Ultraman Wiki
Advertisement

The☆Ultraman (ザ☆ウルトラマン, Za Urutoraman) is the 8th entry in the Ultraman Series, aired four years after the end of Ultraman Leo. For the first time in the series, the show was presented as an anime instead of a tokusatsu show, with the production company Nippon Sunrise (also known as Sunrise, currently a part of Bandai Namco Filmworks), known for their now-iconic mecha series Mobile Suit Gundam, handling the animation.

The anime can be watched on Tubi and Shout TV.

Production[]

The ultraman 1978

The series proposals for Ultraman III, planned in 1978, and the anime series New Ultraman, proposed in October.[1]

In March 1975, after the conclusion of Ultraman Leo, Tsuburaya Productions began exploring new production directions. In the following period, they produced various types of tokusatsu and animated series. However, Tsuburaya Productions always considered "Ultraman" to be their core tradition and, centered around producer Kazuho Mitsuta, continuously prepared new "Ultraman" projects. During this time, the Ultraman series was serialized in children's magazines, and various Ultraman-related books and merchandise aimed at children and teenagers began to gain popularity.[1]

In 1977, the television anime Space Battleship Yamato, produced by Academy Productions, received high acclaim. Its popularity sparked a boom that led to the creation of many other anime works with space and science fiction themes. As middle school students and older became the main fan base, this also ignited a trend of discovering and researching past excellent anime works. This trend influenced the fans of live-action tokusatsu productions as well, prompting them to understand the creators' intentions and the background of these works, which were previously considered children's entertainment, from a more mature perspective. This movement led to a reevaluation of tokusatsu series such as the Ultraman series," the Kamen Rider series," and the Godzilla series." This wave of development rapidly rose between 1977 and 1978.[1]

In April 1978, Ultraseven began rerunning on TBS every Saturday morning at 7 a.m., alongside a merchandise promotion featuring Popy Popynika series and UG mechas. During its broadcast, the merchandise sold well, and the show achieved an average rating of 12%. Seizing this opportunity, Mitsuta quickly submitted a new "Ultraman" project to TBS, titled "Love and Dreams Romance Series: Ultraman III" (愛と夢のロマンのシリーズ ウルトラマンIII, Ai to Yume no Roman no Shirīzu Urutoraman III).[2]

This new project was initially planned as a live-action tokusatsu series. The story began with the return of a spaceship that had disappeared 15 years earlier, carrying the astronaut Choichiro Hikari, who was still 22 years old, the same age as when he left. It was revealed that when the spaceship met with an accident, Hikari was saved by beings from the Nebula M78, who also baptized him, turning him into Ultraman III. Hikari then joined the defense organization known as "Ultra Ranger," and the series followed his adventures as the new Ultraman on Earth.[2]

In terms of character settings, the most significant difference from the existing series was the inclusion of Emily Benson, a female team member from the United States. There were also plans for actor Sandayu Dokumamushi to return, playing a character named Aragaki, who was in charge of developing new machinery and weapons for the Ultra Ranger.[2]

The ultraman 1979 4

A promotional report on "The☆Ultraman" in the April 1979 issue of Telemaga magazine.[3]

However, due to budget constraints, TBS could not provide the funds necessary to produce the live-action tokusatsu series at the quality Mitsuta desired. During discussions with TBS, Mitsuta half-jokingly suggested, "How about making it an anime?" TBS found this idea feasible, as the budget for an animated series was manageable and the new project had great potential. Given the booming popularity of anime at the time, the proposal was quickly accepted. Mitsuta and his team further developed the project, eventually transforming it into an animated series titled "Love and Dreams Romance Series: The☆Ultraman" (愛と夢のロマンのシリーズ ザ・ウルトラマン, Ai to Yume no Roman no Shirīzu Za Urutoraman).[2]

In the proposal submitted to TBS, the settings at this stage were almost identical to those of the actual broadcast series, and the defense team was named the "Science Guard Party." The title of this series did not refer to a specific Ultraman. Although the 1971 series Return of Ultraman was similar in this respect, its title implied "that Ultraman has returned," while this time, it simply emphasized the category of 'Ultraman.' Mitsuta noted that the title partly borrowed from TBS's high-rated music program The Best Ten and was chosen for its strong and appealing pronunciation.[2]

The ultraman 1979 10

As part of the series promotion, Tsuburaya Productions produced a live-action suit for Ultraman Joneus in the series. Apart from its use in the film Ultraman: Great Monster Decisive Battle, this suit was also utilized for commercial, advertising, and other promotional activities.

