Last night Yagi invited me to a live panel discussion about 2007's ULTRASEVEN X entitled "Ultra SFX Night Vol.2: Ultraseven X" (Urutora Tokusatsu Naito Vol.2 Ultraseven X) held at Loft A in Asagaya.
This was the first chance I've had to see Yagi since I came to Japan almost two months ago. I arrived at Loft just after 6.00pm, and as the show wasn't due to start until 7.00 I went down the road with Yagi and some of the other guests for some drinks.
This was the first time I had really met Anri Ban, who played Agent S on the show. Even though she walks right past me in my small scene, I never got around to speaking to her on that day. She's a very sweet girl and stunningly beautiful. I ended up winning her autograph in the raffle at the end of the show, which was kind of funny.
It was also nice to catch up with Eriku, who played Jin/Seven X. I hadn't seen him since the shoot in 2007. I almost didn't recognise him at first as he's had all his long hair cut off now (looks a lot better now, I think).
During the show itself I was mainly acting as a photographer for Yagi's website. Considering how dark it was, I was pretty happy with the shots I was able to get. Especially as I was using my telephoto lens for a lot of them, which has no image stabiliser, so I was expecting all my shots to come out as a blurred mess. It was kind of a challenge trying to focus past the heads of the audience as well. I uploaded my photos from the night onto Yagi's website this morning:
I stayed on for the after party with the guests, which was a lot of fun, and gave me the chance to get to know some new people.
I had a good chat with Yuji Kobayashi, who was the main writer on SEVEN X, and who also co-wrote the new ULTRA GALAXY movie. It turns out we had already met quite briefly on the set of SEVEN X which I had completely forgotten. I gave him my thoughts on ULTRA GALAXY and he seemed quite pleased. He also gave me a signed copy of his new book, "The Way of Life as a Screenwriter" (Kyakuhonka toiu ikikata), which he will be expecting my thoughts on as soon as I actually learn how to read.
I was also happy to meet Kengo Kaji for the first time, who is a very cool and laid-back kind of guy. His English is also pretty good, which is always good news for me! He directed two episodes of SEVEN X, but is probably best known as the series organizer, director and writer for the 2005 series GARO.
Tom Wakizaki (Agent K) also turned up which I hadn't been expecting. I haven't seen him since last September. He's a pretty goofy guy and I always like hanging out with him. Last night he kept obsessing over my "natural perm" and kept taking my hat off. I think it's time I just got my hair cut...
As the party ran on until 2.00am I missed the train home, and as I live in Chiba-ken a taxi would probably cost me $1,000, so I spent the rest of the evening moving between coffee shops and noodle bars until I could get the train at 4.40am.
Another fun night in Tokyo! It brought back a lot of fun memories of SEVEN X. I'm amazed it was already two years ago! Here's the original trailer for the show:
(Photo #1: One of my shots of Anri and Eriku
Photo #2: Kobayashi's book and Anri's autograph
Photo #3: The guests at the after-party. Spot the stupid gaijin in the red shirt)