ULTRAMAN Z (ZETT) — Press Kit From Tsuburaya Productions
Tsuburaya Productions has provided SciFi Japan with their complete press kit for ULTRAMAN Z (ZETT) 『ウルトラマンＺ(ゼット), Urutoraman Z (Zetto)』. While much of this material was previously revealed in earlier press releases, we are pleased to share the full contents in one comprehensive article.
ULTRAMAN Z will begin broadcasting on Japanese television at 9am this Saturday, June 20, 2020.
“Chant my name with me! Ultraman Zett!!”
Celebro, an alien parasite that destroys planets by using Devil Splinters, deadly debris scattered across the various dimensions of the universe, a set his sights on Earth. Standing in his way is the new hero, Ultraman Zett.
Zett is the latest Ultra Hero, and an admirer of Ultraman Zero, the popular son of Ultraseven who is now celebrating his tenth anniversary! As Zero’s disciple, Zett worked hard to become a member of the “Inter Galactic Defense Force.” He uses the power of previous Ultra Heroes to perform fusions with various looks and abilities. His Alpha Edge mode is a speed type that fights with the Space Martial Arts techniques of Ultraseven x Leo x Zero. Beta Smash is a powerful wrestling form using the powers of Ultraman x Ace x Taro. In addition, Zett’s Gamma Future uses the power of the Heisei heroes Tiga x Dyna x Gaia. By introducing Ultraman Zett types with completely different characteristics, the series will depict the abilities of earlier heroes using the latest FX technology.
In his first battle, Zett is united with Haruki Natsukawa (Kohshu Hirano), a new pilot for “STORAGE,” the anti-monster robot unit of the Earth Defense Force’s Japanese branch. Together, the two young heroes will confront the oncoming threat. Also joining the fight will be Ultraman Zero and Riku Asakura/Ultraman Geed (Tatsuomi Hamada), who returns in ULTRAMAN Z with a new powered-up form.
Further support will come from Sevenger and Windom, classic characters from past Ultraman shows. Other familiar monsters will return, alongside several new creatures… some as friends, others as foes.
The importance of fighting for others. In a fight, what is the ethical use of powerr? What is true kindness? The universal themes that has been handed down over generations of the Ultraman Series explode in a story for the new era!
Once upon a time, shards of evil called “Devil Splinters” were scattered across space, throwing the universe into chaos.
While the Ultra Heroes fight to restore peace to the galaxy, the parasitic lifeform Celebro uses these items in its despicable scheme to destroy planets one by one. In its way stands the gallant Ultraman Zero and his disciple, Ultraman Z (Zett), a new member of the Inter Galactic Defense Force. At the end of a fierce battle, Z sets out in lone pursuit of the ferocious space monster Genegarg, making his way towards Earth.
Meanwhile on Earth, the anti-monster robot unit STORAGE is formed to combat the recurring attacks by giant monsters. Once of its new members is a young pilot named Haruki Natsukawa. Z merges with Haruki, and together they rise up to protect the peace!
However, behind the scenes, Celebro has set a terrifying new plot into motion…
The Ultra Heroes
■ Ultraman Zett (ウルトラマンゼット)
A new Ultraman who looked up to Zero and became his disciple, working hard to earn this position.
Although Zero recognizes his talent and potential, he says that in his current state Zett is only “half or maybe one-third” of a fully fledged hero. Tough and athletic, Zett always operates at full power. Zett also has a humorous side, as he is unused to Earth’s culture and sometimes uses words incorrectly.
While Zett is inexperienced and still developing, he’s also a passionate hero whose love of peace and justice is second to none!
■ Ultraman Z Alpha Edge (ウルトラマンゼット アルファエッジ, Urutoraman Zetto Arufa Ejji)
Space Kempo, the Inherited Fighting Technique!
Zett transforms into Alpha Edge using Ultra Medals containing the power of the masters and disciples Ultraseven, Leo, and Zero. This speedy form fights with Space Martial Arts handed down by his master, and specializes in quick moves using kempo karate.
■ Ultraman Z Beta Smash (ウルトラマンゼット ベータスマッシュ, Urutoraman Zetto Bēta Sumasshu)
The Power of Courage, Burning in Scarlet Flames!
