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30th Animator Expo Short is 'The Ultraman' Based on Mamoru Uchiyama's Manga

posted on by Karen Ressler
Photo Kano director helms animated short for Ultraman franchise

The official website for Japan Anima(tor)'s Exhibition (Japan Animator Expo), the weekly anime shorts from Hideaki Anno's Studio Khara and the media company Dwango, announced on Monday that the 30th episode will be "THE ULTRAMAN," directed by Akitoshi Yokoyama (Photo Kano). The short will debut on Friday.

The short will be based on the manga The Ultraman by the late Mamoru Uchiyama. The manga is based on Tsuburaya Production's Ultraman live-action tokusatsu (special-effects) franchise. Hisashi Mori (Digimon Adventure: Bokura no War Game) is designing the characters and serving as animation director for the short.

Animator Expo describes the story:

In the spring of 1975, peace returned to the universe once more. But then members of the Ultra Brothers started being murdered by someone, one by one. The perpetrator was Jackal the Demonic Space Overlord.

Jackal was an alien defeated by Ultraman King and banished to spend an eternity in a black hole. Having returned, Jackal sent his armies to Earth to uncover any Ultra Warriors that may be hiding in humanoid form there. Jackal's minions resorted to threatening to kill human beings held as hostages in order to force Ultra Warriors to reveal themselves.

Just when it seemed all hope was lost, a mysterious warrior wearing a suit of armor that obscured his identity appeared from the heavens...

The lineup for the third season of the project is as follows:

Title Director/Staff
Endless night (TBC) Sayo Yamamoto
Cassette Girl Hiroyasu Kobayashi
Kazuyoshi Katayama Project “Untitled” (TBD) Kazuyoshi Katayama
COMEDY SKIT 1989 Kazuto Nakazawa
THE ULTRAMAN Akitoshi Yokoyama
NEON GENESIS IMPACTS. Yuhei Sakuragi
(To Be Determined) Hiroyuki Okiura
HAMMERHEAD Otaro Maijo × Mahiro Maeda
BUREAU OF PROTO SOCIETY Yasuhiro Yoshiura
BUBU & BUBULINA Takashi Nakamura
GIRL Hibiki Yoshizaki

The titles above are listed in phonetic Japanese order, and are not necessarily in the order of their scheduled release. For the third season, Japan Animator Expo is once again releasing a new episode every Friday.

Hideaki Anno himself is serving as executive producer of the entire project initiative with Dwango President Nobuo Kawakami, and he also designed the image character mascot "(Tor)-kun." Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki created the title logo, and fellow Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki colored it. The shorts mostly feature the voice talent of Ranma ½ and Cowboy Bebop co-stars Kouichi Yamadera and Megumi Hayashibara.

Image © nihon animator mihonichi LLP., Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd


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