Comet-San コメットさん

( 1967 - 1968 )

From Beta Star

Looks like Mary Poppins and Bewitched (both 1964) inspired the creators of Cometa. In 1967 arrived Cometo San (# 1-79), followed by the Professor (# 1-79), Chivigon [Betan] arrived a little later (#14-79), then Grandma came for a liitle while (#35-44), and finally Chivigon's little brothers (#55) to the Kawagoe (# 1-48) and then Ishihara Family (# 49-79).

Timeline

 April 30th. 1967 Episode #4 is aired, Mystery thief, preceded by the on-location shooting.
 May 6th.  They oficially start filming. ( one of the kawagoe members is not on set )
 May 8th. Shooting with the missing Kawagoe set to enter the house.
 May 13th. Recording of the theme song.
 may 20th.  The opening shot is made.
 June Comet debuts in comic series (Production: Mitsuteru Yokoyama)
 June 25th.

 Margaret weekly  issue (No. 28) was released.

※ TV broadcast propaganda from the TV version is a completely different storyline.

 July 3rd. First episode airs ( Help from the stars ) The rating is 12.7% (Video Research research).
 August 28th. Episode #9 aired ( Old lady from book ), techniques of puppet animation first used.
 October 20th

 Episode #14 aired ( Boat trip ). Betan ( Chibigon ) is introduced.

It was a monster season and this one was a cute pet monster ( 200,000 yen in 100 pet monsters was spent )

Representing the innovative techniques, the 3 stars were Comet ( live-action ), Professsor ( animated ) and Betan ( stop motion )

 October originally was scheduled to finish 26th in the 52-time program will be extended.
 Nov. 13th.

 Episode #20 ( Toy's rebellion ) in color is aired. Director Nobuo Nakagawa masters of animation and puppets are combined.

 Jan. 1968 Sets of Cards with Comet and Betan's pictures are sold.
 April

 Honorable retirement of Director Nakagawa.

Galaxy Award Critics reward Yumiko Kokonoe with a prize.

 June 3rd.

 Episode #49 ( Flying car ), aired, There is a new plan. By the end of '68 with 79 episodes the series will end.

One of the Kawagoe members had to leave. The initial plan is not Ishihara Ishiguro.

In the memo for the new plan these names were considered: Dad: Humio Watanabe, Akio Satake, Yoshio Tsutiya. Mom: Yoshiko Huzita

Midori appears. Professor drawing changes, and also the theme song, baton, house, ratings from "X-0" to "1-5", comic gets sold out.

 July 15th. Episode #55 ( Chibikkon gang ) is produced with the idea of exploiting Betan character with his 5 brothers.
 Aug. 5th. Episode #58 ( Rescue operation ) is betan's starring episode.
 September Episode #64 gives betan a new voice
 October Filming of episodes 67, 68.
 November

 Filming concludes while broadcasting episode # 71 ( Nice big adventure ) Looks like magic was taken wrongfully in Episode #75.

 December 4th.  Everything is finished.
 December 30th.  Episode # 79 ( Farewell ) aired.
  Harajuku, a great party is given
  TV Guide in fiscal 1968 Memorial Award for best variety show comedy party was held.
  
  
  

A True Story. . .

MITSUTERU YOKOYAMA 横山 光輝, later based a comic ( manga ) on the series, to keep the magic alive. The series told a story, which you can see during the opening of every episode: Far away on planet BETA, there was a cute little princess, who was restless and hard to follow rules. Her professor takes a decision and sends her to planet Earth, to live as an earthling and see if this way she learn how to behave and be a good girl. Despite being a kid on her birth planet, when she arrives to earth she is 18 years old. She keeps a little medallion as a keepsake with the image of her animated self, in the promise that she will be back one day to stay with her loved ones. 

The Professor is in charge of her process and to let her now her progress, prints an "X" when she does something wrong and a "Circle" or different numbers depending on her actions, when she does something good. Due th her true restless and childlike nature, it is very hard for her to behave properly and achieve her goals, but with the company of the famili kids, she manages to accomplish her task. She has a magic wand to help her out in difficult times. later on in the story, Cometo is visited by her little pet, Chivigon ( Betan ) but not to help, but to make matters worse, since this little dragon is yet more restless and falls in countless adventures and trouble. Also grandma comes from the star one day for a short visit, and one day all 5 little Chivigon's brothers are summoned too and get all complicated.

Cometo arrives at  the school, where Takeshi and Koji, first Kawagoe and later Ishihara, spot her, and after a short while fighting to keep her, she finally end up helping the family as a Babysitter. All three together get into trouble time after time having the most fantastic, magic and incredible adventures.


Cometa series start production in 1966 and mixes, with real life action, stop motion and animation. Chivigon ( Betan ) and the Professor, all this, to justify the use of magic and special effects, since Cometa always used her magic wand to solve and fix some of the problems she encountered and give the audience a moral of the story.

