The first television series produced by eiji tsyburaya,the special effects man behind Godzilla.In the vein of the outer limits and the twilight zone except with giant rubber suited ... See full summary »
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1967   1966  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Kenji Sahara ...
 Jun Manjome (27 episodes, 1966-1967)
Yasuhiko Saijô ...
 Ippei Togawa (26 episodes, 1966-1967)
Hiroko Sakurai ...
 Yuriko Edogawa (26 episodes, 1966-1967)
Yoshifumi Tajima ...
 Daily News Editor Seki (11 episodes, 1966)
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Storyline

The first television series produced by eiji tsyburaya,the special effects man behind Godzilla.In the vein of the outer limits and the twilight zone except with giant rubber suited monsters.The show revolves around three recurring characters and the situations they get into with said monsters.The show is the precursor to the ultra man series.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

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Release Date:

2 January 1966 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Ultra Q  »

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Trivia

This series was filmed beforehand in one year (all through 1965) and first televised on 2 January 1966. At the time, this was the most expensive TV show in Japan. See more »

Connections

Followed by Ultraman: A Special Effects Fantasy Series (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Urutora Q Mein Têma
(Ultra Q Main Theme)
Music by Kunio Miyauchi
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User Reviews

Seminal Ultra Series, and a precursor to the Ultraman series
9 October 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In 1964 newly formed Tsuburaya Production was looking to make Japan's first sci-fi TV series. The series that was tentatively named "WOO" was canceled, but Tsuburaya Production already spent considerable cash to purchase the optical printer needed for the special effects. So Tokyo Broadcasting Station paid for the optical printer, and advanced the money needed to film the new series called UNBALANCE. Initially the program was modeled after the "Twilight Zone", and "Outer Limits" that was popular in the US, but due to the producer's desire to target specific audience, the program was changed to feature much of kaijyu style monsters in the episodes. The series name was also changed (again) to "Ultra Q".

The story features pilot Jun Manjyome (Kenji Sahara), assistant pilot Ippei Togawa (Yasuhiko Saijyo), and a news reporter Yuriko Edogawa (Hiroko Sakurai), with other supporting cast. The story featured ancient kaijyu coming to life, invasion from outer space, invasion from the future, mutated monster, a boy that turned into a monster, a boy that befriends a giant turtle, battle with giant octopus etc. and was a veritable smorgasbord of kaijyu related topics. The TV series that had unknown potential frequently rated over 30%, and became a huge success. This lead to the follow on program the Ultraman - of which variation still continues to this day.

Total of 28 episodes were aired, and all the episodes were filmed in black and white, but recently, a colorized version has been released.

Looking back at this series now, the rough edges are evident at various places, but it filled the need of young viewers to see exciting new monster every week. Quality of the stories varied, but they were all very experimental, and difficult to rate either by their effort or by their quality. By today's standard, they were all of low budget nature, but at the time, this was one of the most expensive TV series to be produced.

All of this makes this series difficult to rate. Depending on who sees it, it might be taken as a low budget crap, or highly experimental masterpiece. My opinion varies between the episodes. Focus of the stories varied from episode to episode. Some were bona fide sci-fi, others were like fantasy, and the series lacked focus compared to the Twilight Zone that had intrigue at the center of each episode.

Copy of this series is rare outside of Japan, but if you can find them, it's a worthy relic to be seen from the '60s Japan.


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