NEO ULTRA Q Gets Theatrical Release in Japan
Three people: a psychologist doing research on the supernatural, a young beautiful journalist with an inquisitive mind and a bartender who has sympathy towards other forms of life. Together the trio set out to look into the paranormal and futuristic phenomena that confront our life and society.
— Tsuburaya Productions publicity materials for NEO ULTRA Q
In 1963, Eiji Tsuburaya, the special effects director best known for his world-renowned work on the film GODZILLA (ゴジラ, Gojira, 1954), launched his own company, Tsuburaya Visual Effects Productions (the name was later shortened to “Tsuburaya Productions”). Originally intended as an FX studio for film and television, the company soon began producing their own television shows starting with the legendary SPFX fantasy series, ULTRA Q (ウルトラQ, Urutora Kyuu, 1966).
ULTRA Q was developed through the triple team of Tsuburaya Productions, Toho Company, Ltd., and Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS), and produced in the spirit of the American SF anthology drama TWILIGHT ZONE. Broadcast from January to July of 1966, the 28 episode series chiefly followed three characters — reporter Yuriko Edogawa (Hiroko Sakurai), pilot/SF writer Jun Manjome (Kenji Sahara), and Manjome’s assistant Ippei Togawa (Yasuhiko Saijo) — as they investigated bizarre, supernatural and alien phenomena involving unique monsters and space creatures, environmental disasters, the loss of humanity, and events cutting into the darkness of reality.
With a lineup of unusual monsters that captivated children, ULTRA Q attained a record 36.4% audience share and a 32.39% average audience rating. This series caused an unprecedented “Kaiju Boom” throughout Japan and became the foundation for the Ultraman Series, leading directly into Tsuburaya Pro’s second series, ULTRAMAN (ウルトラマン 空想特撮シリーズ, Urutoraman: Kuso Tokusatsu Shirizu, 1966-1967).
ULTRA Q returned in 1990 with the theatrical feature ULTRA Q THE MOVIE (ウルトラQ ザ・ムービー 星の伝説, Urutora Kyuu Za Muubi: Hoshi no Densetsu). In 2003, the original cast reunited for the radio drama series THE ULTRA Q CLUB (ウルトラQ倶楽部, Urutora Kyuu Kurabu). The following year, a new television series — ULTRA Q: DARK FANTASY (ウルトラQ Dark Fantasy, Urutora Kyuu: Daaku Fantajii) — was featured as part of Tsuburaya Pro’s 2004 relaunch of the Ultra franchise.
In celebration of Tsuburaya Productions’ 50th anniversary in 2013, the company collaborated with the satellite broadcasting service WOWOW to produce NEO ULTRA Q (ネオ・ウルトラQ, Neo Urutora Kyuu). Playing as a direct sequel “Second Season” of the classic ULTRA Q, this 12 episode series featured a new cast of characters facing the darkness that yet again approaches the world.
Viewers responded well to NEO ULTRA Q, and fans in Japan have demanded that the series be shown on the big screen. Now, the wait is over. Starting November 9, 2013, the episodes will be released theatrically at Toho Cinemas Nichigeki and other Toho Cinemas theaters nationwide as the NEO ULTRA Q SPECIAL SCREENING (ネオ・ウルトラQ 特別上映, Neo Urutora Kyuu Tokubetsu Jooei) series.
In addition to an omnibus story on the various monsters and aliens from all 12 TV episodes, each NEO ULTRA Q SPECIAL SCREENING will include some fun extras. A newly produced anime short series, PROFESSOR YASHIMA’S ROOM (屋島教授の部屋, Yashima Kyooju no Heya), a retrospective of the unique world of the new series, will be featured between each episode. And four select episodes of COLOR ULTRA Q (colorized in Hollywood from newly HD remastered prints of the original black & white ULTRA Q series) will also be featured.
Additionally, from November 2013 through February 2014, the 9th day of each month will be known as “Q Day”. On the first day of each week of late night screenings a Q&A talk show featuring special guests will be held in the main hall of Toho Cinemas Nichigeki. Guests speakers for the November 9 screening will be NEO ULTRA Q episode director Kiyotaka Taguchi, actress Hiroko Sakurai (ULTRA Q, ULTRAMAN) and creature sculptor Takafumi Tanibuchi (NEO ULTRA Q, SH MonsterArts). Also making an appearance will be the Ancient Monster Gomess, whose colorized ULTRA Q episode will be shown during NEO ULTRA Q SPECIAL SCREENING Part I.
NEO ULTRA Q
Assorted mysteries once occurred on the Earth. 47 years after the events of ULTRA Q, these strange phenomena take place once more…
Drawn to the mysterious events are psychology counselor Jin Haibara (Seiichi Tanabe), travel culture document writer Emiko Watarase (Rin Takanashi), Tobira Bar master Shohei Shiroyama (Hiroyuki Onoe) — a trio from completely different walks of life. Under the guidance of Haibara’s teacher, renowned scientist Professor Yashima, this trio must face the “force” that surpasses human knowledge.
