SciFi Japan

    ULTRASEVEN X Series Guide

    Your Guide To Ultra Seven`s 40 Anniversary Series! Author: James Ballard Official Website: Ultraseven X Special Thanks to Keith Aiken, Norman England, Jared Foust, Ed Godziszewski, Takeshi Yagi

    ©2007 Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd. / Ultraseven X Project

    Contents:

    Introduction

    Last year saw the 40th anniversary of the original ULTRAMAN (Urutoraman, 1966), and with it the new television series ULTRAMAN MEBIUS (Urutoraman Mebiusu, 2006) and its accompanying theatrical adaptation ULTRAMAN MEBIUS & ULTRAMAN BROTHERS (Urutoraman Mebiusu ando Urutora Kyoudai, 2006). Following up this year, Tsuburaya Productions began their celebrations for the 40th anniversary of ULTRA SEVEN (Urutorasebun, 1967), which is still viewed by many as the apex of the Ultra series. While ULTRAMAN MEBIUS was produced as a more colorful, nostalgic family series in style of the Ultraman shows of the 1960s and 70s, Tsuburaya took the opposite approach with their new series, ULTRASEVEN X (Urutorasebun Ekkusu, 2007), becoming their first ever late-night Ultra hero series. It follows several other attempts by Tsuburaya Productions to produce an adult-orientated series, including the late-night mystery shows ULTRA Q: DARK FANTASY (Urutora Kyuu Daaku Fantajii, 2004) and OPERATION: MYSTERY- SECOND FILE (Kaiki Daisakusen Sekando Fairu, 2007). However, perhaps most notably was ULTRAMAN NEXUS (Urutoraman Nekusasu, 2004), which despite airing early Saturday mornings had originally been conceived as a prime time series, and still retained the darker themes and continuing story arcs for it`s intended audience. Interestingly, one of the working titles for ULTRAMAN NEXUS was ULTRAMAN X.

    Some various incarnations of Ultra Seven ©1967 - 2006 Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd.

    Over the years since the original series, Ultra Seven and variations have re-appeared. The character made several guest appearances in subsequent television series, including episodes of THE RETURN OF ULTRAMAN (Kaettekita Urutoraman, 1971), ULTRAMAN ACE (Urutoraman Eesu, 1972), ULTRAMAN TARO (Urutoraman Tarou, 1973), ULTRAMAN LEO (Urutoraman Reo, 1974) and ULTRAMAN 80 (Urutoraman 80, 1980). In March 1994, a television special ULTRA SEVEN: OPERATION SOLAR ENERGY (Urutorasebun Taiyou Enerugii Sakusen) aired on the NTV network, followed by ULTRA SEVEN: LAND OF THE EARTHLINGS (Urutorasebun Chikyuuseijin-no Daichi) in October the same year. The success of the TV specials led to three OV (original video) series; ULTRA SEVEN`S 30TH ANNIVERSARY CREATION COMMEMORATION 3-PART WORK (Urutorasebun Tanjou 30 Shuunen Kinen 3-bu Saku, 1998), ULTRA SEVEN 1999: FINAL CHAPTER 6-PART WORK (Urutorasebun 1999 Saishuushou 6-bu Saku, 1999) and ULTRASEVEN`S 35TH CREATION ANNIVERSARY "EVOLUTION" 5-PART WORK (Urutorasebun Tanjou 35 Shuunen "EVOLUTION" 5-bu Saku, 2002). The OV series ULTRAMAN NEOS (Urutoraman Neosu, 2000) also featured a character named Ultra Seven 21 ("two-one"). Ultra Seven most recently made an appearance in last year`s ULTRAMAN MEBIUS and ULTRAMAN MEBIUS & ULTRAMAN BROTHERS. However, ULTRASEVEN X was Ultra Seven`s first return as the title character to a regular broadcast television series since the original series concluded on September 8th 1968. ULTRASEVEN X thrusts us forward into the not-too-distant future. Commenting on the series, Series Organizer/Director Takeshi Yagi considers the futuristic setting to be inspired by Ridley Scott`s BLADE RUNNER, and in respect of the show`s story arc, by the popular American television shows 24 and LOST. The most prominent change the series makes to the Ultraman mythos is to the structure of the defence team, which has been a staple to the franchise since its conception. Typically, the defence team consists of around five to eight members stationed in a large base, one of whom is secretly host to Ultraman, and attack the giant monsters using an array of ships and mecha.

    The first major changes to this concept came with ULTRAMAN NEXUS, where the Ultraman host was not a member of the defence team and the existence of the defence team was kept secret from the public. ULTRASEVEN X not only retains the idea of a secret defence team, but takes it a step further. For the first time, there is no established group of members, no base and no ships or mecha. Rather, all members of the defence team, DEUS, continue with their daily lives, and are only called upon when assigned a mission via the VC (VideoCeiver), a communication device on their wrist. With this ambiguity, it`s possible there are anywhere from a handful to thousands of members. The only other major piece of technology the DEUS agents carry with them is a small hand weapon called the Ultra Gun. As for technical innovations, ULTRASEVEN X is the first of Tsuburaya`s Ultra hero TV shows to be filmed in either widescreen or high definition. In the realm of special effects, the approach is similar to that taken with the theatrical film ULTRAMAN: THE NEXT (Ultraman, 2004), in that there is a distinct lack of miniature special effects work. Rather, the majority of the suit acting was filmed on greenscreen and digitally composited onto real location footage of Tokyo. With this, the series offers a stronger sense of realism, while still maintaining the traditions of suit acting. In this ambiguous new setting, with some of the genre`s top talent behind the scenes, Ultra Seven returned on October 6th 2007. As well as telling enjoyable sci-fi tales, these 12 original stories explore intriguing and often disturbing social issues, and raise the ultimate question of whether the problems in this futuristic landscape are so different from our own world.

