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July 4, 2022

ULTRAMAN RISES TO NEW HEIGHTS AT ANIME EXPO’S SUPER ULTRAMAN EXTRAVAGANZA

Celebrated Japanese icon Ultraman established a major presence for himself tonight at the Ultraman Arrives: Super Anime Extravaganza at the height of Anime Expo 2022. An escalation in the Ultraman Rising storyline running across the four-day convention at the Los Angeles Convention Center, the event was marked by a series of major announcements signifying a new global phase for the Ultraman franchise.

Set in the Main Events Hall, the nearly two-hour show hosted by Sean Nichols (of Ultraman Max fame) featured some of the most renowned directors in both Japanese anime and Hollywood animation, representatives from Marvel Comics, and even a deejay affiliated with the anime series. The event culminated with a spectacular live stage show battle between Anime ULTRAMAN heroes and nefarious alien agents—including the first time one of these suits has ever been seen in action.

The event began with a live battle between Ultraman and his legendary foes from 56 years ago, complete with the classic Ultraman series title swirl. Gomora, Bemular, and even Alien Baltan arrived onstage to menace Los Angeles for the very first time—only to be met in battle by Ultraman himself. The Giant of Light proved why even to this day, he remains the strongest.

From there, the show introduced Sean Nichols, perennial Ultraman Connection superstar host, who explained the breadth and depth of the titanic Ultraman franchise, starting with a huge reveal—a first look at images from the Ultraman full-length feature. This is a joint production between Netflix Animation and Tsuburaya Productions, animated by Industrial Light and Magic.

Director Shannon Tindle and Co-Director John Aoshima took the stage, and after enjoying a moment of freak-out at meeting Ultraman, showed an incandescent image of Ultraman leaping across the night sky over the Tokyo skyline in battle against a horned and armored Kaiju.

Fans were also shown an updated version of the film’s announcement key art, which depicts a ground-eye view of Ultraman firing his Spacium Beam. The image is now far more detailed, with missiles flying and smoke effects. The pair discussed their own history with the series, and how that love has carried them forward into making this massive original movie.

Next, the show moved from screen to page as writer Mat Groom, artist E.J. Su, and Ultraman Connection producer Jeff Gomez arrived to speak on the upcoming Marvel Comics miniseries, The Mystery of Ultraseven! With Sean, they spoke about how the Marvel version of Ultraman has developed through previous miniseries The Rise of Ultraman and The Trials of Ultraman to this massive new story. That wasn’t all, however, as the biggest news of all regarding Marvel was yet to come.

After an audience countdown, a piece of panoramic art by Francesco Manna was unveiled eliciting gasps and cheers from the crowd. In the piece there were three Ultras: Ultraman, Ultraseven, and Ultraman Taro—as well as three Marvel super heroes: Iron Man, Captain Marvel, and the spectacular Spider-Man! The Marvel heroes were engaged in battle with none other than Ultraman’s very first foe—Bemular!

This will be a major crossover miniseries, where at least three of Marvel’s Avengers will be entering the universe of Ultraman! Little more could be revealed, but one thing is clear: at least six of the world’s most famous heroes will be meeting for the first time in history in 2023.

After that, the sinister Alien Metron appeared, leering at the audience, and seeking to disrupt the event! However, Ultraseven himself arrived on the scene and engaged the strange menace, as well as his monster pawn Eleking! Though the giant was fighting two-on-one, he defeated both Metron and Eleking, allowing the show to continue.

For the final major segment, the focus returned to the world of animation, as the ULTRAMAN anime was discussed. After screening a montage of the coolest moments of the recently aired second season (still available on Netflix), Sean welcomed Kenji Kamiyama and Shinji Aramaki, the series’ directors from renowned anime studio Production I.G.

Kamiyama and Aramaki discussed their work, as well as the upcoming third and final season. Later this weekend, the pair will sign their autographs to the massive PureArts Ultraman Vs. Black King statue, the grand prize for Ultraman Connection’s Hunt for Dada event!

In addition, fans at the venue got world-exclusive footage showing the first look at anime ULTRAMAN Season 3. If you weren’t there, you won’t be seeing this footage for quite some time! Even wilder than that, the new Suit TARO was revealed for the first time live onstage at Anime Expo 2022!

Sean then welcomed DJ TeddyLoid, the famous producer responsible for a number of anime hits, including the theme song for Season 2, “3”, through his group NOILION. TeddyLoid revealed that NOILION will also be producing the final season’s theme song, and even shared a special message from the group’s vocalist, the mysterious LIO.

At that point, the show experienced one final interruption, as the sinister Black Star invaders suddenly arrived to take the convention, and the Earth, for themselves. All seemed lost… until the Ultra Slash tore through the darkness! In a flash of red and white, the heroes of Anime ULTRAMAN arrived, including the ULTRAMAN Suit, SEVEN suit, ACE suit and the never-before-seen in person TARO suit! After a furious battle, they defeated the horde of alien agents, putting the plans of the Black Star to rest once more. After that, the quartet held a victory stance to thunderous applause.

With that, the Ultraman Extravaganza came to a close, with Sean and the guests wishing fans worldwide goodbye. Don’t worry, though: More Ultraman events are coming all weekend long as part of Anime Expo.

And of course, there’s always some kind of threat lurking: in a stinger before the lights went up, the evil Dada was revealed from the shadows…! Remember, folks, The Hunt for Dada is still on!

For everything happening at Anime Expo and the Ultraman Series, stay close to Ultraman Connection!

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July 4, 2022

SUIT ULTRAS MEET FANS AT BANDAI BOOTH AT AX2022

Anime Expo 2022 has been awesome for many reasons, but the best part has undoubtedly been… You! For the first time in Ultraman history, the Ultras have come all the way from Japan to North America to meet their beloved fans in the flesh and the results have been truly heartwarming.

It all went down at the Bandai Namco booth beneath massive Ultraman banners in the section featuring Tamashii Nations S.H Figuarts Anime Ultraman collection.

If you don’t already know, Bandai Namco Entertainment is one of the biggest video game companies in the world and has collaborated with Tsubaraya Productions in the past on Ultraman games, figures, stickers, and all kinds of unique merchandise.

The figures are truly something else! These collector’s items are fully articulated, highly detailed recreations of the Season 2 Anime ULTRAMAN suits. With rich metallic color and extremely versatile posing capability, they highlight all the most impressive aspects of these character designs. Whether you’re an Ultraman fan or not, it’s pretty much impossible not to stop and stare.

Between the merchandise, the statue, and the live in-person Suits themselves themselves, people were swarming the Bandai booth like aliens and Kaiju swarm the earth (with far fewer casualties).

Countless fans moved through the sprawling booth each day of the Expo to see the armored Ultraman, Ace Suit, Seven Suit, and the brand-new Taro Suit. This is the first time any of these suits have been exhibited in the US and the first time Taro suit has been seen anywhere!

There’s nothing like watching people meet their heroes, and we here at Ultraman Connection are honored to have the opportunity to experience that.

Smiling faces, nervous approaches, iconic poses, firm handshakes, and some genuinely vulnerable moments all stirred a whirlwind of excitement at the Bandai booth. We believe the meet and greet encapsulated everything Anime Expo is all about.

All the featured suits can be found in Anime Ultraman season 2, streaming now on Netflix, and we are looking forward to seeing more amazing Ultra Suit designs in the future. Stay posted on all the latest Ultraman info here on UltramanConnection.com!

