Koichi Sakamoto: I Want to Make a New Ultraman Leo
A recent fan event featuring members of the original cast of Ultraman Leo saw Sakamoto make a surprise announcement.
An Ultraman Leo event was recently held in commemoration of the series. Actors in attendance included Ryu Manatsu, who played Gen Otori / Ultraman Leo, Koji Moritsugi who played Dan Moroboshi / Ultra Seven, and Miina Tominaga who played Kaoru Umeda. Koichi Sakamoto, who is a self-proclaimed fan of Ultraman Leo since childhood, was also present.
Ultraman Leo is part of the so-called “second era” of Ultraman, which saw Ultraman Returns, Ultraman Ace, Ultraman Taro, and Leo airing back to back beginning in 1971. Whereas Taro had a larger, more fantastic mood, Leo had a darker tone and featured an Ultraman character who was thought to be the last of his kind. The series emphasized its intense karate action over Taro’s use of energy beams and special effects. Ultraman Leo’s direction was heavily inspired by Burn it Up! Dragon, a movie released a year before its premiere.
The series struggled for ratings and was forced to adopt elements in hopes of strengthening its ratings. Elements included the introduction of a new Ultraman character, Ultraman Astra, and massive cast overhaul later on during the show’s run.
The series later became a fan favorite thanks in large part to rebroadcasts in 1978.
Koichi Sakamoto, who has directed various Power Rangers series as well as shows like Ultraman Geed, Kamen Rider Fourze, and Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger, was inspired by Leo for much of the action seen in Ultra Fight Victory.
Sakamoto was met with great cheers at the event after announcing he would like to make a new Ultraman Leo series. The cast joked about what sort of things the series would have and that Gen Otori would be an ineffective fighter due to his old age. “It’s a fight against old age itself!” joked Sakamoto.
Source: My Navi