ULTRAMAN ORB THE MOVIE Update: Alien Voice Actors Speak!
A SCIFI JAPAN EXCLUSIVE
Tsuburaya Productions and distributor Shochiku have issued a new update and high-res photos for ULTRAMAN ORB THE MOVIE focusing on the guest actors providing voices for some of the film’s aliens.
As previously reported, “Two As One”, the theme song for ULTRAMAN ORB THE MOVIE, will be performed by the five-man dance group, Da-iCE (pronounced “Dice”). But two members of Da-iCE — lead performer Taiki Kudo and vocalist Sota Hanamura — are also making their voice acting debuts in the movie as, respectively, the evil Cicadawoman and Alien Kukaratch.
“I used to watch ULTRAMAN GREAT and ULTRAMAN POWERED [both Japanese dubbed versions of English language Ultraman shows] but I never thought that I would have the opportunity to actually work on an Ultraman movie,” Kudo explained. “I sought to find inspiration and thoughts to kickstart my ideas about how to approach this. What to do and what not to do as far as my use of language to bring life to this. I had to work really hard because of the difficulty in becoming another creature. This is not like giving voice to human characters just speaking normal Japanese that we hear everyday. Just putting Japanese in the mouth of the character is not enough. How would a Cicadawoman sound, how do these creatures express themselves?”
“Also, I was very pleased with the decision to use the theme song because of its relationship to the history of the series. You can really hear the ties between the lyrics and the music for it.”
Sota Hanamura also described his approach to playing Alien Kukaratch: “With the dubbing, I thought to myself that if I do not work very hard from the minute that I begin this project, there might as well be no words in it at all. I’m not necessarily thinking of these characters as if they spoke in common everyday Japanese that we all hear, yet the audience needs to be able to understand the creature at the same time. We had some improvisations in our dressing room about what to say and how to say it. Director [Kiyotaka] Taguchi gave us encouragement to make the vocals our own with whatever ad-libs that we wanted to introduce (laughs).”
“The work was fun and I really appreciate the opportunity to work on an Ultraman movie since I have enjoyed watching Ultraman since I was a small child. It was like a good dream that came true!”
Another addition to the ULTRAMAN ORB THE MOVIE cast is veteran voice actor Koichi Yamadera, who portrays a new villain, Alien Gapiya Suddeth. Yamadera is one of the top performers in his field, with a long list of anime credits that includes NINJA SCROLL (獣兵衛忍風帖 Juubee Ninpuuchoo, 1993), GHOST IN THE SHELL (攻殻機動隊, Kookaku Kidootai, 1995), NEON GENESIS EVANGELION (新世紀エヴァンゲリオン, Shin Seiki Evangerion, 1995-96), COWBOY BEBOP (カウボーイビバップ, Kaubooi Bibappu, 1998), SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO 2199 (宇宙戦艦ヤマト2199, Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2199), DRAGON BALL Z: BATTLE OF GODS (ドラゴンボールZ 神と神, Doragon Booru Zetto: Kami to Kami, 2013), SHORT PEACE (ショート・ピース, Shooto Piisu, 2013) and SWORD ART ONLINE THE MOVIE – ORDINAL SCALE – (劇場版 ソードアート・オンライン -オーディナル・スケール- Gekijooban Soodo Aato Onrain -Oodinaru Sukeeru-, 2017). He has also acted in live-action FX films such as GODZILLA VS. MEGAGUIRUS (ゴジラ × メガギラス G消滅作戦, Gojira x Megagirasu: Jii Shometsu Sakusen, 2000) and GODZILLA, MOTHRA, AND KING GHIDORAH: GIANT MONSTERS ALL-OUT ATTACK (ゴジラ・モスラ・キングギドラ 大怪獣総攻撃, Gojira, Mosura, Kingughidora: Daikaiju Soshingeki, 2001), done voice work for KYORYUGER VS GO-BUSTERS (獣電戦隊キョウリュウジャーＶＳゴーバスターズ 恐竜大決戦！ さらば永遠の友よ, Juuden Sentai Kyooryuujaa Tai Goobasutaazu: Kyooryuu Daikessen! Saraba Eien no Tomo yo, 2014), provided the opening narration for GODZILLA: FINAL WARS (ゴジラ ファイナルウォーズ, Gojira Fainaru Uoozu, 2004) and worked on the Japanese dub of ULTRAMAN: TOWARDS THE FUTURE/ULTRAMAN GREAT (ウルトラマンＧ（グレート）, Urutoraman Gureeto, 1990).
