"There is so much writing in English on Japanese cinema that can't be accepted at face value — not because the writers are careless, but because the differences in culture and language are just too intricate. When I see August Ragone's name on a piece of writing, it gives me permission to place my faith in it completely. Among Japanese fantasy film historians, he's the best working in English." —Tim Lucas, Video Watchdog


Friday, September 7, 2012

"ULTRA SEVEN" COMPLETE SERIES DVD BOX SET!
Shout! Factory's 45th Anniversary Release!

デュア!『ウルトラセブン』DVDボックス米国で11月12日発売 !



On the eve of it's 45th Anniversary, the original 1967 teleseries, ULTRA SEVEN, the direct answer to Tsuburaya Productions' ULTRAMAN (1966), Shout! Factory will be issuing the "Complete Series" box set on DVD to North America! I was originally scheduled to make an official announcement on this release at this year's G-Fest convention in Chicago this past July, but I wasn't able to attend, so it was just decided to wait for the listing on Amazon to go up before shouting about it.

At this time, all I can say about the contents is that the set will contain the 48 available episodes of ULTRA SEVEN, not counting the "banned" Episode 12 ("From Another Planet With Love"), while the episodes themselves will be presented in Japanese with English Subtitles. The English Dubs were not considered, as the Hawaiian Dub (produced in 1975) is lost, and the Cinar Dub (produced in the mid-1980s) were prone to heavy editing, and somewhere along the way, three episodes turned up missing.

Uncut and presented in Japanese with English Subtitles, this box set will include a 24-page booklet on the making of ULTRA SEVEN, penned by Yours Truly (I also provided the package copy as well), and another special premium, but we'll save that as a surprise for later... Stay tuned for more details on the ULTRA SEVEN Complete Series DVD Box Set, as they are made available by Shout! Factory!

17 comments:

Unknown said...

This isn't done through Chaiyo, is it?

The Box Monster said...

Why does it include the subtitle "THE COMPLETE SERIES" if it isn't complete?

Forevermutation said...

@The Box Monster

Episode 12 was later banned from broadcast in Japan due to concerns that the episode's featured aliens, portrayed as disfigured creatures afflicted with radiation sickness and burns, would be offensive to survivors of the atomic bomb drops in Japan during World War II. Officially, Tsuburaya Productions refuses to acknowledge this episode's existence. However, the episode has been aired and/or dubbed in overseas adaptations of the series

so it is technically not even apart of the official listing of episodes

Unknown said...

It's too bad the banned ep isn't on there. Any chance they could get ahold of the 1993 made-for-TV flick, "Watashi ga Aishita Ultraseven"? It was based on Yuriko Hishimi's autobiography. I managed to catch the end of it when I was in Japan and was sorry I had missed it.

Jim Belfiore said...

Geez, we coulda got you a speakerphone for G-Fest at least. ;-)

This is fantastic news.

Ray Miller said...

Yay! Wonderful news! (And I do thing they should have skype'd you in to G-Fest..)

August Ragone said...

Group,
Here are some answers to your questions:

The Box Monster, Forevermutation succinctly answered your query. You can read more about it, in detail, here:
http://augustragone.blogspot.com/2008/09/monster-of-week-keloid-alien-spell.html

Unknown: ULTRA SEVEN was licensed by Shout! Factory through Golden Media Group. Shout! Factory recently licensed TIME OF THE APES, MIGHTY JACK, FUGITIVE ALIEN, and STAR FORCE through Tsuburaya, and asked about the Ultra Series. Tsuburaya said that they could only license the newer shows — not the older shows. So, Shout had to license ULTRA SEVEN through Golden Media Group, not Chaiyo.

As for "My Lovely Ultra Seven", the 1993 made-for-television docudrama on the making of ULTRA SEVEN — the rights are under a different company, and was never even a consideration in the first place. Shout was solely interested in releasing the original 1967 series.

Jim & Ray: I was too busy at G-Fest sending Jeff Horne details from the San Diego Comic-Con on Legendary Pictures' Godzilla presentation!

Cheers,
August

FortMax said...

@August

Do you know why Golden Media is involved at all? It it a case of whatever licencing deal Golden Media had with Chaiyo still being considered valid in some form?

August Ragone said...

Fort Max,
Sorry, I'm not privy to that information; but again, at this time, Tsuburaya Productions isn't allowed to distribute ULTRA Q through ULTRAMAN TARO outside of Asia. Golden Media Group, which distributes a number of Japanese properties, apparently has some of these titles. Not sure how Golden acquired them, but it's legitimate and legal at this time — unless Tsuburaya is able to overturn the court's decision at some point in the future.

