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File:Prince of space2.jpg
For the Japanese anime series "Yūsei Shōnen Papī", also known as Prince Planet, see Prince Planet.

Template:Nihongo is a 1958 tokusatsu superhero television series. Created by veteran writer Masaru Igami and produced by Nippon Gendai and Senkosha, the series aired on NTV from November 4, 1958 to October 6 1959, with a total of 49 episodes (divided into several segments). It was created to capitalize on the success of the Super Giant serials. In fact, the title hero (whose alter-ego was Waku-san, played by Toshio Mimura) bore a strong resemblance to Super Giant.

Toei produced two movies that featured the character, but in a completely different, more streamlined costume (and goggled helmet). The hero was this time played by Tatsuo Umemiya. The films were titled:

  • Planet Prince (遊星王子) (Yūsei Ōji) Released: May 19, 1959
  • Planet Prince - The Terrifying Spaceship ( 遊星王子 - 恐怖の宇宙船) (Yūsei Ōji - Kyōfu no Uchūsen) Released: May 25, 1959

For release in America, these two movies were compiled into a TV movie titled Prince of Space.

Television and movie differences Edit

As mentioned before, the TV version looks very similar to Super Giant, in that both wear cowled costumes and capes. Each character also has super powers and flies. The movie version (produced by Toei) is different, as Prince of Space wears a streamlined costume, cape and helmet. He has no superpowers other than the invulnerability of his costume. He uses weapons (a wand-like laser gun) and flies a small spaceship.

In the TV version, just like Moonlight Mask, the Planet Prince persona was credited as being played by "?" (even though he never wore a mask).

In the film, Prince's enemy is Ambassador Dictator Phantom (まぼろし大使) (who also appeared in one of the series' story arcs), from the planet Krankor who (like his henchmen) wears a prosthetic nose and cowl that gives him a decidedly chicken-like appearance, something that is constantly mocked in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version. Phantom and his henchmen also appear to eschew undergarments, as is made painfully obvious in several shots.

Phantom claims that Planet Krankor is "half a million Earth miles" from Earth. This seems highly unlikely, given that the Moon is less than 240,000 miles from Earth, which would make Krankor quite visible from Earth. Phantom races back and forth between Earth and Krankor in his spaceships (one of which resembles the Nautilus, the other resembling a metallic roast chicken). He kidnaps scientists, blows up a rocket and continually threatens Earth and Prince, despite the fact that his weapons, even at close range, have no effect whatsoever on Prince (which he continually reminds them) - although he still dodges them. Phantom also keeps a grotesque giant humanoid creature as a guard for his palace on Krankor who is about as successful at stopping Prince as Phantom is himself.

Trivia Edit

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  • This was Japan's second superhero show, the first being Moonlight Mask, produced the same year by the same company, Nippon Gendai & Senkosha. As is the case with Moonlight Mask, Toei produced the corresponding feature movies (although their first original involvement in the TV superhero genre was 7-Color Mask (1959), which was also the debut of Sonny Chiba).
  • Prince of Space was featured in an episode of movie-mocking television series Mystery Science Theater 3000. Throughout their "riffing," Mike and the Bots referred to Phantom as "Krankor," confusing the name of the leader and the name of the planet. Later, in the similar Invasion of the Neptune Men episode, he was referred to at first as "the Phantom Dictator Of Krankor," and then again as "Krankor."

External linksEdit

ja:遊星王子

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