Ultra Q licensed by Shout Factory!

Odd for a series that was initially conceived of as a co-production for CBS, Ultra Q has gone 47 years without so much as a fansub in English (heck, even this year’s Neo Ultra Q spinoff isn’t fansubbed). As a classic mainstay of Japanese science fiction and fantasy television, shoutouts to the program permeate anime and manga more than even Godzilla or Gamera, but the allusions were mostly lost on western audiences. Until now.

Shout Factory has added Ultra Q to their catalog, with a pre-order for August 13 and MSRP of $59.97, and it’s also on amazon. There are a couple caveats, however:

1) The set is listed as being in color, suggesting that they may be using the colorized version rather than the original black & white.

2) Much like the Ultraseven set, there’s a decent chance that the licensing can be traced back to Chaiyo. Tsuburaya doesn’t have the rights to distribute Ultra Q (or Ultraman 1: Ultra Q as Chaiyo’s dodgy contract calls it) here at the moment, so if that really bothers you, keep it in mind. On the other hand, Shout Factory themselves aren’t doing anything underhanded, and this may be the only chance to see the show you’ll get.

3) No audio options are listed yet. Ultraseven was subs only, and Johnny Sokko was dub only, and there is a dub that was produced (just not distributed) for Ultra Q. I’d think this would have the original audio (especially if they’re not going through Tsuburaya), but we’ll have to see.

Still, I’m crazy excited for this release, and barring a miracle, this will likely be the tokusatsu release of the year.


Update: August Ragone has confirmed that the set will be in the original black-and-white, and have the original Japanese audio with subtitles. Ragone will also be contributing his usual encyclopedic-tier liner notes, which will be included as on-disc bonus material.

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