Category Archives: Episode Guide

About The Duel Between Ultraseven And Fake Ultraseven


“ダン対セブンの決闘/The Duel: Dan vs. Seven”

About the fight between Ultraseven and Fake Ultraseven, I have just received a reply with an interesting analysis from my reader (it has his wonderful illustration and some precious material of the time worth looking at) I often get kind comments from for my articles.

He points out there was no hand-to-hand fight between them. It is true that they didn’t wrestle at close quarters.

The fight with Agira also just ended with the Capsule Kaiju unilaterally beaten by Fake Ultraseven while Agira was pushed off the cliff finally.

In the fight with real Ultraseven, they exchanged beam techniques as they were found to be just pulling a string meant to be a ray depending on the scene while the depiction of Ultraseven nearly falling off the cliff was not so much suspenseful as it should have been meant to be because it is unlikely falling into the sea could cause serious damage to the superhero even with flying ability.

I persist in saying this is not from “Ultra Fight”!

What can be assumed about all of these is that Fake Ultraseven was not able to move smoothly because (of):

  1. The poor condition of the reused costume with the additional inflexible parts (it is especially imaginable the knee parts should have terribly caused trouble for the actor to move).
  2. The actor was possibly not used to action.
  3. The reused costume didn’t fit the actor enough to let him perform action easily.

In the shows Ultraman and Ultraseven, there were cases in which authentic fights between the superheroes and kaijus were dropped for similar reasons so the fights could be found to have ended too simply.

Alien Baltan, for instance, hardly fought hand to hand with Ultraman in spite of his popularity, with Ultraman Episode 2 as a good example in which their fight was depicted as the one in the air because Alien Baltan’s costume was completely unsuitable for hand-to-hand fight with the big claws and its unstable head that easily came off.

Ultraman and Alien Baltan: a well-known still photo taken at a photo session, there is no scene like this in the show while I really like the series of still photos that convey the atmosphere of the time!

Although Baltan reappeared in Ultraman Episode 16 with the different costume, the fight is assumed to have been made simple for the same reason (Episode 33 is out of the question as he was just standing).

It is also said that the actors who played the two Baltans were not accustomed to action while it was not common yet to have actors specializing in action perform kaiju characters at the time when specialized action choreographers had yet to exist as there were no other ways than actions were decided mainly by the tokusatsu director Koichi Takano and the suit actors on the set, feeling their way.

The Ultraseven vs. Alien Metron is also said to have turned out to be a simple fight for reasons similar to Alien Baltan.

As I wrote regarding the tie-ins in Ultraseven (Episode 44 and 46), something that can look a bit unnatural has some particular reason for it while that might make the shows more enjoyable in a way! 🙂


How Was The Ultraseven Assassination Scheme Plotted? #7


Annon: the images shown in this page are the characters in Ultraseven from the episodes written by Keisuke Fujikawa

Fujikawa says that coming up with the idea of using the Dymode mineral to bring Ultraseven back to life greatly relieved him as he regretted that he had made such an offer to get the hero into an unprecedented pinch.

At any rate, he says he was so fired up and ambitious even aggressively while he was driven to the wall with so many jobs he had to do at the time.

He recalls, although he thought he had achieved his dream of writing an episode as an authentic kaiju show, he was really disappointed when Director Iijima said to him “Hey, this kaiju has been decided to be (based on) a bird!”

Alien Borg

It seems that a bird kaiju didn’t sound any strong at all so that it made him sigh thinking “Gosh! Why a bird? I’d not be able to deal with an authentic kaiju again…”

Nevertheless, he says it was very much satisfactory when he actually saw the design of Aline Guts.

Fujikawa approves of Iijima’s ideas to add comical scenes performed by Furuhashi admiring that reflected Iijima’s stylishness and wit. Fujikawa remembers he often went to see entertaining movies with Iijima including “Cape Fear” that played in 1962 in Japan, referring to “entertainmenting” as one of Iijima’s great features.

Alien Platic

Regarding Bullton in Ultraman, he says he came up with the idea when he saw concrete tetrapods by chance, admiring Iijima again saying he developed the ideas in the script into an actual show featuring many attractive scenes (according to Tohl Narita who designed Bullton, the shape was based on a sea anemone).

Fujikawa is also known as a person who named Ultraseven’s “space boomerang” on top of his head as Eye Slugger.

The word “Eye” is a trace of the show having been titled “Ultra Eye” in its preparatory stage. It is assumed the name has remained as it was because it has a nice ring while it should be called “Seven Slugger” once the show title had been changed.

Alien Guts

When told by the interviewer that it was really shocking to see Windom burned to death as if a warning to humans from Alien Guts and Ultraseven crucified, the two biggest taboos expected to be avoided in the early Ultra Series, Fujikawa jokingly said “Oh, my gosh, that was not good!” and stated he should have been so ambitious to do something others hadn’t done at the time.

Fujikawa says he, along with Iijiama, has persisted in producing a show which can be enjoyed by both children and their parents since he was involved in Ultraman as he was told to do so.

As to “The Seven Assassination Plan,” he says, as he saw what the episode(s) turned out to be, it made him confident and believe it would go down in history in the Ultra Series.


How Was The Ultraseven Assassination Scheme Plotted? #6


Furuhashi’s comical words and behaviors were added by Director Iijima in “The Seven Assassination Plan”

Although Keisuke Fujikawa was jokingly complaining about Tetuso Kinjo’s demand for a pair of plots at a time on the premise that one of them would be rejected, it is also said it was Kinjo’s consideration to allow younger scriptwriters to be paid extra even for rejected plots while they were living hand to mouth at the time because they were not thought of as experienced and skilled writers yet by people in the industry.

