ULTRAMAN Z (ZETT) — Updates From Tsuburaya Pro
Tsuburaya Productions has provided SciFi Japan with two updates for ULTRAMAN Z (ZETT) 『ウルトラマンＺ(ゼット), Urutoraman Z (Zetto)』. The latest Ultraman series focuses on two young heroes: Haruki Natsukawa (played by Kohshu Hirano), a new pilot for the anti-monster robot force “STORAGE,” and Ultraman Z, a new hero and disciple of Ultraman Zero with a passionate heart.
ULTRAMAN Z will begin broadcasting on TV Tokyo and other TXN Networks at 9am on Saturday, June 20, 2020. The broadcast schedule is as follows…
● TV Tokyo (Tokyo)Every Saturday 9:00-9:30am
● Kitanihon Broadcasting (Toyama) Every Sunday 5:00-5:30am Starting July 5
● Hiroshima Home TV (Hiroshima) Every Sunday 5:20-5:50am Starting July 5
● Shizuoka Daiichi Television (Shizuoka) Every Sunday 5:30-6:00am Starting July 5
● TV-U Fukushima (Fukushima) Every Sunday 6:15-6:45am Starting July 26
● Ishikawa TV (Ishikawa) Every Sunday 6:30-7:00am Starting August 2
Each new episode will also be available for free online for 2 weeks after its broadcast date from the following services…
The series will also be available from the following pay streaming services in Japan…
● Amazon Prime Video: amazon.co.jp/Prime-Video
● Hulu: hulu.jp
● U-NEXT: video.unext.jp
● dTV: pc.video.dmkt-sp.jp
● TELASA: videopass.jp
● J:COM On Demand: jcom.co.jp/service/tv/ondemand
● Hikari TV: hikaritv.net
● NETFLIX: netflix.com/jp
● milplus: front.milplus.jp
Individual episodes will also be available on demand from the following streaming services in Japan…
● TSUTAYA TV: movie-tsutaya.tsite.jp
● Bandai Channel: b-ch.com
● J:COM On Demand: jcom.co.jp/service/tv/ondemand
● TELASA: videopass.jp
● milplus: front.milplus.jp
● Video Market: videomarket.jp
● HAPPY! Video: happydouga
● Nico Nico Channel: ch.nicovideo.jp
The Anti-Monster Robot Unit STORAGE
STORAGE is a robot unit of Global Allied Forces Japan that specializes in combating kaiju. Its official name is “Special Tactical Operations Regimental Airborne and Ground Equipment.” STORAGE fights against monsters and the disasters they create using special anti-monster combat robots, the first of which is Sevenger.
■ Captain Shota Hebikura: Takaya Aoyagi
Takaya Aoyagi gives a stellar performance as the leader of STORAGE, Captain Shota Hebikura. Ultraman fans will recognize Takaya, who impressively portrayed Jugglus Juggler in the 2016 series ULTRAMAN ORB (ウルトラマンオーブ, Urutoraman Ōbu). Please look forward to seeing him again as Shota Hebikura!
As the captain of STORAGE, the 34 year-old Hebikura brings together the troublesome young team. Kind, bright, and friendly, he acts as an older brother figure that the team can rely on. Hebikura is very athletic and puts Haruki through intensive drills in the training room.
Comment: When I heard the news last summer, I was honestly surprised — for about two seconds.
Immediately every cell in my body filled with excitement — for about two seconds.
Hearing the word “captain,” I was dazed by the question mark — for about two seconds.
I didn’t even need ten seconds to decide.
“I want to make another show with them!” There’s nothing better than that. When I was in ULTRAMAN ORB, I made a lot of friends who encouraged me, and they all have helped and supported me through everything… It’s easy to say it, so I’d like to show it through ULTRAMAN Z. So, let’s meet at 9am on June 20th. ❤
Please chant my name — “Shota Hebikuraaaa!!!”
■ Pilot Yoko Nakashima: Rima Matsuda
Rima Matsuda plays ace pilot Yoko Nakashima, who is trusted and admired by Haruki. Please look out for Rima’s charming performance as the 24 year-old Yoko, who is bright, cheerful, and determined while also having the heart of a maiden!
An ace pilot of STORAGE, Nakashima is a highly skilled expert in the cockpit. Although she has a cheerful and determined personality, she also has a girly side and likes older men. Nakashima also is an admirer of Ultraman Z. When asked out by an admirer, she challenges them to an arm-wrestling match, which she has never once lost.
Comment: I’m Rima Matsuda, and I’ll be playing Yoko Nakashima.
I’m delighted to be able to appear in ULTRAMAN, a beloved series with a long history.
