Sunday, April 24, 2016

SUPER FESTIVAL 71! Monsters Invade Tokyo!

Ultra-heroes, unite! Suit actor Bin Furuya shakes hands with Ultra Seven just before flying off to save the world again. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Sunday, April 24, saw another great Super Festival take place at the Science Museum in Chiyoda, Tokyo. In fact, I'm sure it was the coolest monster event happening anywhere in the world. I just don't see how any other show could have competed!

There were, as usual, many interesting model displays on hand, but unlike Wonder Festival, the event isn't overwhelmed by them. There is plenty of variety for attendees, and (best of all) you won't get lost in an endless sea of model kits and cosplayers.

Even though I only spent a few hours at the event, I ran into so many familiar faces in quick succession that I was able to squeeze a whole weekend's worth of activity into that short amount of time. For example, within five minutes of entering the building, I bumped into former child actor Sojiro Uchino.

Yours truly poses with former child actor Sojiro Unchino, a veteran of Ultra Q and Ultraman.

I've known Soji-san for about two years, and it's always fun to see him. He's a regular fixture at Super Festival, and Soji-san gave me the latest information on Gotochi Kaiju. Big things are in store, so stay tuned for what Soji-san unleashes!

After catching up with Soji-san, I looked around the event floor and snapped photos of some of the more interesting displays. There were lots of cool things to see, and some items tempted my wallet. Being on a strict budget this time, I had to resist the siren song, but there were some close calls!

I have to admit, the above photo amused me. It's sort of a cross between Matango and the Moon in the famous short film A Trip to the Moon (1902). Now why anyone would want to pair those two things up is anyone's guess!

Posing with Return of Ultraman suit actor Eiichi Kikuchi, who also played Ultra Seven in two episodes of the series!

Among the other attendees was suit actor Eiichi Kikuchi, best known for playing Ultraman Jack in Return of Ultraman (1971-72). Kikuchi-san also played Ultra Seven in episodes 14 and 15 of Ultra Seven (1967-68). Several fans recognized him, so obligatory photos and autographs soon followed.

Holding a mini poster for Minoru Kawasaki's next opus, Daikaiju Mono!

In case you thought Godzilla Resurgence was the only kaiju movie coming out in July, think again! Minoru Kawasaki is back with Daikaiju Mono, and the director was promoting the film at Super Festival.

Ultra-reunion! Alumni from the original Ultraman series, Sojiro Uchino (left) and Bin Furuya (right), share a laugh at Super Festival. Photo by Brett Homenick.

After that, I made by way toward Bin Furuya's table. His wife and son were among the staff assisting him, and I enjoyed having the chance to talk with them. Soon, Furuya-san came out and was his usual awesome self.

Furuya-san invited me to join his group for coffee afterward, so I hung around until the end of the event. While waiting, I chatted with several of my friends whom I've come to know at events like these. I can't think of many cooler fans than they are!

Ultramen! Two Ultra-suit actors join forces to defeat evil in all its forms! Photo by Brett Homenick.

When everything wrapped, we made our way to a coffee shop and hung out for a while. Actually, I wasn't able to stay that long, given my next appointment, but I enjoyed the opportunity to spend some extra time with Furuya-san, who always goes above and beyond. He's a superhero, after all!

Bin Furuya is all smiles after Super Festival comes to a successful end. Photo by Brett Homenick.

And that's a wrap! Stay tuned for more photos from this incredible event!

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