In Japan the series begun in July 3rd. 1967, ended in December 30th. 1968, conveniently, the second version of the series, airs in 1978 and ends in 1979 and is aired "coincidentally" every monday at 7:30 pm, just like the previous version.

In Mexico there is not a certain date to when Cometa was showed for the first time, but there was another japanese series before Cometa, Fujimaru del viento, about a samurai kid who could cause tornadoes just lifting his finger in the air.

 JAPANESE ANIMATION OR ANIME  
There are not certain dates of when anime arrived in Mexico or which was the first series that did it. Anime didn't last too long on air. Old series lasted longer, like Sombrita, Centella, Fantasmagórico and El agente S-5.  
Channel 8 had El niño biónico, batalla de planetas (fuerza g) and nave espacial (Star blazers/crucero espacial Yamato)  Channel 6 had Princesa caballero, Triton and Heidi.  
In the early 90s Televisa sell all of its catalog to TV Azteca, and the only sries that got lost in Space, were, Triton and Señorita Cometa.
 
JAPANESE LIVE ACTION SERIES (TOKUSATSU)  
Tokusatsu is the genre where Señorita Cometa belongs to. It means "broken" and also means they use special effects. Many of those series were already old when they arrived to Mexico and many are still being shown.


The reason why a tv series like Señorita Cometa is so fondly remembered after more than 20 years off the air is because, for economic reasons, TV stations let its series grow old. The prime time slot had old cartoons and series, in many cases older than 20 years.

The Independent channel back then bought the rights to several japanese old series to be dubbed in Mexico. And we could only bet that they had a great deal and because of the good relationship between both countries, but japanese companies didn't keep copies of the dubbed episodes. Carlos Villagran, then knows as "Pirolo" hosted a daily show called El club de los millonarios. According to what people tell, he presented a program called "Miss Comet" la señorita Cometa with its first 19 black and white episodes. It was early 70's ,Channel 8 started its Kids time programming at 3:00pm,when most kids got out of school. After him the hostess was Maria Antonieta de las Nieves but she didn't last long. No other channel had japanese series, they had Space Giants, Ultraman, Ultraseven, etc.  

Martha Palomino

Trivia 

★ Cometa mentions her dialect ( saka ) and stars Alpha and Beyton, as possible places where Tonko could have come from ( # 11 )

★ Chivigon ( Betan ) gains his stenght or power from milk.

 ★ The Professor's outfit changes from episode # 49 and so does the magic wand

★ Magic was forbidden, and being watched while using it worse, meaning direct ticket to Beta star. She is officially allowed to use her magic, white, while fighting the Black Magic Warlock ( # 33 )

★ At first, a group of several red circles could be used as action's ratings, after Ep. 51, Professor starts using numbers ( 1 - 5 )

★ First Dad worked as a Physics Proffesor at the East University, while the second Dad was a sports car designer.

★ While filming episode #63, Ms. Yumiko Kokonoe's father dies. That may have imprinted the sadness she shows during the final song.

★ After 1968, Ms. Kokonoe never wore the Cometo costume again, until 1989 for a very special event.

★ After the series, there was a comic book, and later ( 1978 ) a second version and an anime version, but never a movie about the series.

★ In some reruns for Kids tv stations, scenes from episode 1 ( mental home ) and 20 ( toy's war ) were cut.
★ Episodes #62 and #63 were directed by Yamagiwa, and #64, #65 were directed by Katsuki.

Blueprints 

The blueprints make reference to the fridge being a little too small for 5 people. That Takeshi and Koji slept in a bunk  bed, Takeshi in the upper bed and Koji in the lower bed. Cometas's room was a 3 tatamis one. Stairs to a second floor can be seen.

In Japan, the size of a room is measured by the amount of tatamis you can put in. Traditional size is 90cm. by 180cm. by 5cm. You can also find them inhalves, 90cm. by 90cm. by 5cm. Usually, the size of a room is calculated by the tatamis size. Kyoto's tatamis are slighty bigger than Tokyo's, by 5cm.  

 

 

 

Sewing shop 

In these sewing shops models for "The new adventures of Pinocchio" were sewn. Later on similar models for Cometa will be used and made here.

 Mary Poppins ( 1964 ) inspired Levine ( Rankin/Bass ) to create a film that would compete in the same market.

Bass didn't work in Japan with the ANIMAGIC technicians but Rankin did. No figures were made to last, they are gone at this time. MOM studios in Japan started the ANIMAGIC process under the hand of Tadahito Mochinaga. Kyoko Kita and Ichiro ( Pinchan ) Komuro made the puppets at a cost of $5,000 a piece.

Reiko Yamagata and Kyoko Kita create the ANIMAGIC cast for RANKIN/BASS.

Paper doll  Singer and actress Yumiko Kokonoe as a model...

paper doll

The second passing of the comet ( 2nd. version )

Yet another Cometa in Japan, that ran from June 12 1978 - sept. 24 1979 with Kumiko Oba as Cometa and with only 68 episodes.

( little sample at "videos" )

For better understanding...