Ulysses 31: Wikis

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Ulysses 31
Ulysses 31 logo.jpg
Genre Science fiction
Fantasy
Animation
Created by Jean Chalopin
Nina Wolmark
inspired by Homer's Odysseus
Voices of Matt Berman
Adrian Knight
Anick Faris
Kelly Ricard
Howard Ryshpan
Vlasta Vrana
Country of origin France, Japan
No. of episodes 26 (List of episodes)
Production
Running time 25min NTSC, 24min PAL
Broadcast
Original channel Syndication
Original run October 10, 1981 – April 3, 1982

Ulysses 31 (宇宙伝説ユリシーズ31 Uchū Densetsu Yurishīzu Sātīwan?, lit. Space Legend Ulysses 31) French: Ulysse 31 is a Franco-Japanese anime series (1981) that updates the Greek Mythology of Odysseus (known as "Ulysses" in Latin, and Ulysse in French, hence the name) to the 31st century. The show comprises 26 half-hour episodes, and was produced by DIC Audiovisuel in conjunction with Tokyo Movie Shinsha.[1]

The plotline of the series describes the struggles of Ulysses and his crew against the divine entities that rule the universe, the ancient gods from Greek Mythology. The Gods of Olympus are angered when Ulysses, commander of the giant spaceship Odyssey, kills the giant Cyclops to save a group of enslaved children, including his son. Zeus sentences Ulysses to travel the universe with his crew frozen until he finds the Kingdom of Hades, at which point his crew will be revived and he will be able to return to Earth. Along the way they encounter numerous other famous figures from Greek mythology given a futuristic twist.

The entire series is available in English in a complete DVD boxset in the UK released by Contender Entertainment and in Australia by Madman Entertainment. In the US, one DVD entitled Ulysses 31: The Mysteries of Time was released, containing only 4 selected episodes.

The first four episodes are available on Jaroo, an online video site operated by Cookie Jar Entertainment, whom DIC has since merged with.[2] There are currently no plans to add more episodes.[3]

The series is also notable for being one of the earliest animated productions to make use of computer generated imagery, implemented in background scenery and special effects.

Contents

Main characters

Ulysses
Yurishīzu (ユリシーズ?)
Main character and Captain of the Odyssey. He achieved the Solar Peace before becoming the subject of the Olympian gods' revenge. His weapon of choice is a laser pistol that conceals a blade very similar to the lightsabers in George Lucas' Star Wars, complemented by an energy shield and an anti-gravity belt. Ulysses is brave, noble, determined and will stop at nothing to defeat the gods and the conditions imposed upon himself and his companions.
Telemachus.
Teremāku (テレマーク?)
Son of Ulysses and second in command for most of the voyage; Yumi's friend and protector. Very beautiful, as described by Yumi in their first encounter. Courageous, adventurous and sensible. He is a skilled pilot, and his weapon of choice is a hi-tech, energy-ball shooting slingshot.
Yumi and her brother Noumaïos.
  • Yumi
Yumi (ユミ?)
Thémis in the original french dub, a blue-skinned humanoid alien girl from the white planet, Zotra. She is the younger sister of Numinor and possesses telepathic powers. She is saved from being sacrificed to the Cyclops, along with Telemachus and her older brother, by Ulysses. She also exhibits telekinesis to some extent, as shown in the episodes At the Heart of the Universe and The Lotus Eaters, in addition, she is immune to fire. Although physically very frail, she is very intelligent and courageous. Zotrians are considered extremely beautiful.
  • Numinor
Yumaiosu (ユマイオス?)
Noumaïos in the original french dub, a Zotrian teenager, older brother of Yumi. He is saved by Ulysses from being sacrificed to the Cyclops. He is in suspended animation along with the rest of the crew, for most of the series. Like his sister, he is considered extremely beautiful. He has a sweet and very gentle personality. He awakes three times before being finally released from the gods' curse in the final episode of the series, the first time in The Lost Planet, where the Odyssey comes across a white Zotrian moon. Secondly, in Mutiny on Board, where the crew are subjected to possession by an alien essence. The third time, is in The Magician in Black, along with the entire crew, they are awakened by a powerful spell by the mysterious Magician in Black. Numinor is courageous as well as trustworthy and loyal.
Nono.
  • Nono
Nono (ノノ?)
Small robotic companion of Telemachus, fond of eating nuts & nails, a trusty friend who was given to him as a birthday present. Nono was immortalized by the phrase contained in the original french lyrics of the theme song and in virtually every foreign language adaptation of it: "It's me Nono, small robot you know, friend of U-ly-sses...". He is rather timid but can be relied upon in a crisis. He is skilled at machinery repair and possesses tremendous physical strength.
  • Shirka
Shiruka (シルカ?)
The Odyssey's main computer. Speaks with a deep female voice.
Zeusu (ゼウス?)
The god of gods, Ulysses' persecutor.
Poseidon (ポセイドン?)
God of the Seas, he is enraged by Ulysses' killing of his creature, the Cyclops. He wields a trident, symbol of his power, and his servants pilot ships are shaped as a trident.
Adesu (アデス?)
Ruling god of the Underworld, Ulysses must find his realm to be able to find the way back to Earth.