    Cast & Character Profiles

    Eriku Yoza as Agent Jin / Ultraseven X Waking up to find he has no memories of his past, he soon discovers he works for a secret organization DEUS, working under the codename "Jin". After receiving the Ultra Eye from the mysterious woman Elea, Jin has the power to transform into the mighty Ultraseven X! Working together with Agent K and his other DEUS comrades, Jin protects the Earth from the oncoming alien threats. As he continues to fight, Jin tries to learn more about his past and who he really is. Eriku Yoza was born on August 23rd 1981. Some of his previous appearances include the TV dramas THE PINK GENE (Pinku-no Idenshi, 2005) and MY BOSS MY HERO (Mai Bosu Mai Hiiroo, 2006). He is a member of the talent agency Natsuki Production.

    Tomohito Wakizaki as Agent K Agent K is a member of DEUS, and is frequently paired with Agent Jin on missions. K is a lighter character who is often used as the comedy relief for a story. However, K`s character also displays strong moral ideals and is bound by his sense of duty to protect the Earth. Tomohito Wakizaki appeared in GODZILLA: FINAL WARS (Gojira Fainaru Uoozu, 2004) as one of the X-Alien invaders. Among other shows, he was a regular in the TV drama WATER BOYS (Wootaa Booizu, 2003) as Wakita. He has also done promotional work for companies such as Coca-Cola and JR railways. He is a member of Vingt-Sept Promotion.

    Saki Kagami as Saeki Elea A woman of mystery, Elea frequently appears around Jin to offer help or a warning. Elea is the one who gave Jin the Ultra Eye, thus giving him the ability to transform into Ultraseven X. She is the key to many mysteries, including the truth of Jin`s past, and the true colors of Ultraseven X! Saki Kagami was born February 26th 1985. She was cast in the leading role of Aoi Kadokura in the movie PLATONIC SEX (Puratonikku Sekkusu, 2001) from among 12,000 applicants, despite having had no previous acting experience. She is a member of the Wantabe Entertainment talent agency.

    Anri Ban as Agent S 25-year-old DEUS "Agent S" is frequently paired with Jin and K. A master of disguise, her particular specialty lies with undercover investigation, and she has great pride in her martial arts abilities. During her first encounter with Jin and K, she was undercover as a bar waitress. One way or another, she will find a way to each chocolate! Anri Ban was born September 26th 1985. After working as a model, she made her acting debut in the Shunji Iwai film ALL ABOUT LILY CHOU-CHOU (Ririi Shushu-no Subete, 2001). She is a member of the talent agency MT.

    Yosuke Natsuki as DEUS General (voice) Never seen, the DEUS General`s voice instructs the members of their missions via the VideoCeivers. His true colors are a mystery. Yosuke Natsuki was born on February 27th 1936. For fans of the genre, he is perhaps best known as the leading character Detective Shindo in GHIDORAH THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER (San Daikaijuu Chikyuu Saidai-no Kessen, 1964), as well as Komai in DOGORA (Uchuu Daikaijuu Dogora, 1964) and Professor Hayashida in THE RETURN OF GODZILLA (aka GODZILLA 1985, Gojira, 1984).

    Staff Profiles

    Takeshi Yagi ~ Series Organizer / Director Serving as the Series Organizer for ULTRASEVEN X, and directing five of the show`s twelve episodes, is Takeshi Yagi. Born in Tokyo in 1967, Yagi studied at Waseda University where he was a member of the cinema study group. After joining Tsuburaya Productions, Yagi was assigned to the production department where he served as an assistant director for the ULTRA SEVEN TV specials of the early 1990s, and very soon made his directorial debut with MOON SPIRAL (Muunsupairaru, 1996) Episode 4: "Red Paper, Blue Paper, Yellow Paper", after which he returned to his work as an assistant director for Tsuburaya`s new wave of television shows ULTRAMAN TIGA (Urutoraman Tiga, 1996) and ULTRAMAN DYNA (Urutoraman Daina, 1997). Yagi returned to directing with ULTRAMAN GAIA (Urutoraman Gaia, 1998) Episode 49: "An Angel Descends", on which he also served as FX director for the first time, and he has continued to direct both live action and FX for all subsequent Ultraman TV series. In 2004 he was credited as the "Main Director" for the late-night series ULTRA Q: DARK FANTASY, and the next year went on to serve as producer for the popular ULTRAMAN MAX (Urutoraman Makkusu, 2005). Yagi is currently directing his first feature film, DECISIVE BATTLE! THE SUPER 8 ULTRA BROTHERS (Daikessen! Chou Urutora Hachi Kyoudai, 2008), which he hopes to be the "ultimate family film." The addition of abdominal muscles to Ultraseven X was one of Yagi`s ideas.

    Kenji Suzuki ~ Director Kenji Suzuki directed three episodes for ULTRASEVEN X. Born 1957 in the Ibaraki prefecture, he began working as a freelance assistant director in 1970. After joining Tsuburaya Productions, he worked with the special FX teams on ULTRAMAN 80 and MONKEY (Saiyuuki, 1978, a show popular in Britain and Australia after the BBC produced dubbed English language episodes). Later Suzuki joined Toho, where he served as an assistant FX director on some of the studio`s biggest projects, including all the Godzilla pictures from GODZILLA VS. KING GHIDORAH (Gojira VS Kingugidora, 1991) until GODZILLA VS. DESTOROYAH (Gojira VS Desutoroia, 1995), REBIRTH OF MOTHRA (Mosura, 1996) and REBIRTH OF MOTHRA II (Mosura 2 Kaitei-no Daikessen, 1997). He made his debut as special FX director with the studio`s REBIRTH OF MOTHRA III (Mosura 3 Kingugidora Raishuu, 1998), and continued this role with GODZILLA 2000 (Gojira Ni-Sen Mireniamu, 1999) and GODZILLA VS. MEGAGUIRUS (Gojira X Megagirasu, 2000). Returning to Tsuburaya Productions, Suzuki directed FX for episodes of ULTRAMAN COSMOS (Urutoraman Kosumosu, 2001) and ULTRAMAN MAX, until finally making his debut as a live action director with ULTRAMAN MEBIUS.