Following this, the new series proceeded with this title. Later, around October 1978, a further refined proposal document titled "Love and Dreams Romance Series: New Ultraman (Temporary)" (愛と夢のロマンのシリーズ 新・ウルトラマン(仮), Ai to Yume no Roman no Shirīzu Shin Urutoraman (Zankan)) was also produced. In the proposal submitted to TBS, Given that Tsuburaya Productions did not have the capability to produce animated works, the animation production was outsourced to Bandai Namco Filmworks, who had previously collaborated with them on projects like Dinosaur Expedition Born Free. The proposal emphasized the fresh concepts unbound by previous series and explained the rationale for choosing "animation" as the medium. It highlighted the advantages of the expressive freedom afforded by animation and declared that this time, Ultraman's human characteristics would not be depicted. Instead, his charm would be enhanced through a veil of "mystery," showcasing dramatic storylines with ups and downs, including the protagonist Hikari's inner struggles and the suspicions of those around him. This theme underwent several variations, ultimately elevating to the core theme of the entire work: "the significance of Ultraman's existence."[2][4]

The main director for the first 13 episodes was Hisayuki Toriumi, and from episode 14 onwards, the role was taken over by Takeyuki Kanda. Due to the needs of actual performance and stage shows, two types of live-action suits were produced during the series' broadcast: one for filming and one for display. The series began airing on April 4, 1979. Influenced by the lyrical style of animation prevalent at the time, the series' episodes incorporated more elements inspired by both domestic and international science fiction films as it progressed. This influence was particularly evident in the latter half of the series, during the story arc involving Planet U40 and the Heller Empire.

Synopsis[]

All over the earth strange glowing objects in the form of letters in an unknown language appear in the skies. In order to investigate these strange phenomena, the Earth Defense Forces form the Science Guard Party led by Captain Akiyama. Akiyama immediately forms a top rated team of scientific experts.

Choichiro Hikari from the Earth Defense Forces space station is chosen to join the Science Guard Party and begins making his way back to Earth. But as he is traveling through space, Hikari meets Ultraman Joneus. Ultraman Joneus tells Hikari that the Earth is in great danger. In order to defend the Earth, Ultraman Joneus says he must become one with an Earth man.

Hikari agrees and he and Ultraman Joneus join forces. Normally, Hikari will be an ordinary human being. But when danger strikes he will be able to transform into the gigantic 40 meter tall superhero Ultraman Joneus.[5]

Characters[]

Science Guard Party[]

Others[]

  • Sakurada
  • Miyai
  • Henry Nishiki
  • Yuriko Nojima

Ultras[]

Kaiju[]

Cast[]

  • Choichiro Hikari (ヒカリ 超一郎, Hikari Chōichirō): Kei Tomiyama (富山 敬, Tomiyama Kei)
  • Tetsuo Akiyama (アキヤマ 徹男, Akiyama Tetsuo): Kinya Morikawa (森川 公也, Morikawa Kinya)
  • Daisuke Gondo (ゴンドウ 大助, Gondō Daisuke): Hidekatsu Shibata (柴田 秀勝, Shibata Hidekatsu)
  • Mutsumi Hoshikawa (星川 ムツミ, Hoshikawa Mutsumi): Sumi Shimamoto (島本 須美, Shimamoto Sumi)
  • Hiroaki Tobe (トベ 博明, Tobe Hiroaki): Masanari Nihei (二瓶 正也, Nihei Masanari)
  • Kei Marume (マルメ 敬, Marume Kei): Shingo Kanemoto (兼本 新吾, Kanemoto Shingo)
  • Pigu (ピグ): Junpei Takiguchi (滝口 順平, Takiguchi Junpei)
  • Monkey (モンキ, Monki): Shigeru Chiba (千葉 繁, Chiba Shigeru)
  • Ulook (ウルック, Urukku): Yukari Nozawa (野沢 由香里, Nozawa Yukari)
  • Chief Sakurada (桜田長官, Sakurada Chōkan): Ryusuke Shiomi (塩見 竜介, Shiomi Ryūsuke)
  • Henry Nishiki (ヘンリー・ニシキ, Henrī Nishiki): Kazuo Kumakura (熊倉 一雄, Kumakura Kazuō)
  • Yuriko Nojima (野島 ユリ子, Nojima Yuriko): Mari Okamoto (岡本 茉利, Okamoto Mari)
  • Ultraman Joneus (ウルトラマンジョーニアス, Urutoraman Jōniasu): Masayuki Ibu (伊武 雅之, Ibu Masayuki)
  • Amia (アミア): Kumiko Takizawa (滝沢 久美子, Takizawa Kumiko)
  • Elek (エレク, Ereku): Masaru Ikeda (池田 勝, Ikeda Masaru)
  • Loto (ロト, Roto): Yoshito Miyamura (宮村 義人, Miyamura Yoshito)
  • Great Sage (大賢者, Dai Kenja): Takayuki Miyauchi (宮内 孝幸, Miyauchi Takayuki)
  • Roygar (ロイガー, Roiga): Ryuzaburo Otomo (大友 龍三郎, Ōtomo Ryūzaburō)
  • Heller (ヘラー, Herā): Tamio Oki (大木 民夫, Ōki Tamio)

