THE KAIJU STEP WANDABADA — Press Notes and Pics From Tsuburaya Productions
A SCIFI JAPAN EXCLUSIVE
Tsuburaya Productions has provided SciFi Japan with information and images for their new anime series THE KAIJU STEP WANDABADA (かいじゅうステップ ワンダバダ, Kaijū Suteppu Wandabada). The show premieres 5:20pm today (Japan Standard Time) on NHK E-TV’s “Mini Anime” programming block. This will be the first Tsuburaya series to have a first-run broadcast on NHK E-TV.
THE KAIJU STEP WANDABADA is part of the family-friendly KAIJU STEP campaign that is particularly focused on young children. The stories feature monsters and aliens from the ULTRAMAN series, but reimagined as little kids. These “Little Kaiju” (ちいさなかいじゅう, Chīsana Kaijū) live on a little planet somewhere in space where they try new things, meet new friends and take their “first steps” in life. The anime stars the characters Little Pigg, Little Kane and Little Dada from the picture books Little Pigg’s Balloon and Hide-And-Seek with Little Kane, plus a new Little Kaiju named Red.
■ Series Synopsis and Episode Previews
K10 Nebula Chochii, far across the universe.
Today, children are playing happily.
Crying, laughing, running around and singing.
Little Pigg came to this world with his friends Little Kane and Little Dada.
He wanted to help everyone.
When you don’t have courage and are about to give up, shout “Wandabada! loudly!
And then you’ll be able to take the first step.
● Episode 1: HELLO LITTLE PIGG! (こんにちは ピグちゃん！, Konnichiwa Pigu-chan)
Broadcast Date: September 27, 2019
K10 Nebula Chochii where children live happily. Little Pigg came to this world to make a lot of friends. Can he get along with everyone?
● Episode 2: LITTLE KANE’S BIG HIT! (カネちゃん ききいっぱつ！, Kane-chan Kikīppatsu!)
Broadcast Date: October 4, 2019
Little Kane and Little Pigg have become friends. They are excited to do a show together. But what kind of show will they make?
● Episode 3: LITTLE DADA’S DREAM! (ダダちゃんのゆめ！, Dada-chan no Yume!)
Broadcast Date: October 11, 2019
What kind of show is “Mr. Kaiju”? Little Dada leads Little Pigg and Little Kane deep into the forest, saying, “There is something I want to make.” A giant robot appears there!
■ Cast and Crew Comments
● Misaki Kuno (Little Pigg)
“When you hear the word ‘monster’ it’s a bit scary, but everyone at KAIJU STEP is very cute and adorable.
Little Pigg is timid, but a clear-hearted child with strong feelings of friendship. Although he has no special ability to fly in the sky or blow fire, he is a hard-working character who always there to help a friend in need.
I think that there are many parts that both children and adults can empathize with. I hope you will enjoy it with your friends and family.”
● Misato Fukuen (Little Kane)
“The Ultra Monsters have been reborn to be adorable!
The Little Kaiju are like children. It is a cute story, drawn to touch and cooperate with everyone and live together. The stories are very easy for children to understand, and a little surreal and enjoyable for adults. I love this work very much.
I play Little Kane, who does not have many special skills but is a cheerful character with a unique personality. He is a gentle child, just like I was. I also like the original Kanegon, so I’m very happy to have cast.”
● Kei Shindo (Little Dada)
“Little Dada loves inventing things. I like playing him because he is a character that is similar to me. THE KAIJU STEP WANDABADA is a cute and fun show that makes me unintentionally laugh while dubbing,
Little Pigg and Little Kane are easygoing. They use a gentle and soft language, but Little Dada is the type who speaks honestly and bluntly. His kindness still comes out every time, so I hope you can see that (laughs).
Little Dada will try various things besides invention, and that is one of the highlights of the series.”
● Akiyoshi Nakao (Narrator)
“My 5 year old son likes Ultraman, but I received this assignment at a time in my life where I thought that an offer to be an Ultra member would not come (laughs).
I showed it to my son, and he said, ‘Daddy, this is interesting!’ From the perspective of parents, it is a work that captures part of the lives of children. There are rampaging boys like Red and innocent and curious children like Little Pigg, so I feel it is a show that makes me think as a parent. I hope many people will see it!”
● Yosuke Kihara (Character Designer)
“When I was little, I was excited about the Ultraman series on TV. I am of the generation that grew up with ULTRA Q through ULTRASEVEN, and I loved watching them when I was a child. When I was asked to design these characters, I was worried that it would not be possible, but 15 characters were made overnight (laughs).
I love NHK, so I was very happy that the animated version was made. I thought that each character were completed only when the wonderful voice were cast and heard. The skilled staff and voice actors truly brought them to life.
I hope you will enjoy the opening video produced by Tsuburaya Productions’ modeling department and LSS. If you watch it, you’ll hug your whole TV! (It helps if you have a small TV…)”
● Yuuji Umoto (Director)
“Cute children are living on a planet that has only children, and they are happily alive. They have adventures while there are no “adults” around. I hope you will enjoy the stories of these kawaii kaiju.”
