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May 13, 2022

DIRECTORS & WRITERS ANNOUNCED FOR ULTRAMAN DECKER

The new TV series Ultraman Decker will begin broadcasting on the TV Tokyo Network in Japan from July 9th, 2022! Every week, we will be introducing you to the latest news, including the main cast members starring alongside Kanata Asumi, the protagonist played by Hiroki Matsumoto.

Today we are proud to announce the creators behind the Ultraman Decker series. Alongside our protagonist Daiki Matsumoto, Main Director Masayoshi Takesue, Series Compositors Toshizo Nemoto and Junichiro Ashiki, the following directors and writers will also help create the spectacular world of Ultraman Decker.

Directors

Masayoshi Takesue / Born in Yamaguchi Prefecture, 1978

Takanori Tsujimoto / Born in Osaka, 1971

Koichi Sakamoto / Born in Tokyo, 1970

Tomonobu Koshi / Born in Nagano Prefecture, 1984

Naoyuki Uchida / Born in Chiba Prefecture, 1982

Kazuhiro Nakagawa / Born in Nara Prefecture, 1986

Kiyotaka Taguchi / Born in Hokkaido, 1980

Screenwriters

Toshizo Nemoto / Born in Niigata Prefecture, 1974

Junichiro Ashiki / Born in Shizuoka Prefecture, 1982

Takao Nakano / Born in Osaka, 1962

Jun Tsugita / Born in Akita Prefecture, 1974

Naoki Hayashi / Born in Osaka, 1976

Aya Satsuki / Born in Egypt, 1994

Yukinobu Tsuruta / Born in Fukuoka Prefecture, 1983

Created with hard effort from the staff members including the above directors and writers, Ultraman Decker is dedicated to audiences all around the world from kids who love superheroes and to grown-ups who enjoy Tokusatsu and Sci-Fi. Please look forward to Ultraman Decker.

Ultraman Decker Overview

First Broadcast: July 9th (Saturday) 2022

Broadcast Time: Every Sunday from 9 AM (JST)

Broadcast Channels: The TV Tokyo Network and others

Production: Tsuburaya Productions, TV Tokyo, Dentsu Inc.

Official Series Website: http://ani.tv/ultraman_decker/

Official Ultraman Website: https://m-78.jp/decker/

Official Global Twitter: https://twitter.com/TsuburayaGlobal

Official Global Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tsuburayaglobal

Actors: Hiroki Matsumoto, Yuka Murayama, Nobunaga Daichi, Yu Koyanagi and more

Lead Director: Masayoshi Takesue/Series Compositors: Toshizo Nemoto, Junichiro Ashiki

Directors: Takanori Tsujimoto, Koichi Sakamoto, Tomonobu Koshi, Naoyuki Uchida, Kazuhiro Nakagawa, Kiyotaka Taguchi

Screenwriters: Takao Nakano, Jun Tsugita, Naoki Hayashi, Aya Satsuki, Yukinobu Tsuruta

©TSUBURAYA PRODUCTIONS ©ULTRAMAN DECKER PRODUCTION CONSORTIUM・TV TOKYO

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May 6, 2022

New Cast Announced for ULTRAMAN DECKER! Yu Koyanagi Chosen to Play New GUTS-Select member Yuichiro Asakage!

The new TV series Ultraman Decker will begin broadcasting on the TV Tokyo Network in Japan from July 9th 2022! Every week, we will be introducing you to the latest news, and the main cast members starring alongside Kanata Asumi, the protagonist played by Hiroki Matsumoto.

Yu Koyanagi has been cast as Yuichiro Asakage, a scientist with the Terrestrial Peaceable Union (TPU), and the Mecha Engineer for the anti-Sphere Unit, the newly reformed GUTS-Select.

Please look forward to seeing Yu Koyanagi as Yuichiro in his first return to the Ultraman series since playing the protagonist Run, who transformed into Zero, in 2010’s Ultraman Zero THE MOVIE: Ultra Deciding Fight! The Belial Galactic Empire.

Yuichiro Asakage (31)

A scientist belonging to the Terrestrial Peaceable Union’s (TPU) Technology Division.

He develops the technology for GUTS-Select’s combat mechs. He comes personally to the Nursedessei to deliver new armaments he creates to the crew.

Befitting a scientist, he is always calm and composed, and if roped into battle he can control the mechs or give commands to their pilots.

Look forward to seeing what kind of mechs Yuichiro will create.

Cast: Yu Koyanagi

Nice to meet you, I’m Yu Koyanagi. I’m returning to the Ultraman universe after I played protagonist Run in Ultraman Zero THE MOVIE: Ultra Deciding Fight! The Belial Galactic Empire 12 years ago. This time I’ll be playing Yuichiro, a scientist supporting the team. I was happy to return to the set and meet some of the same crew members, and I’m moved to see them continue to watch over the series. Everyone welcomed me warmly on set and reminded me that I’m here to demonstrate my craft. I’ll devote myself to providing all my acting skills to this show.

Affiliation

Stardust Promotion Inc.

Profile (Japanese only): https://www.stardust.co.jp/section1/profile/koyanagiyu.html

Ultraman Decker Series Overview

First Broadcast: July 9th (Saturday) 2022

Broadcast Time: Every Sunday from 9 AM (JST)

Broadcast Channels: The TV Tokyo Network and others

Production: Tsuburaya Productions, TV Tokyo, Dentsu Inc.

Official Series Website: http://ani.tv/ultraman_decker/

Official Ultraman Website: https://m-78.jp/decker/

Official Global Twitter: https://twitter.com/TsuburayaGlobal

Official Global Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tsuburayaglobal

Actors: Hiroki Matsumoto, Yuka Murayama, Nobunaga Daichi and more

Lead Director: Masayoshi Takesue/Series Compositors: Toshizo Nemoto, Junichiro Ashiki

©TSUBURAYA PRODUCTIONS ©ULTRAMAN DECKER PRODUCTION CONSORTIUM・TV TOKYO

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May 5, 2022

ULTRA GALAXY FIGHT: THE DESTINED CROSSROAD WATCH PARTY AND TVOD DETAILS ANNOUNCED

Fans around the world have been waiting patiently for Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad and with the announcement that the Ultraman event of the season would initially be exclusive to Ultraman Connection and Tsuburaya Imagination, viewers have been eager to find out more!

Today, we are here to tell you exactly how you can order the third installment in this epic story—as well as announce a FREE Watch Party for all Ultraman Connection members!

That’s right! By special arrangement with Tsuburaya Productions, on Thursday, May 26 at 9pm Eastern / 6pm Pacific time, Ultraman Connection Watch Party: The Destined Crossroad will be streamed to all Ultraman Connection members completely FREE!

If you have a free membership to Ultraman Connection, you’ll be able to watch a special presentation of The Destined Crossroad, as well as a special UCL Universe short film (people, you don’t want to miss this one), and other surprises! More information will come as we approach the event but save the date now!

Members will also be given ultra-deep discounts at the Ultraman Connection Merch Store in tandem with the event.

For everyone who can’t make it or wants to watch the 2-hour event on their own time, the TVOD will be up for sale for $6.99 immediately after the event with subtitles available in multiple languages. With the entire universe in the balance this is your chance to experience the greatest battle in Ultraman history!

  1. English (Sub)
  2. English (Dub Script)
  3. Japanese
  4. Korean
  5. Thai
  6. Indonesian
  7. Malaysian
  8. Brazilian Portuguese
  9. South American Spanish
  10. Vietnamese
  11. Tagalog

These events are still developing, so if you want to stay up to the minute regarding the Watch Party, the TVOD, Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad, or anything Ultraman, stay close to Ultraman Connection!

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April 28, 2022

NOBUNAGA DAICHI JOINS ULTRAMAN DECKER CAST

The new TV series Ultraman Decker will begin broadcasting on the TV Tokyo Network in Japan starting July 9, 2022! Each week, we will be introducing you to the latest news, and the main cast members starring alongside Kanata Asumi, the protagonist played by Hiroki Matsumoto.

Up-and-coming actor Nobunaga Daichi will play the role of Soma Ryumon, Kanata’s friendly rival and a member of the anti-Sphere unit, the newly reformed expert team GUTS-Select. He made his acting debut at 14 in an NHK Taiga Drama and has gone on to star mainly in TV dramas, as well as movies and commercials. Please look forward to seeing him join the show as Soma Ryumon.

SOMA RYUMON

Soma is the pilot of the GUTS Falcon, a GUTS-Select combat vehicle that was repurposed from a remote-controlled unmanned vehicle to a manually piloted one. Always calm and collected, his cool personality doesn’t often let him show his emotions.

After being saved by a TPU member as a boy when he was caught in a monster attack, he began training himself and found his calling in GUTS-Select, joining against his father’s wishes. He swore to become the best to prove to his father that he made the right choice. He always assesses the situation with a critical eye, leading the captain to call him an “observant genius.”

DAICHI NOBUNAGA

Comment:

Hello everyone, it’s great to be here! I’m Nobunaga Daichi, and I will be playing Soma Ryumon in Ultraman Decker. I’m very happy to take part in this show with its wonderful cast and crew. It makes me happy to think you will be watching every week to see how much Ryumon and his friends grow, and how they change together!
I hope that this series will help everyone to have more courage and confidence in themselves. Let’s all share in the exciting, exhilarating wait together for the first episode on July 9th. “Kanata! Kirino! Let’s do this!”

Affiliation

Toho Entertainment

Profile (Japanese only): https://www.toho-ent.co.jp/actor/1015

Social Media Accounts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nobunaga_daichi/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nobunaga_daichi/

Ultraman Decker Series Overview

First Broadcast: July 9th (Saturday) 2022

Broadcast Time: Every Sunday from 9 AM (JST)

Broadcast Channels: The TV Tokyo Network and others

Production: Tsuburaya Productions, TV Tokyo, Dentsu Inc.

Official Series Website: http://ani.tv/ultraman_decker/

Official Ultraman Website: https://m-78.jp/decker/

Official Global Twitter: https://twitter.com/TsuburayaGlobal

Official Global Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tsuburayaglobal

Actors: Hiroki Matsumoto, Yuka Murayama, Nobunaga Daichi and more

Lead Director: Masayoshi Takesue/Series Compositors: Toshizo Nemoto, Junichiro Ashiki

Copyright Notice: ©TSUBURAYA PRODUCTIONS ©ULTRAMAN DECKER PRODUCTION CONSORTIUM・TV TOKYO

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April 27, 2022

NEW ANIME ULTRAMAN MERCH HITS THE UC STORE

If you were at the Ultraman Connection AMA on April 21, you were the first to hear—but now the secret’s out! The Ultraman Connection Merch Store has updated, dropping some Anime ULTRAMAN-themed style right at your fingertips!

This drop features four brand-new designs, each one tied to the new second season of the Ultraman anime now playing on Netflix! Choose from the stylish black logo hoodie, white tee emblazoned with the blazing yellow eyes of the Ultraman Suit, a gray long sleeve tee displaying all six Ultraman Suit Helmets, and a black long sleeve tee showing the Ultraman suit itself.  Each one is made of high-quality materials and comes in a multitude of sizes, and best of all, they’re all exclusive to Ultraman Connection!

These Anime ULTRAMAN items join the Classic Ultraman logo collection and “Smile, Smile!” collection on Ultraman Connection, and are up for sale now, with international shipping! Get them before they’re gone, and for more new Ultraman merchandise and news in the future, stay close to Ultraman Connection!

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April 21, 2022

ULTRAMAN DECKER TEAM MEMBER ANNOUNCED

Yuka Murayama to Play New GUTS-Select Member Ichika Kirino

The new TV series Ultraman Decker will begin broadcasting on the TV Tokyo Network in Japan from July 9th 2022! Every Thursday at 5pm JST, we will be introducing you to one of the main cast members starring alongside Kanata Asumi, the protagonist played by Hiroki Matsumoto.

Yuka Murayama has been cast as the show’s heroine Ichika Kirino, a member of the Anti-Sphere unit, the newly reformed GUTS-Select. She made her film debut in middle school and has since risen in popularity, starring in dramas, commercials, and more.

Ichika Kirino (20)

The Ground Assault Operative of GUTS-Select

Bright and optimistic, she is hot-blooded with a strong sense of duty and responsibility. She is athletic and though small in stature she can dodge and maneuver quickly.

She hopes to bring back peace to Earth so that people can continue to follow their dreams without being intruded, and save her friends who are lost in the attack of Sphere.

She tends to overthink things leading the captain to call her a “headstrong genius.”

Cast: Yuka Murayama

Comment

Hello everyone! I’m Yuka Murayama, and I will be playing Ultraman Decker’s heroine Ichika Kirino. Ichika is headstrong, a passionate girl who can fearlessly stand up to anything. Although sometimes she can be an airhead… She cares deeply for her friends, and I think seeing her and the group find their way will bring smiles and courage to you all!! The wonderful team and I are pooling all our efforts for filming!! There’s not long to wait until the show stars! Look forward to it!

“If I never quit, I can!!!”

Affiliation

Arc promotion

Profile (Japanese only): https://arc-promotion.p-kit.com/murayama.html

Social Media Accounts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/m_yuka0219

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/murayama_yuuka_official/

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@kyoumotabelu

Ultraman Decker Series Overview

First Broadcast: July 9th (Saturday) 2022

Broadcast Time: Every Sunday from 9 AM (JST)

Broadcast Channels: The TV Tokyo Network and others

Production: Tsuburaya Productions, TV Tokyo, Dentsu Inc.

Official Series Website: http://ani.tv/ultraman_decker/

Official Ultraman Website: https://m-78.jp/decker/

Official Global Twitter: https://twitter.com/TsuburayaGlobal

Official Global Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tsuburayaglobal

Actors: Hiroki Matsumoto and more

Lead Director: Masayoshi Takesue/Series Compositers: Toshizo Nemoto, Junichiro Ashiki

Copyright Notice: ©TSUBURAYA PRODUCTIONS ©ULTRAMAN DECKER PRODUCTION CONSORTIUM・TV TOKYO

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April 21, 2022

ENGLISH VOICE CAST ANNOUNCED FOR ULTRA GALAXY FIGHT 3

New English Cast Announced for ULTRA GALAXY FIGHT: THE DESTINED CROSSROAD including Ultraman Regulos, Absolute Titan and More!

Tsuburaya Productions is proud to announce a group of new and recurring English voice actors for Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad!

As  the sequel to Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Absolute Conspiracy, The Destined Crossroad not only reprises most of the cast from The Absolute Conspiracy, but also a large cast from the 2019 Ultra Galaxy Fight: New Generation Heroes as well. Today, we are announcing the first part of the cast including three major new characters – Ultraman Regulos, Absolute Titan and Absolute Diavolo! Take a look at their comments towards the series as well as their passion  for the Ultraman franchise.

Vinay Murthy, as English Voice of Ultraman Regulos

I had so much fun voicing Ultraman Regulos! He might be overly quick to action, but he does it all because he cares so much about his friends. He’ll do anything to help them, even if that means he sometimes acts too rashly. That makes him a really enjoyable character to play.

Dennis Falt, as English Voice of Absolute Diavolo

I was so excited when I heard I’d be voicing the new evil guy in Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad. I love playing evil. It offers more depth of character. You better enjoy this as much as we voice actors enjoyed doing it. Don’t make me come down there, I’ve got some really mean moves (diabolical laugh).

Douglas Kirk, as English Voice of Absolute Titan and Ultraman Jack

I am grateful to the Ultraman universe and producers who provided me with the enjoyable challenges of several characters, including Absolute Titan in Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad. I appreciate that we took the time to “find” the character.

To be honest, it can be especially fun sometimes to play a villain. That helps me exorcise some demons, for sure!

Another role I played was Ultraman Jack. It’s always enjoyable to have the chance to play different roles!

Walter Roberts, returning as English Voice of Absolute Tartarus

I have been playing the voice of Absolute Tartarus. It is a pleasure to voice the role of a powerful evil incarnate.

Tartarus wields his evil power remorselessly. He makes decisions of “Absolute” Destruction with the cool calculation of a powerful oligarch.

His voice is commanding, authoritative, and resonant. Tempered in battle, Tartarus unflinchingly confronts his opponents with a warrior’s confidence of unworldly superiority.

Tartarus has ice-water in his black-blood veins. Butter does not melt in his mouth. Don’t get too close. You’ll get burned!

Eric Kelso, returning as English Voice of Ultraman Zero

Great to be back as Ultraman Zero in Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad! A young buck who was born to lead!

I really feel like his character has been developing – definitely an interesting guy to voice.

Can’t wait to see where the story goes from here!

Peter von Gomm, returning as English Voice of Ultraman Ginga and Ultraman Z

Don’t mess with Ginga or Z! These guys are on the right side of interstellar law and when it’s show time you better hope you’re on their team. Dark force baddies watch your backsides if you want to be around for another episode! Always a blast working on this series and playing these characters!

Josh Keller, returning as English Voice of Ultraman Ribut

I was thrilled to reprise voice duties for the hero from the Land of Light, Ultraman Ribut! Doesn’t he have some of the slickest weapons and techniques? The Blocker Effect is so cool! What’s your favorite?

I want to send a shout out to all the diehard Ribut fans in Malaysia and elsewhere! You’re the best!

Jack Merluzzi, as English Voice of Ultraman Belial and Beilarok

The best part of voicing Ultraman Belial is that I also get to voice Beliarok! What a seriously cool sword! Knows what it wants and willing to switch sides just to see some action.

Michael Rhys, returning as English Voice of Ultraman Tregear

I want to say a big thank you to the many dedicated Ultraman fans around the world. Without your support and enthusiasm we wouldn’t be returning for our third series in English.

Once again I play the smooth, calculating Ultraman Tregear, though in his early style. This brings the challenge of playing him lighter and somewhat more naive then the fully evolved villain we know and love. Well, I certainly love playing him, that’s for sure.

I hope you enjoy the new series and, as always, I look forward to reading all your comments.

Matthew Masaru Barron, as English Voice of Ultraman Taiga and Astra

Doing Ultraman Taiga’s voice was awesome. But doing Astra’s voice blew my mind! He was one of my favorite Ultraman when I was a kid. Special thanks to my uncle who always rented a video for me and my brothers to watch every time we went to his house!

Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad will begin streaming on Ultraman Connection in full length from May 26th! Become an Ultraman Connection member now at UltramanConnection.com.

Please check out our official website and social media accounts for latest news and updates!

Official Website: https://en.tsuburaya-prod.co.jp/

Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/TsuburayaGlobal

Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tsuburayaglobal/

Ultraman Connection (Your Link to the M78 Universe): https://www.ultramanconnection.com/

Ultraman Connection Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/UltramanConnect

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April 21, 2022

EXCLUSIVE ULTRA GALAXY FIGHT: THE DESTINED CROSSROAD & WATCH PARTY ANNOUNCED

If you attended the Ultraman Connection AMA on Discord, April 21, you got the very first announcement of the upcoming Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad transactional video on demand (TVOD). If you weren’t there, first off, boy did you miss a good time! But don’t despair, as we have those exclusive details here for you now!

The initial run of the full series of Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad will be an Ultraman Connection exclusive event. Fans outside of Japan will be able to experience this major development in the Ultraman universe only on the site. There may be a sneak preview on the Official Ultraman channel on YouTube, but only Ultraman Connection registered members who purchase tickets will be able to see the whole thing.

Preorders for the $6.99 event will be opening in the coming days, and members will be contacted by email as soon as they’re available. One of our patented Ultraman Connection Watch Parties for the series will also be announced soon.

Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad (TVOD) debuts on Ultraman Connection on May 27, time to be determined, and as the date approaches, more will be announced. To ensure that you don’t miss a single thing, stay close to Ultraman Connection!

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April 18, 2022

NEW SHIN ULTRAMAN TRAILER FEATURES THIRD VILLAIN

This weekend, Tsuburaya Productions delivered a bombshell of a trailer for Shin Ultraman in preparation for its May 13 release in Japan. Fans were shown a number of amazing new action shots, as well as a new threat that may well be big enough to finish this Ultraman. Let’s get into what we saw, what it means, and what we can really look forward to when we finally get to see this opus!

Warning: Potential spoilers for Shin Ultraman ahead. If you want to avoid these, stop here.

The Budget is Big

It immediately becomes clear that we are getting top-notch tokusatsu with this film with smooth integrations of CG and practical miniature special effects. Director Shinji Higuchi, a devoted fan of the franchise since childhood, gets to play with all the toys—realizing the series imagery on a far grander (and granular) scale.

And yet, the footage does not put too modern a gloss on the franchise the way that Legendary has hyper-computerized Godzilla and his ilk. We are reminded here more of the greatest kaiju films of the 1960s and ‘70s, and expression of Higuchi’s adoration for that period of the genre.

A Mastermind Rears His Head

We’ve seen the two main monsters associated with the movie thus far, the energy-eating Neronga and the drill-frilled Gabora. What we hadn’t seen was a threat with real intelligence, a true enemy that this interpretation of Ultraman would have to contend with.

Well, we got a look at that in this trailer, with the reveal of the sinister Alien Zarab. In the original series, Zarab was a deceitful wretch who stole the form of Ultraman to ruin his reputation, while propping himself up as a friend to Ultraman. This Zarab appears to be significantly more…  It’s difficult to say what his plan is this time, but judging by his sinister glowing hand, it’s probably not good.

In addition to the Alien Zarab, there appears to also be a certain man who has a fascination with our hero, Shinji Kaminaga. This includes, seemingly, an awareness of his secret identity as the silver giant. While Zarab’s goals can be guessed at, this man in black is more inscrutable. He does seem familiar, though.

Ultra-Sized Action

The other big feature of this trailer has to be our first real look at what Ultraman can do. Starting with a landing with the impact of a meteorite, Ultraman’s Spacium Beam is portrayed in a significantly greater scope here, devastating the countryside.

Beyond that, Ultraman flies, stands among burning wreckage, and most impressively, when Kaminaga finally uses the Beta Capsule, Ultraman rises, explosively, burning red against the night sky. This is unusual in that for the most part, Ultra transformations have employed an animated cutaway. Awesome to see the change happen here in a continuous shot!

Shin Ultraman arrives in Japanese theatres on March 13. Though there are no plans for a western release yet, you can be sure that as soon as one is announced, you’ll hear it first on Ultraman Connection!

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April 15, 2022

SHIN ULTRAMAN DROPS AMAZING NEW TRAILER

A new trailer has dropped today for Shin Ultraman, which will be releasing in theaters exclusively in Japan on May 13 (JST) 2022!

Watch the new Shin Ultraman Trailer!

For the first time, the footage features Kenshi Yonezu’s opening theme song “M87 (Original Title: M八七).”

We see a flying Ultraman, giant unidentified “S-Class Species,” responses by the Government and the S-Class Species Suppression Protocol (enforcement unit) – or SSSP for short – as well as appearances of new aliens.

Starting today, April 15 (JST), the lengthy 82-second trailer will also start playing in theaters across Japan.

The Story of Shin Ultraman

The appearance of giant unidentified lifeforms known as “S-Class Species” has become commonplace in Japan. Conventional weapons have no effect on them. Having exhausted all other options, the Japanese Government issued the S-Class Species Suppression Protocol and formed an enforcement unit, known as the SSSP.

The members chosen for the unit include: Leader Fumio Tamura (played by Hidetoshi Nishijima), Executive Strategist Shinji Kaminaga (played by Takumi Saitoh), Unparticle Physicist Taki Akihisa (played by Daiki Arioka), and Universal Biologist Yume Funaberi (Akari Hayami).

As the threat of S-Class Species worsens, a silver giant appears from beyond Earth’s atmosphere.

Analyst Hiroko Asami (played by Masami Nagasawa) is newly appointed to the SSSP to deal with this giant and is partnered with Shinji Kaminaga.

In Hiroko’s report, she writes...

“Ultraman (tentative name), identity unknown”.

Shin Ultraman Information

Releasing in Japan May 13th (Friday) 2022

*Release plans outside Japan is yet to be announced.

Official Site (Japanese only): https://shin-ultraman.jp/

Official Twitter (Japanese only): https://twitter.com/shin_ultraman

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May 13, 2022

DIRECTORS & WRITERS ANNOUNCED FOR ULTRAMAN DECKER

The new TV series Ultraman Decker will begin broadcasting on the TV Tokyo Network in Japan from July 9th, 2022! Every week, we will be introducing you to the latest news, including the main cast members starring alongside Kanata Asumi, the protagonist played by Hiroki Matsumoto.

Today we are proud to announce the creators behind the Ultraman Decker series. Alongside our protagonist Daiki Matsumoto, Main Director Masayoshi Takesue, Series Compositors Toshizo Nemoto and Junichiro Ashiki, the following directors and writers will also help create the spectacular world of Ultraman Decker.

Directors

Masayoshi Takesue / Born in Yamaguchi Prefecture, 1978

Takanori Tsujimoto / Born in Osaka, 1971

Koichi Sakamoto / Born in Tokyo, 1970

Tomonobu Koshi / Born in Nagano Prefecture, 1984

Naoyuki Uchida / Born in Chiba Prefecture, 1982

Kazuhiro Nakagawa / Born in Nara Prefecture, 1986

Kiyotaka Taguchi / Born in Hokkaido, 1980

Screenwriters

Toshizo Nemoto / Born in Niigata Prefecture, 1974

Junichiro Ashiki / Born in Shizuoka Prefecture, 1982

Takao Nakano / Born in Osaka, 1962

Jun Tsugita / Born in Akita Prefecture, 1974

Naoki Hayashi / Born in Osaka, 1976

Aya Satsuki / Born in Egypt, 1994

Yukinobu Tsuruta / Born in Fukuoka Prefecture, 1983

Created with hard effort from the staff members including the above directors and writers, Ultraman Decker is dedicated to audiences all around the world from kids who love superheroes and to grown-ups who enjoy Tokusatsu and Sci-Fi. Please look forward to Ultraman Decker.

Ultraman Decker Overview

First Broadcast: July 9th (Saturday) 2022

Broadcast Time: Every Sunday from 9 AM (JST)

Broadcast Channels: The TV Tokyo Network and others

Production: Tsuburaya Productions, TV Tokyo, Dentsu Inc.

Official Series Website: http://ani.tv/ultraman_decker/

Official Ultraman Website: https://m-78.jp/decker/

Official Global Twitter: https://twitter.com/TsuburayaGlobal

Official Global Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tsuburayaglobal

Actors: Hiroki Matsumoto, Yuka Murayama, Nobunaga Daichi, Yu Koyanagi and more

Lead Director: Masayoshi Takesue/Series Compositors: Toshizo Nemoto, Junichiro Ashiki

Directors: Takanori Tsujimoto, Koichi Sakamoto, Tomonobu Koshi, Naoyuki Uchida, Kazuhiro Nakagawa, Kiyotaka Taguchi

Screenwriters: Takao Nakano, Jun Tsugita, Naoki Hayashi, Aya Satsuki, Yukinobu Tsuruta

©TSUBURAYA PRODUCTIONS ©ULTRAMAN DECKER PRODUCTION CONSORTIUM・TV TOKYO

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May 6, 2022

New Cast Announced for ULTRAMAN DECKER! Yu Koyanagi Chosen to Play New GUTS-Select member Yuichiro Asakage!