English Dub[]

The Adventures of Ultraman
  • Gary Morgan as Scotty Harrison and Ultraman
  • Gladys Enright as Anya
Screenshot 2023-02-10 3.49

End credits to "The Adventures of Ultraman" showing Susan Harry Sprang voicing Lieutenant Nan Johnson

  • Susan Harry Sprang as Lieutenant Nan Johnson
  • Sean Reily as General Steel
  • Michael Dobson as Kei Marume (pilot)
Ultraman II
  • Steve Kramer as Chief Harris
  • Tom Wyner as Ultraman, Captain Adams, and Narrator
  • Barbara Goodson as Lieutenant Nan Johnson and PDQ
  • Joe Perry as Lieutenant Glenn and Lieutenant Marconi

Music[]

Opening Theme
  • The☆Ultraman
    • Lyricist: Yuu Aku
    • Composition and Arrangement: Kunio Miyauchi
    • Vocals: Isao Sasaki and Columbia Yurikago-kai
    • Accompaniment: Los Angeles Studio Orchestra
Ending Theme
  • Heroes of Love
    • Lyrics: Yuu Aku
    • Composition and Arrangement: Kunio Miyauchi
    • Vocals: Isao Sasaki
    • Accompaniment: Los Angeles Studio Orchestra
Insert Themes
  • Ultraman Hymn
    • Lyrics: Kazuho Mitsuta
    • Compositiona and Arrangement: Toru Fuyuki
    • Vocals: Isao Sasaki, Kunitachi Kammerchor
    • Sasaki, who was in charge of the song, made it the most difficult song he had ever sung.
  • Star of Ultra
    • Lyrics: Noboru Tani
    • Composition and Arrangement: Toru Fuyuki
    • Song: Columbia Yurikago-kai
  • Song of Mutsumi
    • Lyrics: Kazuho Mitsuta
    • Composition: Noboru Tani
    • Arrangement: Hiroshi Takada
    • Vocals: Mitsuko Horie
  • Super Murdoch
    • Lyrics and Composition: Tani Noboru
    • Arrangement: Hirotaka Takada
    • Song: Isao Sasaki
  • Our Science Guard Party
    • Lyrics: Kazuho Mitsuda
    • Composition: Tani Noboru
    • Arrangement: Hirotaka Takada
    • Songs: Isao Sasaki
  • Robot Pigu's Song
    • Lyrics: Tani Noboru
    • Composition: Fuoki Toru
    • Arrangement: Maruyama Masahito
    • Song: Takiguchi Junpei
  • Tomorrow...
    • Lyrics and Composition: Tani Noboru
    • Arrangement: Takada Hiroshi
    • Song: Toyama Takashi
    • It was used in episode 18, and in episode 23, the instrumental version was used.
  • Monster Requiem
    • Lyrics: Kazuho Mitsuda
    • Composition and Arrangement: Toru Fuyuki
    • Songs: Isao Sasaki
    • In the 15th episode of the next series "Ultraman 80", Emi Jono was used in the scene of singing lullaby to the monster Mue and in 44 the instrumental version was used in the scene where 80 and the Delusion Ultraseven fight. In addition, the "popular monster large parade" of "5 Nights Series Super TV" (March 26-30, 1984, Ultraman Taro, Mirrorman, Fireman, Jumborg Ace digest version. It is also used as an ending.

English Dub[]

Japan Tonight![]

The☆Ultraman on Japan Tonight! in 1980.

The☆Ultraman on Japan Tonight! in 1980.

Japan Tonight Hostess

Japan Tonight! Host Tetsuko Kuroyanagi introducing Ultraman to American audiences in 1980.

In the United States, on April 5, 1980, episode #14 of The☆Ultraman aired on U.S. national television when New York superstation WOR-TV Channel 9 (now WWOR) aired it as the first part of "Japan Tonight!", a special seven hour block of programming from TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System), hosted by actor Telly Savalas. Japanese actress/author/talk show host Tetsuko Kuroyanagi introduced the episode surrounded by assorted Ultraman toys and merchandise while explaining to the American audience just who Ultraman is ("It's very, very popular in Japan - He's like your Superman."). The episode was dubbed into English by William Ross (Frontier Enterprises) in Japan and was sponsored by Bandai America.

