Crooning ex-prime minister Koizumi is 'Ultraman King'

Crooning ex-prime minister Koizumi is 'Ultraman King'

The retired politician will voice Ultraman King in an upcoming Ultraman franchise film
Koizumi in Ultraman
"That's funny. I am also famous for making stiff, robotic speeches before compliant audiences."

As Japan's prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi rocked the political world by breaking up the power structure of his own party, instituting radical economic reforms and singing Elvis songs at Graceland. But though the lion-maned one is now retired from politics, that doesn't mean he's ceased being a go-to source for sensational stories.

Barely a year removed from his Diet job, one of the few instantly recognizable pols in Japanese history is back in the news -- as the voice of an Ultraman character.

Producers of the upcoming tokusatsu release "Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legend The Movie" announced yesterday that the former PM would do a brief voice cameo as the 'Ultraman King,' a character who delivers an important speech to the film's primary Ultraman protagonist. Only Koizumi, the producers claimed, would be capable of delivering such a rousing address.

According to Sanspo newspaper, the 67-year-old retired politician initially wanted to turn down the offer, but eventually accepted the gig after being badgered by his 28-year-old Diet member son Shinjiro, a longtime fan of the action series. Koizumi's voice recording wrapped in mid-September.

Is this a grand publicity stunt or the beginning of a successful seiyu career? We'll have a better idea after the December 12 release of "Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legend The Movie." In the meantime, Koizumi groupies will have to make do with the trailer, available here.