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Ultraseven: The Complete Series [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Shji Nakayama , Kji Moritsugu , Hajime Tsuburaya , Kazuho Mitsuta    DVD

Price: 23.83
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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Ultraseven: The Complete Series [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] + Ultra Q: The Complete Series [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  67 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seven - Seven - Seven - Seven !!! 29 Dec 2012
By Louis A. Roi - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Unless you grew up in Hawaii, in the ‘70s, you probably discovered Ultra 7 in the ‘90s on TNT like I did. By the time I saw this particular production I was already in my late 20s, which was perfect due to the comedic treatment that the production team chose for this version of the show.

This DVD set is more pure in treatment to the original production. It is spoken in the original Japanese with English subtitles.

Sometimes, the subtitles are a bit inaccurate and the audio fades out in several occasions. However, this is not really that big of a deal unless you can actually follow the Japanese audio.

Ultra 7 is one of the most popular series of the “Ultraman” shows. In the US, we only ever had the first Ultraman series aside from the Hawaiian version of Ultra 7 that was cited above.

Ultra 7 was the last of the ‘60s productions; for this reason, it still has cool atmosphere, music, sound effects, cars, gadgets and uniforms. The productions of the ‘70s lost that feel and just don’t look as good.

Ultra 7 could have been my favorite series but it falls short on monster design; also, it seems that they didn’t take certain things as seriously in this show. The aliens have comical sounding voices and some of the concepts, even names of planets and aliens are a bit cheesy. In this sense, I still think the first Ultraman is the best that there ever was. It was more sober and the creatures were more convincing.

In other ways, Ultra 7 was more sophisticated, even to the point of being over-produced. I think the studios knew that they were going to market this series to death and therefore the production was sensationalized. The scenery and filming are the best of any Ultraman series. They really capitalized on the psychedelic imagery of the time.

I was anxious to read the subtitles to see how much the TNT version digressed from the original storylines – they were actually pretty faithful to the original scripts. Word of warning, reading the subtitles really starts to wear down the eyes after a while. I would like to watch the series again without reading the subtitles just to enjoy the scenery and imagery in a more relaxed setting.

The exposition is a bit poor at times. For instance, I don’t remember the Ultra Squad (Guard) naming Ultra 7 in the first episode as they did in the first Ultraman episode; however, from the second episode on, they just refer to him by that name with no further explanation. There are also some weird edits that I thought were poor edits on the part of the TNT production but they remain in this original, un-edited version. The most classic example is in the TNT episode, Wayne, Lord of the Universe. There is a scene where Ultra 7 is trapped in a circular opening that is closing in on him. The opening is a door panel to a saucer. The alien appears and starts to fire upon Ultra 7. In this TNT version they break to a commercial and when they come back Ultra 7 is free and flying outside of the ship – he becomes big and starts to push the ship. In all these years, I thought that was a bad edit only to find out that that is exactly what happens in the un-edited version.

By the way, Ultra 7 changes size but the original Ultraman did as well – it just wasn’t openly announced but it did occur at least a couple of times.

Also, it seems that they like to implement story ideas in pairs – they had two episodes back-to-back where a young girl steals Dan’s Ultra Eye. In another situation there is two episodes back-to-back where exploratory spacecraft are launched and alien worlds take it as an invasion of privacy and threaten violence – they just want the earthlings to leave them alone.

If you are an Ultra-Series fan this box set is a must – this is the best picture quality I have ever seen for this series (I have also seen 2 episodes of the Hawaiian series). I still think the first Ultraman series is better but I have grown very fond of Ultra 7 due to the TNT series – it was the proper series to have seen for my age at the time. This original series would have been great to see when I was a kid at the time when I was watching the original Ultraman along with Space Giants and Johnny Sokko.

I really wish that the Turner/TNT version could be released on DVD but I am certainly happy that I have this Set!
35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique Series in the Ultraman Franchise 15 Sep 2012
By Kevin Andrusia - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was amazed to get Amazon's notification of the Ultraseven series coming to DVD. From my youth, I knew of Ultraman and only Ultraman. It would be years into adulthood before I knew there were any other series like this, much less finding out Ultraman was ALSO a sequel of its own from "Ultra Q" (aside from Johnny Sokko and the various Godzilla adventures that were shown endlessly in US syndication). It was my understanding that the original Ultraman series became too expensive to produce, thus it was only in production for one year. Evidently, with series still in production as of the date of this review, that may not have been the case.

I first became aware of "Ultra Seven" when it showed up in weekday morning syndication on the US TNT network mid-90's. They would run two half-hour episodes, which were HEAVILY edited and almost comedic in their English translations (dubbed in the mid-80's by Canadian outfit CINAR). Visually, the series looked a lot like the original Ultraman....but the tone took a different direction, bringing in heavier moral and ethical scenarios (even in the limp Canadian dubs). The creatures also became more outrageous (whereas many of Ultraman's foes appeared to be based on actual mutated animals). The series eventually shifted to weekend overnights, usually late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, for an hour...unless a movie ran late. TNT was good about posting schedules and episode titles.

