Category Archives: Science Special Search Party

The Model Of SSSP Japan Headquarters

From Episode 47 (final episode) of Kaiju Booska

As shown in the series, the SSSP Japan Headquarters that appeared in Ultraman looks so quirky that it remains unforgettable while it is shaped like an inverted pyramid.

Given possible attacks from outside, the underground base of the TDF of Ultraseven looks much more realistic, but the modern-looking SSSP building seemingly equipped with cutting-edge technologies was also attractive enough to amaze us kids back then. (And I do love the sort of idyllic depiction of the SSSP and their behaviors.)

Ultraman Episode 11; although the walls look to be slanted inward instead of outward, this room is described as the one of the seminar house

As a matter of fact, it is known that this building was designed by Tohl Narita allegedly on the model of (or inspired by) a real-life seminar house building associated with a university in a suburban area of Tokyo.

While it is also known you can see the inside of the seminar house building in Ultraman Episode 11 where a press conference over the strange meteorite which fell down from space was held as the stone was capable to substantialize someone’s thought (the exterior is a different building).

The set of the SSSP control room used as a satellite observatory in Booska Episode 8

The exterior of the seminar house briefly showed up in Episode 47 of Kaiju Booska as an institute of a scientist funnily named Dr. Kaminari (thunder), and this inverted pyramid shaped building still seems to exist even now.

As you know, the stage set was regularly applied to the interior of the SSSP Headquarters, it is said that the set walls were sloped just like the exterior set of the building although it is unclear through the screen, and they say the slanted walls often made the cast and crew members feel odd.

The SSSP interior set also shortly appeared in Kaiju Booska Episode 8 as a satellite observatory.

SSSP Headquarters design by Tohl Narita

Unexpected sides of the SSSP members

201511082Actually, you can find Hayata puts down his spoon on the table just before leaving the room.

It’s said that the spoon-holding scene doesn’t exist in the script and that late Director Akio Jissoji came up with the idea of having the hero hold a spoon on the spot.

It’s said these scenes caused controversy among the producers as too much joking.

Right from the start, “A Gift from the Sky” (“Ultraman” Episode 34)  is full of jokes.

 

201511086Throughout the episode, it comically depicts the SSSP members and even Ultraman have trouble with the merely and meaninglessly heavy monster, Skydon, which fell from the sky suddenly.

I remember splitting my sides while watching it as a kid.

It was also fun for a kid to see the members of SSSP have a toast to the accomplishment of their job with beer in the control room.

And many more.

 

201511083Director Jissoji went so far as having even Cap. Muramatsu mistakenly wear his SSSP costume on back to front.

It’s said Akiji Kobayashi, actor for Cap. Muramatsu, was also willing to act the scene happily.

All of these might be too much joking around but the SSSP members’ unexpected sides were very much fun to see.

At any rate, it was an extraordinary plot.

It is the Jissoji way to break a cliche plot without hesitation.


Funny Hayata

201511071Hayata, supposed to be a perfect hero, shows an unexpected side at times.

There is a time when he tried to change into Ultraman thrusting a spoon instead of the β Capsule.

That is one of the scenes in “A Gift from the Sky” (“Ultraman” Episode 34)  directed by Akio Jissoji.

In this episode, it’s shown, quite unusually, the SSSP members are munching on curry and rice, sitting together at unity in the control room.201511072

 

And Hayata, with his mouth full unlike a hero, rushes out of the room alone, leaving behind the other members at the news of the appearance of the monster.

Cap. Muramatsu: (Choking on curry and rice)

Hey, Hayata! Where are you going? I won’t let you go off by yourself!

Ide: Calm down, Cap.!

Arashi: (Just continuing to munch on curry and rice as if nothing happened)

 

The behaviors of the other members are also depicted this comical.

Hayata holds up the spoon on the rooftop, and he throws it away after noticing an error.

All of this is the work of the maverick of Ultra, Director Akio Jissoji.

We all loved the scenes as children because they were really funny.

It was a good lesson to tell us even a hero cannot be free from an error!


Hayata, perfect hero

201511051
Hayata just before transforming into Ultraman (Episode 7)

Hayata of “Ultraman” is portrayed as a perfect hero.

You may take it for granted because he is actually Ultraman.

Incidentally, his full name was set as Shin Hayata in the 1990’s long after the broadcasting was over.

He’s smart, calm, brave and gentle especially to children and has a strong sense of responsibility and justice.

He’s exactly what is expected from a hero.

 

As a matter of fact, Akihide Tsuzawa who played Shonen (boy) Hoshino in “Ultraman” says in a talk for a book he was helped out by Hayata.