Z transforms into Beta Smash using Ultra Medals of the legendary Ultra Brothers: Ultraman, Ace, and Taro. This powerful form has a dignified fighting style and specializes in courageous and impressive pro-wrestling type battles.
■ Ultraman Z Gamma Future (ウルトラマンゼット ガンマフューチャー, Urutoraman Zetto Ganma Fuyūchā)
Shine with Mystery, the Mystic Lights of Transformation!
Z transforms into Gamma Future using Ultra Medals of the lights who bring hope: Tiga, Dyna, and Gaia. This psychic form fights with mysterious powers and is skilled at versatile beam attacks. Ultraman Z Gamma Future fights in a tricky manner like a wizard.
■ Ultraman Zero (ウルトラマンゼロ)
Ultraman Zett’s teacher. The son of Ultraseven, Zero is a veteran hero who has fought across multiple universes.
Since Zero frequently faces dangerous missions, his mentor Ultraman Leo granted him the “Ultra Zero Mantle,” a cloak which can be worn as armor. While pursuing the monsters that invaded the Land of Light, he was caught in an enemy’s trap and sent to an alternate dimension.
●The Master-Pupil Genealogy Starting from Ultraseven
Ultraman Zett’s teacher, Ultraman Zero, was the student of Ultraman Leo, the master of the space kempo martial arts. Leo himself endured strict training under Zero’s father, Ultraseven. Thus, Ultraman Zett could be called the latest of Ultraseven’s disciples and the youngest brother of the Seven Family.
Teacher: Ultraseven, Disciple: Ultraman Leo (ULTRAMAN LEO television series, 1974-75)
Teacher: Ultraman Leo, Disciple: Ultraman Zero (MEGA MONSTER BATTLE ULTRA GALAXY: THE MOVIE, 2009)
Teacher: Ultraman Zero, Disciple: Ultraman Zett (ULTRAMAN Z)
■ Ultraman Geed Galaxy Rising (ウルトラマンジード ギャラクシーライジング, Urutoraman Jīdo Gyarakushī Raijingu)
Ultraman Geed — aka Riku Asakura — will guest star in ULTRAMAN Z with a new look!
Although Geed inherited the genes from the evil Ultraman Belial, he’s an Ultraman who fights for justice in defiance of that destiny. Riku, entrusted with an Ultra Z Riser and medals for Ginga, X, and Orb, takes on a new Galaxy Rising form and comes to the Earth to help Z.
Classic Ultraman Monsters Return
Sevenger, a giant robot from ULTRAMAN LEO, and Ultraseven’s capsule kaiju, Windom, have been reimagined as STPRAGE mecha that will fight alongside Ultraman Zett. There will also be ither monsters — sold old, some new — who will aid the young Ultraman.
Among the classic monsters returning in ULTRAMAN Z are the fan favorites Gomora, Red King, Neronga and Telesdon.
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.
■ Ultra Z Riser (ウルトラゼットライザー, Urutora Zetto Raizā)
The Ultra Z Riser is a device, originally developed in the Land of Light, entrusted to Ultraman Z in order to deal with chaos on a galactic scale. By registering each user’s distinctive Ultra Access Card and scanning three inserted Ultra Medals that contain the power of previous Ultras to the Z Riser, Ultraman Z can be imbued with that power.
Additionally, it can be used as a weapon after transforming. While transformed, Haruki Natsukawa can switch to attack mode and activate three medals to perform a special signature attack.
■ Ultra Access Card (ウルトラアクセスカード, Urutora Akusesu Kādo)
The Ultra Access Card acts as an authentication key to activate the Ultra Z Riser transformation device. A picture of the user is printed on the card. When Haruki uses his card, he can transform into one of Ultraman Z’s various forms. Riku Asakura transforms into Ultraman Geed Galaxy Rising with his card.
■ Ultra Medal (ウルトラメダル, Urutora Medaru)
Developed in the Land of Light along with the Z Riser, each Ultra Medal contains the power of a previous Ultraman. Haruki carries them in the Z Holder worn on his hip.
■ Pilot Haruki Natsukawa: Kohshu Hirano
The 23 year-old protagonist of the story, Haruki Natsukawa is a rookie pilot of STORAGE, the anti-monster robot force. A master of karate, Haruki is polite and a natural-born athlete. He faces everything head-on and has an extremely strong sense of justice.