“Having already provided the Japanese voice for characters in the Ultraman series,” said Yamadera, “I was excited about coming back to the Ultra Series for another round of fun. It was like going down a familiar road that I had not traveled along in over 20 years. I was a little nervous about this at first. It is an alien creature after all, not like providing the voice for another human or hero character in the story. I’m glad that they put limits on the inclusion of other Ultramen in this instead of going all the way through the original Ultraman, Ultra Seven through Ultraman Ace, etc., and so on so that we can give a little more screen time to the other characters. From the point of view that an actor has in something like this, too many Ultramen can be annoying to us and our performances sometimes.”
“In giving voice to Suddeth, the evil Gapiya alien, even though his purpose is little above that of the bad guy, the role was crucial to providing the tension and adversarial action that the story needed. I was a little worried about this at first (laughs) since I wanted to approach Suddeth as more than just another threat to be blown apart by the Ultramen. But Director Taguchi’s approval for me to take this character and give it the vocal personality that I developed for him, improvising as I wanted, made the challenge more fun. I could refocus the role a bit with some intuitive language choices to play this guy as properly as I saw fit.”
Tamadera added that, “From the themes in the title, ‘The Power of Bonds’ and ‘To Trust Each Other with a Big Heart’, the whole thing developed into something that should show the hard work that it takes to bring about better times sometimes. As it is presented here, it should especially register with that generation that remembers ULTRA SEVEN, which I am certainly a part of! And it will be seen on the big screen!”
Also providing their vocal talents are Hirohisa Ota, Otake and Shinji Saito of the popular comedy trio Jungle Pocket. The three are self-professed “otaku” who previously played henchmen in the anime feature film, YU-GI-OH!: THE DARK SIDE OF DIMENSIONS (遊☆戯☆王 THE DARK SIDE OF DIMENSIONS, 2016). In ULTRAMAN ORB THE MOVIE, the comedians voice members of alien races that have challenged the Ultramen for decades. Shinji Saito plays Doppel (short for “doppelganger”), an Alien Guts; Hirohisa Ota is the Alien Hipporito named Callisto; and Otake portrays Alien Temperor Batista.
“This time around, I did have some worries about what I was doing but that feeling was gone within minutes of working with everyone,” said Otake. “Sometimes I would think, am I doing or saying the right thing? But I could put on an angry or overly expressive face at the right time to carry over a scene in the studio with dialog that I may not have been as sure of as others (laughs).”
“I think that THIS one will be a significant blockbuster! Please come to a theater and see it on the big screen… maybe 3 or more times, even! There are details in the scenes you won’t notice unless you see them 3 times.”
Hirohisa Ota explained that, “Well, with family and relatives watching, I have to be sure to do the best job that I can in approaching something like this. Even with evil aliens and bad guys, you seek to find something in the character, some purpose, some motivations that it may have. And what about others of its kind? Is the entire species threatening or malevolent? Honestly, the fighting scenes were the easiest to play (laughs).” He added that, “I want to appeal to the child in all of us and not forget that children are watching.”
“At last I thought that our time had come — I actually thought this quite a while ago — to be a part of Ultraman, because Alien Guts looks a lot like me!” joked Shinji Saito. “My contribution to this is as a fresh start. I’m new to this and I’m not really looking to anything that came before me as a big source of inspiration. I would like for my Guts alien, Doppel, to not fall to TOO much greed or arbitrariness within the context of the story. He is his own undoing at times, isn’t he? And those eyes they have… sheeesh!”
“Will there be a next time (laughs)? Because I have heard that decisions have already been made for more such roles in Ultraman (laughs). So I want to do my very best with this by all means!”
Shochiku will release ULTRAMAN ORB THE MOVIE at the Shinjuku Piccadilly and other cinemas across Japan on March 11. Advance tickets can be purchased at theaters, FamilyMart stores with FamiPort ticket kiosks, and official Ultraman memorabilia shops.
Adult Advance Ticket: ¥1,500
Child Advance Ticket: ¥800
Parent-Child Advance Ticket Pair: ¥2000
Ticket buyers who purchase the Parent-Child Pair will receive a free limited edition Glitter Ver. Ultraman Orb Origin finger puppet (while supplies last) and be able to buy an exclusive Ultraman Orb Gai Kurenai Nikiri Jacket from Premium Bandai. The adult size replica of the jacket worn by Ultraman Orb’s human identity, Gai Kurenai (Hideo Ishiguro), in both the film and television series, retails for ¥25,000 (Approximately $220.00 US).
