ULTRASEVEN’S SUPERIOR

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Episode Episode 48 & 49: The Greatest Invasion in History
Alias Nebula M78 Man
Height 40 meters
Weight 30,000 tons
Homeplace Nebula M78, Land of Light
Features Warning Dan not to turn into Ultraseven and urging him to return home
Actor Koji Uenishi
Voice Ayao Wada

Ultraseven’s Superior is the Nebula M78 man who sent a warning by telepathy to Dan who was suffering from physical disorders caused by fatal damage battles with invaders on Earth inflicted on him.

And the superior urged Dan to get back home for restoration saying that the prolonged stay on Earth would lead to his death.

It’s not that the superior appeared substantially, but just his images emerged before Dan’s eyes.

Superior: “No. 340…no, I’ll call you Ultraseven as you are called on Earth. You’ve suffered a lot of damage through frequent battles with invaders so far. Staying on Earth any longer is extremely risky. Ultraseven, it’s time to get back to Nebula M78!!!” […]

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Dan: “Now I can’t. Something atrocious seems to be taking place on Earth. I can’t let it go.” […]

Superior: “I’ll only give you a single warning. Don’t consume your energy in fighting anymore. That will disable you even to return to Nebula M78! Never do the transformation!!!”

Every time Dan tried to turn into Ultraseven, the superior came up and warned him.

Superior: “Stop! Just stop it, Seven! You will surely die this time!!!”

But Dan changed into Ultraseven and stood against Alien Ghose and their kaiju Pandon to defend earthlings he loved.

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Actually this Nebula M78 man was named Ultraseven’s Superior in much later years sometime around 1980, and he hadn’t have any particular name of his own before then. (I think we just called him Seven’s buddy as a kid)

It seems that he’s just described as ‘Nebula M78 Man’ in the script, and whether he’s Ultraseven’s real superior remains unknown.

Unlike Zoffy of Ultraman, Ultraseven’s Superior has exactly the same appearance as Ultraseven (for cost-cutting of the show), but I was convinced as a child that every M78 man should look the same to earthlings in the Ultraseven universe.

The superior’s words helped us learn that the hero is called Ultraseven (as the 7th member of the Ultra Garrison) just among earthlings and called No. 340 back at home.

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Owl Housing Complex Mirroring The Changing Society

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Akiji Kobayashi as Sato, not Cap. Muramatsu who quit the SSSP

It was fun to find Captain Muramatsu of Ultraman played Sato (Sato is one of the most common names among Japanese) with his excellent performance in Episode 48 ‘Who Are You?’ of Ultraseven.

This episode also seems to mirror the social situation of the time in which rapid urbanization led to poor interpersonal relationships in Japan.

The scenes in which Sato’s neighbors say they don’t know Sato at all with one mouth may give you chills.

Owl Housing Complex (actually Tama Plaza Housing Complex in Kanagawa Prefecture ) home to 15,000 people

But we now see the ongoing urbanization bringing about almost the same circumstances here in Tokyo where people don’t know each other while living in the neighborhood.

I think you will often find an episode with a housing complex shown in the drama among the shows of the older Ultra Series.

That tells us how popular such danchi (housing complexes) were among people at the time.

The characters’ lines about late TV shows make us realize that times have changed so much.

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The real complex hidden underground during the night with the people under hypnosis

While Sato apparently dropped by at a bar for a drink after work, it was also the time when Japanese people were called ‘workaholic’ by those outside Japan.

Although I don’t hear the term so much anymore, getting back home late at night after work is pretty common in Japan even now.

Given Alien Huk failed to include Sato when disguising themselves as the residents, the aliens (the name came from Hukuroh that is the same as Fukuroh in Japanese) should have taken account of the Japanese work habits!

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Peace restored in Owl Housing Complex

ALIEN HUK

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Episode Episode 47: Who Are You?
Alias Group Aliens
Height 1.8 – 40 meters
Weight 65 kilograms – 10,000 tons
Homeplace Planet Huk
Features Plotting to invade Earth based on a housing complex
Designer Noriyoshi Ikeya
Sculptor Ryosaku Takayama (three heads)
Actor Unknown
Human Form Miki Sanjo (Sato’s wife); Takashi Fujimoto (Sato’s son); Toshio Matsumoto (police officer); Hiroshi Kiyama (Hayashi); Debuko Oyama (Yamada)

Alien Huk (pronounced like ‘hook’ in Japanese) are the aliens who plotted to invade Earth based on the Fukuroh Danchi (Owl Housing Complex) in Tokyo.

They went on with their invasion plots steadily while replacing the entire housing complex by theirs that exactly resembled the real one including residents they disguised themselves as to the life.

