Saburo Shinoda (篠田三郎 Shinoda Saburo) is a Japanese actor and voice actor. His real name is Haruo Otsuka (大塚 晴生 Otsuka Haruo). He is mostly known for his role as Ultraman Taro's human host named Kotaro Higashi and also was the voice actor for Ultraman Taro in the series only. He was also Silver Kamen (1971) and played in Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992). He is a member of the Ultraman Foundation.
Before being casted as Kotaro Higashi in Ultraman Taro, Saburo made a cameo appearance in Ultraman Ace episode 20. So far, he has yet to reprise his role, either as Kotaro Higashi or Ultraman Taro. He is the first voice actor for Ultraman Taro and yet to reprise it in the future. Currently, the role of Ultraman Taro passed to veteran voice actor Hiroya Ishimaru. Although no longer the voice in for Taro, his grunts were still kept and reused in some of Taro's later appearances.
Saburo Shinoda was married in 1975 and has a son and daughter. He became a grandfather on February 27, 2015.
This section here refers to Saburo's grunts being reused per stock footage on other Ultraman Series.
- Ultraman Taro - Ultraman, Zoffy, Ultraseven, Ultraman Jack, Ultraman Ace
- The・Ultraman: Jackal vs. Ultraman - Ultraman Taro
- Ultraman Fighting Evolution 0 - Ultraman Taro
- Ultraman Fighting Evolution 3 - Ultraman Taro
- Ultraman Mebius Gaiden: Hikari Saga - Ultraman Taro
- Ultraman Retsuden - Ultraman Taro
- Ultraman Ginga - Ultraman Taro
- Ultraman Ginga S - Ultraman Taro
- Ultraman Orb - Ultraman Taro (Ultra Fusion Card)
- Ultraman Geed - Ultraman Taro
- Ultraman Z - Ultraman Taro
- Godzilla vs. Mothra and Godzilla vs. Destoroyah - Professor Shigeki Fukazawa
- Kotaro Higashi was meant to return in Ultraman Mebius to assist Ultraman Mebius, just like other Ultra Brothers' human hosts/forms, but he couldn't make it because Saburo Shinoda was attending someone's funeral at the time. Saburo Shinoda was also supposed to voice act for Taro but this decision was scrapped due to the funeral he was attending. Susumu Kurobe and Kohji Moritsugu admitted that Saburo's inability to return was a huge regret.
- During his time in Ultraman Taro, Saburo Shinoda stated that:
- His favorite monster is Depparas.
- Even Saburo himself is shocked of learning of Kotaro's decision to leave his Ultraman to continue his life as a normal human.
- Although Saburo Shinoda has never co-starred in the Ultraman Series after the end of Ultraman Taro, he has a friendship with Ryu Manatsu, Gen Otori's actor and Ultraman Leo's voice actor, even their sons were classmates.
- Saburo decided that he wanted to film Kotaro's character with a white muffler, after seeing Keiji Takamine on set wearing one when he visited.
- In an interview with Yuki Inoue, Saburo stated that:
- He was surprised when he heard about Taro's son, Ultraman Taiga, and wanted to know who his mother was.
- The ZAT uniform he used to wear was hot in the summer and cold in the winter, even though he was told that it would have the opposite effect.
- He used to be embarrassed at how showy the ZAT uniform was, especially when he went out to have lunch.