The new TV series Ultraman Decker will begin broadcasting on the TV Tokyo Network in Japan from July 9th 2022! Every week, we will be introducing you to the latest news, and the main cast members starring alongside Kanata Asumi, the protagonist played by Hiroki Matsumoto.

Yu Koyanagi has been cast as Yuichiro Asakage, a scientist with the Terrestrial Peaceable Union (TPU), and the Mecha Engineer for the anti-Sphere Unit, the newly reformed GUTS-Select.

Please look forward to seeing Yu Koyanagi as Yuichiro in his first return to the Ultraman series since playing the protagonist Run, who transformed into Zero, in 2010’s Ultraman Zero THE MOVIE: Ultra Deciding Fight! The Belial Galactic Empire.

Yuichiro Asakage (31)

A scientist belonging to the Terrestrial Peaceable Union’s (TPU) Technology Division.

He develops the technology for GUTS-Select’s combat mechs. He comes personally to the Nursedessei to deliver new armaments he creates to the crew.

Befitting a scientist, he is always calm and composed, and if roped into battle he can control the mechs or give commands to their pilots.

Look forward to seeing what kind of mechs Yuichiro will create.

Cast: Yu Koyanagi

Nice to meet you, I’m Yu Koyanagi. I’m returning to the Ultraman universe after I played protagonist Run in Ultraman Zero THE MOVIE: Ultra Deciding Fight! The Belial Galactic Empire 12 years ago. This time I’ll be playing Yuichiro, a scientist supporting the team. I was happy to return to the set and meet some of the same crew members, and I’m moved to see them continue to watch over the series. Everyone welcomed me warmly on set and reminded me that I’m here to demonstrate my craft. I’ll devote myself to providing all my acting skills to this show.

Affiliation

Stardust Promotion Inc.

Profile (Japanese only): https://www.stardust.co.jp/section1/profile/koyanagiyu.html

Ultraman Decker Series Overview

First Broadcast: July 9th (Saturday) 2022

Broadcast Time: Every Sunday from 9 AM (JST)

Broadcast Channels: The TV Tokyo Network and others

Production: Tsuburaya Productions, TV Tokyo, Dentsu Inc.

Official Series Website: http://ani.tv/ultraman_decker/

Official Ultraman Website: https://m-78.jp/decker/

Official Global Twitter: https://twitter.com/TsuburayaGlobal

Official Global Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tsuburayaglobal

Actors: Hiroki Matsumoto, Yuka Murayama, Nobunaga Daichi and more

Lead Director: Masayoshi Takesue/Series Compositors: Toshizo Nemoto, Junichiro Ashiki

©TSUBURAYA PRODUCTIONS ©ULTRAMAN DECKER PRODUCTION CONSORTIUM・TV TOKYO

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May 5, 2022

ULTRA GALAXY FIGHT: THE DESTINED CROSSROAD WATCH PARTY AND TVOD DETAILS ANNOUNCED

Fans around the world have been waiting patiently for Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad and with the announcement that the Ultraman event of the season would initially be exclusive to Ultraman Connection and Tsuburaya Imagination, viewers have been eager to find out more!

Today, we are here to tell you exactly how you can order the third installment in this epic story—as well as announce a FREE Watch Party for all Ultraman Connection members!

That’s right! By special arrangement with Tsuburaya Productions, on Thursday, May 26 at 9pm Eastern / 6pm Pacific time, Ultraman Connection Watch Party: The Destined Crossroad will be streamed to all Ultraman Connection members completely FREE!

If you have a free membership to Ultraman Connection, you’ll be able to watch a special presentation of The Destined Crossroad, as well as a special UCL Universe short film (people, you don’t want to miss this one), and other surprises! More information will come as we approach the event but save the date now!

Members will also be given ultra-deep discounts at the Ultraman Connection Merch Store in tandem with the event.

For everyone who can’t make it or wants to watch the 2-hour event on their own time, the TVOD will be up for sale for $6.99 immediately after the event with subtitles available in multiple languages. With the entire universe in the balance this is your chance to experience the greatest battle in Ultraman history!

  1. English (Sub)
  2. English (Dub Script)
  3. Japanese
  4. Korean
  5. Thai
  6. Indonesian
  7. Malaysian
  8. Brazilian Portuguese
  9. South American Spanish
  10. Vietnamese
  11. Tagalog

These events are still developing, so if you want to stay up to the minute regarding the Watch Party, the TVOD, Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad, or anything Ultraman, stay close to Ultraman Connection!

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April 28, 2022

NOBUNAGA DAICHI JOINS ULTRAMAN DECKER CAST

The new TV series Ultraman Decker will begin broadcasting on the TV Tokyo Network in Japan starting July 9, 2022! Each week, we will be introducing you to the latest news, and the main cast members starring alongside Kanata Asumi, the protagonist played by Hiroki Matsumoto.

Up-and-coming actor Nobunaga Daichi will play the role of Soma Ryumon, Kanata’s friendly rival and a member of the anti-Sphere unit, the newly reformed expert team GUTS-Select. He made his acting debut at 14 in an NHK Taiga Drama and has gone on to star mainly in TV dramas, as well as movies and commercials. Please look forward to seeing him join the show as Soma Ryumon.

SOMA RYUMON

Soma is the pilot of the GUTS Falcon, a GUTS-Select combat vehicle that was repurposed from a remote-controlled unmanned vehicle to a manually piloted one. Always calm and collected, his cool personality doesn’t often let him show his emotions.

After being saved by a TPU member as a boy when he was caught in a monster attack, he began training himself and found his calling in GUTS-Select, joining against his father’s wishes. He swore to become the best to prove to his father that he made the right choice. He always assesses the situation with a critical eye, leading the captain to call him an “observant genius.”

DAICHI NOBUNAGA

Comment:

Hello everyone, it’s great to be here! I’m Nobunaga Daichi, and I will be playing Soma Ryumon in Ultraman Decker. I’m very happy to take part in this show with its wonderful cast and crew. It makes me happy to think you will be watching every week to see how much Ryumon and his friends grow, and how they change together!
I hope that this series will help everyone to have more courage and confidence in themselves. Let’s all share in the exciting, exhilarating wait together for the first episode on July 9th. “Kanata! Kirino! Let’s do this!”

Affiliation

Toho Entertainment

Profile (Japanese only): https://www.toho-ent.co.jp/actor/1015

Social Media Accounts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nobunaga_daichi/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nobunaga_daichi/

Ultraman Decker Series Overview

First Broadcast: July 9th (Saturday) 2022

Broadcast Time: Every Sunday from 9 AM (JST)

Broadcast Channels: The TV Tokyo Network and others

Production: Tsuburaya Productions, TV Tokyo, Dentsu Inc.

Official Series Website: http://ani.tv/ultraman_decker/

Official Ultraman Website: https://m-78.jp/decker/

Official Global Twitter: https://twitter.com/TsuburayaGlobal

Official Global Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tsuburayaglobal

Actors: Hiroki Matsumoto, Yuka Murayama, Nobunaga Daichi and more

Lead Director: Masayoshi Takesue/Series Compositors: Toshizo Nemoto, Junichiro Ashiki

Copyright Notice: ©TSUBURAYA PRODUCTIONS ©ULTRAMAN DECKER PRODUCTION CONSORTIUM・TV TOKYO

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April 27, 2022

NEW ANIME ULTRAMAN MERCH HITS THE UC STORE

If you were at the Ultraman Connection AMA on April 21, you were the first to hear—but now the secret’s out! The Ultraman Connection Merch Store has updated, dropping some Anime ULTRAMAN-themed style right at your fingertips!

This drop features four brand-new designs, each one tied to the new second season of the Ultraman anime now playing on Netflix! Choose from the stylish black logo hoodie, white tee emblazoned with the blazing yellow eyes of the Ultraman Suit, a gray long sleeve tee displaying all six Ultraman Suit Helmets, and a black long sleeve tee showing the Ultraman suit itself.  Each one is made of high-quality materials and comes in a multitude of sizes, and best of all, they’re all exclusive to Ultraman Connection!

These Anime ULTRAMAN items join the Classic Ultraman logo collection and “Smile, Smile!” collection on Ultraman Connection, and are up for sale now, with international shipping! Get them before they’re gone, and for more new Ultraman merchandise and news in the future, stay close to Ultraman Connection!

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April 21, 2022

ULTRAMAN DECKER TEAM MEMBER ANNOUNCED

Yuka Murayama to Play New GUTS-Select Member Ichika Kirino

The new TV series Ultraman Decker will begin broadcasting on the TV Tokyo Network in Japan from July 9th 2022! Every Thursday at 5pm JST, we will be introducing you to one of the main cast members starring alongside Kanata Asumi, the protagonist played by Hiroki Matsumoto.

Yuka Murayama has been cast as the show’s heroine Ichika Kirino, a member of the Anti-Sphere unit, the newly reformed GUTS-Select. She made her film debut in middle school and has since risen in popularity, starring in dramas, commercials, and more.

Ichika Kirino (20)

The Ground Assault Operative of GUTS-Select

Bright and optimistic, she is hot-blooded with a strong sense of duty and responsibility. She is athletic and though small in stature she can dodge and maneuver quickly.

She hopes to bring back peace to Earth so that people can continue to follow their dreams without being intruded, and save her friends who are lost in the attack of Sphere.

She tends to overthink things leading the captain to call her a “headstrong genius.”

Cast: Yuka Murayama

Comment

Hello everyone! I’m Yuka Murayama, and I will be playing Ultraman Decker’s heroine Ichika Kirino. Ichika is headstrong, a passionate girl who can fearlessly stand up to anything. Although sometimes she can be an airhead… She cares deeply for her friends, and I think seeing her and the group find their way will bring smiles and courage to you all!! The wonderful team and I are pooling all our efforts for filming!! There’s not long to wait until the show stars! Look forward to it!

“If I never quit, I can!!!”

Affiliation

Arc promotion

Profile (Japanese only): https://arc-promotion.p-kit.com/murayama.html

Social Media Accounts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/m_yuka0219

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/murayama_yuuka_official/

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@kyoumotabelu

Ultraman Decker Series Overview

First Broadcast: July 9th (Saturday) 2022

Broadcast Time: Every Sunday from 9 AM (JST)

Broadcast Channels: The TV Tokyo Network and others

Production: Tsuburaya Productions, TV Tokyo, Dentsu Inc.

Official Series Website: http://ani.tv/ultraman_decker/

Official Ultraman Website: https://m-78.jp/decker/

Official Global Twitter: https://twitter.com/TsuburayaGlobal

Official Global Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tsuburayaglobal

Actors: Hiroki Matsumoto and more

Lead Director: Masayoshi Takesue/Series Compositers: Toshizo Nemoto, Junichiro Ashiki

Copyright Notice: ©TSUBURAYA PRODUCTIONS ©ULTRAMAN DECKER PRODUCTION CONSORTIUM・TV TOKYO

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April 21, 2022

ENGLISH VOICE CAST ANNOUNCED FOR ULTRA GALAXY FIGHT 3

New English Cast Announced for ULTRA GALAXY FIGHT: THE DESTINED CROSSROAD including Ultraman Regulos, Absolute Titan and More!

Tsuburaya Productions is proud to announce a group of new and recurring English voice actors for Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad!

As  the sequel to Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Absolute Conspiracy, The Destined Crossroad not only reprises most of the cast from The Absolute Conspiracy, but also a large cast from the 2019 Ultra Galaxy Fight: New Generation Heroes as well. Today, we are announcing the first part of the cast including three major new characters – Ultraman Regulos, Absolute Titan and Absolute Diavolo! Take a look at their comments towards the series as well as their passion  for the Ultraman franchise.

Vinay Murthy, as English Voice of Ultraman Regulos

I had so much fun voicing Ultraman Regulos! He might be overly quick to action, but he does it all because he cares so much about his friends. He’ll do anything to help them, even if that means he sometimes acts too rashly. That makes him a really enjoyable character to play.

Dennis Falt, as English Voice of Absolute Diavolo

I was so excited when I heard I’d be voicing the new evil guy in Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad. I love playing evil. It offers more depth of character. You better enjoy this as much as we voice actors enjoyed doing it. Don’t make me come down there, I’ve got some really mean moves (diabolical laugh).

Douglas Kirk, as English Voice of Absolute Titan and Ultraman Jack

I am grateful to the Ultraman universe and producers who provided me with the enjoyable challenges of several characters, including Absolute Titan in Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad. I appreciate that we took the time to “find” the character.

To be honest, it can be especially fun sometimes to play a villain. That helps me exorcise some demons, for sure!

Another role I played was Ultraman Jack. It’s always enjoyable to have the chance to play different roles!

Walter Roberts, returning as English Voice of Absolute Tartarus

I have been playing the voice of Absolute Tartarus. It is a pleasure to voice the role of a powerful evil incarnate.

Tartarus wields his evil power remorselessly. He makes decisions of “Absolute” Destruction with the cool calculation of a powerful oligarch.

His voice is commanding, authoritative, and resonant. Tempered in battle, Tartarus unflinchingly confronts his opponents with a warrior’s confidence of unworldly superiority.

Tartarus has ice-water in his black-blood veins. Butter does not melt in his mouth. Don’t get too close. You’ll get burned!

Eric Kelso, returning as English Voice of Ultraman Zero

Great to be back as Ultraman Zero in Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad! A young buck who was born to lead!

I really feel like his character has been developing – definitely an interesting guy to voice.

Can’t wait to see where the story goes from here!

Peter von Gomm, returning as English Voice of Ultraman Ginga and Ultraman Z

Don’t mess with Ginga or Z! These guys are on the right side of interstellar law and when it’s show time you better hope you’re on their team. Dark force baddies watch your backsides if you want to be around for another episode! Always a blast working on this series and playing these characters!

Josh Keller, returning as English Voice of Ultraman Ribut

I was thrilled to reprise voice duties for the hero from the Land of Light, Ultraman Ribut! Doesn’t he have some of the slickest weapons and techniques? The Blocker Effect is so cool! What’s your favorite?

I want to send a shout out to all the diehard Ribut fans in Malaysia and elsewhere! You’re the best!

Jack Merluzzi, as English Voice of Ultraman Belial and Beilarok

The best part of voicing Ultraman Belial is that I also get to voice Beliarok! What a seriously cool sword! Knows what it wants and willing to switch sides just to see some action.

Michael Rhys, returning as English Voice of Ultraman Tregear

I want to say a big thank you to the many dedicated Ultraman fans around the world. Without your support and enthusiasm we wouldn’t be returning for our third series in English.

Once again I play the smooth, calculating Ultraman Tregear, though in his early style. This brings the challenge of playing him lighter and somewhat more naive then the fully evolved villain we know and love. Well, I certainly love playing him, that’s for sure.

I hope you enjoy the new series and, as always, I look forward to reading all your comments.

Matthew Masaru Barron, as English Voice of Ultraman Taiga and Astra

Doing Ultraman Taiga’s voice was awesome. But doing Astra’s voice blew my mind! He was one of my favorite Ultraman when I was a kid. Special thanks to my uncle who always rented a video for me and my brothers to watch every time we went to his house!

Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad will begin streaming on Ultraman Connection in full length from May 26th! Become an Ultraman Connection member now at UltramanConnection.com.

Please check out our official website and social media accounts for latest news and updates!

Official Website: https://en.tsuburaya-prod.co.jp/

Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/TsuburayaGlobal

Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tsuburayaglobal/

Ultraman Connection (Your Link to the M78 Universe): https://www.ultramanconnection.com/

Ultraman Connection Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/UltramanConnect

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April 21, 2022

EXCLUSIVE ULTRA GALAXY FIGHT: THE DESTINED CROSSROAD & WATCH PARTY ANNOUNCED

If you attended the Ultraman Connection AMA on Discord, April 21, you got the very first announcement of the upcoming Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad transactional video on demand (TVOD). If you weren’t there, first off, boy did you miss a good time! But don’t despair, as we have those exclusive details here for you now!

The initial run of the full series of Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad will be an Ultraman Connection exclusive event. Fans outside of Japan will be able to experience this major development in the Ultraman universe only on the site. There may be a sneak preview on the Official Ultraman channel on YouTube, but only Ultraman Connection registered members who purchase tickets will be able to see the whole thing.

Preorders for the $6.99 event will be opening in the coming days, and members will be contacted by email as soon as they’re available. One of our patented Ultraman Connection Watch Parties for the series will also be announced soon.

Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad (TVOD) debuts on Ultraman Connection on May 27, time to be determined, and as the date approaches, more will be announced. To ensure that you don’t miss a single thing, stay close to Ultraman Connection!

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April 18, 2022

NEW SHIN ULTRAMAN TRAILER FEATURES THIRD VILLAIN

This weekend, Tsuburaya Productions delivered a bombshell of a trailer for Shin Ultraman in preparation for its May 13 release in Japan. Fans were shown a number of amazing new action shots, as well as a new threat that may well be big enough to finish this Ultraman. Let’s get into what we saw, what it means, and what we can really look forward to when we finally get to see this opus!

Warning: Potential spoilers for Shin Ultraman ahead. If you want to avoid these, stop here.

The Budget is Big

It immediately becomes clear that we are getting top-notch tokusatsu with this film with smooth integrations of CG and practical miniature special effects. Director Shinji Higuchi, a devoted fan of the franchise since childhood, gets to play with all the toys—realizing the series imagery on a far grander (and granular) scale.

And yet, the footage does not put too modern a gloss on the franchise the way that Legendary has hyper-computerized Godzilla and his ilk. We are reminded here more of the greatest kaiju films of the 1960s and ‘70s, and expression of Higuchi’s adoration for that period of the genre.

A Mastermind Rears His Head

We’ve seen the two main monsters associated with the movie thus far, the energy-eating Neronga and the drill-frilled Gabora. What we hadn’t seen was a threat with real intelligence, a true enemy that this interpretation of Ultraman would have to contend with.

Well, we got a look at that in this trailer, with the reveal of the sinister Alien Zarab. In the original series, Zarab was a deceitful wretch who stole the form of Ultraman to ruin his reputation, while propping himself up as a friend to Ultraman. This Zarab appears to be significantly more…  It’s difficult to say what his plan is this time, but judging by his sinister glowing hand, it’s probably not good.

In addition to the Alien Zarab, there appears to also be a certain man who has a fascination with our hero, Shinji Kaminaga. This includes, seemingly, an awareness of his secret identity as the silver giant. While Zarab’s goals can be guessed at, this man in black is more inscrutable. He does seem familiar, though.

Ultra-Sized Action

The other big feature of this trailer has to be our first real look at what Ultraman can do. Starting with a landing with the impact of a meteorite, Ultraman’s Spacium Beam is portrayed in a significantly greater scope here, devastating the countryside.

Beyond that, Ultraman flies, stands among burning wreckage, and most impressively, when Kaminaga finally uses the Beta Capsule, Ultraman rises, explosively, burning red against the night sky. This is unusual in that for the most part, Ultra transformations have employed an animated cutaway. Awesome to see the change happen here in a continuous shot!

Shin Ultraman arrives in Japanese theatres on March 13. Though there are no plans for a western release yet, you can be sure that as soon as one is announced, you’ll hear it first on Ultraman Connection!

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April 15, 2022

SHIN ULTRAMAN DROPS AMAZING NEW TRAILER

A new trailer has dropped today for Shin Ultraman, which will be releasing in theaters exclusively in Japan on May 13 (JST) 2022!

Watch the new Shin Ultraman Trailer!

For the first time, the footage features Kenshi Yonezu’s opening theme song “M87 (Original Title: M八七).”

We see a flying Ultraman, giant unidentified “S-Class Species,” responses by the Government and the S-Class Species Suppression Protocol (enforcement unit) – or SSSP for short – as well as appearances of new aliens.

Starting today, April 15 (JST), the lengthy 82-second trailer will also start playing in theaters across Japan.

The Story of Shin Ultraman

The appearance of giant unidentified lifeforms known as “S-Class Species” has become commonplace in Japan. Conventional weapons have no effect on them. Having exhausted all other options, the Japanese Government issued the S-Class Species Suppression Protocol and formed an enforcement unit, known as the SSSP.

The members chosen for the unit include: Leader Fumio Tamura (played by Hidetoshi Nishijima), Executive Strategist Shinji Kaminaga (played by Takumi Saitoh), Unparticle Physicist Taki Akihisa (played by Daiki Arioka), and Universal Biologist Yume Funaberi (Akari Hayami).

As the threat of S-Class Species worsens, a silver giant appears from beyond Earth’s atmosphere.

Analyst Hiroko Asami (played by Masami Nagasawa) is newly appointed to the SSSP to deal with this giant and is partnered with Shinji Kaminaga.

In Hiroko’s report, she writes...

“Ultraman (tentative name), identity unknown”.

Shin Ultraman Information

Releasing in Japan May 13th (Friday) 2022

*Release plans outside Japan is yet to be announced.

Official Site (Japanese only): https://shin-ultraman.jp/

Official Twitter (Japanese only): https://twitter.com/shin_ultraman

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April 21, 2022

EXCLUSIVE ULTRA GALAXY FIGHT: THE DESTINED CROSSROAD & WATCH PARTY ANNOUNCED

If you attended the Ultraman Connection AMA on Discord, April 21, you got the very first announcement of the upcoming Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad transactional video on demand (TVOD). If you weren’t there, first off, boy did you miss a good time! But don’t despair, as we have those exclusive details here for you now!

The initial run of the full series of Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad will be an Ultraman Connection exclusive event. Fans outside of Japan will be able to experience this major development in the Ultraman universe only on the site. There may be a sneak preview on the Official Ultraman channel on YouTube, but only Ultraman Connection registered members who purchase tickets will be able to see the whole thing.

Preorders for the $6.99 event will be opening in the coming days, and members will be contacted by email as soon as they’re available. One of our patented Ultraman Connection Watch Parties for the series will also be announced soon.

Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad (TVOD) debuts on Ultraman Connection on May 27, time to be determined, and as the date approaches, more will be announced. To ensure that you don’t miss a single thing, stay close to Ultraman Connection!

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March 23, 2022

UC WATCH PARTY ULTRAMAN TRIGGER EPISODE Z: WHAT HAPPENED?

Friday, March 18 marked a major paradigm shift in the trajectory of the Ultraman franchise, as Ultraman Trigger Episode Z premiered globally through Ultraman Connection within 24 hours of its premiere on Tsuburaya Imagination and select theatres in Japan! This statement of commitment to the global potential of the Ultraman Series by Tsuburaya and Iceberg Theory was accompanied by Ultraman Connection Watch Party: Ultraman Trigger Episode Z, a one-time live screening of the film along with some massive guests, and tons of huge surprises. Let’s take a closer look at what happened and what this huge event may mean for the future of Ultraman Connection, and the Ultraman Series as a whole.

The Watch Party experience started well before the live stream itself, with the opening of the new Ultraman Connection Discord channel (which members can join right now). Fans poured in from around the world in advance to excitedly discuss not just the coming event, but their own personal Ultraman experiences, a major step in building the community.

As the time approached 9PM Eastern, the many fans who had purchased the special event ticket alongside the movie rental poured into Ultraman Connection. Excitement reached a fever pitch across the chat as the countdown clock ticked down. What the audience was greeted with, however, was perhaps the biggest surprise of the evening; a completely original short film opened the event. Following on the storyline introduced in various previous UC Live intro and outro films, this one looked bigger and better than ever. Fans were introduced to Eric Bright, a young man tormented by the loss of his father, whose discovery of an alien machine puts him on a collision course with the mysterious UCL.

Some fans immediately observed that the storyline is not messing around! References were made to King Joe Custom STORAGE and to Absolute Diavolo. We are definitely within the continuum of the Ultraman universe here. This short was the latest entry in the UCL mythos, original stories that have up to this point only been available to attendees of the various Ultraman Connection Live events, and as interest continues to grow, the only way to catch the latest entries will be to attend the newest shows!

After the UCL short, the show began in earnest, with perennial Ultraman Connection superhost Sean Nichols greeting fans before welcoming the four special guests from Episode Z: Raiga Terasaka, Shunya Kaneko, and Runa Toyoda from Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga, and Kohshu Hirano from Ultraman Z! The four greeted the fans online, speaking excitedly about the show to come, before doing something brand new—joining the fans in the Discord to watch the movie!

The personalities of each of the actors were reflected wonderfully and created some unforgettable moments in the chat. (If “Meatball” becomes a meme in the Ultraman fandom, you can blame Kohshu Hirano for that!)

Of course, the event was the premiere of Ultraman Trigger Episode Z itself! Coverage of the special can be found here

After Episode Z concluded, the show returned to Sean and the actors, where the four answered some of the most pressing questions from the fans in the chat, and talked about their favorite moments, both to watch and to have performed.

Though the live show began to wind down after this point, the surprises were not over, as Sean declared that Tsuburaya Productions had something new to show everyone before they signed off for the evening. A short trailer played, revealing a new Ultraman, reminiscent of Ultraman Dyna. His name? Ultraman Decker. While there’s little more we can reveal right now, you can be certain that all the information will be here on Ultraman Connection.

With that, Sean and the actors finally bid adieu to their fans worldwide, and the live show ended, but even that wasn’t the end of the festivities, as the second half of the UCL short from the beginning played, answering questions raised prior, and revealing anew foe for the Unidentified Capture League—Dada (Powered). This fan favorite who originally debuted in the western-produced Ultraman: Towards the Future seems to have some nefarious plans on UCL Earth, a world that does not have its own Ultra! The short ends with all of Los Angeles blacked out!

Ultraman Connection Watch Party Episode Z has ended, but fans can still check out the long-awaited finale to the Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga story (one of the best movies in all the New Generation Heroes if you ask us) through VOD! For a limited time can rent the video exclusively right now here for $6.99. This allows you to watch the movie unlimited times in a 24-hour period, with a 7-day duration. And to watch all sorts of other awesome Ultraman Series entries, including the entire run of both Ultraman Z and Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga, register to become a member of Ultraman Connection today! It’s free!

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February 11, 2022

SPECIAL YOUTUBE EVENT! ULTRAMAN 2 MILLION SUBSCRIBER CELEBRATION RESCHEDULED

In December of 2021, the ULTRAMAN OFFICIAL YouTube Channel, presenting fans with the latest news and an in-depth look into the Ultraman universe, broke the 2 million subscriber mark. To commemorate this special occasion with our fans around the world, a livestream event will be held on the ULTRAMAN OFFICIAL YouTube Channel on Friday, February 18th at 8PM EST.

Ultraman Connection Live and the ULTRAMAN OFFICIAL YouTube Channel will team up once again to share the thrilling intergalactic action of Ultraman with a global audience!

Titled Ultraman Connection Live Presents: ULTRAMAN OFFICIAL YouTube 2 Million Subscribers Celebration, this event will be presented in both English and Japanese, so fans everywhere can watch live and enjoy the celebration.

After the show at 9:45 PM EST, Ultraman Connection Talk, a new livestream show for global fans, will be held FREE exclusively for Ultraman Connection members. Registration is free for everyone. Make sure to become a member now at UltramanConnection.com to participate!

