ULTRA GALAXY: MEGA MONSTER BATTLE – NEO
It’s a kaiju battle royale in the highly anticipated sequel series!
Author: James Ballard
Official Website: Daikaijyu.com
Toho may have retired their legendary monster star Godzilla in 2004, and the likelihood of a new Gamera movie may seem bleak following the monster’s 2006 outing, but giant monsters are still running amok on Japan’s airwaves.
The Ultra Galaxy franchise is a spin-off from Tsuburaya Productions’ popular Ultraman series, showcasing the show’s giant monsters rather than the Ultraman heroes. It began as an arcade game MEGA MONSTER BATTLE: ULTRA MONSTERS (Daikaiju Batoru Urutora Monsutaazu), which tied in with a series of monster trading cards featuring bar codes that could be read by the arcade machines.
The popularity of the video game and trading cards led to last year’s TV series ULTRA GALAXY: MEGA MONSTER BATTLE (Urutora Gyarakushii Daikaiju Batoru).
2008 saw the continuation of the franchise with the new arcade game and trading card series entitled MEGA MONSTER BATTLE: NEO, an all-new game MEGA MONSTER BATTLE: ULTRA COLISEUM for Nintendo’s Wii console, and a manga serial MEGA MONSTER BATTLE: ULTRA ADVENTURE (Daikaiju Batoru Urutora Adobenchaa) by Shinji Nishikawa (the monster designer for Toho’s Godzilla series since 1989).
Now, the franchise will return to TV with the new series ULTRA GALAXY: MEGA MONSTER BATTLE – NEVER ENDING ODYSSEY (Urutora Garakushii Daikaiju Batoru Nebaa Endingu Odessei), which starts broadcasting from December 20th every Saturday at 7.00AM on Japan’s satellite station BS11.
Japanese viewers will also be able to watch the series for free online during the “BS11 Anime & SPFX Festival 2008” being hosted on the Yahoo!JAPAN website, along last year’s ULTRA GALAXY: MEGA MONSTER BATTLE series.
Continuing where the last series left off, the space ship Space Pendragon and it’s crew has escaped from the lawless monster planet. However, as the ZAP SPACY team look forward to returning to Earth, a brand new adventure awaits them!
The crew is challenged by the mysterious “Reionyx Hunter” who is hunting down the Reionyx aliens – including ZAP SPACY member Rei – who manipulate the giant monsters with their Battle Nizers. Together with his comrades, Rei begins his destiny as he contends in the “Reionyx Battle”!
The show sees Shouta Minami, Hiroyuki Konishi, Saki Kamiryo, Tooru Hachinohe and Mitsutoshi Shundou all return to reprise their roles as ZAP SPACY officers Rei, Hyuuga, Haruna, Oki and Kumano respectively.
Kousei Katou also joins the cast this year as Dairu, the Reionyx Hunter who has been entrusted with a mission to destroy all the Reionyx aliens. Learning that Rei is a monster controller, he infiltrates the ZAP SPACY space station to hunt him down. With a level of science far beyond that of humanity, Dairu’s true colors remain unknown.
Prior to his role in NEVER ENDING ODYSSEY, Katou was a member of the main cast for ULTRAMAN NEXUS (Urutoraman Nekusasu, 2004) playing Night Raider officer Ishibori, and since made several appearances in ULTRAMAN MEBIUS (Urutoraman Mebiusu, 2006) as the devious reporter Hirukawa.
The monster line-up for NEVER ENDING ODYSSEY includes several surprise appearances, including Gomess, Tsuburaya Productions’ very first monster who made his debut in ULTRA Q (Urutora Kyuu, 1966) episode #1 “Defeat Gomess!”. The monster Gomess is notorious among Godzilla fans as it was adapted from the Godzilla suit featured in GHIDORAH, THE THREE-HEADED MONSER (San Daikaiju Chikyuu Saidai-no Kessen, 1964). Allusions to Godzilla can still be seen in the new suit that has been built for NEVER ENDING ODYSSEY.
Other classic characters slated to appear include Litra from ULTRA Q, Gomora, Magura, Red King, Antlar, Dada, Dorako, Alien Mephilas and Alien Zarab from ULTRAMAN (Urutoraman, 1966), Miclas, Eleking, King Joe, Alien Hook, Alien Guts and Alien Metron from ULTRA SEVEN (Urutorasebun, 1967), Alien Nackle from THE RETURN OF ULTRAMAN (Kaettekita Urutoraman, 1971), Tyrant from ULTRAMAN TARO (Urutoraman Tarou, 1973), and Alien Babalu from ULTRAMAN LEO (Urutoraman Reo, 1974).