Kaiju-Sized News is coming in from the entertainment website Ultraman Connection, for the first time in history, Ultraman is coming to the United States!
That’s right, Ultraman is coming to this year’s Anime Expo Convention at the Los Angeles Convention Center on July 1st through the 4th. According to the press release, a major transmedia project coproduced by Tsuburaya Productions and Iceberg Theory, Ultraman, Ultraseven, Dada, Alien Baltan, and heroes from the smash-hit Netflix anime ULTRAMAN, will appear in specially designed live stage settings during major events throughout the convention.
Ultraman is one of the most recognizable characters in the world with ongoing series totaling over 1,400 episodes and dozens of feature films, most recently Shin Ultraman, which has generated over 3 billion yen in Japan since its May 2022 theatrical release. But the franchise has had little airplay in North America since the early 1990s. With anime, ULTRAMAN as its vanguard, the 40-meter-tall silver and red Giant of Light hailing from the M78 Nebula is about to change all that.
While Ultraman is famous for its various television series incarnations, A live venue version of the show, complete with spectacular battles between Ultra Heroes and their giant Kaiju foes has toured Japan for decades. The expo marks the first time the show has reached North American shores.
Furthermore, the participative storyline and promotion, dubbed Ultraman Rising were developed by producer Jeff Gomez, creative supervisor of Iceberg Theory’s Ultraman Connection international fan hub. The Hunt for Dada and Baltan narrative will unfold over several “chapters,” which will include panels, performances, and prizes throughout the convention’s 4th of July weekend. Here is the full schedule for what fans can check out at the Convention!
Friday, July 1st:
10:30 AM — Welcome Ceremony – Main Event Hall
When marauding Kaiju crash the stage, Ultraman arrives to drive them off! Host Sean Nichols (star of Ultraman Max) will trigger the promotion by asking convention-goers to post photos of the monsters to social media so the Unidentified Capture League (UCL) can grab them.
Kaiju Invasion — Convention Floor
These are daily opportunities for convention-goers to Hunt Dada and Alien Baltan, spotting and photographing Ultraman Kaiju as they walk the floor.
2:15 PM — Ax Cinema Nights Panel – Room 411
Iconic Events film distribution will make a special ULTRAMAN announcement with Co-directors Kenji Kamiyama & Shinji Aramaki
Bandai Booth — Convention Floor
Fans will be invited to take photographs with manga publisher HERO’S version of ULTRAMAN.
Saturday, July 2nd:
4 PM – Ax Cinema Night – Anime Ultraman: Season 1 Theatrical Edition – Regal Cinema
Co-directors Kenji Kamiyama & Shinji Aramaki will answer audience questions after the first screening ever of the theatrical edition of the hugely popular Netflix series’ first season.
8 PM – ULTRAMAN ARRIVES: Super Anime Extravaganza – Main Event Hall
A celebration of the new age of Ultraman featuring major announcements that will set the stage for the future of the franchise. Guests include Shannon Tindle & John Aoshima (co-directors of an all-new Netflix Ultraman feature with animation by Industrial Light & Magic), Shinji Aramaki & Kenji Kamiyama of Production I.G., Mat Groom & E.J. Su, creators of the new Marvel Comics Ultraman series), and an array of anime ULTRAMAN characters in live performance.
Sunday, July 3rd:
2 PM – MARVEL COMICS & ULTRAMAN – ROOM 409 AB
Mat Groom, E.J. Su, and Jeff Gomez will have special announcements about the future of Ultraman’s Marvel Comics incarnation, plus an Ultra special guest! Hosted by Whitney Van Laningham of New Rockstars.
5:30 PM – ULTRAMAN CONNECTION: ARRIVING ON THE WORLD STAGE – ROOM 406 AB
Anna Vanston (New Rockstars), Sean Nichols, and the staff of Iceberg Theory’s international fan hub UltramanConnection will detail plans for the upcoming Ultraman Day—and a photo session with Ultraman will be held!
Monday, July 4th:
12:15 PM – PRODUCTION I.G. & NETFLIX’S ANIME ULTRAMAN – ROOM 411
Host Sean Nichols interviews Kenji Kamiyama and Shinji Aramaki of Production I.G., one of the most famous of all Japanese anime studios.
3:30 PM – CLOSING CEREMONY – MAIN EVENT HALL
At the height of Anime Expo’s farewell, Sean Nichols will thank convention-goers for helping to find and trap almost all the Aliens and Kaiju who have invaded the show. But the last of them crash the stage. They are demanding a final showdown with Ultraman! SHUWATCH!
This monumental moment will be happening during the Anime Expo Weekend. As always, we’ll keep an eye out for any Ultraman-related, and Tsuburaya Production-related news whenever it is announced! Also, Shin Ultraman will be making its US debut fourteen days after Anime Expo at the New York Asian Film Festival, available from July 15th to the 31st.
Source: Ultraman Connection
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