MEGA MONSTER BATTLE: ULTRA GALAXY Press Notes
“Will it be the light of the Ultras or the power of darkness that controls the galaxy?”
(Ginga wo seisuru no wa, Urutora no hikari ka, yami no chikara ka)
“Will the galaxy be plunged into darkness?”
(Ginga wa yami ni tozasareteshimau no ka?)
“Take back the light of the galaxy!”
(Torimodose! Ginga no hikari)
43 years from it’s creation, Ultraman has consistently remained a beloved character for three generations. This staple series is now reborn with the aim at an all new stage. After Tsuburaya Productions joined TYO Group, Japan’s leading film relations enterprise, their first new theatrical film MEGA MONSTER BATTLE: ULTRA GALAXY combines the top staff of the film world from Hollywood and Japan. Abolishing the miniature SFX used until now, all the SFX cuts are presented with digital composites of CG and live action characters, with the images of the Ultraman home world the “Land of Light” and other worlds at the end of the universe being fully realized. And with the images of this world and the speedy activity of the Ultra heroes who move around freely within it having been totally reformed, it’s not wrong for the generations who have witnessed the former ULTRA series to be amazed at this evolution.
The base of the story is coupled with the “Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle” series, a highly popular children’s card battle game. In these games the monster user “Reionyx” is the protagonist, with the monster Gomora from the original ULTRAMAN depicted as a heroic character, and a great number of popular monsters from the successive series appearing every time. This world view is inherited by this movie, with more than 100 ULTRA monsters literally covering the screen. Alongside Ultraman, the familiar Ultra Brothers and all the heroes that came from the Land of Light also appear. Excluding the short variety films, this is an amazing first-time achieve for any of the movies or TV series. And with two new characters – the historical first evil Ultraman “Ultraman Belial”, and Ultra Seven’s son “Ultraman Zero” who possesses a shocking profile – who are both given wonderful voice performances, the movie is gathering a lot of attention.
A dazzling battle world of Ultramen and monsters incorporating the latest techniques possible. A new chapter in the Ultraman legend starts here!
3 million light years from Earth, on the “Land Of Light” in Nebula M78… It is the home world of the Ultramen, super beings of light who continue to protect the peace of the galaxy. However, among their mysteries is a former Ultra warrior consumed by evil, Ultraman Belial, who was sealed away by Ultraman King after attempting a rebellion. But now Alien Zarab comes to find Belial, breaking him free from prison and returning to him the “Giga Battle-Nizer”, a forbidden item that can summon 100 monsters. With the Giga Battle-Nizer in hand, Belial throws aside all the advancing Ultra warriors, until finally he seizes the core of their artificial sun, the Plasma Spark. With it’s radiance lost, the “Land of Light” is plunged into ice.
Having barely escaped, Ultraman Mebius/Mirai Hibino goes to request to assistance of ZAP SPACY crew member Rei, who possesses Belial’s same “Reionyx” ability to control monsters. Visiting the Land of Light, Rei joins Hayata (Ultraman) and Dan Moroboshi (Ultra Seven) in confronting the monsters which attack one by one. Meanwhile, on a planet far away from the “Land of Light”, a young warrior clad in heavy armor receives extreme training from the brothers Ultraman Leo and Astra. His true identity is…?
Now begins the greatest giant monster space battle that will decide the fate of the galaxy!
JUNYA OKABE (Producer, Writer, Visuals Supervisor)
“As the producer, I made it my mission that this production of MEGA MONSTER BATTLE: ULTRA GALAXY would exceed the conventional wisdom of the Tsuburaya works produced up until now. The entire management of Tsuburaya Productions was reformed from 2007, and at the same time I shifted everything around in the new creative system. This movie is the first production to appear from that new system. Within the constraints of the budget and arrangements, we have attempted various schemes to exceed the usual scale of Japanese movies. From the story ideas to the screenplay, from the idea of a new character to the development of it’s design, we reached as far as overseas to select our new staff. As the producer, there is some feeling of overkill, but the perfect combustion for one production was ordered, and it was tackled with a strong enthusiasm. Please experience the beginning of an all new ULTRA saga.”
