Tsuburaya Productions Launches New Streaming Service in Japan
Tsuburaya Imagination is now available in Japan, having launched alongside a new Ultraman Z spin-off featuring Sevenger.
This week, Tsuburaya Productions announced the launch of its first ever subscription streaming service, Tsuburaya Imagination, in Japan. This new paid service, releasing as part of the Ultraman 55th anniversary celebration, will include decades of Tsuburaya’s tokusatsu TV and movie content, in addition to animation and even comics.
A director’s cut of Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Absolute Conspiracy is also available on Tsuburaya Imagination. At the time of writing, Tsuburaya’s announcement specifies the service will only be available in Japan at launch.
Coinciding with the launching of Tsuburaya Imagination, a new Ultraman Z spin-off starring STORAGE’s first robot, Sevenger, has started streaming on the new service. The first episode of the show, Sevenger Fight, is being offered for free with a Tsuburaya Imagination account, no subscription necessary. Plans to release the mini series internationally are in the works. According to Tsuburaya’s English language announcement, more information will be given soon. For now, Sevenger Fight is exclusive to Tsuburaya Imagination.
In Sevenger Fight, Kiyotaka Taguchi returns from Ultraman Z to direct the action with the voice talents of returning cast members from the STORAGE team in Ultraman Z. Kohshu Hirano (Haruki Natsukawa), Rima Matsuda (Yoko Nakashima), Hikari Kuroki (Yuka Ohta), and Takaya Aoyagi (Shota Hebikura/Jugglus Juggler) will all reprise their roles. Each episode will have about 5 minutes of runtime, and there will be ten episodes in all.
In Tsuburaya’s announcement of Sevenger Fight, it’s compared to Ultra Fight from 1970 which made a name for itself with its pro-wrestling style battles. Director Kiyotaka Taguchi mirrors this sentiment in the following comment:
“When I was filming the “Sevenger vs Guigass” scene from Ultraman Z episode 3 at Mt. Iwafune, I joked about “How cool would it be if we could shoot an entire mini-series just with Sevenger fighting all those Kaiju whose costumes were made for stage shows!” – an idea which I was half serious about.
I felt the time had come when Tsuburaya Productions started to put up a new streaming platform and Shogakukan (the publisher for mainstream tokusatsu series, including Ultraman) was looking for new content that could be included in their Chozenshu collection books.
“Let’s make Sevenger Fight a reality!”
To my surprise, nobody was against the idea. (Actually, it was Producer Junichiro Ashiki who fought hard to make this come true!)
The production proceeded at lightning speed, and the filming crew went back to Mt. Iwafune last November, even before the post-production of Ultraman Z was finished.
However, the mini-series will be more than just a parody to the original Ultra Fight. We took the spirit of the original, but our intention has always been to create something more, a combination of the original mood and the worldview that was established in Ultraman Z. We made it in real earnest.
Please grab a drink, sit back, relax, and enjoy!”
Additional free content available to Tsuburaya Imagination account holders includes the first episode of various Ultra Series shows including Ultraman Z, Taiga, Ultraman R/B, Geed, Ginga, Ginga S, Orb, and Ultraman X. The first issue of Marvel’s The Rise of Ultraman Japanese Edition is also available for no cost.
As a final free bonus for account holders, a coloring template download can be accessed featuring Kaiju Step‘s Dada-chan. This is designed for use with the Japan-exclusive Augmented Reality (AR) app Tobidasu Nurie. The app is free to download, and Kaiju Step characters can be interacted with in three templates for free. Users can choose to pay 300 yen/month to get unrestricted access to other characters that can be brought to life in 3D and AR environments.
The Kaiju Step templates are available in Tobidasu Nurie for no additional cost which allows users to bring the characters into a virtual 3D environment. To use the AR feature, the printed template can be downloaded with a Tsuburaya Imagination account. Please note that Tobidasu Nurie is only available in Japan.
Tsuburaya Imagination offers two subscription tiers. Standard members will pay 550 yen (550 yen including tax) per month while premium members will pay an annual 19,800 yen fee. (21,780 yen including tax)
A standard subscription nets users approximately 1,200 Ultra Series episodes and movies, new originals, and unlimited viewing of content like comics, novels, and articles. The standard subscription also includes special offers at stores, access to ticket pre-sales, and the ability to buy exclusive merch. Premium subscriptions get access to an extra 500 episodes of content, monthly live events hosted online, and exclusive premium level merch available online.
The first episode of Sevenger Fight is currently available to free, standard, and premium account holders on Tsuburaya Imagination.
The Tsuburaya Imagination streaming service is available now in Japan.
Sources: Tsuburaya (1), (2), (3), via Ultraman Global Twitter Account and Tsuburaya Imagination Twitter Account