SciFi Japan
    Akio Jissoji: 1937-2006 Author: Keith Aiken with Bob Johnson Source: Tsuburaya Productions, Midnight Eye, Udine Far East Film, various Translations and Additional Material by: Oki Miyano Special Thanks to Hiroko Sakurai, Brad Warner, and David Chapple At 11:45pm on November 29, director Akio Jissoji died from complications related to stomach cancer at the University of Tokyo Hospital. At his bedside were his wife (actress Chisako Hara), his daughter, and friends and co-workers from his many productions. Jissoji is known in Japan for his award-winning experimental movies from the 1970s, but is most familiar to worldwide audiences for his work on Tsuburaya Productions’ popular ULTRAMAN (Urutoraman, 1966) and ULTRA SEVEN (Urutora Sebun, 1967). While episodic television generally has a consistent look and tone, Jissoji’s episodes always stood out for their moody lighting, off-beat camera angles and movement, and strong, character-driven stories. Akio Jissoji was

    A look at the 40th anniversary Ultraman movie Author: James Ballard Official Site: Ultraman Mebius & Ultraman Brothers SPOILER WARNING: The following review contains plot details for a new Japanese film. Soon after establishing his own effects house, Eiji Tsuburaya – revered as the “God of Special Effects” in his native Japan for his work on effects films such as Toho’s Godzilla series - founded Tsuburaya Productions in 1963. Their first science fiction television series, ULTRA Q (Urutora Kyuu), was first aired in January 1966. The success of the show lead to the creation of a new fantasy effects series, one which would lead to phenomenal and perhaps unexpected success. First airing on July 17th 1966, ULTRAMAN (Urutoraman) was the story of a man called Hayata, whose life was accidentally taken but subsequently revived by the alien known as Ultraman. After Ultraman joined

    Tsuburaya Productions Takes on Chaiyo in China! Author: Bob Johnson In the on-going litigation between Tsuburaya Productions of Japan and Chaiyo Productions of Thailand, a new lawsuit has been filed in Chinese court. This is the latest court case involving the companies’ dispute over rights to ULTRA Q, ULTRAMAN, ULTRA SEVEN, RETURN OF ULTRAMAN, ULTRAMAN ACE, ULTRAMAN TARO and JUMBORG ACE. Also included are the two films, SIX ULTRA BROTHERS VS. THE MONSTER ARMY and JUMBORG ACE AND GIANT. On August 23, 2006, the Chinese courts opened “The Ultraman Copyright Study Group” in Beijing in response to Tsuburaya’s lawsuit against Chaiyo for copyright infringement and plagiarism. According to Tsuburaya Productions, the Thai company created three characters including Ultraman Millennium and produced goods based on them. From May of this year in Hongzhou, China, a long-term event featuring these 3 characters has been going on and a

    GAMERA THE BRAVE, MIRROR MAN, GREAT YOKAI WAR, NEGADON, ULTRAMAN MAX and GODZILLA at the Egyptian Theatre! Author: Keith Aiken Source: American Cinematheque What better way is there to celebrate the 4th of July weekend than watching Japanese monsters rampaging on the big screen? From June 30-July 2, the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood will host "Giant Monsters On the Loose", the third annual kaiju eiga film festival from the prestigious American Cinematheque. In June 2004, the Cinematheque held the “Godzilla 50th Anniversary Tribute", a Toho-themed film festival that screened 14 movies and shorts. Audiences were treated to such classics as RODAN, KING KONG VS GODZILLA, MONSTER ZERO, GODZILLA VS THE SEA MONSTER, and DESTROY ALL MONSTERS, plus the US theatrical premieres of GODZILLA AGAINST MECHAGODZILLA and GODZILLA: TOKYO SOS. The following year the “Japanese Giant Monsters Festival” was expanded to include programming from Tsuburaya Productions. The

    Author: James Ballard Sources: Illustrated Who`s Who of Ultra Series, Matsu-Red`s Home Page, Henshin! Online, 5 Shadows Special Thanks to August Ragone, Bob Johnson, Keith Aiken, and Elliot Gay 2004 was an exciting year for giant monster fans. With the hype surrounding Toho’s 50th anniversary and allegedly “last” Godzilla movie - GODZILLA: FINAL WARS (2004) - also came a surge of dual-language Region 1 DVD releases, the first ever U.S. release of the uncut GODZILLA (1954) from Rialto Pictures, and some spectacular U.S. theatrical events such as the Egyptian Theatre’s “Godzilla 50th Anniversary Tribute”, the Hollywood Theatre’s “50 Years of Godzilla” festival and Bay Area Film Events’ Godzillafest at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco. However, while most eyes were squarely focused on Godzilla, many overlooked the happenings at Tsuburaya Productions, where a complete re-envisioning of their popular ULTRA franchise was well underway. Leading up to Tsuburaya’s

    Author: Bob Johnson Source: Tsuburaya Productions 2006 is the year of ULTRAMAN! This year Tsuburaya Productions will be celebrating 40 years of Ultraman, and we will bring you all the details here at SciFi Japan when they become available! The first step in the yearlong celebration is an appearance at MIPTV in France next month. MIPTV is taking place on April 3-7 in Cannes, France. Each year, MIPTV is where you find everyone involved in content creation, production & distribution across all traditional, digital and Telcos TV platforms. MIPTV boasts a world class conference with over 200 speakers and 45 sessions on TV and Digital Platforms. Last year, some 12,000 professionals from across the globe attended the show. If you want to interest the world in your product, this is the place to be and this year Tsuburaya Productions is taking Ultraman

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