    Kengo Kaji ~ Director Kengo Kaji directed two episodes of ULTRASEVEN X. Born in 1961 in the Mie prefecture, he began as a graphic novelist on titles such as Professor Accidentologist Rinichiro Tamaki, "Death" Doctor Ranmaru, Lawyer: Haruhiko Ayanokouji and Lycanthrope Leo. Since becoming the supervising screenwriter for EKO EKO AZARAK (Eko Eko Azaraku THE SECOND, 1997) and EKO EKO AZARAK III: MISA THE DARK ANGEL (Eko Eko Azaraku III MISA THE DARK ANGEL, 1997), he has maintained a constant place in film and television. Entering the world of Ultraman, he wrote seven episodes of ULTRAMAN COSMOS in 2001, and in 2005 served as a director and writer for ULTRAMAN MAX. The same year, he also acted as Series Organizer, director and writer for the highly popular late-night special effects series GARO. He continued to direct episodes for ULTRAMAN MEBIUS in 2006.

    Kazuya Konaka ~ Director Konaka directed one episode of ULTRASEVEN X. Born in 1963, Konaka`s first experience as a director came with the film THE COUNTRY ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STARRY SKY (Hoshizora-no Mukou-no Kuni) in 1986, based on the fantasy novel of the same name by Hiroshi Kobayashi. After directing episodes of LIGHTNING SUPER-MAN GRIDMAN (Denkou Choujin Guriddoman, 1993) for Tsuburaya Productions, he became one of the studio`s regular directors. His directorial efforts for the studio include the theatrical films ULTRAMAN ZEARTH 2 (Urutoraman Zeasu 2, 1997), ULTRAMAN TIGA & ULTRAMAN DYNA (Urutoraman Tiga & Urutorman Daina Hikari-no Hoshi-no Senshitachi, 1998), ULTRAMAN GAIA: THE BATTLE IN HYPERSPACE (Urutoraman Tiga & Urutoraman Daina & Urutoraman Gaia Choujikuu-no Daikessen, 1999), ULTRAMAN: THE NEXT, ULTRAMAN MEBIUS & ULTRAMAN BROTHERS and MIRROR MAN: REFLEX (Miraaman Rifurekkusu, 2006). He was credited as the "Main Director" for both ULTRAMAN DYNA and ULTRAMAN NEXUS, and has also directed multiple episodes of ULTRAMAN COSMOS and ULTRAMAN MEBIUS.

    Yuji Kobayashi ~ Writer Having penned five screenplays for the show, Kobayashi is ULTRASEVEN X`s leading writer. Born in 1979 in the Nagano prefecture, he was studying in the arts department at Nihon University when he took a screenwriting course. After graduating from university, he made his debut writing a screenplay for the animated TV adaption of SAZAE-SAN (2002). He followed this writing episodes for ULTRAMAN BOY`S ULTRA COLISEUM (Urutoraman Booi-no Urukoro, 2003), a series of 5-minute shorts starring a young Ultraman character, Ultraman Boy. After writing two episodes for ULTRA Q: DARK FANTASY, Kobayashi quickly proved to have potential as one of the genre`s top writers, going on to serve as the leading writer for the popular late-night series GARO (2005), as well as writing episodes for ULTRAMAN MAX, ULTRAMAN MEBIUS, ULTRAMAN MEBIUS GAIDEN: THE HIKARI SAGA (Urutoraman Mebiusu Gaiden Hikari Saaga, 2006), BIO PLANET WOO (Seibutsu Suisei Woo, 2006), DIE SILBERMASKE (Shirubaa Kamen, 2006), OPERATION MYSTERY: SECOND FILE and BEAST FIST SQUADRON GEKIRANGER (Juuken Sentai Gekirenjaa, 2007).

    Ai Ota ~ Writer Writing three episodes for ULTRASEVEN X is Ai Ota. Born in 1964 in the Kagawa prefecture, she made her debut as a screenwriter with ULTRAMAN TIGA Episode 21: "Deban`s Turn!", and ever since she has remained one of Tsuburaya Productions` regular writers. Her credits for the studio include ULTRAMAN DYNA, ULTRAMAN GAIA, ULTRA SEVEN 1999: FINAL CHAPTER 6-PART WORK, BOOSKA! BOOSKA!! (Buusuka! Buusuka!!, 1999) ULTRAMAN COSMOS, ULTRA Q: DARK FANTASY, ULTRAMAN NEXUS, ULTRAMAN MAX and ULTRAMAN MEBIUS. In the world of anime, she was part of the writing team for the TV series ASTRO BOY (2003), a show which featured the talents of many other regular Ultraman series creative staff, including director Kazuya Konaka and writers Keiichi Hasegawa, Chiaki Konaka and Sadayuki Murai. Ota is a member of the Writers Guild Of Japan.

    Takurou Fukuda ~ Writer Fukuda wrote one episode of ULTRASEVEN X. He was born 1961 in the Ehime prefecture. After enrolling in the art department at Nihon University, he became active in the production and scripting of both film and theatre. After graduation, he entered the production department for Toho`s theatrical plays, working on productions such as Fiddler On The Roof. In 1987, he resigned from Toho to form his own production group Dotoo! While continuing to produce plays for theatre with his new production group, he directed a remix of a 16mm film he made in his student days, THERIANTHROPY FOLKLORE (Kemonobito Densetsu), which he offered for sale on video. He made his debut as a film script writer with director Shusuke Kaneko`s ALL`S QUIET ON THE RECUIRT FRONT (Shushokusensen Ijo Nasai, 1991). In 2005, he wrote ULTRAMAN MAX Episode 18: "The Bright World" and Episode 36: "The Extra Dimensional World".

