The other day, I visited a certain place of Tokyo as I had something to do there and found a toy store on the street. Toy stores in town are becoming a real rarity these days in Japan as many mom-and-pop toy stores have been replaced by major electric appliances chain stores that sell toys as well and also probably with fewer children due to the decreasing birthrate here in Japan.
Although I didn’t have time to take a close look at the items the store had, at a first glance, a figure of Ultraman Gaia came into my sight.
Ultraman Gaia was, as you surely know, one of the series usually called “Heisei (the current era of Japan starting in 1989) Trilogy” consisting of “Ultraman Tiga,” “Ultraman Dyna” and “Ultraman Gaia.”
While I have to admit I have not been so much drawn to the Heisei Trilogy as the original Trilogy comprising “Ultra Q,” “Ultraman” and “Ultraseven” aired in the Showa Period (1926-1989), I am fully aware that each of the Heisei series is enjoyable enough.
Especially, Ultraman Gaia is an unforgettable show among the Heisei Trilogy for me because I enjoyed watching it with my sons when they were cute little children.
Although they have already outgrown TV shows featuring superheroes, the memory of fun time I spent with my sons watching Gaia with a lot of excitement shared with them still remains etched vividly in my mind.
At any rate, the Heisei Trilogy is the series I hope to enjoy someday when I have time in the near future.
Expressing his pleasure about the longstanding popularity of “Ultraman Ace” with a lot of fans, Takamine says he was very much impressed to find out an increasing number of younger fans abroad while they have come to like the show over the last decade.
He adds that (the attraction of) period dramas and tokusatsu shows remain unchanged no matter how many years have passed although modern dramas get outdated in 10 years.
Takamine says he wanted to say the last words Ultraman Ace uttered while he dimly remembers his request to do so was refused by the director (the quote should have been spoken by Goro Naya who voiced Ultraman Ace). Takamine jokingly admits he can’t resist feeling jealous of Koji Moritsugu because “Ultraseven” has won the highest reputation among the series.
Takeshi Tsuruno also says he still likes the quote uttered by Asuka in the show “although it may be reckless/unreasonable, it’s not impossible (muchakamo shirenaikedo murijanai)” and that he speaks the line to himself even now every time he faces difficulties in his daily life.
He says Asuka who was a hot-blooded and clumsy guy reflected his own character just as it is. And he states he still keeps the transformation item Reflasher by enshrining it in the household shinto altar (kamidana) in his home.
As the youngest actor who was given the protagonist role for the latest show “Ultraman Jeed,” Tatsuomi Hamada modestly says records are made to be broken and that he hopes his play will encourage younger viewers to follow him to become the youngest hero flaring up a competitive spirit (yeah, even an elementary school kid may not be impossible although it may be unreasonable).
He seems to be from the generation who were excited with Ultraman Nexus, Max and Mebius aired on TV when he was a child. I may have to retire now…
When looking at Telesdon who appeared in the show “Ultra Fight,” the costume just barely seems to keep its original shape of Teleston who appeared in “Ultraman” in one way or another while lacking its sharpness that used to be a great feature of the underground kaiju.
Meanwhile, the Detton cosume that appeared in “Return of Ultraman” has been described as the deteriorated costume of Telesdon used in “Ultraman,” and these two kaijus have often been referred to as siblings in publications.
It is likely that, although Telesdon was to reappear in the “Return of Ultraman” episode (Episode 3), the costume was eventually used as another kaiju because it was found badly deteriorated.
If it is true, the Telesdon costume that appeared in “Ultra Fight” should explicitly illustrates the transitional state of the suit in between “Ultraman” and “Return of Ultraman.”
On the other hand, there is an explanation in which it is pointed out that Telesdon and Detton differ in number of the segmented parts of their tails or Detton had only four fingers on each of his hands (Telesdon had five fingers) while suggesting possibility that they might have been different costumes or assuming the Detton costume could have been from another Telesdon suit sculpted for stage shows.
In my impression and speculation, however , I feel like the differences mentioned above just tell us how much badly the original Telesdon suit was decayed and it should have been repeatedly repaired before it was used as Detton (the original Telesdon costume should often have been used for stage shows in those days).
At any rate, I think the idea of making a deteriorated costume appear as a different monster is just unbelievable while it sounds funny.
Alien Baltan was already acknowledged as the rival villain of Ultraman while enjoying great popularity among us kinds in those days, and he also appeared in the show “Ultra Fight” on the frequent basis although he is described just as “Baltan” in the show.
The costume of Baltan is said to have been the one made for stage shows even though it ended up, as it is often the case with stage show monsters, looking so much different from the original Alien Baltan with the surface parts simply attached to the body suit (it looks like fabric but the body shown in the other photo on this page looks like a wetsuit).
Amazingly enough, Baltan who appeared in “Ultra Fight” Episode 195 had human-like hands instead of nippers while holding a wooden stick along with the other monsters to fight against Ultraseven, which I believe will tell you what a crazy show it was.
He dishonored himself exposing even the actor’s chin when he was found lying on the ground after being defeated by Ultraseven.
There is speculation that the costume of Alien Baltan Jr. who appeared in “Return of Ultraman” was sculpted by casting its head out of the mold copied from the “Ultra Fight” Baltan.
Whether true or not, they look quite similar for sure while the Baltan Jr. costume was modeled by Kaimai Production that sculpted most of the monster suits used in the second Ultra Series starting with “Return of Ultraman.”
I have to admit, however, along with “Ultra Fight” Baltan, I found Alien Baltan Jr. pretty disappointing when I saw him when I was a kid as he ended up falling far behind the original Alien Baltan (and Alien Baltan II) in reality.
The aliens who appeared in “Ultra Fight” seem to be customarily called just by their names somehow such as “Baltan”or “Goddora” without the title “Alien,” and Keronia is described as Keroniya; Keylla as Keyllar while I think these two names were just misused.
The costume of Woo who often appeared in the show was getting dirty with dust as the episodes went on while his face was found hidden by hair almost all the time so that it made him look just like an unknown hairy monster.
What we talked about a lot as kids because we found it funny was Eleking with his horns always hanging down and dangling seemingly without any rigid core in them (the horns didn’t rotate of course and the mouth appears to have been expressed just by painting the part) as it looked pretty bad and Icarus painted green.
The green color is alleged to have come from soft vinyl figures of Icarus that were available back then while they were painted green somehow.
Both Eleking and Icarus were the costumes made for stage shows or advertisement as such kaiju costumes were also used for marketing events at shopping streets (I hear there were occasions when local businesses rented kaiju costumes as they got someone among them ready to wear the costumes).