Silhouettes Of Ultraman Opening Credits 2

The Ultraman opening image was replaced by a new version from Episode 12 (Mummy Man and Dodongo), and Tohl Narita was credited as ‘kaijyu design’ from Episode 26 (Gomora) instead of ‘art’ for which he had been previously credited.

If I put the two versions of the opening credits as Version A (see yesterday’s post) and B (shown in this post) temporarily, the monsters found in them are as below:

Version A: Nelonga (after his tail is shown?); Goro (or M1); Peguila; Kanegon

Version B: Kanegon; Goga; Unknown; Antler; Magulla; Nelonga; Gango; Pigmon (it could be Garamon); Alien Baltan

It’s fun to see some monsters featured from Ultra Q, which I think shows the perception that Ultraman is the sequel to Ultra Q sharing the same universe.

As to the Version A, the silhouette of Peguila is not the one of Chandlar as it has no ears (or two curved horns on both sides of the head).

There seems to be an explanation describing the silhouette of Goro as that of M1 as it’s designated as such in the storyboard while it looks more like King Kong than Goro or M1 and I always wonder what the object shaped like an airplane beside the silhouette is.

Possibly mirroring the unprecedented popularity of the show that could have granted them some mental leeway to do so, I feel like more playfulness was incorporated into the Version B as shown in this post with uniquely simplified distortion of each character.

Especially, I love the silhouettes of Gango, Pigmon and Alien Baltan shown right above.

As to the unknown monster (third from left, top row), Sadao Iizuka is likely to have said it has no model.


Silhouettes Of Ultraman Opening Credits 1

Watching the Ultraman opening credits with silhouetted characters shown in the back is a lot of fun while it makes me vividly remember how much it made me excited while watching the opening as a kid and realize I get as much excited even now.

A professional manga artist I personally know (as one of my business clients) said to me that it’s amazing to see each shape of the silhouette properly make us associate it with each character solely with silhouettes in admiration of Tohl Narita as it proves the uniqueness of the characters designed by him.

According to Sadao Iizuka, known for his drawing work of beam effects in tokusatsu products including the Toho movies, the impressive silhouettes were not to be applied to the opening credits initially with only smokes featured in the back.

It seems to have been Iizuka who suggested to use silhouetted characters as he found just showing ascending smokes was going to be unpicturesque and boring.

And he got the young staff members working under him to draw the silhouettes to be added to the opening credits image.

I really like these silhouettes as I find each of them so charming with features of each character nicely captured while they are full of handmade feelings.

American People’s Spacium Poses Look Excellent!


The Spacium Beam shooting pose performed by Satoshi (Bin) Furuya has a unique feature with his head bent forward and with his fingers properly aligned and extended to the fullest beautifully.

It’s going to be perfect if your left hand fingers are bent back to the extent that they point slightly upwards.

After this unprecedented beam shooting pose was created by Toshihiro Iijima (director), Koichi Takano (SFX director) and Furuya on the set during the shooting, Furuya says he never failed to practice the pose 300 times in front of the mirror at home before going to bed every day until the shooting of the series ended.


As we have been so familiar with this pose since our childhood while imitating it when playing as a kid, seeing most of the people perform the pose in a wrong way in the street interviews of the Ultraman 50th anniversary special on TV was a bit shocking to me.

They pose like Ultraseven’s Wide Shot with the left hand positioned almost below the right elbow or the Wide Shot pose with arms positioned the wrong way around.

Although I’m not a person who is fussy over trifles, I have to admit that I find it moderately disappointing to be honest…


Meanwhile, what impressed me is that American people in photos taken with Furuya who visited the US are found to show their Spacium poses performed excellently, far better than Japanese people, even small children (no, it should be small children who would know the real thing) while I found those photos online.

With these things, while I find many overseas people who are nice enough to visit my blog, I can’t help thinking it might be people outside of Japan who are willing to truly appreciate Japanese cultures.

The Man Who Became Ultraman Again


It came as a great surprise when I learnt Satoshi Furuya acted the original Ultraman for the first time in 47 years at the age of 70 in 2013.

Along with Susumu Kurobe (Hayata) and Hiroko Sakurai (Akiko Fuji), Furuya appeared in a special event wearing the suit of Ultraman reproduce solely for him although it should have been a truly challenging task for him.

While he seems to have been worried if he would manage to endure the tough task to appear in front of the audience in the Ultraman suit at his age, looks like he successfully fulfilled the role.

