50 YEARS OF ULTRA HEROES AND SPECIAL FX PROGRAMS Exhibition in Japan
The 50th anniversary celebration of Tsuburaya Productions continues with the 50 YEARS OF ULTRA HEROES AND SPECIAL FX PROGRAMS (ウルトラヒーローと特撮番組の50年, Urutora Hiiroo to Tokusatsu Bangumi no 50-nen) exhibition in Yokohama, Japan. Running now through February 16, 2014, the event is being held at the Broadcast Library, an archive facility located within the Yokohama Media and Communications Center. Admission is free.
Founded by FX legend Eiji Tsuburaya in 1963, Tsuburaya Productions created numerous special effects programs, films and videos, most notably the internationally famous Ultraman franchise. The exhibition looks back at the company’s history with a display of props (including the Ultramen’s transformation devices and other mechanical equipment), statues of the heroes and monsters, publicity and production photographs, screenplays, artwork, costumes, monster models and videos.
■ Exhibition Details
Organized by: Broadcast Programming Center
Planning and Supervision: Tsuburaya Productions
Dates: December 12, 2013 (Thursday) – February 16, 2014 (Sunday)
Closed Mondays (or Tuesday when Monday is a national holiday) and the New Year holiday, December 29 (Sunday) – January 4 (Saturday)
Price: Free admission
Time: 10:00 to 17:00 (No admission after 16:30)
Venue: Broadcast Library Event Hall, Video Hall and Information Salon
Address: Broadcast Library
Yokohama Joho Bunka Center
11 Nihon Odori, Naka-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 231-0021
A direct connection to Nihon Odori Station on the Minato Mirai Line (Exit No.3)
10 minute walk from Kannai Station on the JR Line and the municipal subway
One minute walk from the Kencho-mae of municipal bus and Sotetsu bus
The entrance-way to the 50 YEARS OF ULTRA HEROES AND SPECIAL FX PROGRAMS exhibition is adorned with photos of approximately 30 different Ultra Heroes and 50 different monsters. The centerpiece of the display is a statue of Ultraman Mebius.
Area 1: Special Effects Programs 1963-1971
The first section of the exhibition is devoted to the earliest days of Tsuburaya Productions; starting with the company’s launch and the creation of the iconic FX television series ULTRA Q (ウルトラQ, Urutora Kyuu, 1966), ULTRAMAN (ウルトラマン 空想特撮シリーズ, Urutoraman: Kuso Tokusatsu Shirizu, 1966 – 1967) and ULTRA SEVEN (ウルトラセブン, Urutora Sebun, 1967 – 1968). Also featured are non-Ultra series such as MONSTER BOOSKA (快獣ブースカ, Kaijuu Buusuka, 1966 – 1967) and MIRROR MAN (ミラーマン, Miraaman, 1971 – 1972) plus the re-launch of the Ultra franchise with RETURN OF ULTRAMAN (帰ってきたウルトラマン, Kaettekita Urutoraman, 1971 – 1972).
Props and scripts from the shows are on display, along with statues of Ultraman, Alien Baltan, Booska and Mirror Man. There is also a diorama based on the final ULTRA SEVEN episode – THE GREATEST INVASION EVER PLANNED.
Area 2: Special Effects Programs 1972-1975
Area 2 looks at the “boom time” at Tsuburaya Pro when a new Ultra Hero was introduced every year and FX series such as JAMBORG ACE (ジャンボーグA, Janboogu Eesu, 1973) and FIREMAN (ファイヤーマン, Faiyaaman, 1973) debuted. Among the displays are statues of Ultraman Taro, Zoffy, Fireman and Jamborg Ace plus a miniature filming set.
Area 3: Special Effects Programs 1976-1988
The Ultra Series output slowed dramatically as Tsuburaya Pro experimented with the franchise to meet the demands of the times. The anime series THE ULTRAMAN (ザ☆ウルトラマン, Za Urutoraman, 1979 – 1980) was followed by ULTRAMAN 80 (ウルトラマン80, Urutoraman Eiti, 1980 – 1981), the first live-action Ultraman series in five years. Tsuburaya also looked towards expanding the franchise outside Japan.
The exhibit features statues of Ultraman Joneus, Ultraman 80 and other characters.
Area 4: Special Effects Programs 1989-2005
As the Showa Period ended, Tsuburaya co-produced ULTRAMAN: TOWARDS THE FUTURE (ウルトラマンＧ（グレート）, Urutoraman Gureeto). The Heisei era of Ultraman on television kicked off with ULTRAMAN TIGA (ウルトラマンティガ, Urutoraman Tiga, 1996 – 1997), followed by ULTRAMAN DYNA (ウルトラマンダイナ, Urutoraman Daina, 1997 – 1998), ULTRAMAN GAIA (ウルトラマンガイア, Urutoraman Gaia, 1998 – 1999), ULTRAMAN COSMOS (ウルトラマンコスモス, Urutoraman Kosumosu, 2001 – 2002), ULTRAMAN NEXUS (ウルトラマンネクサス, Urutoraman Nekusasu, 2004 – 2005) and ULTRAMAN MAX (ウルトラマンマックス, Urutoraman Makkusu, 2005 – 2006). The Ultramen became heroes for a new era of children.
