Original Run: October 1st, 1967 – September 8th, 1968 (Japan)
Created by: Tsuburaya Productions
Directed by: various
Written by: various
Music by: Tōru Fuyuki
Cast: Kohji Moritsugu, Shōji Nakayama, Yuriko Hishimi
Tsuburaya Productions, 49 Episodes, 24 Minutes (per episode)
How do you follow up the amazing Ultraman series? Well, you make a new Ultra hero who is a bigger bad ass and has a much harder edge. Ultraseven also had some serious fighting skills that eclipsed his predecessor.
Ultra Seven had the benefit of seeing what worked and what didn’t with Ultraman. It took what it learned from that trial run and perfected it. It also gave us ten more episodes and would help in spawning more Ultraman series for decades.
Kohji Moritsugu may not have played the first Ultraman but he played the coolest version of the hero. His human form, Dan Moroboshi, still is the best Ultra alter-ego in the franchise. He had a presence that no other Ultraman lead actors have surpassed. He was like a Japanese Han Solo. He had charisma, a good sense of humor but the ability to buck up and fight evil head on.
Ultra Seven also intorduced a ton of really cool kaiju that are still big parts of the franchise today – nearly half a century later. It was more imaginative than Ultraman and Ultra Q. It took the “monster of the week” framework and challenged it a bit. Even though a show with a similar structure, week in and week out, could quickly get stale, Ultra Seven didn’t.
The show was also more mature than the previous series. Ultraseven would often find himself in moral dilemmas that Ultraman never had to deal with. He had to break a promise to a sick boy in an effort to stop a kaiju threat. He also tried desperately to warn the people of a space city that they were going to be destroyed, as they were going to collide with Earth. He would find himself in positions where he had to question his purpose and if he was fighting for a worthy cause.
Ultra Seven is one of the coolest tokusatsu shows of all-time.
Ultraseven, the character, is also equally as cool. In fact, he became so popular that he has appeared in almost every incarnation of Ultraman since his show ended in 1968. And to this day, he is still played by Moritsugu. He’s even gone on to have a son, the almost as popular Ultraman Zero, who has starred in several theatrical films and television series. He was also featured as a main character and mentor in Ultraman Leo.