"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, May 10, 2013

Seminal Sci-Fi Series on US DVD August 13th


Shout! Factory's package design for the forthcoming DVD release.

THE TRUTH CAN FINALLY BE TOLD... ULTRA Q is coming to DVD in the US from on August 13th! Eiji Tsuburaya's seminal 1966 science fantasy series, which spurred the creation of ULTRAMAN, is finally receiving its long-overdue release in North America, thanks to Cliff MacMillan of Shout! Factory, who has pushed through releases of the original GAMERA film series, neglected movies such as MESSAGE FROM SPACE, and tokusatsu teleseries, including ULTRA SEVEN and JOHNNY SOKKO. Details as to the contents of this release have yet to be officially announced, but I was contracted to provide content for their momentous home video releases of ULTRA Q and ULTRA SEVEN back in 2011.

So, for those unfamiliar with ULTRA Q, here's what I wrote for the DVD package copy:

“For the next 30 minutes, your eyes will leave your body and arrive in this strange moment in time…” In the world of ULTRA Q, the very fabric of nature is warped into a state of unbalance, and all manner of strange phenomenon and unearthly creatures threaten the very future of mankind! On the scene are a world-renowned scientist and his young friends — a female photojournalist, an aviator, and his co-pilot — who investigate these supernatural menaces. When sheer military might is futile, the intrepid team comes to the rescue, armed solely with their ingenuity and scientific prowess, to quell these malevolent forces and restore the balance of nature.

The precursor to ULTRAMAN, ULTRA Q is a seminal science-fantasy television series in the monstrous mold of THE OUTER LIMITS and THE X FILES. As deeply ingrained in Japan’s pop culture as THE TWILIGHT ZONE is in America’s, ULTRA Q is available for the first time ever in its entirety on DVD! Eiji Tsuburaya, the visual effects wizard behind GODZILLA, RODAN, and MOTHRA, creates a spectacular cavalcade of bizarre beasts and mass mayhem in each and every episode of this wildly popular series. Never before broadcast in North America, ULTRA Q stars Kenji Sahara (RODAN), Hiroko Sakurai (ULTRAMAN) and Yasuhiko Saijo (SON OF GODZILLA).

As with previous Japanese releases from Shout!, I wrote extensive liner notes on the making of the series, which will *not* be in a booklet this time, but rather on one of the actual discs, itself (which you scroll through to read). This essay contains numerous facts about the development, production, and even the lost English Dubbing, never before published in English! But, it's the fans who make these things happen — so please support these releases from Shout! — because, if you don't support them with your dollars, those "Bean Counters" in the front office will be led to believe there's no market in the US for these films and television series! So, order "ULTRA Q: The Complete Series" today!

Stay tuned for more information as it is cleared for release!

• Pre-order ULTRA Q from Shout! Factory 
• Pre-order ULTRA Q from Amazon


Battra said...

Sweet this made my day looking forward to seeing Ultra Q for the first time, big thanks to all the people who worked hard to get this out.

Buddy Cop Doug said...

This was definitely a surprise. I thought you'd spent all the luck of the Irish bringing Ultra Seven over here.

Frankenstein's Robot said...

Didnt they license these from Chaiyo and the masters are all from VHS? So they are basically fishy bootlegs and Im sure Tsuburaya hates the fact that these Ultra sets were released in the US through Chaiyo. I dont and wont support this.