Whereas the nocturnal aliens’ complex was hidden underground during the daytime, it showed up in place for the real one late at night leaving the real residents unaware of it under hypnosis and making the building exchange invisible to human eyes.

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Sato (played by Akiji Kobayashi), one of the residents, who realized something wrong was going on when he got home late in the night after work got held captive by the aliens soon after he had reported to the Ultra Garrison about the ongoing strangeness.

The aliens’ plots were revealed by Dan and Furuhashi who started investigating the complex.

Three of Alien Huk fought against Ultraseven in a group, and their agility bewildered him in the darkness.

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But, extremely vulnerable to intense light as they are nocturnal, the aliens were beaten in the end exposed to the spark of Ultraseven’s entire body and the diffused version of Wide Shot.

I found it so scary to see the residents who were usually personable including even Sato’s wife and son say they didn’t know Sato.

Alien Huk with no features on their faces except the design like straw-roped patterns of Japanese ancient earthenware are also very much creepy.

Incidentally, the movements of Alien Huk’s mouth is not by the inside mechanism but seemingly by the jaw of the inside actor taking advantage of the softness of the head.

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Comet Fukushin 2

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“Now, let me fulfill my promise. I’ll take you who are fed up with Earth to the stars. I have taken quite a few earthlings to the stars so far. Look, there must be people who suddenly disappeared one day and went missing around you as well…”

These words uttered by Alien Perolynga might also require further explanation.

His lines remind me of the term ‘ningen johatsu’ I often heard as a child in the late 1960s that literally means human vanishment.

In human vanishment cases, those who got sick of their lives concealed themselves (for a period of time or for good) suddenly even abandoning their beloved families.

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The word johatsu also meaning evaporation made me imagine some kind of mysterious phenomena in which people vanish like vapor before our eyes, and the imagination scared me so much. (Probably too much affected by sci-fi TV shows)

The theme ‘human vanishment’ was mainly featured in Ultra Q‘s Episode 28 ‘Open Up!,’ and Ultraseven‘s Episode 34 ‘The Vanishing City’ featuring Dancan should be in the same line although the entire business city vanished out of the heart of Tokyo instead of humans in the latter episode as if it hated to be there in a way.

Perolynga also used the word johatsu in his lines.

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Anyway, his words should have sounded irresistibly attractive to Fukushin…

In the end of the episode, the work start sirens blaring out tells us Fukushin was already late for work and could be reproved by his boss again (alas!).

Same old days in the hustle and bustle of society.

Fukushin will be drawn to the stellar universe that night as well.

In the drama Fukushin said to the boy (actually Perolnga) he made friends with when the kid asked him why he’s watching the stars, “I want to have a star bearing my name in space. Comet Fukushin!”

I hope his dreams will come true.

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Comet Fukushin 1

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With the overnight star watching Fukushin can’t resist the urge to nap even in front of the moving machine

One of my readers asked me about the ending of Episode 45 ‘The Boy Who Cried Flying Saucer’ of Ultraseven with Perolynga in it as he finds it seemingly too abrupt just showing Fukushin on bike with the sirens blaring out.

I know what he means and in fact had felt the same way over the years, so I don’t think the DVDs he has can be another version or something of the episode although I haven’t watched the US version.

Following the Outer Limits’ narration I dimly remember, I’d say, “There is nothing wrong with your television or DVD set…”

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“You’re performing pretty poorly these days,” Fukushin was reproved by his boss

As you can find many things associated with the state of the Japanese society of the time in this episode, however, it may necessitate explanation to understand it.

I think this episode is very much tinged with the Japanese society in the midst of high economic growth.

First of all, it was an episode shot in the areas around Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture next to Tokyo, that used to be one of the main areas sustaining Japan’s economic growth with many small machi koba (town factories), along with Episode 8 ‘The Tageted Town’ featuring Metron. (They were directed by the same director, Akio Jissoji.)

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Gen-san, auto wreckers, living next door always teasing Fukushin

The factory Fukushin was with in the show is also one of them.

In pursuit of materialistic abundance, daily hustles and bustles changed people’s lifestyle possibly including their behaviors and mentalities with the idyllic times far left behind.

On the other hand, Fukushin was a youth who just loved watching stars and could be a type of person left alone in the society that was becoming more and more competitive.

Fukushin’s lament that he wants to go to the stellar universe can possibly reflect the atmosphere of the times, or it could have been shared among people at the time.


FAKE ULTRASEVEN

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Episode Episode 46: The Duel: Dan vs. Seven
Alias Robot Superhuman
Height 40 meters
Weight 35,000 tons
Homeplace The secret factory of Alien Salome’s hideout lighthouse
Features Robot with the same appearance and abilities as Ultraseven
Actor Unknown
Voice Processed Ultraseven’s voice (Koji Moritsugu’s)

Fake Ultraseven is the robot with the same appearance and abilities as real Ultraseven that was built by Alien Salome in their secret factory to invade Earth.