The Best 5 Highlights Of This Production
POINT 1: An unprecedented all-out battle featuring successive generations of Ultra heroes with over 100 monsters!
POINT 2: An historical first as the evil warrior “Ultraman Belial” born in Nebula M78 appears!
POINT 3: The new hero “Ultraman Zero”, the genetic son of Ultra Seven, appears!
POINT 4: The history of the Ultra series is transformed, with digital VFX and hard action!
POINT 5: The secrets of the “Land Of Light”, the home world of the Ultramen, are finally revealed!
The Beginning Of New Tsuburaya SFX
Having produced various Toho special effects films starting with the GODZILLA series, Eiji Tsuburaya established Tsuburaya Productions in 1963. Many ULTRA productions have been sent out into the world up to now, but for this movie the production system has been drastically reformed. The challenge of an all-new visual technique has finally been realized! With the exception of the interior set of a spaceship that appears in the movie, everything was filmed on greenscreen for compositing. All of the Ultramen are suspended by wires, the monsters come flying back, and with the actors removed from the locations the difficult performances were mastered. Various scenes and planets produced using CG were composited in the place of all those green backgrounds. 45 days of shooting! A total of 3000 cuts! 3 months of CG work! From within the various limitations, the in-house effects team produced all new SFX images, from the Ultra warriors flying about in battle, to the scenes overflowing with a giant sense and the spectacle of magnificent planets, successfully realizing scenes with a great intensity that have been absent until now. An astounding evolution into an all-new kind of ULTRA production. We hope you’ll enjoy the beginning of the rebirth of Tsuburaya special effects.
The Ultra Topics That Make Up ULTRA GALAXY
1. “Ultra Brothers” is just a title, they are not actually family. Up until now it has been made clear that only Taro is the son of Mother Of Ultra and Father Of Ultra, and Leo and Astra actual brothers, so now the big topic is that Zero is the son of Ultra Seven.
2. Ultraman Dyna/Shin Asuka, who went missing in the final episode of his TV series, appears in this production! The uniform he wears is also the real one from when they were shooting in 1997.
3. During the flashback scene of Belial’s past mutiny, the earlier appearances of Father Of Ultra and Zoffy are seen. Also, in this scene we also discover Father and Mother’s real names!
4. This time, the “ordinary citizens” of the Land of Light appear on screen for the first time. And an Ultra baby…!?
5. Windam, Miclas and Agira, the three Capsule Monsters controlled by Ultra Seven, appear on screen together for the first time.
6. The creation secrets of the Ultramen at a time when the people of Nebula M78 were still human, as introduced in an illustrated version of ULTRAMAN TARO, is seen onscreen for the first time. In this scene, the original Ultraman suit actor Satoshi Furuya and the artist of the ULTRAMAN TARO illustration Mamoru Uchiyama both make cameo appearances.
CHARACTER & CAST
The original Ultraman who first appeared in ULTRAMAN (Urutoraman, 1966-1967). As an Earthling he takes the form of Hayata. He protected the Earth making use of techniques such as the “Specium Ray” and the “Cutting Halo”. While he is a monster extermination specialist, he balances this with his kindness towards crimeless monsters.
SUSUMU KUROBE as Hayata
Born October 22nd 1939 in the Toyama prefecture. He made his debut in the 1962 movie THE DAWN CHORUS (Akatsuki-no Kasshou). In 1966 he made a guest appearance in ULTRA Q (Urutora Q), and was then selected for the role of officer Hayata in ULTRAMAN. In the 2008 movie SUPERIOR ULTRAMAN 8 BROTHERS (Daikessen! Chou Urutora Hachi Kyoudai), he co-starred with his real life daughter Takami Yoshimoto.
The red warrior who appeared in ULTRA SEVEN (Urutorasebun, 1967-1968), protecting the Earth from the invasion of a great number of aliens. His human form is Dan Moroboshi. As well as various beam techniques such as the “Emerium Beam” and “Wide Shot”, he can also use the space boomerang “Eye Slugger” on his head. When he is unable to fight as Ultra Seven, he can also use his Capsule Monsters. In the form of Dan in ULTRAMAN LEO (1974-1975) he strictly trained Ultraman Leo (Gen).
