Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I've long been aware that Toei Studios produced a television spin-off of their Message From Space feature film, but as it only aired in Japan, the Philippines and parts of Europe (it's on DVD in France, where it was called San Ku Kai, for instance), I never saw it. From this brief sampling of scenes from the show, it looks like an endearingly low-budget, action-packed continuation, loaded with effects footage from the movie... and it's probably a lot of fun. Even as much as I love the movie, though, I doubt I'll be ordering those French DVDs....


  1. I got the DVDs, I saw it in 1979 as I'm living in France.
    As a matter of fact, I'm watching the series with my 8 years old son, he loves it too !

  2. Looks awesome! Do you know if the French DVDs have an channel dubbed in English?

    1. I can't say definitively because I haven't seen them myself, but I've been told, by someone who does, that they only have Japanese and French language options.

  3. Thanks for this! I too have the DVD set, and regarding Jay's question: the set contains a French dub, the original Japanese audio track, and optional French subtitles. No English options. But with that said, it isn't too complicated to follow. The set is really nice, too. It comes with a French-dubbed copy of the movie on the first disc, and a nice full-color booklet with episode synopses, character info, and some show background. All of that is in French, of course. I don't speak or read French or Japanese, but know a few words here and there in both, and I really enjoyed this set. If it's permissible, I'll provide a link to the (awesome! inexpensive!) French DVD release:


  4. An English dubbed film was cut from it, and shown on CBN (of all places) back in late 85/early 86.

    (never saw it again, and no recollection of what it was called)

  5. To follow up on Tex's comment, the film re-edited from the Message from Space TV series was called "Swords of the Space Ark." I think it also surfaced under the title "Space Ninja."

    The show is great fun, and if anything is even livelier than the film. Hiroyuki Sanada stars again, but he doesn't play the same character as in the movie. In fact, there's really only the vaguest of connections between the movie and the show (beyond the obvious cosmetic similarities). The robot, for example, is named "Tonto." Sadly, he's barely in the U.S. edit.

    Swords of the Space Ark isn't exactly coherent, but it's very entertaining. Plus, the ape man has been dubbed by someone trying to sound like Phil Harris. I refuse to believe it really is Phil.

  6. Wow, I haven't seen this since I was a little kid. Though I sadly don't recall if I saw the film or TV series, but I do recall seeing in Spanish.

  7. It was air in Latin America too in the 80´s

  8. Watched this when I was a kid in Indonesia, can't remember what language it was in though. Watched this before I've ever watch Star Wars, so when I finally watched Star Wars it was like whoa...

  9. I lived in France in the late 70's: there were 3 tv stations at that point. I still have the Sankukai theme song in my head!