Ultra 7

A&E (ended 1968)




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Ultra 7

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ULTRA SEVEN (URUTORA SEBUN) Show Type: Tokusatsu Science Fiction/Fantasy Produced by Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) and Tsuburaya Productions First Telecast: October 1, 1967 Last Telecast: September 8, 1968 Color, 16mm -49 Episodes (only 48 now, as Episode 12 is banned; See Episode List/Guide for details) -2 TV Specials -3 OVT (Original Video Tokusatsu) Miniseries (14 episodes total) TOTAL EPISODES - 65 Basic Plot: At a time when Earth is about to be threatened by sinister aliens and monsters, Agent 340 from Nebula M-78 (the same planet Ultraman came from), who was originally sent to make a map of the Milky Way, decides to stay on Earth, and seeks to protect it. Disguised as a mysterious human named Dan Moroboshi, he is invited by the Terrestrial Defense Force to join its elite branch, the Ultra Garrison, as its sixth member to combat the threats from space. Little do the other 5 members of the Garrison know that whenever the situation becomes hopeless, Dan secretly puts on the Ultra Eye glasses, and becomes his true form of Agent 340, christened by the Garrison as its honorary 7th member, Ultra Seven! Series Background: Ultra Seven (Urutora Sebun in Japan) premiered on Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) on October 10th, 1967. The show was created by special effects wizard Eiji Tsuburaya (who also created the first two shows, Ultra Q and Ultraman, the previous year) and his company Tsuburaya Productions. It is the 3rd Ultra Series and an indirect follow-up to the famous Ultraman (although the 4th series, 1971's Return of Ultraman, made a clearer connection to both shows, as did most subsequent shows of the series). Ultra Seven continues Ultraman's tradition of a giant superhero fighting outlandish monsters and aliens, but what makes this show unusual from almost all the Ultra Series was the serious sci-fi drama and character development (comparable to the original Star Trek). In some episodes, Seven himself makes a brief appearance, others have him fighting very short battles (much like a samurai duel), and other episodes have him fighting a whole fleet of UFOs (as opposed to the usual giant monsters & aliens of the week). This show's formula and style would be emulated in the new generation Ultra Series, starting with its first entry, the 1996 hit, Ultraman Tiga. To this day, fans across Japan have hailed Ultra Seven as a sci-fi masterpiece, and the best of all the Ultra Series. Those fans included cartoonists and animators (including veterans such as Rumiko Takahashi and Akira Toriyama) who created manga/anime shows such as Urusei Yatsura, Dragon Ball, Otaku no Video, and Pokemon, all of which had references to this show! In fact, Ultra Seven is considered the "Star Trek" of Japan, long before anime favorites like Space Battleship Yamato (AKA: Star Blazers) and Mobile Suit Gundam held that title! When Ultraman concluded on April 9, 1967, TBS aired Toei Company Ltd's Captain Ultra as the "official sequel" to Ultraman (Captain Ultra, a completely unrelated series, was loosely based on Edmond Hamilton's Captain Future pulp novels, which were adapted into an anime series by NHK in 1978). Months before Captain Ultra hit the airwaves, Tsuburaya pitched an idea for a space adventure called The Ultra Garrison (Urutora Keibitai) to TBS. This project evolved into Ultra Eye, about Dan Moroboshi, an esper alien from Planet R (not the same Planet R that the Baltans from Ultraman came from), who was born to an alien father and a human mother, whom he went to Earth in search for. Upon coming to Earth, Dan joined the Ultra Garrison, and became the driver of the Garrison's Supercar. But unbeknownst to anyone, in times of crisis, Dan transforms into his R-ian form, known on Earth as Redman. Almost identical to Ultra Seven, Redman's Capsule Monsters were monsters that were originally from Ultra Q and Ultraman (Red King, Antlar and Peguila), as opposed