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July 4, 2022

THE KAIJU INVASION COMES TO ANIME EXPO 2022

Anime Expo 2022 has been a tremendous event for all attendees since it started on July 1st.  However, one pair of “sinister” guests have been drawing attention from fans big and small throughout the convention—the aliens, Dada and Baltan!

The Kaiju duo took to the show floor each day in a massive Kaiju Invasion, roaming the halls and exhibit aisles of the Los Angeles Convention Center. Flanked by pursuing UCL Agents, the Hunt for Dada was underway as fans snapped pictures and posted to social media under the hashtags #dada and #AX2022.

Kaiju Invasions are a venerated event in Japan, but Anime Expo marked the first time these creatures are appearing live and in person, and from these photos, it’s clear that they were well-received!

Those are some bold North Americans kids! The Kaiju Invasion was another chapter in the Ultraman Rising transmedia storyline that started with a bang at the expo’s Opening Ceremony when Dada and Baltan crashed the stage. They were fended off by Ultraman himself, but they’ve been popping up in panels and hallways all weekend with UCL Agents Hughes and Bright in hot pursuit.

On Saturday night’s Ultraman Extravaganza on the Main Events stage, Dada appeared in a stinger at the event’s conclusion warning us that Ultraman will ultimately be defeated before Anime Expo is over! We’ll see about that!

Anime Expo 2022 was just the first step in the Ultraman Series’ expansion into global pop culture, but the 10 Days of Ultraman have just begun! To see what comes next, you’ll have to stay close to Ultraman Connection!

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July 3, 2022

MARVEL SUPER HEROES WILL CROSSOVER WITH ULTRAMAN FOR THE FIRST TIME IN UPCOMING COMIC BOOK MINISERIES

Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain Marvel to Battle Kaiju & Super Villains with Ultraman and Ultraseven in Historic Team-Up

Avengers Assemble! Schuwatch! Marvel Comics and Tsuburaya Productions have announced a major comic book crossover miniseries featuring heroes from the Marvel Universe entering the Ultraman Universe. The announcement was made by series co-writer Mat Groom before a cheering crowd in the Main Event Hall during Anime Expo 2022 at the Ultraman Arrives: Super Anime Extravaganza at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

This will be the first time that the celebrated Giants of Light, Ultraman and Ultraseven, and their Kaiju foes will appear side by side with Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain Marvel, and their super villain nemeses.

The as-yet untitled Ultraman/Marvel Universe crossover will be the fourth title to come out of the collaboration between Tsuburaya Productions and Marvel Comics. Previous series include The Rise of Ultraman, The Trials of Ultraman, along with the much-anticipated upcoming series The Mystery of Ultraseven, on sale this August.

Fans have been clamoring for a meeting between these unique sets of heroes, and so Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski, VP & Executive Editor Tom Brevoort, Transmedia Producer Jeff Gomez and series co-writers Kyle Higgins and Mat Groom have come together to make this happen. The deal was negotiated by Danny Simon of The Licensing Group.

The crossover series will take place within the continuity of the current Marvel Ultraman comics, drawing on thematic comparisons between the stoic heroism of the Ultras and Marvel’s Earthly champions. No Kaiju or super villains were announced, but concept art unveiled during the Anime Expo event teased classic spiked Kaiju, Bemular. Further details of the storyline are still under wraps.

Created by Eiji Tsuburaya in 1966, the Ultraman series have spawned an evergreen franchise in Japan, making the 40-meter-tall silver and red being from the M78 Nebula one of the most widely recognized characters in the world. In addition to over 1400 episodes and dozens of feature films, Ultraman is on the rise worldwide.

A second season of the ongoing anime ULTRAMAN recently dropped on Netflix, a feature in production with ILM and Netflix, dozens of North American licenses have been activated, live events stream on fan hub Ultraman Connection, and millions of fans subscribe to the Ultraman Official YouTube channel. Live-action feature Shin Ultraman is currently breaking box offices records in Japan.

The Ultraman and Marvel Universe comic book crossover is set to premiere sometime in 2023.

About Tsuburaya Productions

Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd. is an independent television and film production company founded in 1963 by well-known special effects man Eiji Tsuburaya. Their most famous program is the Ultraman TV and film series, begun in 1966, has been seen in over 100 territories worldwide and has spawned over 3,000 licensed products. Besides Ultraman, Tsuburaya Productions is a fully integrated production, marketing, and events company.

About Marvel Entertainment, LLC

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media for over eighty years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing, publishing, games, and digital media.

For more information visit marvel.com. © 2022 MARVEL

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July 1, 2022

ULTRA GALAXY FIGHT SPIN-OFF ANNOUNCED: ULTRAMAN REGULOS!

Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad is a well-received original streaming title currently available for viewing through Ultraman Connection internationally, and Tsuburaya Imagination in Japan.

Today, it was announced that a spin-off series focusing on the new hero, Ultraman Regulos, is currently in production!

A special commemorative video compiling Ultraman Regulos’ highlights has also been released.

A video in Japanese from an enthusiastic Shugo Nakamura, voice actor for Ultraman Regulos, also appeared on the Ultraman Official YouTube channel:

Ultraman Regulos, master of the Cosmo Beast Style of martial arts, said to be the strongest style in the universe, first fully appears in Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad. He was originally introduced in Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Absolute Conspiracy as a silhouetted figure who was imprisoned in Narak on the Absolutian home world. Fans pointed out a striking amount of lore surrounding the character and there was much speculation that this indicated a series was in the works.

What are you excited to see? Tell us your thoughts on the Ultraman Connection Discord!

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July 1, 2022

ICONIC EVENTS RELEASING SETS NORTH AMERICAN SCREENINGS OF ANIME ULTRAMAN: THEATRICAL EDITION

ULTRAMAN: Theatrical Edition, a feature-length version of the first season of the hugely popular anime produced by Tsuburaya Productions and Production I.G., will see a special limited release in movie theaters across North America.

The exciting news was announced by Steven Menkin, president of Iconic Events at a panel during Anime Expo 2022. The film premieres as the launch of AX Cinema Nights at Regal LA LIVE cinema, near the Los Angeles Convention Center at 4:00 on July 2 nd , with directors Shinji Aramaki and Kenji Kamiyama in attendance.

AX Cinema Nights is a new anime screening series coming to cities across North America in 2022! This in- person event celebrates the best new and classic anime by bringing fans together for immersive and unforgettable screenings in movie theaters throughout the year. 

With the top-rated anime series’ second season currently running on Netflix, renewed for a third, ULTRAMAN is based on Urutoraman, a manga written by Eiichi Shimizu and drawn by Tomohiro Shimoguchi. Published in Hero's Monthly since its November 2011 issue, it is a manga sequel to the original television series.

Story takes place 40 years after the events of the original series with the legendary Giant of Light believed to have returned home after fighting the many Kaiju and aliens that attacked the Earth. Shin Hayata’s son Shinjiro discovers that he possesses strange powers leading to the discovery of his father’s legacy. Now in an armored suit, he must battle new alien threats as Ultraman.

The Iconic theatrical release announcement was made in tandem with the Ultraman Rising campaign, which spans all four days of Anime Expo. Designed to celebrate the arrival of the Giant of Light onto the world stage, the promotion began with Ultraman’s appearance at the convention’s Opening Ceremony, the first time Ultraman and his Kaiju foes have ever appeared live onstage in the continental United States.

