Tag Archives: Koichi Takano

Ultraman 50th Anniversary Special 3

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Toshihiro Iijima

As a long-time fan of the Ultra Series, especially the first trilogy in my case, I was happy about the interviews aired in the show with Satoshi (Bin) Furuya, the original Ultraman actor, and Toshihiro Iijima, one of the key directors of the series.

Including the episodes directed by him featuring Kemur in Ultra Q or Alien Baltan in Ultraman, Iijima, now 83, is known for his immeasurable achievements as the director who founded the basis for the epoch-making series.

At any rate, it’s said that no one had specific ideas of how the hero should be portrayed before Iijima joined the production of Ultraman.

 

Furuya says he was completely at a loss with people just telling him to play the ‘alien’ because he didn’t know how to do it naturally without detailed accounts.

Iijima also admits he thought he might have taken on something outrageous.

So even the pose of shooting Spacium Beam known as Ultraman’s finishing blow was left undecided till the day when it was to be filmed (Episode 2 ‘Blast The Invaders’ that is the first episode in production order).

Through all the talks among Iijima, Furuya and Koichi Takano, SFX director, they settled on it on the set on the day.

 

Although these are the stories well known among fans, it should be a fun thing for people watching the show.

As to the show, there are voices among ardent fans describing it as superficial lacking profoundness or respect for the series with just all the fuss.

Given the show was meant to be for the public, however, I think it’s unavoidable in a way or another although their words are agreeable.

By the way, the replica mask of Ultraman beside Furuya is probably the one gifted to him by Akira Sasaki I posted about before.

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Satoshi Furuya

Koichi Takano and his ramen noodle

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Mr. Shigeo Kurakata working on the gimmick of Nelonga with a ramen noodle box seen behind

Satoshi (Bin) Furuya admires Koichi Takano in his memoir dedicating a chapter titled “Gentle SFX director” to the memory with Mr. Takano.

Mr. Furuya says he was always by the side of the SFX director on the set and that they talked a lot about the matters from work to private life.

With Mr. Furuya as Ultraman on the SFX shooting set possibly associated with danger and inside the suit which is said to give an actor within an almost unbearably strong sense of isolation, their mutual trust must have been a big thing imaginably.

 

Mr. Furuya says Mr. Takano was so much concerned about the crew in one way or another.

He says, while the crew were changing the set, Mr. Takano willingly cooked instant ramen noodle in a large pot to feed them.

Those in their 20s and 30s who worked on the set all night for many days to meet the deadline for the weekly broadcasting of the product must have been happy about the ramen noodle.

 

I remember I read somewhere the ramen noodle was so delicious with sausages and cooking oil in there.

The shooting crew of the time seem to have been just like a family living under one roof.

Such episodes show the atmosphere of the hand-made shooting set and the good old days of Japan.

I love to hear about such stories!

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Ramen noodle