Now it’s well known that Eiichi Kikuchi performed Ultraseven in Episode 14 & 15 featuring King Joe instead of Koji Uenishi who regularly played Ultraseven through the original series.
Kikuchi is known as the original actor for Returned Ultraman in The Return of Ultraman (1971-1972).
Episode 14 & 15 of Ultraseven were two-part episodes including a distant shooting location to Kobe which, aired on Jan. 7 and 14, 1968, were also meant to be the New Year’s special shows.
It’s likely Kikuchi was called due to Uenishi’s schedule circumstances regarding this.
Although I was not careful enough to notice it as a child, Kikuchi Seven looks very much different from Uenishi Seven though I like both of them.
As Kikuchi was taller (180 centimeters) and thinner than well-built Uenishi (seemingly around 170 centimeters), a new costume was made for Kikuchi.
With no instructions about Seven’s fighting stance on the set, Kikuchi had to take a stance of his own with no choice.
Uenishi Seven basically took his stance with closed hands.
But Kikuchi Seven assumed his stance with open hands or with one hand closed and the other opened following the karate style he practiced in those days.
In a recent book interview, Kikuchi admits it was surprising to hear a fan say he noticed the difference when he watched it as an elementary-school-age boy at the time.
Kikuchi also says the shooting was tough because the water came in through the eye holes and that the gloves colored his hands red and it was hard to wash it off.
The gloves certainly look old not matching the new suit.
It’s interesting to find how different a character looks according to an actor inside.