The exhibit includes statues of Ultraman Great, Ultraman Tiga and other Ultra Heroes.
Area 5: Special Effects Programs 2006-2013
After the broadcast of ULTRAMAN MEBIUS (ウルトラマンメビウス, Urutoraman Mebiusu, 2006 – 2007) and ULTRASEVEN X (ウルトラセブン エックス, Urutorasebun Ekkusu, 2007) Ultra Heroes took a break from television while Tsuburaya focused on the monster-themed ULTRA GALAXY: MEGA MONSTER BATTLE (ウルトラギャラクシー大怪獣バトル, Urutora Gyarakushii Daikaijuu Batoru) franchise and introducing new heroes like Ultraman Zero on movie screens. In 2013, a new Ultraman was debuted in the TV series ULTRAMAN GINGA (ウルトラマンギンガ, Urutoraman Ginga).
The new age of Ultraman is showcased with statues of Ultraman Zero and other Ultra Heroes.
Area 6: Tsuburaya Special Effects Video
Video presentations take attendees behind the scenes at Tsuburaya Productions, showing how the studio created visual effects for films and shows. Props from Tsuburaya programs are also on display.
Area 7: Ultra Hero Collection
This section of the exhibit features a display of the many Ultra hero and monster soft vinyl figures sold to generations of Ultraman fans.
Area 8: Shooting Corner
Visitors can have their photo taken in front of a large banner for ULTRAMAN GINGA.
Area 9: Ultra Theater
A selection of episodes from the Ultra Series and other Tsuburaya FX shows are being screened during the exhibition. The “Program A” block plays each Thursday; “Program B” on Saturdays.
10:30: ULTRA Q Episode 1- DEFEAT GOMESS! (1966 · TBS) *
11:00: ULTRAMAN Episode 1- ULTRA OPERATION #1 (1966 · TBS) *
11:30: ULTRA SEVEN Episode 1- THE INVISIBLE CHALLENGER (1967 · TBS) *
12:00: RETURN OF ULTRAMAN Episode 1- ALL MONSTERS ATTACK (1971 · TBS) *
13:00: ULTRAMAN Episode 6- THE COAST GUARD COMMAND (1966 · TBS)
13:30: RETURN OF ULTRAMAN Episode 41- THE REVENGE OF ALIEN BALTAN JR. (1972 · TBS)
14:00: ULTRAMAN DYNA Episode 1- A NEW LIGHT (1997 · MBS)
14:30: ULTRAMAN COSMOS Episode 1- REUNION WITH THE LIGHT (2001 · MBS)
15:00: MONSTER BOOSKA Episode 1- THE BIRTH OF BOOSKA (1966 · Nippon TV)
15:30: OPERATION: MYSTERY Episode 1 (1968 · TBS)
16:00: MIRROR MAN Episode 1- MIRROR MAN IS BORN (1971· Fuji TV)
10:30: ULTRAMAN ACE Episode 1- SHINE! THE FIVE ULTRA BROTHERS (1972 · TBS) *
11:00: ULTRAMAN TARO Episode 1- THE MOTHER OF ULTRA IS LIKE THE SUN (1973 · TBS) *
11:30: ULTRAMAN LEO Episode 1- TOKYO SINKS WHEN SEVEN DIES (1974 · TBS) *
12:00: anime THE ☆ ULTRAMAN Episode 1- BIRTH OF A NEW HERO! (1979 · TBS) *
13:00: ULTRAMAN 80 Episode 1- TEACHER ULTRAMAN (1980 · TBS) *
13:30: ULTRAMAN DYNA Episode 1- A NEW LIGHT (1997 · MBS)
14:00: ULTRAMAN GAIA Episode 1- SEIZE THE LIGHT! (1998 · MBS)
14:30: ULTRAMAN COSMOS Episode 1- REUNION WITH THE LIGHT (2001 · MBS)
15:00: FIREMAN Episode 1- THE BIRTH OF FIREMAN (1973 · Japan TV)
15:30: JAMBORG ACE Episode 1- GIFT FROM EMERALD STAR (1973 · MBS)
16:00: KOSEIDON Episode 1- GO KOSEIDON: CHALLENGE FROM THE CRETACEOUS PERIOD (1978 · TV Tokyo)
■ Ultraman Shop
During the exhibition the shop will sell Ultraman-related goods.
■ Ultra Hero Photo Sessions
Hero appearance schedule
Ultra Seven: December 22, 2013 (Sunday)
Ultraman Ginga: January 18, 2014 (Saturday)
Times: 11:30 / 13:30 / 15:30
Venue: Jobun Hall of Broadcast Library (Yokohama Information and Culture Center, 6F)
80 fans can get their photos taken at each session. Tickets will be distributed on a first-come basis from 10:00 on days that the sessions are held.
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.