Ultra Q And Oba Q

Oba Q

At any rate, anime and tokusatsu gained much popularity and won every child’s attention back then naturally.

As a matter of fact, Ultra Q was aired at 7 p.m. on Sundays back to back with an anime show broadcast at 7:30 p.m., and the anime also had ‘Q’ in its title.

That was ‘Obake No Q Taro,’ often abbreviated as Oba Q, about a friendly obake named Q Taro who lives with humans while obake is the Japanese word for ghost although it may sound a bit childish.


Oba Q was originally created as a manga drawn by Fujio Fujiko, who were (they were two of manga artists) to be known as the authors of Doraemon in later years, with the settings and plot development quite similar to Doraemon.

It’s known that the title Ultra Q came from Ultra C, the term which became popular after being used by an NHK announcer to informally describe the fascinating feats performed by the Japanese gymnastic team in the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games while their techniques were ranked by the degree of difficulty with the ‘C’ designated to be most difficult.


Therefore, Ultra C means the technique beyond the supposedly most difficult C ranked technique while the term itself should sound frumpy now, and Q in Ultra Q was from Q in ‘question.’

It was a measure the people on the TBS production side came up with to bring out the combination of two Qs with even more impact so that they could draw more attention from viewers.

They guessed right and the slot from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays is said to have been feared as ‘terrifying QQ hour’ by people of the other broadcasting stations with an enormous viewership around 30%.

2 thoughts on “Ultra Q And Oba Q”

  1. I remember reading about this explanation for the title of Ultra Q in an interview with Noboru Tsuburaya in one of the Ultra Seven publications in Hawaii in the 70s! He also said that the next Ultra series after Ultraman Leo would be Kaettekita Ultraman Leo, but that series never happened.

    That is so interesting to read about how TBS paired these two shows together! In Hawaii, they paired Kamen Rider V3 and Kikaida together at 3:00pm and 3:30pm. This was right after school ended for the day, and was perhaps a reason why those series were so successful in Hawaii.

    1. I’ve never heard about Kaettekita Ultraman Leo. It would have been fun if it should have been realized.

      Your story about V3 and Kikaida makes me fully aware that broadcasting scheduling must be an important strategy for affecting popularity of TV shows.
      The hour starting at 3:oopm in Hawaii must be the equivalent starting at 5:00pm in Japan back then with some of anime and tokusatsu shows aired in the slot after we got back home from school.

      Thanks for all the nice information!

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