Title card for the original Japanese version
|Created by||Tsuburaya Productions|
|Country of origin||Japan|
|No. of episodes||49|
|Running time||24 minutes (per episode)|
|Original release||October 1, 1967 – September 8, 1968|
|Followed by||The Return of Ultraman (Ultraman Jack)|
Ultra Seven (ウルトラセブン? Urutora Sebun) is a tokusatsu science fiction TV series that aired on Japanese TV in 1967. Created by Eiji Tsuburaya, this follow up to Ultraman went on to become one of Japan's greatest fantasy TV series. Such is his popularity that "Ultraseven" (or simply "Seven") has appeared or at least made cameos in nearly every Ultra Series following his own and has had far more exposure than even the original Ultraman (though the original Ultraman is without a doubt the face of the Ultras).
Ultra Seven is sometimes incorrectly called "Ultraman Seven" by many sources outside Japan (or in the case of KHON/Honolulu, Hawaii, Ultra 7, as listed in TV Guide when it ran in 1975). Both the series and its hero can also be called Ultraseven (without a space), which is generally the form used when romanized and also when in use by Tsuburaya in merchandise.
After the success of space themed science fiction shows such as Ultraman, Captain Ultra, and the Japanese broadcast of Lost in Space, Tokyo Broadcasting System pursued Tsuburaya Productions to produce another sci-fi series and Tsuburaya assembled Hajime Tsuburaya, Akio Jissoji, Tetsuo Kinjo, Masami Sueyasu, and Shoji Otomo to brainstorm ideas.
Eiji Tsuburaya proposed a series that would have been a hybrid of Thunderbirds and Lost in Space, Hajime proposed a new Ultraman series that would have included network and sponsors' input for each season, Jissoji proposed a time-travel theme show which would have focused on a time patrol team and their families, Kinjo proposed a children's horror/mystery show that would have been a cross of Ultra Q and The Twilight Zone, Sueyasu proposed a fairy tale themed series, and Otomo proposed a space themed series which would have been a cross of Lost in Space and Men into Space featuring giant monsters.
TBS eventually settled on a fusion of Eiji's and Otomo's ideas and Eiji submitted a treatment titled The Ultra Garrison, which featured six trained astronauts (including an android named "John") stationed on a satellite called "Mother", the first line of defense against alien invaders. Kinjo felt that the idea was lacking an essential element and suggested adding a superhero.
The treatment underwent massive revisions after TBS felt the idea was too similar to The Great Space War and the new version included giant monsters while retaining the original earth defense force element at TBS' request. TBS eventually suggested to make the series a direct sequel to Ultraman and have it focused on Hayata and Fuji's son, who would be able to call upon earth monsters for help and only transform into Ultraman in times of desperation.
The 1967 TV series
Ultra Seven, produced by Tsuburaya Productions, aired on Tokyo Broadcasting System from October 1, 1967 to September 8, 1968. In the not-too-distant future, the Earth finds itself constantly under attack from extraterrestrial threats. To combat them, the Terrestrial Defense Force establishes the Ultra Guard (ウルトラ警備隊? Urutora keibi-tai), a team of six elite members who utilize high-tech vehicles and weaponry. Joining their fight is the mysterious Dan Moroboshi who is secretly an alien from the Land of Light in Nebula M-78, Ultraseven.
- Commander Kaoru Kiriyama (キリヤマ・カオル? Kiriyama Kaoru) is the captain of the Ultra Garrison. A no-nonsense but kind leader. He is from Tokyo.
- Actor: Shōji Nakayama
- Shigeru Furuhashi (フルハシ・シゲル? Furuhashi Shigeru) is a rotund, strong, trigger-happy member of the Ultra Garrison. Many years later, he would find himself a high-ranking TDF commander and one of Ultra Seven's few allies. He is from Hokkaido.
- Anne Yuri (友里 アンヌ? Yuri Annu) is the only female member of the Ultra Garrison, and also the youngest. She is the team's communications operator and nurse, but is still effective in action. Has feelings for fellow member Dan Moroboshi. She is also from Tokyo.