I got ahold of an original DVD set of Ultraseven a few years ago. At the time, the going price was $500. You read that right. Five HUNDRED. Boxed set of 12 discs, with subtitles in other Asian languages, no English. It is still available here on Amazon, I think a new set is going for $1500 (add one THOUSAND to what I just quoted!) or something like that & used for about half. One thing I learned early, legitimate Japanese DVDs are not produced "en masse" and first runs tend to be very limited. For example, when the Godzilla franchise was rebooted in 2000 and the second film didn't come out over here, a Japanese DVD was almost $100, while a no-frills import from another Asian outlet was about $10. Same quality, just no extras. Many of the Ultra series have been released on either LaserDisc or DVD over the years. All very expensive.

There is another Asian set for Ultraseven out there for $20 or less that likely falls into the same category as the Godzilla films I mentioned, but it has recently disappeared from listings, so your best bet is likely going to be this set coming out in December. I cannot comment on the legalities of the parties producing the set, but it is widely available for research online. While the original Japanese set was 12 discs, this set advertised is they obviously doubled up on each disc.

Ultraseven appeared later in Episode 18 of "The Return of Ultraman", which began the "guest star" episodes so popular in the rest of the series, most notably Episode 38 of "Return" with both Ultraseven AND the original Ultraman.

One thing all of these Ultraseven DVD sets have in common, the lack of infamous "Episode 12", YUHSEI YORI AI O KOMETE titled (and banned) "From Another Planet With Love" in Japan and dubbed "Crystallized Corpuscles" in Canada. Bootleg copies of the Japanese print are out there, but TNT did in fact air the episode once in 1997 and once more in 2000. At the center of the ban is the storyline, radioactive aliens that use wristwatches to suck the blood out of young women, storing it as crystals, to replace their own polluted blood. As the episode progresses, the aliens discover the blood of children to be "more pure". Also, the episode's Alien "Spell" (or "Spehl" in dub) is referenced as "Hibaku Seijin", a play on "Hibaku-sha", a term used for survivors of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. When it becomes giant-sized to fight against the backdrop of a setting sun, it has welts and lesions all over its body. A print article ran about it, calling Spell-seijin HIBAKUSHA-monsters. Complaints arose, citing the episode compared bombing victims to vampire aliens that use children's blood to cleanse their radioactive blood. Tsuburaya Productions pulled the episode from circulation and it is rarely referenced in Japanese archives of the series. Hiroko Sakurai, who played "Fuji" in Ultraman, has a role in this episode.

The two prior releases of Ultraman looked pretty good to me, both the multi-disc two-parters and the economy-packed set, and I used to have VHS tapes made from the 16mm films that were traded for so many years. I would expect this new release to follow in that range. I will update once I have my own copy to review.

**ADDED January 4** I logged in to update my review and am surprised to find the item unavailable from Amazon. It was shipped to me when it came out by Amazon, so there must be something I'm not aware of that has come about since shipment. As for the DVD set, it's certainly not the pricey Japanese treatment, but this is essentially all you need. The discs are kept in safe two-sided plastic trays that allow for all the discs to fit in the standard size DVD case. Extensive booklet is included and Episode 12, plus the lack thereof in the set, is covered equally extensively (including mentioning the airings on US television!). The picture quality is about as good as you will get anywhere else, I did note night time scenes occasionally have an "overprocessed" look to them (like punching up the saturation too much in PhotoShop on a frame), but it actually reveals small details in scenes I hadn't noticed before. Overall it's a worthwhile purchase.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seven... Seven... SEVEN! 24 Sep 2012
By Robert Torres - Published on
I have only ever had the chance to watch the English dubbed version of Ultraseven when it first appeared on TNT many years ago, but I still have very fond memories of Ultraseven.

With all of the legal turmoil that Tsubaraya Productions had gone through, it seemed as though there wasn't any hope of seeing any Region 1 releases of anything created by the studio. A few years back there was the original Ultraman release by BCI, but they apparently didn't even get the original master negatives, but a second generation copies from the Thai company Chaiyo, the very company in legal battle with Tsubaraya over who had the official rights to the Ultraman property.

I didn't think I would ever live to see anything officially released here in the states. A few years ago there were the releases of Iron King and Super Robot Red Baron (which I love and still have in my collection), but once BCI Eclipse went under, all hope for any further releases of anythign else were dashed... until the announcement of this release from the super awesome company Shout Factory.

