Sunday, September 17, 2017

ULTRAMAN DISCOVERS WHAT'S NEXT! Attending a Special Screening of the Millennium-Era Ultra-Saga!

In between director Kazuya Konaka (left) and screenwriter Keiichi Hasegawa (right).

Today, I braved a typhoon to attend a special screening of Ultraman (a.k.a. Ultraman: The Next, 2004). While this movie was highly praised at the time of its release, I have to admit my view hasn't changed since I first saw it on video seven or eight years ago. I don't think turning Ultraman into a horror movie makes a whole lot of sense. While it was great to see the film in 35mm, I still don't think it succeeds.

One of the main guests was screenwriter Keiichi Hasegawa. Hasegawa-san penned numerous episodes of Ultraman Tiga (1996-97), Ultraman Dyna (1997-98), Ultraman Gaia (1998-99), Ultraman Cosmos (2001-02), Ultraman Nexus (2004-05), Ultraman Mebius (2006-07), Ultraseven X (2007), Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle (2007-08), Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle: Never Ending Odyssey (2008-09), and Ultraman Ginga (2013). Hasegawa-san has also written for Toei programs, such as Kamen Rider W (2009-10), Kamen Rider Fourze (2011-12), Kamen Rider Drive (2014-15), and Kamen Rider Ghost (2015-16). Godzilla fans would know him as the screenwriter for GMK (2001). Hasegawa-san wrote the script for Ultraman.

I've met Hasegawa-san a few times since last year, and he's always a lot of fun to hang out with. I think the above photo speaks for itself on that score.

Kazuya Konaka was the other guests of honor. Konaka-san helmed episodes of Ultraman Dyna, Ultraman Cosmos, Ultraman Nexus, Ultraman Mebius, Ultraseven X, Ultraman Ginga S (2014), and Ultraman Orb: The Origin Saga (2016-17). Konaka-san also directed the feature films: Ultraman Zearth 2 (1997), Ultraman Tiga and Ultraman Dyna (1998), Ultraman Gaia: The Battle in Hyperspace (1999), Mirrorman Reflex (2006), and Ultraman Mebius and Ultra Brothers (2006). Konaka-san, as I'm sure you can guess by now, directed Ultraman.

It was my first time to meet Konaka-san, and I found him to be very kind and friendly.

That's all for now. I'll be back soon with more updates.

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