ALIEN PUMPKIN (KABOCHA SEIJIN)


  • Episode: 35 “Let’s go to the Galaxy!”
  • Actor: Eiichi Matsushima
  • Voice: Kazuo Kumakura

Alien Pumpkin is an alien who plotted to make the Earth into pumpkin fields all over the planet, and he came to the Earth on July 7.

It is when the Star Festival (Tanabata) is annually and customarily celebrated in Japan while legend has it that Orihime (Weaving Princess representing Vega) and Kengyu/Hikoboshi (Cowman for Altair) are allowed to see each other only once a year as the two who had fallen in love turned out to be separated by the Milky Way in between.

Orihime manipulated by Alien Pumpkin firing beams at Daisaku and his friends

Of all things, Alien Pumpkin abducted Orihime and manipulated her to get rid of Booska and Chamegon with her super abilities as they were in the way for his plot (to turn the whole Earth into a pumpkin field!).

Manipulated by Alien Pumpkin, Orihime came to the Earth and changed Daisaku and his friends along with his parents into …pumpkins.

The pumpkin Daisaku turned into by being exposed to Orihime’s beam attack

By order of Alien Pumpkin, Orihime shapeshifted into Daisaku to trap Booska and Chamegon, and she turned Booska into a pumpkin too while Chamegon’s ring beam from his tail brought Booska back to normal.

After freeing Orihime from Alien Pumpkin’s control, Chamegon shapeshifted himself into Orihime to trap Alien Pumpkin, and they managed to knock him down in the end, then the alien was brought back to space by a rocket Chamegon had shapeshifted into.

Orihime got to see Kengyu

Thanks to Booska and Chamegon, Orihime and Kengyu got to see each other, and Orihime gave the two kaijus a miniature star that makes any hope come true explaining one single good thing you did turns into a star.

And the people made into pumpkins also returned to normal with the power of the miniature star.

The moment Booska prayed to the star wishing happiness for all the people living on the Earth, not only for themselves, the tiny star soared into the night sky and turned into a real star to watch over all the people on the globe.

Booska prays to the miniature star wishing happiness for all the people on the Earth

ALIEN PEGASSA (making)


Alien Pegassa design drawn by Tohl Narita

Tohl Narita: “This is a variation development of Alien Goddora. He turned out to look more like an animal than Alien Goddora.”

It is said that Narita got an idea for the design of Alien Pegassa from a hammerhead shark and, for lump-like risings on the body, acorn barnacles while I assume the former should have made him describe Pegassa as having more animal-like features than Goddora.

As Narita puts it, he seems to have thought of Alien Goddora and Alien Pegassa as the basic style of Ultraseven aliens with the eyes positioned on top of the heads.

Alien Pegassa’s episode “Dark Zone” is definitely a masterpiece and one of my favorites with an excellent and thought-provoking story that makes us wonder what is “justice.”

Unfortunately, however, it seems that Alien Pegassa is one of the aliens who didn’t get himself photographed so much (did he stay in the dark zone?) or he might not have so many pictures remain in existence while it should be a lot of fun if we could see the pictures of him, say, being sculpted at Ryosaku Takayama’s Atelier May.

Even though the pictures of Anne combing her hair in her private room with Alien Pegassa seemingly about to attack her are widely known (the pictures of the two photographed from different angles can be found), these were still photos taken for publications, and the show had no such scene.

It is so interesting to see his head look very much different when viewed from the side or diagonally from above as he bent forward.

Along with his appearance only with a human-size and the brief battle with human-sized Ultraseven, the episode featuring the alien who vanished into the darkness after losing his home was extremely impressive even when I watched it as a kid.

It is not that Pegassa is bowing at the end of this article but looking at the bomb he planted into the Earth to explode the planet

SUFLAN (making)


Suflan design drawn by Tohl Narita

Tohl Narita: “This is a shape that makes it easy to coil around people.”

Suflan is a mysterious plant described as a blood-sucking species that appeared in Ultraman Episode 8 and Episode 26 as it was found to grow wild on Tatarajima Island and Johnson Island respectively.

Although it is not a monster that stands out, I personally like the design by Narita and I think the prop is also well made while it is left undescribed who sculpted it.

On location, real fire was used to burn off the vines that twined around Fuji and Ide with flames spewed from Arashi’s Spider Shot that should have been expressed by optical compositing otherwise at the suggestion of Shohei Tojo, then assistant director.

