Although I mentioned about this song in the article for the theme for "Ultra Seven"（ウルトラセブン）, I thought it was time to give the theme song for the original "Ultraman" （ウルトラマン）its due. One reason is that when I first heard it, I thought it was quite different to the proud heroic marches that accompanied Ultraman's siblings, Ultra Seven and Ultraman Ace.
On hearing the Misuzu Children's Choral Group （みすず児童合唱団）sing the theme, I wondered if it was something that Ultraman would have twisted to. Yeah, there was something of a 60s go-go beat to it thanks to the guitar, although there was also the horn fanfare at the intro. While the other theme songs had that superhero feeling, "Ultraman no Uta" (The Song of Ultraman) felt more superspy than superhero....more James Bond or Napoleon Solo than Superman or Batman.
As with the show itself, the theme song came out in July 1966. Kunio Miyauchi （宮内國郎）came up with the music while Kyoichi Azuma （東京一）was responsible for the lyrics. Now, what I didn't write in the "Ultra Seven" article was that looking at that name, I knew it had to be a half-jokey pen name since it can also read as Tokyo Ichi (Tokyo One), and sure enough it was a pseudonym. The real name of the writer was none other than producer Hajime Tsuburaya （円谷一）who became the 2nd president of Tsuburaya Productions, the studio behind the "Ultraman" franchise. His father, Eiji, （円谷英二）was the founder and first president along with being a special effects director and one of the co-creators for "Godzilla".
The above video happens to be the English-language version of the theme when the show was aired Stateside. I was surprised to find out that "Ultraman" had actually been shown in America (no such luck here in The Great White North....at least not in what is now the GTA). My first exposure to one of Japan's greatest pop cultural heroes was right in Japan via Ultraman Jack and the aforementioned Ace. Of course, my brother and I being little bratty kids at the time, we were more than happy with the Ultra Guys and ended up with books and records from the franchise. Some years later, as a teacher on the JET Programme, I started giving my so-called in-house wisdom to one of the children of a colleague in the neighbouring village of Niiharu since he was starting to get into Ultraman himself. Man, maybe there were a few Ultramen to talk about but all those monsters.....sheesh!