WOO (making) #2

Woo costume sculpted by Ex Production that looks great!

Yuzo Higuchi, the director of this episode, agrees with the interviewer in a book article who asked him if this episode was meant to warn people about the excessive resort development which spread into every part of Japan back then.

“Woo” seems to be described as the name which came either from an Okinawan word (the script of this episode was written by Tetsuo Kinjo who was originally from Okinawa) denoting a kind of fabric pronounced in a similar way or from the title of the show “WoO” being planned along with “UNBALANCE” while “UNBALANCE”  finally turned into “Ultra Q.”

Woo with its eye lights off looks so horrifying like a spector

As it is likely they had a lot of snowfall on the location set they hadn’t had for the last 20 to 30 years, chances are it made the filming very hard. Higuchi recalls they had to walk very carefully not to leave any footprints on the snow and that none of the cast and staff were good at skiing so they had to hire ski instructors in the locality to have them perform for the long shot scenes showing the SSSP members skillfully skiing down the slope in a graceful manner instead of the cast members, Kurobe, Ishii (present Dokumamushi) and Nihei.

While having the instructors ski instead of them, it seems that the cast had to wait shivering in cold with their overcoats on as their SSSP uniforms were worn by the instructors while they didn’t bring the spare uniforms to the location.

Woo costume described in a book as the deteriorated one after the appearance in the show

Higuchi says they had a very hard time because, for the medium shot scenes showing the actual cast, the SSSP members were not able to stop on skis where they were supposed to play to be properly caught on film as they easily got out of the picture with the momentum out of skiing from a place a little way off with their skis on.

The ski field that appeared in this episode is likely to have had a resort facility affiliated with TBS, which should indicate how much popular going to resorts including ski fields was among people during Japan’s postwar high economic growth period.

Woo is also well known as a kaiju who appeared in “Ultra Fight” afterwards with its costume always having its long hair cover the face and with a completely different character as a violent fighter somewhat with an eccentricity who easily picks a fight with the other kaijus.

2 thoughts on “WOO (making) #2”

  1. I appreciate reading your descriptions of the comments from director Higuchi! Such fascinating information makes me want to watch this episode again and see if I can detect any bias against commercial developments like the ski resort in the midst of nature.

    Many years after I saw Woo in Ultraman, I saw the Kurosawa film Ran, and I was shocked by Tatsuya Nakadai because the appearance of his character reminded me of Woo, with the wide-open eyes and long white hair!

    1. Thanks, RT! If my descriptions gave you an urge to watch this episode again, that should be what this blog is for, I think!

      Susumu Kurobe who acted Hayata always refers to this episode as his favorite in the show, which makes it more plausible that he has been drawn to Africa in later years he actually visited many times even with her daughter Takami Yoshimoto who played Rena in Ultraman Tiga.

      Ah, yes, I can imagine about Nakadai. It would have been hilariously exciting if Nakadai should have emulated Woo for his acts! 🙂

      Along with the story you always come up with Bullton every time you pass through the town with the same name, whatever you look at can remind the Ultra fans of a lot of things related to the Ultraman shows including me!

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