to the original monsters that were made for the show (Windom, Miclas and Aghira). The show initially began production as Redman (the same working title Ultraman used). Episodes 3, 2, 6 and 4 (the first episodes ever filmed in that order) were produced in May of 1967, with casting auditions held in June. The show was ultimately retitled Ultra Seven in August, and Episode 1 was then produced, and was the first to bear the final title. Thus, all references to "Redman" were dubbed out in the previously filmed episodes. (A strange, yet funny bit of trivia: Ultra Seven was originally going to be the title of this proposed live-action comedy by another company about prehistoric cavemen, much like The Flintstones!) With post-production completed in September, the show finally premiered on October 1, 1967, and competed against Toei Company's Giant Robo (Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot) and P-Productions' Monster Prince, earning a 30% rating. The show was originally going to be a 39-episode series, like Ultraman, but high ratings called for 10 more episodes, even though the ratings dropped to 20% by the show's end. Ultra Seven came to an emotional end on September 8, 1968, and Eiji Tsuburaya decided that this would be the very last of the Ultra Series. That same year, he produced memorable non-Ultra SF TV shows such as Operation: Mystery (another pre-The X-Files series, with a Science Patrol-like team called Scientific Research Institute [SRI for short] investigating bizarre phoenomena; This series had no flashy monsters or aliens) and Mighty Jack (Mission: Impossible with high-tech weapons & vehicles; This show's first & last episode was combined into a movie for US TV by Sandy Frank in 1986). And in 1969, his final TV shows included Mighty Jack's campy sequel series Fight, Mighty Jack!, the childrens' show Chibira-kun (similar to his hit childrens' comedy series Monster Booska) and the Ultra Q-like Mystery Theater: Unbalance, which didn't air until 1973. Eiji Tsuburaya passed away on January 25, 1970. But the following year, his son Hajime Tsuburaya took over Tsuburaya Productions, and in 1971, he not only created the company's first non-Ultra superhero Mirrorman, but revived the Ultra Series! The next series, Return of Ultraman, premiered on April 2, 1971 (and the following night, another famous superhero premiered on Japanese TV; Kamen Rider!). Ultra Seven was also the first English-dubbed Japanese sci-fi show in Hawaii, where it was broadcast on KHON-TV in 1975 (the previous year, the more successful Kikaider [Kikaida] was shown in English subtitles). Produced by Tsuburaya's Hawaiian branch, the dubbing was provided by Commercial Recording Company in Honolulu, and the voice actors were students of the University of Hawaii's Speech Department. Veteran Japanese pop singer Masato Shimon sang the English version of the theme song in the credits. Unfortunately, this version is now lost, and only two episodes (including # 26) are known to exist. There was a second English-dubbed version done in 1985 by Turner Programming Center in Canada, with somewhat campy dialogue, a new opening credit sequence and synthesizer theme music. Though never broadcast since it was produced, this version finally saw light on TNT in February of 1994. It aired until 1999, when TNT's rights to the show expired, and reverted back to Tsuburaya Productions. Written by John Cassidy, with special thanks to August Ragone, Bob Johnson and Marc Hideo Miyake for information. Characters The Ultra Garrison Six elite members of the Terrestrial Defense Force (TDF), chosen to fight evil aliens and monsters using high-tech vehicles and weaponry. Commander Kaoru Kiriyama (Age 38) Captain of the Ultra Garrison. A no-nonsense but kind leader. From Tokyo. Shigeru Furuhashi (Age 29) Rotund, strong, trigger-happy member of the Garrison. From Hokkaido. (Sandaiyu Dokumamushi, who played Furuhashi, has previously played the equally trigger-happy Science Patrol member Arashi on Ultraman) Anne Yuri (Age 20) Token female member of the Garrison, and also