KOJI MORITSUGU as Dan Moroboshi
Born March 15th 1943 in Hokkaido. He made his debut in the drama SEISHUN WO BUTTSUKERO! in 1965. He took on the role of Dan in ULTRA SEVEN in 1967. He played Dan once again in 1974’s ULTRAMAN LEO (Urutoraman Reo), and appeared in many other ULTRA productions.
First appeared in ULTRAMAN DYNA (Urutoraman Daina, 1997-1998), he existed in a different dimension from the Ultramen of the Land of Light. Defense team SUPER GUTS member Shin Asuka encountered his “light” in a void in space and the two became unified. His special attack is the “Solgent Beam”.
TAKESHI TSURUNO as Shin Asuka
Born May 26th 1975 in the Fukuoka prefecture. He starred in ULTRAMAN DYNA in 1997. Starting with QUIZ! HEXAGON II (Kuizu! Hekisagon II) he expanded his activities into artistry, among other things. He has the largest record for playing the same role in an Ultra movie (he has appeared in 4 productions, or 5 including voice roles.)
He is the protagonist of ULTRAMAN MEBIUS (Urutoraman Mebiusu, 2006-2007), as of now the latest Ultraman TV series. He was dispatched to Earth as a rookie member of the Space Garrison, and as a result he joined the Ultra Brothers, who had been observing his actions. From an item on his left arm called the “Mebius Brace”, awarded to him by the Father Of Ultra, he is able to use such powers as the “Mebium Shoot” and “Mebium Blade”. He takes on the human form of Mirai Hibino.
SHUNJI IGARASHI as Mirai Hibino
Born August 7th 1986 in the Nagano prefecture. He won the Grand Prix level in the first D-BOYS audition [NOTE: D-BOYS is a talent group in Japan]. He was selected for the leading role in 2006’s ULTRAMAN MEBIUS, and also starred in the movie version ULTRAMAN MEBIUS & ULTRAMAN BROTHERS (Urutoraman Mebiusu & Urutora Kyoudai) that same year. He has appeared in the dramas ROOKIES and GENEROUS HELPERS (Jinkyou Herupaa), the movie ROOKIES: GRADUATION (ROOKIES Sotsugyou), among others.
Appeared in THE RETURN OF ULTRAMAN (Kaettekita Urutoraman, 1971-1972). As well as the Specium Beam, he can use the “Ultra Bracelet”, a phantasmagoric all-purpose weapon. In his first series he was not given a name, but as of the movie ULTRAMAN ZOFFY (Urutoraman ZOFFY, 1984) he has been called “Jack”. His voice is performed by Jiro Dan, who played Goh Hideki, his form prior to transforming.
Voice of Ultraman Jack: JIRO DAN
First appeared in the final episode of ULTRAMAN in 1967. The commanding officer of the Space Garrison, he is the eldest of the “Ultra Brothers”, a title yearned for by all Ultra warriors. He boasts the special technique of the “M87 beam”, the strongest sole power among the brothers. Performing the voice is Hideyuki Tanaka, a veteran voice actor who has been performing the voice of Zoffy since ULTRAMAN MEBIUS.
Voice: Hideyuki Tanaka
Appeared in ULTRAMAN ACE (Urutoraman Eesu, 1972-1973). Including his signature move the “Metallium Beam”, he has mastered the most beam techniques among all of the Ultra Brothers. At first he transformed with the union of a man and woman, Seiji Hokuto and Yuko Minamim, but after Yuko – an alien from the moon – returned to the moon, Hokuto continued to transform and fight by himself. This time his voice is performed by Keiji Takamine, who played the role of Seiji Hokuto.
Voice of Ultraman Ace: KEIJI TAKAMINE
Appeared in ULTRAMAN TARO (Urutoraman Tarou, 1973-1974). His special move is the “Storium Beam”. Currently serving as the top instructor of the Space Garrison, Ultraman Mebius was one of his students. Since the movie ULTRAMAN STORY (Urutoraman Monogatari, 1984), Taro’s voice has been performed consistently by voice actor Hiroya Ishimaru, well known among other roles as the voice actor for Jackie Chan [in the Japanese dubbed versions of his movies].
