Australia provided an (admittedly unacknowledged) touch to Monster Prince (怪獣王子), one of Japan’s most popular TV shows in the late 1960s. Monster Prince told the story of Takeru Ibuki, a boy left stranded on a tropical island while a baby when his family is caught in a volcanic eruption and subsequently raised by dinosaurs living there. Together with his brontosaurus friend, Nessie, Takeru defends the island, and by extension the Earth, from invading aliens.
And that’s where the Australian touch comes in…Takeru’s weapon of choice is a boomerang!
The show ran for two series and was made by Nihon Tokusatsu Kabukikaisha. The role of Takeru was shared by twins, Yoshinori and Mitsunori Nomura, both of who were prominent child actors at the time, but for who this would be their final role before they both left showbiz. Monster Prince was plagued by troubles throughout its duration, though its merchandise did brisk sales.
Confectionary giant, Lotte, the program’s sponsor, wanted to pull the plug after the first series, but agreed to extend its backing when the show was sold to the United States.
In-fighting also plagued the program, which was shot in Kyoto but by a crew from Tokyo, and rivalries between those from the ancient and modern capitals were apparently fierce. Nihon Tokusatsu Kabukikaisha wound up following the end of this series, which came as the tokusatsu boom that had encompassed Japan through much of the 1960s slowly declined from its zenith.
Check out KAIJU OUJI: MONSTER PRINCE, which has an awesome write-up on Monster Prince, a program also known outside of Japan by the romanization of its Japanese title,Kaiju Ouji.
See a subtitled version of the first-ever episode of Monster Prince (featuring plenty of boomerang throwing and an awesome scream to kick-off the opening titles!)
Sittin’ at home last Sunday mornin’ me mate Boomer rang (boomerang). Said he was havin’ a few people around for a barbie, Said he might cook a burra (kookaburra) or two.
I said, “Sounds great, will Walla be (wallaby) there?”
He said “Yeah and Veggie might (Vegemite) come too”.
So I said to the wife “Do you wanna Go Anna (goanna)?”. She said “I’ll go if Din goes (dingoes).”
So I said “What’ll (wattle) we do about Nulla?”
He said “Nulla bores (Nullarbor) me to tears, leave him at home.”
We got to the party about two and walked straight out the kitchen to put some booze in the fridge. And you wouldn’t believe it, there’s Boomer’s wife Warra sittin there tryin to plait a puss (platypus)!
Now, I don’t like to speak ill o’ Warra, (Illawarra), but I was shocked. I mean, how much can a koala bear?
So I grabbed a beer, flashed me wanga at ‘er (Wangarratta) and went out and joined the party.
Pretty soon Ayers rocks in and things really started jumpin.’
This Indian girl, Marsu, turns up, dying to go to the toilet but she couldn’t find it.
I said to me mate Al, “Hey, where can Marsu pee, Al? (marsupial)”
He said “She can go out back (Outback) with the fellas, she’s probably seen a cock or two. (cockatoo)”
Well, just then Warra comes out of the kitchen with a few drinks for everybody.
Fair dinkum, you’ve never seen a cooler barmaid (coolabah).
I grabbed a beer and said, “Thanks Warra, tah. (warratah)”
A couple of queens land (Queensland) at the party, one smellin’ pretty strongly of aftershave. One of ’em sat down next to me and I turned to him and I said, “Ya know mate, you reek a’ Stockade (Eureka Stockade).”
It was a really hot day; Osko felt like a swim. He said to Ina, “Do you want a have a dip in the river, Ina? (Riverina)” She said “I haven’t got my cozzie, Osko (Kosciusko).”
Well, Bo says, “Come in starkers, what’ll they care? (wattle, Lake Eyre)”
Ina says, “What, without so much as a thread, Bo? (Thredbo). Ah, perish the thought (Perisher)! Has Youcum been in (Eucumbene) in yet?”
A few of the blokes decided to play some cricket. Boomer says “Why doesn’t Wom bat? (wombat). Yeah, and let Tenter field (Tenterfield).”
He said I should have a bowl but I was too out of it to play cricket so I suggested a game of cards. I said to Lyptus, “Wanna game of euchre, Lyptus (eucalyptus)?”
He said, “There’s no point mate, Dar wins (Darwin) every time.”
Well Bill said he’d like a smoke. Nobody knew where the dope was stashed. I said “I think Maree knows (merinos).”
But I was just spinning a bit of a yarn.
Barry pulls a joint out of his pocket. Bill says “Great! Barrier Reefer (Great Barrier Reef). What is it mate?”
“Noosa Heads (Noosa Heads) of course. Me mate Ada laid (Adelaide) ’em on me.”
And it was a great joint, too. Blew Mountains away (Blue Mountains). And his three sisters (Three Sisters).
Well, I thought I’d roll one meself. I said, “Chuck us the Tally Ho, Bart (Hobart).”
He said, “They’re out on the lawn, Ceston. (Launceston). Can you get em for us?” Bernie (Burnie) says, “It’s okay mate, she’s apples, I’ll get em for ya.”
Just then, Alice springs (Alice Springs) into action, starts to pack Billabong (billabong). And you wouldn’t believe it, the bongs broken. I said “Lord, how? (Lord Howe)”
“Hey, man (Hayman,” somebody says, “Will a didgeri do? (didgeridoo)”
“Hummmmm mummmm mummmmm mummmmm maybe it’ll have ta.”
I look in the corner and there’s Bass sittin there, not getting into it, not getting out of it. I said “What, is Bass straight (Bass Strait) or somethin’?”
Boomer says, “As a matter a fact mate, he’s a cop.”
I said “Ya jokin’ mate, a cop? I’m getting outta here, lets go, Anna.”
She said, “No way, I’m hangin round till Gum leaves (gum leaves). Besides, I don’t wanna leave Jack around a (jacardanda) party on his own. Have you seen him? I think he’s trying to crack on to Woomba (Toowoomba) He’s already tried to mount Isa (Mount Isa). And he’ll definitely try to lead you astray, Liana. (Australiana!)”