● Ryosuke Aoike (Series Composition)
“In this anime, cute and appealing kaiju finds and learn various things for the first time. It is a wonderful time full of laughter, excitement and thrills.
I’m aiming to create a fun piece that is enjoyable for such children and nostalgic for adults.”
● Atsushi Oishi (Chief Producer)
“I was born in 1965, and the first work of the Ultraman Series, ULTRA Q, was broadcast in 1966. I have a clear memory of seeing the rebroadcast when I was a child.
THE KAIJU STEP WANDABADA, where the Ultra Monsters appearing in the Ultraman Series become “Kodomo Kaiju” (child monsters), is a work that can be enjoyed by all generations, from children to grandpas and grandmas. I hope everyone will enjoy it.”
■ Theme Song
The theme song “Kaiju Step Wandabada” is performed by the popular children’s musical duo, Keropons (ケロポンズ)!
Popular among children and parents alike, Keropons makes fun music with action for kids. Yuko Masuda (Kero) and Akiko Hirata (Pon) formed the group in 1999. They write music and lyrics, choreography for children, and have appeared in many parent-child concerts, seminars for kindergarten/preschool teachers. They are very well known for their exercise song “Ebikanics,” which was viewed over 40 million times on YouTube and is now standard song in many kindergartens and preschools.
Much like the “KAIJU STEP Wonderland” song from Keropons last year, the anime theme is a fun song that the whole family can sing along and dance to.
Coinciding with broadcast of the first episode, a music video of Keropons’ theme song will be released. KAIJU STEP character designer Yosuke Kihara supervised the video, which features stop-motion animation of the Little Kaiju on Chochii. THe puppets and set were created by the modeling department of Tsuburaya Productions and LSS (Light Sculpture Studio).
“We think it is a fun and memorable song,” Keropons said in an official statement. “We hope you will pay attention to the opening stop-motion animation, and you can also see our dance on our official website!”
“‘Wandabada’ is a magical word that gives you energy. We hope everyone will sing, dance and be energetic!”
■ THE KAIJU STEP WANDABADA Exhibition in Kichijoji
The first THE KAIJU STEP WANDABADA exhibition will be held at “Kichijoji Anime Wonderland 2019,” an animation event near Kichijoji Station in Musashino, Tokyo.
There will be a display and sale of hand-drawn artwork by Yosuke Kihara, an illustrator living in Kichijoji who is the character designer for THE KAIJU STEP. There will also be animation screenings and a picture book reading corner where children can gather. In addition, there will be a talk with director Yuuji Umoto and a photo session with Little Pigg.
Event Dates: Thursday, October 10 – Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Hours: 12:00-6:00pm (Last day closes at 5:00pm)
Location: Libest Gallery Sou
Address: 1-1-19 Kichijoji Higashimachi, Musashino 180-0002
★ Yuuji Umoto Director Talk
Date: October 12th (Sat) 15: 00-16: 00
Location: Libest Gallery Sou
* Includes Screening of the Making of THE KAIJU STEP WANDABADA Video
★ Little Pigg Photo Session
Date: Sunday, October 13
Location: Inokashira Park Outdoor Stage
■ THE KAIJU STEP WANDABADA Details
Network: NHK E-TV
Premiere Date: Friday, September 27, 2019
Release Time: Every Friday at 5:20pm (JST)
Number of Episodes: 26
Episode Runtime: 5 Minutes
Little Pigg: Misaki Kuno
Little Kane: Misato Fukuen
Little Dada: Kei Shindo
Little Gomo: Akeno Watanabe
Little Kreron: Ryota Iwasaki
Little No: Ryoko Hara
Little Kem: Megumi Han
Red: Tomokazu Seki
Narrator: Akiyoshi Nakao
Character Design: Yosuke Kihara
Director: Yuuji Umoto
Series Composition: Ryosuke Aoike
Chief Producer: Atsushi Oishi
Screenplay: Uiko Miura, Shinji Sato
Music: Akiyuki Tateyama
Theme Song: “Kaiju Step Wandabada” by Keropons
Animation Production: Usagi Ou
Production Company: Kaiju Step Wandabada Production Committee (Tsuburaya Productions, NHK Enterprise)
© TSUBURAYA PRODUCTIONS © Kaiju Step Wandabada Production Committee
About Tsuburaya Productions
Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd. has created dozens of heroes and other characters, including Ultraman, who have been loved from generation to generation. The base for the company was Tsuburaya Visual Effects Research, which was launched by the Japanese “Father of Special Effects” Eiji Tsuburaya. After showing his skill and making a name for himself working on many monster movies and special effects laden fantasy science films, in 1963 Tsuburaya incorporated Tsuburaya Visual Effects Research and established Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd. in order to advance further research and development of special effects technologies and release visual works that could be enjoyed by a wider audience. The company has continued to maintain Eiji Tsuburaya’s policies even after his death.
2013 marked the 50th anniversary of the company’s founding, and it continues its work to this day. Currently, the company carries out activities including production of works for television, original video works, and films for theatrical release; licensing of owned characters’ content; development of various products; event planning and live staged events that bring out the maximum appeal of its owned characters, and development of facilities that handle related items.