- Actor: Yuriko Hishimi
- Soga (ソガ? Soga) is Ultra Garrison's expert marksman. He is easy-going, but fierce in battle. He is a friend of Dan Moroboshi. He is from Southern Kyushu.
- Actor: Shinsuke Achiha
- Amagi (アマギ? Amagi) is the twitchy stragegist. He is from Nagoya.
- Dan Moroboshi/Ultraseven (Agent 340) (モロボシ・ダン (諸星 弾) / ウルトラセブン (恒点観測員340号)? Moroboshi Dan / Urutorasebun (Kōten Kansokuin 340 Gō)): See Ultraseven (character)
Unlike most other Ultramen, Ultra Seven does not demonstrate any of the time constraints that plague most of the other heroes of the Ultra Series. On one occasion however, the green Beam Lamp on his forehead would begin blinking in a similar fashion to the Color Timer that the other Ultra-Crusaders had.
However, this tended to occur when Ultra Seven was in mortal danger, suggesting it warned him how badly weakened he was rather than how much time he had left to fight. This is similar to some of the more recent Ultra-Crusaders, whose warning lights acted as indicators of battle injury and damage levels of their Ultra-Armor suits rather than time limit.
- Eye Slugger: The crest on Ultra Seven's head can be detached and used as a throwing weapon. This is Ultra Seven's most well-known weapon, and possibly the most famous of all Ultra attacks. It has been incorrectly referred to as an "Ice Lugger" by various sources. This name was coined during the early pre-production on the series, which was going to be called "Ultra Eye" (Urutora Ai), hence "Eye Slugger." When the title of the series was changed to "Ultra Seven," the name of the weapon remained "Eye Slugger"—according to official Tsuburaya Productions production notes, published in Kodansha Official File Magazine Ultraman Vol. 4 & 5: "Ultra Seven" (2005).
- Emerium Beam: Various concentrations of energy rays could be fired from the Beam Lamp on his head as one of Ultra Seven's finishers. It is one of his trademark moves. He would either fire it standing with his left hand drawn to his chest while his right arm was outstretched, with his arms crossed so that his hands are touching his armpits, or more commonly on one knee, two fingers from both hands nearly touching the gem.
- Wide Shot: Ultra Seven's most powerful attack. By gathering energy in the armor plates on his shoulders and chest, Ultra Seven could unleash a powerful stream of energy by crossing his arms in an L-shape (his left arm upright, his right arm bent). He could further increase the potency of the beam, but this special attack drains his own energy. The Wide Shot was later turned into an ordinary weapon where Ultra Seven can just pose his arms into a L-style and does not drain his energy. Of course, this style will not be as powerful as the one needs to drain his own energy.
- Capsule Monsters: When unable to fight (usually because his Ultra Eye has been stolen), Dan will often produce a small capsule that releases a giant-sized monster to fight in his place. Although he is shown to have four or five capsules, only three capsule monsters are shown in the series, Windam, Miclas, and Agira. In the 1998 Direct To Video series, Ultra Seven once used one of the capsules to incapacitate a member of the new Ultra Garrison in order to take his place. The Capsule Monsters would later return in the form of the Maquette Monsters from Ultraman Mebius.
- Ring Shot: When severely depleted of energy, Seven uses the ring shot to replace the wide shot. It is generated by Seven spreading both his arms our and joining his palms together. In a split second, a ring shaped beam zips through his palms and usually cuts through the enemy.
- Ultra S.O.S.: Like the other Ultra-Crusaders, Seven can summon a blue signal from his eyes and send an S.O.S flashing in the sky. Unlike that of Ultraman Ace, his S.O.S flashes in green.
- Ultra Splitter: Seven splits himself in many forms, to confuse his opponent. Usually he uses it to drive his enemy in circles. The move depletes his energy supply by one minute, and is used against teleporting enemies.
- The "Seven Shrink": As seen by Crazygon, Seven shrinks himself and enters into a cannon. The cannon fires and the miniature Seven cuts through the monster like a bullet.
- Eye Beam: Seven crosses his hands together and pulls it down to his lower torso. Twin beams burst from his eyes and hit the enemy.