Although it’s a bit shame to find the mask looks slightly different from the original, the appearance with long limbs unique to Furuya Ultraman remained unchanged enough to make us remember the original Ultraman he played 47 years ago.


I have never heard of anyone who got into such a suit at that age, and it’s even more amazing to find his body shape maintained just like when he was in his 20s.

As he’s a diligent person, he seems to have trained himself to develop physical strength in preparation for the challenge although there was no problem about his body shape perfectly maintained.

It is extremely impressive to be able to see Furuya Ultraman’s shooting pose of Spacieum Beam again that Tohl Narita admired saying, “it makes me feel like looking at a beautiful sculpture. There was nothing wrong with my judgement in choosing Bin-san (for the role of Ultraman).”


What Tokusatsu Required Of Creators

Nakajima Nelonga vs. Furuya Ultraman; Ultraman appears to be switching on the light of his eyes or Color Timer as the Type A suit had the switch behind each ear: one for the eyes and the other for Timer

Just my opinion, I feel like what art stands for is personality and humanity of the creator in the end.

The creator’s personality and humanity are expressed in the art piece, and those who perceive these elements would be moved and impressed by the artwork.

That should be the structure of the relationship between the art and appreciation.

Therefore, those who appreciate art should be required to have the capability to perceive these elements, and the process would require the factor Tohl Narita referred to in his book.


An accumulation of life in which you have had real joy and real grief rather than knowledge.

In this sense, I find the Ultra Series was the products full of personalities and humanities of the creators who were involved in the production.

Especially the primary series, Ultra Q, Ultraman and Ultraseven, are something like a pure crystal to my eyes while they were produced by the creators who miraculously gathered under Eiji Tsuburaya nicknamed as God of Tokusatsu among people in those days.


By today’s standards, the tokusatsu back then might have fallen behind anime and manga in its picturesque expressiveness because of a variety of conditional restraints and difficulties including budget and time constraint or technical issues supposedly inseparable from tokusatsu requiring a lot of hard work without computer graphics like today.

I feel like, however, that makes the love and passion the creators seemingly poured into the products even more outstanding as the hard work unique to tokusatsu could not have been finished without the fulfillment of those elements.

That might be one of the major reasons why I am drawn to the primary Ultra Series so much.

True Heroes: Haruo Nakajima And Bin Furuya

Bin Furuya

Seeing Haruo Nakajima and Satoshi (Bin) Furuya warmly welcome in the US as Mr. Godzilla and the original Ultaman actor makes me feel extremely happy while I learnt they were often invited by ardent fans to participate in their gatherings.

I think they are also those who fought fierce battles with another ‘kaiju’ in their careers I have been talking about in recent posts, and I don’t think they are so much rewarded as they deserve here in Japan.

Neither the success of Godzilla nor of Ultraman did not necessarily promise them successful careers as actors, and both of them should have experienced many hardships in their life while part of the experience was described in their memoir although I’m not going to treat them tragically.

Needless to say, they have a lot of big fans of theirs here in Japan as well who have supported them, but, when I see how much popularity they have gained in the US, which could be more than in Japan, it makes me even happier.

I can’t help hoping they will spend fun time as much as possible with their overseas fans wishing them good health and longevity.

I do hope they will be blessed with great happiness because they have accomplished what deserves it by making a great number of people happy.

I thank American people for the warm welcome they have extended to the true heroes.

I Have Lived Ultra


While I got started with this blog to talk about a wider range of Ultra and tokusatsu series I enjoyed as a kid, it now looks like searching for the origin of Ultra.

My knowledge of Ultra might be obsolete now that there is much information easily available online anytime, but what I can say proudly is ‘ I have lived Ultra.’

To live Ultra could mean to live along with Ultra, to live through Ultra as if Ultra has been part of myself.


I appreciate each person’s experience of Ultra as I think it’s also wonderful and fun to find each one of them to have their own experiences in encountering the amazing series and enjoying them at different ages, in different countries and in different styles.

So I would never say my experience is the best of all.

In fact, it’s a lot of fun and often inspiring to find people including those outside of Japan enjoying the products in their own ways.


Meanwhile, I have been so much affected by humanities incorporated in the series including the products in themselves and the people involved in the production.

Therefore, I’d like to talk about ‘human beings’ as much as possible besides the attraction of the series on this blog while newest information about the latest series should be abundantly found available everywhere online.

Furthermore, I would feel much more happy if this blog should help people who don’t know much about the series to get to enjoy them not only in so-called leading countries (I don’t like this terminology personally) but all over the world as long as I run this blog in English.