Voice of Ultraman Taro: HIROYA ISHIMARU
Appeared in ULTRAMAN LEO (1974-1975). He is not from the “Land of Light”, but the planet L77 in the constellation Leo. Rather than beam techniques, his strong point is in space martial arts. As the former understudy of Dan Moroboshi (Ultra Seven), he and his brother Astra return the favor by giving leadership to Seven’s son Zero. His voice is played by Ryu Manatsu, who played his pre-transformation form of Gen Ohtori.
Voice of Ultraman Leo: RYU MANATSU
MOTHER OF ULTRA
First appeared in the first episode of ULTRAMAN TARO (1973). She is the leader of the “Silver Crusaders”, the Land of Light’s medical institution, and the wife of the Father Of Ultra. Although she rarely participates in battles, she has mastered the “Mother Beam” which possesses a healing effect. Ultraman Taro is her son. She is a miracle woman who has saved many Ultra warriors during desperate situations.
FATHER OF ULTRA
First appearing during the battle with Alien Hipporito in the 27th episode of ULTRAMAN ACE (1972), he is the grand captain of the Land of Light’s “Space Garrison”. His special move is the “Father Shot”. Ultraman Taro is his true son. Having excelled in his leadership qualities, his has been called “Father Of Ultra” out of respect by the garrison members, but his real name will be revealed in this movie…
Voice of Mother Of Ultra: RIE HASEGAWA
Born December 1st 1973 in the Kanagawa prefecture. In 1993 made her modelling debut in “CanCam” magazine. After that she flourished as the top model in fashion magazines such as “Oggi”. She also participated in the Honolulu Marathon for the first time in 2000. Since, she has participated in many tournaments, obtained a qualification as a vegetable sommelier, among various other activities. This is her first time as a voice actor.
Voice of Father Of Ultra: TOKUMA NISHIOKA
Born October 5th 1946 in the Kanagawa prefecture. He enrolled in the Bungaku Company in 1970. After leaving the group in 1979, he participated widely in movies, TV and theatre. His recent work includes the movie CASTLE OF THE FIERY HEAVENS (Katen-no Shiro, 2009). He has continued to play the voice of Father Of Ultra since ULTRAMAN MEBIUS (Urutoraman Mebiusu, 2006).
First appeared in the 26th episode of ULTRAMAN LEO (1974), he is a legendary super-being. The eldest of all the Ultras, he seldom appears before the Ultra warriors. His mysterious abilities are unfathomable. The costume has been remodelled for this movie, with his head looking more like a “Pope’s crown” and his beard more like that of a sculpture’s, giving him a much more dignified presence.
Voice of Ultraman King: JUNICHIRO KOIZUMI
Born January 8th 1942 in the Kanagawa prefecture. Originally a member of the Lower House. The Prime Minister of the 87th, 88th and 89th cabinets. This is naturally his first time as a voice actor. At first he declined the request to perform, but it’s said that from the strong advice of his second son Shinjiro, a member of the lower house of the Diet and one of the Ultraman generation, he decided to make the appearance.
An Earth organization with the principal aim of exploring space. The crew of the spaceship “Space Pendragon” that Rei embarked upon includes the hot-blooded captain Hyuga (nicknamed “Boss”), the cool female deputy officer Haruna, the genius engineer Kumano, and the monster maniac Oki.
Although he is an Earthling, he has inherited the genes of Alien Reiblood, becoming a “Reionyx”, able to control the monsters Gomora and Litra with the use of an item called the “Battle-Nizer”. In the ULTRA GALAXY: MEGA MONSTER BATTLE series (Urutora Gyarakushii Daikaiju Batoru, 2007-2008, 2008-2009), he opposed the will of Reiblood and decided to fight for the sake of justice, becoming victorious in the Reionyx Battles. He destroyed the evil aspirations of Alien Reiblood.