ABOUT ULTRAMAN CONNECTION LIVE PRESENTS: ULTRAMAN OFFICIAL YOUTUBE 2 MILLION SUBSCRIBERS CELEBRATION

This livestream event will feature appearances by three cast members from Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga, which is approaching its final episode, and six cast members from the New Generation Ultraman series, which have been significantly important to the ULTRAMAN OFFICIAL YouTube Channel. The event will celebrate the Official Channel’s journey to 2 million subscribers by looking back at the history of the channel and the New Generation Ultraman series which grew along with it.

Note that the cast members will appear as themselves, not as their characters in the series, so we ask that parents and guardians practice discretion when allowing young children who believe in the world of the show to watch. Please also note that Hirata-san (Katsumi Minato a.k.a. Ultraman Rosso from Ultraman R/B) and Koike-san (Isami Minato a.k.a Ultraman Blu from Ultraman R/B) will appear in a pre-recorded segment. All other guests will be live.

On the day of the event, we will be taking questions for our guests from fans via Twitter.

Here’s how to ask your favorite Ultraman character a question:

  1. Follow @TsuburayaGlobal
  2. Send a tweet with the hashtag #AskUltra2M and tell us your nickname, question or comment, and who you want to ask!

We will then select questions from the community to read and ask our guests during the live show! Please note the Tsuburaya Productions official ULTRAMAN Global Twitter account: https://twitter.com/TsuburayaGlobal and remember that Hirata-san (Katsumi Minato a.k.a. Ultraman Rosso from Ultraman R/B) and Koike-san (Isami Minato a.k.a Ultraman Blu from Ultraman R/B) will appear in a pre-recorded segment, so cannot be asked questions during this broadcast.

Always the center of the topics among the viewers of Ultraman Connection Live, the event will feature two Live Stage battles! Be sure to watch from beginning to end to not miss a single moment of the action! Also, there’s a rumor that new Ultra hero, Ultraman Regulos might make an appearance…!

On Friday night, February 18th, after watching the new episode of Ultraman Chronicle D, please stay tuned on the ULTRAMAN OFFICIAL YouTube Channel for our Live Celebration!



LIVESTREAM OVERVIEW

Ultraman Connection Live Presents: ULTRAMAN OFFICIAL YouTube 2 Million Subscribers Celebration

Date/Time: February 18, 2022 (Friday) 8:00 - 9:35 PM (EST)

*An edited version of the event will also be available for viewing on the Official Channel at a later date.

Livestream Access: ULTRAMAN OFFICIAL YouTube Channel

URL: https://www.youtube.com/user/tsuburaya

MC: Sean Nichols (Ultraman Connection Live MC / as Sean White from Ultraman Max)

SPECIAL GUESTS

Raiga Terasaka (as Kengo Manaka a.k.a. Ultraman Trigger from Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga)

Raiga Terasaka plays Kengo Manaka, the incarnation of light and alter-ego of Ultraman Trigger, the finale of which airs this week. Terasaka-san has been working to bring Kengo’s ethos of “Smile, smile” to Ultraman fans around the world. Though Trigger is ending, Kengo’s story, and Terasaka-san’s performance, are not yet done, with Ultraman Trigger: Episode Z coming in March!

Runa Toyoda (as Yuna Shizuma / Yuzare from Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga)

Toyoda-san plays the heroine of Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga, Yuna Shizuma, and a deeply talented young actress who has grown with the role she’s made her own. She is no stranger to Ultraman Connection herself, having made an appearance at the Ultraman Connection Holiday Special, and she’ll be reprising her role in Ultraman Trigger: Episode Z!

Shunya Kaneko (as Akito Hijiri from Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga)

Rounding out the main trio of Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga is Shunya Kaneko, who brought the character of young genius Akito Hijiri to life! Though Trigger is his first Tokusatsu role, his performances have been exemplary, and we can’t wait to see him in more: like Ultraman Trigger: Episode Z!

Kohshu Hirano (as Haruki Natsukawa a.k.a. Ultraman Z from Ultraman Z)

Hirano-san, who starred as STORAGE pilot Haruki Natsukawa in 2020’s Seiun Award-winning Ultraman Z(Zett), has returned! Hirano-san’s portrayals have not ended with the finale of Z, and he will be reprising his heroic role in this year’s Ultraman Trigger: Episode Z, showing us all how Haruki has continued to grow since Z’s final battle!

Takuya Negishi (as Hikaru Raido a.k.a Ultraman Ginga from the Ultraman Ginga series)

Negishi-san, who played Hikaru Raido in 2013’s Ultraman Ginga and 2014’s Ultraman Ginga S, in many ways is partially responsible for the New Generation series as a whole! Bringing the character of Hikaru to life in Ginga, the first Ultraman series entry to hit the airwaves since 2006’s Ultraman Mebius, as well as its successor series Ginga S, Negishi-san is beloved by fans for the earnestness and joy he displayed.

Kiyotaka Uji (as Sho a.k.a. Ultraman Victory from Ultraman Ginga S)

Playing the taciturn Victorian, Sho, Kiyotaka Uji debuted as the co-star of 2014’s Ultraman Ginga S, alongside his predecessor Takuya Negishi. Sho is remembered for his growth across the series, going from a cold, combative fighter to a kind, caring warrior truly worthy of the name Ultraman. Much of the credit for that arc is attributed to Uji-san’s performance.

Yuya Hirata (Katsumi Minato a.k.a.Ultraman Rosso from Ultraman R/B)

Hirata-san brought responsible older sibling Katsumi Minato to life in 2018’s Ultraman R/B (Ruebe), in a performance still beloved by the fanbase. His dynamic with his co-stars was integral to the family feeling that R/B is best remembered for, and fans are looking forward to seeing him reprise his role again in the future!

Ryosuke Koike (Isami Minato a.k.a Ultraman Blu from Ultraman R/B)

Koike-san played genius younger brother Isami Minato in 2018’s Ultraman R/B, bringing a charming mix of youth and intelligence to the role that fans remember fondly. As more of the concepts and story elements created in R/B return and expand in the greater Ultraman series, fans around the world have been clamoring for the return of the young genius space archaeologist, and the actor who portrayed him.

Arisa Sonohara (Asahi Minato a.k.a. Ultrawoman Grigio from Ultraman R/B the Movie: Select! The Crystal of Bond and the Ultra Galaxy Fight series)

The talented young actress who has played fan-favorite character Ultrawoman Grigio in Ultraman R/B and beyond, Sonohara-san’s portrayal has been integral to the continued popularity of the young female Ultra up to the present day, including the upcoming Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad. This show will allow her to reunite publicly with her co-stars on several Ultraman projects in which she has worked, and we can’t wait to see!

ULTRAMAN CONNECTION TALK

Following the livestream on YouTube, there will be an extended livestream on Ultraman Connection exclusively!

The show is a spinoff talk show of Ultraman Connection Live. We will be doing live Q&A with the viewers so have your questions ready!

When you finish watching the Livestream, head straight over to UltramanConnection.com!

Program name: Ultraman Connection Talk

Date/Time: February 18, (Friday) 9:45 PM (EST)

Livestream Access: UltramanConnection.com

Please continue to support the ULTRAMAN OFFICIAL YouTube Channel!

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December 17, 2021

IAN BOGGS TIKTOK STAR APPEARING IN ULTRAMAN CONNECTION LIVE HOLIDAY SPECIAL

Tsuburaya Productions, the legendary Japanese company behind the Ultraman franchise is teaming up with Iceberg Theory, Starlight Runner Entertainment, and The Licensing Group to produce Ultraman Connection Live Holiday Special, a massive global, virtual event that will feature exclusive first looks at new Ultraman content, products, and surprises for fans.

The show will be livestreamed from Tokyo on Friday, December 17th at 8pm EST/5pm PST and will usher in new paradigms from the Ultraman franchise. Ian Boggs (9.5 million TikTok followers), who is a huge fan of the Ultraman franchise, will make a special guest appearance during the show. He will portray the character of Dan Hayashi, a pirate radio host who makes a startling cosmic discovery.

The Ultraman Connection Live Holiday Special was birthed out of Ultraman Connection Live, a monthly virtual event series produced by the team. The series has become known for its computer animated intro and outro videos, which have hinted at happenings in the greater Ultraman universe, particularly the indirect impact that the Absolutian-Ultra War (from Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Absoute Conspiracy YouTube series on the Ultraman Official Channel) has been having on Earth. The Ian Boggs radio station sequence is the first live-action scene to be produced for the series.

As a special promotion, a special Ian Boggs hoodie will be offered in the Ultraman Connection merch store as well as through Ian’s social media platforms. Sharp-eyed fans will be able to spot a fascinating symbol on the hoodie’s front!

Ultraman Connection Live Holiday Special will premiere never-before-seen footage from Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroads, the third Ultra Galaxy Fight miniseries. It will be released in 2022.

The event will also showcase a live panel celebrating Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga hosted by perennial Ultraman Series and Ultraman Connection Live superstar, Sean Nichols. The session will be talk show style and feature Trigger cast members Runa Toyoda, who plays Yuna Shizuma, Kei Hosogai who plays Ignis, and Shimba Tsuchiya, who plays the human host of Ultraman Ribut. Previous Ultraman Connection Live shows have featured exciting live floor show battles between Ultraman heroes and studio-invading Kaiju! (That’s a hint!)

Once the stream ends, Ultraman Connection will post every episode of Ultraman Trigger series (episodes 1-20) for all participating members and fans to enjoy. Participants will also receive a special holiday gift during the show.

Advance tickets to Ultraman Connection Live Holiday Special are $10 and can be purchased today by CLICKING HERE.

JEFF GOMEZ, PRODUCER commented: “The Ultraman Connection Live Holiday Special is the latest in our series of virtual and livestream events that set a new paradigm for how fans can interact with their favorite franchise universe. Instead of fearing and distancing ourselves from the audience, we are inviting them to dialogue directly with us, interact with our characters and storylines, and help us shape and share the Ultraman universe across all media, licensing, and merchandising. We love our fans and have prepared something really special for them on December 17.”

HISTORY

The Ultraman series aired in Japan beginning with Ultra Q in 1966 and have run for over 55 years. The most famous and celebrated Japanese superhero of all time, Ultraman, has joined the ranks of the most iconic characters in global popular culture. A silver Giant of Light who stands over 100 feet tall, Ultraman hails from the distant Nebula M78, arriving on Earth to protect the human race against an endless array of invading aliens and giant monsters (Kaiju). Ultraman and his human friends join forces in defending the world using advanced high-tech weapons and vehicles. Having melded with human Shin Hayata, Ultraman only appears when he is most needed.

The classic Ultraman TV series aired in Japan beginning in 1966, and continues through today, boasting nearly a thousand episodes. It has spawned dozens of movies, live shows and a robust licensing program throughout Asia that generates over US $100 million per year. Tsuburaya Productions’ Ultraman franchise is still going strong with the most recent series Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga, Netflix’s #1 CG animated series, Anime ULTRAMAN beginning its second season in 2022, and the recently announced Netflix CG animated ULTRAMAN feature film. Tsuburaya Productions works with The Licensing Group, Iceberg Theory, and Starlight Runner Entertainment to produce ongoing content for UltramanConnection.com, the franchise’s global fan hub.

Upon its return to the U.S., Ultraman has captured the excitement of older fans who remember watching it on U.S. TV from 1966 through the 1980s; but younger fans are rapidly joining the fan base. A North America licensing program was created, headed by The Licensing Group’s Danny Simon, and it has grabbed the attention of dozens of new licensees, including Marvel Comics, which is currently publishing The Trials of Ultraman series, and dozens of makers of collectibles, apparel, publishing, and games.

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December 8, 2021

ULTRAMAN CONNECTION LIVE HOLIDAY SPECIAL TIX ON SALE NOW! ADDS ULTRAMAN RIBUT & TRIGGER STARS

Tickets are now on sale for the greatest of end of year parties for Ultraman fans — the Ultraman Connection Holiday Special. Find them here!

 

Tsuburaya Productions and Iceberg Theory have brought a sleigh-load of special guests from Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga to talk about the series they’ve helped make great, just as it approaches its climax!

 

Fans who have been with Ultraman Connection since the start (to join in the fun yourself, with a free membership you can get here) will know that Ultraman Connection Live has always done our proudest to provide all-new, exciting Ultraman Series content for fans new and old, and the Holiday Special will be starting off with that in mind, featuring a demo screening of a brand-new interactive experience; and with it, a never-before-seen sneak peek into next year’s massive Ultraman Series event, Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad!

 

After that, fans from across the world will get their chance to send their love to several special guests from Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga! Let’s look at who’s confirmed for the show (there may be…others), and the amazing character’s they’ve played.

Runa Toyoda (Yuna Shizuma/Yuzare)

Runa Toyoda plays Yuna Shizuma, the heroine of Trigger, as well as her past incarnation, the mysterious Yuzare. Toyoda-san is a true talent, who has managed to contrast dual roles excellently, swapping between the still-developing optimism of Yuna with the noble solemnity of Yuzare, and has played a vital role in each episode of Trigger. In the Holiday Special, fans will be able to reminisce with her about her debut in the Ultraman Series, and how she has continued to grow as an actress alongside her roles.

Kei Hosogai (Ignis)

Kei Hosogai is the talent behind the dashing and mysterious treasure hunter Ignis, erstwhile ally and occasional foil to Ultraman Trigger and his allies in GUTS-Select. Hosogai-san is no stranger to playing complex characters in tokusatsu, as fans of the genre might recognize his performance as Basco Ta Jolokia in 2011’s Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, but his performance as the sole remaining Lishurian has made him a breakout star among Ultraman Series fans.

ShimbaTsuchiya (Ribut/UltramanRibut)

Shimba Tsuchiya brought an internationally beloved character to the screen in a new way when he debuted as the human form of Ultraman Ribut in Ultraman Trigger, the first live-action human to transform into the character. Initially known as a voice actor, Tsuchiya-san’s acting chops are unquestionable after his lauded performance as Ribut in episodes 14 and 15 of Trigger. Look forward to his perspectives on bringing the internationally beloved Ribut to fans in a new way!

Sean Nichols (Host/Sean White)

It wouldn’t be Ultraman Connection Live without our beloved host, Sean Nichols! Known initially to Ultraman Series fans for his performance as Sean White in Ultraman Max, Sean has been with Ultraman Connection Live since the original Sevenger Fight event earlier this year, and as usual, you can be certain he’ll bring his talents and charm to make this event unforgettable!

 

Fans will get a one-of-a-kind chance to interact with these performers, with some of you able to send selected questions and comments to our stars, LIVE ON-AIR! Have a question you want to ask, or something from the heart you want to share? Better prepare it now!

 

Finally, as befits the season, there will be a number of special gifts and surprises just for Ultraman Connection members all throughout the show. Just be warned: as any attendant of one of these shows knows, ANYTHING can happen at Ultraman Connection Live, so don’t miss it!

 

Tickets are up as of tonight, December 8th,2021, and you can pick them up right here, for $10 USD. We at Ultraman Connection can’t wait to celebrate the season with you, so pick up your tickets now! And for year-round coverage of the Ultraman Series, make sure you stay close to Ultraman Connection!

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November 8, 2021

TICKETS NOW ON SALE FOR ULTRAMAN CONNECTION LIVE FEATURING DYNA & GAIA VIRTUAL EVENT

At last! Tickets are now on sale for one of the most anticipated Ultraman events of the year: Ultraman Connection Live Featuring Dyna & Gaia. This all-new live virtual event will be held at UltramanConnection.com on Thursday, November 18, 2021, 8pm - 9pm Eastern Time.

 

If you have already registered for the event, you should be getting an email with instructions on how to purchase your discounted admission. Everyone else can go directly to the site and register for your $10 ticket.

 

The event coincides with Mill Creek Entertainment’s launch of the Ultraman Dyna DVD set, which is the first time the series has officially been released in the U.S. and much of the west. The Ultraman Gaia set will be released a month later in December.

 

Dyna and Gaia are two of the most popular Ultra Heroes in the history of the franchise, but these Ultra Heroes have not been seen very much in the various Ultraman media in recent years. What could be the reason?

 

The event will feature a panel with the main actors from the two shows, plenty of surprises, and even a follow-up to the mysterious animated intro and outro footage that capped off the last Ultraman Connection Live event…

 

UltramanConnection.com has seen a record number of registrations for Ultraman Connection Live Featuring Dyna & Gaia. All of us at Tsuburaya Productions, The Licensing Group, Iceberg Theory, and Starlight Runner Entertainment can’t wait to see you there!

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October 28, 2021

ULTRAMAN CONNECTION LIVE FEATURING DYNA & GAIA REVIVES TWO OF TSUBURAYA’S MOST CELEBRATED ULTRAS

Tsuburaya Productions, in collaboration with Iceberg Theory, The Licensing Group, and Starlight Runner Entertainment, have just announced Ultraman Connection Live Featuring Dyna & Gaia, a new live and interactive event to be held at UltramanConnection.com on Thursday, November 18, 2021, 8pm - 9pm Eastern Time!

 

The event coincides with Mill Creek Entertainment’s launch of the Ultraman Dyna DVD set, which is the first time the series has officially been released in the U.S. and much of the west. The Ultraman Gaia set will be released a month later in December.

 

Dyna and Gaia are two of the most popular Ultra Heroes in the history of the franchise. The event will feature a panel with the main actors from the two shows, plenty of surprises, and even a follow-up to the mysterious animated intro and outro footage that capped off the last Ultraman Connection Live event…

 

If you register at the site right now, Ultraman Connection will send you an email as soon as tickets go on sale, and you will get a 10% discount off the final price.

 

Ultraman Dyna and Ultraman Gaia, the latter two entries in the celebrated TDG trilogy (Tiga, Dyna, and Gaia), have been enjoyed by fans worldwide for 25 years now, representing not just some of the finest story telling and effects in the Ultraman Series, or even the time-period, but the whole genre of tokusatsu (Japanese live-action special effects film and television).

1997’s Dyna, a sequel to the venerable Ultraman Tiga, took the concepts introduced by its predecessor and expanded them. The adventures stretched out into the depths of space, and introduced the Super GUTS defense team, as well as pilot Shin Asuka, a hotheaded but kind hearted hero whose own brushes with personal tragedy open the door for him to become Ultraman Dyna. Together our heroes battled the invasion of the mysterious Sphere.

 

1998’s Ultraman Gaia does not take place in the same timeline as Tiga and Dyna but continues to expand on the ideas raised by the prior two entries. In it, Gamu Takayama, a young genius, finds himself imbued with the power of the planet itself in order to protect humanity from the cold judgement of the mysterious Radical Destruction Bringer and its Kaiju army. However, others stand against Gamu, especially Hiroya Fujimiya, who has inherited the power of the seas and has doubts that humans are worth saving…

 

Ultraman Connection Live Featuring Dyna & Gaia will of course be hosted(and translated) by Ultraman Max actor Sean Nichols and will be an exciting opportunity for original fans of the TDG trilogy to revisit the fan-favorite characters Ultraman Dyna and Ultraman Gaia. The show will also be a great way for new fans to learn more about both series as many get their hands on Ultraman Dyna for the first time ever!

 

Nichols will be joined by Takeshi Tsuruno (Shin Asuka/Ultraman Dyna), Takeshi Yoshioka (Gamu Takayama/Ultraman Gaia), and Hassei Takano (Hiroya Fujimiya/Ultraman Agul), in a panel that is sure to discuss the creation of the two shows, the actors’ memories of their characters, and more! This time, the actors will be able to answer fan chats directly, so have your questions ready. We can confidently say that there will be some out-of-this-world surprises for audiences worldwide!

 

The show, as with all Ultraman Connection Live events, will feature a Merchandise Store specific to this event, where fans can pick up collectibles celebrating the TDG trilogy, as well as all generations of Ultraman! In addition, a few lucky fans may walk away with special prizes given out during the show!

 

Be sure to register now to get your 10% discount on ticket sales, and come to Ultraman Connection on Thursday, November 18, 2021, at 8pm Eastern Time, to catch Ultraman Connection Live Featuring Dyna & Gaia! And as always, for all things Ultraman, stay right here on Ultraman Connection.

For more character information of Ultraman Dyna and Ultraman Gaia:

Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd - ULTRAMAN Series

Ultraman Dyna | ULTRAMAN | Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd | ULTRAMAN | Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd

Introduction of Ultra Heroes “Ultraman Dyna”. Shin Asuka, a member of Super GUTS, transforms into Dyna. Ultraman official website by Tsuburaya Productions.

Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd - ULTRAMAN Series

Ultraman Gaia | ULTRAMAN | Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd | ULTRAMAN | Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd

Introduction of Ultra Heroes “Ultraman Gaia”. Gamu Takayama, a member of G.U.A.R.D.'s defense team XIG, transforms into Gaia. Ultraman official website by Tsuburaya Productions.

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September 14, 2021

ULTRAMAN CONNECTION LIVE: YOUTUBE SPECIAL TO FEATURE SPECIAL GUESTS, SURPRISE REVEALS!


By special arrangement with Tsuburaya Productions and Bandai Spirits, Iceberg Theory, The Licensing Group, and Starlight Runner Entertainment have just announced that they will be holding a free event on September 24th, 2021, called Ultraman Connection Live: ULTRAMAN OFFICIAL YouTube Special — Featuring S.H. Figuarts to be simulcast on YouTube and UltramanConnection.com


You can register for the event right now here at Ultraman Connection!


Streamed live from Bandai’s MIRAIKEN studio in Tokyo, Japan, the show will celebrate the upcoming milestone of the ULTRAMAN OFFICIAL YouTube Channel hitting 2 million subscribers and is set to feature incredible guests from various Ultraman series, and surprise canonical revelations about the future of the franchise. Fans who register and watch the event through UltramanConnection.com will also be treated to the premiere of the feature-length Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Absolute Conspiracy – Director’s Cut Edition!


Ultraman Connection Live: ULTRAMAN OFFICIAL YouTube Special — Featuring S.H. Figuarts will once again be hosted by fan-favorite Sean Nichols, who played DASH agent Sean White in Ultraman Max. The event will feature an incredible line up of guests, including the director of Ultra Galaxy Fight and several other Ultraman series Koichi Sakamoto, Ultraman Geed / Riku Asakura actor Tatsuomi Hamada, voice of Ultraman Taiga, Takuma Terashima, voice of Ultrawoman Grigio, Arisa Sonohara, and the band Voyager who are known for their many popular Ultraman theme songs!

Tatsuomi Hamada
Takuma Terashima
Arisa Sonohara
Koichi Sakamoto
Group Band Voyager

Host Sean Nichols


The event will also feature dynamic content streamed straight from Bandai’s MIRAIKEN Studio, where more information is set to be revealed about the next epic chapter of Ultra Galaxy Fight, including ties to the current series Ultraman Trigger. Fans will also be happy to hear that the show is sponsored by Bandai Spirits Co. and S.H. Figuarts for a reason: we can expect the reveal of a new ultra-high-quality product at the event!


While the event will be streamed for free on the ULTRAMAN OFFICIAL YouTube Channel, the official fan site Ultraman Connection will simultaneously stream the event at on UltramanConnection.com and will feature an exclusive premiere screening of Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Absolute Conspiracy — The Director’s Cut. This feature-length version of the YouTube series will include 10 additional minutes of never-before-seen story and special effects footage! The stream and screening will be available at no additional cost, with the only requirement to watch being free registration with Ultraman Connection. On the site, fans will be able to react, chat, and comment together on all the action and amazing reveals in the show!


Ultra Galaxy Fight: New Generation Heroes – Director’s Cut Edition, the first of the new Ultra Galaxy Fight series which originally premiered in 2019 to celebrate the ULTRAMAN OFFICIAL YouTube Channel reaching 1 million subscribers, will be made available on Ultraman Connection as well, giving fans the chance to catch up on all of Ultra Galaxy Fight at once!


Finally, fans who attend through UltramanConnection.com will as always have the unique opportunity to access the site’s merchandise store, which will contain exclusive items such as posters, collectibles, and pins, from throughout the Ultraman franchise!


Tune in right here at Ultraman Connection or on YouTube on September 24th to join the free event and Ultra fans from all over the world. And as always, for all things Ultraman, stay tuned to Ultraman Connection.


Register for the event right now here at Ultraman Connection (it's free)!


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October 15, 2021

ULTRAMAN DYNA SERIES RELEASED BY MILL CREEK IN TIME FOR BIG ULTRAMAN CONNECTION SHOW

Ultraman Dyna, the second series of Mill Creek Entertainment’s epic three-part Ultraman DVD collection that started with Ultraman Tiga and will end with Ultraman Gaia, is to be released on November 16, 2021 and we cannot wait! Since the release of Tiga, we’ve been hungry for more content and now, with the addition of Ultraman Dyna to the collectible spine mural, we can’t wait to dig in.

 

In the series we follow Shin Asuka, human host to Ultraman Dyna and member of the defense organization GUTS (Global Unlimited Task Squad) as he navigates a post-Ultraman Tiga society in which humanity has begun to expand their influence across the galaxy. Life is interrupted, however, when a massive Kaiju attacks a Martian village and Ultraman Dyna must battle it for the safety of the universe. Ultraman Dyna continues his adventures and eventually teams up with Ultraman Tiga in Ultraman Tiga & Ultraman Dyna: Warriors of the Star of Light (which is included in this DVD set).

Unlike Tiga, Dyna can only transform twice in battle, his third form is inaccessible, giving him a unique obstacle that only proves his competence. He is just as strong and capable of fighting as other Ultras despite this limitation because he can choose which alternate form to embody during his transformation. The series is also widely appreciated for its attention to character development and the focus on multiple characters’ perspectives.

 

Ultraman Connection has special plans to celebrate the release of Ultraman Dyna and Ultraman Gaia — an Ultraman Connection Live event in November, which will include interviews with the stars of the series direct from Tokyo and a live floor show! You will not want to miss this. Be sure to register to be the first to know when the specific details of this fantastic event become available by clicking on the Operations Room at the top of this Ultraman Connection page!

 

Ultraman Dyna includes 51 episodes of the series, as well as movies Ultraman Tiga & Ultraman Dyna: Warriors of the Star of Light and Ultraman Dyna: Return of Hanejiro. It features Japanese audio and English subtitles, not to mention a full episode guide for the entire 6-disc set. All of these special features make that $34.99 money worth spending! The disc trailer is available below, stay tuned for more updates on the Mill Creek Entertainment three-part collection!

Check it out here!

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October 9, 2020

PROVING THE POWER OF FAMILY WITH ULTRAMAN R/B:THE COMPLETE SERIES+MOVIE

Continuing their glorious output of the New Generation Ultraman series, Tsuburaya Productions and Mill Creek Entertainment have brought western audiences the tale of the newest brother Ultras, Ultraman Rosso and Blu, in Ultraman R/B the Complete Series+Movie.

In the small town of Ayaka, brothers Katsumi and Isami Minato find themselves endowed with incredible powers when they become the mighty Ultraman Rosso and Ultraman Blu, to fight the terrifying Grigio Bone after he upends their lives. With no mentors to rely on to teach them how to be heroes, the brothers find strength in one another, their loving father, Ushio, and their mysterious but good-hearted sister, Asahi. Together they take on threats, big and small, as well as their own differences. They also must try to solve the mystery of the origin of their powers, and how it connects to their disappeared mother.