On the expo’s Main Events stage Saturday night, live versions of the armor-suited Ultraman, Ultraseven, Ultraman Ace, and Ultraman Taro from anime ULTRAMAN performed a spectacular stage show for an audience of thousands.

Created by Eiji Tsuburaya in 1966, the Ultraman series have spawned an evergreen franchise in Japan, making the 40-meter-tall silver and red being from the M78 Nebula one of the most widely recognized characters in the world. In addition to over 1400 episodes and dozens of feature films, Ultraman is on the rise worldwide.

An original feature unrelated to the anime is currently in production with Industrial Light and Magic handling computer animation at Netflix. Marvel Comics has announced a fourth comic book series. Dozens of North American licenses have been activated through The Licensing Group, live events stream on fan hub Ultraman Connection, and millions of fans subscribe to the Ultraman Official YouTube channel. Live-action feature Shin Ultraman is currently breaking box offices records in Japan.

Deal with Iconic Events was negotiated by Jeremy Hughes of Iceberg Theory in tandem with Tsuburaya Productions. Cities, dates, and ticket information for the anime ULTRAMAN: Theatrical Edition will be announced soon.

About Tsuburaya Productions

Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd. is an independent television and film production company founded in 1963 by well-known special effects man Eiji Tsuburaya. Their most famous program is the Ultraman TV and film series, begun in 1966, has been seen in over 100 territories worldwide and has spawned over 3,000 licensed products. Besides Ultraman, Tsuburaya Productions is a fully integrated production, marketing, and events company.

About Iconic Events Releasing

A fast-growing name in event cinema, Iconic Events Releasing brings live and filmed entertainment of all types to movie theaters as special limited engagement events, so that fans can watch their favorites on the big screen. Programming includes live pay-per-view sports, music and comedy specials, award- winning television, Broadway productions, exciting holiday specials, family events, faith/inspirational films, concerts, and music docs that celebrate diversity. Iconic’s theater network represents some of the country’s preeminent cinemas offering enhanced guest experiences, high-quality food & beverage service, and reserved seating to ensure fans can enjoy a night out at their local movie theater.

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July 1, 2022

ULTRAMAN BURSTS ONTO THE WORLD STAGE AT ANIME EXPO 2022 IN LOS ANGELES

Thousands of attendees were thrilled to witness the arrival of celebrated Japanese icon Ultraman live onstage at the Opening Ceremony of Anime Expo 2022 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. This is the first time in history that elements of the live Ultraman stage show have been performed in the continental United States, signifying a new era of international renown for the Ultraman brand and media franchise.

In an expo-wide campaigned dubbed Ultraman Rising, dozens of members of the Tsuburaya Productions team joined forces with Iceberg Theory, producers of international franchise hub Ultraman Connection, and The Licensing Group to create an action-packed storyline across various events, panels, screenings, and spectacles at the convention.

The show started off with a bang during the Opening Ceremony of the expo as Ultraman Connection host Sean Nichols took the stage to describe this moment as “a dream come true” for Tsuburaya Productions and the entire Ultraman team. As a brand Ultraman has arrived onto the world stage, complete with Marvel Comics series, Ultraman Connection monthly livestream shows, an anime on Netflix, and an upcoming feature film with Netflix boasting animation by Industrial Light & Magic.

Then suddenly, the bizarre black and white Dada and Alien Baltan crashed the stage hoping to prevent Ultraman’s arrival. Sean challenged the famous Kaiju, telling them that Ultraman would never allow this. Then Ultraman himself arrived to thunderous audience cheers to dispatch his time-honored nemeses. Truly a thrilling moment for all!

Nichols then launched the weekend-long promotion Hunt for Dada, asking convention-goers to photograph and post images of Dada and Baltan (who will be invading the halls of the expo) with the hashtags #Dada and #AX2022 so that Ultraman Connection’s homegrown science team UCL (Unidentified Capture League) can triangulate their location and defeat them once and for all! Winners will be selected at random after the convention to receive prizes from Bandai, PureArts, and Tsuburaya Productions.

Created by Eiji Tsuburaya in 1966, the Ultraman series have spawned an evergreen franchise in Japan, making the 40-meter-tall silver and red being from the M78 Nebula one of the most widely recognized characters in the world. In addition to over 1400 episodes and dozens of feature films, Ultraman is on the rise worldwide.

The Production I.G. anime series ULTRAMAN is currently streaming on Netflix. An original feature unrelated to the anime is currently in production with Industrial Light and Magic handling computer animation at Netflix. Marvel is about to launch a third comic book series, The Mystery of Ultraseven. Dozens of North American licenses have been activated through The Licensing Group, live events stream on fan hub Ultraman Connection, and millions of fans subscribe to the Ultraman Official YouTube channel. Live-action feature Shin Ultraman is currently breaking box offices records in Japan.

About Tsuburaya Productions

Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd. is an independent television and film production company founded in 1963 by well-known special effects man Eiji Tsuburaya. Their most famous program is the Ultraman TV and film series, begun in 1966, has been seen in over 100 territories worldwide and has spawned over 3,000 licensed products. Besides Ultraman, Tsuburaya Productions is a fully integrated production, marketing, and events company.

About Iceberg Theory

Iceberg Theory is a joint venture of Starlight Runner Entertainment, Elevate Pictures, and New Rockstars Digital Studios. The company develops virtual productions that create engaging worlds that put the customer in the center. We empower content creators to focus on unique creative storytelling and deliver immersive experiences utilizing the latest technology. Mixing multiple levels of live streaming to rich worlds created with realtime game engines, quick-turn graphics packages, COVID safe production strategies and laid overtop of audience platforms that are far reaching and have the ability for deep interactions. We create an alternate universe of your control that delivers one-of-a-kind experiences, connecting the soul of your brand directly to its consumers.

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June 30, 2022

RENOWNED VOICE ACTOR GAKUTO KAJIWARA TO NARRATE THE ULTRAMAN DECKER TRANSFORMATION

Broadcast countdown message videos uploaded every day from July 1st to July 8th!

The new TV series Ultraman Decker begins broadcasting on the TV Tokyo Network in Japan from July 9th, 2022. Every week, we have been introducing you to the series’ latest news, including the main cast members starring alongside Kanata Asumi, the protagonist played by Hiroki Matsumoto. Today is our final news post.

Kanata’s transformation scene, in which he raises the Ultra D Flasher in order to become Ultraman Decker, was already released in the latest preview trailer. Accompanying that sequence was a voice, calling out “Ultra Dimension!” and “Ultraman Decker! Flash-Type!” The voice of this transformation is none other than voice actor Gakuto Kajiwara. Since his voice acting debut in 2017, despite being a new talent, he has voiced many main characters in anime series, and in 2020 he won Best New Male Actor in the 14th Seiyu Awards.  

Not only the narrator for the transformation sequence, Gakuto Kajiwara will also be narrating the Ultraman Decker Preview Special. The special is set to be broadcast on the TV Tokyo Network on July 2nd 9am (JST), one week before the show is set to begin.

