dan left Ultra Eye behind in the Pointer.  🙂

He was beaten down unilaterally and kicked off a cliff by the fake who was as strong as his master.

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Agira in Episode 46 (the costume’s back was painted black) It has a forked beak

It’s said that, although Windom was to appear as the capsule monster in Episode 32 initially, it ended up having the new monster Agira instead so as to increase viewership.

In the early plot Pagos of Ultra Q seems to have been a candidate for the capsule monster of this episode as monsters of Ultra Q and Ultraman were initially to appear as capsule monsters of Ultraseven.

Talking about the costume, I find Agira’s head is rather well made while I think high sculpturing ability should be required to make such a plain monster without decorations.

Incidentally, the name Agira came from Akira Tsuburaya, Eiji Tsuburaya’s third son, who was also involved in the Ultra Series.

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Kicked by Fake Ultraseven

RIGGAR

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Episode Episode 32: The Wandering Planet
Alias Mechanism Monster
Height 60 meters
Weight 45,000 tons
Homeplace Asteroid Din
Features Dwelling on Asteroid Din
Designer Noriyoshi Ikeya
Sculptor Ryosaku Takayama
Actor Yoshimi Kato

Riggar is the four-footed space monster that was found to dwell on the asteroid approaching Earth from the Asteroid Belt.

Although the name didn’t come up in the drama, the asteroid is called Din in the settings. (It’s rather recently that the name has been disclosed publicly. We didn’t know it as a child.)

And it was found that the asteroid itself was a time bomb making its way to the TDF Base.

Din had unmanned frontline bases on the surface giving out mysterious electromagnetic waves.

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Asteroid Din that looks like an island and was described so in the drama

The electromagnetic waves disabled any communications and use of weapons while Dan, Furuhashi and Amagi were trapped there.

And the waves also left Dan unable to transform into Ultraseven so Capsule Monster Agira fought against Riggar instead.

Becoming aware that Din was on its way to the TDF Base, Staff Officer Manabe instructed to make the new Killy missiles, which were to fly at the electromagnetic waves, ready to destroy Din.

With the detonation time and the launch of the Killy getting closer every minute, Dan managed to blast the bases, which allowed him to turn into Ultraseven.

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Mysterious frontline bases found on Din

Riggar seems to have been a robot monster and its head was emitting radio waves to steer Asteroid Din.

Ultraseven cut off the head with Eye Slugger and took it away to beacon the asteroid so that it detonated in a safe place after Furuhashi and Amagi were rescued by the Hawk 3.

Along with the story leaving the aliens who sent in the asteroid unknown, Riggar didn’t have much impact unfortunately.

But it seems the storyline itself can date back to sometime around Ultraman, which means the plot written for Ultraman saw the light of day at last.

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Killy missiles ready to be launched

DALLY

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Episode Episode 31: The Devil Who Dwells in a Flower
Alias Space Bacterium
Height 1 millimeter
Weight 1 gram
Homeplace Space
Features Parasitizing human body to suck blood
Designer Noriyoshi Ikeya
Sculptor Ryosaku Takayama
Actor Tetsuo Yamamura

Dally is a pinkish tiny creature called Space Bacterium that is fond of fibrinogen (a protein produced by the liver) of human blood.

It creeped into the body of a girl named Kaori (played by Keiko Matsuzaka) when she smelled the creature’s egg shell mistaking it for a flower petal which fell down to her.

And the space creature parasitized her lung to suck her blood.

When she fell unconscious after smelling the shell and got hospitalized, Amagi donated his blood due to her special blood type.

Moreover, the parasitic creature turned her into a vampire.

Ultraseven in human body

Although she was admitted into the TDF Medical Center, the doctor found today’s medical treatments would not be able to cure her while Amagi desperately begged him to save the helpless girl.

Dan decided to challenge the unknown world inside the human body like a small universe by getting in there after transforming into Ultraseven and shrinking himself to ‘micro size.’

While, disturbed by defensive functions of the human body and Dally’s attacks, Ultraseven was thrown into a crisis, he was saved by medicine injected from outside.

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Seven found Dally

After shot down by Emerium Beam off the blood veins, Dally was melted away in foams produced by Ultra Bubble emitted from Ultraseven’s left hand.