The opening narration: "In a galaxy, which is millions of light-years away from us, the rulers of the star Ultra decided to send one of their men to Earth so that he could protect the people from the many space monsters that had suddenly started to appear at frequent intervals. But they could not very well send in Ultraman, as everyone would notice him because of his strange appearance. They therefore decided to use the vast resources of the star Ultra to implant the spirit of an Ultraman in the body of a young Space Force Trooper named Matt Gordon. In times of danger, Trooper Gordon can call upon these amazing Ultra powers and transform himself into Ultraman and still be able to keep his identity a secret from everyone else on Earth."

There has also been two feature-length movie compilations released for home video:

  • The Adventures of Ultraman (1981), a featured-length movie produced by Tsuburaya Productions specifically for the English-language market. The movie is composed of edited footage from several episodes at the end of of the series. The storyline was rewritten for this adaptation with a new script by Jeff Segal and music composed by Mark McKinniss.
  • Ultraman II: The Further Adventures of Ultraman (1983), a dub of the first four episodes co-produced by Tsuburaya Productions and Associates Entertainment International. Despite the title, it has no continuity with the previous English dub of the series. Although the translation is closer to the original Japanese scripts than the first movie, the characters' names were still changed (the names given to the characters are not the same ones used in the previous dub, though several are very similar). The order of the third and fourth episodes were also switched. Also, the opening title and end credits sequences for this release were textless (new U.S. credits were used) as well as being transposed and did not use the vocal tracks.

Home Media[]

The☆Ultraman was initially released by Nippon Columbia as a two-disc LaserDisc box set from December 21, 1996, to February 21, 1997. On May 23, 2008, Bandai Visual released a DVD box set.

In 2024, to commemorate the series' 45th anniversary, Tsuburaya Productions decided to release the first Blu-ray box set. As a special feature, the final four-part episode "To the Star of Ultra!!," which was originally broadcast over a month, has been remastered in HD and combined into a new 90-minute long feature film titled The☆Ultraman: Long Feature Film To the Star of Ultra!! with additional special features included. It will be released on November 22, 2024.[6]

Gallery[]

Trivia[]

  • This is the first Ultraman Series entry that introduces the title card after the opening theme.
  • This is the first Ultraman Series entry to have an ending theme.
  • The☆Ultraman features the most traditional multi-part episodes in the entire Ultraman Series.

External Links[]

References[]


