Category Archives: Ultra Q

“Kanegon’s Cocoon” With Aliens Included


Aliens talking to each other in spacecraft (top right); Kaneo looks much more handsome (leftmost in the circle at the bottom)

The “Ultra Q Pictorial” I purchased the other day also has a read of “Kanegon’s Cocoon” adapted for kid readers of the magazine of the time that covered the story.

Surprisingly enough, the story includes the appearance of aliens and it is found that the aliens made Kaneo Kaneda transform into Kanegon.

The aliens came to dwell on Earth and were talking with each other in their spacecraft staying at the height of 10,000 meters above Earth.

Researcher Alien: “Captain, there seem to be too many people on this planet who would do anything for money.  Unless we do something about it soon, it may give us a hard time when we start to live there. […] I hear a boy named Kaneo Kaneda is terribly greedy about money among them.”

Kanegon begged one of his friends to help him out just like the episode story of the show (top left)

Captain Alien: “OK, we will make that boy into Kanegon as a warning. That will make everyone a good person.”

In this story, Kaneo who had found the cocoon was dragged into it by one of the aliens.

Agent Alien: “hhh…I’m supposed to put the Kanegon costume on him and put him under hypnosis!” (what? Is it a costume???)

The rest of the story is almost the same as the real “Kanegon’s Cocoon” episode although Kanegon tried to feed himself at the mint bureau instead of the bank and he returned to Kaneo while sleeping after he had eaten enough money.

Caption: “Aliens happy with the outcome of the Project Kanegon.”

Although the ending of the story is the same as the show in which Kaneo found his parents had turned into Kanegons, Captain Alien who watched all this laughs in their spacecraft, “Hahaha, the Project Kanegon has turned out to be a great success. If we carry out this project one after another, that will make this planet a good place to live as people reflect on their own behaviors.”

It is hard to tell whether these aliens are good guys or bad guys…

What surprised me was that this magazine story was written by Aritsune Toyota/Toyoda who is known as a famous Japanese sci-fi writer who also got involved in such anime shows as “Tetsuwan (Astroboy) Atom” and the planning of “Space Battleship Yamato” in later years.

I think it is another fun thing to see a writer create his own story to expand or stretch an episode of the series. It makes me feel a sense of history that a 1000 yen coin released in commemoration of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and a Kennedy coin are referred to in this read while they were also eaten by Kanegon.

Hero Cicada-Human & M1 vs. Gorgos #2


“Leave it to me.” M1 who speaks human words in this story took the initiative to rescue Cidada-Human out of his stranded spacecraft by lifting it with his strong power, and the alien thanked them saying (by telepathy), “I am Alien Jigri. I landed on Earth because my spacecraft had broken down while I had been on a space trip. You guys saved my life. Thank you.”

It is found that Cicada-Human is set to be Alien Jigri instead of Alien Tilsonia somehow while it gives me an impression that it was named as such haphazardly exclusively for this story as such things could often have happened back then. An idyllic time…

When M1 managed to rescue Cicada-Human, a giant rock popped out of the lake and it was revealed to be a rock monster (in this story, Gorgos is just described as Rock Monster as shown in the opening credits of the show).

Although the rock monster had been blown up with dynamite tossed under the body by M1, the shattered pieces got together and returned to its original shape. At last, Cicada-Human stood up to Rock Monster saying to people, “Just step aside. Let me deal with it!”

(M1 can be found on top of Gorgos)

Cicada-Human turned into his giant version as he is set to be able to extend and shrink his body (the description found in the story is likely to tell us the concept of “kyodaika” (turning into a giant version) was not so common yet.

When Cicada-Human and M1 were about to subdue Rock Monster, Mt. Fuji started erupting with a ground rumbling and lava pouring from the crater, but the two heroes wouldn’t let go of Rock Monster. Finally, the  lava flowing down swallowed up the three. Cicada-Human and M1 made Rock Monster enclosed in molten rock at the expense of their own lives…

This story has a note describing it as a story based on the Ultra Q episode “S.O.S. Mount Fuji” with new monsters added to it. As the story from “Garamon Strikes Back” is found to come next, this Rock Monster story should have been featured before Cicada-Human appeared in the show. That makes me imagine children who read this story could have been surprised at the alien who appeared as a villain, but I feel like such a confusion often took place in those days. An idyllic time…

Hero Cicada-Human & M1 vs. Gorgos #1


“Ultra Q Pictorial”

I recently purchased a book titled “Ultra Q Pictorial” (published this year in 2017) featuring magazine articles on Ultra Q of the time after the previously released “Ultraseven Pictorial” (2014) and “Ultraman Pictorial” (2015).

