Sunday, September 24, 2017

ULTRAMAN: THE NEXT IS BACK! Round Two for This Tsuburaya Pro Feature!

Director/producer/cameraman Kiyoshi Suzuki. Photo by Brett Homenick.

On Saturday night, there was another Ultraman: The Next (2004) event that I just couldn't pass up. I'm very glad I attended. I was particularly interested in meeting the man who was (for me) the guest of honor.

It was my first time to meet Kiyoshi Suzuki, a veteran of Tsuburaya Productions who joined the company in 1964 and worked on Ultra Q (1966) and Ultraman (1966-67) as an assistant cameraman. From there, Suzuki-san also worked on such tokusatsu productions as: Kaiju Booska (1966-67), Ultra Seven (1967-68), Mighty Jack (1968), Return of Ultraman (1971-72), Mirrorman (1971-72), Iron King (1972-73), Ultraman Taro (1973-73), and Ultraman Leo (1974-75). Suzuki-san also worked behind the camera as a director, and in that capacity he shot episodes of Super Robot Red Baron (1973-74), Super Robot Mach Baron (1974-75), and Dinosaur Expedition Born Free (1976-77). In the Heisei era, Suzuki-san has mostly worked as a producer on various Ultraman movies that have been made since the 1990s.

Kazuya Konaka returned to this event, as well. Konaka-san has directed episodes of Ultraman Dyna (1997-98), Ultraman Cosmos (2001-02), Ultraman Nexus (2004-05), Ultraman Mebius (2007-07), Ultraseven X (2007), Ultraman Ginga S (2014), and Ultraman Orb: The Origin Saga (2016-17). Konaka-san also helmd the feature films: Ultraman Zearth 2 (1997), Ultraman Tiga and Ultraman Dyna (1998), Ultraman Gaia: The Battle in Hyperspace (1999), Ultraman: The NextMirrorman Reflex (2006), and Ultraman Mebius and Ultra Brothers (2006).

Also on hand was actress Kyoko Toyama, who starred in Ultraman: The Next as Sara Mizuhara and reprised her role in episodes 33 and 34 of Ultraman Nexus.

It was another great evening. Many thanks to all the friendly guests for their kindness.

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