With the defeat of Dally, Kaori managed to recover and, needless to say, that made the Ultra Garrison members including Amagi extremely happy.

Dally is the first Ultra monster designed by Noriyoshi Ikeya.

I find it a bit shame that the suit showed the human shape with the actor on all fours inside, but I love the big-eyed head with the upper jaw like a stag beetle and the lower one like a longicorn beetle.

It was named after Salvador Dali, Spanish famous surrealist painter.

As you can see, this episode was produced apparently under the influence of the 1966 US movie ‘Fantastic Voyage.’

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Seven to emit  Ultra Bubble with Beam Lamp blinking

ALIEN PLATIC

Still photo of Alien Platic
Episode Episode 30: For Whom Takes the Glory
Alias Plastic Mysterious Man
Height 2 – 40 meters
Weight 50 kilograms – 15,000 tons
Homeplace Planet Platic
Features Coming to attack with only the skeleton
Designer Tohl Narita
Sculptor Ryosaku Takayama
Actor Kunio Suzuki

Alien Platic is the alien who plotted to wipe off the Ultra Garrison by hijacking the Magmarizer that was leading an army of tanks in field battle drills and by replacing the artillery shells with real ones.

He sneaked into Earth with his oddly shaped Space Tank.

He breathes out a plastic liquid that solidifies the human body, and the operators of the Magmarizer were found dead coated with the plastic.

Fortunately it ended up just leaving Ultraseven unable to move for a short while when he was sprayed with it.

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Alien Platic’s Space Tank

In hand-to-hand combat the alien was so strong as to make Ultraseven’s Beam Lamp blink.

Although he burnt up when shot with Emerium Beam, his skeleton showed up and came to attack Dan and Aoki.

And he was finished off by dying Aoki with a shot of the Ultragun. (To be honest, Skeleton Platic was more impressive than Alien Platic as a child.)

Aoki (played by Akira/Takehisa Yamaguchi) was an elite TDF member and deemed to be a possible candidate for an Ultra Garrison member in the future.

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Skeleton Platic

But the shrewd young man was too much driven by ambition and a keen sense of rivalry against Dan to take credit for his own glory.

And, as the result, he caused many casualties among the TDF members and lost his own life in the battle with Alien Platic.

As it’s well known, Alien Platic is the last Ultra alien/monster Tohl Narita designed, which is a great shame.

After he left Tsuburaya Productions, Noriyoshi Ikeya succeeded to the position of monster design, and he also did a remarkable job.

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Aoki

ALIEN PROTE

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Episode Episode 29: The Forsaken Earthman
Alias Space Spy
Height 1.7 – 46 meters
Weight 100 kilograms – 12,000 tons
Homeplace Planet Prote
Features Evilness; psychic abilities
Designer Tohl Narita
Sculptor Ryosaku Takayama
Actor Tetsuo Yamamura; Hajime Yamamoto (life-sized)
Human Form Masahiko Naruse

Alien Prote is the alien who tried to collect secret data on the worldwide TDF Bases by using a spy satellite disguised as a science observation satellite.

He disguised himself as Prof. Niwa of Kyonan University that played a leading role in the development and launch of the satellite.

And he acted behind the scenes making use of one of his disciples, Ichinomiya (played by Tomoki Kenmochi).

Already knowing Niwa was Alien Prote, Ichinomiya cooperated with him in developing the satellite because the alien promised to take Ichinomiya who wanted to escape from Earth to Planet Prote.

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Prof. Niwa attacking Soga with a beam from his fingers

Ichinomiya was happy that the alien acknowledged the theory of his invented transmission (substance teleportation) machine and made it for him while the theory had been ignored by people.

But Ichinomiya resisted Niwa when he learnt the satellite was meant to be a spying device for Earth invasion.

Alien Prote has many psychic abilities including shadow-cloning and hallucinations and is capable to create alter egos.

With Alien Prote’s spacecraft on its way from his home planet to recover the spy satellite, Ultraseven was bewildered by the alien’s ever-changing attacks.

The alter ego doesn’t care even if it had its head sliced off by Eye Slugger naturally.

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Ichinomiya stunned at Niwa’s true intention

Leaving Ultraseven fighting against the alter egos, Niwa tried to transfer himself to the spacecraft through the transmitter.