In Episode 18 “The Brother from Another World,” Mr. Tsuzawa was in trouble with his screaming scene because of his voice breaking.

And he says Susumu Kurobe, actor for Hayata, encouraged him gently and that enabled Mr. Tsuzawa to act the scene successfully.     

It’s just like Hayata!

 

Hayata is actually the No.2 leader in the SSSP soon after Cap. Muramatsu.

And he takes command when Cap. Muramatsu is absent.

It’s in contrast with Dan of “Ultra Seven” who is the freshman of the UG.

In the setting as well, Hayata is set to be an elite member who graduated from the training school top on the list.

Too good to be amusing?

But Hayata has an unexpected side as well.

I’ll talk about it later!


SSSP headquarter

224528When I was a child, making a base was popular play among children.

Securing a place called “base”, we got together there.

Do you have the equivalent play in your country?

 

In the settings, the base of the SSSP is located in the suburbs of Tokyo.

It’s shaped like a pyramid put upside down.

It was designed by Tohl Narita.

It is said the design was based on a real seminar house belonging to a university.

You can see the inside of the seminar house in the scene of the press conference in Episode #11 of “Ultraman.”

 

The base is the symbol of the best of science people in those days could imagine.

Incidentally, the world of “Ultraman” and “Ultra Seven” is set as near future, not the same time as they were broadcast.

It truly reflects the faith in the progress of technology people in those days had.

In the middle of economic high growth, anyone of the Japanese believed it would bring us happiness.

Especially, “Ultraman” was produced in such days.

 

The base is supposed to be something most sophisticated in those days.

But Akihide Tsuzawa who acted Hoshino said in a book interview they kept a fire in the set as the studio was so battered it was so hot in summer and freezing cold in winter.

The door of the control room supposedly automatic were moved manually.

Hand-made in good old days.


Mecha of SSSP

172540
Jet VTOL

The SSSP has a variety of mechanical weapons to attack monsters.

When they attack from the sky or in the sky, the Jet VTOL is used.

As it’s pronounced as “Beetle” in the drama, I had thought it was from a beetle, insect.

But later I learnt it was “VTOL.”

 

171243
Mini VTOL (Triangle VTOL)

It flies in the air normally but it’s become possible for it to fly in the space with sub rockets attached later.

 

The model of the VTOL itself was made based on the same wooden prototype for the VTOL which appeared in a Toho SFX movie “Yosei Gorasu.”

It was made by knocking tin.

Tohl Narita in charge of the design works for “Ultraman” was reportedly dissatisfied with the diversion.

171459
Supergun

The Mini VTOL, also called Triangle VTOL, was designed by Mr. Narita.

Hayata in the Mini VTOL collided with Ultraman in Episode #1 of “Ultraman.”

 

From the ground, the SSSP members attack monsters with such weapons as Supergun and Spidershot.

In addition, they also have a submarine, underground tank and so on.

 

Talking about mecha, honestly speaking, the one of “Ultra Seven” may be more attractive.

But the mechanical weapons of the SSSP should have been another attraction for the boys fond of mecha besides Ultraman and monsters. (I was more interested in monsters and Ultraman.)

Above all, a defense team like the SSSP battling with monsters with such latest scientific weapons was not out there before “Ultraman.”

It should be really epoch-making.


Kagaku Tokusotai (Science Special Search Party)

With the exception of “Ultra Q”, a so-called “defense team” to battle with Kaijyu appears in the Ultra Series.

Their mecha and human drama is also attractive along with the Ultra heroes and Kaijyu.

In the world of “Ultraman”, it is Kagaku Tokusotai.

Although its official English name is Science Special Search Party, it literally means Science   Special Investigation Team or something like that.

In the setting, it belongs to International Science Police Organization which has the headquarter in Paris.

Its official name is Kagaku Tokubetsu Sosatai and is also abbreviated as Kagaku Tokusotai or Katokutai.

Also in the setting, Dr. Ichinotani who appears in “Ultra Q” has established the Japan branch.

(This is not mentioned at all in the drama of “Ultraman.”)

The five members of Japan branch consists of Captain Muramatsu (called Cap) , Hayata, Arashi, Ide and Akiko Fuji.

Hoshino is a boy allowed to get in and out of Katokutai.

But he is officially admitted to Katokutai later.

Hoshino is meant to be a representative of all the children watching “Ultraman” on TV.

How much he was the envy of boys all over Japan is imaginable.

In “Ultra Q”, the same three civilians encounter with mysterious incidents or Kaijyu every time.

It was pointed out that the situation is unnatural even from the production side.

The organization which is not unnatural to encounter with mysterious incidents or Kaijyu.

That was Katokutai.