Support characters

Most of these characters appear in only one episode of the series, while some have several interventions during the course of the series. Many are characters from Greek mythology encountered by Odysseus in Homer's Odyssey.

  • Priam - Friend to Ulysses and Telemachus, the good natured commander of the Troy space station, the place the Odyssey reached after Ulysses achieved the Solar Peace, and the starting point of his adventure in Olympus.
  • Nestor - Ulysses' best friend and second commander of the Odyssey.
  • Eurycleia- Ulysses' trusted friend and third commander of the Odyssey
  • The Giant Cyclops- Poseidon's divine creature, who feeds on young boys and girls, and is worshipped as a deity. He is killed by Ulysses. It has a gigantic segmented body, resembling that of a mechanical millipede. It stands upright, and atop it is a huge robotic eye that can launch destructive beams. As it died, so did his worshippers and the planet they inhabited.
  • The worshippers of the Cyclops- A strange pagan cult formed by humanoid creatures who worship Poseidon's Giant Cyclops, and feed him with young boys and girls, in exchange of divine light. They kidnap Numinor, Yumi and Telemachus intending to sacrifice them. They possess an implanted eye that covers their upper face.
  • Odyssey Crew- Referred to by Ulysses as "Companions", they accompany Ulysses during his space travels, and are condemned by Zeus and Poseidon to remain lifeless until Ulysses can find the Kingdom of Hades. They awake on several occasions before Ulysses finally finds the way back to Earth.
  • Penelope- Wife of Ulysses and mother of Telemachus, who owned a holographic orb containing a message from her.
  • Odysseus Robot crew- Robots skilled in many fields who take care of the Odyssey.
  • The witch - A powerful witch who lives in a Zotrian moon and loves children. She hates adults because she thinks they had taken the children away from her. She is in truth a sweet and very gentle person.
  • Heratos and Athina - A scholar from Earth who found a Zotrian girl in a ship, and named her Athina. They become friends of Ulysses.
  • Aeolus and Aiolia - The king of winds, and his daughter. He enjoys cruel sport games and forces Ulysses to take part in them, until Aiolia nearly dies, making him realize his wrong deeds and forever renounce his ways.
  • Sisyphus - A king condemned to fill a seemingly bottomless crater for seeking the secret to immortality. He tries to trick Ulysses into replacing him.
  • The Sphinx - A half-human, half-lion winged creature who presents travelers with a riddle. He has a daughter with a wicked heart.
  • Chronos- The god of time and father of Zeus, Hades and Poseidon (although this isn't referenced in the episode). He attempts to end his exile from Olympus by offering Ulysses to the gods.
  • Ariadne - A young princess, very much in love with the hero, Thesseus. She asks Ulysses to help Thesseus kill the dreadful Minotaur.
  • The Magician in Black - A mysterious sorcerer who is able to revert the gods curse on Ulysses' crew, later asking him to hunt them in return for his help.
  • Hypsipyle - A young woman from the planet Lemnos, where the females are enslaved by the Shark Men, and seeks to achieve their freedom.
  • Nanette- A female robot who befriends Nono, identical to his likeness, and pays with her life for betraying her master Cortex.
  • Calypso- A queen from a dying planet who falls in love with Ulysses.
  • Atlas- The mighty god who supports the universe, wise and sensible, he helps Ulysses on one occasion and stops the destruction of the universe.
  • Mercurius- Calling himself "The grandson of the gods" he wishes to overthrow the other Olympian gods by trying to steal the powerful jewel in Atlas' forehead.
  • Hermes- Messenger of the gods and servant of Poseidon.
  • Circe- A powerful sorceress who wants to discover the knowledge of the universe, which will give her absolute power.
  • Mythical Ulysses, Telemachus and Penelope- The Greek mythology counterparts of Ulysses, his son and wife. They were the characters appearing in Homer's Odyssey, and ancestors of Ulysses. The Ulysses of the 31st century became an ally of the original Ulysses to help him be restored as king of Ithaca.
  • Charon- The ferryman of the Underworld, eternally in charge of leading the dead across river Styx to their final dwelling place in the Kingdom of Hades.
  • Aiacos, Minos and Rhadamanthys - The three judges of the Underworld, servants of Hades, who appear as Ulysses confronts Hades, in the final episode of the series.
  • Cerberus- A three headed interceptor satellite, the tireless guardian in charge of killing anybody who dares to enter the Kingdom of Hades.
  • Orpheus and Eurydice- Two lovers, done part by death. Orpheus is a young musician who is searching for his lover Eurydice in the Kingdom of Hades. He is helped by Ulysses to find her in the final episode of the series.