On one fateful day, Haruki lost his life while fighting a monster that had come to Earth from space. His life was saved by merging with Ultraman Zett, and since then he began to fight as a hero of justice.
Although he holds conflicting ideals about “lives to be protected” and “beings to be killed,” he continues to move forward while fighting together with Ultraman Zett.
Kohshu Hirano was born on April 1, 1999 in Kanagawa Prefecture. Standing 183cm (6 feet) tall, Hirano is good at sports such as American football and baseball, and is currently active in various fields such as drama, stage and commercials. He is also a member of the SUNPLUS, a unit composed of young male actors signed to the Sun Music Group talent agency.
Hirno made his acting debut in 2015 with an advertisement for the private school Shizuoka Gakuen Junior and Senior High School, and was recently seen in the Sumaho Settlement Jcoin-Camp Circle television commercial.
Comment: I’m Kohshu Hirano, and I’ll be playing Haruki Natsukawa.
I’m incredibly honored to become Ultraman. Keeping in mind the admiration I had for the character as a child, I’ll do my best to be a role model for children today.
And this time, with the benefit of the anti-monster robot force STORAGE, I think this will be a series that adults will also enjoy right along with children. I hope that everyone will be able to experience the emotions of ULTRAMAN Z. Please watch over Zett and Haruki as they grow!
■ Captain Shota Hebikura: Takaya Aoyagi
As the captain of STORAGE, the 34 year-old Shota 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.
Takaya Aoyagi was born February 6, 1985 in Saga Prefecture. He is best known to Ultraman fans for his portrayal of the main villain, Jugglus Juggler, in the 2016 series ULTRAMAN ORB (ウルトラマンオーブ, Urutoraman Ōbu). In addition to his work in the Ultraman franchise, Aoyagi is a movie, television and stage actor with credits on EMERGENCY INTERROGATION ROOM SECOND SEASON (緊急取調室, Kinkyu Torishirabe Shitsu, 2017), FAREWELL SONG (さよならくちびる, 2019), SHADOWFALL (影踏み, Kagefumi, 2019), CLOSET (クローゼット, Kurōzetto, 2020) and MOEYO KEN (燃えよ剣, 2020).
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
An ace pilot of STORAGE, Yoko Nakashima is a highly skilled expert in the cockpit. Although she has a cheerful and determined personality, the 24 year-old 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.
Rima Matsuda was born January 6, 1994 in Gunma prefecture. Her major credits include YOU STILL DON’T GET GUNMA (お前はまだグンマを知らない, Omae wa Mada Gunma wo Shiranai, 2017), FLY ME TO THE SAITAMA (翔んで埼玉, Tonde Saitama, 2019) and AESOP’S GAME (イソップの思うツボ, “Isoppu no Omou Tsubo, 2019).
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
The 59 year-old 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 and fondly call him “Mr. Bako.” 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.
Jun Hashizume was born October 13, 1960 in Tokyo. His big screen debut was in Toho’s 50th anniversary movie, KAIKYO (海峡, 1982). His first starring in GODZILLA VS SPACE GODZILLA (ゴジラＶＳスペースゴジラ, Gojira VS Supēsugojira, 1994), in which he played a pilot of the giant robot MOGUERA. He also appeared in GODZILLA: FINAL WARS (ゴジラ FINAL WARS, Gojira Fainaru Uozu, 2004).
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
The 22 year-old Yuka Ohta is the lead scientist of STORAGE, developing the team’s anti-monster combat robots. 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.
Hikari Kuroki was born June 25, 2000 in Tokyo. She gained attention as a “heavenly beautiful girl” after starring in the 2019 stage production “Vampire Band Final!” (ヴァンパイアバンド・ファイナル!, Vuanpaia Bando Fainaru). Her key credits include VIDEO GIRL MAI 2019 (電影少女 -VIDEO GIRL MAI 2019-, Denei Shōjo -Bideo Gāru Mai 2019-) and ONZOSHI BOYZ (御曹司ボーイズ, Onzōshi Bōizu, 2019).
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
A member of the Global Allied Forces Japan’s Monster Research Center’s Biochemistry Research Division, 26 year-old Shinya 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?