To make things more difficult for the still-learning—and often feuding—brothers, their foes are practiced hands at all manners of villainy. Twisted Ultra “fan” Ultraman Orb Dark (Noir Black Schwarz…whew, what a mouthful!) despises the brothers for not adhering to his twisted ideals of heroism. And standing behind him is the mysterious immortal, Saki Mitsurugi. And beyond them, waiting in the dark, pulling strings and manipulating hearts, is the mysterious Ultraman Tregear, who’s theatricality and origins in the deep mythos of the Land of Light has turned him into a fan favorite.

Balancing humor, action, and heartwarming moments, R/B truly embodies the all-ages feel that makes Ultraman a hit with viewers young and old. Even with that, however, the show stands out even among its fellow New Generation entries in a number of ways, from its dual heroes, to the introduction of the first new female Ultra of the entire New Generation Era! (Who is she? Watch Select! The Crystal of Bonds to find out!)

Ultraman R/B the Complete Series+Movie is another sterling addition to Mill Creek’s New Generation Ultraman line, with 6 Blu-ray disks containing not only the 25 episodes of the show, but the accompanying movie, Ultraman R/B Select! The Crystal of Bonds. In addition, the collection comes with a story booklet that acts as a guide to both the powers held by Rosso and Blu, as well as all the episodes. Finally, the collection comes with a code to allow viewers to stream a digital version of the entire series on MovieSpree!

What’s next in the “Ultraman Universe?” To find that out, keep your eyes on UltramanGalaxy.com—and don’t forget to pick up all of the other New Generation and Classic Ultraman collections from Mill Creek Entertainment!

Watch the Ultraman R/B Series+Movie trailer here!

And watch the Ultraman R/B Movie trailer here!

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August 30, 2020

FIRE UP YOUR SPARK DOLL! ULTRAMAN X:THE COMPLETE SERIES + MOVIE ARRIVES

Mill Creek Entertainment has further expanded its series of Ultraman media with the Blu-ray/DVD release of Ultraman X: The Complete Series + Movie!

Originally airing in Japan in 2015, after the success of Ultraman Ginga S, Ultraman X aimed to create a new story evocative of the best of the franchise’s classic era while embracing new techniques and looks that would become hallmarks of the New Generation series. Daichi Oozora is a monster-loving member of Xio (Xeno invasion outcutters), a group attempting to safeguard the human race from emerging Kaiju. A near-death experience brings him into contact with Ultraman X, who “Unites” with him to rise and defeat threats to the Earth, using his ability to capture monsters via the amazing Spark Dolls: small, action-figure-sized miniatures that are capable of containing the essence of the aliens, monsters, and heroes they represented.

These strange devices were invigorated by the Ultra Flare, a violent upheaval of the sun a decade and a half prior to the action of the series. The event had awakened monsters all over the world from the Spark Dolls, which held these beings in stasis. Now Daichi must uncover the mystery of the Flares and use the power of these devices if he is to save the planet!

Ultraman X, in contrast to other New Generation series, eschewed a specific, ongoing narrative in favor of episodic adventures with light serialization. These include some fan favorite episodes that are still talked about to this day, highly reminiscent of the best of Classic Ultraman:

  • The desperate battle between X and the young Goldian, tE-rU, against the genocidal monster Gargorgon.
  • The tragedy of the peaceful monster Houlinga, manipulated by uncaring humans until it could not help but lash out.
  • The lighthearted tale of the Nebula crew, a trio of friendly aliens attempting to make their way on Earth.

These and many more are among the best science fiction tales of the series, showcasing the storytelling potential of the franchise.

In addition, the show is perhaps best known for its strong crossover stories with previous Ultra Heroes. Ultraman X would come to fight alongside a diverse crew of senior warriors, including Ultraman Zero, Ultraman Max (who celebrated his 10th anniversary at the time, and his 15th this year), and Ultraman Nexus.

Ultraman X: The Complete Series + Movie is a dynamite production from Mill Creek, featuring 22 fantastic episodes across five discs. It also includes the English-language home media premiere of Ultraman X the Movie: Here He Comes! Our Ultraman on a sixth disc, in which Ultraman X teams up with the heroes of the past (inclulding Ultraman Tiga and the original Ultraman) in order to stop an ancient evil from destroying Earth!

Each set also comes with a ten-page booklet featuring Ultraman X, his various powers, the Ultras he fought alongside, and synopses of each episode and the movie. In addition, the movie comes in Japanese with English subtitles as well as the theatrical English dub, originally available during a special double-feature in American theatres.

Ultraman X: The Complete Series + Movie is only one of many Ultraman releases, with more to come. Look forward to more New Generation entries, as well as Classic Ultraman stories, from Mill Creek Entertainment and Tsuburaya Productions.

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August 25, 2020

MILL CREEK’S GOT THE ULTRA-TOUCH WITHULTRAMAN ACE: THE COMPLETE SERIES

Continuing their ongoing Classic Ultraman series releases, Mill Creek Entertainment has added another hallmark series to their library of Blu-rays with Ultraman Ace: The Complete Series!

Ultraman Ace was the fifth entry in the Ultraman franchise, hitting airwaves during a particularly action-packed and effects-heavy time for the tokusatsu genre. Ace was conceived to be the most exciting series yet in order to cement Ultraman as the king of the genre.

In a unique twist, the series featured both a male and female host for the latest incarnation of the Giant of Light—the hotheaded Seiji Hokuto and the kindhearted Yuko Minami. They used the leaping “Ultra Touch” to combine into the titular hero: the first double-bonded human team in the franchise. Ultraman Ace himself was a flashier fighter compared to his predecessors, augmenting the traditional, judo-inspired martial combat with a massive arsenal of creative and varied special techniques.

Ace Beam

Ace is also notable for introducing the first long-running villain to the Ultraman Series, the other-dimensional tyrant, Yapool. A dynamic hero needed a powerful villain to match him, after all. Yapool’s zeal to conquer Earth was matched only by his determination to personally destroy Ultraman Ace. To that end, Yapool crafted the horrifying terrible-monsters (Choju), cyborg abominations far stronger than any natural creature. Though aliens and traditional monsters were still a threat, the vast majority of the menaces to Earth during Ace’s tenure were these twisted combinations of flesh and metal.

Against such beings, a single Ultraman may not have been enough, but Ace was never alone. He allied himself early on with TAC (Terrible-Monster Attacking Crew), the human defense team protecting the Earth from Yapool’s invasion. Ace also teamed up with his predecessors in the Inter Galactic Defense Force. Dozens of fantastic episodes highlight these over-the-top conflicts:

  • The first Terrible-Monster attack by the missile-launching Verokron
  • The assault of the sky-shattering Vakishim
  • The debut of the mighty Father of Ultra against the vile Alien Hipporit
  • The uniting of all five Ultra Brothers (Ultraman, Zoffy, Seven, Jack, and Ace) against the golden claw of the robotic copycat, Ace-Killer

Ace Rise

Each one of the 52 episodes of Ultraman Ace is loaded onto one of six Blu-ray discs, the first time the show has received an official English-language release, and in crisp hi-definition to boot. In addition, the set features a 24-page booklet with episode synopses, monster profiles, character bios, and more. For those who want more than just a physical edition, each set comes with a code that allows you to redeem the series on MovieSpree in a digital format.

With Ultraman Ace: The Complete Series, Mill Creek has made its way into the second half of the Classic era. Look forward to more great Ultraman products coming soon from Mill Creek Entertainment and Tsuburaya Productions.

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July 11, 2020

SHOUT! FACTORY AND MILL CREEK ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCE MAJOR ULTRAMAN STREAMING DEAL


Shout! Factory, a multi-platform media company, and Mill Creek Entertainment announced a landmark distribution alliance to bring Tsuburaya Productions’ iconic ULTRAMAN superhero library to streaming entertainment platforms in North America.

The multi-year alliance provides Shout! Factory and its multi-platform streaming service, Shout! Factory TV with exclusive SVOD and AVOD digital rights in the U.S. and Canada to Tsuburaya’s expansive catalog of ULTRAMAN properties including more than 1100 episodes and 20 movies.

Iconic series and popular movies include ULTRA Q, ULTRAMAN, ULTRASEVEN, RETURN OF ULTRAMAN, ULTRAMAN ACE, ULTRAMAN TARO, ULTRAMAN GAIA, ULTRAMAN GAIA: THE BATTLE IN HYPER SPACE, ULTRAMAN COSMOS, ULTRAMAN NEXUS, ULTRAMAN MAX, ULTRAMAN MEBIUS, ULTRAMAN MEBIUS & ULTRAMAN BROTHERS, MEGA MONSTER BATTLE ULTRA GALAXY: THE MOVIE, ULTRAMAN SAGA, ULTRAMAN GINGA, ULTRAMAN GINGA S, ULTRAMAN X, ULTRAMAN ORB, ULTRAMAN GEED, and a long list of notable titles.

Shout! Factory TV plans an aggressive rollout of ULTRAMAN pop culture properties on its new TOKUSHOUTSU™ streaming channel this year, including individual programs as well as complete series. As excitement builds, Shout! Factory TV, in collaboration with Tsuburaya Productions and Indigo Entertainment, will announce additional news and activities in forthcoming months.

“A colossus of the tokusatsu genre, Ultraman is one of the most beloved and enduring pop culture brands in the world and, amazingly, it’s still growing. So it’s particularly exciting to present nearly 60 years of TV series and feature films to North American audiences, much of it for the first time. They’ve got a lot of catching up to do, and we aim to help that happen,” stated Jordan Fields, Vice President of Acquisitions at Shout! Factory.

“We’re incredibly excited about this new relationship with Mill Creek Entertainment and Indigo Entertainment. Tsuburaya Productions’ Ultraman continues to stand as a seminal pop-culture phenomenon to this day. Over the years, Shout! Factory TV has presented Ultraman Leo and multiple seasons of other popular Japanese tokusatsu series to incredible fan reception. We look forward to bringing these highly entertaining Ultraman series and movies to our streaming program lineup for Shout’s TokuSHOUTsu™ channel, available on Pluto TV,” stated Gene Pao.  “As we actively expand our reach in streaming and digital platforms, this deal exemplifies the type of pop culture content we plan to pursue, which taps into the interests and passions of our loyal fanbase.”

”We are thrilled about this collaboration with Shout! Factory,” stated Jeff Hayne, SVP of Mill Creek Entertainment. “Their passion for tokusatsu content combined with the reach their digital channels have to fans will create further awareness of the Ultraman content library and the collectible SteelBook® and Blu-ray products that Mill Creek Entertainment will continue to release.”

The classic Ultraman live-action television series of the 1960s and 70s, produced by Tsuburaya Productions, established new heights of quality adventure and special effects-driven entertainment and built a worldwide audience for the property. Hailing from the distant Nebula M78, Ultraman is a Giant of Light who protects Earth and the human race from an endless array of invading aliens and terrifying monsters together with the crew of the Earth-based defense team using advanced high-tech weapons and vehicles.

Ultraman battles monsters that cause endless mayhem and destruction on Earth. With the ability to extend his height to over 130 feet, Ultraman merges with a human and only emerges in times of extreme danger to save people and the Earth. The popularity of Ultraman—and the aliens and monsters—has enabled the series to persist to this day, generating over $50 million per year in toys and merchandise in Japan.

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July 7, 2020

THE BIRTH OF ULTRAMAN COLLECTION EXCLUSIVE BLU-RAY RELEASE FOR ULTRAMAN DAY JULY 10, 2020!

Exclusive Release for Ultraman Day
Features Cover Art by Alex Ross!

Mill Creek Entertainment is pleased to announce The Birth of Ultraman Collection, a Blu-ray set containing some of the best episodes of the original Ultraman series. It includes both the original Japanese language and the classic English dub audio tracks, plus the amazing video rarity: The Birth of Ultraman – Ultraman Pre-Premiere Special, the very first appearance of the hero that would become famous across the world as Ultraman.

This exclusive Blu-ray release also features art created by Alex Ross. This art is also featured on the first issue of Marvel Comics’ The Rise of Ultraman series, due out in September 2020, which is a collaboration between Marvel Publishing and Tsuburaya Productions.

In this new package, Mill Creek Entertainment offers a selection of Ultraman episodes in high definition video with DTS-HD Master Audio of the original Japanese soundtrack as well as the uncut United Artists English dubs. Each episode will also come with two English subtitle options; one for the Japanese audio and a second matching the English audio track.

The Birth of Ultraman Collection will include the following episodes…

Episode 1 – Ultra Operation No. 1 – Our story begins as the heroic alien Ultraman pursues the Space Monster Bemular to Earth, leading to a fateful encounter with Shin Hayata, an agent of the Science Special Search Party.

Episode 2 – Shoot the Invader – Ultraman’s iconic foes, Alien Baltan, make their first appearance in a tale narrated by Ide, the Patrol’s genius inventor.

Episode 19 – Demons Rise Again – An ancient time capsule unleashes the red-skinned monster Banila and his blue-skinned rival, Aboras, who wage a titanic battle in National Stadium.

Episodes 26 & 27 – The Monster Highness Parts 1 & 2 – The only 2-part Ultraman story features the Ancient Monster Gomora, who escapes captivity and overwhelms Ultraman as it rampages towards Osaka.

Episode 33 – The Forbidden Words – When Alien Mefilas tries to convince a boy to give him the Earth, even Ultraman may not be able to stop him.

Episode 37 – A Little Hero – Ide suffers a crisis of faith as the Friendly Monster Pigmon warns that the evil creature Geronimon is reviving an army of monsters to destroy Ultraman and the Science Special Search Party!

Also included is The Birth of Ultraman – Ultraman Pre-Premiere Special. Airing in Japan on July 10th, 1966, one week before the original series premiere, this stage show was filmed before a live studio audience and introduced viewers to the story, cast, and characters of Ultraman. This initial debut of the Ultraman character on television is now celebrated annually and known throughout the world as “Ultraman Day.” Never before released in America, this presentation is presented in black & white in standard definition with Japanese audio and English subtitles.

The Ultraman series itself premiered on Japanese television on July 17, 1966 and was an immediate ratings smash. The North American rights were licensed to United Artists, who in-turn produced the English dubbing of the show. The English language version was syndicated to American television and went on to air in various markets across the country.

The Birth of Ultraman Collection Blu-ray will be sold exclusively on DeepDiscount.com as part of the launch of a dedicated Ultraman storefront that will offer up all of Mill Creek Entertainment’s current Blu-ray/SteelBook® releases.  Available July 10, 2020, the set retails for $25.99.

For July 10 only, Mill Creek is offering a discount of 20% for the Blu-ray.

Use the Code SPACIUMBEAM when checking out.


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May 26, 2020

ULTRA EYE SPARK! MILL CREEK BRINGS ULTRASEVEN THE COMPLETE SERIES TO NORTH AMERICA

After the first wave of smash-hit collections of Ultraman content, Mill Creek Entertainment has struck while the iron is hot and released one of the most beloved entries in the Ultraman Series: Ultraseven.

Premiering in late autumn of 1967, Ultraseven further explored the boundaries of its genre. Combining incredible effects that had further evolved from previous series with more complex storytelling, it struck a chord with audiences and helped turn the entire franchise into a global icon when it eventually became a hit in the United States (among other nations). Some have compared the work to science fiction hallmarks like Doctor Who and Star Trek, but Ultraseven’s quality and distinctive look was all its own, allowing it to find a cult following beyond its native Japan.

While it has been a cult hit in the west thanks to a syndicated dub of the series in the 1990s, a complete, high-definition Blu-Ray collection of this landmark series has never been available in the North American market. In July 2019, Tsuburaya Productions announced that Mill Creek Entertainment would become a premiere licensee of the Ultraman franchise. It is no wonder that they soon turned to this fan favorite in the form of Ultraseven: The Complete Series.

For the first time in 30 years, western fans can experience legendary moments, like the first emergence of the Space Monster Eleking at the beck of its lady masters, or the desperate battle between Ultraseven and King Joe in the waters of Kobe. Even the Greatest Invasion in History, the final battle of ‘Seven’s initial tenure, is now accessible to fans. And for the first time ever, the tragic tale of the Pegassan aliens will be shown in the west: an episode lost in the original dub.

The collection is available in two elegant styles: Standard Edition and Steelbook Edition. Each is cast in the classic series’ trademark red and white. Forty-eight engrossing episodes are divided across six Blu-Ray discs, each one featuring stunning, high-definition remasters of the original Japanese production, complete with English subtitles. In addition to physical copies of the material, each set comes with a digital download code for the whole series, redeemable through MovieSpree.

Embossed with a #3 on the spine, this is indeed the third part of the classic Ultraman Series collection sure to occupy shelves in fans’ homes for years to come, but as it is self-contained, new fans can quickly jump in without prior knowledge of the franchise.

For die-hard Ultra fans, the collection comes with a 24-page guidebook, featuring behind-the-scenes and production information on the show, as well as episode guides and profiles of the most memorable Kaiju, vehicles, and technology used in the series.

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October 4, 2020

MARVEL’S RISE OF ULTRAMAN #2 ALL COVERS REVEALED

The Rise of Ultraman issue #2 from Marvel Comics arrives at comic shops everywhere Wednesday, October 7! For this issue, fans will have five incredible covers to choose from, ranging from standard releases to limited editions. Let’s take a look at them all!

JORGE MOLINA

The standard cover is a beautiful montage featuring Ultraman in his Spacium Beam pose, Kiki Fuji wielding a United Science Patrol K-Ray gun, and the return of classic orange Science Patrol uniform. Also featured is a truly vicious rendition of classic Ultraman foe, the Ancient Monster Gomora. The cover is drawn by comics artist and product designer Jorge Molina, the main artist for the 2018 Spider-Man crossover event Spider-Geddon and the all-female Avengers comic A-Force (a team referenced during the final battle of Avengers: Endgame). Molina is proof that Marvel is pulling no punches on the Ultraman books. His Marvel credits also include various issues of the X-Men titles and covers for series such as Avengers Assemble and New Mutants. Molina will return to The Rise of Ultraman with a cover for issue #3.

ARTGERM

The first variant cover is a digital painting of Ultraman in battle with one of his most popular foes, the Space Ninja Baltan. The artwork was created by Stanley Lau, a Hong Kong-based illustrator and concept artist who goes by the professional name “Artgerm.” Lau is the co-founder and creative director of the digital art studio Imaginary Friends Studios, which has produced digital artwork for Marvel, DC, Capcom and other clients. A lifelong fan of Ultraman, Artgerm recently tweeted his excitement over creating a variant cover for The Rise of Ultraman #2, stating, “Never would have imagined drawing something official for my favorite childhood hero.” Note that the Kaiju featured on these covers are not always the ones featured in that issue’s storyline.

ARTGERM VIRGIN VARIANT

Artgerm’s The Rise of Ultraman cover will also be available as a “virgin” variant; a textless version (save for the Marvel logo) allowing the artwork to be viewed cleanly without the series title and credits. This edition is a retailer incentive and rarest of the covers; stores will only receive one (1) virgin variant for every 100 copies ordered, making it the hardest to find of the issue #2 covers. But one look at that spectacular artwork proves it’s well worth the search!

ARTHUR ADAMS

Arthur Adams burst on the comics scene in 1985 with the Marvel mini-series Longshot and quickly became one of the most popular artists in the industry, acclaimed for his work on the X-Men and Spider-Man titles, Fantastic Four, Batman, Action Comics, Hulk and many other comics. Adams is well known for his love of kaiju and tokusatsu, having co-written and illustrated the Godzilla Color Special producing numerous Godzilla comic book covers, and sneaking Godzilla and Ultraman monsters into his other works. His first official Ultraman artwork is this explosive variant cover featuring the Hero of Light and 19 classic creatures from the 1966 television series! Only 1 in every 25 copies will use this cover, so if you see it, don’t miss out! To find out more about this cover, check out out previous article.

MASAYUKI GOTO

The final variant cover is by Masayuki Goto, the second Japanese artist contributing to The Rise of Ultraman (following Yuji Kaida’s art for issue #1). Goto is certainly no stranger to Ultraman, having worked for Tsuburaya Productions as their lead character designer for new Ultra Heroes since the 2009 feature film Mega Monster Battle Ultra Galaxy: The Movie. His designs include the various forms for Ultraman Zero, all of the New Generation Ultra Heroes, including the new hero Ultraman Z, the Ultimate Force Zero team, and fan favorite villains like Ultraman Belial and Jugglus Juggler. He also redesigned Tsuburaya’s hero Gridman for the 2018 anime series SSSS.Gridman. Goto’s colorful cover illustration shows Ultraman firing his Spacium Beam directly at the viewer!

Share your thoughts about these covers or anything else about Marvel’s The Rise of Ultraman comics on Twitter with hashtag #TheRiseofUltraman or mention us @TsuburayaGlobal.

The Rise of Ultraman #2 goes on sale on October 7th, 2020, at comic shops everywhere. Make sure to pick it up, and keep your eyes glued to UltramanGalaxy.com for more news from Tsuburaya Productions and Marvel Entertainment!

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September 14, 2020

RISE OF ULTRAMAN #2 PREVIEW: THE MAKING OF ART ADAMS’ KAIJU COVER


Art Adams

Fans have been hotly anticipating the release of Marvel’s comic book miniseries The Rise of Ultraman. As more details and images have been revealed, one particularly praised piece is the stunning cover art for issue #2 depicting the hero surrounded by several iconic monsters from the 1966 TV series.

That cover was created by Arthur Adams, the popular artist known for his work on X-Men, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, and Godzilla. He is also a big fan of Kaiju and would race home after school each day to watch Ultraman on television while living on Northern California’s Travis Air Force Base in the early 1970s. As a professional, he would even sneak Godzilla and Ultraman characters into his comics work.

Adams explained that he got the Rise of Ultraman cover assignment from the book’s editor, Tom Breevort, saying, “I’ve often drawn Ultraman stuff in the backgrounds, so maybe he noticed that.” He sent several concept sketches to Breevort, who made the final pick.

Adams starts with a series of layout sketches to show Tom his general vision for the cover.

Everyone agreed his third sketch “C” was the best.

“Because I love the first season of Ultraman, I wanted to draw as many of my favorite monsters as I could. So, it wasn’t difficult; it was more a matter of deciding which ones to leave out and which ones to put in. I had to get Antlar, Baltan and Red King in. I love Pestar, but I couldn’t fit him. He’s a very big guy…well, two guys. Dodongo’s also big, but I got him in there.”

Rare shot of the unfinished inks to The Rise of Ultraman #2 variant cover by Art Adams.

Notice Ultraman himself is still in pencils.

He also included the Friendly Monster Pigmon. “I was quite amused with myself that I got him in there because I’ve never liked that monster. My favorite episode was the one where [Geronimon] makes all the monsters come back to life. There’s one scene where Dorako gets annoyed with Pigmon and squishes him. That’s always how I think of Pigmon.”

For accuracy’s sake, Adams turned to photos of the monsters from the original series and the later Ultraman shows. He also referenced models and figures from X-Plus and Bandai’s S.H. Figuarts.

Rare uncropped image of the cover. Note the names of the Kaiju in the margins.

Art is a true super fan!

The cover was drawn the traditional way; pencils and inks on paper rather than digitally. “On average, my covers take approximately a week,” Adams said. “And that one was a pretty solid ‘seven day’ cover. There’s a lot going on…just keeping track of reference, and Tsuburaya Productions wanting me to draw Ultraman’s face properly. And they were right. The first one I drew, you still clearly see Ultraman, but he was a little more expressive than they wanted him to be.”

The finished artwork was beautifully colored by Jason Keith, with minor revisions to guarantee the monster colors were accurately presented.

Adams was pleased with the opportunity to do his first Ultraman cover, stating, “I was super happy they asked me to do one, but I would definitely liked to have done more.” The experience, along with feedback from fans, has been an inspiration: “I just started drawing more Ultraman monsters because it was fun.”

Here is the final Arthur Adams cover!

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September 9, 2020

SHUWATCH! THE RISE OF ULTRAMAN #1 ARRIVESCOVER YOUR BASES WITH ALL MARVEL COVERS

The Jet VTOL’s fueled, the K-Ray is operational, and the Beta Capsule is primed: The Rise of Ultraman issue #1 is ready to go! When you pick your copy up from comic shops everywhere Wednesday, September 9, you’ll have a stunning nine covers to choose from! (Note: Some will be scarcer than others!) We’re here to go through them all now to help you decide which one you want to take home…that is, if you don’t end up nabbing them all! And let’s celebrate with Ultraman’s iconic battle cry: “SCHUWATCH!!!”

ALEX ROSS

This is the flagship cover, and with art by the inimitable Alex Ross, it’s no wonder! Featuring a realistic, gorgeously drawn Ultraman standing over a throng of astonished civilians, the style and scale promises the reader that a momentous occasion is waiting just a page flip away. To find out more about this cover, check out our previous article!

JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER

The first variant is an Ultraman-style spin on the classic Marvel Action Figures cover, drawn by John Tyler Christopher. Look to the fourteen points of articulation (a necessity to be able to make that classic + pose), a swappable Color Timer, a Spacium Beam, and an Ultra Slash: if only this toy could be found on shelves…maybe someday! Pick this gorgeous cover to add it to your Marvel Figure cover collection.

ED MCGUINNESS

Next up is a colorful, eye-catching action pose by artistic titan Ed McGuinness! Fittingly, this pose, taken of Ultraman as he transforms from his host and partner, Shin Hayata, is called “The Rise.” McGuinness is a self-avowed Ultraman fanatic and has drawn a hero ready to take on whatever may threaten Earth. At only one in every 50 copies, this is a must-have rarity for your collection, but you’ll have to find it first!

YUJI KAIDA

Yuji Kaida is a legendary Japanese artist, known for his gorgeous, near-photorealistic art of various famous entertainment franchises such as Gundam, Godzilla, and, of course, Ultraman. One of two artists currently living in Japan to be selected to create special covers for The Rise of Ultraman, Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief is a big fan and has stated that he is honored the Yuji Kaida accepted the assignment. This cover has a dark, moody feel: fitting, considering the subject matter. Fans are taken back to the burning ruins of the Classic-era SSSP headquarters, where Ultraman fought his final, desperate battle against one of the most powerful monsters ever to menace the universe, the dreaded Zetton. The sense of scale is immense, equally depicting danger and excitement. Only one in every 25 copies depicts this pitched battle, so if you see it, don’t miss out! Rest assured, more Japanese artists will be doing their takes on upcoming issues.

SKOTTIE YOUNG

Skottie Young is known for a hyper-emotive, expressive style that’s often mixed with high-octane action. He’s successfully applied his skills to a number of different series and genres, from Marvel superheroes to comic book adaptations of the Oz series, and even his own (not for kids!) series, I Hate Fairyland. Here, that manic approach has brought to life a pitched battle between Ultraman and Gomess, the very first kaiju to appear in the Ultraman Series (or more accurately, its predecessor, Ultra Q.) Gomess looks a little… bigger than his most recent appearance (in episode 1 of this year’s Ultraman Z), but Ultraman is clearly undeterred, rushing forth to combat the destructive beast in front of the setting sun—a classic tableaux in the Ultraman Series.

