ALIEN BADO (making)

Alien Bado design drawn by Tohl Narita

Tohl Narita: “As I like to allow myself to get ideas as much freely as possible, I try not to have still photos and novels of American sci-fi movies with me at hand, but this is an example that shows I went and received influence from them.”

When I read Narita’s description of Alien Bado in his art book, I didn’t understand which American sci-fi movie he was talking about. But quite recently I found a speculative explanation online that he could possibly have been influenced by Metaluna Mutant, the imaginary creature that appeared in the 1955 American movie “The Island Earth.”

Come to think of it, Alien Bado’s head shape appears to be similar to that of Metaluna Mutant, but, as the rest of the design is so much different, I doubt if it can be called “influenced by an American sci-fi movie” while the article writer was found referring to the same thing as me.

The writer admires Narita by saying it shows Narita’s strictness with himself as an artist, and I agree to it.

Alien Bado head design drawn by Tohl Narita

While this is not related to Narita, the battle that unfolded between Ultraseven and Alien Bado appears to exhibit enormous influence from professional wrestling matches aired on TV with great popularity in Japan back then (I was not among them as is often the case with me. I became a karate fan in later years instead).

The Alien Bado costume was not sculpted by Ryosaku Takayama but by the sculpting section of Tsuburaya Productions. I think I heard the costume had its zipper at the front not at the back of the costume. While plural individuals of Alien Bado appeared in the show, needless to say, they only had one single costume for filming.

It is interesting to see Alien Bado drawn by Narita wear clothes. While the alien was allegedly played by Haruyoshi Nakamura, another man (described as Yukikatsu Okita) acted it exclusively for trampoline action.

What draws my attention about the head design drawn by Narita is that it has no name of the alien while it is just titled as “Ultraseven, Project Blue, alien” with words “Made by K” added. That makes me speculate Narita could possibly have incorporated an idea someone else close to him came up with into the design although I may be wrong.


2 thoughts on “ALIEN BADO (making)”

  1. I wonder if Narita could be referring to The Twilight Zone (Mystery Zone) or The Outer Limits (Ultra Zone)? Even though these are American sci-fi tv shows and not movies, perhaps he was thinking of American sci-fi in general. There is nothing that looks exactly like Bado, but Twilight Zone and Outer Limits both had various aliens with large-shaped heads that might have been an influence.

    The fight between Seven and Bado is so nasty! I remember when Bado punched Seven in the head with the spiked thing. That was a nasty trick!

    1. Yeah, it sounds plausible. It is apparent they were influenced by Outer Limits along with Twilight Zone to produce Ultra Q (the Japanese version titles of the shows as Ultra Zone and Mystery Zone sound very much nostalgic! You know it very well!).

      Alien Bado seems to be seen as a disgraceful alien in Japan as he died vomiting blood with his head hit on the rock by Ultraseven after using the nasty trick in spite of the boastful attitude he assumed describing himself as the space emperor along with his buttock-like head!

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