Eiji Tsuburaya created the Japanese tokusatsu sci-fi tv show Ultraman. Although not exactly a sequel or spin-off, it is a follow-up to Ultra Q. From July 17, 1966, until April 9, 1967, Tsuburaya Productions produced 39 episodes for the Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS). Its premiere surpassed Ultra Q’s average rating and continued to rise each week, indicating that the show was a hit.
Following Ultra Q, Ultraman is the second installment in the Ultra Series and the first to include an Ultraman character. The Ultra Q logo bursting up into the Ultraman emblem symbolizes this in Japanese anime. Ultraman and its title hero spawned a slew of sequels, spin-offs, imitators, parodies, and tributes in Japan.
Ultraman went on to earn $7.4 billion in merchandise sales in Japan between 1966 and 1987 (equivalent to more than $17 billion accounting for inflation) and be the world’s third most popular licensed character by the 1980s, owing to his success throughout Asia.
So, being so popular, is this show really worth watching?
Is Ultraman Worth Watching?
Many of us still remember watching this show from childhood. It was one of the most popular superhero tv shows of that time. Ultraman is a good example of exactly what you’d expect from an anime superhero origin story. This series has also always told a charmingly simple story. The Earth is in peril; witness a massive hero fight massive monsters while destroying comparatively small skyscrapers. It’s like a wrestling match with an anime twist.
However, something is missing in Netflix’s Ultraman’s implementation. Any adaptation that replaces the endlessly entertaining and ridiculous monster outfits of the 1960s with animation is bound to fail. Ultraman, on the other hand, is more so. The show employs a CGI animation technique comparable to The Dragon Prince and Ajin: Demi-Human, both of which are available on Netflix.
When it comes to complex graphics and flame-filled battles between costumed fighters, it’s a style that looks snappy and stylish. However, it might feel unnervingly expressionless when applied to standard character reactions.
The decision to reframe this well-known hero as a father and son narrative is a wise one, and anyone wanting more emotive mythology for this protagonist will be satisfied.
Hayata and Shinjiro are both well-written characters, with Hayata portraying a worried dad who is discovering he is past his prime and Shinjiro portraying a rebellious adolescent who isn’t sure what to make of his newfound abilities. However, there are a lot of backdrops or not enough flying fists, at least from the pilot’s perspective.
So, Ultraman is really good for nostalgic experiences otherwise children definitely going to like it.
When extraterrestrial invaders and huge monsters threaten the Earth, the world turns to the Science Special Search Party (known as the Research Police in the English dub), a special anti-monster defense organization armed with high-tech weaponry and vehicles to battle these unknown threats. When the Research police’s weaponry fails and all faith is lost, one of their soldiers, Shin Hayata, turns into a gigantic alien known as Ultraman to combat the horrific threat attacking the Earth, unknown to the other Research Police members.
Following the success of Ultra Q, Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) intended to produce another monster-themed show, this time in color. TBS hoped to work with Tsuburaya Productions on a long-running series.
Eiji Tsuburaya and screenwriter Tetsuo Kinjo chose to center the new show on a group specifically designed to deal with creatures and supernatural phenomena, based on the barebones notion of Ultra Q about people and scientists coping with monsters.
The “Scientific Investigation Agency” was the group’s working title (SIA). Tsuburaya and Kinjo chose to use abandoned Ultra Q ideas as well as the Woo outline that was rejected.
Ryohei Kimura as Shinjiro Hayata, Takuya Eguchi as Dan Moroboshi, Megumi Han as Seiji Hokuto, Josh Hutcher as Ultraman, Ken Uo as Mitsuhiro Ide, D. C. Douglas as Edo, Tara Sands as Rena Sayama, Hideyuki Tana as Shin Hayata, Kiji Soza as Bemular, Ryota Takeuchi as Jack, Minoru Shirais as Shiraishi and Ejii Hanawa as Yosuke Endo.
Where to Watch Ultraman?
Ultraman is currently available to stream on Netflix. It is available in the original Japanese language with English subtitles and English dubbing made by Netflix.