Shot with the new state-of-the-art 4K Camera, this series’ four creators are acclaimed director Gakuryu Ishii (BURST CITY, ISN’T ANYONE ALIVE?), director Yu Nakai (BLOODY SNAKE UNDER THE SUN), director Yu Irie (8000 MILES, RINGING IN THEIR EARS), and director Kiyotaka Taguchi (G, GEHARHA: THE DARK AND LONG HAIR MONSTER). With a new cast, new staff, and new quality, NEO ULTRA Q now inherits part of the soul of its predecessor’s legacy. The door to another dimension is now open…
COLOR ULTRA Q
A milestone of Japanese SPFX productions, ULTRA Q has been revived as a full-color HD production using remastered HD telecines from 35mm low contrast positives.
State-of-the-art digital video technology was used to color the original black & white film. Tsuburaya Productions joined forces with Legend Films, the leading name in film colorization technology. From concept to production, the process took 3 years to complete.
Theaters: TOHO Cinemas Nichigeki and the following TOHO CINEMAS 15 locations…
Akita (Akita Prefecture), Utsunomiya (Tochigi Prefecture), Mito Uchihara (Ibaraki Prefecture), Nagareyama (Chiba Prefecture), Kawasaki (Kanagawa Prefecture), Yokohama (Kanagawa Prefecture), Nagoya (Aichi Prefecture), Toyama (Toyama Prefecture), Nijo (Kyoto), Umeda (Osaka), Nishinomiya (Hyogo Prefecture), Midorii (Hiroshima Prefecture), Kochi (Kochi Prefecture), Tenjin (Fukuoka Prefecture), Hikarinomori (Kumamoto Prefecture)
Ticket Price: ¥1500
■ NEO ULTRA Q SPECIAL SCREENING Part I
Theatrical Run: November 9-16, 2013
① MEMORIES ACROSS THE STARS (思い出は惑星（ほし）を越えて, Omoide wa Hoshi wo Koete) –Director: Gakuryu Ishii
② TOKYO PROTOCOL (東京プロトコル, Tokyo Purotokoru) –Director: Kiyotaka Taguchi
③ SHELL OF IRON (鉄の貝, Tetsu no Kai) –Director: Yu Irie
④ COLOR ULTRA Q: DEFEAT GOMESS! (ゴメスを倒せ!, Gomesu o Taose!) –Director: Hajime Tsuburaya
■ NEO ULTRA Q SPECIAL SCREENING Part II
Theatrical Run: December 9-16, 2013
① FALMAGON AND MICHIRU (ファルマガンとミチル, Farumagan to Michiru) –Director: Yu Nakai
② PANDORA’S CAVE (パンドラの穴, Pandora no Ana) –Director: Gakuryu Ishii
③ THE SMELLIEST ISLAND (もっとも臭い島, Motto mo Kusai Shima) –Director: Kiyotaka Taguchi
④ COLOR ULTRA Q: UNDERSEA HUMANOID RAGON (海底原人ラゴン, Kaitei Genjin Ragon) –Director: Samaji Nonagase
■ NEO ULTRA Q SPECIAL SCREENING Part III
Theatrical Run: January 9-16, 2014
① BUSINESSMAN FROM THE SKY (宇宙（そら）から来たビジネスマン, Sora Kara Kita Bijinesuman) –Director: Yu Irie
② THE TOWN WITHOUT WORDS (言葉のない街, Kotoba no Nai Machi) –Director: Yu Nakai
③ QUO VADIS (クォ・ヴァディス, Kwo Vadisu) –Director: Gakuryu Ishii
④ COLOR ULTRA Q: CHALLENGE FROM THE YEAR 2020 (2020年の挑戦, Nisen-nijuu-nen no Choosen) –Director: Toshihiro
■ NEO ULTRA Q SPECIAL SCREENING Part IV
Theatrical Run: February 9-16, 2014
① LAUNDRY DAY (洗濯の日 Sentaku no Hi) –Director: Kiyotaka Taguchi
② ARGOS DEMOCRACY (アルゴス・デモクラシー, Arugosu Demokurashii) –Director: Yu Irie
③ HOMINIS DIGNITATI (ホミニス・ディグニターティ, Hominisu Digunitaati) –Director: Yu Nakai
④ COLOR ULTRA Q: KANEGON’S COCOON (カネゴンの繭, Kanegon no Mayu) –Director: Harunosuke Nakagawa
■ NEO ULTRA Q
Jin Haibara: Seiichi Tanabe
Emiko Watarase: Rin Takanashi
Shohei Shiroyama: Hiroyuki Onoue
Directors: Gakuryu Ishii, Yu Nakai, Yu Irie, Kiyotaka Taguchi
Screenplays: Kiyotaka Inagaki, Akari Yamamoto, Ayako Kato
Production: WOWOW, Tsuburaya Productions
Distribution: Tsuburaya Productions
Publicity: Point Set
© 2013 Tsuburaya · WOWOW
■ COLOR ULTRA Q
Jun Manjome: Kenji Sahara
Yuriko Edogawa: Hiroko Sakurai
Ippei Togawa: Yasuhiko Saijo
Narrator: Koji Ishisaka
Supervision: Eiji Tsuburaya
Directors: Hajime Tsuburaya, Samaji Nonagase, Toshihiro Iijima, Harunosuke Nakagawa
Screenplays: Tetsuo Kinjo, Masahiro Yamada, Kitao Senzoku, Hiroyasu Yamaura, Samaji Nonagase
Special Effects Directors: Hajime Koizumi, Tohru Matoba, Sadamasa Arikawa
Production: Tsuburaya Productions, TBS
Distribution: Tsuburaya Productions