This pictorial of Ultra Q is not so picturesque as the others because it was not customarily practiced back then to deal with such a TV show in publication featuring a large number of photos even though Ultra Q was the unprecedented full-fledged tokusatsu TV show supervised by Eiji Tsuburaya famous for Toho Godzilla movies.

Therefore, in addition to illustrated black and white articles about Ultra Q kaijus, this pictorial predominantly features illustrated reads from Ultra Q episodes while the stories tend to be adjusted more or less even with different settings applied to them rather than faithful to the original stories of the show.

The back cover

Among them, I found a fun story featuring Cicada-Human, M1 and Gorgos. While it is a story in which a battle unfolds among them, of all things, Cicada-Human is found to be dealt with as a righteous hero (with a scarf wrapped around his neck) who fights with M1 against Gorgos while the alien was depicted as a formidable enemy plotting to invade Earth using Garamons in the real show!

In the story, Cicada-Human’s spacecraft crashed into the ground by accident. People including Jun Manjome and his fellows along with M1 rushed to the scene. M1 is described in this particular story as an artificial life form brought into being for observation of volcanic activities of Mt. Fuji to check places inaccessible to humans.

Illustration featuring Cicada-Human fighting against Gorgos in cooperation with M1 found tearing Gorgos’s leg apart

Ultra Q Kaijus Appearing On Manga Magazine Covers


“Bokura”

As I wrote in my yesterday’s post, Peguila and the other “Ultra Q” Kaijus such as Garamon, Pagos, Gorgos, Peter and M1 appeared on the covers of the magazine issues for boys in color back then.

While I don’t remember I actually saw them as a kid because I was too young, “Ultra Q” should have got a lot of coverage in the magazine “Bokura” and “Bokura Magazine” that used to be published from Kodansha as the publisher still releases the famous manga magazine “Weekly Shonen Magazine.”

“Bokura”

The word bokura is used by a male speaker to refer to himself and the rest of people (male or female), and, given the magazine was intended for boys, it might be translated as “We Boys” or something.  In addition, the word shonen signifies a boy/boys.

“Bokura” was a monthly magazine that started being published in 1954 and “Weekly Bokura Magazine” took over in 1969 as the “younger brother magazine” of the “Weekly Shonen Magazine” launched in 1959 even though the Bokura Magazine ceased publication allegedly in the form of being absorbed or combined into the “Weekly Shonen Magazine” in 1971.

“Weekly Shonen Magazine”

Although it is said a larger portion of such a manga magazine was taken up by reading materials instead of manga than today, it is true that these manga magazines turned out many famous manga artists and products as they laid down the basis for the current rise of world-wide manga popularity.

“Kamen Rider” authored by Shotaro Ishinomori (Ishimori back then) was originally one of the manga products that appeared in the “Bokura Magazine” serialized in parallel with the TV tokusatsu show aired around the same time.

“Weekly Shonen Magazine”

Ultra Q And Oba Q


20161010
Oba Q

At any rate, anime and tokusatsu gained much popularity and won every child’s attention back then naturally.

As a matter of fact, Ultra Q was aired at 7 p.m. on Sundays back to back with an anime show broadcast at 7:30 p.m., and the anime also had ‘Q’ in its title.

That was ‘Obake No Q Taro,’ often abbreviated as Oba Q, about a friendly obake named Q Taro who lives with humans while obake is the Japanese word for ghost although it may sound a bit childish.

 

Oba Q was originally created as a manga drawn by Fujio Fujiko, who were (they were two of manga artists) to be known as the authors of Doraemon in later years, with the settings and plot development quite similar to Doraemon.

It’s known that the title Ultra Q came from Ultra C, the term which became popular after being used by an NHK announcer to informally describe the fascinating feats performed by the Japanese gymnastic team in the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games while their techniques were ranked by the degree of difficulty with the ‘C’ designated to be most difficult.

 

Therefore, Ultra C means the technique beyond the supposedly most difficult C ranked technique while the term itself should sound frumpy now, and Q in Ultra Q was from Q in ‘question.’

It was a measure the people on the TBS production side came up with to bring out the combination of two Qs with even more impact so that they could draw more attention from viewers.

They guessed right and the slot from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays is said to have been feared as ‘terrifying QQ hour’ by people of the other broadcasting stations with an enormous viewership around 30%.