SHOTA MINAMI as Rei
Born March 27th 1982 in the Aichi prefecture. He debuted in the stage play THE SECRET FLOWER GARDEN (Himitsu-no Hanazono) in 2005.While in the midst of performing on stage, he made his TV drama debut in PRINCESS PRINCESS D (Purinsesu Purinsesu D) in 2005, and in 2007 took on the role of ULTRA GALAXY: MEGA MONSTER BATTLE’s main character Rei, highly popular among children.
HIROYUKI KONISHI as Hyuga (nicknamed “Boss”), the captain of the space ship “Space Pendragon”
Born September 28th 1959 in the Wakayama prefecture. After debuting on variety programs, he gained popularity as one of the members of the show KIN-CHAN FAMILY (Kin-chan Famirii). He has continued to appear as the leader of the ZAP crew in the ULTRA GALAXY: MEGA MONSTER BATTLE series (2007-2009). With the role of Nagumo in ULTRAMAN TIGA: THE FINAL ODYSSEY (Urutoraman Tiga THE FINAL ODYSSEY, 2000), this makes his second appearance in an Ultra movie.
Appearing for the first time in this movie, he is the first evil Ultraman warrior born on the Land of Light. He previously revolted in what was called “Belial’s Rebellion”, and was locked away by Ultraman King. Having once again procured the threatening item “Giga Battle-Nizer” enabling him to control 100 monsters, he returns towards the Ultras for revenge, then plans to seek conquest over the entire galaxy.
Voice of Ultraman Belial: HIROYUKI MIYASAKO
Born March 31st 1970 in Osaka. While part of the comic duo “Post-Rain Death Squad” (Ameagari Kesshitai), he worked as an actor in a great number of movies and dramas. He has also performed as a voice actor in productions such as THE INCREDIBLES (the Japanese language dubbed version).
The “ultimate life-form” who formerly controlled the entire galaxy as supreme ruler. He first appeared in ULTRA GALAXY: MEGA MONSTER BATTLE (Urutora Gyarakushii Daikaiju Batoru, 2007-2008). Though his body had already been destroyed, he secretly manoeuvred in a mental form, passing on his own genes to various aliens to train monster users called “Reionyx”, creating the “Reinoyx Battles” in order to select his own successor. Among them, he gave his own genes and the “Giga Battle-Nizer” to an Ultra warrior who harboured treachery, transforming the warrior into the evil “Ultraman Belial”.
Voice of Alien Reiblood: MASAHIRO CHONO
Born September 17th 1963 in Washington, USA. In 1984 he joined New Japan Pro Wrestling. This year is his 25th anniversary as a pro wrestler. He is also the company president of the apparel brand ARISTRIST.
An item that summons monsters, produced by the former ruler of the universe, Alien Reiblood. Unlike the Battle-Nizers which Rei and other Reionyx possess, which are able to manipulate three monsters, the Giga Battle-Nizer can be used to summon 100 monsters.
Producer / Writer / Visuals Supervisor: JUNYA OKABE
Born May 1965 in Yokohama, Kanagawa. He entered the film industry at 18 years old, and participated in the movie TOKYO: THE LAST MEGALOPOLIS (Teito Monogatari, 1988) as part of the effects creation team. Later he began self-studying CG, and participated in various SFX movies. In 1988 he founded the company “buildup”. Not limiting himself to CG and effects creation, he participated in figure production, facilities development, movies, commercials, TV, games and amusement facilities. In 2007 he joined Tsuburaya Productions as executive vice president and creative controller. He holds two posts as the studio representative and dwarf company director at the SFX studio “buildup”.
Movies: TOKYO: THE LAST MEGALOPOLIS, KAPPA, FREESIA, GUNDAM MISSION TO THE RISE, D, SPECTER, ULTRAMAN MEBIUS SIDE-STORY: GHOST REBIRTH
Games: VIRTUA FIGHTER 2, VIRTUAL-ON, SOUL CALIBUR 2, TALES OF PHANTASIA, XENOSAGA, SMASH BROTHERS 2
TV: LET’S HAVE FUN WITH ENGLISH, GENIUS TV-KUN, NHK SPECIAL: LIFE (Emmy Award Winner), AKIBA-CHAN, ULTRA GALAXY: MEGA MONSTER BATTLE – NEO
Director: KOICHI SAKAMOTO
Born September 29th 1970 in Tokyo. While in senior high school he entered the Kurata Action Club. After graduation, he went to college in America and entered the Screen Actors Guild. In 1991 he made his debut as a stuntman. In 1993 he established the stunt team “Alpha Stunts”. From 1995 he was put in charge as the action director on POWER RANGERS. As well as the action director, he also participated as a story director and screenplay writer. From 1999 he began serving as co-producer, and as of 2003 he was put in control as executive producer. Also, from 2002 he moved to New Zealand as the shooting location of POWER RANGERS was relocated there. This movie is his first time directing in Japan.
