Tag Archives: Captain Ultra

Transition Of The Series

20160501
Ultraman (July, 1966 – April, 1967)

Ultraman’s defeat seems to have come as a bolt from the blue even for the SSSP cast members.

It is likely they learnt the end of the series for the first time when they looked at the name of Zetton associated with the last character of the alphabet and Fuji’s line ‘Goodbye!’ in the script.

It seems the possibility to extend the series with the high viewing rates of all time to four seasons was studied, but it was abandoned because of the tight shooting schedule eventually.

201601201
Captain Ultra (April,, 1967 – September, 1967)

I wish I could have seen one more season of Ultraman.

Thus Ultraman came to an end with 39 episodes, and, after half a year interval during which Toei’s Captain Ultra was aired, Ultraseven got started.

It may be noteworthy that Episode 38 and 39 of Ultraman seem to show the transition of the series.

Episode 38 was about a battle with monsters on another planet, which was a full-scale space action story in the series of Ultraman.

201605012
Ultraseven (October, 1967 – September, 1968)

This style of space action is said to have been plotted during the early stage of preparation for the following Ultraseven while it was prepared under the provisional title Ultra Garrison.

Incidentally Ultra Garrison was supposed to be a product featuring the Ultra Garrison with no superhero like Ultraman.

Episode 39 got the style of an invading alien and a monster controlled by him established, which you can see in Ultraseven. (The scene with the VTOLs chasing the alien’s spacecraft in valleys is so similar to that of Episode 1 of Ultraseven.)

These episodes could be deemed to herald the coming of Ultraseven after Toei’s space action drama Captain Ultra.


Takeda Hour

20160209
Gekko Kamen

Kuuso Tokusatsu Series (Fantasy SFX Series or Early Ultra Series, which stand for “Ultra Q,” “Ultraman” and “Ultra Seven”) were broadcast as one of the programs of “Takeda Hour.”

Takeda Hour was a prime-time TV program slot from 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. every Sunday from 1958 through 1974 broadcast by TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System) and sponsored by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited..

 

The hour started with a characteristic chorus featuring the company name and the bird-eye views of the company building.

At any rate, it was a long-awaited hour for us kids at the time.

With the beginning of the Takeda song, we rushed to a television set and breathlessly waited for what’s coming next.

It was the avan title of Ultra Series!!!

 

I vividly remember the excitement I had every time even now.

Kids throughout Japan should have been glued to the tube during this hour.

Looking into the Internet, I found the list of the Takeda Hour programs broadcast at the time (Shown in bold and red are SFX series).

If you find any errors, please let me know!

Title Duration Producer Episodes
1 Gekko Kamen Feb. 24, 1958-Jul. 5, 1959 Senkosha 130
2 Jaguar’s Eyes Jul. 12, 1959-Mar. 27, 1960  38
3 Nakiwarai Sakuranbo Gekidan Apr. 3, 1960-Jul. 31, 1960  ?
4 Yuyake Tenshi Aug. 7, 1960-Sept. 30, 1962 ?
5 Onmitsu Kenshi Oct. 7, 1962-Mar. 28, 1965  128
6 Shin Onmitsu Kenshi Apr. 4, 1965-Dec. 26, 1965  39
7 Ultra Q Jan. 2, 1966-Jul. 3, 1966  Tsuburaya Productions  28
 8 Ultraman Jul. 17, 1966-Apr. 9, 1967  39
 9 Captain Ultra Apr. 16, 1967-Sept. 24, 1967  Toei Company  24
 10 Ultra Seven Oct. 1, 1967-Sept. 8, 1968  Tsuburaya Productions 49
 11 Kaiki Daisakusen Sept. 15, 1968-Mar. 9, 1969  26
 12 Yojutsu Bugeicho Mar. 16, 1969-Jun. 8, 1969  Toei Company  13
13 Judo Icchokusen Jun. 15, 1969-Apr. 4, 1971  92
14 Guts Jun Apr. 11, 1971-Nov. 21, 1971  Senkosha  33
 15 Silver Kamen Nov. 28, 1971-May 21, 1972  26
16 Kimero! Finish May 28, 1972-Oct. 1, 1972  Toho Company  18
 17 Iron King Oct. 8, 1972-Apr. 8, 1973  Senkosha  26
 18 Henshin! Ponpokodama Apr. 15, 1973-Jul. 29, 1973  Kokusai Hoei  15
 19 Go! Go! Idol Aug. 5, 1973-Sept. 30, 1973  ?  9
 20 Onmitsu Kenshi Oct. 7, 1973-Dec. 30, 1973  Senkosha 12
 21 Onmitsu Kenshi Tsuppashire! Jan. 6, 1974-Mar. 31, 1974  14

Memory of Galvan

201601241
Galvan

Spiegel of “Captain Ultra” is said to be something innovative which introduced the idea of joining and separating to a mecha of an SFX series.

