M1

m1_1

Episode Episode 10: The Underground Super Express Goes West
Alias Artificial Life
Height 2 meters
Weight 180 kilograms
Homeplace Tokyo
Features The first life form to have been artificially created
Designer Tohl Narita
Sculptor Ryosaku Takayama
Actor Haruyoshi Nakamura
Voice Masao Nakasone (words uttered at the end; Nakasone is the voice actor who provided his voice for Ultraman’s shout)

M1 is the life form artificially created for the first time in human history by Dr. Aikawa.

After its unstable cells were sealed in a high pressure cylinder to prevent cell division, it was initially to be transported by air to a research institute in Osaka by the Hoshikawa Aviation for which Manjome and Ippei work.

But it was mistakenly loaded in the Underground Super Express Inazuma (lightening) about to go on a public trial run.

The Inazuma is (fictionally) a high speed train that connects Tokyo to Kitakyushu in 3 hours at 450 kilometers (279.6 miles) per hour.

inazuma
Inazuma

The cylinder ended up being stored in the storage locker of the train made of special alloy just after a newspaper reporter took pictures of it.

And the cells reacted to the flash and shaped into a human-sized life form like an ape man as the strong light promoted cell division.

Although it is not an aggressive kaiju but a docile, charming one with humorous behavior, fiddling with the control device in the Inazuma’s cockpit, M1 made the Super Express Train run out of control.

itachi
Itachi

In the end, the first car of the train disconnected from the passenger cars smashed into the car stop with M1 and Itachi (meaning weasel; played by Tetsuo Yamamura), mischievous shoe shine boy who sneaked into the train out of curiosity, on board and exploded enormously.

The impact hurled M1 and the storage locker with Itachi inside into space, and the two started turning around Earth in a comical way.

While it’s hard for me to understand what the ending stands for, the words uttered by M1 at the very end of the episode came from the call sign Chaika (seagull) of Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to have flown into space in Vostok 6 in 1963.

The name M1 is said to represent ‘man-made one.’

m1_2
M1 in the train cockpit with Itachi in the back

4 thoughts on “M1”

  1. I’m happy to find M1 is still quite popular among people.
    As you may know, the primary design drawn by Tohl Narita looks more weird (maybe not by today’s standards after H.R. Giger) resembling Edd Cartier’s monsters.

    Although M1 should have been intended to be a funny monster, I think the atmosphere of Ultra Q has made him look creepy enough in one way or another!

    1. I see. I looked up Cartier and almost immediately found an alien that looks very similar to Narita’s concept. I was wondering, was Narita influenced by Taro Okamoto, too? When I look at the latter’s artwork, I feel like there must be some connection between the two. Or is it just that both were Surrealist, sort of?

      1. I think it’s a good subject I didn’t come up with! Let me talk about it in my post in the days ahead. Molte grazie!

  2. M1 is definitely among the best monsters from Ultra Q in terms of design to me. He looks so weird and kind of scary in a creepy way. I hoped his latest appearence in Ultraman X (good episode, by the way) would make Bandai produce a figure of him at last. No luck!

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