ADI GRANOV

Adi Granov is responsible for one of the most distinctive superhero designs in the modern age, having been the man who designed the eponymous suit for the 2008 Marvel Cinematic Universe entry, Iron Man. When he’s not helping to usher in multibillion-dollar movie franchises, he lends his talents to astonishing comic series…like this one, with a scene of terrible destruction—the flooded ruins of a city devastated by the dreaded Alien Baltan. Hues of dark blues and greys threaten the end of everything, but front and center, Ultraman, resplendent in silver and red, strikes at the Space Ninja to return light and hope to the world. This variant is the hardest to find (a 1-in-100 copy release), but it’s well worth the search!

OLIVIER COIPEL

Olivier Coipel is a French artist who is no stranger to drawing heroes. He’s responsible for the critically acclaimed Marvel mutant series House of M, as well as parts of Avengers Vs. X-Men. Perhaps that was why he was chosen to bring together two titans of the superhero genre for the first time, with Spider-Man himself sitting on the shoulder of his newest neighbor in the Marvel Comics line, Ultraman himself. Unfortunately, this meeting is just a what-if, as Spidey does not appear in the issue, and there are no plans to bring the Giant of Light into the main Marvel universe. At least, not yet…

PHOTO COVER

What’s a better introduction to a new Ultraman story than a classic Ultraman story? Taken from Episode 33 of Ultraman, “The Forbidden Words,” this cover depicts the hero grappling one of his most dangerous foes, the insidious and cunning Alien Mefilas. This cover originated as a file photo from the archives of Tsuburaya Productions, and was lovingly restored for its Marvel Comics appearance by Starlight Runner’s own Creative Director Chrysoula Artemis. To see the episode that this cover is taken from, fans can pick up Ultraman: The Complete Series from Mill Creek Entertainment!

Our final cover is…well, blank! Perfect for autographs, art, and making it your own!

The Rise of Ultraman #1 goes on sale on September 9th, 2020, at comic shops everywhere. Use this website to find one today! No matter which cover (or covers!) you pick, the story within is guaranteed to satisfy, so don’t miss it!

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September 6, 2020

RISE OF ULTRAMAN PREVIEW, PART 2:THE CREATIVE TEAM ANSWERS FAN QUESTIONS


The debut of Marvel’s The Rise of Ultraman is just around the corner on September 9! We’re back today with co-writers Kyle Higgins and Mat Groom and artist Francesco Manna, in the second part of an interview, with questions from fans, about their new comic book miniseries!

Q: How involved was Tsuburaya in regards to crafting the story for Marvel’s series? Were there any restrictions or were you free to play in the universe of Ultraman?

Mat: The people at Tsuburaya have been very involved. They care so deeply about Ultraman. I think the thing I was really struck by, when we started this project, was that above and before anything else, they were so passionate about ensuring everyone involved understood the heart of Ultraman. What Ultraman means, and why Ultraman matters.

I think most people when they think of license holders for a brand would think of someone making sure the logo was the right size or whatever, but that’s not Tsuburaya at all, at least in our experience. And no, I don’t think there have been any ‘hard’ restrictions, or at least any that we’ve come across yet. Really, everything is just a conversation about whether what we’re doing serves the ideals of Ultraman. Which has been fantastic, because it has given us the freedom to reimagine and reinterpret, but also the confidence to know that if we stray too far from the core ideas that are important, Tsuburaya will guide us back in.

Because this is not the universe of the original show, and we’re taking a lot of familiar elements in totally new directions, it’s never about technicalities, about ‘actually this happened between this date and that date’ or ‘this should be a certain color’—it’s always about ‘does this mean what an Ultraman story should mean?’

Q: How quickly will you expand on the Ultra universe, which has a wide range of modern designs and stories to explore, as opposed to focusing on “reinventing the original” with a nostalgic approach?

Mat: It seems from your question you might be expecting or hoping that characters and stories from the Second Generation or Third Generation will appear, and we’re not really going there. But we’ll be expanding on the original universe right away. Immediately. Right from issue #1, there will be totally new characters and story elements. We’re not interested in treading old ground. And we’re very interested in contributing to the greater Ultraman lore, contributing fresh elements to it.

Q: What’s your favorite Ultra Kaiju/Alien/Mech?

Kyle: Oh man, that’s a tough question! So far, I have to say that the more I learn about Ultraman Ace and the threats that the series explored, the more excited I get.

Q: We have seen hints about Dan Moroboshi and Ultraseven in Rise #1. What is Ultraseven’s role going to be in the series?

Mat: Rather than answer the question, could I perhaps (with my inside knowledge) suggest a better question: “What role will Ultraseven’s absence play in The Rise of Ultraman?”

Q: How is Francesco leveraging the medium of comic books? What will the comics incarnation offer that we haven’t yet seen, or possibly couldn’t ever see, from the live-action versions? Did he look at any of the other comics, either Japanese or American, for inspiration during the development?

Francesco: Comics have a big advantage over live-action—the ‘special effects’ have no cost.

Because I’ve been given the creative freedom to build a whole new world, I tried to push to spectacular levels the visual choices in every detail—always wanting to show something that we haven’t seen before in the different versions of Ultraman, while still always respecting the classic traditions of this world.

As I previously mentioned (in the last article), I took whatever techniques I thought most useful from the comics of different cultures. For example, French artists are great at using different angles and making the most of the space on the page, and Japanese artists helped me learn so much about creating dynamic sequences with dynamic moments—they have truly great skills when it comes to showing such cool action in such tiny spaces! I tried to merge all these elements with what is my artistic background, American comics, and it was really fun! It’s very stimulating to keep studying, and try to create something that has never been seen before in comics!

Be sure to look out for The Rise of Ultraman #1¸on shelves September 9! Look for your local comic shop here, and keep checking back with Ultraman Galaxy as we continue to share all kinds of info and intel on your favorite Hero of Light!

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September 2, 2020

RISE OF ULTRAMAN PREVIEW:THE CREATIVE TEAM ANSWERS FAN QUESTIONS

Writers Mat Groom & Kyle Higgins, and Artist Francesco Manna

The debut of Marvel’s The Rise of Ultraman comic book miniseries is just around the corner on September 9. Ultraman Galaxy has received many questions about the series from fans through social media and direct email to the site, and co-writers Kyle Higgins and Mat Groom and artist Francesco Manna have agreed to answer some of them.

Q: What is the team’s favorite aspect of Ultraman lore that they’re most excited to explore?

Mat Groom: It’s probably not great to start cheating from the very first question, but I’m going to have to pick two, because I really can’t decide.

The first one is Ultraman himself—but specifically as the Ultra and the man (Shin) bonded together. There’s something so fascinating about taking two beings, who have surprisingly similar goals, but have vastly different perspectives, and are from vastly different cultures, and bonding them together, and challenging this new combined entity (both physically and intellectually) before they even really have much of a chance to come to terms with each other. They can only succeed if they operate in unison, but the odds are so severely stacked against them, in ways they won’t even come to understand for some time. It’s like a three-legged race, but with civilization-defining stakes.

My other choice is the Science Patrol. The wild thing about the Science Patrol is they’re so interesting that, in the original Ultraman TV series, you really could’ve had a fantastic and enjoyable TV show even if Ultraman never came to Earth. They’re paranormal investigators. They’re researchers reaching way past the borders of human understanding. They’re monster fighters. They have this incredible technology. They’re part of an international network. Every question you could ask about this group leads you to two more (even more interesting!) questions. So that’s given us so much rich material to work with.

Q: Kyle Higgins has crafted some outstanding stories for the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comics. How does Ultraman differ as a hero compared to the Rangers? Do they have similar motivations, aside from “saving the world?”

Kyle Higgins: Well, for starters, Rangers is built on a collection of relationships—they’re a team, at the end of the day. Ultraman, by comparison, is built on one fundamental relationship, that between the Ultra and Shin Hayata. Additionally, our take on The Kaiju Problem is quite a bit different than anything I ever explored with Rangers. I do think that both are looking to help society become the best version of itself, though the way they go about it—and the nature of the threats they face—are quite a bit different. All that being said, one thing that both books have in common is the narrative scope. Mat and I have built out this version of Ultraman in a big, bold way. The simplest way to put it is…everything in the book is planned. If you see it in the book, it’s going to matter down the line.

Q: In the artwork, was it difficult to scale the figures to 50 meters in relation to their environment (perspective, buildings, landscapes)?

Francesco Manna: Actually, playing with scale is the most enjoyable and satisfying thing I’ve ever done in comics. It’s just about matching the mood of the story, and understanding what visual impact you want to have with the story. For The Rise of Ultraman, I especially focused on ideas found in disaster films, using some large camera angles that show the huge scale of the catastrophe—but contrasting that with the tiny people affected by the catastrophe. It’s a visual way of reminding people that the potential costs of these huge catastrophes are something the (comparatively) tiny people just can’t afford.

I mixed this approach up with various concepts from French, Japanese and American comics. They helped me find ways to get the right use of the angles, dynamism and narrative rhythm.

Q: When will Spider-Man meet Ultraman for reals?

Mat: Olivier Copiel did an excellent variant cover for issue #1 featuring Spider-Man and Ultraman together—but that was to celebrate, symbolically, Marvel and Tsuburaya working together, it wasn’t intended to tease story elements. To be totally transparent with you, Kyle and I don’t have any plans to do anything of that nature at this stage.

Who knows what could happen in the future, but right now we’re focused on building out this entirely new Ultraman universe and making it compelling and engaging by itself, rather than bringing in Marvel superheroes.

Q: Will the comic center around the Japanese branch of the SSSP only, or do we get also a more international touch with the progress of the story?

Mat: Actually, in our universe, we don’t have an ‘SSSP’, we have a ‘USP’—a United Science Patrol. This name speaks to the international nature of the organization (and you’ll get to see some of that international-ness right from issue #1). But it also speaks to the fact that this is an organization that, in our universe, spans eras. In the original shows, the defense force would change with each new show, and with each new Ultra hero. But in this world, there’s just been one organization, for decades—so we wanted to have a name that acknowledged that our Science Patrol actually stands in for the many organizations that existed in shows.

Having said that, there could be other roles for other defense forces to play…!

Look for the continuation of this article tomorrow as we count down to the release of The Rise of Ultraman! Be sure to look out for Marvel’s The Rise of Ultraman #1¸on shelves September 9! Look for your local comic shop here and keep checking back with Ultraman Galaxy as we continue to share all kinds of info and intel on your favorite Hero of Light!


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August 28, 2020

MARVEL’S THE RISE OF ULTRAMAN: WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR…

Only a few more weeks remain before The Rise of Ultraman #1 arrives on shelves at comic book stores. Around the world, fans of both Ultraman and Marvel Comics wait eagerly for this massive collaboration between giants of entertainment (one a literal giant!). No mere retelling of the classic Ultraman story, Marvel and Tsuburaya Productions have crafted a new universe, with mysteries around every corner and answers just on the horizon, let’s nail down what we’ve learned from promotional material, issue previews, and future covers, to be best prepared to join the Hero of Light on his newest adventure!

Just a warning: this article contains potential spoilers for The Rise of Ultraman, so if you want to go into the book completely blind (and we wouldn’t blame you for that!) head out now.

A TRAGIC BEGINNING

The first official pages that Marvel revealed covered events set fifty years in the past: A defense team pilot has a violent encounter with an extraterrestrial visitor in a glowing red sphere. This ill-fated pilot was not the original Ultraman series’ Shin Hayata, but Dan Moroboshi, who fans of the classic series might recognize as the alter-ego of the mighty Ultraseven. This adds another wrinkle to the tale, as in the classic series, Dan Moroboshi never existed, merely being a human disguise for the Ultra.

However, before that thought can be taken to any logical conclusions, it appears that poor Dan’s time is short, as the meeting between he and the interstellar stranger ends in a violent explosion, with the Ultra barely able to speak a few words in an alien tongue before both are gone. It’s a shocking introduction to this world, and from the looks of it, Ultraman may have to contend with more than just Kaiju…

THE USP

It seems this Ultraman, like his forebears, won’t be defending Earth by himself but will aid a human organization dedicated to dealing with potentially dangerous phenomena, monstrous creatures, and extraterrestrial threats. Called the United Science Patrol (USP), it is a multinational group of highly trained agents who operate covertly, occasionally making moral compromises so as to not raise alarm among the masses.

This is a sharp contrast to the original Science Special Search Party, better known as the SSSP or Science Patrol.  The Science Patrol was a highly public agency known even to children. Comparatively, the USP depicted in the new Marvel series is a ghost, with any trace of its existence covered up with near-military precision, in hopes of keeping the general population from hysteria due to the existence of Kaiju.

The USP cannot cover all of its tracks, of course, and it looks like a few dedicated parties have picked up their trail. Who knows what will happen when the organization’s dirty laundry is finally aired?

SHIN HAYATA

The original Shin Hayata was a dignified, experienced member of the Science Patrol whose sense of justice allowed him to bond with the friendly alien from the Land of Light. Marvel’s Shin Hayata does not appear to be a USP member. He has inherited a lot of the original Shin’s key traits, however—a kind nature, deep inquisitiveness, and intelligent, thoughtful demeanor—but he is now untested, inexperienced, and still learning about the world. This Earth is facing a Kaiju threat far more insidious than anyone realizes, so Hayata may need more than the powers of Ultraman to keep everyone safe.

KIKI FUJI

Kiki Fuji is the first main character introduced in The Rise of Ultraman, even before lead Shin Hayata, and she’s sure to leave quite an impression in fans’ minds. A childhood friend of Shin and a member of the USP, Kiki follows in the footsteps of capable Ultraman Series heroines like her original Ultraman counterpart, Akiko Fuji, and Ultraseven’s Anne Yuri.

Kiki’s skills lay in engineering due to her analytical mind, but she has nevertheless found difficulty reconciling the potentially amoral deeds of the USP with her own internal code. As secrets and hidden dangers begin to come to light, Kiki will be forced to make hard choices and pick sides. Who can say where she’ll end up?

KAIJU

The Kaiju of The Rise of Ultraman are perhaps the biggest mystery the series has to offer. They appear to be classic foes like Telesdon and Aboras—fittingly feral creatures that suit the more clandestine battles waged by the USP, over the more famous Kaiju that rang in the classic series.

But these monsters seem somehow more malicious than their predecessors, and come in different shapes and sizes. The modern world somehow has little to no knowledge of these violent beasts despite the danger to society that they pose, thanks to the efforts of the USP. It is only when Ultraman finally makes his appearance on Earth that the dreadful truth of the Kaiju may be revealed

With The Rise of Ultraman, every answer seems to generate new questions, and open up new storytelling avenues. We at Ultraman Galaxy can’t for you to see what Marvel will show the world when The Rise of Ultraman #1 drops on September 9th, 2020. For the latest news on Rise and the Ultraman Series in general, make sure to keep checking UltramanGalaxy.com!

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August 17, 2020

MARVEL RELEASES RISE OF ULTRAMAN TRAILER

Marvel Entertainment recently released a terrific trailer for The Rise of Ultraman #1, which arrives in comic book stores on Wednesday, September 9, 2020.

The trailer, which boasts some limited animation, a heartrending soundtrack, and awesome sound effects taken directly from various Ultraman Series, runs one-minute and seven seconds. It already has nearly 300,000 views, with 10,000 likes, and 3,100 comments, nearly all of which are positive. Many sharp-eyed fans point out the appearance of Ultraseven in the video.

The blurb for the trailer reads as follows:

In darkness there lurks Kaiju – terrifying and unfathomable monsters. Kyle Higgins (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers), Mat Groom (Self/Made) and Francesco Manna (AVENGERS) reimagine the classic origin of a pop culture icon as THE RISE OF ULTRAMAN begins!

Stay with Ultraman Galaxy for exclusive interviews and coverage of Marvel’s The Rise of Ultraman comic book series.

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July 22, 2020

THE RISE OF ULTRAMAN:AN INTERVIEW WITH KYLE HIGGINS AND MAT GROOM (PART 2)


Welcome back, Ultra-fans! We’re back with the second part of UltramanGalaxy’s interview with the writers of The Rise of Ultraman: Kyle Higgins and Mat Groom! If you’re just joining us, please check out the first half here!

Ultraman Galaxy: How would you define the comic since it’s not a reboot or a retelling? Is your approach similar to recent shows that explore alternate realities for Ultraman?

Kyle: Yeah. I had some experience doing the Power Rangers books at Boom Studios. Part of the attitude from doing those books carries over to Ultraman. It’s not a retelling but a remix. Fans will be familiar with a number of the elements. But it takes place in 2020 Japan.

Mat: There are elements that longtime fans will recognize. But from page 1, there’s a statement made that, if you think you know where things are headed, you don’t. We tried to capture the spirit of Ultraman, but we are blazing a different path.

Kyle: We want this book to be accessible to new readers. We’ve worked to ensure that we are contextualizing when required, but also laying out enough new components that, if you are a fan of the show, you’ll recognize what Mat means. But if you’re not familiar with the original material you won’t be lost whatsoever. And a really cool part of

working with Starlight Runner and Tsuburaya is an acceptance for alternate worlds, timelines, and interpretations. There is a multiverse across Ultraman. It’s not to say that things don’t fit, but everyone’s excited about Marvel’s version of Ultraman.

UG: How did you get this assignment?

Kyle: Tom Brevoort was my first editor in comics, but I’d only done a limited amount of work with him. Towards the end of last year, Tom asked if I had any interest in Ultraman. I didn’t know much about him, but I knew enough to be interested. My first question was, “Would he be open to me doing this with a co-writer?” To Tom’s credit, there was no hesitation. Ultimately, if we had turned in something that was completely wrong, then it would have been a different conversation. We worked up a document, revised it over a week and turned it in. [Marvel and Tsuburaya Productions] supported the direction, and we were off to the races.

Mat: We didn’t play it safe by doing something small, simple and easy to get. We had a bold pitch that was big in scale and ambition, and everyone involved got excited by that.

Kyle: I was worried. I thought it was really good, but I’d done enough books at Marvel, DC and Boom to wonder, “Are they really going to go for this?” because this could be incredible. Fortunately, I came to my senses. If we’re not taking big swings, then what are we doing here? Marvel and Tsuburaya were incredibly pleased with our direction.

Mat: The people at Tsuburaya have been so encouraging. They have very strong ideas of what Ultraman should be, but are supportive of new ways of expressing those ideas. They’re embracing new takes as long as it captures the true heart of the mythos.

UG: How does the creative process work with two writers?

Mat: To work in comics, you have to love collaborating with people. The process starts with Kyle and I batting around bigger thematic ideas. When it starts to take a more concrete form we’ll do a draft, then Francesco Manna, the main artist, brings fantastic ideas and energy to it. Next, we’ll go back, review the script, and try and play off that.

Kyle:  Mat and I have been creative partners for years. So, when the opportunity came up for Ultraman it was a no-brainer. We’re actually very different writers. When I was doing Rangers, we talked all the time. I like to go, “Is that the best version? What if we did this?” And Mat can talk theme through any permutation. We gel on that level. He’s just faster than me, which is really nice. It’s a true co-writing dynamic.

UG: How much freedom do you have to use characters from the various Ultraman productions?

Kyle: You should take a look at page 1.

Mat: We are painting a big canvas and are using a wide range of colors.

Kyle: In issue #1 alone, we have a main story, a Michael Cho backup story that adds to it, and three smaller stories that exist within that universe. Everything matters. Characters, eras…there’s a lot for us to utilize.

Mat:  You won’t have to wait to find out the breadth of what we’re trying to. There is a lot in issue #1, and we did not pad it out.

Kyle: It’s 40 pages of story.

Mat: Once the fan community is exposed to the ambition and scope of the story, they’ll realize what we’re doing. We’re going big. It’ll be exciting.

Kyle: We share the same sentiment. On Rangers, I made it clear I’m not interested in writing a ‘90s nostalgia book. I want a book that takes the spirit and the core ethos and recontextualizes it for our era and medium. We both believe in fully utilizing the medium. There are things in this series that would be different in live action. Storytelling devices, even the backup stories and how we’re telling them is specific to the medium. We’re excited for Ultraman fans to see our interpretation, and what our version looks like in the book.

Mat: This is a unique project. We are building a new world that has its own history and secrets. So, as much as we’re one contained story, we’re also establishing a new universe in a lot of ways.

Kyle:  There are three specific years denoted in issue #1. They’re a solid tease without being spoilers: 2020, 1966, and 1954. And I think we can we end on this point: we have plans for the orange suits.

Mat: That was in the pitch. You don’t see orange suits straight away, but we’re not going to leave those on the table.

Be sure to check out The Rise of Ultraman when it hits shelves in September! You can find your local comic book store by using this comicshoplocator, and you’ll be able to find it digitally, as well! Come back to UltramanGalaxy in the meantime as we march toward that date, with more news about Rise and all things Ultraman!

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July 20, 2020

MARVEL’S THE RISE OF ULTRAMAN:AN INTERVIEW WITH KYLE HIGGINS AND MAT GROOM (PART 1)

Hello Ultra-fans! We’re hoping that you had a spectacular Ultraman Day on July 10th!

We’re continuing the celebration of all things Ultraman by giving you an exclusive interview regarding the upcoming Marvel comic book, The Rise of Ultraman! You can find out more about that comic book across our site, but if you’re just tuning in, this is the perfect place to begin, because we’re here with two people who know this story better than anybody: writers Kyle Higgins and Mat Groom!

Ultraman Galaxy: When did you first discover Ultraman?

Mat Groom: I grew up in a time, in Australia, where it was kind of an Ultraman desert. There wasn’t a lot of media available, but we were surrounded by everything that was influenced by Ultraman. So, while I wasn’t familiar with Ultraman growing up, when I finally encountered Ultraman it felt immediately familiar. It turns out I loved Ultraman all along without even knowing it.

Kyle Higgins: I have a similar kind of relationship in that we didn’t have Ultraman in America when I was growing up. But I was aware of the iconography. So, I feel the same way about recognizing the aspects of Ultraman that actually influenced other things that we are fluent with.

I found tokusatsu through Western adaptations. Power Rangers introduced me to the idea of Super Sentai, Masked Rider to Kamen Rider and VR Troopers to the 1980s metal heroes. I was aware the original material existed, but didn’t start getting into Sentai until I was writing Power Rangers.Mat turned me on to how hip the Sentai stuff is.

I was into Sentai and Kamen Rider before Ultraman. When I started watching the original show, I was surprised by how much it was a direct influence on everything that came after.

During C2E2 I met members of Starlight Runner and Tsuburaya and we had a conversation about miniature work. I have a background in directing, so when I found the ‘60s show and started watching the Mill Creek Blu-rays, I saw the complexity of the shoot. Mat pointed out that it was only a few years earlier that they started moving the camera in TV. The idea of camera movement and selling scale on a TV budget is incredibly ambitious.

I have a ton of respect for the material and for the craft that went into it.

And that’s not even counting Ultra Q. Conceptually, like Ultraman it is the next logical iteration from Ultra Q. To see how Ultra Q influenced Ultraman, and then how Ultraman became its own thing; it all still loops back. Ultra Q was incredibly revolutionary, and very much a precursor to things like The X-Files.

UG: What themes in Ultraman are you carrying over into the comic?

Mat: The scale is fascinating. So is the scope of the danger and the heroism that is required to combat it.

If you look at the Kaiju, these massive, terrifying creatures that represent the darkness in our hearts…it makes sense that we had to reckon first with ourselves, the terror of what we could do to each other and create in our own world. But the next step is one of radical optimism and bravery, and the ability for humanity to tackle those problems. There is something really optimistic about thinking that we can stand up to the darkest of things.

What we’re trying to do is modernize that idea, not in the sense that it needed to be “fresher,” but the darkness in the world is different than it was then. Perhaps more pervasive, more systemic. It may be different, but it doesn’t mean there’s less of a need to find the goodness and bravery to rise to the occasion. In some ways, there’s more of a need.

It’s been an exercise in taking that powerful idea and expressing that in a new way. But at the heart, it’s the same…just a different expression for a different time.

Kyle: I respond to the component that the Ultras are not here to be our saviors. They are here to help us become better, ourselves.

In some ways, I think it’s that core dynamic that makes Ultraman at Marvel such a nice fit. Historically, when you look at DC’s superheroes, at least the early ones are a bit inaccessible. They are gods that have come to us, that we look up to and who we want to solve our problems. They are not who we could be. They are better than we ever could be. Whereas the Marvel heroes are built on flaws that are identifiable and relatable. If they succeed in their mission, they are the best versions of ourselves.

It’s that aspect that we latched onto as we were looking to revisit the original show and update/remix/modernize aspects of it as we bring it to a new audience and medium.This isn’t the first time Ultraman has been in comic books [in many years], but the scope and ambitiousness of the publishing model is a big new platform.

Mat: If you combined these two ideas that Kyle touched on, then the potential is there to take the Marvel model and apply it, not just to Shin Hayata, but to all of us.

Once we made that connection, we found the foundation that excited us. There’s already massive potential in Ultraman, but this is how we can do it in a way that may make it something that will excite existing fans. They’ll see elements that are recognizable but remixed in new ways. And new fans will be able to jump in on the start of this new heroic journey.

Kyle: We have built this journey out to be very grand. Our outline was more of a mission statement and an overall game plan; “Here’s how we’re looking to recontextualize the central metaphor…here are our ideas for the first mini-series…here’s where we can take things going forward.”

Mat: Once readers get issue #1, they’ll get a sense of the scale. We’re telling a story that is as wide is as it is deep. I think you’ll get a sense of that immediately.

Kyle: There’s a reason why we wrote everything in issue #1; you’re going to go, “How could that be part of it?” I promise you, it’s all part of the larger whole.

Mat: We’re standing on the shoulders of Ultraman-sized giants. There are decades of fantastic, intricate myth, and having the ability to take those elements and find new ways of using them…there’s so much to work with. We definitely recognize the privilege.

Kyle and Mat were gracious enough to share a good chunk of their time with us…so much so that we have a second part to this interview! Check back into UltramanGalaxy.com later this week when we post it, and make sure to grab The Rise of Ultraman #1, arriving at your local comic book store or online this September! See you soon!

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July 13, 2020

THE RISE OF ULTRAMAN:AN INTERVIEW WITH MARVEL EDITOR-IN-CHIEF C.B. CEBULSKI

With The Rise of Ultraman Issue #1 on the horizon and Ultraman Day at hand, we here at Ultraman Galaxy decided to give fans a special treat: an exclusive one-on-one interview with C.B. Cebulski, Editor-in-Chief at Marvel Comics, concerning the new comic, as well as Marvel and Tsuburaya Productions’ plans for the future!

UG: What brought Marvel and Tsuburaya Productions together to collaborate on a new comic book?

CB: Marvel always has a history of finding interesting partners to do licensed comic books with. Back in the day, we helped launch a number of bigger franchises by creating ideas which eventually turned into [all sorts of products], and we’re always looking for interesting partners who share interesting, creative visions, and have interesting characters we can collaborate on, and come up with something special for.

When the opportunity that the Ultraman license might be available—the Tsuburaya guys are very creative and looking to expand their global footprint outside Japan even more than they already have, and are looking for a creative partner to build a comic book property with—it was something we jumped at. I grew up as an Ultraman fan, spent a lot of time in Japan, and know how much the property means to people in Japan, and we shared Tsuburaya’s vision of expanding that through the comic book format, to a global audience.

