"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

Monday, May 16, 2016

Standard & Editions Dropping September 27th!

待望の『ウルトラマンA』がBLU-RAY BOXとなって登場します!

Jacket design for the latest HD 2.0 Remaster of the Ultra Series!

On September 27th, Tsuburaya Productions and Bandai Visual will be issuing the latest in their "HD Remaster 2.0" roster with ULTRAMAN ACE (1972) for the Japanese market in two editions. ULTRAMAN ACE was the fifth in the long running "Ultra Series", starting in 1966 with ULTRA Q, and the fourth featuring a titular "Ultraman" character.

Slipcase for the Blu-ray box of the 5th Ultra Series from 1972!

"Under the slogan, 'The Ultra Bottom Line: All-Out War', ULTRAMAN ACE made revolutionary turns, with Seiji Hokuto (Keiji Takamine) and Yuko Minami (Mitsuko Hoshi) merging into a singular Ultra Hero, the solidarity of the 'Ultra Brothers', and a powerful leader in the 'Father of Ultra', creating a show with great appeal."

Ultra Rings included with Special Edition (actual product may differ).

ULTRAMAN ACE is an exciting series that captures the transition from the classic giant monster scenario into the "Henshin Heroes" boom, exemplified by Kamen Rider. Showcasing bizarre creatures, colorful action, as well as a man and a woman forming a singular superhero, ULTRAMAN ACE is among the best of the '70s Ultra Series!

52 half-hour episodes/1319 minutes
9 Discs (All Region)/Linear PCM (Stereo/Mono)
AVC/BD50G/1080p HD/4:3
Subtitles: Japanese
MSRP ¥29800 ($273.70 USD)

SPECIAL EDITION: Amazon Japan Exclusive (First Printing)
52 half-hour episodes/1319 minutes + 60 min. (Bonus Disc)
10 Discs (All Region)/Linear PCM (Stereo/Mono)
AVC/BD50G/1080p HD/4:3
Subtitles: Japanese
Bonus Disc (Staff & Cast interviews, etc.)
Replica "Ultra Rings" pair set
Special 78-page Booklet
MSRP ¥49800 ($457.38 USD)


Unknown said...

This would be a great Ultra series to put on Crunchyroll since these wonderful BR sets have no English subtitles.

August Ragone said...

That would be great, because by and large, Japanese DVD and Blu-ray releases do not feature English Subtitles, since the national language of Japan is... not English. Historically, very few tokusatsu releases on DVD or Blu-ray have boasted English Subtitles.


Unknown said...

I realize that but you'd think that they are aware that there's a large tokusatsu fanbase in the West after all this time. In any case I really enjoy reading your blog, it's fantastic stuff!

August Ragone said...

Yeah, but it's not that cut-and-dry and there are complications to boot. Even big Hollywood films, like STAR WARS, and not sold directly to Japan from the US. The local distributor, licensee or studio, has to negotiate with the respective Hollywood studios.

Also, the western fanbase isn't all that large, in comparison to Ultrafans in Japan. Also, it's all about licensing; it's smarter to license films and television shows to distributors and labels in foreign territories, than it is to risk releasing your product yourself and losing everything.

GUNDAM, for example, has a larger fanbase in North American than does ULTRAMAN ACE. But, even though Bandai America handled the GUNDAM releases for North America, eventually the numbers didn't reach their expectations, and the company folded.

Plus, Tsuburaya Productions does not have the distribution rights to ULTRAMAN ACE for North America. Those are in the control of UM Inc., an affiliate of the Bankok-based outfit, Chaiyo Productions. Which won the distribution rights outside of Asia to ULTRA Q though ULTRAMAN.

So, even if they released these in the US — they don't have the masters nor the ability to do the remastering that Tsuburaya Productions has, and so any Blu-ray release via Chaiyo would be rips of the Japanese Blu-rays, and therefore look like a garbage fire. Sad, but true.


Unknown said...

Exactly one year on from this announcement, any news on whether Ultraman Taro will be getting a blu ray release? I just thought since they were releasing them in the chronological order they were made in then this year might be Taro's turn and next year it will be Leo and the following year it will be 80. But, I guess not?

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