Ultraman Wiki
Advertisement

Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero, known as Ultraman Powered (ウルトラマンパワード, Urutoraman Pawādo) in Japan, is a tokusatsu show co-produced by Major Havoc Entertainment (later renamed Steppin Stone Entertainment) and Tsuburaya Productions in the United States in 1993, running for 13 episodes. Following in the footsteps of the Australian-produced Ultraman: Towards the Future, this was the second live-action Ultraman Series produced outside Japan and the eleventh entry in the franchise overall.

Despite being produced in America, the show was never broadcast there. In Japan, the series released on home video from December 16, 1993, and later aired on Tokyo Broadcasting System from April 8 to July 1, 1995. After this series, Tsuburaya has since focused on domestic productions.

Production[]

Ultraman The Ultimate Hero 1993 art

Japanese poster by Noriyoshi Ohrai.

In the 1990s, the Australian-produced Ultraman: Towards the Future received positive reviews in Japan. The production committee model proved to be very effective in securing the production budget. Tsuburaya Productions initially planned to advance the second season of the series with the same character setup as Ultraman: Towards the Future, under the direction of Kiyoshi Suzuki.[1]

Given the immense response to Ultraman: Towards the Future produced in Australia, there was a plan to expand and shift the project to Hollywood. This situation led Kazuo Tsuburaya, who was in charge of Tsuburaya Productions' business at the time, to collaborate with Bandai in 1991 to develop a new Ultraman project. Compared to the reboot of Ultraman: Towards the Future, the new Ultraman series focused on reconstructing the world and characters from the 1966 series Ultraman, incorporating Hollywood techniques with the aim of creating popular monsters. This concept became the guide for determining the direction of the next overseas expansion.[1]

Ultraman: Towards the Future was broadcast in the United States in 1992 and achieved higher ratings. This trend significantly boosted Bandai America's product sales, leading to the introduction of the new Ultraman series in the U.S. This movement received approval from all relevant parties. In the summer of 1992, Japan's Gonzo production team collaborated with Bandai on the Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero project. The entire script and design for the series were completed in Japan by January 1993.[1]

Ultraman USA

Teaser of an American-produced Ultraman in a 1993 issue of Terebi Magazine.

The series' filming was a collaboration with Major Havoc Entertainment in the United States. The American side, led by director King Wilder, was responsible for translating the script into English. He and other American writers then rewrote the script locally, taking budget constraints into account.[2][3][4] Production and filming took place from the summer to the fall of 1993. The special effects scenes were primarily shot on open sets constructed in northern Los Angeles. The fight scenes were mainly filmed on these sets and other outdoor locations. Initially, the plan was to use the original designs of Ultraman and the monsters, but to ensure the uniqueness of the characters and for merchandise development, redesigns were made, incorporating more advanced special effects technology than what was available in Japan.[5]

Ultraman The Ultimate Hero 3

The monster suits used in Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero are featured in this photo, which is part of the collection owned by Wes Caefer, who worked on the series' special effects.

Although the costume designs are vastly considered impressive, the action was quite downplayed compared to other installments of the Ultraman Series and consisted mostly of the actors nudging each other and using attacks involving special effects with minimal physical contact, due to the costumes being fragile and fear by the production staff of damaging them after the hard work put into crafting them.[6][7][8] Since Hollywood bore most of the production costs, the production control and rights were held by Hollywood. Tsuburaya Productions' rights were limited to merchandise sales within Japan.[5]

Synopsis[]

The members of WINR (pronounced "Winner") respond when members of the Alien Baltan race attack Earth, but the Baltans are only fended off when a gigantic alien, Ultraman Powered, joins with WINR member Kenichi Kai and gives him the power to metamorphose into Ultraman in times of danger. At the end of the first episode Ultraman declares that the Baltans were not completely defeated and that he will remain on Earth to continue the fight.

Characters[]

WINR[]

Others[]

  • Officer Sam
  • Officer Callahan
  • Herlicki
  • Roger Schecter
  • Bamara
  • Pete
  • Katanga
  • Kyle Morrison
  • Keynes
  • Windler
  • Fenton
  • Dr. Yusna
  • Sean Malloy
  • Mark Mitchell
  • Dr. Whitaker
  • Jesse
  • Dennis
  • Jamra Miller
  • Karen Miller
  • Patty Miller
  • Colonel Essex
  • Dan
  • Potter
  • Arturo Mendez
  • Gurnaaz
  • Dr. Hasegawa
  • Sylvia Jackson
  • General Garcia

Ultras[]

Kaiju[]

Cast[]