- Solar Recharge: When severely depleted of energy, Seven turns towards the Sun and absorbs the rays into his chest, he then has enough energy to finish his opponent off.
- The Invisible Challenger (姿なき挑戦者? Sugata naki Chōsensha)
- The Green Terror (緑の恐怖? Midori no Kyōfu)
- The Secret of the Lake (湖のひみつ? Mizumi no himitsu)
- Max, Acknowledge (マックス号応答せよ? Makkusu-gō Ōtō seyo)
- The Negated Hours (消された時間? Kesareta Jikan)
- The Dark Zone (ダーク・ゾーン? Dāku Zōn)
- Space Prisoner 303 (宇宙囚人303? Uchū Shūjin San-Maru-San)
- The Targeted Town (狙われた街? Nerawareta Machi)
- Android Zero Directive (アンドロイド0指令? Andoroido Zero Shirei)
- The Suspicious Neighbor (怪しい隣人? Ayashii Rinjin)
- Fly to Devil's Mountain (魔の山へ飛べ? Ma no Yama e Tobe)
- From Another Planet with Love (遊星より愛をこめて? Yūsei yori Ai o Komete)
- The Man from V3 (V3から来た男? Bui Surī kara Kita Otoko)
- Westward, Ultra Garrison (Beginning) (ウルトラ警備隊西へ（前編）? Urutora Keibitai Nishi e (Zenpen))
- Westward, Ultra Garrison (Conclusion) (ウルトラ警備隊西へ（後編）? Urutora Keibitai Nishi e (Kōhen))
- Shining Eyes in the Darkness (闇に光る目? Yami ni Hikaru Me)
- Underground: Go! Go! Go! (地底GO! GO! GO!? Chitei Gō! Gō! Gō!)
- Escape from Area X (空間X脱出? Kūkan Ekkusu Dasshutsu)
- Project Blue (プロジェクト・ブルー? Purojekuto Burū)
- Smash Epicenter X (地震源Xを倒せ? Jishingen Ekkusu o Taose)
- Pursue the Undersea Base (海底基地を追え? Kaitei Kichi o Oe)
- The Human Ranch (人間牧場? Ningen Bokujō)
- Find Tomorrow (明日を捜せ? Asu o Sagase)
- Return to the North! (北へ還れ!? Kita e Kaere!)
- Showdown at 140 Degrees Below Zero (零下140度の対決? Reika Hyakuyonjū-do no Taiketsu)
- Super Weapon R-1 (超兵器R1号? Chōheiki Āru Ichi-gō)
- Operation: Cyborg (サイボーグ作戦? Saibōgu Sakusen)
- The 700 Kilometer Run! (700キロを突っ走れ!? Nanahyaku Kiro o Tsuppashire!)
- The Forsaken Earthman (ひとりぼっちの地球人? Hitoribotchi no Chikyūjin)
- For Whom Takes the Glory (栄光は誰れのために? Eikō wa Dare no Tame ni)
- The Devil Who Dwells in a Flower (悪魔の住む花? Akuma no Sumu Hana)
- The Wandering Planet (散歩する惑星? Sannpo suru Wakusei)
- The Dead Invaders (侵略する死者たち? Shinryaku suru Shishatachi)
- The Vanishing City (蒸発都市? Jōhatsu Toshi)
- Horror on the Moon (月世界の戦慄? Gessekai no Senritsu)
- The 0.1 Second Kill (必殺の0.1秒? Hissatsu no Rei-ten-ichi Byō)
- The Stolen Ultra Eye (盗まれたウルトラ・アイ? Nusumareta Urutora Ai)
- The Courageous Battle (勇気ある戦い? Yūki aru Tatakai)
- The Seven Assassination Plan (Beginning) (セブン暗殺計画（前篇）? Sebun Ansatsu Keikaku (Zenpen))
- The Seven Assassination Plan (Conclusion) (セブン暗殺計画（後編）? Sebun Ansatsu Keikaku (Kōhen))
- The Challenge from the Water (水中からの挑戦? Suichū kara no Chōsen)
- Ambassador of The Nonmalt (ノンマルトの使者? Nonmaruto no Shisha)
- Nightmare on Planet 4 (第四惑星の悪夢? Daiyon Wakusei no Akumu)
- The Terrifying Super-Simian (恐怖の超猿人? Kyōfu no Chōenjin)
- The Boy Who Cried Flying Saucer (円盤が来た? Enban ga Kita)
- The Duel: Dan vs. Seven (ダン対セブンの決闘? Dan tai Sebun no Kettō)
- Who are You? (あなたはだぁれ?? Anata wa dare?)
