KOTETSU NO KYOJIN (1957)
aka Supa jaiantsu, Super Giant 1
Article 4696 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Teruo Ishii
Featuring Ken Utsui, Junko Ikeuchi, Minoru Takada
What it is: Japanese superhero
Super Giant takes on a gang of terrorists planning nuclear destruction for Japan.
There were nine short movies made about this superhero in Japan. He is known as Starman in the United States, and the nine episodes were edited into four features there. It looks like I’m going to be eventually covering all nine of the original shorts as well as all four of the features. This is the first of the nine shorts, and though I was able to get a copy of it, it has no English subtitles. That’s not a huge problem, though; the action is relatively straightforward with an emphasis on visuals rather than talk, and I do have my memories of the English versions to help. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that this version is easier to follow than the rather confusing English version; the latter versions were somewhat incoherent due to several relatively unconnected episodes being strung together, where the action in this one is of a piece. I can honestly say I enjoyed this one quite a bit, though the silliness is still there, especially during the outlandish fight sequences. I can only hope someday that someone decides to attach English subtitles to the original shorts and make them readily available here. However, this one does end in a cliffhanger that is resolved in the next episode of the series.