Sun Records SR-4511
Released in 1971 by Sun Records of Japan, this Superman story record has two songs on side A and a story on side B. The sleeve also contains a bound-in eight page comic with original Japanese art; you can read the story as you follow along with the record. I always like seeing foreign adaptations of Superman… there’s always some local color involved, whether it’s the art style or the story. The inside of the record also has scenes taken from Superman cartoons; I’m guessing based on timing that it’s the local adaptation of the Filmation series The New Adventures of Superman.
And looking through my New Adventures of Superman DVD, I found the episode this story was based on… Episode 3 “The Prehistoric Pterodactyls.”
Above is a translation of the front cover. The title song “Up, Up, and Away” literally translates as “To the Skies.” I don’t know who Doragirasu is, but I’m presuming it’s the pterodactyl.
To sum up the story based on the New Adventures of Superman episode, somewhere in the Arctic, glaciers melt, releasing two pterodactyls.
Don’t forget… reading is right to left here! Clark Kent and Lois Lane, on assignment in San Francisco for the Daily Planet, hear an announcement on their car radio about strange sightings, so Clark makes up an excuse to leave Lois and turn into Superman to investigate.
This great center spread shows a Japanese style Superman flying beside his trusty dog Krypto. Krypto doesn’t actually appear at all on the record, but no matter.
The first of the escaped dinosaurs is sighted by a fighter pilot in Hawaii. Superman arrives in the nick of time.
Superman lassos the pterodactyl and begins to travel back to San Francisco, where he spots the second dinosaur on top of the cable car Lois Lane happens to be in.
Using a net, Superman captures the second pterodactyl, and flies them both to space to a planet where they can live safely. (I didn’t know that pterodactyls could fly through space unprotected.)
The back cover is great with an interesting interpretation of Lois Lane; in the original U.S. cartoon, Lois still dresses very conservatively, and almost looks square in her suit and pillbox hat. This one is an evolution… she looks more like a swinging 1960s stewardess.
Here’s the record, in case you want to see what the label looks like.
Thanks to my Crosley Collegiate portable record player/USB turntable, here are the tracks from the record. The songs are both exactly what you’d expect from a Japanese cartoon from the 1960s… just great, peppy stuff.
The voice of Superman in this adaptation was provided by Taichiro Hirokawa, a Japanese actor with a long career in anime and film dubbing who voiced such diverse roles as James Bond (in several films), Batman (the Adam West Batman TV series), Raymond Stanz (from Ghostbusters), and even the Tony Curtis role in Some Like It Hot.