Director Tsugunobu "Tom" Kotani and actress Masumi Sekiya reunite to celebrate The Last Dinosaur (1977)! Photo by Brett Homenick.
On November 19, I attended a dinner featuring several tokusatsu luminaries. The occasion was a reunion for The Last Dinosaur (1977), and it brought director Tsugunobu "Tom" Kotani together with actress Masumi Sekiya. Also in attendance was Toho model maker Takashi Naganuma, who attended as a friend of the director.
Meeting director Tom Kotani.
I was particularly interested in meeting director Tom Kotani. For most Western fans, Kotani-san would be known for directing The Last Dinosaur, The Bermuda Depths (1978), and The Ivory Ape (1980). Prior to directing those international tokusatsu productions for Rankin-Bass and Tsuburaya Productions, helmed several movies for Toho, including It's My Sky! Young Guy (1970) and Wild Cop (1973). In fact, I brought the DVD sleeves of those films for Kotani-san to sign.
Tom Kotani poses with a proud possession from his collection. Photo by Brett Homenick.
Kotani-san was a very kind and showed genuine interest in me. He asked for my contact info, and naturally I gave it to him. Hopefully, I'll be able to reconnect with him in the future.
With actress Masumi Sekiya.
Actress Masumi Sekiya, who portrayed Hazel in The Last Dinosaur, was also among the featured guests. She was every bit as friendly as Kotani-san. While her role in The Last Dinosaur would count as her biggest tokusatsu credit, she also appeared in an episode of the Super Sentai series Sun Vulcan (1981-82).
With Takashi Naganuma.
Last but not least, Takashi Naganuma attended at the request of director Kotani. While there, Naganuma-san invited me to a special event in the near future, which I'm very excited about. When it happens, look for a full report on this blog. Stay tuned!