Thursday, March 10, 2011

ROJ Episode 13 Notes - Finally

AT LAST! I have been working on the Notes for Episode 13 of Return of Jetman off and on since August 2009. Now, they are online, and I can finally figure out the next bit of content for that site.

You can see the full version of these Notes (and they are pretty in-depth for such a thing) by clicking the above link. Here's a preview:

  • The "international scientific team" is composed of scientists who are named for foreign actors who appeared in classic Japanese science-fictions productions of the 1950s, '60s, and '70s. There was, for example, a REAL "Franz Gruber"! "Conway" is named for Harold S. Conway, "Hughes" for Andrew Hughes, "Dr. Ito" for Jerry Ito, and "Dr. Yusuf" for Osman Yusuf. Look those names up if you're curious about their many and varied roles, as listing them is beyond the scope of these notes.

  • "Nein" is the German word for "no".

  • Three months have passed since the end of Episode 12, and a lot has happened in the interim. This is the second such "jump" in the ROJ narrative (the first occurred between Ep. 7 & 8), and it was crucial in getting the darn thing completed in a timely fashion.

  • One of the consequences of the jump is that Etsuko and Kei have become fast friends after the events of Episode 12. Making a direct line from "hating each other" to "best friends" made no sense to me, so the gap allows their friendship to develop off-camera. By this point, they are comfortable enough with one another to be playfully teasing.

  • Another consequence of the jump was that the Reiko and Gohan relationship that was blossoming at the end of Ep. 12 became much more established while we've been away. I've always disliked fiction that rushes relationships unrealistically, so I wanted to give these two time to solidify their romance.

  • "MOROBOSHI DAN NO..." is a snippet of the lyrics to the theme song from ULTRASEVEN.

  • Ken's webpage was last discussed in Episode 8. It didn't go over very well with Etsuko.

  • Gohan's Tiger Burai excerpts return and reach a conclusion. As before, there was an attempt to tie the Burai story into the happenings in the main plot.

  • The crack about Godzilla in relation to Mt. Mihara is quite appropriate, as I utilized that particular volcano specifically because of its key role in THE RETURN OF GODZILLA/GODZILLA 1985. However, what I forgot at the time is that Mihara is located on the island of Oshima. As you may recall, "Oshima" is also the name I attached to Michiru, thereby giving certain events in this story a subtext I hadn't really intended (but will happily embrace).

  • African vulcanologist Dr. Roland is named for Chico Roland (Rolando?), yet another foreign performer in Japanese movies. The nation of "Wester Island" is a callback to his role in the 1970 film GAMERA VS. MONSTER X (GAMERA VS. JIGER). Meanwhile, the ambassador Dorsey is my tribute to Willie Dorsey, one more foreign actor in Japan. This character mirrors the real Dorsey's role in 1974's PROPHECIES OF NOSTRADAMUS (THE LAST DAYS OF PLANET EARTH). And finally, the Roland/Dorsey scene drew inspiration from Roland's part in Shochiku's GENOCIDE (WAR OF THE INSECTS).

  • The Japan Astro Development Center is a very specific reference to THE X FROM OUTER SPACE, as the notation of the JADC/FAFC complex should clarify. I don't spell out that FAFC is the Fuji Astro-Flying Center seen in that film, but the implication is pretty blatant.

  • Amazingly, this episode was Dr. Masaru Komyoji's first speaking role since Episode 1! He gets us up to speed on Jet Phoenix's condition, and maybe lets Green Wyvern off the hook a little. I admit that I did some backpedaling here to lessen her culpability as far as Phoenix's condition.

  • "Jiro, Ichiro, Mari - they're all androids and yet they're more 'human' than most people." - In the discussion of Jet Phoenix's identity, and whether he was a "person" or not, it seemed fitting to name check the three best-known androids from the KIKAIDA franchise. In order, they are the alter egos of Kikaida, Kikaida 01, and Bijinda.
You can read more - MUCH more - at!

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