Rihito Noda was born November 6, 1996 in Osaka Prefecture. He made his acting debut in the streaming series PARFAIT! (パフェちっく!, Pafechikku!, 2018). His first movie role was in KISS ME AT THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT (午前0 時、キスしに来てよ, Gozen 0-ji, Kisu Shi ni Kite yo, 2019). He will be seen in the upcoming film, KOTERA-SAN CLIMBS! (のぼる小寺さん, Noboru Kodera-san, 2020).
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
Kuriyama is 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.
Hisahiro Ogura was born October 26, 1954 in Mie Prefecture. He has been active in variety shows since the mid-1980s, and has appeared in many movies and dramas sine 1989. Major works include KAMEN RIDER X KAMEN RIDER WIZARD & FOURZE: MOVIE WARS ULTIMATUM (仮面ライダー×仮面ライダー MOVIE大戦 アルティメイタム, Kamen Raidā × Kamen Raidā Uizaado Ando Fooze Mūbī Taisen Arutimeitamu, 2012), KAMEN RIDER X SUPER SENTAI X SPACE SHERIFF: SUPER HERO TAISEN Z (仮面ライダー×スーパー戦隊×宇宙刑事 スーパーヒーロー大戦Z, Kamen Raidā x Sūpā Sentai x Uchū Keiji: Sūpā Hīrō Taisen Zetto, 2013), MAKUKO (まく子, 2019) and AIRCRAFT CARRIER IBUKI (空母いぶき, Kūbo Ibuki, 2019).
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.
■ Riku Asakura/Ultraman Geed (Voice): Tatsuomi Hamada
Riku Asakura is the human form of Ultraman Geed.
Tatsuomi Hamada waa born August 27, 2000 in Chiba Prefecture. An award-winning child actor, he made his Ultra Series debut in ULTRAMAN ZERO: THE REVENGE OF BELIAL (ウルトラマンゼロ THE MOVIE 超決戦!ベリアル銀河帝国, Urutoraman Zero za Mūbī Chō Kessen! Beriaru Ginga Teikoku). Hamada has played Riku Asakura and provided the voice of Ultraman Geed in multiple shows and films, starting with the ULTRAMAN GEED series in 2017 and continuing through this year’s ULTRAMAN CHRONICLE ZERO & GEED (ウルトラマン クロニクル ZERO&GEED [ゼロ アンド ジード], Urutoraman Kuronikuru ZERO & GEED [Zero Ando Jīdo]).
His non-Ultra credits include BOYS OVER FLOWERS Season 2 (花のち晴れ, Hana no Chi Hara, 2018), HIT ME ANYONE ONE MORE TIME (記憶にございません!, Kioku ni Gozaimasen!, 2019) and THE MEMORY ERASER (記憶屋 あなたを忘れない, Kiokuya Anata wo Wasurenai, 2020), etc.
Comment: When I heard that I’d be appearing in ULTRAMAN Z, I couldn’t believe that I would get to participate in the Ultraman series for four years in a row. I am honestly very proud and happy to have this opportunity!
And since this time Riku transforms with the Ultra Z Riser instead of [his traditional device] the Geed Riser just like Haruki does, Geed gets to have a new form, including a new transformation sequence! I hope viewers will look forward to seeing Z, the disciple of Zero, and how my character Riku Asakura and Geed will be involved in Z’s world! Sitting around doing nothing won’t get us anywhere!
■ Ultraman Zett: Tasuku Hatanaka
Born August 17, 1994 in Kanagawa Prefecture, Tasuku Hatanaka is a highly-regarded voice actor whose credits include the anime series YU-GI-OH! ZEXAL (遊☆戯☆王ZEXAL [ゼアル], Yū-Gi-Ō Zearu, 2010-15), USHIO AND TORA (うしおととら, Ushio to Tora, 2015-16), KABANERI OF THE IRON FORTRESS (甲鉄城のカバネリ, Kōtetsujō no Kabaneri, 2016) and MY HERO ACADEMIA (僕のヒーローアカデミア, Boku no Hīrō Akademia, 2018).
Comment: I remember writing my dream at [the Japanese festival] Tanabata when I was little. My dream was that I wanted to become Ultraman. Ultraman has been my hero since I was a kid. How he fights, how he rises up again and again, gave me courage, and I’d shout and scream myself hoarse rooting for him in front of the TV.