Episodes

Pilot

Just as in the first episode of the franco-japanese series, Ulysses celebrates his son Telemachus' birthday in the Japanese pilot episode.
Yumi and Nono in the Japanese pilot episode.

In 1980, Telecom Animation, TMS Entertainment, and DiC Entertainment produced a pilot for the series, simply titled Ulysses 31.[4] The pilot was released on VHS in Japan along with a couple of episodes by King Records in 1986. The pilot appears was only recorded in Japanese.

The story is virtually identical to episode one of the finished series, however the story was the only thing that was kept. Although all the characters were kept, some underwent major redesigns from a typical anime design to the one seen in the finished series, which is a mix of Japanese anime style and European art based on the appearance of classical Greek sculpture.[4] Renowned Japanese illustrators and animators Shingo Araki and Michi Himeno, who have worked in anime adaptations of famous manga, (e.g., Masami Kurumada's Saint Seiya, Fūma no Kojirō and Ring ni Kakero, Riyoko Ikeda's Versailles no Bara, UFO Grendizer OVA) were responsible for the finished series' character designs, animation routines and visual style.

Out of all the characters, Telemachus received a major redesign.[4] Nono was kept identical to the anime design of the pilot, without changes. In the series, Numinor and Yumi are identical to their design in the pilot, only the color of their clothes was changed from purple and dark blue to lilac and yellow boots for Numinor, and their hair became slightly longer. Also, in the pilot episode, their boot length is up the knees. In the final series, they became normal length boots.

The Odyssey ship also received some redesign work, as in the pilot episode it simply resembled an enormous ring. The design inspired by a human eye shape found in the finished series is reminiscent of the ring design in the pilot episode.

Also, most of the animation sequences from the pilot were not used again, although some scenes were reused in the final version of the first episode.

Soundtrack

Most of the original soundtrack was composed by Denny Crockett and Ike Egan. 6 additional themes were composed by Shuki Levy and Haim Saban ("Pot pourri", "Final Glory", "Space Traffic", "Ulysse Meets Ulysse", "Mermaids", "Change of Time (Theme of Chronos)").

The Japanese version on the other hand, has a different soundtrack. The music was composed by Wakakusa Kei, who was responsible for the soundtrack in both the series and pilot that was produced in 1980. An official soundtrack was released in conjucture with the TV airing in 1988 by King Records, which also included a TV size version of the Japanese intro and outro songs.

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Theme Songs

Japan

DVD cover featuring Ulysses, Telemachus, Yumi, Nono, Zeus and the Odyssey.
  • Opening

Ginga Densetsu Odyssey (銀河伝説オデッセイ Ginga Densetsu Odissei?, Galactic Legend Odyssey) by Tomoaki Taka

  • Ending

Ai. Toki no Kanata ni (愛・時の彼方に Ai. Toki no Kanata ni?, Love, Over the other side of time) by Tomoaki Taka

Front cover of the Ulysses 31 illustrated novel.

Staff

Credits

  • Original idea: Nina Wolmark, Jean Chalopin
  • Directors: René Borg (pilot), Shigetsugu Yoshida (pilot), Tadao Nagahama (pilot)
  • Chief directors: Tadao Nagahama (episode 1) , Bernard Deyriès
  • Assistant directors: Pierre Jodon (pilot), Michel Boulé (pilot)
  • Producer: Tatsuo Ikuechi
  • Art director: Morishige Suzuki, Shinji Itoh
  • Chief animation director: Shingo Araki
  • Mecha designs: Studio Nue, Riyuki Motono
  • Music production: TMS Ongakushuppan (Japanese version)
  • Music: Kei Wakakusa (Japanese version), Denny Crockett, Ike Egan, Shuki Levy, Haim Saban (International version)

Voice cast

  • English (Original cast)
    • Ulysses: Matt Berman
    • Yumi: Anick Faris
    • Telemachus: Adrian Knight
    • Nono: Howard Ryshpan
    • Shyrka: Kelly Ricard
    • Zeus: Vlasta Vrana

TV Broadcast aired history

FRA

ESP

  • TVE1 (1982)

EL SALVADOR

  • Canal Cuatro de El Salvador (1985 to 1986)

USA

UK

COSTA RICA

  • CANAL 6 (1988 aprox.)

IRL

  • RTE (1985–1986)

AUS

GER

GRE

JPN

POL

ROK

TR

  • HBB

References

Publications

Dixieme Planete (French magazine) - issue no. 15 (Feb/Mar- 2002) - 8 pages about the series & toys produced

External links


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