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.

Sunday, August 22, 2021



My ardor for the "Ultraman"(ウルトラマン)tokusatsu series really only lasted for those mere few years in the early 1970s, sparked my very first trip to Japan in 1972. A lot of my television memories from that time consisted of the Nebula M78 heroes popping up to destroy the bizarre monsters weekly, and for me, they were Ultraman Jack and Ultraman Ace. After returning back to Canada, I did realize that there were the next generation of Ultraman Taro and Ultraman Leo but beyond that, I lost my interest although the heroes kept getting churned out. Merchandise sales need to pay for a lot of mortgages, you know.

Of course, my image of the typical theme song for any of the "Ultraman" series was a male vocal group backed up by a children's choir singing a proud militaristic march echoing the virtues and heroism of the titular hero such as the theme for "Ultraman Ace". So you can imagine my surprise on finding out that for a 1990s version of the hero, "Ultraman The Ultimate Hero" or as he was known in Japan, "Ultraman Powered"(ウルトラマンパワード), the ending theme sounded more like a swinging caviar-and-champagne song of that decade (although the Bubble had long burst by then).

Yeah, that's right. As the Wikipedia article will let you know, "Ultraman The Ultimate Hero" was a joint 1993 Japanese-American straight-to-video production starring a couple of people that I remember: Kane Kosugi as the hero (son of martial arts star Sho Kosugi) and American actor Harrison Page as the leader of the usual special squad designed to tackle alien threats. Page had played the long-suffering detective boss in the short-lived parody series "Sledge Hammer!" on ABC years prior.

Those straight-to-video episodes gradually made their way onto Japanese TV, specifically TBS from the spring of 1995, and that is when the urbane paint-the-town-red ending theme for "Ultraman Powered" appeared. "STARLIGHT FANTASY" was recorded by Hitomi Sudo(須藤ひとみ), a singer who's another mystery figure since I could barely find anything about her outside of the fact that she released at least three singles including "STARLIGHT FANTASY" according to Oricon. This particular song was most likely her debut single from April 1995 and it was written by Yukinojo Mori(森雪之丞)and composed by Akihiro Yoshimi(良実明宏).

It does beg the question, though. What would an Ultraman do for some decadent fun? Ah, I know!

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