Sunday, June 10, 2018

AN ULTRA-COOL EVENT! Ultraman Flies with Showa Hero!

Ultra-alumni Susumu Kurobe, Mitsuko Hoshi, and Eizo Yamagiwa share the stage. Photo by Brett Homenick. 

Today, I attended a great Showa Hero event featuring a trio of Ultra-guests. On hand for the event were Susumu Kurobe, Mitsuko Hoshi, and Eizo Yamagiwa. The event began with a Q&A. One anecdote of particular interest is that when the interview asked Kurobe-san which monster he liked, Kurobe-san immediately answered Dada. I found that quite fascinating.

 With Eizo Yamagiwa.

Early in his career, Yamagiwa-san worked as an assistant director with Teruo Ishii and went on to direct numerous episodes of Return of Ultraman (1971-72), Ultraman Ace (1972-73), Ultraman Taro (1973-74), and Ultraman Leo (1974-75) at Tsuburaya Productions. He also helmed episodes of Silver Kamen (1971-72) and the Submersion of Japan TV series (1974-75). I hadn't seen Yamagiwa-san in a while, and I was very happy to see that he's still doing well.

 With Susumu Kurobe.

We all Susumu Kurobe as Shin Hayata in the original Ultraman (1966-67), but I'm more familiar with his Toho work. With credits like Ghidrah the Three-Headed Monster (1964), Son of Godzilla (1967), King Kong Escapes (1967), Destroy All Monsters (1968), and Latitude Zero (1969), it shouldn't be hard to see why. I brought a DVD sleeve of Adventure in Kigan Castle (1966) for him to sign, which features him on the cover. He spent quite a bit of time looking at it and seemed surprised that he was on the cover. It was great to meet Kurobe-san again.

With Mitsuko Hoshi.

Last but certainly not least is Mitsuko Hoshi. She played TAC member Yuko Minami in Ultraman Ace (1972-73), one half of Ace's human alter ego, in episodes 1-28, 38, and 52. She can also be seen in episode 8 of Iron King (1972-73), episode 39 of Ultraman Taro (1973-74), episodes 39-52 of Denjin Zaborger (1974), and episode 44 of Ultraman Mebius (2006-07). She also appears in the movie Great Decisive Battle! The Super 8 Ultra Brothers (2008). Hoshi-san is a rare guest at events, so I was especially enthusiastic to meet her. She certainly did not disappoint and seemed just as enthusiastic as everyone else was to meet her.

Immediately after this event, I quickly made my way to the next one. More on that in the next blog post.

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