I was chatting with my esteemed colleague Igadevil one night not terribly long ago, and we found ourselves discussing the sentai series BATTLE FEVER J. Iga in particular was fascinated by Maki Ueda's portrayal of the villainess Sarome. Ueda is quite a unique presence, and not as easily defined as your average actress in such shows. Iga found that hard to understand, but this was mainly due to a gap in his knowledge base. For you see, Mr. Devil is wise in many things, but Japanese "puroresu" is not one of them. This can actually be problematic when you realize that certain aspects of tokusatsu make no sense whatsoever without their connection to the world of pro wrestling.
Maki Ueda was one half of an incredibly popular female tag team called "Beauty Pair". I'm fairly certain she was brought into BATTLE FEVER J because of her name value. Earlier in 1979, she was "forced" into retirement from the mat business after losing a special stipulation match to her former partner Jackie Sato. In reality, she gave it up due to back troubles, but you have to make it sound good for the fans. So she was well-established in the minds of the public as a tough woman, and the character of Sarome was just an extension of that image.
I found a couple of interesting pages on the Beauty Pair here and here. They both include the theory that the manga (and later, anime) DIRTY PAIR was partially inspired by the Beauty Pair. How do you like that?
3 weeks ago