Thousands of attendees were thrilled to witness the arrival of celebrated Japanese icon Ultraman live onstage at the Opening Ceremony of Anime Expo 2022 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. This is the first time in history that elements of the live Ultraman stage show have been performed in the continental United States, signifying a new era of international renown for the Ultraman brand and media franchise.
In an expo-wide campaigned dubbed Ultraman Rising, dozens of members of the Tsuburaya Productions team joined forces with Iceberg Theory, producers of international franchise hub Ultraman Connection, and The Licensing Group to create an action-packed storyline across various events, panels, screenings, and spectacles at the convention.
The show started off with a bang during the Opening Ceremony of the expo as Ultraman Connection host Sean Nichols took the stage to describe this moment as “a dream come true” for Tsuburaya Productions and the entire Ultraman team. As a brand Ultraman has arrived onto the world stage, complete with Marvel Comics series, Ultraman Connection monthly livestream shows, an anime on Netflix, and an upcoming feature film with Netflix boasting animation by Industrial Light & Magic.
Then suddenly, the bizarre black and white Dada and Alien Baltan crashed the stage hoping to prevent Ultraman’s arrival. Sean challenged the famous Kaiju, telling them that Ultraman would never allow this. Then Ultraman himself arrived to thunderous audience cheers to dispatch his time-honored nemeses. Truly a thrilling moment for all!
Nichols then launched the weekend-long promotion Hunt for Dada, asking convention-goers to photograph and post images of Dada and Baltan (who will be invading the halls of the expo) with the hashtags #Dada and #AX2022 so that Ultraman Connection’s homegrown science team UCL (Unidentified Capture League) can triangulate their location and defeat them once and for all! Winners will be selected at random after the convention to receive prizes from Bandai, PureArts, and Tsuburaya Productions.
Created by Eiji Tsuburaya in 1966, the Ultraman series have spawned an evergreen franchise in Japan, making the 40-meter-tall silver and red being from the M78 Nebula one of the most widely recognized characters in the world. In addition to over 1400 episodes and dozens of feature films, Ultraman is on the rise worldwide.
The Production I.G. anime series ULTRAMAN is currently streaming on Netflix. An original feature unrelated to the anime is currently in production with Industrial Light and Magic handling computer animation at Netflix. Marvel is about to launch a third comic book series, The Mystery of Ultraseven. Dozens of North American licenses have been activated through The Licensing Group, live events stream on fan hub Ultraman Connection, and millions of fans subscribe to the Ultraman Official YouTube channel. Live-action feature Shin Ultraman is currently breaking box offices records in Japan.
About Tsuburaya Productions
Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd. is an independent television and film production company founded in 1963 by well-known special effects man Eiji Tsuburaya. Their most famous program is the Ultraman TV and film series, begun in 1966, has been seen in over 100 territories worldwide and has spawned over 3,000 licensed products. Besides Ultraman, Tsuburaya Productions is a fully integrated production, marketing, and events company.
About Iceberg Theory
Iceberg Theory is a joint venture of Starlight Runner Entertainment, Elevate Pictures, and New Rockstars Digital Studios. The company develops virtual productions that create engaging worlds that put the customer in the center. We empower content creators to focus on unique creative storytelling and deliver immersive experiences utilizing the latest technology. Mixing multiple levels of live streaming to rich worlds created with realtime game engines, quick-turn graphics packages, COVID safe production strategies and laid overtop of audience platforms that are far reaching and have the ability for deep interactions. We create an alternate universe of your control that delivers one-of-a-kind experiences, connecting the soul of your brand directly to its consumers.