Tsuburaya Pro Announces New Ultraman and Series
Authors: Jim Ballard with Keith Aiken
Source: Tsuburaya Productions
Special Thanks to Daisuke Ishizuka
On April 12th, Tsuburaya Productions revealed that their latest hero, Ultraman Ginga* (ウルトラマンギンガ), is set to appear in a new television series, THE NEW ULTRAMAN BIOGRAPHIES (新ウルトラマン列伝, Shin Urutoraman Restuden). The new show will premiere at 17:30 (5:30pm) on July 10th from TV Tokyo. July 10 is known as “Ultraman Day”; the anniversary of Ultraman’s debut on TV in 1966.
The story of THE NEW ULTRAMAN BIOGRAPHIES begins a long time ago, deep in the cosmos. A dark power transformed all of the monsters and Ultra warriors into small puppets, spreading them throughout the universe. Some of the puppets eventually drifted to Earth, falling from the heavens like meteors.
Time passed, and now in present day Japan, fate has chosen a young man named Hikaru Reidou to obtain the “Ginga Spark”. This mysterious item has the ability to return the puppet monsters and Ultra warriors to their original giant forms.
At the same time, hostile monsters and aliens start appearing on Earth, and a great, dark power begins to stir! To protect those most important to him, Hikaru uses a process called “Ultra Eve” to combine the power of the Ginga Spark with the puppet monsters and Ultra warriors to fight against the aggressors.
And then, a completely new Ultraman appears… his name is Ultraman Ginga! The curtains now open on a new Ultra legend!
THE NEW ULTRAMAN BIOGRAPHIES breaks with Ultraman tradition as there will be no anti-monster defense teams or military/defense squads featured in the series. This will also be the first Ultraman show to focus on high school students in the leading roles. The main cast and characters for the series are…
• TAKUYA NEGISHI as Hikaru Reidou (the hero who possesses Ultraman Ginga’s mysterious item, the Ginga Spark)
• MIO MIYATAKE as Misuzu Isurugi (the heroine and a childhood friend of Hikaru)
• MIZUKI OONO as Kenta Watarai (a cheerful boy; part of Hikaru’s circle of childhood friends)
• KIRARA as Chigusa Kuno (another heroine and childhood friend)
• TAKUYA KUSAKAWA as Tomoya Ichijouji (Hikaru’s rival; a cool transfer student)
This cast of young actors are supported by an experienced production staff deeply involved in the earlier Ultraman shows. The show’s four directors are Yuichi Abe (ULTRAMAN MEBIUS, ULTRAMAN ZERO: THE REVENGE OF BELIAL), Tomoo Haraguchi (ULTRAMAN 80, ULTRASEVEN X), Kengo Kaji (ULTRAMAN MEBIUS, ULTRA GALAXY: MEGA MONSTER BATTLE) and Yoshikazu Ishii (GODZILLA: FINAL WARS, ULTRA ZERO FIGHT).
The show’s screenwriters are Keiichi Hasegawa (nearly every Ultraman series since ULTRAMAN TIGA), Masanao Akahoshi (ULTRAMAN NEXUS, ULTRA GALAXY: MEGA MONSTER BATTLE – NEVER ENDING ODYSSEY), Kenichi Araki (ULTRAMAN NEXUS, ULTRA GALAXY: MEGA MONSTER BATTLE – NEVER ENDING ODYSSEY) and Akira Tanizaki (ULTRAMAN MEBIUS SIDE STORY: ARMORED DARKNESS).
THE NEW ULTRAMAN BIOGRAPHIES finished shooting this week and the series is now in post-production. The first six episodes will be broadcast in July and August, with five additional episodes airing in November and December. There will also be two special episodes created for event screenings in September 2013 and Spring 2014, bringing the total number of episodes for “Season One” to thirteen.
*The word “ginga” means “galaxy” in Japanese, so the character’s name would translate as “Ultraman Galaxy” in English.
About Tsuburaya Productions
Tsuburaya Productions, creator and copyrights owner of the superhero ULTRAMAN series was founded in 1963 by Eiji Tsuburaya, world-renowned special effects wizard also known for his special effects work on the Godzilla series. With close to fifty years’ experience, it is one of Japan’s oldest and most respected independent film and television production houses. Its popular Ultraman TV and film series which premiered in 1966 has been seen in over 100 territories worldwide and has spawned over 3,000 licensed products. In addition to production, the company also handles character licensing and program distribution and staging live stage shows both domestically and internationally.