Fierce Battles Fought Against Another Kaiju

Ryosaku Takayama (left) and Tohl Narita

Although I may be talking about things sort of irrelevant to or out of line with supposedly amusing topics suitable for this blog, those who were involved in the production of the primary Ultra Series including Tohl Narita and Ryosaku Takayama should also have fought fierce battles with kaijus in their lives, difficulties in the society in another word.

In my observation, in feats performed by people, the credit still tends to go to the group instead of the individual who practiced it here in this society.


Therefore, it looks like the achievements attained by Tohl Narita, for example, have yet to win the evaluation they deserve, and the success of the products do not necessarily mean the artists were richly rewarded, either.

In Japanese society often characterized by ‘groupism,’ it should make it much harder to choose your own way of life, for instance, choose to do what you really want to do for your job. (As I’m a person who didn’t follow the groupism, it might be said that it has given me even harder times.)


In my notion, however, the people involved in the production of Ultra were those who dared to choose their own way of life, for a simple example, by becoming artists like Narita and Takayama despite the social surroundings.

That’s one of the reasons why I respect them so much as human beings besides as artists.

I find every essence of beautiful humanities such as love, passion and purity in them and their attitudes, and their noble humanity should have shined the series so that the brightness is not lost even now.

So I really hope as many people as possible will know about their feats and spirit, and, if this blog should be of any help for it even with my poor writing ability, it will make me so happy.

Ultra And Me


When looking back at the days when I enjoyed the mooks posted previously, it makes me realize I have had hardly any time to enjoy Ultra at leisure since then for decades.

After graduating university, the instant you have become part of the business society, it becomes extremely hard to spend time in hobbies in Japanese society.

If you start a family, spending money in hobbies becomes all the more difficult as raising a family is a pretty tough task in Japan in every aspect including finance.


While Japanese long hours work (apart from the efficiency) is well known among people outside of Japan, I think those who can afford to spare time (and money) for hobbies are rarely found out there (especially around my age with a family to raise).

The degree that you are allowed to live your life freely for yourself should be enormously limited with many social bindings and difficulties, part of which might be shown in the high suicide rate.

In my case, I have sent my life like Ultraman battling with kaijus (I’m serious) every day!

Therefore, it has kept my daily life far from fully enjoying Ultra, and, on the other hand, it has made the existence of Ultra all the more significant for me.


While spending my days, one thing that has sustained me is the excitement and dream the primary Ultra Series gave me in my childhood.  (I think the same should be true of another man who has become Ultrraman)

And I also learnt an unyielding ‘never give up dreams’ attitude from them (including the anime Yamato).

Furthermore, when I knew about those involved in producing such tokusatsu and anime series as an adult, I learnt their tireless passion and love for their products.

Now that I have a dream I want to make come true in the future, I believe the passion and love I learnt from them will do me good.

Quarterly Magazine ‘Uchusen’ (Spaceship)


The Fantastic Collections were released from now-defunct Asahi Sonorama publishing company, and they started publishing the quarterly tokusatsu magazine ‘Uchusen’ (spaceship) in 1980 as well that often featured the primary Ultra Series.

The Uchusen magazine now continues being published by Hobby Japan that took over the publishing of the magazine after Asahi Sonorama was dissolved in 2007.

Asahi Sonorama was well known as a publishing company which had released flexi discs called sonosheets, a Japanese coined foreign word, that makes those around my age feel nostalgic.


As they used to release sonosheets about Ultra Q, Ultraman and Ultraseven featuring their songs, I have known the company’s name since my childhood.

It was the Uchusen magazine that properly dealt with the achievements of Tohl Narita and Ryosaku Takayama for the first time in history.

Therefore, much credit has to go to the magazine and Asahi Sonorama in introducing the feats of Narita and Takayama and helping them to be publicly acknowledged among people as today.

The covers of the Uchusen magazine featured the illustrations drawn by Yuji Kaida, kaiju illustrator I talked about previously, back then.


The writers who played leading roles for the articles of the quarterly magazine are found to be still active in publications related to the Ultra Series.

I really regret that I don’t have these magazines anymore as they went missing after I moved.

Ultra fans back then including me owe a great deal to the Uchusen, Fantastic Collections and Asahi Sonorama while they did a great job that helped to boost the Ultraman popularity that lasts even today.

I’d like to say a big thank you to them for giving us great happiness.

At any rate, the 1980s when we got to be blessed with excellent books and mooks of high quality was sheer bliss for Ultra fans like me.