In 1967, P-Productions (MAGMA TAISHI, SPECTREMAN) rolled out their second TV series Kaiju Ouji (Monster Prince). This 26 episode color series takes elements from Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan, the prehistoric flair of dinosaurs and to top it off, invading aliens.
The story opens with a jetliner flying over the Pacific Ocean. Onboard, Professor Ibuki and his wife, enjoy their twin newborns Takeru and Mitsuru. Below the plane a volcano rises and erupts from the ocean surface. The unusual monolith has a white glow that seems to pull the jetliner out of the sky causing it to plunge into the ocean. The professor and his wife manage to make it aboard a rubber rescue raft, but unfortunately one of the twins are missing. Suddenly the jet explodes into a fiery inferno, leaving the new parents with no hope of recovering their lost child. Ten years pass and the Ibuki’s have moved on along with their surviving son Mitsuru, who now has a younger sister. Professor Ibuki has been investigating seismic waves that have been coming from the volcanic area which is now a full fledge island. Meanwhile a fishing boat is caught up in a severe storm causing it to be engulfed by high waves and submerging it. The only survivor washes ashore the new island paradise that’s flourishing with plant and animal life. The fisherman, still out of it, manages to pick himself up and start to explore. He comes upon huge holes in the ground, and soon realizes they’re giant footprints! Hungry, he moves on and uses his knife to make a spear. Finally he sees a bird, but just as he is about to go for the kill, a boomerang zips by and takes out his dinner. A young boy picks up the bird and runs. The fisherman stunned there’s a boy in the middle of the jungle, pursues the youngster only to be cut off by the owner of the giant footprints. The prehistoric behemoth (Brontosaurus/Apatosaurus) wades through the jungle, trying to stomp out the fisherman that seems to be a threat to the boy. The boy appears again with a younger version of the first dinosaur, known as Nessie and tries to call off the rampaging horror. The fisherman manages to make it back to his raft and escapes sure death. A naval ship rescues, the now in shock man, who recounts the events that happened on the island.
The story soon hit’s the newspaper headlines, which eventually reaches the Ibuki family. It appears that their lost son Takeru has survived after all these years. To make the situation worse it seems a comet-like object is heading towards Earth, in the direction of the island. Takeru sees first hand that the projectile is not a comet, instead it is an alien invasion. Swarms of gargoyle-like creatures fall out of the sky, armed with laser guns and missiles. Takeru wails out a Tarzan-like yell, that calls for the help of his dinosaur friends. Armed only with his boomerang, Takeru surprises the invaders and is able to ward them off and they retreat. The next morning the aliens return prepared and ambush Takeru. Again Takeru calls his dinosaur friend to come out and fight off this menace, but the mighty beast is no match for the alien’s weaponry and sadly dies in the battle. Takeru and Nessie manage to escape, but the loss of their giant friend saddens them deeply. The next day a research group headed by Professor Ibuki arrives on the island along with a special military ranger squad. They soon run into the alien creatures and get caught in a barrage of lasers and missiles. During the battle Takeru and Nessie appear, and Professor Ibuki is shocked to see his son is alive and well like he had hoped. The aliens soon send a mutant Pteranodon to the island. Nessie engages the monster and is able to push it off a cliff, then finish it off by exhaling a stream of fire that cooks the stone age bird. Before Professor Ibuki can stop him, Takeru hops up on Nessie and rides off into the jungle.
Later it is discovered that the aliens have appeared because of the island’s rich abundance of uranium. Through out the series Takeru and Nessie battle a huge array of prehistoric menaces that invade the island for it’s natural resources. Later in the series a second insect-like alien race comes to Earth. At this point Nessie has grown to adult size to fight off a more threatening invader. These aliens have the ability to resurrect prehistoric monsters from fossils and bones. At one point they actually break into a museum and bring the skeleton of an Iguanodon to life, that looks more like YONGARY, MONSTER FROM THE DEEP, one of my favorites. The soundtrack is a hyperactive mix of pop and jazz reminiscent of MAGMA TAISHI. You can’t beat the 1/1 scale Nessie head built for Takeru to ride on. Imagine having that in a school playground. After watching Kaiju Ouji, one can only wonder where Sid and Marty Kroft got their idea for LAND OF THE LOST.