Fantasia 2022: Shinji Higuchi on directing Shin Ultraman, the biggest Japanese blockbuster of summer 2022

Hideaki Anno follows “Shin Ultraman” with “Shin Kamen Rider”. I saw that you were working on a separate “Kamen Rider” series [visual designs for “Kamen Rider Black Sun”], but I can’t find any information about your involvement in “Shin Kamen Rider”. Are you working on this production in any way?

I wasn’t involved in “Shin Kamen Rider” because we were working on [the CG effects for] “Shin Ultraman.”

“Evangelion”, “Godzilla”, “Ultraman”, and “Kamen Rider” are all now part of the Shin Japan Heroes universe. It seems to be mostly a matter of merchandising, but have you considered doing some sort of crossover film between the different series in this universe?

For the cinema? No, we don’t have any plans for that. That’s all we can do to make a movie for one character right now.

Hayao Miyazaki has repeatedly complained that “Ultraman” will negatively influence a generation of children in Japan. Of course, Miyazaki also regularly works with Anno, who seems to be the greatest “Ultraman” otaku there is. Did you have any interesting interactions with Miyazaki?

It’s true ? Because I’ve never heard that before.

There are two different essays in his book, “Turning Point: 1997-2008”, where he complains about “Ultraman”. I don’t know if he’s just doing this to troll Anno or not.

It’s the first time I’ve heard of it.

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