ULTRAMAN TARO Reunion at Super Festival 62
Koichi Kawakita Attends Ultraman Panel and Releases New Mechani-Kong Figure
Author: Daisuke Ishizuka
Source: Koichi Kawakita
Official Site: Super Festival
The toy and collector’s show Super Festival 62 was held on April 28th in Tokyo. The Festival included a promotional event for the remastered ULTRAMAN TARO Complete DVD Box (ウルトラマンタロウ COMPLETE DVD-BOX), which will be released in Japan on June 21st. Special guests Ms. Peggy Hayama, Mr. Ryoichi Fukuzawa and Mr. Koichi Kawakita took part in a panel and autograph session.
Ms. Peggy Hayama is very famous singer in Japan, but is better known by tokusatsu (special effects) fans as the Mother of Ultra. She provided the voice also played the character’s human form in the ULTRAMAN TARO television series from 1973. Though she appeared in only a few episodes of ULTRAMAN TARO, Ms. Hayama said that she was proud to play the Mother of Ultra.
Mr. Ryoichi Fukuzawa is a singer and voice actor who performed the ULTRAMAN TARO theme song. He sang the TARO theme live at Super Festival.
Former Toho tokusatsu director Mr. Koichi Kawakita discussed how he came to direct two episodes of ULTRAMAN TARO. The series was made during the 10th anniversary of Tsuburaya Productions, and the company had two other FX series — MAGMA MAN (ファイヤーマン, Faiyaaman) and JAMBORG ACE (ジャンボーグA, Janbooōgu Eesu) — in production at the same time. Therefore, the filming schedules were very tight and the staff was spread thin. Tsuburaya Pro turned to Toho for assistance, and Koichi Kawakita was assigned to direct the special effects for ULTRAMAN TARO episodes 6 and 7.
The scheduling problem was solved, Mr. Kawakita had to wait for the ULTRAMAN TARO suits and props to be delivered before he could begin filming… Tsuburaya Pro had only made one each of the Ultraman Taro suit and ZAT (the show’s anti-monster security force) mecha.
The Ultraman series were generally shot at smaller studios and production facilities so these two ULTRAMAN TARO episodes were an exception. Mr. Kawakita said that he was very happy to film ULTRAMAN TARO at Toho’s large studios.
During the ULTRAMAN TARO session, the guests were joined by an actual Ultraman. Surprisingly, it was Father of Ultra instead of Ultraman Taro… but maybe Father of Ultra just wanted to see his wife’s human form again. The pair made a really good couple onstage.
After the panel, the three special guests autographed special signing boards for fans.
Besides taking part in the ULTRAMAN TARO panel, Mr. Kawakita also had another special for Super Festival 62… his company Dream Planet Japan, Inc. has produced a limited edition figure for of Mechani-Kong from the Toho movie KING KONG ESCAPES (キングコングの逆襲, Kingu Kongu no Gyakushuu, 1967). Sculpted by Hiroshi Murakami from DAIMOS studio, Mechani-Kong is cast in resin, stands 35cm tall x 25cm wide, and comes with a bandolier of bombs. Each serial-numbered piece is signed by Koichi Kawakita. Additional details can be found on the Dream Planet Japan website.