I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Honey Knights and The Misuzu Children's Choral Group -- Theme from Ultraman Ace (ウルトラマン・エース)

Yup, old guy fanboy coming through here again. My summer in Wakayama Prefecture in 1972 had my brother and I enjoying the pleasures of watching all sorts of tokusatsu kiddie programming. There was the "Kamen Rider" series, and then there was the "Ultraman" franchise. I mentioned that the theme that stood out amongst all those Ultramen opening songs was the march for "Ultra Seven", although we were never able to catch a single episode of the hero during our time there.

However, we did catch a lot of the Ultraman who was around in that year, namely Ultraman Ace, as he graced the tube on Friday evenings. Like his senpai, Ultra Seven, looked somewhat different from the original Ultraman. He had a somewhat more angular head and a bigger horn on top of it (compensating for some insecurity perhaps?). And the show was different in that for the majority of its run, it took two to tango. Namely, a truck driver by the name of Seiji and Yuko, a nurse (who, incidentally, was actually a resident of the Moon.....quite a commute, I hear) were needed to do the famed henshin to become Ace. I have to be honest....I did have my first crush on Yuko-chan.

My brother and I loved the show, so Mom bought us the original single for the "Ultraman Ace" theme song, which came with the full-length version. It also had the TV version which was extended by a short recorded excerpt of a typical adventure with TAC, the Special Forces unit dealing with kaiju invaders from outer space, and the inevitable arrival of Ace to save the day (and provide tons of jobs to structural engineers).

The theme, written by Kyoichi Azuma(東京一) and composed by Masahiko Aoi(葵まさひこ), progressed like a typical episode. There were the opening minor-key verses signalling trouble ahead (kinda sounded like the theme from "The Tuesday Night Suspense Drama" with that string flourish) before the song goes heroic to welcome Ultraman Ace. As with the theme for "Ultra Seven", the Misuzu Children's Choral Group participated in this recording as well, along with Honey Knights, a male vocal group that specialized in commercials and anime themes.

Of course, I gotta have a scene with the Ace man in action.

And here is Ultraman Ace when he is not on 3-minute Yuko and Seiji. As for that single record....not sure where it is now, but I'm pretty confident it's still somewhere in the annals of my home.

The Ultraman Guidebook I got in 1981.
It just called out to me.

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