- The Greatest Invasion in History (Beginning) (史上最大の侵略（前編）? Shijō Saidai no Shinryaku (Zenpen))
- The Greatest Invasion in History (Conclusion) (史上最大の侵略（後編）? Shijō Saidai no Shinryaku (Kōhen))
The 12th episode, titled From Another Planet with Love, was banned after one of the Spehl aliens (which had keloid scars) was labeled as "Hibaku Seijin" (A-bomb Survivor Alien) which was lifted from the term "Hibakusha", referring to survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The issue was featured on an article of the Asahi Shimbun newspaper which sparked public outrage and forced Tsuburaya Productions to change the name to "Kyuketsu Seijin" (Vampire Alien). Despite this, Tsuburaya Productions still recieved negative public opinion and as a result, Tsuburaya pulled the alien character and episode from official publications, broadcasts, and home media releases however, the Hawaiian English dub and TPS/Cinar English dub (the episode was re-titled to "Crystallized Corpuscles") of the series broadcast the episode in North America.
TPS/Cinar English dub
In 1985, Turner Program Services licensed the series in a 15-year contract from Tsuburaya Productions, who provided the English dubbed versions produced in Honolulu by Tsuburaya-Hawaii, Inc. in the mid-1970s. Finding this English version to be lacking, Turner commissioned the Canadian children's programming production house, Cinar, to dub all 49 episodes for run in syndication. The TPS/Cinar produced episodes featured new opening and closing credits, eyecatches, new episode names, and even a change of name for the character of Anne Yuri, who was dubbed as "Donna". Cinar edited the episodes for violence, language and commercial time, and featured new music cues. The tone of the English Dubbing scripts were decidedly tongue-in-cheek akin to the 4Kids dub of Pokémon.
Unsatisfied with Cinar's resultant work, Turner put the series into their vaults until 1994, when they were alerted that the episodes were never broadcast. Ultra Seven was dusted off for the Toons 'Till Noon and MonsterVision blocks on TNT. The Toons 'Till Noon broadcasts received substantially heavy editing to make them suitable for the time slot, while the MonsterVision broadcasts were the full-length Cinar adaptations. Episodes 5-7 were missing or mislabeled, and were never broadcast. Clips from the series were later used in the "Messages from Space" segments on the animated variety show Cartoon Planet, which aired on TBS and Cartoon Network. When the contract expired in 2001, Turner returned all the materials (film, tapes, masters) to Tsuburaya Productions.
Cinar version episode titles
- Enter Dan Moroboshe
- Shrubs From Space
- Double Trouble At Sea
- Smokers On The Rampage
- Toys In Crisis
- The Man Next Door
- Captured In Living Color
- Crystallized Corpuscles
- Space Ace Reunion
- Planets In Conflict (Part 1)
- Planets In Conflict (Part 2)
- The Eyes Have Had It
- The Bells Are Ringing
- Wayne, Lord Of The Universe
- The Quakemaker
- The Nissans Return Engagement
- The Chromosome Eaters
- The Fugitive Fortune Teller
- Mother Knows Best
- Ultra-7 Exposed
- The 8,000 Megaton Mistake
- Temporary Traitor
- Death On Wheels
- The Apprentice Alien
- Trial By War
- Island In The Sky
- The Dead Invaders
- Urban Removal
- Sharpshooter Showdown
- The Devil's Angel
- The Brave One
- Ultra-7 Tastes Defeat
- Ultra-7 Execution at Dawn
- Killer Lake
- The Boy on the Beach
- Tyranny by Design
- The Stargazer
- Simian Says Surrender
- Dan and The Ultra-7 Challenge
- Home, Sweet... Homes???