    Jiro Kaneko ~ Writer Kaneko wrote one episode for ULTRASEVEN X. His writing credits include HONG KONG PARADISE (Honkon Paradaisu, 1990), I WANT TO BITE YOU (Kami Tsukitai, 1991), TALE OF A HAPPY ENDING (Happiiendo-no Monogatari, 1991), TALES OF NIGHT-PROWLING GHOSTS (Hyakki Yakoushou, 2007), among many others. Kaneko first worked on the Ultraman series in 2005 when writing ULTRAMAN MAX Episode 12: "The Supersonic Attack" and Episode 17: "Beauty on Ice". Jiro also worked on the script of THE iDOL (2006) with the film`s director, Norman England. He is a member of the Writers Guild Of Japan. He is the younger brother of director Shusuke Kaneko.

    Sotaro Hayashi ~ Writer Hayashi wrote one episode for ULTRASEVEN X. He made his debut as a screenwriter with the TV series BECAUSE I LOVE YOU (1992). He previously work with ULTRASEVEN X director Kengo Kaji on EKO EKO AZARAK (Eko Eko Azaraku THE SECOND, 1997) and EKO EKO AZARAK III: MISA THE DARK ANGEL (Eko Eko Azaraku III MISA THE DARK ANGEL, 1997), serving as a screenwriter. He has also written seven episodes of ULTRAMAN COSMOS and four episodes of ULTRAMAN MAX. He also co-wrote five episodes of GARO.

    Keiichi Hasegawa ~ Writer Hasegawa wrote one screenplay for ULTRASEVEN X. He was born in 1962 in the Shizuoka prefecture. Hasegawa has a long history of genre credits to his name. Most notably, he co-wrote GODZILLA MOTHRA & KING GHIDORAH (aka GMK, Gojira Mosura Kingugidora Daikaiju Sokougeki, 2001) with Masahiro Yokotani and Shusuke Kaneko, and served as the leading writer and Series Organizer for ULTRAMAN NEXUS. His other Ultra series credits include many of Tsuburaya`s recent theatrical films, such as ULTRAMAN GAIA: THE BATTLE IN HYPERSPACE (Urutoraman Tiga & Urutoraman Daina & Urutoraman Gaia Choujikuu-no Daikessen, 1999), ULTRAMAN TIGA: THE FINAL ODDESSY (Urutoraman Tiga Za Fainaru Odessei, 2000), ULTRAMAN: THE NEXT and ULTRAMAN MEBIUS & ULTRAMAN BROTHERS.

    Episode Guide

    The episodes were publicized as airing Friday nights, but by the 24-hour clock they technically aired in the early hours of Saturday mornings. This is typical for late-night TV schedules.

    DREAM ©2007 Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd. / Ultraseven X Project

    Episode 1: DREAM Original Airdate: 2.15am (JST) Saturday October 6th 2007 Director: Takeshi Yagi Writer: Yuji Kobayashi Story: In a futuristic Tokyo, a young man awakens to find himself with no memories of his past. Behind him, a mysterious young woman named Elea appears. Handing him a pair of red glasses, she asks him to save the world! Leaping from the top of the building, a device on the man`s arm ensures a safe landing, but an explosion destroys the room above. Who is he, and just what is going on? A message sent to the device on his arm orders him to meet with an "Agent K" at Club Delphi. Meeting with K, he discovers his codename is "Jin", and that they are both members of an organization called DEUS, secretly eliminating aliens who threaten the Earth. Following the trail of an alien at the club, the two men are separated, and as Jin is lead inside a UFO, the aliens unleash the giant monster Galkimes upon the city. After Jin is captured by the aliens inside, the mysterious Elea appears once again. Now, using the red glasses, Jin transforms into the mighty Ultraseven X...! Guest Stars: MiWa, Akira Otani, Kei Sunaga, Yuu Numazaki, Kazunori Shigeki, Kenichi Miyamoto, Yoko Azami, Masahiro Noguchim, Seiki Chiba, Michiko Nakayama, Takashi Sakurai, Yuusuke Arai, Hirokazu Takada, Masaaki Chotsue, Mare Iwai, Saaya Mima, Emi Tanaka, Emi Ogasawara, Saki Itou, Natsuki Kawashima, Miki Onishi Trivia: Akira Otani guest stars as the leader of the aliens. He previously played the recurring role of journalist Onoda in ULTRAMAN TIGA Episode 5: "The Day Of The Monster", Episode 33: "The Vampire City" and ULTRAMAN DYNA Episode 33: "Star of Peace". THE iDOL director Norman England and GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA II (Gojira tai Mekagojira, 1993) star Shelley Sweeney make un-credited appearances as customers in the club scene. Kenichi Miyamoto and Yoko Azami make regular appearances throughout the series as the two holographic news reporters.

    CODE NAME 'R' ©2007 Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd. / Ultraseven X Project

    Episode 2: CODE NAME "R" Original Airdate: 2.30am (JST) Saturday October 13th 2007 Director: Takeshi Yagi Writer: Ai Ota Story: After a long day at work, Eriko makes her way home late at night. Upon returning home, she changes the channel on her TV to static. Now speeding down the road in the back of a taxi, she urges the driver to hurry, as a boat is about to leave. Rushing out of the taxi to the bay side, Eriko joins a group of people, who are suddenly consumed by a strange light. Confirmed as the third case of UFO abductions, DEUS assign Agent Jin and Agent K to investigate. Three nights earlier, Jin encountered a mysterious man at a club, who informed him a boat would be arriving on the same night the UFO abduction took place. Upon reading the taxi driver`s statement, Jin decides to pursue the man. Following a second encounter at the club, K reveals that the man is actually Agent R, a DEUS member who went missing over a year ago. Why are people voluntarily being abducted by the UFO, and just what is Agent R`s involvement? Guest Stars: Toshiyuki Watarai, Tomomi Miyashita, Emi Tanaka, Tomotaka Kanzaki, Ako Suizu, Masaki Yonekura, Taichi Yamada, Yuuichi Satou, Akira Satou, Yuka Yasakawa, Sayaka Shiozaki Trivia: Guest starring as "Agent R" is Toshiyuki Watarai, who was the voice of the alien doll in Norman England`s THE iDOL, the motion-capture actor for Ryuk in Shusuke Kaneko`s two DEATH NOTE films, and Professor Yotsuya in ULTRAMAN MAX Episode 36: "The Extra Dimensional World". Eriko is played by Tomomi Miyashita, who previously starred as Memory Police agent Mizou Nonomiya in ULTRAMAN NEXUS. A similar sequence in which the character`s thoughts float across the screen as text was seen in ULTRAMAN NEXUS Episode 30: "Watcher", from the same writer/director team of Ai Ota and Takeshi Yagi.