I remember that this series had more darker themes and more grown up and intelligent stories, which I love. I believe around the time of this season's release in Japan, there was a positive comparison to the original Star Trek series, with regards to its intelligent approach to science fiction, along with the well rounded characters and the approach of the storytelling.

While Ultraman Hayata was the first Ultraman series and laid the groundwork for the Ultra franchise itself, Ultraseven is usually the series people tend to remember with fondness, admiration and respect.

I loved the design of Ultraseven, I loved that he was an alien who took on the form of a human being, and I liked that this Ultra character didn't have that pesky three-minute limit, and was able to fight for longer periods. I also love the monster designs and I also loved the character dynamics and the professional atmosphere of the Ultra Garrison itself as both a scientific investigative and paramilitary organization. I'm hoping the release of Ultraseven will pave the way for other Ultra series to be released here in the states.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great show 8 Jan 2013
By Touma K. - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I'd recommend this show especially if you are a fan of tokusatsu shows, or watched this in English. It has great characters, and the story goes really well. My only problem with the show is that the show is not translated well, and at times the subtitles are not synced at the time that the line is being spoken.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For Original Ultraman fans, it's the same... but different 29 Dec 2012
By John816 - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I grew up on re-runs of the Original "Ultraman" in the 70s so he's a very important part of my childhood. When I saw that "UltraSeven" was being released by Shout Factory I was interested, but not thrilled. UltraSeven looks so different from the original. And what's that on his head? Is he some kind of Ultra Trojan? Well, I got the set and watched all of it. And as soon as I was able to let go of the original Ultraman -- just for now -- I liked it.

My review of Shout Factory's "UltraSeven" DVD set will go into the similarities and the differences between it and "Ultraman".

Japanese Clark Kent
First off, a lot of it's the same. There's a man belonging to a super-techy organization who slips away when trouble hits to turn into a 50-meter superhero. He doesn't use a beta capsule, though. His trick is a pair of fancy shades he pulls out from his right breast pocket, same place Hiyata kept his capsule. Interestingly, the actor who plays Dan Moroboshi looks very similar to Hiyata.

The Hero
UltraSeven has a different paint scheme, some shoulder armor, very different eyes and a mohawk like detachable blade on his head. He looks the same... yet different. He can wield the famed Specium Ray which the previous Ultraman used. But he also has a lot of new tricks including shooting a beam from his head and tossing his 'mohawk' to slice up the monsters.

The Monsters
Wait, wait. Hold on. We'll get to that later.

The Alien Invasions
Here's one of the biggest differences between 'Ultraman' and 'UltraSeven'. Practically every single episode features a new invasion plot from a new set of aliens. Whereas the original show did this now and then, UltraSeven does it every time... except for now and then. The aliens always covet the Earth, make plans to make it theirs and are all very good at out-of-place maniacal laughter when finishing sentences. They often disguise themselves as, possess, take over or remote control humans as part of their scheme. And there is a lot of repetition on this alone. There are even 2 back to back episodes where they almost completely repeat what they did previously, just with different faces. These alien storylines take up most of all of the episodes. And then...

The Monsters
... then a monster shows up at the very end, often for no reason other than to just have one, and to have someone for UltraSeven to battle with. In the original 'Ultraman' it was all about monsters. They were the mystery. Where did they come from? What are they up to? That filled the show. In 'UltraSeven', monsters seem like an afterthought.

The Ultra Garrison
This group is UltraSeven's answer to the Science Patrol. For all intents and purposes, it is the Science Patrol with new faces, uniforms, ships, etc. We get to see a lot more of the interior of their building in this series. For me, at first, I wished Hiyata, Ide, Arashi, Fuji, etc. were there. But I got to know and really like the group fairly quickly. Some fun facts here: The actor who plays Arashi in the original series is part of this group but plays a different character. Also interesting is another member of the Ultra Garrison is played by Bin "Satoshi" Furuya who is also the actor who plays Ultraman himself as well as UltraSeven.

It's Clever
Despite the repitition in the episodes, many of the stories have really original and interesting plots and ideas. Tons of them! In fact, taking into consideration that this series first came out in 1967, I'd wager that a ton of movies and tv series, etc. gained inspiration from this series. I lost count at how many ideas from this show may have wound up in future titles. Star Blazers, Star Trek: The Next Generation and a whole lot more may have "borrowed" a little from UltraSeven.

If you're a fan of the original Ultraman, you'll probably like this "UltraSeven" set. The quality of the discs are very good (or as good as they can be for a show from the 60s that probably used 16mm a lot on location). There are no annoying trailers or previews which you're not allowed to skip through. The chapter button will let you pass the (sorry) annoying theme which comes in at almost 2 minutes long. Curiously, the English subtitles are not on by default. All in all, good show, good DVD release, nice price. Get it now while they're still around. This title isn't exactly the type to get released again.
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