ULTRAMAN ORB Press Notes
Commemorating the 50th anniversary of ULTRAMAN (ウルトラマン 空想特撮シリーズ, Urutoraman: Kuso Tokusatsu Shirizu, 1966-67) — and the 20th anniversary of the franchise’s relaunch with ULTRAMAN TIGA (ウルトラマンティガ, Urutoraman Tiga, 1996-97) — Tsuburaya Productions will debut their new ULTRAMAN ORB (ウルトラマンオーブ, Urutoraman Oobu) television series this July 9th on TV Tokyo. Scheduled for 25 episodes, the show will introduce the 42nd Ultraman in the Ultra Series.
The creative team for ULTRAMAN ORB features a number of Ultraman veterans, including lead director Kiyotaka Taguchi, who served the same role for last year’s ULTRAMAN X (ウルトラマンＸ, Urutoraman Ekkusu). Joining Taguchi are directors Yuichi Abe (ULTRAMAN NEXUS, ULTRAMAN ZERO: THE REVENGE OF BELIAL, ULTRAMAN X), Ryuichi Ichino (ULTRAMAN GAIA, ULTRAMAN COSMOS), Taku Tomita (ULTRAMAN X) and Shono Takei. The head writers are Takao Nakano (BIG TITS ZOMBIE, ULTRAMAN GINGA, ULTRAMAN X THE MOVIE) and Yuji Kobayashi (GARO, ULTRA Q: DARK FANTASY, MEGA MONSTER BATTLE ULTRA GALAXY: THE MOVIE).
The only cast member named so far has been Hideo Ishiguro, a 27 year-old actor known to tokusatsu fans for portraying the villainous Kai in Toei’s MASKED RIDER DEN-O (仮面ライダー電王, Kamen Raidaa Den’Oo, 2007-08). Ishiguro will play Gai Kurenai, a young man described as a “vagabond” who transforms into Ultraman Orb via a device called the Orb Ring.
Keeping with the anniversary theme of the series, Orb will have multiple forms that can borrow the powers of past Ultramen. The hero’s primary form is named Ultraman Orb Spacium Zeperion and can utilize the abilities of the original Ultraman and Ultraman Tiga. The blue Ultraman Orb Hurricane Slash combines Ultraman Jack and Ultraman Zero while the red Ultraman Orb Burnmite does the same with Ultraman Mebius and Ultraman Taro. These — and additional forms to be introduced over the course of the series — will offer Ultraman Orb a variety of appearances with different characteristics for combating the monsters who menace mankind, one after another.
Unlike the last few Ultraman shows, which were broadcast on weekday evenings, ULTRAMAN ORB will air in the 9:00-9:30 time-slot on Saturday mornings. Tsuburaya’s parent company, Fields Corporation, explained the time was changed “to one when more children have opportunities to watch”. Fields added that the series will be supported with increased advertising and product development, both in Japan and parts of Asia.
■ Lead Actor: Hideo Ishiguro
Ishiguro was born January 10, 1989. In addition to MASKED RIDER DEN-O, he has appeared in the television productions GOKUSEN (ごくせん), TAIRA NO KIYOMORI (平清盛, 2012), GUNSHI KANBEI (軍師官兵衛, 2014), DAMENA WATASHI NI KOISHITE KUDASAI (ダメな私に恋してください, 2016) and THE LAST RESTAURANT (最後のレストラン, Saigo no Resutoran, 2016). Ishiguro’s feature film credits include ELITE YANKEE SABURO (激情版 エリートヤンキー三郎, Gekijooban: Erito Yankii Saburo, 2009), GOKUSEN THE MOVIE (ごくせん THE MOVIE, 2009) and HIGANJIMA: ESCAPE FROM VAMPIRE ISLAND (彼岸島, Higanjima, 2010).
■ Lead Director: Kiyotaka Taguchi
Born in Muroran, Hokkaido in 1980, Taguchi studied cinema at the Nikkatsu Institute of the Arts in Tokyo. While still in school he worked on special effects for the movies WHITEOUT (ホワイトアウト, Howaitoauto, 2000), SAKUYA (さくや妖怪伝, Sakuya Yokaiden, 2000) and GODZILLA VS MEGAGUIRUS (ゴジラ × メガギラス G消滅作戦, Gojira tai Megagirasu: Jii Shoometsu Sakusen, 2000), after which he became part of the FX staff for the Godzilla series. He made his directing debut with the independent production G (大怪獣映画 Ｇ, Daikaijuu Eiga G, 2007) followed by the NHK short film GEHARHA: THE DARK AND LONG HAIR MONSTER (長髪大怪獣ゲハラ, Choohatsu Daikaijuu Gehara, 2009). Both works earned Taguchi an award from the Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival 2009. He provided digital effects for the Kamen Rider series and served as a director on the TV series NEO ULTRA Q (ネオ・ウルトラQ, Neo Urutora Kyuu, 2013), ULTRAMAN GINGA S (ウルトラマンギンガＳ, Uurutoraman Ginga S, 2014), ULTRAMAN X and ULTRAMAN X THE MOVIE (劇場版 ウルトラマンＸ きたぞ！われらのウルトラマン, Gekijoo-ban Urutoraman X Kita Zo! Ware-ra no Urutoraman, 2016).
Additional works include MM9 -MONSTER MAGNITUDE- (エム・エム・ナイン モンスター・マグニチュード, Emu Emu Nain Monsutaa Magunichuudo, 2010), RANGER (ＲＡＮＧＥＲ 陸上自衛隊幹部レンジャー訓練の91日, RANGER Rikujoojieitai Kanbu Renjaa Kunren no 91-nichi, 2011), ULTRA ZONE (ウルトラゾーン, Urutorazoon, 2011-2012), KAIKI DAISAKUSEN: MYSTERY FILE (怪奇大作戦 ミステリー・ファイル, Kaiki Daisakusen Misuteroo Fairu, 2013) and THE NEXT GENERATION -PATLABOR- (ザ ネクスト ジェネレーション -パトレイバー-, Za Nekusuto Jenereeshon – Patoreibaa -, 2014-2015).
Official English Title: ULTRAMAN ORB
Japanese Title: ウルトラマンオーブ
Premiere: Saturday, July 9, 2016
Station: TV Tokyo and Affiliates
Airdates: Every Saturday 9:00-9:30am
Gai Kurenai: Hideo Ishiguro
Lead Director: Kiyotaka Taguchi
Directors: Yuichi Abe, Ryuichi Ichino, Taku Tomita, Shono Takei
Writers: Takao Nakano, Yuji Kobayashi
Cinematography: So Takahashi
Recording: Ichiro Hoshi
Production: Tsuburaya Productions, TV Tokyo, Dentsu
© Tsuburaya Pro © Ultraman Orb Production Committee ・ TV Tokyo
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.