Iyoshi Ishii, presently known as Sandayu Dokumamushi with great popularity as a funnily critical commentator, who played Arashi (and Furuhashi in “Ultraseven” afterwards) recalls he was surprised for real at the flames that came out of the Spider Shot connected to an LP gas cylinder placed at his feet with a hose running through his SSSP uniform (Tojo seems to have told Ishii not to look worried) so that it came out at the sleeve and they had to retake the scene.

It is also introduced that, as Tojo’s words, Suflan caught fire and it traveled upwards as the prop hung down from above on the trees and Tojo rushed to extinguish the fire with his jacket worrying that it would be disastrous if it should have developed into a big fire in the woods.

Even though the fire got to be put out, it seems that his jacket was burnt to ashes in the end while I feel like it would be reckless to set fire to such a prop in the woods in the first place.

It is likely that pictures of Suflan rarely appeared in kaiju pictorials back then and illustrations of it were shown instead with an explanation describing it as it is capable to regenerate lost parts when cut off and its weak point is the root.

It is fun to find the illustration shows even Suflan fighting with Ultraman.

MONGULAR (making)


Regarding the “Ultra Q” monsters before Tohl Narita and Ryosaku Takayama got involved, reasons including the scarcity of pictures to show and information to describe always makes it hard for me to talk much about them.

Nevertheless, they are also part of the monsters I enjoyed seeing when I was a kid, so I would like to try to deal with them with as much love as the Narita/Ikeya and Takayama kaijus.

As to Mongular, it seems that who designed and sculpted him is left unknown while, as one might guess, it is assumed the Toho Special Art staff should have been involved.

Although he looks too cute to be an intimidating monster (when searching for Mongular in Japanese on the Net, “mongular cute” shows up among the keywords), I find he has well-sculpted hands showing features typical of mole hands.

That having been said, the costume explicitly showing the shape of the human body on all fours appears to have made him less like a real creature although it should have been an issue that had annoyed even Narita and Takayama.

Haruo Nakajima, original Godzilla actor, says he took pains to make the four-footed Ultra kaijus he acted less likely to be worn by an actor by tying to hide his bent knees while lowering his body as much as possible (Kingsaurus III and Stegon of “Return of Ultraman” were an attempt to solve this so as not to show their bent knees).

An explanation available online makes it more likely that they applied to the show the monsters, including Mongular, created by making real-life creatures giants under the influence of American movies featuring giant real-life creatures.

Although the substance’s name Honey Jellion seems to have been put as a medicine called Razerī B One in the script, the substance was altered into Honey Jellion for the same reason as in Goro‘s case.

It is described that the Mongular costume was incinerated along with the other costumes including Dada and Giradorus at the “kaiju memorial service” held at the now-defunct amusement park Futago-tamagawa-en in 1973.

Who Voiced Reborn Pigmon?


Reborn Pigmon speaking at the microphone in a kaiju language voiced by Nekohachi Edoya

While we are at the topic of “Kaiju Booska,” I would like to talk about another associated matter between “Ultraman” and “Booska,” both of which were produced and aired around the same time.

As I just talked about the making of Pigmon in my recent post,  Reborn Pigmon who returned to life as an unvaryingly friendly monster was set to speak words although it was a kaiju language.

In the episode, as you know, an expert of the dolphin language study tried to figure out what Pigmon was talking about, and he managed to interpret the monster’s words in the end.

Nekohachi Edoya as Daisaku’s father in “Kaiju Booska”

While Pigmon’s babbling, yelling, shouting and screaming was so impressive as the friendly kaiju was trying hard to convey his warning to people about upcoming attack by the kaijus (Telesdon and DorakoGeronimon had brought back to life.

In this episode, Pigmon was voiced by Nekohachi Edoya (the third: 1921-2001) who gained popularity as a performer known for his excellent vocal mimicry of animals’ voices.

And, moreover, Edoya regularly played Daidaku’s funny and humorous father in “Kaiju Booska.”

Jiro (left) voiced by Kiyoshi Komiyama in Ultra Q Episode 1

Kazuho Mitsuta, director, who was also involved in “Kaiju Booska” along with the original Ultra Series recalls Edoya was nice enough to happily accept their request to voice Pigmon as he was already acting Daisaku’s father even though he was a big name performer then while his name was not included in the opening credits of Reborn Pigmon’s episode.

The voice that can be heard through the kaiju language interpreting device was played by Kiyoshi Komiyama (1937-present), and you can also hear komiyama voice a boy in “Ultra Q” Episode 1 and Episode 15.

Akira (left) voiced by Komiyama in Ultra Q Episode 15