What Happened at TsubuCon’s Ultraseven 55th Anniversary Finale Panel?

What Happened at TsubuCon’s Ultraseven 55th Anniversary Finale Panel?

TsubuCon couldn’t have returned to live shows at a better time, as 2023 marked the ending of the 55th anniversary of Ultraseven, one of the most beloved tokusatsu shows of all time. With the show still enjoying a new zenith of popularity, Tsuburaya made the effort to reach out to Kohji Moritsugu, as well as a number of other special guests, in a special panel that celebrated the venerable series.

The panel began with the introduction of its two MCs, veteran Ultra Series actor Takaya Aoyagi, best known for playing Jugglus Juggler/Shota Hebikura in Ultraman Orb and Ultraman Z, and world-famous voice actor Tomokazu Seki, who has voiced countless characters across the series, including Glenfire and Alien Icarus, as well as the evil Alien Garut from 2002’s Ultraseven EVOLUTION series.

The two talked pleasantly about their memories and experiences with Ultraseven in their youths and beyond, as well as discussed the Into the Story Ultraseven VR attraction that was available to fans during the weekend. The two of them had excellent chemistry, but the show properly started when Kohji Moritsugu, AKA Dan Moroboshi himself, arrived on stage! Even at 80 years of age, Moritsugu’s energy and humor was electric, immediately getting the crowd behind him and kicking up the mood of the show to a wonderful degree — of course, that made sense; as Moritsugu joked, everyone on stage was an alien, so 55 years was nothing!

The three enjoyed talking about Moritsugu’s experiences not just within the confides of Ultraseven, but also his experiences as a performer around the show. He wasn’t the only one, however, as a trio of his castmates from 55 years ago made an appearance as well: Bin Furuya, who had played Amagi, Sandayu Dokumamushi, who had played Furuhashi, and finally Yuriko Hishimi, who had played heroine Anne Yuri.

Immediately, there was the undeniable warmth of four people who had created something truly great on display — at ease with one another, they made jokes about previous roles in the Ultraman Series (Dokumamushi had portrayed Arashi in Ultraman, while Furuya had been the original suit actor for Ultraman himself), before sitting down for a proper talk session. Though the majority of attendants to the panel had become fans during the second generation of the Ultraman Series, it was a testament to the enduring power of Ultraseven and the Ultraman Series as a whole that fans from a whole generation later were so eager to engage with one of the series that had started it all.

In many ways, this was a once-in-a-lifetime event — it had been many years since the original cast of Ultraseven had gathered, and the four castmates, alongside the two MCs, took time to reconnect and reestablish the wonderful dynamic that had helped make Ultraseven such an enduring success. And it wouldn’t be a TsubuCon event if there wasn’t some fantastic spectacle as well. As the talk segment ended, Moritsugu stood alone on stage, and retrieved from his pocket the Ultra Eye, still the bright cherry red it had been since 55 years ago. With a bellow of “DYUWAH!”, Dan Moroboshi returned for a moment, and the battle began.

Right out of “The Greatest Invasion of History,” Reconstructed Pandon stomped on stage, eager to claim the Earth for its Ghos masters after over 5 decades. Thankfully, the years had not dulled Ultraseven’s power, and he arrived to battle his old foe. As had been said multiple times through the anniversary celebrations, “55 years ago, there was a future,” and as Pandon and Seven clashed once again, that future returned to fans one more time. Dispatching his foe with the Ultra Slugger once again, Seven stood triumphant as the hosts returned, along with the guests, for a rare photo opportunity.

As the celebration came to a close, the cast members shared their final thoughts and thank yous with the audience to close out 55 years of Ultraseven. Though the 55th Anniversary is over, however, this was only one of the many events that occurred during the TsubuCon weekend — and you can expect to see multiple articles covering those events to come!