The plot unfolds something like this: The peaceful planet of Jillucia, has been conquered by the steel-skinned warriors of the Gavanas Empire, who've turned the planet into a military base. Kido (the elder of Jillucia) sends eight Liabe seeds [glowing walnuts] into the universe to find heroes worthy enough to liberate their planet. Kido's granddaughter (Princess Emerald) and the warrior Urocco are sent to round up all the seed recipients and assemble their rescue task force. This is the only hope to save Jillucia, so hopefully all the recipients are ready to embrace their destiny.
Don't let me over sell this: That plot rundown gives this movie more credit than it deserves. If this movie were as simple as that, it might have been more enjoyable, but every character has to have their own solo adventure, and that leads to more backstory, and that uncovers more mythos, and that leads them to different planets, and all of that leads to a highly unnecessary two hour runtime.
|Walnuts, or Liabe seeds?|
The cast: I would love to know how the filmmakers signed on some of these actors. Many of them had established careers at this point (Vic Morrow, Shin'ichi Chiba, Etsuko Shiomi, to name a few) so their involvement doesn't make a ton of sense. And to add to my confusion, the directer and most of the main cast made The Shogun's Samurai the same year. That movie was apparently so good it was nominated for 5 different Awards of the Japanese Academy. It seems they were capable of producing quality work together, so why on Earth did any of them agree to do this?
|Space suits of the future!|
Other weird connections: Kinji Fukasaku co-wrote and directed this movie. He also directed Green Slime, Battle Royal, The Shogun's Samurai, and co-directed Tora! Tora! Tora!.
Don't let us undersell how aggravatingly drawn out it is: At the halfway point of this movie we were ready for it to be over. This is the kind of movie where every 10 mins or so you'll find yourself asking "did any of that matter", and it'll turn out that none of it did matter. But again, if this movie had been an hour long we might have loved it! Maybe someday someone will make a fan edit and post it on Youtube.