Junichi Suwabe, who voiced Absolute Tartarus, gives his thoughts about the Ultra series and S.H.Figuarts.
Junichi Suwabe sat down with Tamashii to talk about his role as Absolute Tartarus, the Ultra series, and collecting figures.
Give us your thoughts about the Ultraman Zero, Ultraman Taiga, and Ultraman Z Alpha Edge Figurarts. Three of whom have appeared in Ultra Galaxy Fight.
They all look really cool. The molding is of course great, but the range of motion is amazing. You can pose them in all sorts of ways. You can even bend their feet. I had soft vinyl toys when I was a kid and I loved them for what they were. However, posable figures give you more freedom. There’s no wonder why so many people collect these.
Do you collect a lot of these figures?
I have a lot at home. Mostly of the characters that I’ve portrayed.
I can’t help but want to collect the figures of characters close to me. I waited for the moment when Absolute Tartarus was announced.
Tell us about Ultra Galaxy Fight.
Ultra Galaxy Fight is an impressive series with an all-star roster. It’s like a show that featured all your favorites. It’s a very cinematic spectacle.
I portray is Absolute Tartarus, a new character that stands opposite against the Ultra heroes, wielding almighty power.
Tell us some qualities about Absolute Tartarus.
His strongest quality is how powerful he is. In contrast to the silver theme of the Ultraman designs, Tartarus is gold. Likewise, his design is very gorgeous and brilliant.
His self-introduction line is also great and not to mention that his design exudes beauty.
While Tartarus is an example of a strong archetype, there are many viewers who find his speech and conduct to be cute. It makes me very happy to know that there are people who feel this way.
Tell us about any challenges you encountered preparing for this role.
Tartarus is strong enough to take out Ultimate Shining Zero. However, he’s the not the brute type who relies on physical strength, but the kind of warrior who relies on his wit to take on the Ultra warriors.
While he does take on the villain role, I wanted to portray elegance to his character.
Were there any demands from the production side?
Although Tartarus has a huge presence, I was asked to create a trickster-like presence without being too grand. Like someone who was always one or two steps ahead of the Ultra warriors.
The production team set the foundation but I was the one who created the character based on that.
There’s still quite a mystery behind the character.
There’s still a lot of things that have yet to be depicted. I’d be very happy if a future installment builds on his character.
You have the impression of someone who’d be a villain. What do you enjoy about the villain role?
Do I? I thought I had plenty of opportunity to play someone who watches over the growth of the main character (laughs).
Anyway, maybe from the viewer or protagonist’s point of view, I’m the villain. But in many cases, to the character in question, they believe themselves to not be evil. Rather, they think they are justice.
In order to achieve one’s goal, they must do whatever it takes. I think it’s thrilling to play someone who never wavers and pushes his beliefs onto their beliefs onto the opponent.
How was getting to appear alongside Ultraman heroes of the past?
It was very exciting. During the dubbing, there was footage of past characters. I was like, “woah it’s Joneus!? Andro Melos!? And that’s 80!?”
I never thought the day would come where I would fight with the Ultraman heroes of my past. I was really happy.
Hatsunori Hasegawa himself portrayed Ultraman 80 in this show.
I was pleasantly surprised. I saw the first episode of Ultraman 80 when it first aired on TV. I’m pretty sure I own the mook from that era. I watched the rebroadcast of show Ultraman series that were older than Ultraman 80 and The Ultraman. TBS used to air them a lot in the mornings. I remember waking up early just to catch them since video wasn’t a thing yet.
Do you like any other Ultraman?
I’m not gonna lie, I really like Seven and Leo. Their stories seemed interconnected. My favorite opening theme is Ultraman Leo’s. The first season to be specific.
There was so much build up and glamour right before the logo appears. Also, when Ryu Manatsu, who portrayed Gen Otori, starts singing the intro, it’s the best. Amazingly awesome. As for Seven, besides the story, I also really liked the Ultra Guards’ uniform, and the mecha designs. Ultra Hawk #1’s split-apart gimmick is really cool. As a car enthusiast, I also really like Pointer.
The base car is a Chrysler Imperial.
It’s a heavily remodeled American vehicle. I’ve seen it before on a public highway. I think it was in Yurakucho. It took my surprise. I think it was mentioned by Dan Moroboshi’s actor Kohji Moritsugu but, apparently in order to make the Ultra Guards’ uniforms have a cool silhouette, there were some last minute adjustments and everything became more fitted. By the way, coming back to cars, we can’t forget about the MAT Vehicle. In the second season, it was made using the base of a Cosmo Sports car. It gave life to the beauty of the original.
You really like Ultraman (laughs).
I really do. I watched it a lot when I was a kid. I’ve always wanted to appear in a voice role after becoming a voice actor. But no one reached out to me or even offered an audition.
However, after a very long time, I was offered a role and my dreams came true. Thank you so much for finding me.
Lastly, is there a message you want to tell the fans of Ultra Galaxy Fight and the fans of the S.H. Ultraman Figurarts series?
There are many of your favorites who will appear in this film so there’s a lot to watch for in Ultra Galaxy Fight the Absolute Conspiracy. While the final episode has aired, there’s still more to come. Please look forward to it.
I would be very happy if you add Absolute Tartarus, this golden colored abomination to your collection. I too will be doing the same.