It still feels like a dream a dream that I can be involved with Ultraman, and that I can be Ultraman Z’s voice. It’s an incredible honor. This Ultraman is still young and inexperienced, but his heart and passion are stronger than anybody. I think that with such life-sized feelings, he’ll continue to grow together with Haruki as an Ultraman! Full speed ahead! Thank you!!
■ Ultraman Zero: Mamoru Miyano
Born June 8, 1983 in Saitama Prefecture, Mamoru Miyano has provided the voice for Ultraman Zero since the character’s introduction in MEGA MONSTER BATTLE ULTRA GALAXY: THE MOVIE (大怪獣バトル ウルトラ銀河伝説 THE MOVIE, Daikaijū Batoru Urutora Ginga Densetsu THE MOVIE, 2009). His anime voice credits include DEATH NOTE (デスノート, Desu Nōto, 2006-07), MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM 00 (機動戦士ガンダム00, Kidō Senshi Gandamu Daburu Ō, 2007-09), UTA NO PRINCE SAMA MAJI LOVE (うたの☆プリンスさまっ♪ マジLOVE, Uta no ☆Purinsu-sama♪ Maji LOVE). He is also the voice of Newt Scamander in the Japanese dubs of the FANTASTIC BEASTS films.
Comment: I am overjoyed to still be at Zero’s side as Ultraman Zero celebrates its tenth anniversary. Zero started out very disobedient and didn’t yet understand what it meant to “fight,” but as his mistakes piled up he grew and learned what a true hero was. When I heard that this time Zero would be the teacher, I was surprised and deeply moved. Can I say, somehow, I feel like a parent saying, “Ah, he’s all grown up now~” [laughing]
I’m also excited to see what kind of story this will become! I hope that you all look forward to it as well!
■ STORAGE AI: 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.
Born August 24 (year unspecified) in Ibaraki, Fukuhara previously did voice work on the television series ULTRAMAN TAIGA (ウルトラマンタイガ, Urutoraman Taiga, 2019-20).
■ Main Director/Story Editor: Kiyotaka Taguchi
Born May 7, 1980 in Hokkaidom Kiyotaka Taguchi is a veteran of the Ultraman franchise. He worked on FX for the Godzilla movie series starting with GODZILLA VS MEGAGUIRUS (ゴジラ × メガギラス G消滅作戦, Gojira Tai Megagirasu: G Shōmetsu Sakusen, 2000) and made his directing debut with the independent production G (大怪獣映画 Ｇ, Daikaijū Eiga G, 2007). His NHK short film GEHARHA: THE DARK AND LONG HAIR MONSTER (長髪大怪獣ゲハラ, Chōhatsu Daikaijū Gehara, 2009) was screened at the 2009 Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival and New York Asian Film Festival. In 2017, his film FEMALE WEAPON 701 (女兵器701, Jo heiki 701) won the Citizen Award Grand Prize at the Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival.
For Tsuburaya, Taguchi directed episodes of NEO ULTRA Q (ネオ・ウルトラQ, Neo Urutora Kyū, 2013), KAIKI DAISAKUSEN: MYSTERY FILE (怪奇大作戦 ミステリー・ファイル, Kaiki Daisakusen Misuterī Fairu, 2013) and ULTRAMAN GINGA S (ウルトラマンギンガＳ, Uurutoraman Ginga S, 2014). He was the main director for ULTRAMAN X (ウルトラマンＸ, Urutoraman X, 2015) and ULTRAMAN ORB (ウルトラマンオーブ, Urutoraman Ōbu, 2016), and also directed the theatrical feature films for both series.
In addition to his work on ULTRAMAN Z, Taguchi is currently distributing the special effects drama UNFIX on YouTube.
Comment: This time, in addition to being the main director, I’m in charge of the series composition. I’ve been involved in the project since the early development stage and, from the ground up to the branches and leaves, I’ve added in many of my own thoughts such as “I think we need this,” and “Wouldn’t this be fun?” While composing the series, I thought out the final chapter from the beginning and then worked backwards. Please look for all of the storytelling tricks leading up to the climax!
Although today’s world is filled with all kinds of hardships, the staff and cast are pouring all of their heart and soul into this work to create something that can cheer people up. A “bright and fun Ultraman” is the number one theme above all, so please chant with me, “ULTRAMAN Z!”
