Director Akio Jissoji #10


Ultraman Episode 14

Jissoji’s way of arranging performances that could have been seen as eccentric gave him a bad name from the actresses, Hiroko Sakurai as Akiko Fuji in “Ultrman” and Yuriko Hishimi as Anne Yuri in “Ultraseven,” with a lot of close-ups of them featured.

Those scenes included the one where Sakurai had to press her face onto the glass showcase in Ultraman Episode 14 so that she looked so weird, and Hishimi still complains in one of her books that her face covered with pimples was filmed with the close-up shots in Ultraseven Episode 8 while Jissoji was known for his daring way of filming to go so far as to have even pores of actresses caught on film.

There also seem to have often been argument and conflict with the tokusatsu staff and tokusatsu director Koichi Takano as Jissoji often trimmed the tokusatsu scenes filmed by them with no hesitation if he didn’t like them while they worked very hard to film the scenes overnight for days.

Ultraman Episode 34

It is also said that there were some actors who didn’t like acting under Jissoji’s direction as they saw Jissoji as the director who would deal with them like “props” to realize his own ideal images of the whole product. Nevertheless, actors including, if I put out the names related to tokusatsu shows, Minori Terada (1942-present), Shin Kishida (1939-1982) and Kimihiro Reizei (1947-present) have been known as the actors who liked working with Jissoji regularly.

Terada can be found to appear in Ultraman Episode 14 as the assistant driver of a dump truck attacked by Gamakugira. Kishida should be well known among Ultraman fans as the actor who played Ken Sakata (older brother) in Return of Ultraman while he also played a leading role in Kaiki Daisakusen (Operation Mystery) Jissoji also got involved in before Return of Ultraman. Furthermore, Reizei is known as Fukushin who appeared in Ultraseven 45 “The Boy Who Cried Flying Saucer” (Terada also acted the human form of Alien Metron in Ultraman Max Episode 24 directed by Jissoji).

Incidentally, the scenes of Akiko Fuji played by Hiroko Sakurai appearing beautifully wearing pearls in Episode 14 and kimono in Episode 34 of Ultraman, both of which were directed by Jissoji, were intended by him to make up to Sakurai for badly dealing with her by having her filmed with the scenes that made her look so funny while Sakurai recalls those scenes featuring beautiful Fuji with laugh saying, “(It is hilarious to find the scenes were shown) Even with shimmering lights…”

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