Hideaki Anno's debut: Ultraman Returns (1983)

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Xard
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Hideaki Anno's debut: Ultraman Returns (1983)

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Postby Xard » Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:12 pm

Well, I did promise a special gift to the whole forum, didn't I? :D

Couple of weeks ago while tumblin' my way through the wilderness of moonrunes and wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww's (also known as Nico Nico Douga) I stumbled upon a real archeological treasure: a treasure I was sure I'd never see for I had searched for it many, many times in the past without slightest success (best catch would be handful of screenshots from GAINAX's homepage and few short clips from one Japanese tv program). And there it was, recently uploaded for all to see!

Ladies and gentlemen, I am talking about DAICON production of legends and Anno action figures: Ultraman Returns

DAICON FILMS of course was the legendary fan studio, made up from hardcore anime, tokkusatsu, scifi etc. geeks that would later - following a name change - turn into GAINAX. Hideaki Anno, Shinji Higuchi, Takami Akai, Hiroyuki Yamaga, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto.... all the core personnel who'd form the heart of GAINAX hails from this group of insanely talented crazy fans. While practically everyone knows the legendary Daicon Opening Animations it's far less well known that DAICON Films also produced number of live action fan movies that parodied tokkusatsu, kaiju and scifi films without slightest mercy (though it was still done with much love, of course).

The 3rd film in the series was Ultraman Returns (1983), directed by 23 year old Hideaki Anno(!!) with special effects direction by Shinji Higuchi (who would later end up as one of the top special effects men in all Japan no less!). Basically it's a parody of similarly named fourth Ultraman tv series.

But enough with talking. I'm sure you all want to witness this low budget piece of glorious amateur filmmaking:


Hideaki Anno's Ultraman Returns in its full 27:31 minutes glory


Making Of footage (15:59 minutes)


in case you can't watch the video it's because you haven't logged in/haven't registered at all to nico nico douga


In case you don't have an account here are couple of different registration manuals (though one should be enough, of course)
Nico Nico Douga registration guides  SPOILER: Show


Asiajin how to register guide
Asiajin how to use guide
Thenextweb how to register guide
Moemania how to register guide

The only problem that might come up is the way NND's visual designs changes every now and then so the registration button might not necessarily be where these guides indicate. But with some quick test clicks you'll find it soon enough and after that all you have to do is follow the directions. At least that's how it worked for me last year.



By all means it can be considered as Hideaki Anno's debut work. It's extremely fascinating (not to mention entertaining!) watch with some really, really neat special effects (for their budget & amateur status) thrown in. Anno's unique directing style is already here, as incredible as that sounds, in of course more unrefined form. There's some really brilliant camerawork, editing & special effects for such an amateur production every now and then. It's also fun to spot all visual & design echoes to works ranging from original Star Wars to SDF Macross and elements which would later come up again in Neon Genesis Evangelion and others. For example (in addition to certain deja vu inducing set designs...) there're these few bizarre framings with glasses that are highly reminiscent of one shot from ep 6 of NGE. Or the bizarre focus on telephones (Gunbuster ep 5, everyone?).

In any case: enjoy! :w00t:

If someone has NND downloader (I don't have it installed) I think it would be prudent to DL these vids just in case they're deleted

(technically speaking this could go under related works & people section too but I've noticed that ever since it was turned into an subforum less people seem to check it out. So I'm putting this here since it'll get higher exposure)


edit:

ULTRAMAN RETURNS AT GOOGLE VIDEO FOR THOSE WHO CAN'T USE NICO NICO DOUGA

(thanks Ornette!)

Quality is even worse due to the big screen google video uses... :D

Now to be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJZBt6wTNe0 -- Tines, Dec '14
Last edited by Xard on Fri Aug 27, 2010 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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And don't forget to wear the Ran mask.
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Nice, Xard. That's nice.

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Postby planet news » Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:50 pm

Thank you so much for this amazing discovery, Xard!!!!