■ Opening Theme Song ”Chant My Name!”: Masaaki Endoh
The opening theme song for ULTRAMAN Z, “Chant My Name!”, is performed by Masaaki Endoh, a member of the anime song super unit JAM Project. Endoh was born August 28, 1967 in Miyagi Prefecture, and debuted as a singer of anime and tokusatsu theme songs in 1995. His song for Toei’s 2003 series ABARANGER (爆竜戦隊アバレンジャー, Bakuryū Sentai Abarenjā, 2003-04) became the top selling theme song of the Super Sentai franchise.
Endoh’s ULTRAMAN Z song is representative of the series and “the (self-proclaimed) hottest theme song in the history of Ultraman!”
Comment: When I was a kid, I used to sit in front of the TV each week and go crazy over Ultraman. At the neighborhood park I’d always play Ultraman with my friends. Even now I remember the lyrics and can sing the ULTRAMAN song. I feel that Ultraman taught me important things in my life. I learned to not give up, to believe, to have a kind heart, to value life — all of it came from Ultraman.
It’s really an honor to make a song for the Ultraman series, given that I grew up with Ultraman; it feels like destiny. I think it’s time to repay the Ultraman who raised me. Like me at that time, sitting every week in front of the TV, I want to passionately cheer on ULTRAMAN Z through song and pump up all the cheering kids!
Title：”Chant My Name!” (ご唱和ください 我の名を！, Goshōwa Kudasai Ware no Na Wo!)
Artist: Masaaki Endoh
Lyrics and Composition: Masaaki Endoh
Arrangement: Kyoichi Miyazaki (KEYTONE), Ryota Iida (KEYTONE)
Release Date: July 15, 2020
Label: Bandai Namco Arts Co., Ltd.
Product No.: LACM-24014
Price: ¥1,200 (Approximately $11.18 US, Excluding Tax)
■ Ending Song “Connect the Truth”: Nami Tamaki
The ending song, “Connect the Truth,” is sung by Nami Tamaki. Born June 1, 1988 in Wakayama Prefecture, Tamaki made he singing debut in 2003 with “Realize.” She was named New Artist of the Year at the 18th Japan Gold Disc Awards. In addition to her music career, Tamaki is an actress. with roles on stage and in the feature film, LOVELY COMPLEX (ラブ★コン, Rabu★Kon, 2006).
Comment: “Connect the Truth” expresses another theme of ULTRAMAN Z: “In a fight, what is the ethical use of power, what is true kindness?” I want to bring that truth to all of the important people who are struggling, working, and forging new paths together, and to the newly spun future. It’s a song with those kinds of intentions.
It’s an incredible honor to be involved in creating the ending song of this time’s historical Ultraman series ULTRAMAN Z. I’d love for fans to listen to the song at the end of the episode while looking forward to next week. We’ve created a powerful and danceable song, so please look forward to it!!
Title：”Connect the Truth”
Artist: Nami Tamaki
Lyrics, Composition and Arrangement: Takami Ozawa
Release Date: July 15, 2020
Label: Bandai Namco Arts Co., Ltd.
Product No.: LACM-24015
Price: ¥1,200 (Approximately $11.18 US, Excluding Tax)
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. His 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) Overview
Premiere Date: 9:00am Saturday, June 20, 2020
Broadcast Schedule (Japan)
● 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
English Subtitled Episode Streaming (Worldwide; 2 Week Window Per Episode)
● ULTRAMAN OFFICIAL by TSUBURAYA PROD.: youtube.com/tsuburaya Every Friday 8:30pm EST Starting June 19
Episode Streaming (Japan; 2 Week Window Per Episode)
● TV Tokyo: ch.ani.tv
● TV Tokyo: video.tv-tokyo.co.jp
● Ultraman Official YouTube: youtube.com/tsuburaya
● Nico Nico Live Broadcasting: live.nicovideo.jp
Pay Streaming Services (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
Episode Streaming VOD Services (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
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: Hideyoshi Iwata
Ultraman Zett (Voice): Tasuku Hatanaka
Ultraman Zero: Akira Okabe
Ultraman Zero (Voice): Mamoru Miyano
Sevenger: Kenji Kajikawa
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
- ULTRAMAN Z (ZETT) — Updates From Tsuburaya Pro