ULTRAMAN FESTIVAL 2013
Author: Daisuke Ishizuka
Official Site: ulfes.com/2013 (Japan)
The annual event ULTRAMAN FESTIVAL has started at Ikebukuro, Tokyo. The year of 2013 is the 50th anniversary of Tsuburaya Productions so a special event was planned for the festival. On August 2nd, Mr. Susumu Kurobe, who played Hayata, and Ms. Hiroko Sakurai, who played Akiko Fuji in the ULTRAMAN (ウルトラマン Urutoraman, 1966-67) television series, were invited to ULTRAMAN FESTIVAL and held a Premium Gallery Talk. About 50 fans attended the event.
As the first program, we watched one ULTRAMAN episode what was chosen by Mr. Kurobe and Ms. Sakurai. Their choice was episode #8- THE LAWLESS ZONE OF MONSTERS 怪獣無法地帯, Kaiju Muhouchitai). Both of them like the friendly monster Pigmon.
Next, we walked the festival hall with Mr. Kurobe and Ms. Sakurai and they reminisced as they looked at displays of the monsters of ULTRAMAN. When they saw the monster Hydra from episode #20- TERROR ON ROUTE 87 (恐怖のルート87, Kyofu no Ruto Hachijunana), they both talked about an accident while filming at the Izu Saboten Koen (Izu Cactus Park)… Mr. Kurobe sat on some cacti during the shoot. He was injured by the cactus thorns so filming had to be stopped. Both Mr. Kurobe and Ms. Sakurai vividly remembered this.
While we were walking the hall, Red King attacked Mr. Kurobe and Ms. Sakurai. Mr. Kurobe punched Red King to the body and the monster suddenly became gentle. Then, the event turned into a photo session of Mr. Kurobe and Ms. Sakurai with Red King.
Afterwards, Ultraman joined us and took photos with the attendees. The photos was printed at that time and given to us.
At the end of the event, Mr. Kurobe and Ms. Sakurai signed their autographs on the program book of ULTRAMAN FESTIVAL 2013 and gave them to us. I shook hands with Ms. Sakurai when I received the program book, and I told her that “I promise to come here again to see you next year.” The event was great.