the youngest. Is the team's communications operator and nurse, but is still effective in action. Has feelings for fellow member Dan Moroboshi. Also from Tokyo. Soga (Age 25) The Garrison's expert marksman. Easy-going, but fierce in battle. Is friends with Dan Moroboshi. From Southern Kyushu. Amagi (Age 24) The Garrison's twitchy stragegist. From Nagoya. (Bin Furuya, who played Amagi, was the suit actor for the title character of the original Ultraman. Nothing twitchy about that!) Dan Moroboshi/Ultra Seven (Agent 340) (Age 24) The title character, a soldier from the Land of Light in the Nebula M-78 (the same planet Ultraman came from). Originally sent to make a map of the Milky Way, he visits a planet that captivates him, our very own Earth, and on his first visit, saves the life of a young mountain climber named Jiro Satsuma, who nearly fell to his death to save a fellow climber from sharing his fate. Instead of combining with him, like Ultraman did to Science Patrol member Hayata, 340 makes himself into an exact likeness of the unconscious Jiro (with more casual civvies), but renames himself "Dan Moroboshi" to avoid confusion. A mysterious but friendly and helpful young man, Dan joins the Ultra Garrison as its sixth member, but unbeknownst to them (and anyone else for that matter), he saves the day from alien invasions in his true guise as Agent 340, christened by the Garrison as its "honorary 7th member," "Ultra Seven"! Among his arsenal, Ultra Seven's principal weapons are: -Eye Slugger: A detachable boomerang-like blade on Ultra Seven's helmet. With this, he can telepathically guide it to hack his opponent to pieces. -Emelium Ray: Fired from Ultra Seven's Colortimer (located in his forehead). -Wide Shot: Similar to Ultraman's Spacium Ray, except that Ultra Seven crosses his arms into an "L" position to fire this ray from his upper forearm. Ultra Seven is prominently 40 meters (132 feet) tall, and is able to make himself smaller, from normal human size to microscopic (like in Episode 31)! Whereas all known Ultra-beings have the weakness of remaining on Earth for a limited time of 3 minutes (signalled by their blinking Colortimers), Ultra Seven can seemingly survive on Earth's atmosphere beyond that time limit, thanks to a special energy supply (which depleted near the series' conclusion). Despite that, he still has a main weakness: He is dramatically weak in subzero temperature, and this weakness is signalled by the Colortimer in his forehead, which starts to blink. Therefore, Ultra Seven must fly to the sun to recharge his energy. Even as Dan Moroboshi, Ultra Seven has extraordinary abilities, such as telepathy, ESP, and even X-ray vision. Capsule Monsters When not transforming into Ultra Seven (or unable to transform under some circumstance), Dan carries with him a small case containing 5 Capsule Monsters, which aid him fight evil aliens and monsters. When thrown like a grenade, the capsule explodes, turning into a giant monster. When finished, Dan calls back the monster, which turns back into a capsule in his hand. Only 3 were used in this show. (NOTE: The Capsule Monsters were the basis for Bulma's exploding capsules in Dragon Ball [which turn into various items like tents, houses, jeeps, etc.], and the Poke-Balls in Pokemon!) Featured Capsule Monsters: -Windom (40 meters) A metallic, monster-like robot from the planet Metal. Clumsy and comical, Windom is the least reliable of the Capsule Monsters. Discharges energy bolts from its forehead. Destroyed by the Guts Aliens in Episode 39. -Miclas (40 meters) A hulking horned monster from the planet Buffalo. The strongest of the capsule monsters. Resembles a Mayan statue. Shoots a powerful red heat beam from his mouth. -Aghira (45 meters) A styracosaurus-like lizard monster from the planet Animal. The fastest of the capsule monsters. The red frill-like collar around his head spreads out under duress. Ultra Garrison Vehicles & Weapons -Ultra Hawk 1 The Ultra Garrison's principal craft, a super-ship that separates into three separate fighter jets, the Alpha, Beta and