UG: Marvel has treated Ultraman with a lot of respect, and almost reverence during the creation of Rise. What’s made Ultraman such a good fit for Marvel, to promote that kind of creative atmosphere?

CB: At Marvel, we create heroes, comics, films, and games that we like to say are “inspirational, and aspirational.” We like people to share the adventures of the heroes and learn something from them in their own lives, to strive to do better themselves: take the values that they learned in Marvel [productions], and apply them to their own lives, their daily lives.

In working with Tsuburaya, right from the start, we found out that they were a company that shared those values. They have lessons and core guidelines, I would say, behind Ultraman not just as a character but as a hero, and as a part of Japanese society: that what he does, and what all the characters in Ultraman adventures do, no matter what medium, should also serve as an inspiration for people to do better in their lives.

It’s just been fascinating to see that thought and care that the Tsuburaya team puts into every thought and action of the characters. We’ve really found that not only do we share a creative vision moving forward for our respective characters and companies, but that their values are very much in line with ours, in how we should treat the characters, and educate our fans.

UG: Marvel has collaborated with several Japanese artists on various aspects of Rise. You’ve worked with Gurihiru, who are doing a certain backup story, and you’ve got these really distinguished artists like Masayuki Gotoh and Yuji Kaida doing covers. [Look out for those, Ultra-Fans!] How’s it been to reach across the Pacific for that sort of collaboration, and do you think that that sort of thing will continue?

CB: Oh, I hope it continues! It’s been a thrill for us to see some of the artists that Tsuburaya has brought to the table, and also very exciting for us that they’ve been willing to work with some of the Japanese artists that we’ve collaborated with in the past. Japanese art and Japanese culture have had such an impact on the world of pop culture over the last fifteen to twenty years especially, and we’ve done our best to recruit Japanese artists to Marvel Comics.

But there are still artists that we love and respect that are very busy, or that we cannot get in touch with, and to have Tsuburaya come in and open those doors, especially for people like Kaida-san and Gotoh-san, has been such an honor for us. These illustrators who have had such an impact in Japan, on Ultraman to begin with, now coming to be part of Ultraman in the Marvel universe, has been just mind-blowing for us to watch, and we do hope that those relationships will continue, and that Tsuburaya keeps bringing the best of the best to us.

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March 26, 2022

A NOOB WATCHES ULTRAMAN TRIGGER EPISODE Z

As an official representative of the Ultraman noob community, I felt it was my duty to make Ultraman Trigger Episode Z the next stop on my journey through the Ultraman universe. Directed by Masayoshi Takesue, Episode Z is the most recent Ultraman release, streaming on Tsuburaya Imagination in Japan and made available as a rental on Ultraman Connection a short time ago. The film serves as a continuation of the Ultraman Trigger series and picks up two years after the final battle for the Eternity Core had taken place.

Immediately we are thrown into the action, which was both disorienting and exhilarating at the same time. Within the first ten minutes we get intense Kaiju combat flashbacks, we witness a haunting interaction between Yuna Shizuma and Kengo Manaka in which he begs her for help from the liminal space, we receive a cryptic message from the cult of Rylar, and we are beckoned to harvest the energy of the sun in order to save Kengo from irreversible damage. Talk about mile-a-minute plot beats!

Although it was a lot of information to absorb at once, it wasn’t hard to pick up on the context and move right alongside the team. The combination of the GUTS crewmates’ camaraderie, electric energy, and unwavering passion for protecting humanity made me feel welcome and eager to learn the lore without any prior knowledge of the Ultraman Trigger series.

Yeah, sorry guys, I haven’t gotten to it yet! Why go straight to the movie without taking in the show, you ask? Well, I love the Ultraman Connection Live events and watch all of those. (I’m big into the new UCL story canon.) Doing it last week meant seeing Episode Z and the team here at UC wondered what I thought coming in cold!

This was also in part due to the clarity of the existing rules of science within the Ultraman universe. In order to prevent the light of Ultraman Trigger’s from fading out and fusing with the Eternity Core, GUTS was asked to harness the Ultra-Ancient Sparklence relic, gather and amplify the light of the sun, channel that light into the core to charge Trigger’s powers and enable him to fight once again.

Not only is this ritual beautiful conceptually, but it is enriched even further by the requirement that it be conducted by all the GUTS members together (even if it led to some negative consequences!). Gathering at the altar gave the teammates a platform to manifest their love for Kengo (AKA Ultraman Trigger) in synchronicity. This helped me appreciate Kengo before even formally meeting his character simply because his teammates' concern for him was a testament to what a valuable person he must be.

This setup also made space for other characters' stories to unfold before the main plot even took form. I appreciated this especially in the case of Yuna whom I was instantly drawn to. In only a few minutes of screen time it was very clear that Yuna is an empathetic person, entirely fit to wield the power of her ancestor, Priestess Yuzare. At the same time, that empathy can cause powers to become a burden as she is constantly worried for Kengo’s fate, and the expectations set upon her. Her internal struggle with her abilities is subtle but prevalent enough to make her character complex and interesting. The Ultraman franchise in its entirety seems to do a very good job at shining a light on the dimensions of their female characters which is extremely refreshing.

Yuna, however, is not the only character who was faced with power related complexities. Once Kengo is revived and his ability to turn into Trigger is compromised, he admits in his conversation with new GUTS commander, Ryuichi Tokioka, that being the incarnation of light comes with an inherent darkness as well. He identifies that this is what makes him human because the coexistence of lightness and darkness is what the human condition is ultimately composed of. Tokioka responds to this by posing the jarringly existential question, if he can no longer tap into the lightness in totality and transform into Ultraman then who is he really? How will he survive?

I think it’s really important for these ideas to be addressed considering they seem to have been underlying themes throughout the Ultraman story world. Balancing the power we hold as individuals with the power we can harness as a collective, ensuring that we know who we are despite our special abilities and circumstances in order to maintain a strong moral base. It doesn’t stop there, however, these principles are continuously explored in the film with the introduction of Evil Trigger and the space parasite Celebro. Evil Trigger’s goal is to gain power through causing mayhem and Celebro infects beings on various planets, “sowing fear that leads to arms races and self-destruction.” These antagonists are extremely topical and are in line with current events on many levels.

In this context I think we can all relate to Kengo and resonate with his feelings of helplessness. He lacks his Ultra powers when he needs them most. In a way, we are all looking for our scattered Hyper Keys in these times of uncertainty. In the state he found himself in, Kengo could not restore peace on his own. But with the help of his team (including Dark Trigger and Ultraman Z, who has piqued my interest—and whose entire series just landed on Ultraman Connection for free) and the persistence true optimism, Kengo is able to pursue a positive outcome through the power of unity. We can all learn something from that.

As Mr. Mitsukuni said best, “Anyone can become the light but perhaps they cannot shine on their own. That which connects people, that’s the light.”

Evangelia Artemis

March 2022

Evangelia is now a member of the Iceberg Theory team, producers of Ultraman Connection. She is a New York-based writer who also draws underground comics, loves anime, and is working on her first novel.

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March 23, 2022

ULTRAMAN TRIGGER EPISODE Z - THE REVIEW

Though I was very young when I started watching Ultraman Tiga, I initially only had a small selection of episodes to enjoy and finding more was difficult for an American kid in the early 2000s. It took me almost a decade to catch the rest and they were rarely in order. In fact, the last episodes I watched on my initial journey through the series were episodes 43 and 44, “Land Shark” and “Inheritance of Shadows,” which introduced Evil Tiga. Imagine my surprise when I first saw the trailer for Ultraman Trigger Episode Z and realized that I would be completing my journey through Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga the same way! I consider the Evil Tiga story to have been one of the peaks of the Tiga narrative; could Episode Z reach the same heights?

Warning, Spoilers for Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga and Ultraman Trigger Episode Z ahead!

Short answer? Yes! Episode Z is at least this reviewer’s favorite story in the entire Trigger saga. Drawing on the best aspects of not only the show it preceded, but of massive fan-favorite series Ultraman Z, the story told in this special feels like a perfect epilogue to this recent era of Ultraman television.

The story takes place two years after the final episode of Trigger. The world has changed since Kengo Manaka went into the Eternity Core. GUTS-Select has evolved its arsenal with a host of new weapons, and a new captain! Ryuichi Tokioka is an Ultra-Ancient Civilization researcher with deep ties to Akito and Chairman Mitsukuni, who has become team leader after former Captain Tatsumi’s promotion and reassignment. Under him, GUTS-Select has managed to protect the planet from the odd monster attack without the aid of any Ultraman.

However, though the menacing specter of the Giants of Darkness has passed, new threats are still ready to rear their ugly heads. When a change in Kengo’s stasis puts his life in danger, GUTS-Select begin a bold operation to rescue him, returning him to the waking world. However, his rescue comes at the cost of his ability to transform. Thankfully, Haruki Natsukawa and Ultraman Z have crossed universes once again, and are here to help Kengo until he can become Trigger again. However, Haruki’s appearance and Kengo’s circumstances are all part of a much darker plot, 30 million years in the making…

Episode Z is a fantastic showcase of all of Trigger’s best qualities. Raiga Terasaka, Shunya Kaneko, and Runa Toyoda form the emotional core of the film with their bond, having taken their chemistry from the original show and allowed it to mature significantly, despite how little time has passed since Trigger was shot. Kaneko and Toyoda especially get to explore new qualities in the performance they honed over 25 episodes, both serious and comedic. Raiga Terasaka has managed to, over the course of his tenure as Ultraman Trigger, make “Smile, Smile!” a rallying cry for fans and casual watchers alike, and he brings his signature blend of sincerity and lightheartedness to the finale of Kengo’s story.

Kohshu Hirano is one of the most beloved performers to ever wave a transformation device, and fans who lamented the lack of an Ultraman Z movie should be sated by this story. During the special, Hirano’s acting is put to the test when his portrayal of Haruki is inverted due to the circumstances of the greater threat, providing a challenge that the actor proves more than a match for. Tokusatsu veteran Yuichi Nakamura brings his prodigious talent to the role of Captain Tokioka, and villain Zabil delivers what may legitimately be one of the most gloriously unhinged performances in the entire Ultraman Series.

Episode Z is directed by Masayoshi Takesue, best known for helming the direction for Ultraman R/B, and his influence is clear as crystal throughout the special. Takesue’s talent for naturalistic, earnest character writing is on full display, and works exceptionally well to bridge elements from Trigger and its multi-million-year timeline, as well as Z. The fight scenes run the gamut from desperate, destructive battles to even a tag-team wrestling match in a ring made of power lines, and all of them look fantastic, matching the best episodes of Trigger with no major lulls.

If all this has you excited to see Ultraman Trigger Episode Z yourself, take heart; you can still rent the VOD right now, right here, for $6.99.  A purchase gets you unlimited plays within 48 hours of first play, with a 7-day period to watch. Don’t miss out on the finale to the Ultraman Trigger story—or the teaser to what comes next in the Ultraman Series at the end… And for more Ultraman media, news, and reviews, stick close to Ultraman Connection!

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February 9, 2022

ULTRAMAN WATCH CLUB: ANIME ULTRAMAN S1E1

“A Power That Does Not Belong On Earth”

EJ Couloucoundis (EJ)

Hey all, welcome to the first entry in Ultraman Connection's Ultraman Watch Club!

What we’re doing here is that each of us watches a single episode, movie—any chunk of Ultraman content, and then we come back here and talk about what happened, and what we think about it. Sort of like a book club, but for the Ultraman Series.

For our first entry, we decided to look at the first episode of Netflix's Anime ULTRAMAN series, in honor of the upcoming Season 2. In the coming weeks, we'll go through every episode one by one, and post our thoughts on the site!

Before we get started, however, why don’t we introduce ourselves?

I'm EJ, and I'm the Creative Director of UltramanConnection.com. I’m an old-school Ultraman-iac (bad pun!) and act as a resource to Iceberg Theory, the producers of all Ultraman Connection content.

Kyle Yamagishi-Rodstein (KYR)

Hi all, I’m Kyle, and I’m a writer on UltramanConnection.com! I grew up with Ultraman, and I’ve returned to see how my favorite show has changed, and to see what impression my generation of the series has left on the greater Ultraman landscape.

Evangelia Artemis-Gomez (EAG)

I’m Evangelia, writer for UltramanConnection.com. I’m an Ultraman noob and I often write about what it’s like to experience Ultraman content for the first time.

EJ

With introductions out of the way, let’s start the watch!

EAG

The first thing I noticed as the show started was that it’s definitely not classic anime style, but that doesn’t stop it from being visually charming, in that 3D way.

EJ

That's Production IG at work. They're responsible for stuff like Ghost in the Shell, and other well-known anime. They also worked with Sola Digital Arts, one of their frequent 3D collaborators, whose work you may have seen on TV last year in Blade Runner: Black Lotus.

Anyway, the first shot of the series is a flashback within another flashback. We look at the back of this series' Ultraman, but then we flash into what's got to be Shin Hayata at the end of the original 1966 series. Then we flash-forward years later, where a much older Shin, now a defense minister, is touring the old SSSP building with his son Shinjiro. It’s there that he meets his old friend from the Science Patrol, Ide—and then things go wrong.

KYR

What I think is really cool about the series is how it connects to the original ‘66 Ultraman but gives us a completely fresh take on the world by making it a direct sequel to the original rather than starting from zero, or tying into the greater continuity of the many series and movies in the franchise.

EJ

Right, and it starts answering some open-ended questions from the show itself, right? The biggest reveal being that Hayata has no memories from his time as Ultraman…

KYR

It's crazy, right? Honestly, the implications that segment raises are really unsettling. The idea that Hayata just lost a huge chunk of his life like that adds a kind of upsetting dimension to the original show… And then Shinjiro takes that fall too!

EAG

It was pretty jarring to see the fall Shinjiro took, but it was important to set the tone of the show. Just because it’s animated doesn’t mean it isn’t willing to tackle some heavy matters.

EJ

It’d have been a bit more harrowing if Shinjiro had been hurt at all, but the kid is fine after taking a hundred-foot fall. Looks like things are a little more complicated than they seem, and later that night, Shin decides to come clean to Ide—only for Ide to come clean about some secrets of his own!

KYR

I love that everyone in the SSSP had already figured out Shin’s identity as Ultraman before.

EAG

Yeah, seeing how the SSSP protected him and Shinjiro was sweet, and it implied that they’re as tight knit as other defense programs we’ve seen in previous Ultraman series and films.

EJ

They're definitely tight knit, but I understand why Hayata is reticent about Shinjiro's own capabilities. Ide may be his friend, but the SSSP has changed. After all, considering Hayata powders a stairwell with a single blow…

And then, of course, Ide decides to reveal that the SSSP isn’t what Shin remembers it being either, having changed into a massive clandestine organization!

KYR

I think it’s a lot of fun how the base has been turned into a museum as a cover while the real stuff happens underneath. Gives it an old school spy agency kind of vibe.

EAG

Yeah, the whole setup of the museum was awesome. The defense teams have always kind of operated in plain sight, right? The contrast is interesting.

EJ

Now, from here, we’re set to move forward ten years, to the “present day.” Before we do, let’s take a quick look at the themes the show is already presenting to us. There’s a lot we’re already seeing about immigration and globalization, blown up to a global scale.

EAG

Between the violence, language, and serious undertones, it’s clear that this show isn’t targeted at all ages the way other Ultraman content is. I think it’s a fresh take on the franchise and gives them room to explore relevant themes and push the boundaries of the story world.

KYR

Not only is it darker, but the rules of the world and the relationships between Aliens and humans is completely different too, tying into what you were saying about immigration, EJ.

EAG

Yeah, Ultraman has always had underlying themes of immigration, right? In Ultraman Taiga, monsters and aliens assimilated to life alongside humans, which I think promoted a lot of thought about the preconceived notions a lot of us had about the nature of Kaiju. In this series, I hope to see some of those topics revisited.

EJ

Considering one of the first things we’re shown during Shin’s briefing is a terrorist attack on a plane, connected to the state of human-alien relations? Yeah, darker is right.

Anyway, on that cheery note, let’s jump forward a decade, and meet the now-teenaged Shinjiro.

And man, I like this kid, but he’s a bit of a dork, huh?

EAG

Haha, he definitely doesn’t have a grip on how to use his powers in his day-to-day life, so I get it. When he tried to protect his crush from the predatory boys from the other school, he ended up scaring the girls off with his behavior, too.

EJ

Well yeah, he broke a guy’s ankle with barely a touch! Even if he’s a good guy, man oh man, is that shocking!

KYR

I’m interested in seeing him try to jibe his powers with regular old growing up if this is what he’s doing.

EAG

I think a lot of kids see superheroes and think “Man, if I had powers like that I could get tons of play,” but Shinjiro’s struggle with taming his powers makes for a much more relatable character.

EJ

Speaking of teens with superpowers, anybody else get Spider-Man vibes when Shinjiro was leaping from roof to roof?

EAG

Yes! That was the first thing I thought of, actually.

KYR

I definitely felt a strong mix of the traditional Ultraman stuff with modern comic-booky influences here, yeah.

EJ

He's probably going to have to learn some of those same hard lessons about great power coming with great responsibility, but that's on-brand for any Ultraman series.

Now, whether that had anything to do with the Chad Kroeger I put on during those jumps, who can say.

EAG

Naturally. Everyone wants a place to clear their minds. Growing up in the city, I’ve definitely had some defining moments on skyscraper rooftops. Spider-Man and now Shinjiro take that a bit past my experience though.

EJ

And just like Spider-Man, Shinjiro may be powerful, but that does nothing to help with his family situation, eh? His relationship with his dad has certainly become a little strained…

KYR

Yeah, mostly because Shinjiro can throw a car one-handed, and doesn’t think his dad would understand. Shinjiro is obviously struggling with his secret, and as we learn at the very end of the episode, his dad has been shouldering responsibility of his own as Earth’s Ultraman.

EJ

Especially because he's Shin Hayata, this famous hero from the past who's now a defense minister. And yes, also Ultraman, as we find out. Or at least, he's trying to be Ultraman again. He's got one major issue in the way, though, right? Bemular. Who, pound for pound in a series of cool armor designs, may have the coolest design.

KYR

That’s a good point EJ. This Shin’s Ultraman is very different from the Ultraman we see in the dioramas of the past. Bemular being the first villain here is a really fun callback to the first episode of the original show.

EJ

I’d say this isn’t your daddy’s Ultraman, but no, it quite literally is.

EAG

The practical effects of the classic Ultraman were very charming and impressive, but this new style allows for a more modern and delicate aesthetic, as we see in this fight.

EJ

At the same time, the combat floats in a way the original show couldn't, due to being restricted by, well, gravity. Or reality.

KYR

Yeah, there are definitely action beats that can be done with animation, which bring the ideas to life on an entirely new level.

Anyway, as our characters mention a few times, one disconcerting thing about this Bemular is he looks quite a bit like a silver Ultraman. Wonder what that’s about…

EJ

So, with Shin's arrival in the black, prototype armor, the episode ends on a cliffhanger. Where do you guys think the show will go next?

KYR

Is the armor Black or Gray/Silver?

EJ

It’s gunmetal, don’t be pedantic!

EAG

I think conflict will arise between Shinjiro and Hayata when it comes to the use of Shinjiro’s power. I think Shinjiro will defy his father and continue navigating his capabilities and that will in turn draw more attention from other Kaiju.

KYR

I think this episode sets up an intriguing mystery with Bemular and starts to give us some clues as to what his identity may be. His armor’s resemblance to Ultraman’s design, and his strange infatuation with Shinjiro and/or Shin come to mind as potentially important.

EJ

With that, we'll see you guys in the coming weeks with our look at episode 2 of Season 1 of Netflix's Anime ULTRAMAN. To see what we think then, stay close to UltramanConnection.com!

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February 7, 2022

IAN BOGGS FANS: WELCOME TO ULTRAMAN CONNECTION!

If you’re new here to Ultraman Connection this week, there’s a good chance you’ve been directed here by our favorite TikTok influencer, Ian Boggs. If this is the first time you’ve heard of Ultraman, never fear, we will explain everything!

As a Boggs fan, you already know all about Ian, but for those of you who are Ultraman Connection regulars, first let’s fill you in:

Ian Boggs is a 23-year-old Japanese American content creator who specializes in using visual effects and self-written scripts to make skit and POV videos. He’s extremely imaginative with 17 different ongoing TikTok series on his channel with subjects including comedy skits, dancing videos, anime, Marvel, cosplay and more.

As of right now, Boggs has amassed 10.2 million followers on TikTok, 3.9 million on YouTube, and 870,000 on Instagram. He’s loved because he’s warm, friendly, wildly imaginative, and he lives by a philosophy of optimism and proactivity. Ian is also a big Ultraman fan!

The Ultraman Series of television shows and movies entered their 55th year in 2021. Recently, the creators of the Ultraman franchise teamed with The Licensing Group, Starlight Runner Entertainment, and Iceberg Theory to reintroduce Ultraman to the world. There is now Anime ULTRAMAN on Netflix, a Marvel Comics series, and of course Ultraman Connection, which has been streaming monthly live events to a growing legion of international fans. You can learn even more about Ultraman here.

Because of his love of Ultraman and all things Japanese pop culture, Ian was invited to join forces with Iceberg Theory to create a short film that would serve as a stinger at the end of the Ultraman Connection Live: Holiday Special, which streamed in December.

Ian was flown to Iceberg Theory hometown of Columbus, Ohio. The sequence was shot in and around the famous old school alternative rock radio station CD 92.9 FM. In the short, Ian’s disc jockey Dan Hayashi expresses some of his own positive philosophy, which happens to echo the wisdom of the Ultras, in his talks with the callers.

In the Holiday Special livestream, we were introduced to a universe where an interstellar battle between a race of benevolent guardians from the M78 Nebula called Ultras were being attacked by powerful and malignant aliens called Absolutians. Earth’s investigative space force, called the UCL, had discovered a strange alien space platform near Mars called Narak Tower. The tower was jamming galactic communications, preventing the Ultras from locating the Absolutian home world. The UCL realized that the tower belonged to the Absolutians and destroyed it. 

At the end of the Holiday Special, the scene switches to Ian Boggs as host Dan Hayashi of Bluesphere Radio. A caller to his show mentions a “strange glow across the night sky.” Hayashi’s studio is suddenly buffeted by weird energies, and on his screens, we see strange symbols. Fans of the Ultraman franchise immediately recognized these as Ultra Signs, the language of the Ultras.

Hayashi leaves the radio station, only to see an incredible electromagnetic phenomenon across the sky. It seems the Ultras have realized that the UCL was successful, enabling them to freely communicate across the universe once more. This is their “thank you!” With Hayashi as a witness, Earth has made first contact with the Ultras!

Iceberg Theory loved having Ian in town and hopes to work with him again! Now, Ian has decided to post the short, which is why many of you are here! The short was announced on his TikTok account on Saturday, February 6, and got over 125,000views within 24 hours. The actual short, and some cool behind-the-scenes footage, were posted to YouTube where got another 280,000 views at the same time. You can see it here:

The results have been amazing! Thousands of you then came to Ultraman Connection to see what all the excitement is about! If you like what you see, feel free to go to the OPERATIONS ROOM (upper right-hand corner of the front page of the site)and CREATE AN ACCOUNT for access to cool Ultraman content in the EXCLUSIVEVIDEOS section, awesome merch, and offers to see upcoming livestream events and movies.

Like many of you, I personally am an Ultraman noob. Getting to know the franchise has been nothing but exciting. On behalf of the entire Ultraman Connection team, I welcome all of you Ian Boggs fans to join me in navigating the Ultraman universe and unraveling the many intricacies and surprising depths of one of the coolest story worlds of all time.  

Evangelia Artemis

February 2022

Evangelia is a New York-based freelance writer who draws underground comics, loves anime, and is working on her first novel.

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January 19, 2022

WHO IS ULTRAMAN TARO?

Taro! Ultraman Number SIX!

Ultraman Taro, both the show and the eponymous character, occupy a very special place in the Ultraman Series, in the lore of the series itself, as well as the hearts of fans worldwide. Debuting in 1973, Taro worked to help expand fans’ understanding of the Land of Light, establishing a number of major characters who have since come to help define the cosmology of the franchise, all while telling a sincere story about growing up and defining who you are.

The story begins as many entries in the Classic Ultraman era do, at the crossroads of disaster and heroism. A young aspiring boxer, Kotaro Higashi, has returned to Japan after working abroad, bringing with him little more than the clothes on his back and some small curios, including the seed of the mysterious Tigris flower, said to bloom only once every century. He has only just planted the seed nearby when the peace is destroyed by the arrival of a Terrible-Monster, one of the Alien Yapool’s enhanced Kaiju creations.

The beast, Oil Drinker, seeks to destroy the shipyard Kotaro has just left, and consume the oil within the cargo freighters at dock. Kotaro rushes back as the new defense team, ZAT (Zariba of All Territory) engages in their first major sortie. Using a crane to grab the monster, Kotaro helps ZAT to drive it off, and the creature escapes. After accepting the gracious thanks of the dock workers for help, Kotaro returns to find that the Tigris flower has already bloomed! And unbeknownst to him, after he falls asleep outside nearby it, it continues to do so…

That night, ZAT notices the monstrous growth of the plant after a vine attacks one of their vehicles, and their attempts to destroy it wake Kotaro, who is horrified by the destruction of his flower. Beating up the defense team members in a straight fight, the struggle stops when Oil Drinker returns.

As ZAT runs off to engage it, Kotaro realizes that they were right to try and destroy the Tigris, as it lifts into the air, revealing its true nature as the Kaiju, Astromons! The monster plant kills Oil Drinker by eating it, and Kotaro feels compelled to stop this new, far-greater threat, since it came from his flower. Battling it on foot, Kotaro is brave, but that boldness ultimately gets him badly wounded when the creature flings him off. However, that action does not go unnoticed, as a woman in green finds him the next morning, giving him a certain “charm,” the Ultra Badge, for his efforts.

Knowing he cannot stop Astromons alone, Kotaro joins ZAT, but when Astromons returns, even their incredible technology cannot stop the beast, and Kotaro’s plane crashes in a fireball after the monster retaliates. But Kotaro is not killed. Instead, he is carried away, all the way to the Land of Light by the Ultra Brothers! These include all the previous Ultras in the franchise, including Ultraman, Jack, Ultraseven, Zoffy, and Ace. There, to save his life the unconscious Kotaro is merged with the newest of the Ultra Brothers, Ultraman Taro—and from the flames of the crash, the sixth giant leaps out! Taro attacks Astromons, beating it back with quick, frenetic attacks. Though Astromons is a tough foe even for an Ultra, Taro manages to defeat it with his signature attack, the Strium Beam!

This begins Taro’s tenure on Earth, with Kotaro and Taro growing together in their struggle against forces that would seek the destruction of humanity. Staying with the Shiratori family, the patriarch of which captained the ship Kotaro returned to Japan on, the wandering Kotaro starts developing real relationships with both the young son and adult daughter of the family, Kenichi and Saori, as well as his teammates at ZAT.

