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Trivia / Ultraman

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Tokusatsu series:
Bemlar, the original original Ultraman
  • Absentee Actor: "The Phantom Snow Mountain" is the only episode where Captain Muramatsu and Fuji do not appear.
  • Accidentally Correct Zoology: Geronimon, a dinosaurian monster with feathering was a stylistic choice to replicate the look of a Native American chieftain. Many decades later it became common knowledge that several types of dinosaurs had feathering.
  • Actor Allusion: Akihiko Hirata (Dr. Serizawa from the original Godzilla (1954)) plays another brilliant scientist who helps the heroes against kaiju, the recurring Dr. Iwamoto.
  • Bad Export for You: There only been three official releases of the dub, all of them are lacking in some way.
    • First there was a VHS release of the first four episodes by Expressions in Animation, a well-received release with a bunch of interviews by various people involved with the original show and dub, unfortunately, Expressions did not release any of the other episodes.
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    • The next and most infamous Ultraman DVD release was done by BCI eclipse who put out the full English dub. Unfortunately because of the legal dispute that we are not going to get into, BCI eclipse did not have access to the original footage or audio of the dub. It seems all but confirmed the released used footage from an old Japanese DVD release combined with a recording of the dub of the aforementioned Expressions in Animation first four episodes and the rest of the dubbed audio coming from actual bootleg VHS tapes leaving the release to have pretty bad audio. Also BCI weirdly also left the parts of the episodes that weren’t originally dubbed in the dubbed episodes note  so when you watch the dub for about a minute per episode everyone would be speaking Japanese and then they would go right back to English. In short, the BCI eclipse release was a mess.
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    • and last the Mill Creek release. The first release of the original Ultraman only came with the Japanese audio but the second Blu-ray, “Birth of Ultraman” will include some dubbed episodes. Sadly only a handful of dubbed episodes.
  • Creator Backlash: Ultraman's designer, Tohl Narita, expressed dislike at the addition of the Color Timer on Ultraman's chest, because he felt that it looked tacked-on (his original design never incorporated one; the Color timer was a last-minute addition for the sake of giving Ultraman a weakness). The idea of Ultraseven's Head Lamp acting as a warning light was his attempt to fix this.
    • He was reluctant to open the eyeholes under Ultraman's eyes, but was forced to do so to ensure the suit actor's visibility. Again, he would fix this problem by incorporating the eyeholes as Ultraseven's pupils.
    • Bin Furuya, Ultraman's suit actor, has expressed reluctance at even pretending to hurt Jamila.
  • Creator's Favorite: Susumu Kurobe has listed his favourite monsters to be Pigmon and Woo.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Red King has been jokingly dubbed "Corn King" or "Corn Godzilla" by English-speaking fans because of his corn-like skin texture. He's also been called "Mr. Bad", thanks to a line from the unlicensed film Space Warriors 2000 using footage from his second appearance.
    • Gomora has been dubbed by some fans as "Prince of the Monsters" as an homage to Godzilla (the King of the Monsters) and because it was the title of his debut two-parter (although the eponymous prince was actually a kid who knew a lot about monsters).
  • Hey, It's That Sound!: King Ghidorah is the Science Patrol's telephone!
    • Many monster roars are reused from Toho kaiju:
      • The roar of Varan was used for Neronga, the giant Ragon, Chandler, Magular, and Aboras.
      • Mothra's cry was used for Pestar and Dodongo.
      • Toho's version of King Kong was used for Woo, Gabora, Gigass, Skydon, and Zaragas.
      • Gaira was mixed with Godzilla's into Red King and with an elephant's into Gomora.
      • Godzilla's was played in reverse for Bemular and modified for Jirass.
      • Rodan's was sped up to create Antlar's screech, while Anguirus' howl became that of Banila.
      • Ebirah was used for Dorako.
      • Alien Baltan's iconic Evil Laugh was borrowed from Matango while Bullton's throbbing was from Dogora.
      • In the reverse, Kemular was used for Hedorah's flying and land forms while Keronia was modified into Titanosaurus.
      • Non-Toho examples: Gamera was Zambolar, Gyango, and Telesdon (pitched and reversed for the latter two), Barugon was Gubila, and Ultra Q's Kemur-Man and Mongler were Zetton and Geronimon respectively.
  • Name's the Same: Superman had an evil counterpart also named Ultraman, who preceded the series by about two years.
    • Also, the main character of the TV series My Secret Identity called himself "Ultraman", but never actually used such an identity.
  • The Other Marty: Ide was originally going to be played by the singer and comedian, Susumu Isikawa, but due to a contractual dispute, he was replaced with Masanari Nihei at the last minute.
  • Playing Against Type: Susumu Kurobe actually played bad guys more, at that point in his career. (He's joked in interviews that he just happened to be in line for roles when they were casting for Hayata.)
    • Haruo Nakajima appears outside his usual monster suits twice in the show. First as a comical working-class father in episode 25, and then as a trigger-happy police officer in episode 33.