I can still clearly remember the moment that I got the part. I was shaking.
When I started filming, I received a lot of support from the director and the others. Each scene was exciting, since each time was my first.
ULTRAMAN Z has come together thanks to the hard work of many teams, so I’ll also do my best to help make it a show that can be loved by both children and adults! Please look forward to it!
■ Mechanics Team Leader Kojiro Inaba: Jun Hashizume
Jun Hashizume will play Kojiro Inaba, the 59 year-old leader of STORAGE’s mechanics. Keep an eye out for Jun Hashizume’s excellent performance as Inaba, who the team fondly calls “Mr. Bako.”
Kojiro Inaba oversees the maintenance of the robots of STORAGE, including Sevenger, the robot Haruki fights with.
The other members of the maintenance crew trust him deeply. He’s a quiet man who gives off an old-fashioned, Showa air. Sometimes he displays an unexpected skill, but his past in shrouded in mystery.
Comment: When I heard from my manager, it really seemed like I’d fall down. In my childhood, I clutched a Beta Capsule and dreamed of being Ultraman. That I could appear in my beloved Ultraman! Half a century later, that dream has become reality.
Ultraman has always given me courage. He’s always supported me, saying, “It’s okay! You can do it!” No matter how much time passes, I want children to have hopes, dreams, and courage, to know the bonds of friendship, the value of life, and the limits of time! With that earnest wish in mind, I’ll do my best as Mr. Bako. All of the staff and cast members are fighting to make this “dream” a reality, so please look forward to it!
What’s the mystery in Mr. Bako’s past? It’s…
■ Head Scientist Yuka Ohta: Hikari Kuroki
Hikari Kuroki will play Yuka Ohta, who helps Haruki and the others by developing anti-monster combat robots. Look forward to Hikari Kuroki’s performance as the unique Yuka Ohta, who does strange things such as making questionable nutritional juice mixes!
The 22 year-old Yuka Ohta is the lead scientist of STORAGE. Fascinated by monsters, Yuka is knowledgeable about biology and historic legends, which help with her analysis. She joined STORAGE so that she could work more closely with monsters. She often makes a juice mix for nutrients and offers it to others, but no one knows what’s in it.
Comment: Hey everyone, it’s nice to meet you!!! I’m Hikari Kuroki, and I’ll be playing Yuka Ohta!
When the casting was decided, I was surprised and filled with joy. “I get to be in ULTRAMAN!?” It’s an incredible honor to be involved with ULTRAMAN, a show that my older brother and I watched obsessively as kids.
After the decision, I waited anxiously to start shooting, getting more and more nervous the closer we got to filming. But on the first day of shooting I was able to make friends with the rest of the cast, and we had fun every day of filming.
There are some funny scenes where I kept laughing, so I hope everyone watching can laugh too! I really hope ULTRAMAN Z will be loved by many people. I’ll give the remaining scenes everything I’ve got! Look forward to it!!
■ Researcher Shinya Kaburagi: Rihito Noda
The 26 year-old Shinya Kaburagi is played by Rihito Noda. A member of the Global Allied Forces Japan’s Monster Research Center’s Biochemistry Research Division, Kaburagi is the host of the parasitic lifeform Celebro. Since Celebro’s body is frail despite his incredible intelligence, he usually inhabits another lifeform.
Celebro acts based on whether or not something is entertaining, and this terrifying lifeform commits atrocities as if they were a game. After obtaining an Ultra Z Riser of the same type as Haruki’s, Celebro operates behind the scenes using the Monster Medals that he himself created. His catchphrase, “Kiete Karekareta,” means “I’m feeling good” in an alien language.
What is Celebro’s goal? What will become of Kaburagi, his host? Keep your eyes on Rihito Noda as he plays the enthralling character of Kaburagi!
Comment: I’m Rihito Noda, and I’ll be appearing in ULTRAMAN Z. I play the show’s villain, Shinya Kaburagi/Celebro. I hope that you can get a glimpse from many different angles of his goals, running counter to those of the heroes, and his greedy pursuit of his own ambitions.
We have the best directors, staff, and cast! As various things happen in the world around us, now more than ever we need Japan’s famous “heroes.”
I hope that all of you can get excited and watch ULTRAMAN Z together, so please have as much fun as you can!
■ STORAGE Director Kuriyama: Hisahiro Ogura
Hisahiro Ogura will play Kuriyama, the 64 year-old founder of the Anti-Monster Robot Force STORAGE and the director of the Global Allied Forces Japan. The reliable Director Kuriyama is both strict and kind. Watch as he goes back and forth with the STORAGE team members!