Meanwhile, Taro’s family is close by as well, with the identity of the lady in green who gave Kotaro the Ultra Badge—his tool to become Taro—being Mother of Ultra, one of the leaders of the Land of Light. She also happens to be Taro’s mother! In addition, his brothers-in-arms, the Ultra Brothers, as well as his father, the mighty Father of Ultra, are prepared to come to Taro’s aid whenever they are needed.

That isn’t to say that Taro isn’t exceptionally powerful on his own. Taro is gifted with incredible abilities, many of which exceed even his fellows. Though his signature attack is the rainbow-hued, T-shaped Strium Beam, the best known of Taro’s techniques is the literally explosive Ultra Dynamite attack, where Taro detonates his internal light in a tremendous explosion capable of annihilating any threat. However, this technique more than any other has a tremendous cost to Taro’s body, making it only suitable in life-or-death situations.

Thankfully, against most threats, Taro has dozens of powerful tricks and attacks, including the mighty Atomic Punch, and the fast-spinning Ultra Spout. In a pinch, when all six Ultra Brothers are together, Taro can even merge with the others to become a Super Ultraman, an unstoppable force for good!

Taro also has an arsenal of specialty tools that can rival even the weapon-master, Ultraman Jack, thanks to a gift from Mother of Ultra, the transforming King Bracelet. Compared to the original Ultra Bracelet, the King Bracelet’s transformation abilities are vastly more specific and sometimes even a little quirky, becoming things like a monster muzzle, and even a bucket of water to splash on a drunken monster!

Such varied techniques and tools are necessary against the threats to Taro, which mark some of the strangest and most creative creatures to ever grace a television screen! We’ve told you about Astromons, but other memorable creatures to face Taro include Mukadender, the centipede-like monster capable of splitting its body in two to attack from multiple sides, Alien Temperor, the would-be universe conqueror who required all the Ultra Brothers to defeat him (alongside his advisor, a cymbal-banging monkey!), and even the moon-derived Mochiron, who was only quelled after Taro and Father of Ultra, pounded enough mochi to feed him!

There were two Kaiju who fought Taro that have become not only memorable, but infamous, over almost half a century since their first appearance. The first is Birdon, a monster bird so vicious and powerful thanks to its brutal poison and fire breathing abilities that it did the unthinkable, and killed not just Taro, but Zoffy, when the older Ultraman came to his aid! Though the two were resurrected by Father of Ultra, there has rarely been a monster so dreaded and dangerous to the Giants of Light before or since.

The other truly legendary threat is the chimeric monster known as Tyrant. Made of a whopping seven monsters, Tyrant combined all the most dangerous features of those various threats, including the Skull Monster Red King, the Space Monster Bemstar, and the Terrible-Monster Baraba, into a single unstoppable threat that defeated all the previous Ultra Brothers before Taro was able to avenge them.

Perhaps the most iconic fight of Taro’s career is his final one. The threat started normally enough, with the space fisherman Alien Valky and his pet Shark Whale arriving on Earth with a plan to conquer humanity through command of the seas. Before any such plot could be enacted, Taro defeated the aquatic monster and drove Valky away. Though this was not particularly memorable as far as threats go, it was, shockingly, the last one Kotaro would choose to fight!

The young man concluded that Taro had started to become a crutch for humanity after the death of his patron and friend, the sea captain Shiratori. Returning the Ultra Badge to the Land of Light, Kotaro prepares to return to his human life…only for the escaped Valky to return now that the Giant of Light is gone. Such a fight should be desperately one-sided, with the physically superior alien ending poor Kotaro’s life. However, Kotaro has been growing and learning alongside Taro during his career defending Earth. Using the terrain and his wits, Kotaro can, in a sign of growth from his first failed attempt against Oil Drinker, destroy Valky, saving humanity without the power of Ultraman.

This is a microcosm of the greater point of Ultraman Taro, one of personal growth, and specifically, entering adulthood. Kotaro and Taro alike are talented and smart but are too inexperienced in the beginning to solve the problems in their lives by themselves, and must be helped, by the Ultra Brothers, by the Shiratoris, and by ZAT. It is only by going through these trials and learning from their mistakes that they grow, and by the end of the series, Kotaro no longer needs Ultraman’s power at all to win. Hence, Taro has become a fully-fledged Ambassador of Light, a skilled warrior that will pass down the lessons he has learned to the next generation, especially the young fighters of the New Generation Heroes, like Ultraman Ginga and his own son, Ultraman Taiga.

Since Ultraman Taro aired in 1972, the story concepts introduced by the series have grown to become defining pillars of the franchise. From Mother of Ultra’s introduction to the mention of the great conflict that would in the modern era be identified as the Ultimate Wars, which introduced threats like Alien Empera and Ultraman Belial, it is the story of Taro that perhaps most of all has made Ultraman what it is today.

Fittingly, Taro himself has remained a key figure in the greater series. Though Kotaro has never returned, the giant himself is a revered figure in the Land of Light, a teacher and father, and has fought many of the greatest threats faced by the Ultras, including his close childhood friend-turned-nemesis, Ultraman Tregear in Ultraman Taiga: The Movie - New Generation Climax. If you want to see this legendary battle yourself, go get an Ultraman Connection membership right here on this site, and catch the movie, free, in our Exclusive Videos section. And for more on Ultraman Taro, and the entire Ultraman universe, stay close to Ultraman Connection!

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January 18, 2022

WHO IS ULTRASEVEN?

Newer fans of the Ultraman series may not be familiar with all the legacy Ultra Heroes and shows that have been introduced since 1966. For that reason, we’re here to bring you up to speed on everything you need to know about Ultraseven.

Ultraseven is the third Ultra to visit Earth after Ultraman and Zoffy, who both originally appeared in the first series Ultraman). He is titular hero of the 1967 series Ultraseven, which is actually the third Ultraman series counting Ultra Q, which ran before Ultraman. The series was originally intended as a standalone story, separate and apart but with similar motifs to Ultraman but was later brought into continuity when both Ultraman and Ultraseven appeared in the 1971 follow-up, Return of Ultraman. Since then, Ultraseven has become one of the most popular characters in the entire franchise and continues to make appearances throughout the various series and films as one of the original members of the Ultra Brothers!

The 1967 show follows the adventures of the red giant known as Ultraseven, who has been sent from the Land of Light to map the Milky Way galaxy. On a visit to Earth, after encountering a kidnapping threat from the evil Alien Cool, the Ultra adopts a secret human alter-ego, calling himself Dan Moroboshi, and assists the Earth’s defense force, the Ultra Guard, as they investigate extraterrestrial threats. After successfully thwarting the Cool invasion, in both human and Ultra forms, the giant decides to stay on Earth and join the Ultra Guard as both Dan, and the red giant the humans name “Ultra Seven” as, after Dan, he’s the unofficial seventh member of the team!

Helping Dan on his journey are the brave members of the Ultra Guard. The team includes Commander Kiriyama, the friendly Member Furuhashi, the nurse and operator Member Yuri, sharpshooter Member Soga, and strategist Member Amagi. With a wide variety of vehicles and specialty weapons, the members of the UG strike back against Kaiju threats with help from their unofficial seventh!

In addition to his own incredible show and many appearances since, Ultraseven also has unique characteristics that have solidified his status as a fan-favorite. His physical appearance differs from many of the other Ultras, which also grants him different abilities. He lacks a Color Timer, and thus a three-minute limit, instead possessing a Beam Lamp on his forehead, from which he can fire the Emerium beam, as well as functioning as a warning light when he is near defeat.

Fixed on his head is the Eye Slugger, a weapon that can be removed and held as a blade or thrown as a boomerang-like projectile. Finally, his chest and shoulders are covered in Protectors, which allow him to absorb energy and function as powerful armor.

Although Dan is simply his human form, rather than a separate human that he has merged with, Ultraseven still uses a transformation item, the Ultra Eye, to change into his Ultra form. However, he still has some tricks up his sleeve as Dan, such as the Ultra Capsules, which allow him to summon friendly monsters to fight for him. This is one of the earliest appearances of this concept in global popular culture, clearly a precursor to Pokémon’s Poké Balls. Ultraseven is also responsible for some of the franchise’s most iconic Kaiju, such as Eleking, King Joe, and dozens more!

Since the conclusion of Ultraseven, the character has appeared consistently throughout the series and films as a member of the Ultra Brothers and as part of the Inter Galactic Defense Force. He most recently is featured in Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Absolute Conspiracy (which you can stream for free at Ultraman Connection right now)! In Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legends The Movie, it was revealed that he is a father! His son, the flashy and cool Ultraman Zero, has become a favorite amongst fans in his own right.

Seven recently made a surprise appearance on the final page of the Marvel Comics miniseries, The Trials of Ultraman, and he will be the subject of his own Marvel series later this year, The Mystery of Ultraseven. And he will of course also appear in the upcoming Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroads, alongside his Ultra Brothers, the New Generation Heroes, and many more characters from throughout the history of the franchise!

To catch up with the Ultra Galaxy Fight series, check out the director’s cuts of both films right now for free by making an Ultraman Connection account! And for all things Ultraseven and Ultraman, make sure to stay tuned to Ultraman Connection!

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January 4, 2022

ULTRAMAN FOUND AT ANIME NYC

The Starlight Runner team visited Anime NYC, the premiere anime convention in New York City last November, asking ourselves the question—is there overlap between otaku and tokusatsu fans?

Ultraman international creative supervisor Jeff Gomez led the team, which included Ultraman Connection Editor-in-Chief EJ Couloucoundis, Ultraman Connection writer Evangelia Artemis-Gomez, and production coordinator Marion Calamari.

We fanned out across the Jacob Javitz Center, dodging an array of cosplay wings, swords, and staffs (and apparently some nasty early Omicron). But it didn’t take long to find our answer:

YES! Ultraman and the denizens of the M78 universe could be found scattered across the sprawling convention floor. There were bins of small vinyl Kaiju, photos and artwork of all three generations of our hero, and even some high-end Bandai S.H. Figuarts Ultraman collectibles.

A major highlight for the team was running into popular Ultraman and tokusatsu artist John Bellotti Jr. and Seismic Toys exec Chris Oglio at the Robo7 booth down Artists Alley.

John showed us his latest Ultraman prints, and Chris had some amazing original Kaiju on hand, including an advance Jirahs. Jeff Gomez gasped in awe of the figure and could barely let go of it. Rest assured; Jeff ordered his during the Ultraman Connection Live: Ultraman Day event just like the rest of you!

Of course, everyone who ordered Jirahs has been eagerly awaiting the figure and the good news is that the toys have arrived from overseas and are starting to ship across North America this week!

One thing we discovered is that many younger anime fans at the convention discovered Ultraman through the Netflix Anime ULTRAMAN series. Intrigued, they made the leap to live-action and started watching Ultraman either through the Official Ultraman channel on YouTube, TokuSHOUTsu on Shout Factory TV, or the Mill Creek Entertainment Blu-Rays and DVDs. The Starlight Runner team was sure to invite all these new fans over the Ultraman Connection, where they will see Ultraman’s Plasma Spark continue to rise.

Next year, Tsuburaya Productions, The Licensing Group, Starlight Runner Entertainment, and Iceberg Theory hope to have an even stronger presence for Ultraman at Anime NYC!

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December 20, 2021

A NOOB WATCHES ULTRAMAN TAIGA: THE MOVIE

From my experience as an Ultraman noob, Ultraman Taiga: The Movie - New Generation Climax has proven to be an outrageously captivating and enjoyable experience whether or not you have any prior knowledge of the franchise. With action, adventure, and a handful of heartfelt moments between the characters we all know and love, this film is journey worth embarking on.

Yes, I’m now a card-carrying member of the Ultraman Connection web site and watched the Ultraman Connection Live Holiday Special, where the movie was announced as a special gift by Father of Ultra, the Ultraman with huge horns, whom I simply adore.

The 2019 film directed by Ryuichi Ichino picks up six months after the conclusion of the Ultraman Taiga TV series. At this point, all kinds of Kaiju and otherworldly creatures live interdependently amongst the humans as fellow citizens of Earth. All is well until we are threatened once again. We follow Hiroyuki Kudo, E.G.I.S (Enterprise of Guard and Investigation Service) member and human form of the Tri-Squad, Ultraman Taiga, Ultraman Titas and Ultraman Fuma. He and his team must now face the return of previously missing Dark Ultra, Ultraman Tregear, and the interdimensional demon Kaiju, Grimdo, who is the source of Tregear’s power.

This short synopsis barely does justice to the layers of interpersonal dynamics that New Generation Climax explores. Within the first few minutes of the film, while Tregear explains his plans of world domination, we are reunited with Ultraman Taro, who is an original G supercool Ultra, but has smaller horns than Father of Ultra. Taro’s philosophy is made clear as he tries to salvage the last bit of Tregear’s goodness, using his words instead of resorting to battle.

Taro’s heroism is further exemplified in his attempt to save his son, Taiga, when Tregear tries to possess Taiga’s body with the evil consciousness of Grimdo. Jumping in front Tregear’s line of fire ends up victimizing Taro and ironically possessing him to act villainously against his son, forcing Taiga to face the toughest obstacle of all… Defending himself against his own father.

Luckily Taiga isn’t alone! Apparently, many of the other Ultras had used their power to seal Grimdo away, but prior to the events of the movie, the seal had weakened and Grimdo got loose. So, like the cavalry Ultraman Rosso, Blu, Ginga, Victory, X, Orb, Geed, and Ultrawomen Grigio all unite and rush to Taiga’s aid to protect humanity.

Even without necessarily knowing the backstories of all these characters, it was extremely empowering and exciting to watch them work together against an army of Kaiju, Grimdo, and Tregear himself. I appreciated how difficult the final battle truly was. Without the collective, evil would never have been defeated. This task required the combined strength of the new generation of heroes, and they delivered! When all the Ultras wrapped themselves up into Ultraman Reiga it was truly a sight to behold, with highly detailed special effects and stunning practical miniature work worthy of this being a theatrical feature film.

Ultraman Taiga: The Movie - New Generation Climax encapsulated, to me, what is so great about Ultraman as a whole. The franchise subscribes to classic archetypal tropes such as sage characters, classic heroes, and power corrupted villains; however, it still manages to be progressive with nuanced moral struggles, strong female leaders, and the practice of Collective Journey story modality. Instead of relying on one protagonist to save the day on his own, an entire generation of Ultras with varying capabilities was necessary to prevail and that is a narrative framework that invites diversity and versatility in a fresh, modern way.

This concept of diversity in perspective is furthered by the way Kaiju are shown as integrated into the human world throughout the movie. They gamble with cards, they assist E.G.I.S in missions, they offer words of wisdom—all in all they prove with their behavior that they can coexist in society. The way they are humanized provokes our heroes and audience alike to second guess our preconceived notions of Kaiju’ intentions. They aren’t simply threatening monsters, they have layers and personalities just like any human and Ultra.

With a variety of impressive, detailed sets, gadgets that will be on my Christmas list this year, and as usual, awesome practical Kaiju costumes, Ultraman Taiga: The Movie - New Generation Climax had all the fun of the Ultraman series and movies that preceded it while also going above and beyond to include modern story telling techniques. The high-tech special effects combined with the camp of traditional Ultraman fighting style recalled the charm of the original Ultraman content yet catered to a new audience with high standards for what a feature should deliver. It was fun, intense, and most of all, impactful. Whether you are a long-time Ultra-fan or an Ultra-noob like me there’s no doubt you’ll take away what you need from this film.

Ultraman Taiga: The Movie - New Generation Climax is available for free for all registered members right here at UltramanConnection.com in the Operations Room under Exclusive Videos! While you’re there, you can see exclusive episodes of Sevenger Fight!, which was one of the first (and most insane) things I’ve ever seen in the Ultraman franchise. Enjoy!

Evangelia Artemis

December 2021

Evangelia is a New York-based freelance writer who draws underground comics, loves anime, and is working on her first novel.

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November 26, 2021

WHAT MAKES ULTRAMAN TIGA SO POPULAR?

It was 1998 for me when I first saw him. The silver giant, fighting the terrifying monster. He only had three minutes to save the world, but I never doubted he’d succeed. I’m obviously speaking of the eponymous hero of Ultraman Tiga, the 1996 entry of the Ultra Series so beloved that, in parts of the world, has almost eclipsed the original series it derives so many of its best traits from in popularity. The questions remains: What is it about Tiga that makes it so special, so venerated, that its concepts and worldbuilding were worthy of being revisited 25 years later in Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga? Let’s discover the answers, together!

1996 was a critical year for Tsuburaya Productions, the creators of the Ultra Series. Ultraman had not appeared on television since the 1981 ending of Ultraman 80, and though Tsuburaya had maintained a consistent presence on television since that point with shows like Gridman the Hyper Agent, the time was right for the Giant of Light to make a grand return to the airwaves. The decision bore fruit on September 7, 1996, as Ultraman Tiga introduced fans not to the same Classic setting that the Ultra Brothers had protected for years, but a brand-new Earth with its own history and set of dangers—world of the Neo Frontier.

Neo Frontier’s Earth is in some ways earlier in technological development than the Classic timeline, but Tsuburaya’s legendary effects work and the gorgeous aesthetic of the show does an excellent job painting it as a worthy contemporary. The Terrestrial Peaceable Consortium, or TPC, has helped bring about peace on Earth, allowing science and development towards the stars to finally begin in earnest. To confront the mysteries still standing before them, the TPC has formed the Global Unlimited Task Squad, or GUTS, this world’s first defense team.

GUTS is sorely needed, as the voyage of humanity into the unknown comes with countless dangers from not only the future, but challenges from the pastd. It is the first of these dangers, the monster tag-team of Golza and Melba, that sends GUTS after the power of the mysterious Tiga, and when pilot Daigo Madoka finds the petrified giant in a pyramid of light, he merges with it to return Ultraman to television audiences for the first time in a decade and a half!

Ultraman Tiga struck like lightning with fans old and new for one reason above all others: The show was really good. Ultraman has always held a reputation of quality globally, but Tiga had budget, talent, and the best effects in the business every week, and used all three to great advantage. Ultraman Tiga himself was a revolution in the genre, a hero whose powers allowed him to “change forms,” adopting a different aesthetic and specialization depending on his foe.

This trait, central to the structure of Tiga, allowed for a wide variety of foes for the giant to fight, with the understanding that Tiga functioned with the skills and style of three heroes in a single body, and thus could adapt to whatever challenge the writers dreamed up. Between the traditional Multi Type, brawny Power Type, and speedy Sky Type, Tiga’s Type Change skill allowed for unique solutions to the challenges that the creative team could invent.

In addition, Ultraman Tiga featured an evolution of the concepts that the original Ultraman series presented: a humanity under threat of the unknown, an overwhelming darkness that was fought back not simply with strength, but with kindness. Fights very often were not won simply by beating a monster or alien into submission, but by proving the strength of humanity’s principles against fear and uncertainty. What Tiga was not afraid to show, however, was how difficult this task could be. The vices and darkness within the human heart, represented by insidious foes like Keigo Masaki, are threats that have to be reckoned with, and not simply ignored. But they can be faced, and moved beyond, the series promises, not simply through kind words, but through an innate wisdom in its storytelling that resonated with audiences young and old.

A major secret to Tiga’s success is perhaps more simple than any of these reasons: the series was shown to the whole world. The original Ultraman and its successor series, though known globally, were primarily shown in Japan, with only a limited amount of content making it beyond the country’s shores for decades. Tiga, however, had the privilege of a world tour in the early 2000s, with the hero being seen by audiences from the United States to China! For many fans, especially Millennials and younger, Tiga was the first entry in the Ultra Series they got to watch, and that first experience is one that fans keep close to their hearts.

It has been 25 years since Ultraman Tiga, but the lessons it’s taught and the experiences it provided to viewers remain fresh to this day; not least of all thanks to the series’ modern successor, Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga. Trigger has, like its predecessor, attempted to redefine what Ultraman means, at a time when the values espoused by the Ultra Series are needed most of all. If you want to see what all the fun is about yourself, don’t hesitate to watch the series as it airs every Friday night on the Ultraman Official YouTube Channel, or catch one of the critically lauded Ultraman Connection Live shows, like the Ultraman Connection Live Holiday Special, coming soon to this very site! And for more Tiga, Trigger, and other Ultra Series content, stay close to Ultraman Connection!

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November 24, 2021

A NOOB READS MARVEL’S THE TRIALS OF ULTRAMAN

In April of 2021, I began my journey into the Ultraman Universe as a noob with The Rise of Ultraman trade paperback of the Marvel Comics miniseries by Kyle Higgins and Matt Groom. Since then, I was inspired to immerse myself further into the fandom, engaging with all kinds of Ultraman content.

Still, though, I am not as seasoned an Ultra Heroes fan as the hardcore audience that has become so loyal to Ultraman Connection. For that reason, I’ve decided to continue exploring the lore with collection of the second five-issue Marvel series, The Trials of Ultraman.

The high gloss cover sets the stage for the entire graphic novel with a high-tension tableau drawn by Francesco Manna. We see Ultraman, brought to life with vivid colors by Espen Grundetjern, prepared for battle but still caught off-guard by a Kaiju in what seems to be an alien landscape. This single image actually does a great job of encapsulating the energy of the story as a whole.

Shin Hayata is now navigating what it means to work with the Giant of Light on a greater scale than ever before. He might be prepared to a degree, but the stakes are higher now as a consequence of Earth’s brush with fate at the end of The Rise of Ultraman. The world isn’t the same as it once was, and no one knows just who to trust.

The series also boasts plenty of spectacular Kaiju fights!

After the events of Rise, the United Science Patrol’s secrecy has been compromised and Shin Hayata is trying to find balance in his personal life. Enemy organizations and giant monsters alike are attempting to destabilize the USP after the Kaiju Vault was opened and the return of a character who was thought to be lost further complicates all matters. Only Ultraman can handle this mess… Or so it seems.

The story covers both intergalactic and intersocial relationships in a way that allows us to connect with Ultraman, a seemingly untouchable hero, on a very human level. Shin is faced with difficult decisions and unexpected situations, some of which are universal experiences such as reconnecting with a cold and angry father, who unfairly blames him for the death of his younger brother, and meeting with a second father of sorts, Dan Moroboshi.

Also distant and embittered, we glimpsed Dan in a flashback in the first pages of Rise when he vanished into the Kaiju Vault in the 1960s. Dan now blames the USP for somehow being involved in the creation of the Vault, which turned out to be a terrible decision!

Seeing how much we have changed through the eyes of someone else is an ever-sobering experience—especially when it seems to them that we’ve changed for the worse. In the case of The Trials of Ultraman, it is made clear how important those moments really are. But what’s interesting to me is that the Ultra side of Ultraman continues to attempt to raise Shin’s consciousness beyond getting caught up in human grievances.

Through the influence of the Ultra, Shin Hayata grapples with but ultimately chooses to protect his own enemies from greater danger. He is pushed to make nuanced, calculated choices, adjusting his his moral executive functioning even at times of crisis (as in caught-in-the-middle-of-a-war level crisis).

Also interesting, especially for a Marvel comic, is how the Ultra draws a boundary when it comes to interfering with human conflict. Ultraman is not here to fight criminals, dismantle evil cults, or crusade against corrupt organizations, no matter how horrible they may be. It becomes clear to Shin that he cannot rely on his Ultraman (nor even his support network) to handle his battles for him, he must use what he’s learned to empower himself.

Ultraman, trauma, and reconciliation.

While Ultraman’s goal is to protect and defend, he prides himself on not perpetuating the human cycle of violence. In tandem with Shin, Ultraman defeats Kaiju in moments that differ from the Ultraman TV series live-action battles by the amount of conversation and analysis Shin and Ultra engage in together as they throw epic punches. It’s clear that Ultraman does not favor violence but rather resorts to it as a necessity and, at the end of the day, will only pick on creatures his own size. He refuses to be used to give Shin an advantage in exercising his reflexive instincts and instead encourages him to organize his code of conduct with respect to the species he’s dealing with. Shin must codeswitch if you will.

 

The Trials of Ultraman is dynamic, action-packed, fully realized and at the end of the day, a story we have all lived to some extent. It is wildly impressive that as someone who hasn’t fought that many Kaiju in my time, I was able to emotionally connect to someone who does it all the time. Higgins and Groom did an excellent job of translating some of the anxiety many of us feel during these trying times into a narrative that is largely optimistic.

 

The Trials of Ultraman honors the Ultraman franchise’s overarching theme of inspiring hope, not based on physical capabilities, but rather on humanity’s core desire to make the world a better place for one another. Ultraman reminds us all to pay attention to that part in ourselves, no matter how vulnerable it may be.

 

Pick up The Trials of Ultraman trade paperback from comics retailers, bookstores, and Amazon right now. And stay tuned to Ultraman Connection for all the latest from the M78 universe!

 

Evangelia Artemis

November 2021

 

Evangelia is a New York-based freelance writer who draws underground comics, loves anime, and is working on her first novel.

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April 29, 2020

ULTRAMAN’S 6 MOST FRIENDLY KAIJU

Not all of the monsters in Ultraman are diabolical creatures bent on death and destruction, nor are they all mindless beasts. Every so often in the Ultraman Series, a kaiju comes along who just wants to chill—or even help defend and protect humanity. Here are six of the most well-known friendly kaiju from throughout the Ultraman franchise.

ALBOOM-TIGRIS

Alboom-Tigris appeared in Ultraman Gaia, Episode 38 (“Ground-Breaking Tusks”) as a monster that habited underground. It was the target of the Earth Piercing Bomb, even though the monster had not inflicted any harm to humanity. The Tigris would succumb to wounds during the ensuing conflict, but two more incarnations of this Kaiju would return to defend the Earth from alien invaders.

ALIEN FANTON

Unlike most aliens encountered by Ultra Heroes, Alien Fanton cared little for fighting and destruction. Instead, his priorities were of the gluttonous variety. Fanton was first encountered in Ultraman Mebius, Episode 7 (“Fanton’s Lost Item”): he would go on to eat all of GUYS food, though he returned the favor by giving them critical information. He would also help in the battle against Alien Empera, though not through physical intervention, of course. Individual Fantons would appear in Ultraman X (as Dr. Gourman, who worked with XIO’s research and development lab) and Ultraman Taiga, aiding humanity in both cases.

RABBIDOG

Although his appearance was brief, the adorable space dog who is also Taro’s fluffy friend leapt onto the screen and into our hearts in Ultraman Taro, Episode 24 (“This Is the Land of Ultra!”). The monster showed audiences that the residents of the Land of Light kept dog-like creatures as pets. As for cats, well, the jury is still out…

RON

Ron was separated from Ultraman Leo after the insidious Alien Magma destroyed that hero’s homeworld of Planet L77. Being forced to wander through space, Ron grew both in size and fury. Luckily, the only thing that proved to be more powerful than Ron’s temper was his connection to Ultraman Leo. The two were reunited in Ultraman Leo, Episode 10 (“The Monster that Wanders in Sorrow “).

GUARDIE

The ancient companion to the giant who would become Evil Tiga, Guardie first appeared in Ultraman Tiga, Episode 44 (“Inheritance of Shadow”). After awakening in the present day to find his companion merged with an evil entity, Guardie did what any good friend would do and fought to free his tainted ally. Sadly, Guardie died at the hands of its former friend, but he was honored by Tiga, who flew the fallen giant to space.