Character English Japanese Dub
Kenichi Kai Kane Kosugi Toshiyuki Morikawa
Russel Edlund Harrison Page Kenji Utsumi
Julie Young Robyn Bliley Aya Hisakawa
Theresa Beck Sandra Guibord Keiko Toda
Rick Sanders Rob Roy Fitzgerald Masashi Ebara
Voice of Ultraman Powered Unknown Sho Kosugi (episode 1)
Akio Otsuka (episode 13)

Guest Cast[]

Character English Japanese Dub
Officer Callahan Mari Weiss[9] Mami Horikoshi
Officer Sam Steven R. Barnett[9] Shigeru Ushiyama
Herlicki Conrad Bachmann[10] Eken Mine
Rancher Ed Morgan[10] Yu Shimaka
Reporter Patti Pelican[10] Yuko Sasaki
Roger Schecter Jeffrey Combs[11] Takayuki Sugo
Bamara Julie Uribe[11] Yuko Sasaki
Pete Philip Tanzini[11] Masaki Aizawa
Katanga Elias Gallegos[11] Masayuki Omoro
Kyle Morrison Alex Nevil[12] Ken Narita
Seismologist Judy Jean Berns[12] Tamie Kubota
Army Officer John Towey[12] Toshihiko Kojima
Sun People's Leader Bruce Spaulding Fuller[12]
Sun People Jim Eustermann[12]
Kevin Hudson[12]
Masaaki Tsukada
Others
Mr. Keynes Danny Hicks[13] Toshihiko Kojima
Windler Kevin Page[13] Nobuaki Fukuda
Nuclear Power Plant Staff Brenda Klemme[13]
Ray Raglin[13]
Atsuko Tanaka
Ken Narita
Mining Company Employee Art Bonilla[13] Masaaki Tsukada
Fenton Bill Mumy[13] Naoki Bando
Dr. Yusna Jack Ong[14] Takehiro Koyama
Neuro Net Executive Wendy Robie[14] Kikuko Inoue
Mark Mitchell Wolf Muser[14] Hiroaki Hirata
Detective Steve Eastin[14] Takao Ohyama
Sean Malloy Jeffery Thomas Johnson[14]
Mark Mitchell's Neighbor Rose Marie[14] Ai Sato
Voice of Dada Aruno Tahara
Dr. Whitaker Jason Todd Majik[15] Takao Ohyama
Jesse Catherine Nagan[15] Kikuko Inoue
Dennis John G. Hertzler[15] Hiroaki Hirata
Waterworks Employee Steve Monarque[15] Takehiro Koyama
Whitaker's Assistant Shano Palovich[15] Ai Sato
Jamra Miller Phillip Stewart[16] Shinpachi Tsuji
Karen Miller Marisa Theodore[16] Akemi Okamura
Colonel Essex John McCann[16] Kinryuu Arimoto
Patty Miller Kimberly Beck[16] Keiko Aizawa
Potter Jesse Goins[16] Taro Arakawa
Dan Steven Kramer[16] Ryuji Mizuno
Firefighters Michael Hungerford[17]
Greg Callahan[17]
Will Jeffries[17]
Michael R. Long[17]
Ryuji Mizuno
Arturo Mendez Jaime P. Gomez[18] Shigeki Kagemaru
Inspector Tom Finnegan[18] Yuzuru Fujimoto
Gurnaaz Millie Novak[18] Rica Fukami
Oil Company Employees E.E. Bell[18]
Martin Brinton[18]
Yuichi Nagashima
Reporter Judy Louise Johnson[18] Kyoko Hikami
Dr. Hasegawa Danny Kamekona[19] Yuzuru Fujimoto
Sylvia Jackson Sandra Spriggs[19] Rica Fukami
Newscaster Warren Stanhope[19] Shinpachi Tsuji
Weather Forecaster Dan Lorgé[19] Yuichi Nagashima
Security Guard Tracey Walter[19] Masaaki Tsukada
Helicopter Pilots Ted Prior[20]
Karl A. Lucht[20]
Nobuyuki Furuta
Akio Otsuka
General Garcia Harold Cannon-Lopez Tamio Ohki

Suit Actors[]

  • Ultraman Powered: Scott Rogers
  • Monsters:
    • Monty L. Simons
    • Michael R. Long
    • Terrance James
    • Gary Paul
    • Anthony Kramme
    • Jennie Kaplan

Staff[]

