Tag Archives: Akio Jissoji

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!


Allegory of today

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Metron’s space ship coming out from inside the shabby apartment house

It is also fun to see the space ship of Alien Metron with Dan trapped within appears from inside the apartment house.

It looks odd in the miniature set of a factory town which should have sustained Japan’s high economic growth of the time.

Especially Akio Jissoji should like to put something odd in daily sight, which I think worked out.

 

Other than the products directed by Mr. Jissoji, you can see such episodes frequently in the Ultra Series.

In Episode 45 of “Ultra Seven,” written and directed by Akio Jissoji, Alien Perolynga also resides in an ordinary Japanese house of the time disguised as a little boy.

The early Ultra Series were being produced on the premise of export to abroad.

So it is said scenes unique to Japan such as an shabby apartment house or tatami mats were perceived to be taboo among the producers at the time.

 

In short, they were supposed to avoid having something in associated with a certain nation and time to make the product pass worldwide. (Having said that, it is Japan in every respect.)

But Mr. Jissoji broke the rule again in Episode 45 like nothing.

Episode 45 is quite allegorical and one of my favorites.

Ultra may be called an allegory of today.

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Alien Perolynga (Episode 45)

Alien residing in a Japanese apartment house

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Metron and Dan (Episode 8)
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Suspicious neighbor (Episode 10)

Among aliens of “Ultra Seven,” there are those who may reside in your neighborhood.

Episode 10 “The Suspicious Neighbor” is about one of them.

Pretending to be a human, the neighbor is Alien Icarus plotting invasion from a world of four dimensions.

It may reflect the dilution of human relationships among neighbors due to rapid urbanization of the time in Tokyo, which is being accelerated today.

 

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Alien Icarus

Alien Metron in Episode 8 “The Targeted Town,” directed by Akio Jissoji, is found to reside in a shabby Japanese apartment house.

I’m not sure Metron may love plain living by nature, but it is unexpected an alien plotting invasion of  Earth lives in a shabby apartment house.

The fans talk about the surreal scene a lot in which Metron invites Dan trailing him to his room in a friendly way and they talk to each other.

 

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Shabby Japanese apartment house Metron resides in

It is funny to see them sit cross-legged with a Japanese low dining table (called chabudai)  in between on the straw mat (called tatami).

In spite of his friendly manner, Metron is so sly as to invade Earth without force by having humans lose each other’s trust.

I loved the chabudai-talk scene so much as a child.

Though shabby, such an apartment house was commonly seen at the time in Tokyo.


Thought-provoking monsters

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Jamyra (Episode 23 of “Ultraman”)

The Ultra Series is not always about a world of right and wrong as I said before.

It’s not always just a swashbuckler either.

Though It shows exciting action adventure by all means as long as it features monsters, it contains thought-provoking episodes as well.

Such a variety is one of the major attractions of Ultra.

 

Come to think of it, monsters may be always the existence which present antithesis to civilized society with Godzilla as a probable representative.

Social science fiction does exist and that may be what allegories are for by nature.

Especially the early Ultra Series has lots of such episodes.

The episodes featuring Jamyra (also seen in the 1969 movie “Midnight Cowboy”) in “Ultraman” and Star Bem Gyeron in “Ultra Seven” should be the representatives.

Both of the episodes are so heavy.

 

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Star Bem Gyeron (Episode 26 of “Ultra Seven”)

Jamyra used to be a human who mutated into a monster on a planet he drifted to as an astronaut.

When he returns to Earth with revenge, a ruthless order is conveyed to the SSSP members to terminate him as a monster despite his sacrifice and contribution to space exploitation.

The episode of Jamyra was produced by Mamoru Sasaki and Akio Jissoji like always.

Star Bem Gyeron flies to Earth from supposedly lifeless Planet Gyeron destroyed by Super Weapon R-1 the TDF launched as a test.

Ultra monsters tell us quite a few things, I suppose.

Anyway, who are real monsters?


“Seven” without monsters

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Commander Robot in his room (Episode 43)

It is known the producers had a hard time with the deteriorating viewer rates and the rising production cost for the latter half of the series of “Ultra Seven.”

As a last-ditch measure, some episodes were produced without suits.

While one of them is Episode 37 “The Stolen Ultra Eye” featuring Maya as previously posted, there is another one ahead which is Episode 33 titled “The Dead Invaders.”

This one is a story about the spirit of dead people (Shadow Man) used for invasion by the unidentified alien which doesn’t appear at all.

 

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He plots colonization of Earth

Episode 43 “Nightmare on Planet 4” directed by Akio Jissoji also features only humans.

To be more correct, they are set as robots just like humans.

Commander Robot and Officer Robot are played by undisguised actors without suits.

It is about Planet 4 where humans are dominated by humanoid robots though identical to Earth in appearance.

 

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Ultra Seven smashes the Earth invasion force of Planet 4

I hear Mr. Jissoji, who co-wrote the script, produced this episode inspired by a Jean-Luc Godard’s movie “Alphaville.” (I haven’t seen it.)

He wanted to realize a science fiction drama with as few SFX props as possible, which he says in his book didn’t do well.

The room where Commander Robot stays is very much surreal.

It is said Mr. Jissoji came up with the idea of the room inspired by Ames Room.


Funny monsters

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Gavadon just asleep (Episode 15)

Even only through the early Ultra Series, a variety of monsters appear.

As posted yesterday, there are those which are not necessarily bad.

Following the post of yesterday, I’d like to talk about Gavadon, Skydon and Seabose all appearing in “Ultraman.”

All of these are unique monsters produced by the combination of Mamoru Sasaki (screenwriter) and Akio Jissoji (director) .

Akio Jissoji is the director called “the maverick of Ultra.”

 

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Skydon just hopelessly heavy (Episode 34)

He produced a number of unique episodes with Mamoru Sasaki in perfect harmony.

In the drama, Gavadon is the monster born of children’s graffiti.

The children loves Gavadon.

It’s funny to see Gavadon asleep much of the time.

While Ultraman battles with Gavadon, the children yell at Ultraman to go home.

It is ironical to see the hero for children treated like the enemy of them.

Such an upside-down idea is just like Mr. Jissoji and Mr. Sasaki.

 

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Seabose just homesick (Episode 35)

Skydon is just hopelessly heavy and does nothing in particular almost asleep.

The episode comically, or ironically, depicts the SSSP members running around in confusion over how to handle the monster just heavy.

Seabose mistakenly came from the monster cemetery in the space.

It has no intention to do harm and  just wishes to go back to the space.

The SSSP and Ultraman have much trouble with Seabose which keeps roaring sadly looking up at the sky wishing to go back home.