But, knowing that the machine was incapable to regenerate the substances when multiple people transmitted simultaneously, Ichinomiya thrust himself into the device so as not to let the alien go with the secret data.

And the two vanished together for good.

The spy satellite was recovered by Ultraseven who teleported to space with his teleportation ability, and Prote’s spacecraft was blasted by the Ultra Hawk 2.

I find this episode attractive enough and worth watching which also revealed Soga had his wife-to-be, Saeko Nanbu, student of Kyonan University.

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Ultraseven transporting to space

ALIEN KILL

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Episode Episode 28: The 700 Kilometer Run!
Alias Invasion Alien
Homeplace Planet Kill
Features Manipulating Dino-tank; acting only in human forms
Actor Akio Nojima and others

Alien Kills are the aliens who manipulated Dino-tank and just appeared in human forms leaving their true appearances unknown.

When the TDF tried to transport the high explosive Spiner by air to bring it to the testing site, they assaulted the airplane.

At Dan’s suggestion he himself described as ‘good idea’ the Ultra Garrison attempted to convey the Spiner by slipping into a rally (because Dan just saw a rally movie while dating with Anne and found it exciting…).

Dan and Amagi ended up participating in the rally with the Spiner carefully loaded in their rally vehicle.

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Alien Kills themselves were in the rally as participants and tried to interrupt the transport of the Spiner persistently.

They use ‘conventional’ firearms and equipment such as a motorcycle, machine guns or helicopters and vanished emitting reddish light when shot dead by Dan.

The thing is, Amagi had a phobia against explosives (he also has a height phobia as depicted in Episode 18 ‘Escape From Area X’) due to his traumatic experience in his childhood.

He told Dan that a fireworks factory in his neighborhood exploded and he saw houses and people blasted into pieces.

Amagi claimed Captain Kiriyama was such a cold fish as to have chosen him for the role while fully aware of his phobia.

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Alien Kills try to rob the rally vehicle loaded with the Spiner, also with Dan and Amagi on board

At last Alien Kills planted a time bomb on the Spiner, and Kiriyama ordered Amagi to deactivate the bomb.

While being encouraged by Dan, Amagi finally made it.

And it was revealed the Spiner was a fake and that the real one had been on its way in another vehicle.

That was an ‘ in fooling the enemy first deceive your allies’ tactic, and it was also meant to make Amagi overcome his phobia.

We found Amagi there with a confident look. That’s what is expected from Ultraman!!!  🙂

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DINO-TANK

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Episode Episode 28: The 700 Kilometer Run!
Alias Tank Monster
Height 60 meters
Weight 70,000 tons
Homeplace Planet Kill
Features Dinosaur riding on tank caterpillers
Designer Tohl Narita
Sculptor Ryosaku Takayama (dinosaur)
Actor Kunio Suzuki

Dino-tank is the monster manipulated by Alien Kill who tried to rob the TDF of the high explosive Spiner alleged to be hundred of times more powerful than nitroglycerin.

As its name shows, it’s a dinosaur just placed on a tank, and, oddly enough, the body is legless as if it unites with the tank.

It’s a monster totally beyond comprehension that naturally makes us wonder why a dinosaur should be on a tank.

Dino-tank appeared in the Spiner testing site holding the explosive in its mouth.

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Ultraseven could not attack Dino-tank carelessly because of the Spiner.

Its dash is so powerful and the tank ran over Ultraseven’s left arm.

It is also capable to fire a destruction beam from the eyes (I find it attractive that Dino-tank always blinks right before firing beams).

The artillery shells the tank fired and the dinosaur’s long tail that packed a hard punch also gave Ultraseven a hard time to the point where it made his Beam Lamp blink.

When passing above the Spiner that fell on the ground, however, Ultraseven made the Spiner explode by shooting it with Ultra Shot fired from his right hand.

And Dino-tank got blasted together with the Spiner.

gappaNow that I look at it closely, the dinosaur’s head is very much well made, but, as the ‘tank monster’ looked so absurd, I have to admit it disappointed me as a child along with Ironrocks.

Although the dinosaur was sculpted by Ryosaku Takayama, the tank is alleged to have been based on the miniature of the Type 61 tank borrowed from the Nikkatsu movie company that was used in their kaiju movie ‘Gappa The Triphibian Monsters’ screened in 1967.

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Ultra Shot