    Episode 3: HOPELESS Original Airdate: 2.15am (JST) Saturday October 20th 2007 Director: Kenji Suzuki Writer: Takurou Fukuda Story: Jin is approached in the park by a man offering work, which could make him a large amount of money in a short amount of time. While Jin declines the offer, the man leaves him his business card reading his name, "Tamaru". Meanwhile, many bodies have been discovered with their brains physically shrunken. All the victims had been "Hopeless", members of society so desperate for money that they would do any kind of work. Presumed to be the work of aliens, DEUS order Jin and K to investigate. Returning to the scene where the last body was found, Jin and K encounter two men fighting over a bag that belonged to the last victim. Inside the bag of money, Jin finds Tamaru`s business card. Pursuing the lead, Jin calls back Tamaru to seek employment for him and K. Upon their arrival at the underground complex, they soon discover that the energy from human brains is being used to help create an invasion device, and Tamaru`s true identity as Alien Markind. Guest Stars: Takayasu Komiya, Kenichi Nakamura, Yoko Azami, Haruka Kawai, Tsuyoshi Shinohara, Kenichi Yamada, Kazuyoshi Takahashi, Shingo Mitinaka, Atsunori Fujii, Shouhei Katou, Mika Bandou

    Episode 4: DIAMOND "S" Original Airdate: 2.15am (JST) Saturday October 27th 2007 Director: Kenji Suzuki Writer: Ai Ota Story: Throughout the city, bodies are being discovered which have been transformed into mummies. DEUS order Agents Jin and K to investigate the phenomenon with Agent S, who has already discovered a common link between the victims; all of them had purchased a well-being medicine called "Shiner 05" said to improve the mind. Jin and K visit the developer of the medicine, Nano Cybertech, under the pretense of conducting an interview with the company president Tazaki, while S goes undercover as a company secretary. After S determines that Tazaki and his aide Yamane are aliens, they return to discover the more shocking truth -- Shiner 05 contains a parasite, a smaller part of the creature Peginera, which is using the medicine to take human hosts to survive on Earth. Guest Stars: Edo Yamaguchi, Tsutomu Okabe, Hana Saeki, Sachi Kokuryu, Ichiju Baba, Shougo Fukasawa, Kouji Yashiro, Tamami Sano, Hineki Mito, Shuuho Miki, Maria Koyama, Yuuya Kawamura, Harumi Ueda, Taro Murai, Oogami Kiriko Trivia: Edo Yamaguchi, guest starring as Tazaki, was a regular in Tsuburaya`s LIGHTNING SUPERMAN GRIDMAN as Naoto`s father Souichirou, made a regular appearance as Pegasus president Souichirou Tenma in RACING SQUADRON CAR-RANGER (Gekisou Sentai Kaarenjaa, 1996), appeared in several episodes of ULTRAMAN DYNA as Professor Mishina, and in ULTRA Q DARK FANTASY Episode 9: "Temptation at 2:00am" as the mysterious TV sales man.

    Episode 5: PEACE MAKER Original Airdate: 2.15am (JST) Saturday November 3rd 2007 Director: Kenji Suzuki Writer: Jiro Kaneko Story: Jin and K are ordered to investigate an alien crash site, but suspect that the survivor fled the scene. From the blood left at the crash site, Agent S determines the survivor as a known alien species who have been taken refuge on Earth after their home world was invaded by the ferocious Vo-Da aliens. Jin and K meet with the other alien refugees, a weak but hard working species who are already living alongside the humans, to find out if any of them know about the latest visitor from the crash site. But before long, the Vo-Da arrive on Earth and begin hunting down the refugees. Their only hope is to find their ancient relic Orifam, which was hidden by the Vo-Da long ago on the planet known as Earth! Guest Stars: Kenji Yabe, Takumi Tsutsui, Saburou Tamura, Yoko Azami, Sukekiyo Kameyama, Maki Kan, Nobuaki Matsunati, Akari Maesono Trivia: Kenji Yabe plays the role of all the identical-looking alien refugees. His previous appearances include MASKED RIDER AGITO (Kamen Raidaa Agito, 2001) Episode 7: "A Piece Of Memory" and the 2006 U.S. movie THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS: TOKYO DRIFT.

    Episode 6: TRAVELER Original Airdate: 2.15am (JST) Saturday November 10th 2007 Director: Kengo Kaji Writer: Yuji Kobayashi Story: Jin, K and S are ordered to investigate a UFO crash site, but discover no wreckage. Soon after, people around the city are encountering a strange entity, which they have nicknamed the "Soul of Light". Later, Jin encounters a friend from his forgotten past, Takao, an ordinary, mild-mannered salary man tired with his job, trying to hold on to impossible childhood dreams of space travel. Meanwhile, from a sample left at the crash site, K and S have determined the Soul of Light is a 20,000-year-old alien. But after the alien encounters Takao, perhaps both of them have found what they were looking for? Guest Stars: Mitsuru Karahashi, Nao Oikawa, Kenichi Miyamoto, Yoko Azami, Takayuki Kanayama, Asami Imai (voice) Trivia: Mitsuru Karahashi guest stars as Takao. Karahashi is perhaps best remembered for his regular role as Naoya Kaidou on MASKED RIDER 555 (Kamen Raidaa Faizu, 2003), as well as Professor Ootomo in SH15UYA (Shibuya Fifutiin, 2005) and Makage in LION MARU G (Raion Maru Jii, 2006). Aside from acting, Karahashi is also an illustrator, and worked with the staff of MASKED RIDER KABUTO (Kamen Raidaa Kabuto, 2006) creating the fairy design. Meanwhile, Nao Oikawa, who guest stars as the barmaid Arisa, previously appeared as Kotomi in GARO Episode 6: "Beauty".