Productions
Showa Series Ultra Q | Ultraman | Ultraseven | Return of Ultraman | Ultraman Ace | Ultraman Taro | Ultraman Leo | Ultraman 80
Heisei Series Ultraman Tiga | Ultraman Dyna | Ultraman Gaia | Ultraman Cosmos | Ultra Q: Dark Fantasy | Ultraman Nexus | Ultraman Max | Ultraman Mebius | Ultraseven X | Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle | Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle: Never Ending Odyssey | Neo Ultra Q | Ultraman Ginga | Ultraman Ginga S | Ultraman X | Ultraman Orb | Ultraman Geed | Ultraman R/B
Reiwa Series Ultraman Taiga | Ultraman Z | Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga | Ultraman Decker | Ultraman Blazar | Ultraman Arc
Outside of Japan Ultraman: The Adventure Begins | Ultraman: Towards the Future | Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero | Ultraman: Rising
Original Video and TV Special Ultra Fight | Ultraman vs. Kamen Rider | Ultra Super Fight | Ultraman Nice | Heisei Ultraseven | Ultraman Neos | Ultraman: Super Fighter Legend | Ultra Idemitsujin | Ultra Zone
Showa Movies Ultraman: Monster Movie Feature | Ultraman, Ultraseven: Great Violent Monster Fight | The 6 Ultra Brothers vs. The Monster Army | Ultraman (1979) | Ultraman: Great Monster Decisive Battle | Return of Ultraman: MAT Arrow 1 Takeoff Order | Ultraman ZOFFY: Ultra Warriors vs. the Giant Monster Army | Ultraman Story
Heisei Movies Ultra Q The Movie | Revive! Ultraman | Ultraman Zearth | Ultraman Zearth 2 | Ultraman Tiga & Ultraman Dyna | Ultraman Tiga, Ultraman Dyna, & Ultraman Gaia | Ultraman Tiga: The Final Odyssey | Ultraman Cosmos: The First Contact | Ultraman Cosmos 2 | New Century Ultraman Legend | Ultraman Cosmos vs. Ultraman Justice | New Century 2003 Ultraman Legend | ULTRAMAN (2004) | Ultraman Mebius & the Ultra Brothers | Super 8 Ultra Brothers | Mega Monster Battle Ultra Galaxy: The Movie | Ultraman Zero: The Revenge of Belial | Ultraman Saga | Ultraman Ginga Theater Special | Ultraman Ginga Theater Special: Battle Royale | Ultraman Ginga S The Movie | Ultraman X The Movie | Ultraman Orb The Movie | Ultraman Geed The Movie | Ultraman R/B The Movie
Reiwa Movies Ultraman Taiga The Movie | Ultraman Trigger: Episode Z | Shin Ultraman | Ultraman Decker Finale | Ultraman Blazar The Movie
Spin-Offs Andro Melos | Ultraman Zearth: Parody Chapter | Revival of the Ancient Giant | The Return of Hanejiro | Gaia Again | Ultra Q Kaiju Legend | Ultraman Kaiju Legend | Hikari Saga | Armored Darkness | Ghost Rebirth | Ultraman Zero vs. Darklops Zero | Q - Door to Another Dimension | Killer the Beatstar | Ultra Zero Fight | Ultra Fight Victory | Ultraman Orb THE ORIGIN SAGA | Ultra Fight Orb | New Generation Heroes | The Absolute Conspiracy | Sevenger Fight | The Struggle of Special Section 3 | The Destined Crossroad | Continued Ultra Fight | Shin Ultra Fight | Return of Special Section 3 | Ultraman Regulos | Ultraman Regulos: First Mission | Ultraseven IF Story | SKaRD Break Room
Rebroadcast Shows Ultraman Retsuden | New Ultraman Retsuden | Ultraman Zero: The Chronicle | Ultraman Orb: The Chronicle | Ultraman New Generation Chronicle | Ultraman Chronicle: ZERO & GEED | Ultraman Chronicle Z: Heroes' Odyssey | Ultraman Chronicle D | Ultraman New Generation Stars
Informational Ultraman The Prime | ULTRAMAN ARCHIVES | Ultra Science Fantasy Hour | Ultra Fight Club | UlSummer Information Station | Ultra Information Center | Professor Teruaki's "Blazar Kaiju Academy" | Super Power! Ultra Encyclopedia! | Ultra Construction Tour | THE ORIGIN OF ULTRAMAN | Ultraman 4K Discovery
Docudramas Fly in the Sea Breeze! Ultraman | The Men Who Made Ultraman | My Beloved Ultraseven | The Man Who Wanted to be Ultraman | The Kaiju Club | The Two Ultramen
Other Series and Movies Kaiju Booska | Captain Ultra | Mighty Jack | Fight! Mighty Jack | Operation: Mystery | Chibira-kun | Mirrorman | Redman | Triple Fighter | Emergency Directive 10-4·10-10 | Iron King | Horror Theater Unbalance | Fireman | Jumborg Ace | Mirror Fight | Jumborg Ace & Giant | Mars Men | Army of the Apes | Pro-Wres no Hoshi Azteckaiser | The Last Dinosaur | Dinosaur Expedition Born Free | Dinosaur Great War Izenborg | Star Wolf | Dinosaur Squadron Koseidon | Anime-chan | Gridman the Hyper Agent | Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad | Moon Spiral | Cyber Beauties Telomere | Booska! Booska!! | Otasuke Girl | Mysterious Incident Special Investigation Team SRI | Mirrorman REFLEX | Bio Planet WoO | Operation: Mystery - Second File | Mirror Fight 2012 | Operation: Mystery - Mystery File | Gridknight Fight
Anime The☆Ultraman | Ultraman Kids | Ultraman Graffiti: Wild! Ultra Country | Ultraman: Super Fighter Legend | Ultra Nyan | Ultra Nyan 2: The Great Happy Operation | Ultraman M78 Theater Love & Peace | Gridman the Hyper Agent: boys invent great hero | The・Ultraman: Jackal vs. Ultraman | Kaiju Sakaba Kanpai! | Kaiju Girls | SSSS.GRIDMAN | ULTRAMAN (2019) | Kaiju Step Wandabada | SSSS.DYNAZENON | KAIJU DECODE | GRIDMAN UNIVERSE
Outlaw Content Space Warriors 2000 | Project Ultraman | Ultraman The Animation | Ultraman: A Little Journey on Earth | Fun... English with Ultraman | Young Ultraman | Ultraman Big Transformation | Sinic Q | Red Jade | Dragon Force: So Long Ultraman | Dragon Force: Rise of Ultraman
Advertisement