That’s not all, though. Starting tomorrow, July 1st (Friday) until the following Friday, July 8th, we will be releasing “Pre-broadcast! Ultraman Decker countdown message!” videos. These video messages from the main cast will be uploaded to the Official Ultraman YouTube channel. First up will be a message not from the cast, but from the main director himself Masayoshi Takesue. We hope these daily videos will keep you excited until the show begins on July 9th (Saturday). Please look forward to Ultraman Decker.

Message playlist link: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwDaeL3aOb-yVbXGbPYeihgHWjBffrjT7

Narrator: Gakuto Kajiwara

Comment

I’m Gakuto Kajiwara! Everyone, I’m diving into the world of Ultraman Decker! I’m thrilled to join Kanata and walk by his side as his story unfolds. I’ve loved the Ultraman Series ever since I was a child, so I feel honored to be able to take part in the show! You’re going to hear me yell “Ultraman Decker!”, and a lot more Ultraman and monster names. Hold on to that excitement until the show starts! I hope you’ll support it!

Affiliation

Haikyo

Profile (Japanese only): https://haikyo.co.jp/profile/profile.php?ActorID=12813

SNS

Twitter: https://twitter.com/gaku_kajiwara

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

TikTok: https://www.instagram.com/kajiwaragakuto_official/

その他: https://lit.link/gakutokajiwara

Ultraman Decker Series Overview

First Broadcast: July 9th (Saturday) 2022

Broadcast Time: Every Saturday from 9:00-9:30 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, Sae Miyazawa, Masaya Kikawada, Raiga Terasaka, and more

Voice Actors: Hiroshi Tsuchida, Gakuto Kajiwara 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

Music: Kenichiro Suehiro, Masahiro Tokuda

Opening Theme: SCREEN mode / Ending Theme: Hironobu Kageyama

©TSUBURAYA PRODUCTIONS ©ULTRAMAN DECKER PRODUCTION CONSORTIUM・TV TOKYO

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June 29, 2022

WHAT YOU MISSED! ULTRAMAN CONNECTION LIVE 1ST ANNIVERSARY: ULTRAMAN MAX SPECIAL

On June 17, 2022, Ultraman Connection Live 1st Anniversary: Ultraman Max Special was hosted exclusively on UltramanConnection.com. The event was an epic celebration of both Ultraman Connection Live and Ultraman Max, featuring an epic Max cast & staff reunion, a surprise live appearance of Ultraman Max, Xenon and other Max Kaiju, the continuation of the Ultraman Connection exclusive UCL story, and much more!

The show opened, as is now Ultraman Connection Live tradition, with a new chapter of the UCL story. Continuing the narrative that has been told throughout the past year, UCL focuses on a world in which humans have not yet gained the protection of the Ultras but have nevertheless taken steps to combat alien threats.

Sean Nichols, reprising his role as Ultraman Max’s Sean White, made contact with the Unidentified Capture League, identifying himself as a member of another Earth’s defense team, Max’s Team DASH, and offered his services as the humans of the UCL begin taking their first steps into a grand unknown future…

Next, Sean Nichols (as himself) rang in the festivities of Ultraman Connection Live’s first anniversary by introducing the audience to several of his old colleagues and castmates, including Sota Aoyama (Kaito Touma/Ultraman Max), Hitomi Hasebe (Mizuki Koishikawa), and producer, director, and series composition Takeshi Yagi!

Sean Nichols (Sean White)
Sota Aoyama (KaitoTouma/Ultraman Max)
Hitomi Hasebe (Mizuki Koishikawa)
Director Takeshi Yagi

As the group began to speak, it became clear that despite the seventeen years that have passed since Ultraman Max ended, all of the panel members have managed to keep in contact with each other, never forgetting the friendships forged on the set. The four then went on to reflect on the making of the series, speak about what made it special to each of them, and discuss what fans still love about it today.

Following this, fans were treated to a special watch party of Yagi’s favorite episodes, Episode 27: The Stolen Max Spark, with commentary from the panel! The Discord chat allowed fans to participate in the fun as well, reacting to the episode’s most iconic moments alongside the cast and director.

Director Takashi Miike

After that, Sean introduced renowned Japanese director Takashi Miike, responsible for creating dark modern classics in Japan such as Audition, Ichi the Killer, the Dead or Alive trilogy, and Zatoichi, and a director for two episodes of Max! Wearing sunglasses and what fans called “the greatest shirt of all time,” Miike joined the other four panel members to discuss his experience working on the series, and his favorite moments.

With his blessing, fans and the panel got to watch Episode 15: Miracle of the Third Planet, a hauntingly beautiful story which Miike directed, that left few dry eyes among the panel, or the audience. Scenes such as Ultraman Max gently lifting a car or his comforting a small child have become classic images in the franchise canon. After the episode concluded, Aoyama, Hasebe, and Sean all selected their favorite episodes of the show, sharing their beloved memories of the story they all created together.

Kaito encounters Alien Metron
Sean White springs into action!
Kaito transforms!

The camera then cut to the stage, with a voiceover from original Ultraman Max narrator Shiro Sano explaining the Kaiju threat on Earth. As if on cue, a tide of vicious monsters attacked! However, Max returned to the fray for the first time for global viewers since Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Absolute Conspiracy, using his tremendous speed and skill to combat his foes.

Ultraman Max Battles Eleking and Red King

When the monsters started to overwhelm the hero, however, he found himself aided by his longtime partner, Ultraman Xenon, fresh from Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad! Together, the two struck back against the Kaiju, defeating them with teamwork, and the legendary weapon known as the Max Galaxy!

Ultraman Xenon joins Max!
Max and Xenon Battle Bugdalas and Kesam

As the live appearance ended, there was a special video message from Max narrator Shiro Sano, thanking fans for their love of the series and for the opportunity to narrate Ultraman Max for the first time in seventeen years. Before the show fully concluded, however, there was one last surprise: Hiroko Sakurai (who played Yukari Yoshinaga in Ultraman Max and Akiko Fuji in the original Ultraman) appeared to thank the panel and fans for their support of the Ultraman franchise. The panel joined her and waved goodbye to the fans, concluding the live event.

Cast of Ultraman Max (including Hiroko Sakurai)in Beam Pose!

Once the event ended, there was a short teaser for the future of the UCL story, taking place nine years after the last chapter, moving forward in time alongside the transition between Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga and its successor, Ultraman Decker. Here, fans were treated to the sight of a developed UCL with their own base in outer space, advanced fighter ships, and uniforms, preparing to take on the next threat…

Ultraman Connection Live 1st Anniversary: Ultraman Max Special may be over, but there is still plenty of Ultraman content on the way. If you want to see Ultraman Max’s most recent appearance, all three Ultra Galaxy Fight movies are available free and for rent on UltramanConnection.com. And of course, to stay up to date on our UCL narrative, our live events, and all things Ultraman, stay tuned to Ultraman Connection!

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June 27, 2022

THE 10 DAYS OF ULTRAMAN ANNOUNCED BY ULTRAMAN CONNECTION

Major Ultraman Events Will Culminate in Epic Ultraman Day Show on TokuSHOUTsu

It’s a big year for Ultraman, as the Giant of Light takes bold new steps onto the world stage. As Ultraman Day, our favorite holiday here at Ultraman Connection, approaches, we’ve been thinking of the best way to celebrate. With that in mind, we’ve put together something very special that we think you’ll enjoy with us: The 10 Days of Ultraman!