It's still loading for me, but I just wanted to say that, for me at least, the Moemania guide is currently the most accurate.
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Postby sean_sean_sean_sean » Thu Aug 26, 2010 6:21 pm

Thanks for this, Xard!

Will start loading it now...

Without wanting to clutter up the thread, this has reminded me: I found this bizarre short film Ryusei-Kacho, which Anno seems to have made at roundabout the same time as he was working on Cutie Honey:

[url]http://www.wat.tv/video/ryusei-kacho-1lr36_2h9u1_.html[/url]

(French subtitles, sorry! It is about a middle-aged man who has become a legend for his ability to always get a seat on busy subway trains)

Apologies if this has been posted on EvaGeeks before; I ran a search and nothing seemed to come up. And apologies again if I should have put this link somewhere else...

Apparently Anno made this short film as a contribution towards a DVD packaged with an issue of a short-lived Japanese magazine called Grasshoppa.

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Postby Ornette » Thu Aug 26, 2010 6:44 pm

Hmm, the video has been up on google for a while now: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2232750013734831521

Would be nice to have some subtitles. I have a hardcopy of this video.
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Postby planet news » Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:13 pm

Google's lack of a billion scrolling comments that eventually cover up the screen is lame.

Plus, this motivated me to sign up for this site.

I enjoyed the film much, and it is indeed very fascinating to see his proto-style with all rooftop pillow shots, power-lines, and string music included.
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Postby Merridian » Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:47 pm

:lol: man I was waiting for this

planet news wrote:I enjoyed the film much, and it is indeed very fascinating to see his proto-style with all rooftop pillow shots, power-lines, and string music included.
not to mention his insane framing techniques. :w00t: It's so awesome to see how well-developed his method already was before he'd even gotten to 'formal' directing of Gubuster & onwards. The man had an eye for this shit right off the bat.

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Postby Fazmotron » Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:32 pm

The fight scene is much like the end fight scene in TTGL, with the theme song playing and all.
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Postby Eva Yojimbo » Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:00 am

Awesome find. I'll definitely-maybe try to find time to sign up to that site later and view the video... Errrr, sorry if I seem to be procrastinating, but I'm batshit insane busy these days...
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Postby Tokyo-3 » Sat Aug 28, 2010 10:36 am

I successfully registered but I can't log in. Do you have to type the password in Kanji? I typed mine in English and it accepted it fine, but when I type in the exact username and pass it doesn't log me in.


:facepalm:

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Postby Xard » Sat Aug 28, 2010 5:38 pm

View Original PostTokyo-3 wrote:I successfully registered but I can't log in. Do you have to type the password in Kanji? I typed mine in English and it accepted it fine, but when I type in the exact username and pass it doesn't log me in.


:facepalm:


you have to type the email address you used for registration and a password - not the user name and the password (I think this same system is used in IMDB too, for starters) :)
ran1: Oh gosh this sentence gave me an internet boner. You're so tsundere.
Mugwump: Goddamn it, Xard! Take me in your arms, you magnificent sex god bastard!
And don't forget to wear the Ran mask.
Eva Yojimbo: You really are the Otaku equivalent of a Catholic and Jew rolled up into one giant dakimakura of guilt.
Gob Hobblin: Sanctimonious, subtly racist, vaguely misogynist, somehow says something while at the same time saying...nothing, really, at all....

Nice, Xard. That's nice.

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Postby Tokyo-3 » Sat Aug 28, 2010 5:59 pm

@Xard
Arigatou

For those of you who won't respond anyway, there are a few problems with Xard's suggestion:

Xard wrote:If someone has NND downloader (I don't have it installed) I think it would be prudent to DL these vids just in case they're deleted


1. You have to install adobe air as well as NNDD.

2. The entire NNDD GUI is in Japanese and it took me around an hour just to figure out how to download the video.

3. The video is in FLV (flash video) format. For anyone that knows about video encoding/editing this basically means that the already fairly low quality video (due to the 80's camera) is re-encoded to even worse quality when it is uploaded to youtube and similar sites. Then when it is downloaded in flv format it is further reencoded to worse quality. No one should be mistaken NNDD does not download the ORIGINAL video file that was uploaded to the site. It downloads a barely recognizable square blur.

