Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Toku Legends: Miyuki Nagato
I can't quite explain it, but I always thought there was something really cool about Flashman's Ulk. People dismiss characters like her (and Kiruto) as being rip-offs of Farrah Cat (who, to be honest, I never really understood why people liked so much), but something about the way Nagato plays her makes her really stand out to me. Like...Kiruto's actress seems almost like she doesn't want to be in the show, but Nagato brings something to her performance, something that makes Ulk seem more important, as much of a threat as one of the higher ranking Mess officers and not just Neferu's underling. When Dai has to resort to using brass knuckles to take on Ulk, you know she's tough.
Born March 14th, 1962, Nagato was a member of the Toei Action Club and got her start playing the suited Horror Girl in Gavan, and had a few other bit parts before playing Ulk in Flashman. Nagato made several guest appearances in '80s toku shows, but I feel like she was sadly way underused -- a good actress with a tough look, she was bad-ass! Why couldn't she have played a Metal Heroine? Or a Metal Villainess? Me, I would have cast her as a Kamen Rider, an idea I had after seeing her in Jetman as J5 of the Neo-Jetman -- who, in their short appearance, showed Nagato as the coolest of them all. Her biggest role is probably as main villain Madam Q in Blue Swat, but the show never gives her much to do (not even action), and her character was one of a few character additions to the show when it was changing tones, so her character never quite meshed with the show's tone. Nagato currently makes frequent appearances at fan events.
An overlooked performer never given as much as she should have been given, I nevertheless name Miyuki Nagato one of Shougo's Toku Legends.