Let’s get into what each of the 10 days hold in store for fans:

Day 1 – Day 4: Ultraman Rising at Anime Expo

The 10 Days of Ultraman kicks off with a massive bang at the world-renowned Anime Expo 2022! Tsuburaya Productions and Ultraman Connection are producing a transmedia story at the event called Ultraman Rising, which will feature the historic arrival of Ultraman and Kaiju live performers for the first time in the continental United States.

Convention-goers will be encouraged to join The Hunt For Dada, posting photos of the Three- Faced Phantom for prizes and amazing experiences. Check out various panels starring creative juggernauts from across the Ultraman universe, including anime ULTRAMAN directors Shinji Aramaki and Kenji Kamiyama, Marvel Comics Ultraman creators Mat Groom and E.J. Su, and much, much more! Click here to see a complete rundown of all four days at Anime Expo 2022!

Day 5: The Great Sale!

On the fifth day, your wallets can join the festivities, with a tremendous 30% off all merchandise in the Ultraman Connection Store! If you’ve had your eye on a shirt, hat, or even a hoodie, there’s never been a better time to snag that swag!

Day 6: Trivia Night @ The UC Discord!

On day six, head to the Ultraman Connection Discord and talk to Jeff Gomez, Producer for Ultraman Connection, and EJ Couloucoundis, Editor-in-Chief of Ultraman Connection.com—aka, two of the biggest Ultra-fans on the planet! The two will party with fans all night, discussing the most esoteric Ultraman trivia and theories across the canon!

Day 7: Episode Z Unleashed!

Day seven will be extra special for loyal fans, as Ultraman Trigger: Episode Z will be available 100% free for exactly 24 hours! If you haven’t gotten a chance to finish the story of Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga and see how the timeline begins moving forward towards Ultraman Decker, now’s your chance!

Day 8: Decker is Here!

Ultraman Decker, the latest entry in the Ultraman Series, finally premieres, and Ultraman Connection will be having a live watchalong at 9 PM EST on the UC Discord, with Jeff Gomez, EJ Couloucoundis, and special guest The Noob, Evangelia Artemis in attendance, hyping up the future of the Ultraman Series with fans!

Day 9: The Ultraman Art Show @ Instagram

On the Ultraman Connection Discord, fans create and present tons of amazing pieces of fan art. We’ve started spotlighting some of these talented creators, like Klenda V. On Day Nine, we’ll be setting up a special gallery account on Instagram where fans can submit their creations. All works will be properly attributed, and some will even receive special commentary by Sean Nichols! Watch for instructions coming soon!

Day 10: ULTRAMAN DAY!

The big day finally arrives, and after everything to come before, Ultraman Day is going to have to be pretty amazing to top it all. Don’t worry, it will be! Tokushoutsu & Ultraman Connection Present: Ultraman Rising! - The Ultraman Day Special, hosted By Sean Nichols & Mike Dent. The one-hour special will feature highlights from Anime Expo 2022 and an array of surprises. It streams on Sunday, July 10 at 8pm EST.

This event will be followed by a special ticketed Ultraman Connection Live event directly after at 9pm EST, featuring the new series, Ultraman Decker! Seismic toys will be showing off more of the amazing Ultraman Vinyl Odyssey line and special guests abound. But that would be telling!

The 10 Days of Ultraman will start on July 1st, just a few days away! Fans all over the world have already started celebrating on the UC Discord: Why not join them here? And, for everything about the Ultraman Series (including some special surprises coming up!) stay close to Ultraman Connection!

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July 4, 2022

ULTRAMAN RISES TO NEW HEIGHTS AT ANIME EXPO’S SUPER ULTRAMAN EXTRAVAGANZA

Celebrated Japanese icon Ultraman established a major presence for himself tonight at the Ultraman Arrives: Super Anime Extravaganza at the height of Anime Expo 2022. An escalation in the Ultraman Rising storyline running across the four-day convention at the Los Angeles Convention Center, the event was marked by a series of major announcements signifying a new global phase for the Ultraman franchise.

Set in the Main Events Hall, the nearly two-hour show hosted by Sean Nichols (of Ultraman Max fame) featured some of the most renowned directors in both Japanese anime and Hollywood animation, representatives from Marvel Comics, and even a deejay affiliated with the anime series. The event culminated with a spectacular live stage show battle between Anime ULTRAMAN heroes and nefarious alien agents—including the first time one of these suits has ever been seen in action.

The event began with a live battle between Ultraman and his legendary foes from 56 years ago, complete with the classic Ultraman series title swirl. Gomora, Bemular, and even Alien Baltan arrived onstage to menace Los Angeles for the very first time—only to be met in battle by Ultraman himself. The Giant of Light proved why even to this day, he remains the strongest.

From there, the show introduced Sean Nichols, perennial Ultraman Connection superstar host, who explained the breadth and depth of the titanic Ultraman franchise, starting with a huge reveal—a first look at images from the Ultraman full-length feature. This is a joint production between Netflix Animation and Tsuburaya Productions, animated by Industrial Light and Magic.

Director Shannon Tindle and Co-Director John Aoshima took the stage, and after enjoying a moment of freak-out at meeting Ultraman, showed an incandescent image of Ultraman leaping across the night sky over the Tokyo skyline in battle against a horned and armored Kaiju.

Fans were also shown an updated version of the film’s announcement key art, which depicts a ground-eye view of Ultraman firing his Spacium Beam. The image is now far more detailed, with missiles flying and smoke effects. The pair discussed their own history with the series, and how that love has carried them forward into making this massive original movie.

Next, the show moved from screen to page as writer Mat Groom, artist E.J. Su, and Ultraman Connection producer Jeff Gomez arrived to speak on the upcoming Marvel Comics miniseries, The Mystery of Ultraseven! With Sean, they spoke about how the Marvel version of Ultraman has developed through previous miniseries The Rise of Ultraman and The Trials of Ultraman to this massive new story. That wasn’t all, however, as the biggest news of all regarding Marvel was yet to come.

After an audience countdown, a piece of panoramic art by Francesco Manna was unveiled eliciting gasps and cheers from the crowd. In the piece there were three Ultras: Ultraman, Ultraseven, and Ultraman Taro—as well as three Marvel super heroes: Iron Man, Captain Marvel, and the spectacular Spider-Man! The Marvel heroes were engaged in battle with none other than Ultraman’s very first foe—Bemular!

This will be a major crossover miniseries, where at least three of Marvel’s Avengers will be entering the universe of Ultraman! Little more could be revealed, but one thing is clear: at least six of the world’s most famous heroes will be meeting for the first time in history in 2023.

After that, the sinister Alien Metron appeared, leering at the audience, and seeking to disrupt the event! However, Ultraseven himself arrived on the scene and engaged the strange menace, as well as his monster pawn Eleking! Though the giant was fighting two-on-one, he defeated both Metron and Eleking, allowing the show to continue.

For the final major segment, the focus returned to the world of animation, as the ULTRAMAN anime was discussed. After screening a montage of the coolest moments of the recently aired second season (still available on Netflix), Sean welcomed Kenji Kamiyama and Shinji Aramaki, the series’ directors from renowned anime studio Production I.G.

Kamiyama and Aramaki discussed their work, as well as the upcoming third and final season. Later this weekend, the pair will sign their autographs to the massive PureArts Ultraman Vs. Black King statue, the grand prize for Ultraman Connection’s Hunt for Dada event!