    Episode 7: YOUR SONG Original Airdate: 2.15am (JST) Saturday November 17th 2007 Director: Kengo Kaji Writer: Sotaro Hayashi Story: As Agent K investigates the appearance of a UFO in the sky, he is confronted by an army of aliens, the Vairo, who emit a deadly high-pitched scream. Following the noise of the Vairo, Agent S discovers her ex-comrade Agent D who she saw killed half a year ago. Meanwhile, Jin encounters a young street singer named Nataru, who is being pursued by the Vairo. As Jin fights to protect her, he learns Nataru herself is one of the Vairo who has defected from the invasion plan to live on Earth. Furthermore, she has fallen in love with an Earthling... Agent D! Guest Stars: Saaya Ishikawa, Ryohei Odai, Hiroko Ebioka, Junichi Kikawa, Takayuki Kanayama Trivia: Playing Nataru is Saaya Ishikawa, a regular actor on ULTRAMAN MEBIUS as Acting Commissioner Yuki Misaki of the defence team GUYS. Agent D is portrayed by Ryohei Odai, who was a regular on MASKED RIDER RYUKI (Kamen Raidaa Ryuuki, 2002) as Shuuichi Kitaoka, the host of Masked Rider Zolda. Odai also appeared as the alien Kelus in ULTRAMAN MAX Episode 32: "Elly Must Be Destroyed!" and as Morino in GARO Episode 5: "Moonlight". The guitarist seen the start of the episode is played by Hiroko Ebioka, the vocalist for the ending theme music of BIO PLANET WOO, a song which was incidentally composed by ULTRASEVEN X`s Takahiro Saito.

    Episode 8: BLOOD MESSAGE Original Airdate: 2.15am (JST) Saturday November 24th 2007 Director: Kazuya Konaka Writer: Keiichi Hasegawa Story: Every night during a thunderstorm the phantom serial killer attacks, and it leaves behind a message written in blood: "Not Man". Witnesses claim the killer is always wearing a red coat. Agents Jin, K and S discover all the victims were part of a drug circuit and follow the lead to the dealer`s hideout. Meanwhile, Kyousuke enjoys a quiet evening meal with his wife Asami, recounting their first meeting outside the theatre. When they met, Asami had no memory of her past. But as a storm breaks out, Asami leaves the house with her red coat. After the killer strikes again, Asami returns home covered in blood. But perhaps the true colors of the phantom killer aren`t quite so obvious? Guest Stars: Yuki Kuroda, Yukie Kawamura, Yuki Itou, Takayuki Asai, Keigo Shibamura, Ryou Shouji, Yuuya Tanaka, Hiroki Taomoto, Kenichi Miyamoto, Keiko Goto, Akihiko Haratake, Youko Sasaki, Kazuya Narita, Eiji Asagi, Makoto Obata, Yukie Ashikaki Trivia: Keiko Goto makes a brief appearance in this episode. She previously starred in ULTRAMAN NEXUS as Night Raider member Shiori Hiraki, as well as making appearances in ULTRAMAN MEBIUS Episode 48: "Decent Of The Emperor", Episode 49: "Dark Clouds Of Despair" and ULTRA Q: DARK FANTASY Episode 1: "Dancing Garagon".

    Episode 9: RED MOON Original Airdate: 2.15am (JST) Saturday December 1st 2007 Director: Takeshi Yagi Writer: Ai Ota Story: Peering through a pair of binoculars he discovers on a swing, Jin sees the moon turn red, and the hand of a strange creature. The agents are informed a woman in white will be targeted. Following her screams, K finds the woman confronted by a strange creature, who mutters the name "Mahiru" before fleeing into the darkness. With a total eclipse of the moon is due to occur, S learns from folklorist Ogata that a woman named Mahiru Saginomiya was attacked by a therianthrope during the eclipse 100 years ago. The group return to Saginomiya`s estate, and Ogata tells the story of Mahiru and her lover Nozomu as they await for the eclipse. Guest Stars: Hassei Takano, Hiro Ogasawara, Kaori Nakamura, Masami Horiuchi, Yoko Azami, Satomi Yoshida, Hiroaki Nagai, Satoshi Ninomiya, Gou Ooishi, Takaya Hashi, Mamoru Kasai, Tomohiro Akari Trivia: In Asian folklore, the "therianthrope" is a human who transforms into an animal or beast. The kanji used to spell Nozomu`s name means "full moon". Actor Hassei Takano played Hiroya Fujimiya/Agul in ULTRAMAN GAIA, which he will reprise in DECISIVE BATTLE! THE SUPER 8 ULTRA BROTHERS. He also played Miyuki Tezuka/Masked Rider Raia in MASKED RIDER RYUKI and Hayato Ichimonji/Masked Rider 2 in the two movies MASKED RIDER THE FIRST (Kamen Raidaa Za Faasuto, 2005) and MASKED RIDER THE NEXT (Kamen Raidaa Za Nekusuto, 2007). Masami Horiuchi regularly appeared as TLT Director-General Matsunaga in ULTRAMAN NEXUS. His other appearances include episodes of ULTRAMAN 80, ULTRAMAN TIGA, ULTRAMAN DYNA, ULTRAMAN GAIA, ULTRA Q: DARK FANTASY and ULTRAMAN MAX.