The idea was taken over to Ultra Hawk 1, and it might have brought about the inspiration of King Joe, that is the super enemy robot appearing in Episode 14 and 15 “Westward, Ultra Garrison” of “Ultra Seven,” which also separates into three and rejoins.

Hawk 1 designed by Tohl Narita looks marvelous, of course.

But Spiegel also looks nice with a different taste from Hawk 1 though I don’t know who designed it.

 

201601243
King Joe designed by Tohl Narita

Turning our eyes to the monsters as well, “Captain Ultra” had unique ones of those with a different attractiveness from the Ultra monsters designed by Tohl Narita.

Browsing through them on the Internet, in addition to Alien Bandel and Metalinome posted before, I remember Galvan very well, too.

If my memory serves me right, it was set to be a robot monster made of iron scraps put together.

 

The idea and the appearance matching it are so much fun!

I also remember very well that I had a soft vinyl toy of Galvan which was my favorite.

I’m not sure, but I feel like a friend gave it to me when I was an elementary school student.

I remember he had lots of such soft vinyl toys of monsters.

The below is a photo of the toy I found on Web.

I think the one I had was painted in red.

Looks so cute!!!

201601242
Toy of Valgan

Memory of Captain Ultra

201601201
Joe (far left), Captain Ultra (center) and Hack (far right)

Toei’s “Captain Ultra” was not rerun so much as Tsuburaya’s “Ultra Q,” “Ultraman” and “Ultra Seven,” I guess.

So I remember little of its content.

It didn’t feature a superhero like Ultraman or Ultra Seven.

It’s a product broadcast from April 16 through September 14, 1964 with 24 episodes in total.

According to the Internet, the story is:

 

“In the late 21st century, the earth has faced the age of ‘Space Exploitation’ with the development of space exploration plans.

But unknown dangers are constantly waiting for the human beings who have made their way into space.

And then the space police patrolling party has been established belonging to the space station ‘Silver Star.’

Once they receive rescue signals by a special shooter, Captain Takehiko Hongo nicknamed ‘Captain Ultra’ keeps fighting against Alien Bandel and various monsters along with Joe, Alien Kikero, and Hack, versatile robot, driving the spaceship Spiegel.”

 

Wow! Sounds like fun!!!

I remember Hack very well. He’s a good guy.

As to Joe, not much.

It’s likely that Joe was dropped halfway through because the spiny head looked very much scary to viewing children and gained a bad reputation among them.

Nenji Kobayashi who played Joe developed into a popular actor in later years up to now.

It’s interesting to learn that the head which looks funny now was so much scaring to the children of the time.

201601204
Hack (left) and Joe

Captain Ultra

201601181
Captain Ultra & his buddies fighting against Metalinome

The early Ultra Series, in fact, are not only the First Trilogy, “Ultra Q,” “Ultraman” and “Ultra Seven.”

“Ultraman” started to be broadcast just after the end of “Ultra Q,” but there was a product titled “Captain Ultra” (1967) between “Ultraman” and “Ultra Seven.”

“Captain Ultra” was not a product produced by Tsuburaya Productions.

It was created by Toei Company, which is one of the movie companies founded after Toho Company known for Godzilla.

In fact, “Ultraman” ended up with 39 episodes in spite of its high viewer ratings which marked the highest rating of over 40%.

 

201601182
Alien Bandel

Because the belated shooting failed to keep up with the broadcasting.

The TBS which broadcast “Ultraman” at the time decided to start “Captain Ultra” after “Ultraman.”

Tsuburaya Productions was given half a year to prepare for their next Ultra which was “Ultra Seven.”

As long as “Captain Ultra” was produced by another company, it’s not counted in the Tsuburaya’s Ultra Series currently.

 

201601183
Satoshi Furuya (left; Ultraman) & Hirohisa Nakata (Captain Ultra) , handshake for the handover

“Captain Ultra” was subtitled “Uchu Tokusatsu Series (Space SFX Series),” not “Kuuso Tokusatsu Series (Fantsy SFX Series)” which covered the First Trilogy.
“Captain Ultra,” was named after “Captain Future,” an American science fiction novel series.

It was a product like a space opera.

It had a unique taste different from Tsuburaya’s products.

It was fun to watch it as a child.

I remember Metalinome and Alien Bandel well.

Don’t they look good?