The robot produced with the essence of Salome’s scientific technologies was supposed to be superior to real Ultraseven in strength.

And it was expected to stand for the devils instead of the invincible superhero.

As the aliens needed to know the composition of Ultra Beam to complete the robot, they trapped Dan and forced him to tell them the secret of the beam with their Talk Machine.

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The injection of Ultra Beam gave life to the robot

Although the robot looks exactly the same as real Ultraseven, it has mechanical-looking parts on the waist and the joints of its arms and legs.

And its low-pitched voice when it uttered ‘Duwaaa!’ makes it look more like a villain.

The robot embarrassed the Ultra Garrison members as they thought Ultraseven they believed to be their hero started attacking them.

As Dan was unable to transform into Ultraseven with Ultra Eye left in a car, Capsule Kaiju Agira fought against Fake Ultraseven.

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Fake Ultraseven shooting down the Ultra Hawk 1

With the same capabilities as real Seven, Fake Seven easily defeated Agira, and real Ultraseven who showed up stood against the fake at last.

Real Seven and Fake Seven fought neck and neck, but, of course, the fake was beaten by Ultraseven in the end by getting blasted in the sea.

While, in Ultraman, Fake Ultraman was the form Alien Zarab turned into, it was fun to find that Fake Ultraseven was set to be a robot along with the well-made factory set although I have to admit I personally prefer Fake Ultraman as his artistically sculpted beautiful head makes him look so attractive.

Incidentally, Fake Seven’s costume is the one recycled from Ultraseven’s used costume just before being put on the shelf.

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Ultraseven flying away with a salute to the UG. “Seven won! OUR Seven!” (Amagi)

ALIEN SALOME

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Alien Salome showed their Seven to Dan
Episode Episode 46: The Duel: Dan vs. Seven
Alias Invasion Alien
Height 1.9 meters
Weight 120 kilograms
Homeplace Planet Salome
Features Manipulating Fake Ultraseven they built
Actor Masao Takahashi (boss); KIyomi Katena (female)

Alien Salome (pronounced as /saromeh/ in Japanese) are the aliens with exactly the same appearances as earthlings (Japanese somehow) along with Maya, Alien Magellan and the human race of Planet 4.

With four of them who can be found in the drama, they acted based on their hide out, lighthouse on Cape Irago in Aichi Prefecture, reminiscent of Alien Cannan.

They blasted the Hydranger with members of the TDF aboard investigating reported mysterious phenomenon taking place around Cape Irago.

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Talk Machine

In fact they were building their robot Ultraseven they called ‘our Seven’ in their secret factory.

And they lured Dan to the lighthouse and captured him to get the secret of Ultra Beam (probably meaning Emerium Beam) out of him forcefully.

The information on Ultra Beam was essential for giving life to their Seven and completing it.

Dan with Ultra Eye left in a car was forced to confess the secret of the beam, which was MGSH3GWFB1 (is this a chemical formula?), by their talk machine, and the generated beam was injected into their Seven at last.

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Salome’s spaceship camouflaged as a ferry boat

And the aliens left the base with their spaceship disguised as a ferry boat leaving Dan shacked in the hideout to be blasted with him.

In the end of the episode, watching real Ultraseven fighting against their Seven in the sea, they got delighted with the huge explosion they witnessed firmly believing their robot beat the real one.

But the aliens were brought far across the sea in their spaceship by real Ultraseven (naturally) who came up to the surface and were blasted with the ship.

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Salome in delight believing in their Seven’s victory

ALIEN PEROLYNGA

Episode Episode 45: The Boy Who Cried Flying Saucer
Alias Psychedelic Alien
Height 1.8 meters
Weight 80 kilograms
Homeplace Planet Perolynga, the 68th planet of Nebula Pegassa
Features Plotting to invade Earth with the space fleet camouflaged as stars
Designer Noriyoshi Ikeya
Sculptor Ryosaku Takayama
Actor Kunio Suzuki
Voice Hikaru Urano (processed voice)
Human Form Hiroyuki Takano

Alien Perolynga is the psychedelically colored alien who tried to invade Earth with their spaceship fleet camouflaged as stars in use of intense magnetism and the invisible barrier.

While observatories across the nation including that of the TDF  didn’t notice the fleet, quite a few amateur star observers found the spaceships including Saburo Fukushin (Kimihiro Reizei) in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo (where the Tsuburaya Productions was located at the time).

Fukushin: “Flying saucers! Aliens!”

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Although Fukushin informed the Ultra Garrison of the flying saucers he found through his astronomical telescope, the team was not able to find them out in space.