In addition, fans at the venue got world-exclusive footage showing the first look at anime ULTRAMAN Season 3. If you weren’t there, you won’t be seeing this footage for quite some time! Even wilder than that, the new Suit TARO was revealed for the first time live onstage at Anime Expo 2022!

Sean then welcomed DJ TeddyLoid, the famous producer responsible for a number of anime hits, including the theme song for Season 2, “3”, through his group NOILION. TeddyLoid revealed that NOILION will also be producing the final season’s theme song, and even shared a special message from the group’s vocalist, the mysterious LIO.

At that point, the show experienced one final interruption, as the sinister Black Star invaders suddenly arrived to take the convention, and the Earth, for themselves. All seemed lost… until the Ultra Slash tore through the darkness! In a flash of red and white, the heroes of Anime ULTRAMAN arrived, including the ULTRAMAN Suit, SEVEN suit, ACE suit and the never-before-seen in person TARO suit! After a furious battle, they defeated the horde of alien agents, putting the plans of the Black Star to rest once more. After that, the quartet held a victory stance to thunderous applause.

With that, the Ultraman Extravaganza came to a close, with Sean and the guests wishing fans worldwide goodbye. Don’t worry, though: More Ultraman events are coming all weekend long as part of Anime Expo.

And of course, there’s always some kind of threat lurking: in a stinger before the lights went up, the evil Dada was revealed from the shadows…! Remember, folks, The Hunt for Dada is still on!

For everything happening at Anime Expo and the Ultraman Series, stay close to Ultraman Connection!

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July 4, 2022

SUIT ULTRAS MEET FANS AT BANDAI BOOTH AT AX2022

Anime Expo 2022 has been awesome for many reasons, but the best part has undoubtedly been… You! For the first time in Ultraman history, the Ultras have come all the way from Japan to North America to meet their beloved fans in the flesh and the results have been truly heartwarming.

It all went down at the Bandai Namco booth beneath massive Ultraman banners in the section featuring Tamashii Nations S.H Figuarts Anime Ultraman collection.

If you don’t already know, Bandai Namco Entertainment is one of the biggest video game companies in the world and has collaborated with Tsubaraya Productions in the past on Ultraman games, figures, stickers, and all kinds of unique merchandise.

The figures are truly something else! These collector’s items are fully articulated, highly detailed recreations of the Season 2 Anime ULTRAMAN suits. With rich metallic color and extremely versatile posing capability, they highlight all the most impressive aspects of these character designs. Whether you’re an Ultraman fan or not, it’s pretty much impossible not to stop and stare.

Between the merchandise, the statue, and the live in-person Suits themselves themselves, people were swarming the Bandai booth like aliens and Kaiju swarm the earth (with far fewer casualties).

Countless fans moved through the sprawling booth each day of the Expo to see the armored Ultraman, Ace Suit, Seven Suit, and the brand-new Taro Suit. This is the first time any of these suits have been exhibited in the US and the first time Taro suit has been seen anywhere!

There’s nothing like watching people meet their heroes, and we here at Ultraman Connection are honored to have the opportunity to experience that.

Smiling faces, nervous approaches, iconic poses, firm handshakes, and some genuinely vulnerable moments all stirred a whirlwind of excitement at the Bandai booth. We believe the meet and greet encapsulated everything Anime Expo is all about.

All the featured suits can be found in Anime Ultraman season 2, streaming now on Netflix, and we are looking forward to seeing more amazing Ultra Suit designs in the future. Stay posted on all the latest Ultraman info here on UltramanConnection.com!

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July 4, 2022

THE KAIJU INVASION COMES TO ANIME EXPO 2022

Anime Expo 2022 has been a tremendous event for all attendees since it started on July 1st.  However, one pair of “sinister” guests have been drawing attention from fans big and small throughout the convention—the aliens, Dada and Baltan!

The Kaiju duo took to the show floor each day in a massive Kaiju Invasion, roaming the halls and exhibit aisles of the Los Angeles Convention Center. Flanked by pursuing UCL Agents, the Hunt for Dada was underway as fans snapped pictures and posted to social media under the hashtags #dada and #AX2022.

Kaiju Invasions are a venerated event in Japan, but Anime Expo marked the first time these creatures are appearing live and in person, and from these photos, it’s clear that they were well-received!

Those are some bold North Americans kids! The Kaiju Invasion was another chapter in the Ultraman Rising transmedia storyline that started with a bang at the expo’s Opening Ceremony when Dada and Baltan crashed the stage. They were fended off by Ultraman himself, but they’ve been popping up in panels and hallways all weekend with UCL Agents Hughes and Bright in hot pursuit.

On Saturday night’s Ultraman Extravaganza on the Main Events stage, Dada appeared in a stinger at the event’s conclusion warning us that Ultraman will ultimately be defeated before Anime Expo is over! We’ll see about that!

Anime Expo 2022 was just the first step in the Ultraman Series’ expansion into global pop culture, but the 10 Days of Ultraman have just begun! To see what comes next, you’ll have to stay close to Ultraman Connection!

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July 3, 2022

MARVEL SUPER HEROES WILL CROSSOVER WITH ULTRAMAN FOR THE FIRST TIME IN UPCOMING COMIC BOOK MINISERIES

Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain Marvel to Battle Kaiju & Super Villains with Ultraman and Ultraseven in Historic Team-Up

Avengers Assemble! Schuwatch! Marvel Comics and Tsuburaya Productions have announced a major comic book crossover miniseries featuring heroes from the Marvel Universe entering the Ultraman Universe. The announcement was made by series co-writer Mat Groom before a cheering crowd in the Main Event Hall during Anime Expo 2022 at the Ultraman Arrives: Super Anime Extravaganza at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

This will be the first time that the celebrated Giants of Light, Ultraman and Ultraseven, and their Kaiju foes will appear side by side with Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain Marvel, and their super villain nemeses.

The as-yet untitled Ultraman/Marvel Universe crossover will be the fourth title to come out of the collaboration between Tsuburaya Productions and Marvel Comics. Previous series include The Rise of Ultraman, The Trials of Ultraman, along with the much-anticipated upcoming series The Mystery of Ultraseven, on sale this August.

Fans have been clamoring for a meeting between these unique sets of heroes, and so Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski, VP & Executive Editor Tom Brevoort, Transmedia Producer Jeff Gomez and series co-writers Kyle Higgins and Mat Groom have come together to make this happen. The deal was negotiated by Danny Simon of The Licensing Group.

The crossover series will take place within the continuity of the current Marvel Ultraman comics, drawing on thematic comparisons between the stoic heroism of the Ultras and Marvel’s Earthly champions. No Kaiju or super villains were announced, but concept art unveiled during the Anime Expo event teased classic spiked Kaiju, Bemular. Further details of the storyline are still under wraps.

Created by Eiji Tsuburaya in 1966, the Ultraman series have spawned an evergreen franchise in Japan, making the 40-meter-tall silver and red being from the M78 Nebula one of the most widely recognized characters in the world. In addition to over 1400 episodes and dozens of feature films, Ultraman is on the rise worldwide.

A second season of the ongoing anime ULTRAMAN recently dropped on Netflix, a feature in production with ILM and Netflix, dozens of North American licenses have been activated, live events stream on fan hub Ultraman Connection, and millions of fans subscribe to the Ultraman Official YouTube channel. Live-action feature Shin Ultraman is currently breaking box offices records in Japan.