  • Pop Culture Urban Legends: For a while on the internet, an old artwork which sources claims to be Gomora's concept art draft, having crescent-shaped horns and an external facial shell is passed around the internet. The artwork by Toru Narita was actually for an unrelated monster called Urin, and the monster is actually designed for an unrelated series in the 1980s.
  • Prop Recycling:
    • The iconic V-TOL/Beetle is a modified prop from the Toho disaster movie Gorath.
    • The set for Barraj/Vallarge was reused from the Toshiro Mifune movie The Adventure of Taklamakan.
    • A few monster suits come from Godzilla movies since Eiji Tsuburaya owned the suits, not Toho. Apparently there were considerable difficulties in getting new monster costumes. Later costumes were, in a number of cases, simply recycled from earlier ones.
      • Bemular was recycled into Gyango.
      • Alien Baltan was made from the Cicada Man in Ultra Q. Several sources have expanded on this, saying that the Baltans are indeed related to the Cicada People.
      • Baragon's suit was famously remade into Neronga, Magular, and Gabora.
      • Gesura was reused from the giant lizard Peter in Ultra Q with added fins from the Ragon suit.
      • Red King's suit was made into Aboras and then back into Red King for his reappearance.
      • Chandler was a loosely disguised Peguila (the only difference is Chandler has bat-like ears) while friendly, little Pigmon was giant, malevolent Garamon (both from Ultra Q).
      • Godzilla was blatantly used for Jirass. More specifically, the body of the Invasion of Astro-Monster suit was combined with the head of the Mothra vs. Godzilla suit (the body had been turned into Gomess) and given a few adjustments like a frill (that gets ripped off in the fight). Not only that, but Jirass' roar was merely Godzilla's sped-up, and Godzilla suit actor at the time (Haruo Nakijima) portrayed the character, likely because the suit had been tailored to fit him specifically when Astro Monster was made. This was parodied in an episode of Sgt. Frog, in which a Monster of the Week called Capras is called out by Fuyuki Hinata as a "chupacabra with a frill".
      • Dodongo's head was taken from Pagos.
      • Gamakujira was remade into Skydon.
      • Gavadon's first form was was remade into Gubila and the second form became Zambolar. And in a different sense, the second form's suit was based on a rejected concept for Dodongo.
      • Alien Zarab was made from Ragon. Likewise, Ragon's appearance in Ultraman was simply the Ultra Q suit (with its breasts removed...) Also Zarab's "Fake Ultraman" form was created from the Ultraman suit used in the first 13 episodes.
      • Hydra was made into Gigass.
      • Gomora's suit was made into Zaragas.
      • Alien Zetton was made from the Kemur-Man suit with the face turned sideways. Kemur's cameo in Episode 33 was the original suit's head with a new body.
      • Zetton used Red King's arms and Kemular's shell.
      • The opening silhouette of Goro uses M1's body as a substitute for King Kong's.
  • Short-Lived, Big Impact: It's hard to believe that a show as popular and influential as Ultraman only ran for 39 episodes from 1966 to 1967. So hard to believe that many people wrongly assume the rest of the Ultra Series to be the same as Ultraman.
  • Throw It In!: Whilst filming Jamila's death scene, the suit's electronics malfunctioned and the eyes stopped glowing, but Akio Jissoji kept it in as he felt it added to the emotional impact of the scene.
  • Troubled Production: the show had a myriad of problems that detail here
    • The Budget was a major problem for the show and it didn’t help TBS demanded the show the be in color which only increased the cost of the production. Because of this the production had to cut a lot of corners, fight scenes needed to be cut down and some monster concepts were abandoned. This is also the reason many suits were reused from other productions most famously the monster Jirass, which used the Godzilla suit. However, when the first episode got 34% of all of Japan watching, the budget was increased helping the production immensely.
    • The production was always behind schedule because the team was noticeably smaller than most other TV productions at the time and the effects took a lot of time to finish. The show wasn’t even finished when it was set to air which forced the production to make a really cheap TV special to buy the crew more time. The special itself was considered an embarrassment by the production staff. The writer, Akio Jissoji asked to go by pseudonym.
    • The writers were conflicted about what the tone of the series would be. Some wanted the series to be completely serious while others wanted the series to be a lighthearted comical romp. The Skydon episode was the most contentious between the writers that got quite heated. There are even rumors that a fistfight erupted over the episode.
  • Unfinished Episode: The executives wanted Ultraman to run for 52 episodes, but Eiji Tsuburaya insisted 39 as the fast-paced production schedules were a burden for his crew. Nevertheless, unused scripts for some of the never-finished 13 episodes exist like "Aurora Line Freeze", which featured Peguila as the Monster of the Week, as well as "The Wandering Planet", which was adapted into the 32nd episode of Ultraseven.
