Planet Prince

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Planet Prince
HepburnYūsei Ōji
Directed byEijirō Wakabayashi
Produced byWalter Manley, Toei Company
Screenplay byShin Morita
Story byMasaru Igami
StarringTatsuo Umemiya
Joji Oda
Hiroko Mine[1]
Music byKatsuhisa Hattori
CinematographyMasahiko Iimura
Distributed byToei Company
Release date
  • May 19, 1959 (1959-05-19)
Running time
57 minutes (Part I)
64 minutes (Part II)

Planet Prince (遊星王子, Yūsei Ōji) is a 1958 Japanese tokusatsu superhero television series from Toei Films.[2] Created by 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 Shintoho's Super Giant (Starman) movie series. In fact, the title hero (whose alter-ego was Waku-san, played by Toshio Mimura) bore a strong resemblance to Super Giant (known as "Starman" in the U.S.). Planet Prince was filmed in black and white ToeiScope format.[1]

Toei produced two theatrical movies in 1959 that featured the Planet Prince character, but wearing a completely different, more streamlined costume (and goggled helmet) than the one worn in the tv series. The hero in these two movies was played by Tatsuo Umemiya. The movies were released a week apart. 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 TV release in America, these two Planet Prince movies were compiled into a 95-minute, English-dubbed movie entitled Prince of Space in 1962. It was also called The Star Prince, Planet Prince, or Prince Planet.[1]


The TV version looks very similar to Super Giant (Starman), in that both wear cowled costumes and capes. Each character also has superpowers and flies. The two-part movie version (produced by Toei) is very different, as Prince of Space wears a more streamlined costume, cape, and helmet with goggles. In the edited US version, he has no superpowers other than the invulnerability of his costume, but in a subplot unique to the Japanese version he is able to revert a man who was brainwashed by the Ginsei aliens back to a peaceful state. In the films, he uses a wand-like laser gun and flies a small spaceship.

In the TV version, just like Moonlight Mask, the Planet Prince persona was listed in the credits as being played by "?" (even though the character never wore a mask to conceal his face).

In the film, Prince's enemy is called Ambassador Phantom of the Silver Planet (銀星のまぼろし大使) (this villain also appeared in one of the tv series' story arcs), while in the English-language version, the villain is called Dictator Phantom of the Planet Krankor. He (along with his henchmen) wears a large prosthetic nose and cowl that give him a decidedly chicken-like appearance, something that was constantly mocked when the film was featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000. Dictator Phantom and his henchmen also don't appear to wear undergarments, as is made painfully obvious in several shots.

A translation error in the English language dub has Prince of Space declare "Your weapons are useless against me!", implying he is invulnerable to them. In the Japanese version, this line simply had him implying that their weapons were ineffective because he was capable of dodging them. The English line leads to confusion as the Prince is constantly shown running away from the lasers in spite of his stated invulnerability.

Prince of Space was also featured on the nationally syndicated television series Cinema Insomnia.[3][4] On the show, there is a commercial for the album Candles, Krankor and You where the Dictator Phantom sings various cover songs such as "Unforgettable" and "Summer Wind".[5]

Cast of the movie[edit]

(Americanized names in parentheses)

  • Planet Prince/Waku-san (Prince of Space/Wally) - Tatsuo Umemiya
  • Ambassador Phantom (Ambassador Dictator Phantom) - Joji Oka
  • Sachiko (Susie) - Hiroko Mine
  • Dr. Maki (Dr. Macken) - Ushio Akashi
  • Ichiro (Johnnie) - Akira Asami
  • Makoto (Mickey) - Koji Komori
  • Kimiko (Kimmy) - Midori Tsuzuki
  • Inspector Takeda (Commissioner) - Takashi Kanda
  • Sawamoto (Dr. Sangamon) - Akira Tatematsu
  • Shibasaki - Masahiko Naruse
  • Mukai - Ken Sudo
  • Newsreporter Tabei - Ken Hasebe
  • Newsreporter Tono - Giichi Sugi
  • Sakai - Koji Sahara
  • Tsunoda - Tokio Kozuka
  • Keichi Kawajima (Inspector) - Rin'ichi Yamamoto
  • Dr. Naito - Hiroshi Katayama
  • Newspaper reporter - Yuji Kitamine
  • Phantom's henchmen - Riki Iwaki, Kenji Todoroki, Hiroshi Mihara, Nobuo Yana
  • Dr. Tateishi (Dr. Fletcher) - Shusuke Sone
  • Mrs. Tateishi - Kaoru Nakano
  • Commander Koda - Akikane Sawa
  • Secretary of Defense Fukuhara - Shiko Saito
  • Major Munakata - Tadashi Minamikawa
  • Colonel Matsuda - Junkichi Orimoto
  • Colonel Watanabe - Junji Masuda
  • The Guardian - Rinichi Yamamoto

Production credits of the movie[edit]

  • Planning - Sanehiko Okada
  • Director - Eijiro Wakabayashi
  • Producer - Sanehiko Sonoda
  • Screenplay - Shin Morita
  • Original Story - Masaru Igami
  • Music - Hirooki Ogawa (stock music; uncredited), Katsuhisa Hattori
  • Director of Photography - Masahiko Iimura
  • Lighting - Kenzo Ginya
  • Art Director - Shuichiro Nakamura
  • Recording - Shozo Hirokami
  • Film Editor - Yoshiki Nagasawa
  • Director of Special Effects - Shozo Horai
  • Assistant Director - Hajime Sato
  • Production Assistant - Takeshi Nishii

Theme Song – "Planet Prince Song"

  • Vocals - Kamitakada Junior Chorus
  • Lyrics - Masaru Igami
  • Composer - Katsuhisa Hattori


  1. ^ a b c Galbraith,Stuart (1994). Japanese Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror Films. McFarland and Co., Inc.
  2. ^ Galbraith,Stuart (1994). Japanese Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror Films. McFarland and Co., Inc.
  3. ^ CinemaInsomniaTV (1 September 2011). "CINEMA INSOMNIA: Prince of Space". YouTube. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
  4. ^ "Cinema Insomnia, with your Horror Host, Mister Lobo! - SHOW INFORMATION". Archived from the original on 28 March 2010. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  5. ^ CinemaInsomniaTV (20 October 2010). "YouTube - Candles, Krankor and You". YouTube. Retrieved 21 October 2010.

External links[edit]

Mystery Science Theater 3000[edit]