The Ultraman and Marvel Universe comic book crossover is set to premiere sometime in 2023.

About Tsuburaya Productions

Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd. is an independent television and film production company founded in 1963 by well-known special effects man Eiji Tsuburaya. Their most famous program is the Ultraman TV and film series, begun in 1966, has been seen in over 100 territories worldwide and has spawned over 3,000 licensed products. Besides Ultraman, Tsuburaya Productions is a fully integrated production, marketing, and events company.

About Marvel Entertainment, LLC

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media for over eighty years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing, publishing, games, and digital media.

For more information visit marvel.com. © 2022 MARVEL

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July 1, 2022

ULTRA GALAXY FIGHT SPIN-OFF ANNOUNCED: ULTRAMAN REGULOS!

Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad is a well-received original streaming title currently available for viewing through Ultraman Connection internationally, and Tsuburaya Imagination in Japan.

Today, it was announced that a spin-off series focusing on the new hero, Ultraman Regulos, is currently in production!

A special commemorative video compiling Ultraman Regulos’ highlights has also been released.

A video in Japanese from an enthusiastic Shugo Nakamura, voice actor for Ultraman Regulos, also appeared on the Ultraman Official YouTube channel:

Ultraman Regulos, master of the Cosmo Beast Style of martial arts, said to be the strongest style in the universe, first fully appears in Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad. He was originally introduced in Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Absolute Conspiracy as a silhouetted figure who was imprisoned in Narak on the Absolutian home world. Fans pointed out a striking amount of lore surrounding the character and there was much speculation that this indicated a series was in the works.

What are you excited to see? Tell us your thoughts on the Ultraman Connection Discord!

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July 1, 2022

ICONIC EVENTS RELEASING SETS NORTH AMERICAN SCREENINGS OF ANIME ULTRAMAN: THEATRICAL EDITION

ULTRAMAN: Theatrical Edition, a feature-length version of the first season of the hugely popular anime produced by Tsuburaya Productions and Production I.G., will see a special limited release in movie theaters across North America.

The exciting news was announced by Steven Menkin, president of Iconic Events at a panel during Anime Expo 2022. The film premieres as the launch of AX Cinema Nights at Regal LA LIVE cinema, near the Los Angeles Convention Center at 4:00 on July 2 nd , with directors Shinji Aramaki and Kenji Kamiyama in attendance.

AX Cinema Nights is a new anime screening series coming to cities across North America in 2022! This in- person event celebrates the best new and classic anime by bringing fans together for immersive and unforgettable screenings in movie theaters throughout the year. 

With the top-rated anime series’ second season currently running on Netflix, renewed for a third, ULTRAMAN is based on Urutoraman, a manga written by Eiichi Shimizu and drawn by Tomohiro Shimoguchi. Published in Hero's Monthly since its November 2011 issue, it is a manga sequel to the original television series.

Story takes place 40 years after the events of the original series with the legendary Giant of Light believed to have returned home after fighting the many Kaiju and aliens that attacked the Earth. Shin Hayata’s son Shinjiro discovers that he possesses strange powers leading to the discovery of his father’s legacy. Now in an armored suit, he must battle new alien threats as Ultraman.

The Iconic theatrical release announcement was made in tandem with the Ultraman Rising campaign, which spans all four days of Anime Expo. Designed to celebrate the arrival of the Giant of Light onto the world stage, the promotion began with Ultraman’s appearance at the convention’s Opening Ceremony, the first time Ultraman and his Kaiju foes have ever appeared live onstage in the continental United States.

On the expo’s Main Events stage Saturday night, live versions of the armor-suited Ultraman, Ultraseven, Ultraman Ace, and Ultraman Taro from anime ULTRAMAN performed a spectacular stage show for an audience of thousands.

Created by Eiji Tsuburaya in 1966, the Ultraman series have spawned an evergreen franchise in Japan, making the 40-meter-tall silver and red being from the M78 Nebula one of the most widely recognized characters in the world. In addition to over 1400 episodes and dozens of feature films, Ultraman is on the rise worldwide.

An original feature unrelated to the anime is currently in production with Industrial Light and Magic handling computer animation at Netflix. Marvel Comics has announced a fourth comic book series. Dozens of North American licenses have been activated through The Licensing Group, live events stream on fan hub Ultraman Connection, and millions of fans subscribe to the Ultraman Official YouTube channel. Live-action feature Shin Ultraman is currently breaking box offices records in Japan.

Deal with Iconic Events was negotiated by Jeremy Hughes of Iceberg Theory in tandem with Tsuburaya Productions. Cities, dates, and ticket information for the anime ULTRAMAN: Theatrical Edition will be announced soon.

About Tsuburaya Productions

Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd. is an independent television and film production company founded in 1963 by well-known special effects man Eiji Tsuburaya. Their most famous program is the Ultraman TV and film series, begun in 1966, has been seen in over 100 territories worldwide and has spawned over 3,000 licensed products. Besides Ultraman, Tsuburaya Productions is a fully integrated production, marketing, and events company.

About Iconic Events Releasing

A fast-growing name in event cinema, Iconic Events Releasing brings live and filmed entertainment of all types to movie theaters as special limited engagement events, so that fans can watch their favorites on the big screen. Programming includes live pay-per-view sports, music and comedy specials, award- winning television, Broadway productions, exciting holiday specials, family events, faith/inspirational films, concerts, and music docs that celebrate diversity. Iconic’s theater network represents some of the country’s preeminent cinemas offering enhanced guest experiences, high-quality food & beverage service, and reserved seating to ensure fans can enjoy a night out at their local movie theater.

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July 1, 2022

ULTRAMAN BURSTS ONTO THE WORLD STAGE AT ANIME EXPO 2022 IN LOS ANGELES

Thousands of attendees were thrilled to witness the arrival of celebrated Japanese icon Ultraman live onstage at the Opening Ceremony of Anime Expo 2022 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. This is the first time in history that elements of the live Ultraman stage show have been performed in the continental United States, signifying a new era of international renown for the Ultraman brand and media franchise.

In an expo-wide campaigned dubbed Ultraman Rising, dozens of members of the Tsuburaya Productions team joined forces with Iceberg Theory, producers of international franchise hub Ultraman Connection, and The Licensing Group to create an action-packed storyline across various events, panels, screenings, and spectacles at the convention.

The show started off with a bang during the Opening Ceremony of the expo as Ultraman Connection host Sean Nichols took the stage to describe this moment as “a dream come true” for Tsuburaya Productions and the entire Ultraman team. As a brand Ultraman has arrived onto the world stage, complete with Marvel Comics series, Ultraman Connection monthly livestream shows, an anime on Netflix, and an upcoming feature film with Netflix boasting animation by Industrial Light & Magic.

Then suddenly, the bizarre black and white Dada and Alien Baltan crashed the stage hoping to prevent Ultraman’s arrival. Sean challenged the famous Kaiju, telling them that Ultraman would never allow this. Then Ultraman himself arrived to thunderous audience cheers to dispatch his time-honored nemeses. Truly a thrilling moment for all!

Nichols then launched the weekend-long promotion Hunt for Dada, asking convention-goers to photograph and post images of Dada and Baltan (who will be invading the halls of the expo) with the hashtags #Dada and #AX2022 so that Ultraman Connection’s homegrown science team UCL (Unidentified Capture League) can triangulate their location and defeat them once and for all! Winners will be selected at random after the convention to receive prizes from Bandai, PureArts, and Tsuburaya Productions.