    • A feature-length movie called Ultraman: Operation Giant was also planned, and the movie would have featured the Baltans teaming up with an evil human scientist, a robot named Napoleon who helps Science Patrol battle the aliens, a new monster called Morugo, and Ultraman gaining a weapon called the Ultra Sword to save the day.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Ultraman was originally going to be a bird-like alien monster named Bemlar (an unused villain from Ultra Q). Due to the fear that children wouldn't know who to cheer for, they turned Ultraman into a more humanoid alien. The name for the bird-man was given to Ultraman's first enemy while it's design was later used for Hydra, and Nikkatsu's Gappa the Triphibian Monster.
    • Behold, the re-designing and evolution of Ultraman from bird-humanoid to space-man and finally to the red-and-silver superhero everybody knows and love.
    • Hayata was originally named Sakomizu and Captain Muramatsu would have been the only one who knew about his Secret Identity, with Science Patrol being a top-secret agency disguised as a team of journalists.
    • The show was originally also envisioned as Redman with Red King as the king of all monsters. Red King's name stuck around while the hero's name was reused for a different series.
    • Ultraman's mouth was intended to be able to move, but the result looked better on paper than it did on screen. The slightly Off-Model design for Ultraman in the first few episodes can be attributed to this. This idea for a moving mouth also meant Ultraman was to have Breath Weapons.
    • Many monsters differed greatly from their final design — Pestar was originally to be a two-headed monster, Gavadon was a colorful moose-walrus creature in the script, Dorako was envisioned as an insectoid monster with whip arms, Dada was originally meant to have three faces all at once, and Zaragas was written in the script as a lumpy, eyeless monster able to change shape.
      • Alien Zarab is originally a Tiny-Headed Behemoth after he transforms. A tiny head on a large body like so would look very unnatural, thus the changing of his head's size to match the final product.
      • Perhaps the most radical is Gesura, who was initially going to be a mutant bee larva from a species that pollinated cacao beans. Concept art by designer Tohl Narita shows this version would have been created using a modified Mothra larva puppet. This has caused supplementary material to mix up its species, with some sources listing Gesura as an insect, others as an amphibian and yet others as a reptile.
    • In "The Small Hero", the monsters, Geronimon was supposed to revive were to be Gomora and Red King. However, the suits were not available (Red King was too deteriorated and Gomora had just been modified into Zaragas), so Telesdon and Dorako were chosen. Amusingly, the English dub still refers the revived monsters as Gomora and Red King.
    • "The Dreaded Comet Tsuiphon" was originally going to have the Rock Monster Gorgos from Ultra Q instead of Red King, while Gabora's role in "Operation Lightning Speed" was meant for Pagos.
    • "The Forbidden Words" was originally envisioned as the ultimate alien episode in which Mefilas, Zarab, Baltan, Dada, and Kemur team-up to conquer Earth and use the Mammoth Flower Juran. Hoshino was also intended to be the boy that Mefilas would attempt to persuade, but Satoru was created as Hoshino's actor had broken his leg on a ski trip (hence his disappearance after Episode 24).
    • The final episode was originally going to have Zoffy kill Zetton after Ultraman's defeat (which would have been Zetton smashing Ultraman's Color Timer to pieces).
      • An earlier draft had Zetton as simply a side monster that Ultraman would kill quickly as a warm-up to the real Monster of the Week Saigo. However, the production team had realized that Zetton's design was simply too good to waste, so Saigo was demoted to a side monster to appear alongside Kiyla. This still lingers in Zetton's title "Space Dinosaur", which was intended for Saigo, who got "Sand Pit Monster" instead.
  • Working Title: Bemlar: Scientific Investigation Agency, and then later Redman.

Manga and 2019 anime:

  • All-Star Cast:
  • Celebrity Voice Actor: In the English dub of the Anime, Shinjiro is voiced by Josh Hutcherson, who is most well-known as Peeta Mellark from the The Hunger Games franchise.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • With the exception listed below, all characters from previous entries in the Ultra Series are voiced in the motion comic by somebody other than their original actor.
    • The same goes in the Latin American Spanish dub, in a meta-sense, and also franchise-wise: Unlike with the original dub of the first Ultraman series, which was dubbed in Mexico, the anime was dubbed in Colombia. It should be noted this is the first original Netflix anime work dubbed in that country (excluding Doki Doki Pretty Cure, which, while also dubbed in Colombia, Netflix had no word on the handling of the dub, as it was done by request of Saban, the previous licensor of the franchise). Also being the series dubbed in a South American country is quite normal in the whole franchise, as many of the shows of the Ultra Series were dubbed in almost all South American countries (and Mexico) with working voice acting industries, with the sole exception of Peru.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguch have been quite vocal in the bonus chapters about how honored they are to have been chosen by Tsuburaya to produce the manga.
  • Role Reprise: Hiroko Sakurai reprises her role as Akiko Fuji from the original Ultraman TV series in the manga's motion comic version.
  • What Could Have Been: Eiichi Shimizu admitted that he wanted to keep Taro in his naked aflame look instead of giving him Powered Armor like the other Ultras but pressure from Tomohiro Shimoguch, his bosses at Tsubaraya, and others made him relent.
  • Working Title: The manga was originally advertised with the title "Ultraman Begins".


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