Director of Photography: TAKUMI FURUYA
Born in 1962 in the Aichi prefecture. After leaving the Nihon University art department, he made a great number of productions as a freelance cameraman. His main works include AZUMI (Azumi, 2003), GODZILLA FINAL WARS (Gojira Fainaru Uoozu, 2004), CROWS ZERO (Kuroozu ZERO, 2007) and TAJOMARU (2009).
Music: MICHAEL VERTA
Born in America in 1972. In his early 20s he completed his first album contract and released the CDs “ThePhoenix” and “TimeLine” under the name J Michael Verta, which were very well received by critics. Since then he has produced the music for the TV commercials of HARRY POTTER, won the international Telly Awards, and through his excellent work on independent productions has won in the music category of the Aurora Awards.
Lighting: KATSUNORI SAITO
Born in 1966 in Tokyo. Served in the advertising industry, producing commercials for Sokenbicha and AOKI among others, over the years he as worked on more than 50 projects. He has worked on movies such as BLUEFISH (Aoi Sakana, 1999).
Theme Song: “Like The Stars…” by MISIA
(12/16/2009 release, Label: Ariola Japan)
Established at the proposal of MISIA, Child AFRICA is an organization recognized world-wide that aims to provide educational support for children, of which the highly popular hero of justice Ultraman has become a special supporter of. Having become a personal motive, it was decided she would do the theme song for the latest ULTRA series movie.
Comment From MISIA
“When I was asked to create the theme song for the Ultraman movie, the first word I thought of was “star”. The light of the stars arrives at Earth from many hundreds of millions of light years away, and by that time those stars may no longer exist. Yet the light still remains, fascinating so many people. I hope the song will be radiant like the stars and loved like Ultraman.”
Starring: Shota Minami, Susume Kurobe, Koji Moritsugu, Hiroyuki Konishi, Saki Kamiryo, Mitsutoshi Shundo, Toru Hachinohe, Takeshi Tsuruno, Shunji Igarashi
Voice Actors: Hiroyuki Miyasako, Mamoru Miyano, Jiro Dan, Keiji Takamine, Ryu Manatsu, Masahiro Chono, Tokuma Nishioka, Junichiro Koizumi
Producer / Writer / Visuals Supervisor: Junya Okabe
Director: Koichi Sakamoto
Writers: Tatsuro Kashihara & Yuji Kobayashi
Music: Michael Verta
Executive Producer: Kouki Okagawa
Director of Photography: Takumi Furuya
Lighting: Katsunori Saito
Art Director: Tetsuzo Osawa
Visual Effects: Kazuhiko Aikawa
Editor: Daisuke Imai
Action Director: Akihiro Noguchi
Sound Arrangement: Yoshikazu Awa
Assistant Director: Taikan Higurashi
Character Designs: Masayuki Goto & Taishiro Kiya
VFX / Modelling: buildup
VFX Producer: Takashi Kuwabara
VFX Chief Director: Hajime Koyasu
Creations Producer: Takafumi Urubuchi
Creations: Fuyuki Shinada & Isaya Takahashi
Theme Song: MISIA “Like The Stars…” (Ariola Japan)
Production: Tsuburaya Productions
Distribution: Warner Brothers Pictures
Production Companies: Tsuburaya Productions, Warner Brothers Pictures, Bandai, Bandai Visual, Bandai Namco Games, Dentsu, Dentsu Tec, Shogakukan, dwango, TYO
For more photos and information on MEGA MONSTER BATTLE: ULTRA GALAXY please see the earlier coverage here on SciFi Japan: