Tsuburaya Productions (円谷プロダクション, Tsuburaya Purodakushon) is a Japanese special effects studio founded in 1963 by special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya and was run by his family, until October 2007, when the family sold the company to advertising agency TYO Inc. The studio is best known for producing the Ultra Series. Since 2007, the head office has been located in Hachimanyama, Setagaya, Tokyo.[3]

Tsuburaya Productions Co., Limited
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryTokusatsu TV and movies
PredecessorTsuburaya Special
Technology Laboratory
FoundedApril 12, 1963[1]
FounderEiji Tsuburaya
HeadquartersHachimanyama, Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan
Key people
Tsuneyuki Morishima, President
Shinichi Ôka, Vice President
Junya Okabe, Vice President
ProductsUltraman, Ultra Series
Number of employees
ParentTsuburaya Fields Holdings (51%)
Bandai Namco Holdings (49%)
Websitetsuburaya-prod.com Edit this at Wikidata

History edit

Setagaya, Tokyo – The Kinuta office, which was used by Tsuburaya Productions as the head office from 1964 to 2005. Tsuburaya closed the office on February 6, 2008, and sold it.[4][5]

First established by Japanese special effects (tokusatsu) pioneer Eiji Tsuburaya in 1963, it was responsible for the creation of such classic shows as Ultraman (and its many sequels), Kaiju Booska and many other spectacular tokusatsu family/children's shows.[3] The company, when first formed in 1963, was called Tsuburaya Special Effects Productions (円谷特技プロダクション, Tsuburaya Tokugi Purodakushon).[1][6] In 1968, Toho Company Ltd. forced the company to change its name to the simpler "Tsuburaya Productions", not only because its executives thought Eiji was acting as though only he could have done special effects, but also because they felt that his own TV shows were becoming a strong competition to the movies he was doing for them. Although Eiji had strong political power at Toho, he and the company were at odds with each other until his death in 1970.

The company's current logo was originally the arrow-like logo from their 1968 TV series, Mighty Jack, designed by that show's art director, Tohl Narita. Tohl Narita left the company the same year.[7]

Tsuburaya has officially made their Ultraman and non-Ultraman content widely available on their YouTube channel, even simulcasting several of their series with English subtitles,[8] the channel has reached over 2 million subscribers.[9]

Tsuburaya's more recent work includes the "Ultra N-Project" (Ultraman the Next and Ultraman Nexus) based loosely on an unused concept which was planned before the production of Ultra Q, but never actually filmed.[10][11]

Corporate buyout edit

In October 2007, due to rising production costs, the Tsuburaya family sold the company to Japanese advertising agency TYO Inc., which then held an 80% stake in the company.[12] Bandai, the main licensor of merchandise for the Ultra Series, acquired a 33.4% stake in 2007[13] with TYO transferring another 15.6% in 2009[13] giving Bandai a total of 49.9%.[13] As a result, the old Kinuta office used by Tsuburaya as its head office was razed, and the company moved to newer facilities. Kazuo Tsuburaya, Eiji's grandson, stayed with the company on its board of directors.[14]

In 2010, pachinko maker Fields Corporation bought out TYO's 51% stake in Tsuburaya Productions, with Bandai retaining the remaining 49%.[15]

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Company Profile". www.tsuburaya-prod.co.jp. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  2. ^ "株式会社円谷プロダクションの会社情報、中途採用、求人情報 - 転職ならdoda(デューダ)". Doda.jp. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  3. ^ a b The Official Tsuburaya Productions English Webpage company profile
  4. ^ If only 'Ultraman' was here to stop the wrecking ballAsahi Shimbun February 7, 2008 (English website) 
  5. ^ 円谷プロの“聖地”にお別れ Archived 2008-02-09 at the Wayback Machine MSNSankei news February 6, 2008 (Japanese website)
  6. ^ Ryfle 1998, p. 47.
  7. ^ "Profile". TOHL NARITA. Retrieved Jul 30, 2020.
  8. ^ "ウルトラマン公式 ULTRAMAN OFFICIAL by TSUBURAYA PROD". YouTube.
  9. ^ "【チャンネル登録200万人達成御礼!】ウルトラヒーローからのスペシャルメッセージ「進もう、共に!」". YouTube.
  10. ^ Japanese book: The Man Called the "Father of Tokusatsu" 特撮の神様と呼ばれた男 ISBN 4-901006-21-5
  11. ^ Japanese book: Eiji Tsuburaya: The Inheritance Left in the Japanese Film World 円谷英二 日本映画界に残した遺産 ISBN 4-09-681421-0
  12. ^ "TYO to Acquire Ultraman Production Group". JCN Newswire - Japan Corporate News Network. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  13. ^ a b c "TYO Transfers More Ownership of Tsuburaya to Bandai". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  14. ^ "Tsuburaya Productions Sold « SciFi Japan". www.scifijapan.com. Archived from the original on May 16, 2019. Retrieved Jul 30, 2020.
  15. ^ Schilling, Mark (17 March 2010). "Fields takes over Ultraman producer". Variety. Variety. Retrieved 26 April 2017.

External links edit