    MEMORIES ©2007 Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd. / Ultraseven X Project

    Episode 10: MEMORIES Original Airdate: 2.15am (JST) Saturday December 8th 2007 Director: Kazuya Konaka Writer: Yuji Kobayashi Story: A news report states that Lake Nousu has dried up after a meteor impact, and a search is on for a man in the area who many by contaminated by radiation. The image of the lake triggers Jin`s memory floating in water. Approaching the area of the lake, Jin encounters the missing man Haibara. He hands Jin a memory chip and informs him that the meteor impact is a lie, when a group of men appear and shoot Haibara dead on site. Watching the video files on the chip, Jin sees that the lake has not dried up as the report had stated, and once again sees the mark of the "Aqua Project", the words he saw once before on an item Elea had carried. Unsure of what his government could be hiding, Jin visits the relay station "Studio X" with Haibara`s colleague Saki, and together try to determine the location of the people sending the news broadcasts to the monitors. Guest Stars: Ryuki Kitaoka, Shion Nakamura, Kenichi Miyamoto, Yoko Azami, Yuuya Tanaka, Hiroki Taomoto, Kazuya Narita, Eiji Asagi, Makoto Obata, Masahiro Noguchi, Seiki Chiba, Michiko Nakayama, Tsuyoshi Shimada Trivia: Ryuki Kitaoka, formerly known as Hisataka Kitaoka, plays Haibara. His credits as both an actor and suit actor include ULTRAMAN TIGA, ULTRAMAN DYNA, ULTRAMAN COSMOS and MIRROR MAN: REFLEX to name a few. He also appears in GODZILLA: FINAL WARS as an X-Alien, and in ULTRAMAN NEXUS as TLT`s Kaimoto. He was a guest at G-FEST in 1999 and 2000. Saki is played by Shion Nakamura, best remembered as Komon`s girlfriend Riko Saida, the host of Dark Faust, in ULTRAMAN NEXUS.

    AQUA PROJECT ©2007 Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd. / Ultraseven X Project

    Episode 11: AQUA PROJECT Original Airdate: 2.15am (JST) Saturday December 15th 2007 Director: Takeshi Yagi Writer: Yuji Kobayashi Story: Jin is cross-examined by DEUS for trespassing an intelligence facility and aiding in Elea`s escape. Determined to discover the truth, Jin realizes he needs information from Elea. After Jin consults with his friends, S infiltrates the Science Ministry and discovers Lake Nousu was the location where the Aqua Projet was to be executed, and that the project had be frozen three months ago. She also finds a list of Aqua Project names, including Elea`s. Jin leaves alone, and meets Elea in a room from one of his memories. She reveals to Jin that little more than three months ago the two of them had been lovers. However, at that time, she had come to realize there was a terrible existence hiding behind the scenes of the Aqua Project. As DEUS issues the order to detain Elea and Jin, the two of them flee to the intelligence facility where K and S are waiting, but the building is soon surrounded by DEUS agents. Guest Stars: Kenichi Miyamoto, Yoko Azami, Masahiro Noguchi, Seiki Chiba, Michiko Nakayama, Hiroshi Ishimaru, Emiko Saito, Takumi Ooishi, Yuichi Makita Trivia: When Jin, K and S read the list of Aqua Project members, director Takeshi Yagi`s name can be seen beneath Elea`s.

    NEW WORLD ©2007 Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd. / Ultraseven X Project

    Episode 12: NEW WORLD Original Airdate: 2.15am (JST) Saturday December 22nd 2007 Director: Takeshi Yagi Writer: Yuji Kobayashi Story: Elea revealed the purpose of the Aqua Project was to secure a new energy source, but in the midst of the experiment a strange phenomenon occurred, and a gate to another world was opened. The information was concealed and the project suspended. However, creatures from the other world invaded, quietly manipulating society by controlling media and information. It`s determined that by destroying two enemy bases at the same time may annihilate them, so the group disperse. As Jin and Elea are confronted by a group of giant creatures, Jin transforms into Ultraseven X, but is over come by the power of the creatures. Suddenly finding himself in the mysterious world of the invaders, they inform him: "Your role is finished, Ultra Seven!" Meanwhile, K and S make their way to the centre of DEUS and receive their final order: death. Elea finds Jin unconscious by the lake, and the Ultra Eye vanishes from his hand. In hope of reviving his memory, she tells him how the two of them jumped into the lake three months ago, and she heard the voice of an alien. To revive Jin and to save their two worlds, the alien merged it`s existence with Jin`s. As Jin awakens, the Ultra Eye re-appears. Transforming into Ultraseven X, the battle to save the two worlds begins in this explosive finale! Guest Stars: Kenichi Miyamoto, Yoko Azami, Hiroshi Ishimaru, Emiko Saito, Yuichi Makita, Masahiro Noguchi, Seiki Chiba, Michiko Nakayama, Yuriko Hishimi, Koji Moritsugu Trivia: K is seen driving director Yagi`s car, which has been featured in a number of Ultraman stories in the past. This episode is the first time the name "Ultra Seven" is spoken in the series. Koji Moritsugu and Yuriko Hishimi appear in character as Dan Moroboshi and Anne Yuri, establishing ULTRASEVEN X as a direct sequel to the original ULTRA SEVEN. Koji Moritsugu has returned to the role of Ultra Seven`s alter-ego Dan several times, most prominently in the series ULTRAMAN LEO where Dan was the captain of the defence team MAC, as well as a number of the OV Ultra Seven episodes and last year`s ULTRAMAN MEBIUS & ULTRAMAN BROTHERS movie. Godzilla fans may best remember Yuriko Hishimi as Gengo`s black-belt girlfriend Tomoko Tomoe in GODZILLA VS. GIGAN (Chikyuu Kougeki Meirei Gojira tai Gaigan, 1972).

