SciFi Japan

    SciFi JAPAN TV #01: Director Takeshi Yagi 第1話「八木毅 監督」



    A regular video program focusing exclusively on Japanese scifi and monsters is something we’ve always wanted to see, but nothing like it has ever been available, neither in Japan nor overseas. So we decided to make one ourselves!

    Today we are happy to release the first episode of SciFi JAPAN TV! Shot on location in Japan exclusively for SciFi Japan by the Gaijin Channel production team, the show will delve into the world of Japanese monsters and scifi, featuring the latest and hottest tokusatsu events in Japan, as well as simple yet in-depth discussions with the people who bring all of our favorite films and shows to life!

    The show’s future relies on its popularity, so if you enjoyed it and would like to see more, we do urge you to like, comment, subscribe and share this video with all your friends!

    Our audience is very important to us, so we’re eager to hear your comments and suggestions about the show, as well as any filmmakers or topics you’d like to see us feature in future episodes. What do YOU want to see? Let us know! Send the production team your comments via YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Google+, or send us an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

    About The Episode

    Author: Jim M. Ballard

    For the first episode of SCIFI JAPAN TV, we sat down with director, producer, FX director and all-round nice guy Takeshi Yagi, who helped bring many of Tsuburaya Productions’ recent Ultraman shows to life.

    Passionate about science fiction, Takeshi Yagi joined Tsuburaya Productions in the mid-1990s. In his time there he quickly left his mark on the enduring franchise, producing TV shows including the highly popular ULTRAMAN MAX (Urutoraman Makkusu, 2005) and the grittier, adult-geared ULTRASEVEN X (Urutrasebun Ekkusu, 2007), while his feature film SUPERIOR ULTRAMAN 8 BROTHERS (Daikessen! Chou Urutora 8 Kyoudai), which he directed in 2008, is to date the most commercially successful movie in Ultraman’s entire 45 year history.

    Yagi has been a very good friend of mine and fellow Gaijin Channel producer JR Lipartito for over 5 years, and through my work as a writer for SciFi Japan I’ve had the honor of covering many of his great works. While I’d previously spoken with Yagi in September of last year to discuss his contribution to the illustrated book ULTRAMAN BEGINS 2011: THE START OF A NEW BATTLE (Ultraman Begins 2011 Aratana Tatakai-no Hajimari), which was raising money for children affected by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami, I hadn’t had an opportunity to quiz him properly about his work behind the lens.

    With the collaboration between SciFi Japan and Gaijin Channel gearing up, JR and I approached Yagi about being the first of our interviewees to appear on the new web show. He agreed with great enthusiasm, which left us with one last challenge, just where to find a suitable location to film the interview!

    By chance, a friend had recently recommended I visit a bar in Tokyo’s Nakano district called Kousou Kagaku (“Science Fiction”), a delightful little place adorned with toys, figures and posters from a variety of Japanese and American sci-fi movies. After a “few” drinks there one evening, watching DVDs of old Godzilla movies with the bar’s owner whilst discussing our shared enthusiasm for ULTRAMAN NEXUS (Urutoraman Nekusasu, 2004) and all things John Lennon, we agreed to shoot Yagi’s interview at the bar just a few days later.

    So Yagi, JR and I headed down to “Kousou Kagaku” one evening and filmed the interview you see on this page! The bar’s owner, who very kindly closed the bar for the duration of our shoot (without being asked, I might add), also seemed to have a great time chatting to Yagi and getting some of his Ultraman memorabilia signed! After everyone else left to catch their last trains home, I continued to hang at the bar a little longer, receiving copious shots of free tequila as a “thank you” for the fun evening — a night my stomach and I will not soon forget!

    I would like to extend thanks to Gaijin Channel’s ever-faithful Ken Ishii of FourthVisioN for providing SciFi JAPAN TV’s original music score, as well as SciFi Japan’s Keith Aiken and Bob Johnson for their support and assistance on this project.

    On behalf of everyone involved, I hope you enjoy this video and look forward to our coming episodes of this exciting new series!

    About Gaijin Channel

    Filmmaker JR Lipartito and SciFi Japan writer Jim M. Ballard make up creative duo behind Gajin Channel. Both have worked on television and corporate/client works but found that to be quite uninspiring nor even much challenge. So they left that world and joined a young multimedia company called ACTV, with high hopes of making a living doing nothing but creating cool web videos and mobile apps!

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