Gamma sections. Launches from a hangar inside against a mountain. (The Ultra Hawk 1 would later inspire the GUTS Eagle from 1997's Ultraman Dyna). -Ultra Hawk 2 Spacecraft that shoots a laser from its nose cone. Launched from an octagonal silo. -Ultra Hawk 3 VTOL craft that launches from behind a waterfall. Also transports the Magmaraiser. Releases fire retardants. -Station Hawks The TDF's basic jet fighters. -Max The Garrison's atomic ship. -Magmaraiser The Garrison's subterranean drill vehicle (similar to the Pelucidar from Ultraman. Shoots bombs and missiles. -Hydranger Submarine piloted by two. Shoots missiles and lasers. -Pointer The Ultra Garrison's modified stock Crysler Imperial (and later, a Mitsubishi Eclipse). It fires missiles, has an energy barrier, and can also hover over land and ride on the sea. -Space Stations V1, V2 and V3 The TDF's space stations, on which the Station Hawks and Ultra Hawk 2 can dock. V3, which is stationed in orbit over the Far East, is commanded by Kiriyama's old academy buddy Commander Kurata. -Ultragun The basic laser gun carried by each Ultra Garrison member. -Videociever Communicator watches (with small video screens) worn by each Ultra Garrison member. (The name of the device is a cross between "video" and "reciever") -Paralyzer Gun -Electro-H Gun -MS Bomb -Vertical Shotgun Lyrics Main Theme Urutora Sebun no Uta (The Song of Ultra Seven) Performed by The Echoes and the Misuzu Childrens' Choir Sebun, Sebun, Sebun, Sebun Sebun! Sebun! Sebun! Sebun! Sebun! Sebun! Haruka na hoshi ga furusato da Urutora Sebun, faitaa Sebun Urutora Sebun, Sebun, Sebun Susume, ginga no hate made mo Urutora Ai de supaaku! Sebun! Sebun! Sebun! Sebun! Sebun! Sebun! Moroboshi Dan no na wo karite Urutora Sebun, hiiroo Sebun Urutora Sebun, Sebun, Sebun Taose, hi wo haku daikaijuu Urutora Biimu de sutoraiku! Sebun! Sebun! Sebun! Sebun! Sebun! Sebun! Mirakuruman no nanbaa da Urutora Sebun, eesu da, Sebun Urutora Sebun, Sebun, Sebun Mamore, bokura no shiawase wo Urutora Hooku de atakku! TRANSLATION Seven, Seven, Seven, Seven Seven! Seven! Seven! Seven! Seven! Seven! A faraway planet is your home Ultra Seven, fighter Seven Ultra Seven, Seven, Seven Forward, to the end of the Milky Way Spark with the Ultra Eye! Seven! Seven! Seven! Seven! Seven! Seven! Borrowing the name of Dan Moroboshi Ultra Seven, hero Seven Ultra Seven, Seven, Seven Beat them, the fire-breathing monsters Strike with the Ultra Beam! Seven! Seven! Seven! Seven! Seven! Seven! The number of the miracle-man Ultra Seven, you're an ace, Seven Ultra Seven, Seven, Seven Defend, our happiness Attack with the Ultra Hawk! English Version The Theme Song of Ultra Seven Performed by Masato Shimon Seven, Seven, Seven, Seven Seven! Seven! Seven! Seven! Seven! Seven! Far among the galaxy is where your home lies Ultra Seven, fighter Seven Ultra Seven, Seven, Seven March to the end of the big Milky Way With the Ultra Eye, spark! Seven! Seven! Seven! Seven! Seven! Seven! We know you by another name, the planet man Dan Ultra Seven, hero Seven Ultra Seven, Seven, Seven Save us from destruction, the evil monsters With the Ultra Beam, strike! Seven! Seven! Seven! Seven! Seven! Seven! Seven is the number of the miracle man Ultra Seven, hero Seven Ultra Seven, Seven, Seven Go, fight, defend our life and happiness With the Ultra Hawk, attack! ULTRA SEVEN Performed by The Echoes (NOTE: This was originally meant to be the show's main title theme song, but around 200 children were allowed to select between this song, and the one that was ultimately used; This song is still featured in several episodes) 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4 COME ON, (5, 6) SEVEN 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4 ULTRA (5, 6) SEVEN ATTACK, THE HAWKMISSILE FIGHTER SEVEN ULTRA SEVEN 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4 LET'S GO, (5, 6) SEVEN 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4 ULTRA (5, 6) SEVEN STRIKE, THE EYESLUGGER HERO SEVEN ULTRA SEVENmoreless
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    Aired 8/18/68