    NEW WORLD ©2007 Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd. / Ultraseven X Project

    Soundtrack

    CD Track Titles: 1. Another day comes [TV SIZE] / Pay money To my Pain 2. Title Back 3. Rainy Town 4. Agent Running 5. Another Life 6. Shadow 7. Moon Light 8. From Darkside 9. Heavy Clash 10. Back Street 11. Lounge 12. Swing Of The Future 13. Komo`s Moment 14. Gipsy In The Night 15. Cool Energy 16. Groove Of X 17. Stand Up X 18. Power Of X 19. Rock X Rock 20. Break Heat 21. Break Heat 2 22. Space Long Way 23. Friends Or Enemy 24. Arl (Original Song: J.S. Bach Cantata No. 51) 25. City Of Confusion 26. High Response 27. Lost Days 28. Sweet Days 29. City Of Confusion 2 30. Es 31. Kay 32. Warm & Cool 33. The Park Come From Tomorrow 34. Erea & Jin Track Composition and Arrangement Credits: Pay money To my pain (1) Takahiro Saito (2, 4 - 11, 14, 17, 21, 25, 26) Yuya Komoguchi (13) Takahiro Saito & Yuya Komoguchi (12, 15, 16, 18 - 20, 30, 31) Takahiro Saito`s arrangement of J.S. Bach Cantata No. 51 (4) Hideki Tanabiki & Takahiro Saito (29)

    Takahiro Saito Saito studied composition and arrangement in the music synthesis department at Berklee College of Music, Massachusetts, USA. In 1997 he returned to Japan and participated in funk bands and lounge music groups in live houses. In 2005, he composed the ending theme music for NHK/Tsuburaya Productions` HD special effects drama BIO PLANET WOO (Seibutsu Suisei Wuu). In September that same year, he worked on the score for his first theatrical film, MIRROR MAN REFLEX, infusing the soundtrack with a unique taste of jazz. In 2006, he worked on a version of the ULTRAMAN: THE ULTIMATE HERO (aka ULTRAMAN POWERED, 1993) theme music for the Soshigaya Okura train station on the Odyaku line, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Ultraman (the location is famous as the original location of Tsuburaya Productions, the surrounding area featuring many Ultraman-themed items). Just prior to his work on ULTRASEVEN X, he worked again with Tsuburaya Productions for the score of OPERATION: MYSTERY- SECOND FILE.

    Yuya Komoguchi The young Komoguchi was born February 27th 1988. Following his father`s influence, he began to learn guitar when he was just 11-years-old. His music styles have been defined as rock, fusion and contemporary jazz. By age 19 his guitar technique had received high appraisal, working along with popular musicians including Keizoh Kawano (T-Square), Koji Hasegawa, Kenjiro Murai, Jiro Okada (Prism), Keisuke Komori (kensow) and Eiji Tanaka. His collaboration on ULTRASEVEN X with Takahiro Saito came about after Saito heard rumors about Komoguchi`s work. Komoguchi`s official website can be viewed here.

    Pay money To my Pain Often abbreviated at P.T.P., Pay money To my Pain is a 5-man Japanese rock band which was formed in 2005. Most of their songs are performed in English. Their single Another day comes, also featured on their album of the same name, is featured as the ending theme music for ULTRASEVEN X. The band`s guitarist "Jin" vocalist "K" are presumably the basis of the title characters in ULTRASEVEN X. The band`s official website can be viewed here.

    DVD Release

    ©2007 Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd. / VAP Inc. Japan

    Official Website: VAP Starting from January 23rd 2008, ULTRASEVEN X will be released over several DVD volumes in Japan. Each DVD volume will contain two episodes, and be available in both a Standard Edition and more expensive Premium Edition. As with the soundtrack, the DVDs are being distributed by VAP. ULTRASEVEN X VOL.1 STANDARD EDITION Release Date: January 23, 2008 (Wed) SRP: 6,090 Yen (approx US$50) Cat. Code: VPBX-13017 Runtime: 50min episodes + 39min bonus footage Episodes: Episode 1 DREAM +?Episode 2 CODE NAME“R” Technical Specs: Color / Stereo / Dolby Digital / Single Sided + Single Layered / 16:9 * 8-page booklet programme enclosed ULTRASEVEN X VOL.1 PREMIUM EDITION *A LIMITED PRODUCTION ITEM*

    ©2007 Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd. / VAP Inc. Japan

    Release Date: January 23, 2008 (Wed) SRP: 8,190 Yen (approx US$70) Cat. Code: VPBX-13011 Runtime: 50min episodes + 39min bonus footage Episodes: Episode 1 DREAM +?Episode 2 CODE NAME“R” Technical Specs: Color / Stereo / Dolby Digital / Single Sided + Single Layered / 16:9 * ULTRA EYE (a 1:1 prop, premier replica version) included * 8-page booklet enclosed *BONUS FOOTAGE: - "Making of ULTRASEVEN X?Vol.1" A documentary introducing the four main cast during backstage shooting - "Creator of ULTRASEVEN X?Vol.1" An interview with Series Organizer / episode 1 and 2 director Takeshi Yagi - "Backstage of ULTRASEVEN X?~Birth Of The New Ultra Seven~" Interviews with designer Yasuse Nishizawa, modeller Tomoo Haraguchi and body modeller Shinsuke Kouzai

    Production Credits

    Production: Tsuburya Productions Chubu-Nippon Broadcasting ULTRASEVEN X PROJECT Executive Producer: Kazuo Tsuburaya Chief Producer: Shinichi Ooka Planning: Naoyuki Etou, Hiroshi Hirayama, Akio Hayashi, Takeyuki Okazaki (CBC)? Planning Collaboration: Hiroyasu Shibuya Producers: Yukiko Tawara, Hiroshi Chikasada, Taihei Yamanishi, Yoshihiro Iwasa? Line Producer: Nobuyuki Koyama Action: Tatsurou Koike Music Director: Hideki Tanabiki Music Producer: Shizuka Tamagawa Music: Takahiro Saito, featuring Yuya Komoguchi Director/Series Organizer: Takeshi Yagi Directors: Kenji Suzuki, Kengo Kaji, Kazuya Konaka Writers: Yuji Kobayashi, Ai Ota, Takurou Fukuda, Jiro Kaneko, Sotaro Hayashi, Keiichi Hasegawa Suit Actors Ultraseven X: Hiromi Shinjou Aliens: Souma Kenya, Ryou Nishimura, Hideyoshi Iwata, Daisuke Fukuda ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ For more information on ULTRASEVEN X please see the earlier coverage here on SciFi Japan:


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