The Limitations of Expanding Ultraman Globally
A relative of Eiji Tsuburaya shared his criticism in regards to Tsuburaya Productions.
Hideaki Tsuburaya, on May 25th, addressed his concerns at the Japan Society for Studies in Cartoon and Comics. “Ultraman will have nothing to spread to the rest of the world.”
Back in 2010 due to Financial Difficulties, they [Tsuburaya] affiliated themselves with a Pachinko related business [FIELDS] and major toy company Bandai, and lost their identity as”Tsuburaya.”
Back in the 1960s, Sompote Saengduenchai studied under the Eiji Tsuburaya, and after the latter’s death, deepened his relationship with Noboru Tsuburaya, the successor of Tsuburaya Productions and son of Eiji. Following Noboru’s death in 1995 however, Saengduenchai claimed the following: “I now own overseas rights from Ultra Q to Ultraman Taro.”
Tsuburaya Productions claims Saengduenchai’s document is falsified. After a trial that began in 1997, Saengduenchai won the lawsuit in Japan in 2004.
On the other hand, however, Tsuburaya Pro won a lawsuit in 2008 claiming the documents were falsified in Thailand. That same year, Saengudenchai received rights from the U.M. Corporation, as the trial continued throughout the nation. In a Press Release, Tsuburaya Productions states that there’s no validity of Noboru Tsuburayama’s affixed seal on the document. The current verdict, however, states that “this company can now move forward with developing works related to Ultraman outside of Japan..”
Hideaki Tsuburaya says “it’s impossible”
At a conference last week, Hideaki said “so far the jurisdiction is different in every country that we went to court regarding the case all over the world. With only winning a case in the district court of America, we are faced with impossibilities to bringing it [Ultraman] all over the world.
A retired Professor of Kurume University, who lead the copyright meeting, Shigeo Ooie, agreed with Hideaki. Ooie said, “the rights hold true only for America’s jurisdiction.”
Hideaki became President shortly after Tsuburaya lost their suit and, after many things happened, he wanted to distance himself from Tsuburaya Productions. He had a good reason for doing so. Eiji Tsuburaya created Tsuburaya Productions, and his son, Hajime Tsuburaya, made Ultraman the core project of the company. The staff at that time were young as well, and they continued to teach their craft to their juniors. The youthful strength is what created Ultraman. As that spirit continued, he believed they wouldn’t have to behave in ways to deviate themselves from Tsuburaya Productions.
But a certain someone made Ultraman their own. It’s because of that person we began to lose support, such as from TOHO Studios, and eventually lost that youthful spirit along the way.
There’s a huge audience that watch the Ultraman series. But to be honest, the current Ultraman is not Ultraman. Even from a fan or family’s point of view, the original series is a work that incorporates a message, but we’ve lost even that. Making it so that toy or card sales are good…there’s no spirit in that.