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Postby shinji_ryoji_89 » Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:34 pm

View Original Postsean_sean_sean_sean wrote:Thanks for this, Xard!

Will start loading it now...

Without wanting to clutter up the thread, this has reminded me: I found this bizarre short film Ryusei-Kacho, which Anno seems to have made at roundabout the same time as he was working on Cutie Honey:

[url]http://www.wat.tv/video/ryusei-kacho-1lr36_2h9u1_.html[/url]

(French subtitles, sorry! It is about a middle-aged man who has become a legend for his ability to always get a seat on busy subway trains)

Apologies if this has been posted on EvaGeeks before; I ran a search and nothing seemed to come up. And apologies again if I should have put this link somewhere else...

Apparently Anno made this short film as a contribution towards a DVD packaged with an issue of a short-lived Japanese magazine called Grasshoppa.


So...
SPOILER: Show
The guy is competing with a woman who has the same abilities as him who suspects he was a singer in a glamrock band and in the end, he admits that he is and that he loves her and they are happy?


Utterly bizarre (made even more so for me since it's in two languages I don't really understand) short film but it was pretty funny and creative. Plus, the music was pretty good too.

The Ultraman short, again, without subtitles I have a lot of trouble understanding it but it's fun to watch and rather impressive considering its low budget.

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Postby Heromaster111 » Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:10 am

My reaction to this:"FUCK YEAH"

Thanks Xard
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Postby C.A.P. » Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:56 pm

Massive bump, but I got a music related question regarding this film:

Somewhere around 19:20 in the Google link, there's a music cue that appears in the opening recap of ep 25 of Kare Kano, and since it's virtually the same cue, I'm curious if the thing is actually from the Ultraman soundtrack or not.

Am I close, or am I off?
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Return of Ultraman

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Postby Inspector » Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:13 pm

You can see the many elements that Anno used throughout the NGE and the Eva movies. Like the VSTOL aircraft the HQ control consols and the camera angles of the consoles and alerts, for example. Opening scenes of the city also. These can be seen as his signature style...even back then.

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Postby cyharding » Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:04 pm


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Postby Xard » Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:20 pm

I might buy it :lol:
ran1: Oh gosh this sentence gave me an internet boner. You're so tsundere.
Mugwump: Goddamn it, Xard! Take me in your arms, you magnificent sex god bastard!
And don't forget to wear the Ran mask.
Eva Yojimbo: You really are the Otaku equivalent of a Catholic and Jew rolled up into one giant dakimakura of guilt.
Gob Hobblin: Sanctimonious, subtly racist, vaguely misogynist, somehow says something while at the same time saying...nothing, really, at all....

Nice, Xard. That's nice.

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Postby NAveryW » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:51 pm

It's $91.
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Giant Anno Attacks!! - Kaettekita Ultraman

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Postby hirnkrieg » Sat May 03, 2014 9:12 am

Image

This ia a live action flick Anno made with General Products.
You can see it here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJZBt6wTNe0#t=1109

There a some similarities to Eva (that probably go back to th original Ultraman): The monsters has an A.T. Field like shield and Giant Anno has a red Angel-like core.

Maybe playing a humanoid giant even gave Anno the idea for the biological mechas of NGE?

Anno even got his own action figure!!:
Image

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Postby Squigsquasher » Mon May 12, 2014 5:57 am

The Google Videos link comes up 404. Darn.

Guess I'll need to make a Nico Nico Douga account after all. All the more reason to learn Moonspeak I suppose.

Dear god I hope this comes out on DVD in the UK. Oh, the amount I would pay for fully-subbed Anno jumpsuit action...
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