Saturday, July 16, 2016

FIFTY YEARS OF ULTRAMAN! Celebrating the Hero from M78 with Some of his Longtime Friends!

Former child actor Akihide Tsuzawa poses for a picture. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Following work, I was able to join a celebration of Ultraman's 50th anniversary in Yokohama with some luminaries from the series' history. 

Akihide Tsuzawa was one of the special guests, and he was of particular interest to me. He played the young boy Hoshino, who was a regular on the original Ultraman (1966-67) TV series. Although I've met many of the alumni from the original series, this was my first time to meet Tsuzawa-san. I found him to be gregarious and a great storyteller. He even has a credit in another major SFX production. He played a young islander in the original Mothra (1961)!

Ultra-series director Toshihiro Ijima. Photo by Brett Homenick. 

Another true legend of the Ultra-series was in attendance, and that was director Toshihiro Iijima. Iijima-san helmed numerous episodes of Ultra Q (1966), Ultraman, Ultra Seven (1967-68), and other Tsuburaya Productions series. He also directed the feature film Daigoro vs. Goliath (1972).

Iijima-san is truly one of the pioneers who shaped the Ultra-series into what it has become. He had a guiding hand in the pivotal first three Ultra-series (and beyond). It's always exciting to meet an individual of Iijima-san's caliber.

Takeshi Yagi, a director of some of the more recent Ultraman adventures, was also there, sharing his memories about making the latter-day episodes of the franchise.

It was a great evening, but the fun resumes tomorrow. I can't wait!

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