Shin Ultra Fight (2022)
Shin Ultra Fight (シン・ウルトラファイト is a Shin Urutora Faito)Japanese 3D-animated web miniseries funded by Tsuburaya Productions, Toho, and khara and produced by Cine Bazar. A non-canonical spinoff of the 2022 film Shin Ultraman, it was organized by the movie's screenwriter and supervisor Hideaki Anno and supervised and partially directed by its director Shinji Higuchi. Other directors include Shin Ultraman assistant directors Kensei Nakayama, Norichika Oba, Kazuhiro Nakagawa, and Ryotaro Kogushi and post-production supervisor Linto Ueda. As its name implies, Shin Ultra Fight is heavily inspired by the 1970 Tsuburaya series Ultra Fight, with its creators even aiming to emulate the show's low production value by shooting episodes unscripted, leaving in errors during motion capture performances, and using digital environments similar to common shooting sites. The series' first two episodes were published to the Tsuburaya Imagination streaming service on May 14, 2022, with eight more following until July 4. The first three episodes were uploaded with English subtitles on the Ultraman Connection website weekly from January 13 to 27, 2023.
|Number||Title||Directed by||Release date|
|SP1||1||"Neronga Appears and Disappears"||Shinji Higuchi[a]||5/14/2022||1/13/2023|
|SP2||2||"Gabora and the Punch of Death"||1/20/2023|
|TI1||3||"Beware! Mefilas' Trap"||5/19/2022||1/27/2023|
|SP3||4||"Assemble! Duelists of the Canyon"||Kazuhiro Nakagawa||5/30/2022||N/A|
|TI2||5||"The Flashing Rumble Behind Closed Doors"||Kensei Nakayama||6/6/2022|
|TI3||6||"Is the Planet on Fire?"||Linto Ueda||7/4/2022|
|TI4||7||"The Six-Dimensional Scoundrel"||Ryotaro Kogushi|
|TI5||0||"White Sand and Green Pines: Fi-Fi-Fight"||Norichika Oba|
|8||"Zetton, Chariot of Fire"||Shinji Higuchi|
|9||"Requiem of the Roaring Waves"||Norichika Oba|
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Planning organized by Hideaki Anno
- Supervisor and director of audiography Shinji Higuchi
- Directed by Shinji Higuchi, Kazuhiro Nakagawa, Kensei Nakayama, Linto Ueda, Ryotaro Kogushi, Norichika Oba
- Produced by Yoshiki Soejima, Tomoya Nishino, Masaki Kawashima
- Music selected by Shinji Higuchi, Ikki Todoroki
- Edited by Yohei Kurihara (episodes 1-3)
- Visual effects supervisor Linto Ueda
- CG directors Hiroyasu Suzuki, Masashi Osumi; Satoshi Miyake (episode 8)
- Environment directors Soichiro Tamura, Kenji Hasuda
- Background modeling by Misa Kobayashi
- Main title logo designed by Ushio Tarukawa
- Episode title cards designed by Kazuhiro Nakagawa
- Funded by Tsuburaya Productions, Toho, khara
- Produced by Cine Bazar
- In association with Swara Pro, SSS Studio, Faith
- Real-time 3DCG produced by Studio Bros, Modeling Bros
- Motion capture studio Sola Digital Arts
- 3DCG in association with Shirogumi, alphaliez
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
Shin Ultra Fight was created with the intention of mimicking the original Ultra Fight, which was produced on an extremely tight budget using leftover suits from previous productions. However, because Shin Ultraman did not employ any suits to be reused, the series had to be entirely 3D-animated. The animation was spearheaded by Studio Bros and Modeling Bros in association with Shirogumi and alphaliez, who used the video game engine Unreal Engine. Motion capture was used to portray Ultraman and the other monsters and aliens, with their 3D models being virtually identical to those from Shin Ultraman. Mo-cap actors were culled from the Japanese stunt team Gocoo, and according to director Kensei Nakayama in an interview for Business Insider, at least one of the actors from the fifth episode was a professional wrestler. All of the series' motion capture performances were filmed in a span of two days, working out to about two and a half hours per episode. As part of the creators' attempt to emulate the aesthetic of Ultra Fight, the series was intentionally produced without a script, and all of the performances were captured with the principle that there were no bad takes. As such, the motion capture was completely improvised, and the only retakes were in the case of technical malfunctions with the CG models. All of the series' 3D environments were modeled from scratch, with two used for the majority. The first, which could be filmed at several angles to appear like different locations, consisted of mountainous terrain and a flat clearing that was compared to the rock quarries frequently used in Ultra Fight and other vintage tokusatsu. The other was a seaside scene, also akin to settings which appeared in Ultra Fight.
Shin Ultra Fight is included as a bonus feature in two editions of Toho's home video releases for Shin Ultraman: the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray set (with the series included on one of the Blu-rays) and the 3-disc Blu-ray set. They were released on April 12, 2023, coinciding with Tsuburaya Productions' 60th anniversary.
- Shin Ultra Fight section of the Shin Ultraman page on Ultraman Wiki
- All episodes of Shin Ultra Fight on Tsuburaya Imagination (requires subscription)
- Episodes 1-3 consist entirely of stock footage from Shin Ultraman, directed by Higuchi.
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