  • Production Production: Major Havoc Entertainment (later renamed Steppin Stone Entertainment)
  • Executive Producer: Noboru Tsuburaya
  • Supervision: Makoto Yamashina, Noboru Tsuburaya
  • Producers: Kazuo Tsuburaya, Shigeru Watanabe
  • Assistant Producers: Masato Oida, Tomoaki Imanishi
  • Coordinator: Hirohiko Sueyoshi, Kiyotaka Ukawa, Kenichi Yatomi
  • Production Producer: Julie Avola[21]
  • Director: King Wilder
  • Special Effects: Joseph Biscoeire
  • Music: Toshihiko Sahashi
  • Monster & Mechanical Design: Shinji Higuchi, Mahiro Maeda, Toshio Miike
  • Ultraman & Monster Modeling: Kevin Hudson
  • Casting: Aron Cliffis
  • Costume Designer: Elizabeth Jett
  • Production Designer: Aron Osborne
  • Director of Photography: Don E. Fantleroy, Carlos Gonzalez Baaret
  • Edited by: Nina M. Gilberti
  • 2nd Unit Director/Director of Photography: R. Michael Stringer
  • Stunt Coordinator: Gary Paul
  • Japanese Version Director: Tsuyoshi Takahashi
  • Translation: Keiko Sato
  • Coordination: Toru Kumakura
  • Japanese Version Production: Tohokushinsha
  • Production: Tsuburaya Productions,
    • Ultraman Powered Production Committee (Bandai Visual, Kodansha, Suntory, Marubeni, Yomiuri Advertising)

Veteran makeup artist and Ultraman Series fan Steve Wang was briefly involved with the production of the show. He and his team created a miniature suit model of Ultraman which Tsuburaya Productions approved.

Music[]

Opening Theme
  • Ultraman Powered (ウルトラマンパワード, Urutoraman Pawādo): The opening theme. The US version uses an instrumental version.
Ending Themes
  • Kono Uchu no Doko ka ni (この宇宙のどこかに, Kono Uchū no Doko ka ni, lit. Somewhere in this Universe)
  • STARLIGHT FANTASY
    • Lyrics: MoriYuki KoreSusumu C
    • Composition: YoMinoru Akihiro
    • Arrangement: Y2
    • Artist: Hitomi Sudo

Gallery[]

Behind the Scenes[]

Trivia[]

  • When broadcast in Japan in 1995, episodes 6 to 9 were aired in a different order: 8, 9, 6, 7.
  • As seen in the Blu-ray release, Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero is the only Heisei Ultra Series to be shot in high definition.
  • Like Ultraman: Towards the Future, Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero is one of the few Ultraman Series not to have an official DVD release.
  • The show spawned a video game, called Ultraman Powered, released for the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer.
  • Sho Kosugi, who provides Ultraman Powered's voice in the first episode of the Japanese dub, is the father of Kane Kosugi, who plays Kenichi Kai.
  • This series marks the first time a Red King that is actually red appeared (as opposed to gold and blue).
  • Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero is one of the shows that has not yet been released as part of TSUBURAYA IMAGINATION's streaming list.

External Links[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ultra Tokusatsu PERFECT MOOK vol. 18: Ultraman Great / Ultraman Powered, pg 20
  2. https://vantagepointinterviews.com/2018/08/07/the-ultimate-director-king-wilder-on-directing-americas-take-on-ultraman/
  3. https://vantagepointinterviews.com/2020/07/25/bringing-the-easts-greatest-hero-to-the-west-todd-gilbert-on-scripting-ultraman-the-ultimate-hero/
  4. https://vantagepointinterviews.com/2018/09/01/ultraman-gets-a-rewrite-john-douglas-on-scripting-ultraman-the-ultimate-hero/
  5. 5.0 5.1 Ultra Tokusatsu PERFECT MOOK vol. 18: Ultraman Great / Ultraman Powered, pg 21
  6. https://vantagepointinterviews.com/2022/08/01/ultraman-flies-into-hollywood-eric-brown-on-his-design-and-modelmaking-work-on-ultraman-the-ultimate-hero/
  7. https://vantagepointinterviews.com/2018/07/01/how-to-make-ultraman-kevin-hudson-on-his-experience-creating-ultraman-the-ultimate-hero/
  8. https://vantagepointinterviews.com/2018/07/01/living-the-dream-wes-caefers-journey-into-japanese-monster-sfx/
  9. 9.0 9.1 Episode 1 credits
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Episode 2 credits
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Episode 3 credits
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 Episode 4 credits
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 Episode 5 credits
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 Episode 6 credits
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 Episode 7 credits
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 Episode 8 credits
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Episode 9 credits
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 Episode 10 credits
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 Episode 11 credits
  20. 20.0 20.1 Episode 12 credits
  21. https://vantagepointinterviews.com/2018/08/03/remembering-ultraman-the-ultimate-hero-producer-julie-avola-on-bringing-japans-greatest-hero-stateside/

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 | Return of Ultraman | 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