Tsuburaya Productions President Takayuki Tsukagoshi talks about Ultraman’s future overseas.
Takayuki Tsukagoshi is known to have been a major contributor to many of Walt Disney Studio Japan’s works, in contrast to his predecessor Shinichi Oka, who was a cameraman within Tsubaraya Productions. Many of the fans are concerned that an “outsider” was going to be helming the franchise into the future.
Tsukagoshi has worked with Walt Disney Studio Japan for about 26 years where he learned so much and even helmed some freedom to do things he wanted to do while there. He even mentioned that he worked in the American studio and even got to work alongside Studio Ghibli as a result. Much of his previous job was to introduce strategically made worldwide works into Japan. Eventually, he was offered a position to “turn Tsuburaya Pro into a Disney-like studio” and eventually aims to bring Ultraman overseas.
Considering both Walt Disney and Eiji Tsuburaya were both born in 1901, Tsukagoshi made a lot of comparisons between Ultraman and Mickey Mouse in that they were both created by two people whose works continue to strive even today.
Although it was pointed out to the new President that Ultraman is really only known in Asia and he was asked how he would bring forth the uniqueness that is Ultraman. He responded by saying that “The Ultraman Series is full of many elements, and depending on how you see those elements you’ll find many ways to pick them out. But I do have to first recognize that here (Japan) is a core of Ultraman.”
“Ultraman is very Japanese,” he points out.
Although he was asked many times, “are you going to make something similar to the Avengers?,” Tsukagoshi maintained that he wants to show off the great points of Japan, the designs and ideas of Ultraman, as well as the defining traits of being Japanese. That will be its new core. He wanted people overseas to recognize these points. Instead of creating something similar to the Ultraman series in its earlier days, he hopes to create an entirely new Ultraman, ensuring that the roots are honored while creating something new.
In Steven Spielgberg’s Ready Player One, Ultraman originally appeared in the original novel but didn’t in the movie. When asked if Ultraman would be appearing in some kind of other foreign movie as a “borrowed” character, much like movie studio Legendary Entertainment’s Godzilla films. Tsukagoshi said that it all depends on their partners, but we do not have any plans on “lending” the character out.
Tsukagoshi intends to aim for the children who still watch Ultraman as well as adults who used to watch the series. He believes that Tsuburaya Pro’s partnership with Bandai is important, as “through toys, children can realize their dreams” as materialistic possessions are what is between great memories and hope while the television shows are what allows them to carry those aspirations. He intends to create things that current fans will appreciate more, while Tsuburaya Pro experiences an evolution after 50 years.
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