Official English Title: ULTRAMAN ORB THE MOVIE
Japanese Title: 劇場版 ウルトラマンオーブ 絆の力、おかりします！ (Gekijoo-ban Urutoraman Oobu Kizuna no Chikara, Okari Shimasu!)
Literal Translation: Ultraman Orb The Movie: I’m Borrowing the Power of Your Bonds!
Japanese Theatrical Release: Saturday, March 11, 2017 (Nationwide Roadshow)
Gai Kurenai/Ultraman Orb (Voice): Hideo Ishiguro
Naomi Yumeno: Miyabi Matsuura
Jetta Hayami: Naoto Takahashi
Shin Matsudo: Hiroaki Nerio
Juggrus Juggler: Takaya Aoyagi
Ittetsu Shibukawa: Shingo Yanagisawa
Murnau: Oniyakko Tsubaki
Daichi Ozora: Kensuke Takahashi
Dan Moroboshi/Ultra Seven (Voice): Koji Moritsugu
Ultraman X (Voice): Yuichi Nakamura
Ultraman Ginga (Voice): Takuya Negishi
Ultraman Victory (Voice): Kiyotaka Uji
Ultraman Zero (Voice): Mamoru Miyano
Alien Gapiya Suddeth (Voice): Koichi Yamadera
Alien Guts Doppel (Voice): Shinji Saito (Jungle Pocket)
Alien Hipporito Callisto (Voice): Hirohisa Ota (Jungle Pocket)
Alien Temperor Batista (Voice): Otake (Jungle Pocket)
Cicadawoman (Voice): Taiki Kudo (Da-iCE)
Alien Kukaratch (Voice): Sota Hanamura (Da-iCE)
Director: Kiyotaka Taguchi
Screenplay: Takao Nakano
Supervisor: Shinichi Ooka
Chief Producer: Tsugumi Kitaura
Producer: Yukinobu Tsuruta
Cinematography: So Takahashi
Lighting: Hiromichi Takeyama
Art: Taro Kiba
Editor: Yosuke Yafune
Recording: Fujimaru Kazunori
Action Coordinator: Hiroyuki Okano
Casting: Yumiko Kuga, Kazumasa Shimada
VFX: Tomoaki Miwa
Music: Takao Konishi
Theme Song: “Two As One” by Da-iCE
Production: “Ultraman Orb The Movie” Film Partners
Distribution: Shochiku Media Division
World Sales: Tsuburaya Productions
Advance Ticket Prices
Adult: ¥1,500 / Child: ¥800
Parent-Child Pair: ¥2000
© 2017 “Ultraman Orb The Movie” Film Partners
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 more than 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.
About Shochiku Co., Ltd.
Founded in 1895, Shochiku functions as a highly-tuned vertically integrated entertainment entity, encompassing feature film and television production, theatrical distribution of Japanese & foreign motion pictures, worldwide sales, exhibition, DVD and home video distribution and the Kabuki Theater.
Shochiku operates one of the most successful motion picture divisions in Japan. The company has produced a number of critically and financially successful films, including the 2002 Academy Award nominee for best foreign language film THE TWILIGHT SAMURAI, directed by Yoji Yamada, the first Japanese Academy Award nomination for a live-action film in 22 years. Shochiku’s latest include DEPARTURES by Yojiro Takita, the 2009 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film.
For more information on ULTRAMAN ORB and ULTRAMAN ORB THE MOVIE, please see the earlier coverage here on SciFi Japan:
- ULTRAMAN ORB Press Notes
- Bandai Launches ULTRAMAN ORB Figure Line
- New ULTRAMAN ORB Ultra Fusion Cards and Collectibles from Bandai
- More ULTRAMAN ORB Bandai Figures for July
- New ULTRAMAN ORB Figures From Bandai
- More Bandai ULTRAMAN ORB Figures for September 2016
- Bandai ULTRAMAN ORB Figure Update
- ULTRAMAN ORB THE MOVIE Coming March 2017
- ULTRAMAN ORB THE MOVIE Live Event in Kanagawa
- ULTRAMAN ORB THE MOVIE Update: New Info and High-Res Photos!
- ULTRAMAN ORB THE MOVIE Update: More High-Res Photos!