From their founder's bio: "Golden Media Group Inc. a California corporation owned by Mr. Aki Komine commenced business in 2002, mainly to handle the films of Japanese clients which include all the major Japanese studios such as: Kadokawa Pictures, Nikkatsu Corporation, Shochiku Co, Ltd., Toei Co.Ltd. and Toho Co., Ltd."

"From 1985- 1989 Mr. Komine served in executive positions with Daiei Studios in Tokyo Japan. In particular he was in charge of the company's Video distribution."

So, they aren't some fly-by-night company.

Cheers,
August

Len Medlock said...

Wonderful news, August! And that you are involved makes this especially cool. Kudos!

Shaddoe27 said...

OMG!!! THIS IS DEFINITELY GONNA MAKE MY CHRISTMAS VERY MERRY INDEED!

Jeff Baker said...

Wow im shocked i never thought i would ever see anything from the old Ultra shows other then the orginal Ultraman released in America, i wonder if we will see jack and leo released, hope so i'm pumped, one question tho will the Ultraseven shows be digitally remastered?

August Ragone said...

Jeff,
From what I've been told, the content for this upcoming DVD release has been digitally remastered. Now, there's always a possibility that more Ultra Series releases are in the cards from Shout! Factory, so stay tuned!

Cheers,
August

dougo13 said...

I was waiting for news like this some time ago after Tsuburaya Pro got their legal difficulties sorted out. Any idea which 3 episodes of the English dub went missing? I used to watch the show on TNT back in the late 90s. No, I don't have "crystalized corpuscles" before anyone asks but I had seen a lot of others.

Good to see you are still going strong. I miss the old days and the old fans though I have reacquainted myself with some people in the last few years. Many though are missing.

Take care...

Doug

St. Paco said...

FINALLY! ^_^

fred handy said...

I have a new heighten respect for Ultraseven. Upon buying the Ultraseven Boxset I had only seen the horribly dubbed episodes on TNT, which with aired in the 90's so early in the morning that no one probably even watched them. I didn't like the show that much but I watched and taped a few because it was almost like the original Ultraman 1966. The dubbers voiced everything in a goofy comedic fashion (MST3K) which killed it for me. They totally missed the point and took out the seriousness and depth of the series. Maybe the distributors felt it was too smart and serious for dumb American kids, anyway, I just gave up on it and never tried collecting anything from it.
Recently, I saw some clips on YouTube of one of the unedited episodes in Japanese and was blown away with the seriousness and style of the show. I searched to see if any of the original versions were released on DVD (with subs) and to my surprise the were. This whole boxset.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that writing for the show was very good and each episode intelligent. The acting is straight forward with no one playing it up for laughs most all the time like Eto/Ide a character that I liked).
My only grumps are some of the monsters, sometimes they act too humanistic, laugh like the Baltans, cower in fear while fighting or just trying to run from Ultraseven. Some of the monster designs looked cheap, rushed and laughable, like on another chidhood show of mine, Space Giants. I know the budgets must've been pretty tight with all those location shots and Gerry Anderson Spfx shots a la "Thunderbirds". The monster battles never really reach the same height and drama as the Ultraman battles. Maybe it's the music, maybe it's because Ultraseven's blinking light doesn't carry the same dramatic weight as Ultraman's with the theme song urging the pace along.
The Ultraseven character seems smaller in stature than Ultraman, he's like an Ultraman jr. You don't get the feeling that he's a towering giant like in the original Ultraman series.
Ultraseven with it's aliens has more of an dark X-files or Twilight Zone feel than the original Ultraman series,it's very adult which is a good thing. Now I can proudly say that I like them both.

Richard Li said...

Great looking set! I just want to ask three questions:

1. Was Ultraseven episode 12 initially broadcasted on Japanese TV on the 17th December 1967? Before it got banned.

2. For this box set, is the omitted episode 12 acknowledged? So that episode 13(The Man from V3) is shown as 13 and not moved up to "12" or is it rearranged?

3. I'm a little confused as to what episodes 44 and 45 respectively are. Most episodes guides for Ultraseven has 44 as the "Terrifying Ape Man" and 45 as the "Stargazer", but some guides have it down as Stargazer 44 and Ape-Man 45. Which is the correct?

Thanks a lot