If this is true, I really feel it is an anecdote which warms my heart. I can’t resist feeling the warmth of the time when the early Ultra Series were being worked out with a lot of passion, enthusiasm, and ambition especially of younger people involved in tokusatsu admiring Eiji Tsuburaya, which I believe should highlight the atmosphere of Tsuburaya Productions of the time like a family.

When asked by the interviewer whether it is possible that Fujikawa was expected to deal with something unusual while Tetsuo Kinjo and Shozo Uehara were working on scripts typical of a kaiju show as its mainstream, he answered he doesn’t know what they had in mind.

The transparent cross that trapped Ultraseven should have been traced back to “Alien Slagga” (an anagram of “glass”) before the alien’s name finally became Alien Guts along with their transparent spacecraft

He says, at any rate, he wanted to write an authentic kaiju episode, as Director Iijima and he had aimed to produce exciting, refreshing episodes of high quality as entertainment since they worked together in Ultraman.

Therefore, Fujikawa says he hoped to bring Ultraseven slightly closer to such a show while the show Ultraseven had mainly featured episodes based on serious themes. it can be said that the intentions among Producer Miwa, Director Iijima and Scriptwriter Fujikawa perfectly fit together to produce “The Seven Assassination Plan.”

Fujikawa says, however, he was so much in trouble about how to get the hero who once got into a desperate situation out of it.

Then, Director Iijima helped him out by suggesting to use the idea they employed in Ultraman episodes such as “Secret of the Miloganda” and “Passport to Infinity” in which a substance discovered abroad played an important role.

Fujikawa states that was how he came up with the use of the ore (the Dymode mineral) originated from Africa to produce energy so that they could bring Ultraseven back to life.


How Was The Ultraseven Assassination Scheme Plotted? #5


Green Monse: The images shown on this page are from the Ultraman episodes based on the scripts written by Fujikawa (the other one is Bullton as posted in my previous article)

Along with the article on his own, the interview with Keisuke Fujikawa is very much intriguing because he revealed some behind-the-scenes stories about the episodes including “The Seven Assassination Plan” that had hardly been known so far.

Fujikawa says it was him who offered Director Iijima a suggestion to make the episode one in which the hero gets into a truly desperate situation as it had never been featured previously in the series.

Iijima’s agreement fired Fujikawa up into an ambition to depict an utterly desperate situation the hero would get into.

Dodongo

While Fujikawa wrote scripts for five episodes of “Ultraman” and “Ultraseven” respectively, he says he was demanded to hand in two different plots at a time by Tetsuo Kinjo, the main scriptwriter and one of the planners for the original Ultra Series who was in charge of the planning and writing division of Tsuburaya Productions back then.

Fujikawa jokingly complains that, although he presented an authentic kaiju episode as one out of the two every time, the ones intended to be authentic had always been rejected so that only the ones dealing with unusual kaijus like Bullton had received the green light.

He says he wanted to prove himself by writing scripts dealing with authentic kaijus and that he organized those plots thoroughly.

Gubila

When the plots with unusual kiajus he wrote rather lightheartedly, assuming they would be rejected anyway, were chosen instead, he always ended up agonizing over how to develop the plot into a full-fledged script.

Therefore, Fujikawa says he worked on “The Seven Assassination Plan” eagerly in the hope of achieving his ambition to deal with an episode featuring an authentic kaiju at last.

Fujikawa recalls he was told by Masahiro Yamada, another Ultra Series scriptwriter, who often dropped by at Fujikawa’s apartment at the time, not to obey their demands for two plots at a time by handing in only one plot saying “THIS IS MY BEST!” so that they would have had no choice but to employ it.

Fujikawa laughs saying “that might be what I’d have done.”

Zumbolar

How Was The Ultraseven Assassination Scheme Plotted? #4


“The Ultraseven Research Book/Ultraseven Kenkyu Dokuhon ウルトラセブン研究読本” has both an article written by Keisuke Fujikawa in which he revealed a behind-the-scenes story of the time about the “Ultraseven Assassination Plan” and an attractive interview with him.

In the article, Fujikawa, while referring to the story as what he had never talked about, explains how hard it was to write the scripts for these Ultraseven episodes under the circumstances where he was extremely busy doing a lot of things including script writing and even writing lyrics for a TV drama and a movie.

In those situations, he says he met people concerned no matter how busy he was. He states he was determined to meet people as if he had not been busy at all in order to make it look like an occasion presented only for that person so that he could show respect to them.

 

He seems to have tried to be defiant against a trend of the time in which many writers pretended to be busy and behaved pretentiously as if they had been popular writers.

While this anecdote makes me believe his attitude to show respect should have been one of the reasons why he had been blessed so much with opportunities to get to know many people and to work with them including Director Iijima, Tohl Narita and so on.

Fujikawa writes he had to work extremely hard under tremendous stress in fear of missing a deadline for each job although he didn’t show even a sign of it and that the “Seven Assassination Plan” was written in these circumstances.

In the article, he recalls Ultraseven put on the cross might have been an incarnation mirroring himself as a man driven to the wall.

Fujikawa says he learned how important it is to get through writing intently at any rate while the experience has made him aware that the process could allow something unexpected to ooze out of it in a positive way.