I don’t know what this article is, or what it’s supposed to be about most days, but I do know what the world needs it to be. It needs it to be about Ultraman.
I’m not going to say he is better than Ironman (He is) or will I say he could beat Batman (He could) what I will say is he is my Superman.
I was a weird kid. I missed a fair amount of school. I hardly ever slept. So I caught all sorts of different things on TV. Especially odd old Japanese shows. I was already warmed up to them thanks to Mighty Morphing Power Ranger so I did more than just give them a shot. I just thought it was adult Power Rangers. Since adults watched those boring movies with about the same film quality. I never fully caught any series when I was younger.
Mostly because there are so many different Ultramen. So many infact you can find him in your $5 bins at Walmart or Target. Full runs of the older shows are pretty cheap. Now to be fair the shows are cheesy.
As that picture would have shown the shows know what they are. They don’t try to punch above their wieght class. Well they used to not. The new Netflix series changed that. You don’t need to have seen much or any of the previous shows to enjoy this new take.
It is however a love letter to the series in the best way. It touches on the mental toll being Ultraman would have on somebody. It handles aliens in a very fair and balanced way. Almost like a mix of Men In Black and District 9 aliens live among us we both police their activities and profit from their technologies. Xenophobia and nostalgia are heavy themes in the new Ultraman along with how people feel when they aren’t saved. A trend I am seeing more and more in Japanese hero stories and one I welcome. I definitely suggest you check it out. The english dub is solid as well so no excuses. I’m gonna level with you I was gonna show a bunch of my favorite Ultraman series characters and talk about why they were awesome without mentioning that they are in or referenced in the Netflix Ultraman, but the constant JSON errors are making this incredibly difficult. I’ll do some googling and run it by some of the other Couch Crew and see what’s going on…
What?! I am honestly going to do that. No, I’m not going to just watch more Ultraman.
What?! Jet Jaguar is not Ultraman. Fine. Okay fine I’ll give you a little more.
To me all Sentai style hero who is or morphs into their suit and that suit is a robotish person. That’s an Ultraman. So I do consider Ironman an Ultraman. Especially after his redesign to have the ArcReactor. The older shows focused on the more campy aspects of aliens, giant monsters, and secret government agencies everyone knows about unless you would logically think the would. In those cases they absolutely don’t believe in the Science Patrol. So really you gotta ask yourself, or me actually, what type of shows you like and there is an Ultraman show you might enjoy. Are you the type who loves the early days of television? Maybe you just want something simple and quirky and nostalgic to finding a random show on TNT at midnight on a Saturday.
Then Ultra Q is for you. Ultraman before Ultraman this is where it all began. It’s an interesting watch but nothing I’d want to shotgun without a distraction. As for me, I like to skip ahead a bit.
With Ultra 7! Dan Moroboshi, a man with a secret. Also he is a doooooouche! This series is and always will be Ultraman to me. It’s right when it has started hitting it’s stride. While still being very much a sci-fi mystery series.
Ultraman Ace however is the first one that starts to become a bombastic action show with a full set of Ultramen. Before this point the show has just sorta cameoed the older heros. If you want retro but still want a Power Ranger vibe this is where you can slip in.
Want your Ultraman to also be a school teacher? We got that too. The original Ultra goes undercover as a school teacher and still has to fight all the nasty Kaiju while getting to better understand his students and just maybe himself.
Finally on the suggestions but nowhere near the end of the list we have Ultraman Neos. The last series I actually watched a fair bit of. Earth nearly avoided an apocalypse or do they thought. The troubles were just beginning and not even the Ultramen are able to save us. They have to get help from an extremely unlikely ally. After this point I just kept up with like first episodes and fight scenes. Until the current show on Netflix pulled me right back in. So go find yourself an Ultraman and make it your own. Honestly there are probably easily 20+ different series spanning from 1966 to 2020 with more to come.