I have learnt that Noriyoshi Ikeya passed away late last month (Oct. 25) at the age of 76 from cancer while I find it a great shame.
Ikeya is known as an art designer who designed the Ultraseven aliens and monsters taking over from Tohl Narita after Narita quit the Tsuburaya Productions in the midst of the Ultraseven production.
Ikeya designed impressive characters for the Ultra Series such as Alien Guts and Twintail which gained much popularity.
Ikeya joined the Ultra Series production crew from Ultraman at the invitation of Narita while both of them graduated from Musashino Art University.
After his participation in Kaiki Daisakusen (Operation Mystery; 1968-1969), tokusatsu series aired after Ultraseven ended, Ikeya founded Kodai, film art company, with Akio Jissoji, director, and had been deeply involved in the sphere of film art.
Alongside of film art, he was also involved in character design for TV tokusatsu series such as Silver Kamen and Iron King.
It was a shame to find Ikeya got out of the production of The Return of Ultraman after designing several kaijus only for its primary episodes to devote himself to film art.
I think the aliens designed by Ikeya and featured in the primary episodes of Silver Kamen looked so surreal and attractive with a flavor different from Narita’s design.
I believe he did a great job in designing all these alien and kaiju characters we enjoyed watching as kids along with Tohl Narita.
I would like to say a big thank you to Ikeya.
May his soul rest in peace.