While Fukushin got hold of them repeatedly, the UG and TDF started turning a cold shoulder to the youth.

Disliking people, Fukushin bumbling at his workplace because of lack of sleep caused by the star watching all through the night longed to go to the stellar universe where he thought he would not be bothered by anyone.

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When Fukushin was invited by a boy he made friends with to the child’s home, the boy turned into Alien Perolynga, and the alien explained their Earth invasion plot.

Alien Perolynga: “Wolf! Wolf! While you are crying it out repeatedly, no one will end up looking back at you. The real wolf will be coming in the meantime! We know an Earth’s fairly tale like that…”

And the alien gently told Fukushin that they would take him who was fed up with Earth to the stellar universe…

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Becoming aware that something wrong was going on in space, the Ultra Hawk 1 went into action.

Through absurd (meant to be psychedelic) battle scenes, Alien Perolynga was beaten by Ultraseven with explosions, and their space fleet were also wiped out by the Hawk 1.

The next day Fukushin was found rushing to the small factory he worked for on bicycle while the work start siren was blaring out.

I do love this episode featuring clumsy and awkward young guy Fukushin and Alien Perolynga that is just like a fairly tale or an allegory.

I wonder how you would find this one.

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GORRY

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Episode Episode 44: The Terrifying Super-Simian
Alias Ape Man
Height 2 meters
Weight 70 kilograms
Homeplace Monkey Land
Features A human with his brain waves converted into those of an ape
Designer Noriyoshi Ikeya
Sculptor Ryosaku Takayama
Actor Keiichi Taki

Gorry is not a kaiju but a human zookeeper of the Monkey Land whose brain waves were converted into those of an ape with Alien Goron‘s Brain Waves Converter.

While he doesn’t speak words with as much intelligence as apes, when he got excited, he transformed into an ape man like a gorilla.

The ape man beat two police officers to death breaking their cervical spines with his superhuman power.

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Gorry attracted to Anne

Of all things, Gorry was attracted to Anne who took care of his injury when she visited the Monkey Land with Dan for investigation related to the police officers murder case.

When Anne got captured by Dr. Mayama (Junji Masuda) and his assistant Tamiko (Akemi Nishi), both of whom were being manipulated by Alien Goron, for the experiment of the converter, Gorry left shacked there in the basement transformed into the ape man and started rampaging tearing off the shackles.

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Dr. Mayama and Tamiko trying to turn Anne into an ape woman in the basement

Although Gorry freed Anne, he tried to take her away and chased after her even onto the boat she rode on.

When he was found by the other Ultra Garrison members who got there to rescue Anne, Gorry was shot dead by them while turning into the ape man and holding up a stone to try to throw it at them.

The conclusion makes me feel sorry for him given he was made into the ape man by Alien Goron and turned out to save Anne.

I also found the transformation sequence in the basement so horrifying as a kid.

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Gorry chaging into the ape man

ALIEN GORON

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Episode Episode 44: The Terrifying Super-Simian
Alias Space Ape Man
Height 35 meters
Weight 8,000 tons
Homeplace Planet Goron
Features Manipulating opponents’ brain waves
Designer Noriyoshi Ikeya
Sculptor Art crew of Tsuburaya Productions
Actor Toshihiko Saikyo
Voice Koji Yada (processed voice)

Alien Goron is the ape-like alien who disguised himself as a golden lion tamarin kept in the Monkey Land.

Manipulated by the alien, Dr. Mayama and his assistant Tamiko of the zoo made a zookeeper into an ape man, Gorry.

In use of their device Brain Waves Converter they are capable to turn the human brain into the equivalent of the ape to create an ape human with the ape’s brain and the human body.

Alien Goron plotted to invade Earth by making all the human race into ape humans.

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Alien Goron’s creepy eyes

Dr. Mayama and Tamiko tried to turn Anne into an ape woman with the converter, but Gorry who got to like Anne attempted to take her away by disrupting the execution.

After Dan saw through their invasion plot, Alien Goron showed his true colors (it seems that Dan had already known Alien Goron).

The alien fires Brain Waves Beam from his eyes disturbing an opponent’s brain waves while he’s also capable to make himself invisible to hide away.

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Taking advantage of his strong power, Alien Goron had a good fight against Ultraseven.

But he was smashed into pieces with Emerium Beam after he got exhausted while dodging the Ultraseven’s consecutive and random hand shots.

With the alien’s defeat Dr. Mayama and Tamiko came to themselves, and Anne who was chased around by Gorry was also rescued by the other Ultra Garrison members safely.

I have to admit that I didn’t find the ape-like alien so much attractive personally, but the costume with the actor’s eyes left uncovered, the alien’s creepy voice and the fierce fight with Ultraseven were impressive enough.

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Concentrated fire of hand shots