Kuriyama often gives long, nagging lectures, but he’s actually a worry-wort who is prone to getting stomach aches. Since he’s always looking out for the team, it’s impossible to hate him. He’s always worrying about the damage caused by fights between robots and monsters, as well as about raising money for the development budget.
Comment: ULTRAMAN started broadcasting when I was still a child. I would often play at being Ultraman with my friends, crossing my arms in front of my chest and shouting “Jaaah!”
Ultraman was incredibly popular with children. Time passed and I graduated college, and when I first entered this world, I often got part-time work in character shows. Even though that much time had passed, Ultraman shows were of course still popular. Children are always excited about scenes in which all the members of the Ultra Family appeared.
As for me, I’m excited to be able to play the director of the Earth’s defense team.
■ STORAGE AI (Voice): Katsumi Fukuhara
The character voice for STORAGE’s Artificial Intelligence will be performed by Katsumi Fukuhara, who won this year’s 14th Seiyu Award for Best New Actor. Fukuhara previously did voice work on ULTRAMAN TAIGA (ウルトラマンタイガ, Urutoraman Taiga, 2019-20).
ULTRAMAN Z Online Event
On Friday, June 5th at 5:00 PM (Japan Standard Time)*, Tsuburaya Productions will be live broadcasting an online event featuring the full cast of ULTRAMAN Z!
The lead character Haruki Natsukawa (played by Kohshu Hirano), will be joined by Yoko Nakashima (played by Rima Matsuda), Yuka Ohta (played by Hikari Kuroki), Shota Hebikura (played by Takaya Aoyagi), Shinya Kaburagi (played by Rihito Noda), Kojiro Inaba (played by Jun Hashizume), Director Kuriyama (played by Hisahiro Ogura), and the series’ main director, Kiyotaka Taguchi. As the broadcast of ULTRAMAN Z draws near, the actors and director will introduce some highlights of the series and talk about their excitement for the project. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the live broadcast will be held with the necessary precautions, including disinfection, taking temperatures, having a medical professional available during the broadcast, and ventilation measures.
*For foreigner audiences, please check your local time in your region. Please be aware that the live event will not be subtitled.
The ULTRAMAN Z Online Event can be viewed on the following streaming services…
In Memory of Story Editor Kota Fukihara
Kota Fukihara, the story editor for ULTRAMAN Z, died last month from a brain hemorrhage. He was 37 years old. Hs coworkers have issued the following statement…
On May 17th, 2020, screenwriter Kota Fukihara tragically passed away. In honor of his memory and in accordance with his wishes, the staff will continue to strive to create an amazing final product for the series to which he gave all his spirit.
— From the Production Staff of ULTRAMAN Z
ULTRAMAN Z (ZETT) Credits
Premiere Date: Saturday, June 20, 2020
Haruki Natsukawa: Kohshu Hirano
Yoko Nakashima: Rima Matsuda
Yuka Ohta: Hikari Kuroki
Shota Hebikura: Takaya Aoyagi
Shinya Kaburagi: Rihito Noda
Kojiro Inaba: Jun Hashizume
Director Kuriyama: Hisahiro Ogura
Riku Asakura/Ultraman Geed (Voice): Tatsuomi Hamada
Ultraman Zett (Voice): Tasuku Hatanaka
Ultraman Zero (Voice): Mamoru Miyano
STORAGE AI (Voice): Katsumi Fukuhara
Main Director: Kiyotaka Taguchi
Directors: Kiyotaka Taguchi, Takanori Tsujimoto, Koichi Sakamoto, Kazuhiro Nakagawa, Katsuro Onoue, Masayoshi Takesue, Tomonobu Koshi, Naoyuki Uchida
Story Editor: Kota Fukihara, Kiyotaka Taguchi
Screenwriters: Kota Fukihara, Tomo Suzuki, Takao Nakano, Sotaro Hayashi, Yuji Kobayashi, Toshizo Nemoto, Jun Tsugita, Ryo Ikeda
Music: Hijiri Anze
Theme Song: “Chant My Name!” by Masaaki Endoh
Ending Song: “Connect the Truth” by Nami Tamaki
Production Companies: Tsuburaya Productions, TV Tokyo, Dentsu
©TSUBURAYA PRODUCTIONS ©ULTRAMAN Z PRODUCTION CONSORTIUM・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 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.
For more information on ULTRAMAN Z please see the earlier coverage here on SciFi Japan:
- ULTRAMAN Z (ZETT) — Press Notes and Large Photos For New TV Series From Tsuburaya Pro
- ULTRAMAN Z (ZETT) — Update and Large Photos For New TV Series From Tsuburaya Pro