PIGMON

And the top spot goes to…Pigmon! Not only is this Kaiju Ultraman’s oldest non-human ally—appearing all the way back in Ultraman, Episode 8 (“The Monster Anarchy Zone”)—but it has proven itself time and time again by returning to help, even sacrificing its life to save Ultraman and its allies. To Pigmon, we say, “thank you!” May it continue to live (and die) for the good people of Earth.

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April 24, 2020

ULTRAMAN ZERO: A HISTORY OF ONE OF TSUBURAYA’S MOST POPULAR HEROES

In the decade since his first appearance in 2009, Ultraman Zero has become one of the most popular heroes in the entire Ultraman franchise. To celebrate this milestone and thank all the fans who have supported Zero, Tsuburaya Productions recently announced that the “Ultraman Zero 10th Anniversary Project” has launched!

ULTRAMAN ZERO 10TH ANNIVERSARY PROJECT

Ultraman Zero first appeared in Mega Monster Battle Ultra Galaxy: The Movie, which premiered on December 12th, 2009. Since then, the unique personality of the son of Ultraseven has distinguished himself from other Ultra Heroes and made him beloved by fans all around the world.

Watch the short message from Ultraman Zero here! (English subtitles available)

Over the past 10 years, he has both been supported by countless friends and allies, and built unbreakable bonds across galaxies and universes alike.

Let’s take a look back at Ultraman Zero’s battles since his first appearance!

Chronology of Ultraman Zero Appearances

2009

Mega Monster Battle Ultra Galaxy: The Movie

Ultraman Zero stood against the first evil Ultraman in history, and saved the Land of Light from disaster. It was here that he debuted his signature line: “My name is Zero, Ultraman Zero! Son of Ultraseven!”

2010

Ultra Galaxy Legend Side Story: Ultraman Zero Vs Darklops Zero

Ultraman Zero stopped the evil plot of the Alien Salome on the planet Cheney. During the battle, Zero fought against Darklops Zero, a robot duplicate of himself, as well as imitations of the Ultra Brothers, including his father, Ultraseven.

Ultraman Zero: Revenge Of Belial

To stop the invasion plan of the revived Belial, who created an empire in another universe as Kaiser Belial, Ultraman Zero gathered a group of new allies, including Glenfire, Mirror Knight, and Jean-Bot. Entrusted with the Ultimate Aegis from Ultraman Noa, he foiled and defeated Belial once again. Afterwards, he founded the “Ultimate Force Zero” supergroup with his new comrades.

2011

Ultraman Zero Side Story: Killer the Beatstar

To stop Beatstar’s plan of destroying all organic life in the universe, the Ultimate Force Zero reunited to fight against the mad AI’s Mecha Robot Army. By the end of the battle, they recruited a new member, Jean-Nine, to the team.

2012

Ultraman Saga

To save the alternate “Future Earth” of a universe without Ultras, Ultraman Zero, Ultraman Dyna, and Ultraman Cosmos (each hailing from a different universe) came together to form a single being, Ultraman Saga, and defeated the powerful menace Hyper Zetton

Ultra Zero Fight Part 1

To fight against monsters controlled by the evil Alien Bat, Ultraman Zero became Strong Corona Zero and Luna Miracle Zero with the power inherited from Ultraman Dyna and Ultraman Cosmos!

Ultra Zero Fight Part 2

The Ultimate Force Zero reunited once again to stop the “Darkness Five,” an army serving under the returned Ultraman Belial. In the middle of the fight, Zero himself was possessed by Belial and became “Zero Darkness.” Just before his consciousness was fully subsumed by Belial, the voices and love of his comrades allowed him to expel Belial’s spirit, reviving Zero as Shining Ultraman Zero! With this new power, Zero defeated the Darkness Five.

2015

Ultraman Ginga S The Movie: Showdown! The 10 Ultra Warriors!

Chasing the evil Etelgar, Ultraman Zero came to the Earth protected by Ultraman Ginga. He trained Hikaru Raido (a.k.a. Ultraman Ginga) and Sho (a.k.a. Ultraman Victory) so that they could become Ultraman Ginga Victory, using the power of the Ultra Fusion Brace entrusted to them by Ultraman King.

Ultraman X, Episode 5

Ultraman Zero came to the universe of Ultraman X, battling together with his contemporary against the evil Nackle, Bandello. To come to Zero’s aid, X was able to obtain the “Ultimate Zero Armor.”

2016

Ultraman X the Movie: Here He Comes! Our Ultraman

To save Ultraman X from the crisis brought about by the evil Zaigorg, Ultraman Zero appeared once again, fighting an army of monsters with Ultraman Max, Nexus, Ginga, and Victory.

2017

Ultraman Orb the Movie: Let Me Borrow the Power of Bonds!

Ultraman Zero helped Ultraman Orb defeat Galactron in Hawaii, before flying to another universe.

Ultra Fight Orb

Zero teamed with Ultraman Orb to defeat Reibatos, the Ghost Sorcerer, and his undead monster army. Together with his father, Ultraseven, Zero trained Orb and helped him find his new form, “Emerium Slugger.”

Ultraman Geed

To retrieve the Ultra Capsules stolen from the Land of Light, Zero went to the Earth located in the universe known as “Side Space,” where he met with Ultraman Geed. As Ultraman Zero Beyond, he defeated Ultraman Belial together with Geed, hopefully once and for all.

2018

Ultraman Geed the Movie: Connect the Wishes!

Ultraman Zero united with Ultraman Geed and Ultraman Orb once again to save all universes from the Gigantic Mechanical Brain, Gillvalis.

2019

Ultra Galaxy Fight: New Generation Heroes

Ultraman Zero went to save Ultrawoman Grigio from the hands of Ultra Dark-Killer, only to be taken hostage by the evil giant along with her. With the help of the New Generation Heroes, he became Ultraman Zero Beyond once again and defeated Zero Darkness, who was created by Ultra Dark-Killer.

Ultraman Taiga, Episode 23

Ultraman Zero appeared in front of Ultraman Taiga when he was overwhelmed by Imit-Ultraman Belial. Entrusting the Plasma-Zerolet to Taiga, they stopped the conspiracy planned by Tregear together.

2020

Ultraman Z

From Zero to Z (Zett)! We look forward to meeting Ultraman Zero’s disciple in the all-new series Ultraman Z, later this year! More information coming soon…

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To avoid missing any Ultraman Zero updates, don’t forget to subscribe to the Official ULTRAMAN YouTube Channel!

https://www.youtube.com/user/tsuburaya

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April 14, 2020

A MESSAGE FROM ULTRAMAN: THE 5 ULTRA OATHS 2020

“To protect the peace on Earth, now is the time for all of us to unite!”

These are the words of Ultraman himself, who has delivered a heartfelt message to the children of the world and their parents in the midst of the coronavirus global pandemic. In the video, released with English subtitles on April 12, 2020, Ultraman projects sympathy and confidence, acknowledging the difficult times we are all experiencing. He revisits the “5 Ultra Oaths,” which were first featured in the final episode of The Return of Ultraman series way back in 1971. The oaths were originally designed to promote good habits in children.

Produced by the Ultraman Foundation, a children’s charity affiliated with Tsuburaya Productions, the new video of Ultraman is meant to reassure young people and their parents that “there are many people all over the world fighting to protect us” and that “we want everyone to challenge themselves to do what they can.” The new oaths directly address personal hygiene, and physical and psychological safety during these weeks of uncertainty.

Feel free to share the video, which was viewed over 150,000 times in its first 24-hours.

A message from Ultraman: The Five Ultra Oaths 2020【ULTRAMAN FOUNDATION】

A printable poster of The 5 Ultra Oaths 2020 can be downloaded here:

https://m-78.jp/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/ULTRA_KIKIN_2020_EN.pdf

Check out the Ultraman Foundation in English here:

http://www.ultraman-kikin.jp/en/

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March 25, 2020

ULTRAMAN ZERO: LINK BETWEEN THE GENERATIONS

Since his debut in 2009’s Mega Monster Battle Ultra Galaxy: The Movie, Ultraman Zero, the Son of Ultraseven, has proven himself to be one of the greatest heroes to emerge from the home world of the Ultras, the Land of Light. Appearing toward the end of the Second Generation of the Ultraman Series, Zero’s flamboyant style and tremendous power helped to usher in the Third Generation’s (also called the New Generation Heroes) through a trilogy of movies starring him and his allies—Ultra Galaxy: The Movie, Ultraman Zero: The Revenge of Belial, and Ultraman Saga.

Zero’s popularity makes sense; after all, he is the inheritor of the legacy of two of the most beloved Ultra Brothers of the Ultraman Classic era, being both the son of the eponymous hero of 1967’s Ultraseven, and the student of Seven’s most famous protégé, Ultraman Leo. Unaware of his legendary parentage, Zero’s youthful exuberance got him into significant trouble in his early life. Exiled by his father from the Land of Light, Zero was taken in by Leo, who began to train him, much as Seven once had.

After Leo tempered his power with an unshakeable sense of justice, Zero was sent back to the Land of Light to save not only his father, but every Ultra, when the evil Ultraman Belial returned to conquer the universe. Defeating the tyrannical Belyudra, the dark giant that Belial created after merging with over a hundred monsters, Zero was welcomed back home by Seven, who proudly embraced his son.

Zero’s role in the Ultraman Series is a unique one. He is a representative of all three generations. As the son of one of the greatest heroes of the Ultraman Classic First Generation, Zero’s introduction heralded the end of the experimental Second Generation of the series, and set the tone and stage for the more serialized, shared-universe New Generation that has continued to this day.

Since his debut, Zero has, like the great heroes before him, acted as a mentor to many of his contemporaries, especially the young Ultraman Geed, son of his nemesis Belial. Acting as a surrogate older brother to Geed, as well as other heroes of the modern age, Zero has slowly begun to find himself in a role similar to his father and teacher.

Now, it has just been announced that Ultraman Zero will find himself directly training a new young Ultra—Ultraman Z! In the premiere episode of the upcoming series Ultraman Z, Zero and Z stand as the vanguard of protection for the Land of Light against an evil force from the distant past. After a fierce battle, the pair are separated, and it is up to the fierce but relatively inexperienced Z to save a now-threatened Earth. But more than likely, we haven’t seen the last of Ultraman Zero!

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April 11, 2022

NEW NAKATOMI PRINT OFFERS A RETRO VISION OF THE GIANT OF LIGHT

Nakatomi Incorporated has been a supplier of some of the best-looking and highest-quality art prints to the Ultraman fandom for years now, and as the 55th Anniversary of Ultraman comes to a close, a brand-new print is here!

Created by Matt Ferguson, the print features Ultraman himself, cast in a gorgeous contrast of teal green and rust red, with the sky and land matching those colors. Offered in an 18” by 24” silkscreen, only 140 of these hand-printed, hand-numbered pieces will be sold!

In addition, a special, even more limited-edition print is also being sold, with a classic Ultraman-colored red tint! Only 55 of these silkscreen prints will be available, with both it and the original print shipped within 1-2 weeks, in Nakatomi’s special “Ultra-Red Tubes” marked with special Tom Whalen-designed tube top stickers!

The prints are available HERE and should be available as of the release of this article.

At quantities of only 140 and 55 respectively, they won’t be available for long!

For more cool Ultraman deals and news, stay close to Ultraman Connection!

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December 13, 2021

MILL CREEK’S ULTRAMAN GAIA DVD COMPLETES THE TGA TRILOGY

With the holidays upon us, the question we’ve all been grappling with is, “What do you get an Ultraman fan who has it all?” Well, look no further! On December 7th, 2021 Mill Creek Entertainment dropped the third series in the three-part “TGA” Ultraman collection. That’s right, the complete Ultraman Gaia series was released as the newest edition to the collectible spine mural that also includes Ultraman Tiga and Ultraman Dyna.

In addition to all 51 episodes, the Ultraman Gaia package also includes special releases Ultraman Tiga, Ultraman Dyna & Ultraman Gaia: The Battle in Hyper Space, and Ultraman Gaia: Gaia Once Again.

When the emergence of a wormhole threatens Earth’s atmosphere and Kaiju begin to invade major cities, a global defense force under the name GUARD is assembled to protect humanity. Passionate 20-year-old, Gamu Takayama is then recruited by GUARD’s frontline defense team, X.I.G. as a technical advisor but his role doesn’t stop there. When Takayama falls into a light tunnel during the attacks on Earth, he and Gaia become one and he is granted the responsibility of facing Hiroya Fujimiya, a fellow young man with the capability to transform into Ultraman Agul, a mega warrior whose morals and desires become muddled with time. Gaia encounters many other Ultras including Tiga and Dyna in the included feature film, The Battle in Hyper Space.

As with its two predecessors, this celebrated series boasts extraordinary special effects, and is unique in that it takes place in an alternate universe from the original Ultraman show. It is the first to include two Ultra Heroes as the main characters, not to mention each with drastically different philosophies and approaches to humanity. The tension between Gaia and Agul is one of extreme intensity and deals with nuances that the classic Ultraman vs. Kaiju plotline doesn’t necessarily have. This makes for a riveting story arc and a satisfying emotional journey like no other.

Ultraman Gaia features Japanese audio with English subtitles and a full episode guide to navigate the entire 6-disc DVD collection. For $34.99 you can either gift this awesome set to your closest Ultraman-buddy or do the smart thing and treat yourself!

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November 17, 2021

RARE CLEAR JIRAHS VINYL ON SALE AT UC LIVE DYNA & GAIA

5 Translucent Jirahs Vinyls On Sale for the First Time in Merch Store During

Ultraman Connection Live Featuring Dyna & Gaia

After the success of the last Jirahs drop from the Ultraman Vinyl Odyssey line, Seismic Toys has decided to impress us all once again! This new release, however, isn’t your typical fig. The new Seismic Jirahs toy is a beautiful homage to the tradition of DIY clear soft vinyl figures that originated in Japan in the 1970s.

A fan favorite and one of Ultraman’s most notorious enemies, the wildly frilled Jirahs is noted for having a similar appearance to another famous Kaiju. (We won’t tell!) Most recently, Jirahs did battle with heroic robot Sevenger in the miniseries Sevenger Fight!

Clear figures offer the option of unpainted variants either for customized painting or simply for enjoying the beauty of pure vinyl. Clear Jirahs encapsulates this in the truest form with gold translucent vinyl that plays with ambient light it in all the right ways.

Sculpted by Michael Lambert, standing at 9 inches 23 centimeters with four points of articulation, this limited-edition figure is in high demand, so we all need to get ready to grab them fast—there are only 20 units for sale. We repeat: 20 UNITS ONLY.

Clear Jirahs will be available this winter for $137 USD (plus shipping). It will be available internationally, except for Japan and China. However, they will be on sale exclusively this Thursday night, November 18, 2021 in the Merch Store for attendees of Ultraman Connection Live Featuring Dyna & Gaia. Special price will be $130 plus shipping.

But ONLY FIVE UNITS of Clear Jirahs will be available in the Merch Store during the event. Don’t forget to register and purchase your ticket for the event here. And stay tuned to Ultraman Connection for all the latest information on Ultraman toys and merchandise!

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September 18, 2020

ULTRAMAN AND IT’S A SKIN TEAM UP TO ULTRA-FY YOUR DEVICES

After 55 years, Tsuburaya Productions and The Licensing Group have endeavored to bring ULTRAMAN not just to western shores, but to western walls with a selection of top-notch images from It’s a Skin!

Founded in 2006 by two brothers in Huntington Beach, California, It’s A Skin is North America’s premier supplier of decals and graphic merchandise for walls, laptops, phones, and dozens of other devices. The company has since built a reputation for creating crisp, high-quality ways for their customers to personalize the things they own with the things they love.

We may be biased, but we think the new ULTRAMAN line includes some of the finest products sold by It’s a Skin:

DECALS

The decal line, an appealing mix of realistic depictions as well as colorful, cartoonish redesigns, comprises a diverse range of characters, from a cel-shaded look at the eponymous hero himself, to a photorealistic look for his fellow Ultra Brother Zoffy, to a delightful series of super-deformed “chibi” characters that include Ultraman and a pair of the weird and bizarre Kaiju that the Heroes of Light have faced—King Joe and Dada.

POSTERS

The poster line is highly reminiscent of classic pop art, with sharp renders of various characters against contrasting colors that help the visuals pop. While several selections are perfect recreations of the dignified heroes and villains, there are also a number of “chibi” designs on offer, including one with a whopping 16 Kaiju, including monsters and aliens: a veritable who’s-who of terrific, tiny titans.

LAPTOP

The laptop skin series is one of the most eye-popping collections of images ever to grace the back of a computer.  With imagery taken right from the show, fans can choose either singularly special moments, including the dramatic scene in which Ultraman breathes his last before his sworn brother, Zoffy, or some of the legendary arsenal of the SSSP, like their signature sedan, or the evocative SSSP shooting-star badge.

SOCKS

Finally, It’s A Skin swaps out decorating your walls and devices for adorning your feet, with its fun and creative line of socks. Featuring a number of highly creative designs, customers can choose either a pic of the hero himself, or more eclectic choices, like the countless replicating Baltans, or Ultraman’s saw-like Ultra Slash, or even every Ultra fan’s dream: dozens of the beloved monster Pigmon’s faces to grace your tootsies!

No matter how you want to decorate or accessorize, It’s A Skin has the perfect items to “Ultra-fy” your space.  Check out their catalog and see for yourself at itsaskin.com, and for more licensed products and Ultraman news, keep your eyes glued to UltramanGalaxy.com.

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August 14, 2020

ULTRAMAN BETA CAPSULE ONLY FROM FACTORY ENTERTAINMENT

Lucky ULTRAMAN fans are receiving a limited time offer to pre-order the ULTRAMAN Beta Capsule at a discount, compliments of Factory Entertainment!

Introduced first to ULTRAMAN fans July 10 on the live-stream celebration of ULTRAMAN DAY, fans went wild, causing one supporter to message, “Here, take my money!”

This stunning 1:1 scale prop replica of the Beta Capsule, officially licensed by Tsuburaya Productions, was created after many hours carefully studying and examining images and footage of the prop to ensure the highest levels of accuracy.

The main body is crafted from aluminum and accented with metal and plastic fittings. A handsome display stand, designed to suggest the Science Patrol emblem and laser-cut from jet black acrylic, is also included and features the edition number of each replica on the underside.

The replica includes a sound and light feature, which emulates Shin Hayata’s transformation sequence and features ‘Beta Spark’ audio specially remastered by Tsuburaya Productions.

LIMITED TIME EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT

Regular Price: $349.99

Early Bird Price: $299.99

For a limited time, all Beta Capsule Prop Replicas ordered through FactoryEnt.com will receive early bird pricing of $299.99 each!

Early Bird Discount Expires September 15th

Shipping Spring / Summer 2021

FactoryEnt.com

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July 28, 2020

MEZCO TOYZ’S 5 POINTS ULTRAMAN ACTION FIGURE

At Mezco Con 2020, Mezco Toyz revealed the first two figures in a new Ultraman toy line—5 Points Ultraman. The small-scale figure boasts limited 5-point articulation, much like the classic Japanese superhero figures of the 1970s. Fans will be treated to Ultraman with his Spacium Beam in effect and Red King, the angry, dangerous, and extremely popular Kaiju.

This is an amazing turnaround, to see the long time Japanese tokusatsu series get some love here in the States with new toys. What is special is the fact they are US-based toys built from scratch by Mezco with loving care. Everyone at Ultraman Galaxy really hopes to see more of this line.


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July 9, 2020

ULTRAMAN DAY COLLECTOR PINS

Ultraman fought only when he had to protect Earth; when he battled the aliens and monsters (Kaiju) he did so, using a variety of moves meant to subdue his adversaries. But sometimes the Kaiju would not heed his orders and he was forced to use more powerful attack methods.

Made famous when Bin Furuya took on the role of Ultraman in the first live action ULTRAMAN TV show in Japan, Ultraman’s cross-armed signature move is called Spacium Beam (also known as Specium ray).

Available from FanSets, this classic pin is approximately 2” and can be displayed using the backer card or, more impressively standing on the clear plexi FanStand sold separately.

All Ultraman collectors must have this FanSets Spacium Beam pin priced at $6.95.

Also from FanSets is the ever-popular, extremely powerful kaiju Gomora, the Ancient Monster, which appeared in episode 26 “Monster Highness (Part 1).” Although fierce looking, the Kaiju did not intend to harm humanity, but accidently awakened during a transport mission. However, at 20,000 tons and 40 meters, Gomora is quite the adversary.

Fansets has priced this 2.5” collector pin at $8.95. Add the plexi FanStand to create a cool display.

FOR THE JULY 10 CELEBRATION, FANSETS IS OFFERING A 10% DISCOUNT FOR ANY ULTRAMAN PIN PURCHASED JULY 10-JULY 13.

USE THE CODE “SPACIUMBEAM” AT CHECK OUT.

Spacium Beam Pin

Gomora Pin

All FanSets Ultraman pins available now

Yesterdays presents the SCIENCE SPECIAL SEARCH PARTY (SSSP) COMMUNICATOR pin for collectors of ULTRAMAN history.

The five-pointed star, (straddling a rocket ship) is the symbol of the SSSP (also known as Science Patrol), the group of humans that looks for threatening aliens and monsters (Kaiju) on Earth. Not only are they bound and determined to keep the invaders from harming mankind, but they have among their members a very important person: Shin Hayata secretly becomes the host of Ultraman.

As the SSSP protect the streets, they communicate by two-way radio. But not your typical radio; this little radio is part of the insignia on the uniform of the Science Patrol and can be activated by raising a tiny antenna from the star in the emblem.

This silver-plated hard enamel pin created by Yesterdays is 1 ½ “ tall with a 3″ telescoping antenna and dual post black rubber backers.

It includes (2) 7mm pin keepers and an allen wrench.

Click here for the SSSP pin.

All Ultraman pins available from Yesterdays

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July 7, 2020

ULTRAMAN GALAXY STORE OPENS JULY 9, 2020


The Ultraman Galaxy Store is featuring exclusive merchandise in honor of ULTRAMAN DAY. Fans can choose between three celebratory posters available on four different products: T-shirts, blankets, towels, and mugs.

Beginning July 10, 2020, Ultraman Galaxy Store will offer a variety of merchandise, such as t-shirts, posters, mugs, hats, and novelties with special ULTRAMAN designs chosen specifically for our fans. Choose your design, choose your product, and Ultraman Galaxy Store will fulfill your order.

These special items will be available until July 20, 2020.

Starting July 9, the ULTRAMAN GALAXY STORE will be found on ultramangalaxy.com  under the tab for OFFICIAL PRODUCTS.


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July 5, 2020

FANSETS BRINGS TOKUSATSU TO AMERICAN LAPELS WITH CLASSIC AND ANIME ULTRAMAN PINS

FanSets, producer of premier pins for some of the world’s most popular entertainment franchises, has made a major addition to their catalog with the debut of their line of Classic ULTRAMAN and Anime ULTRAMAN pins.

FanSets has long prided itself on its gorgeous, high-quality metal pins, depicting a number of the most famous and notable science-fiction, fantasy, superhero, and television properties. Hallmark franchises like Star Trek, Alien, DC Comics, and Harry Potter have all chosen to work with FanSets to bring creative, eye-catching characters to consumers.

That legacy has brought FanSets in contact with Ultraman. The outcome of this collaboration is a series of six glossy pins, ranging from Classic ULTRAMAN characters to the dynamic heroes and villains of the recent Anime ULTRAMAN featured on Netflix. Over fifty years of stories in that universe have led to a diversity of characters and images to work with.

From the team at FanSets:

JOHN GARRISON

Being half-Japanese and growing up watching Ultraman, the show has always been special to me and it’s an incredible opportunity to actually be making licensed Ultraman products. I love these characters and it will be a fun journey, re-living childhood memories as we produce more and more pins from the Ultraman galaxy.

LEW HALBOTH

We recognize that Ultraman is a worldwide brand. FanSets is known for its attention to detail, over-sized pins, affordability and depth of characters we produce. We think that our line will resonate with fans and collectors around the world.

Of course, Ultraman himself is represented on two pins, one with the hero standing tall, and another with him adopting the cross-shaped hand gesture used to fire his legendary Spacium Beam.

The series’ famous Kaiju are also included, with the mighty Gomora in all his saurian glory cutting a powerful pose, as if ready to jump off your lapel.

Ultraman’s allies in the Science Patrol are also represented, with a sharply-dressed SSSP member standing, ready for action.

Finally, fans of the series who have perhaps fantasized about being a member of the Science Patrol themselves can take home an accurate SSSP communicator badge, with its famous “shooting star” design.

In addition, the smash hit Anime ULTRAMAN has also received a pin of the titular Ultraman suit, striking a powerful pose.

Each one of these pins is sharply detailed and reasonably priced, running from $6.95 to $8.95. FanSets has worked its magic to be sure, collaborating with Tsuburaya Productions and The Licensing Group to produce some of the finest pieces of Ultraman Series memorabilia in the West. Keep your eyes on UltramanGalaxy.com to catch more exciting products and developments from FanSets!

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July 4, 2020

SCIENCE SPECIAL SEARCH PARTY COMMUNICATOR PIN SIGNIFIES NEW CONNECTION BETWEEN TSUBURAYA AND YESTERDAYS


Thanks to Yesterdays, creators of some of the finest art pins on the market, and Tsuburaya Productions, fans of the Classic ULTRAMAN Series can now have a chance to join the Science Patrol, with the new SSSP Communicator Enamel Pin!

Founded by a trio of artist friends in Southern California, Yesterdays has long been known for their creative pin designs, sourced from classic and modern pop culture franchises, as well as important social topics. Not satisfied with simply converting existing imagery to enamel, Yesterdays works with talented artists to create true art that makes any lapel pop.

The SSSP Communicator Pin is one of the coolest designs that the company has produced. A recreation of the original 1966 show prop, the pin features a crisp red, white, and blue retro emblem on a gorgeous silver back. In addition, the communicator has a special feature right out of the show: a telescoping antenna that can extend to three inches, more than long enough to catch any “secret transmissions.”

The SSSP Communicator isn’t the only pin design that Yesterdays has produced for Classic ULTRAMAN:

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0971/7866/products/Baltan_by_Live_Rad_Studios_1024x1024.jpg?v=1572463491

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0971/7866/products/Zazahn_1024x1024.jpg?v=1564512646

Monster designs from across multiple series are being represented, from fan-favorites like Baltan and King Joe, to more obscure entries like Zazahn from The Return of Ultraman.

Even adored mascots are represented in a new, cartoony style, including the beloved Pigmon, complete with balloon on a chain!

Ultraman himself is obviously a mainstay, with pins of his signature pose and his calm, stoic face for sale.

Of course, fans of more obscure representations of the character may find themselves going for Live Rad Studio’s recreation of the classic “Ultraman Trike,” which, true to its name, features the hero putting the pedal to the metal in a bright, rainbow-wheeled tricycle. Yes, you heard that right.

Whatever preferences you may have for adorning your lapel, Yesterdays has got you covered; check out their store in order to get yours today and in the future! Expect to see a Yesterdays special offer on Ultraman Day this July 10th!

Keep your eyes locked on UltramanGalaxy.com for continuing coverage of Ultraman news, new products, and more.

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