- Exit Ultra-7 Part 1
- Exit Ultra-7 Part 2
In 2012, Shout! Factory obtained the North American license to subtitle Ultra Seven in English, and released it for sale on their website with a special Ultra Seven poster (illustrated by Jolyon B. Yates), only available for shipping within the US and Canada. The original Episode 12, however, was not available (so it could not be included), therefore the total number of episodes in this release was 48. On December 11, 2012 Shout! Factory made the set available through regular retailers.
- "Ultra Seven no Uta" (ウルトラセブンの歌? Urutora Sebun no Uta, "The Song of Ultra Seven")
Appearances in other Ultra series
Besides the Heisei Ultra Seven series, Ultraseven's huge popularity enabled him to make either guest or regular appearances in the following Ultra Series after the end of the original 1967 TV series. Ultraseven appeared in 2 episodes of The Return of Ultraman (Kaettekita Urutoraman, 1971), as well as in numerous episodes in Ultraman Ace (Urutoraman Eesu, 1972) and Ultraman Taro (Urutoraman Tarou, 1973). Seven loses his ability to transform and his human form, Dan Moroboshi acts as the captain for the defense team MAC in Ultraman Leo (Urutoraman Reo, 1974). A doll of Ultraseven brought to life by a boy, known as Delusion Ultraseven, appears in Ultraman 80 (Urutoraman Eiti, 1980) Episode 44 as the main Villain of the episode. It is heavily implied that Ultraseven is on Earth in his human form in Ultraman Zearth 2. Another Ultra similar to Ultra Seven, known as Ultra Seven 21, appeared in Ultraman Neos. Ultra Seven's most recent appearances include movies Ultraman Mebius & Ultraman Brothers and Superior Ultraman 8 Brothers, as well as TV series Ultraman Mebius (Urutoraman Mebiusu, 2006). Ultraseven X is actually a spin-off featuring the hero in another dimension. To date, Ultra Seven's also appeared in Ultra Galaxy:NEO and its movie, Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy, alongside his son Ultraman Zero. This also makes him the first known Ultra being other than the Mother and Father of Ultra to have an offspring. Seven returned yet again in 2010's Ultraman Zero: The Revenge of Belial as a supporting character. He also appeared alongside Ultraman in Ultraman Ginga as Ultraseven Dark, where he had become corrupted by an evil human after his spark doll fell into the wrong hands.
- Episode 12 was later banned from broadcast in Japan due to concerns that the episode's featured aliens, portrayed as disfigured creatures afflicted with radiation sickness and burns, would be offensive to survivors of the atomic bomb drops in Japan during World War II. Officially, Tsuburaya Productions refuses to acknowledge this episode's existence. However, the episode has been aired and/or dubbed in overseas adaptations of the series.
- Ragone, August (September 1, 2008). "Monster of the Month - Keloid Alien: S'pell". The Good, The Bad, and Godzilla.
- Ragone, August. "The Making of Ultraseven Page 3". Shout Factory. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
- Ragone, August. "The Making of Ultraseven Page 4". Shout Factory. Retrieved May 24, 2017.
- "ULTRAMAN Q&A WRITE UP FROM MONSTERPALOOZA 2013". www.henshinjustice.com. 2013-04-18. Retrieved 2016-05-26.
- Ragone, August. "The Strange Case of the Errant Episode 12 Page 2". The Making of Ultra Seven. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
- Miyake, Marc (December 25, 1995). "'Ultra Seven' (Original Series) Version 1.0". Tokusatsu File 5.
- Ragone, August (December 11, 2012). "Ultra Seven: The Complete Series". The Making of "Ultra Seven" booklet. Shout! Factory.
- Ragone, August (December 11, 2012). "Ultra Seven: The Complete Series". The Making of "Ultra Seven" booklet. Shout! Factory.
- "Ultra Seven: The Complete Series". Shout! Factory.
- "Ultraseven Blu-Ray Box Sets Announced". Tokusatsu Network. July 1, 2014. Retrieved April 23, 2015.