Created by Eiji Tsuburaya in 1966, the Ultraman series have spawned an evergreen franchise in Japan, making the 40-meter-tall silver and red being from the M78 Nebula one of the most widely recognized characters in the world. In addition to over 1400 episodes and dozens of feature films, Ultraman is on the rise worldwide.

The Production I.G. anime series ULTRAMAN is currently streaming on Netflix. An original feature unrelated to the anime is currently in production with Industrial Light and Magic handling computer animation at Netflix. Marvel is about to launch a third comic book series, The Mystery of Ultraseven. Dozens of North American licenses have been activated through The Licensing Group, live events stream on fan hub Ultraman Connection, and millions of fans subscribe to the Ultraman Official YouTube channel. Live-action feature Shin Ultraman is currently breaking box offices records in Japan.

About Tsuburaya Productions

Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd. is an independent television and film production company founded in 1963 by well-known special effects man Eiji Tsuburaya. Their most famous program is the Ultraman TV and film series, begun in 1966, has been seen in over 100 territories worldwide and has spawned over 3,000 licensed products. Besides Ultraman, Tsuburaya Productions is a fully integrated production, marketing, and events company.

About Iceberg Theory

Iceberg Theory is a joint venture of Starlight Runner Entertainment, Elevate Pictures, and New Rockstars Digital Studios. The company develops virtual productions that create engaging worlds that put the customer in the center. We empower content creators to focus on unique creative storytelling and deliver immersive experiences utilizing the latest technology. Mixing multiple levels of live streaming to rich worlds created with realtime game engines, quick-turn graphics packages, COVID safe production strategies and laid overtop of audience platforms that are far reaching and have the ability for deep interactions. We create an alternate universe of your control that delivers one-of-a-kind experiences, connecting the soul of your brand directly to its consumers.

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June 30, 2022

RENOWNED VOICE ACTOR GAKUTO KAJIWARA TO NARRATE THE ULTRAMAN DECKER TRANSFORMATION

Broadcast countdown message videos uploaded every day from July 1st to July 8th!

The new TV series Ultraman Decker begins broadcasting on the TV Tokyo Network in Japan from July 9th, 2022. Every week, we have been introducing you to the series’ latest news, including the main cast members starring alongside Kanata Asumi, the protagonist played by Hiroki Matsumoto. Today is our final news post.

Kanata’s transformation scene, in which he raises the Ultra D Flasher in order to become Ultraman Decker, was already released in the latest preview trailer. Accompanying that sequence was a voice, calling out “Ultra Dimension!” and “Ultraman Decker! Flash-Type!” The voice of this transformation is none other than voice actor Gakuto Kajiwara. Since his voice acting debut in 2017, despite being a new talent, he has voiced many main characters in anime series, and in 2020 he won Best New Male Actor in the 14th Seiyu Awards.  

Not only the narrator for the transformation sequence, Gakuto Kajiwara will also be narrating the Ultraman Decker Preview Special. The special is set to be broadcast on the TV Tokyo Network on July 2nd 9am (JST), one week before the show is set to begin.

That’s not all, though. Starting tomorrow, July 1st (Friday) until the following Friday, July 8th, we will be releasing “Pre-broadcast! Ultraman Decker countdown message!” videos. These video messages from the main cast will be uploaded to the Official Ultraman YouTube channel. First up will be a message not from the cast, but from the main director himself Masayoshi Takesue. We hope these daily videos will keep you excited until the show begins on July 9th (Saturday). Please look forward to Ultraman Decker.

Message playlist link: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwDaeL3aOb-yVbXGbPYeihgHWjBffrjT7

Narrator: Gakuto Kajiwara

Comment

I’m Gakuto Kajiwara! Everyone, I’m diving into the world of Ultraman Decker! I’m thrilled to join Kanata and walk by his side as his story unfolds. I’ve loved the Ultraman Series ever since I was a child, so I feel honored to be able to take part in the show! You’re going to hear me yell “Ultraman Decker!”, and a lot more Ultraman and monster names. Hold on to that excitement until the show starts! I hope you’ll support it!

Affiliation

Haikyo

Profile (Japanese only): https://haikyo.co.jp/profile/profile.php?ActorID=12813

SNS

Twitter: https://twitter.com/gaku_kajiwara

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

TikTok: https://www.instagram.com/kajiwaragakuto_official/

その他: https://lit.link/gakutokajiwara

Ultraman Decker Series Overview

First Broadcast: July 9th (Saturday) 2022

Broadcast Time: Every Saturday from 9:00-9:30 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, Sae Miyazawa, Masaya Kikawada, Raiga Terasaka, and more

Voice Actors: Hiroshi Tsuchida, Gakuto Kajiwara 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

Music: Kenichiro Suehiro, Masahiro Tokuda

Opening Theme: SCREEN mode / Ending Theme: Hironobu Kageyama

©TSUBURAYA PRODUCTIONS ©ULTRAMAN DECKER PRODUCTION CONSORTIUM・TV TOKYO

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June 29, 2022

WHAT YOU MISSED! ULTRAMAN CONNECTION LIVE 1ST ANNIVERSARY: ULTRAMAN MAX SPECIAL

On June 17, 2022, Ultraman Connection Live 1st Anniversary: Ultraman Max Special was hosted exclusively on UltramanConnection.com. The event was an epic celebration of both Ultraman Connection Live and Ultraman Max, featuring an epic Max cast & staff reunion, a surprise live appearance of Ultraman Max, Xenon and other Max Kaiju, the continuation of the Ultraman Connection exclusive UCL story, and much more!

The show opened, as is now Ultraman Connection Live tradition, with a new chapter of the UCL story. Continuing the narrative that has been told throughout the past year, UCL focuses on a world in which humans have not yet gained the protection of the Ultras but have nevertheless taken steps to combat alien threats.

Sean Nichols, reprising his role as Ultraman Max’s Sean White, made contact with the Unidentified Capture League, identifying himself as a member of another Earth’s defense team, Max’s Team DASH, and offered his services as the humans of the UCL begin taking their first steps into a grand unknown future…

Next, Sean Nichols (as himself) rang in the festivities of Ultraman Connection Live’s first anniversary by introducing the audience to several of his old colleagues and castmates, including Sota Aoyama (Kaito Touma/Ultraman Max), Hitomi Hasebe (Mizuki Koishikawa), and producer, director, and series composition Takeshi Yagi!

Sean Nichols (Sean White)
Sota Aoyama (KaitoTouma/Ultraman Max)
Hitomi Hasebe (Mizuki Koishikawa)
Director Takeshi Yagi

As the group began to speak, it became clear that despite the seventeen years that have passed since Ultraman Max ended, all of the panel members have managed to keep in contact with each other, never forgetting the friendships forged on the set. The four then went on to reflect on the making of the series, speak about what made it special to each of them, and discuss what fans still love about it today.

Following this, fans were treated to a special watch party of Yagi’s favorite episodes, Episode 27: The Stolen Max Spark, with commentary from the panel! The Discord chat allowed fans to participate in the fun as well, reacting to the episode’s most iconic moments alongside the cast and director.

Director Takashi Miike

After that, Sean introduced renowned Japanese director Takashi Miike, responsible for creating dark modern classics in Japan such as Audition, Ichi the Killer, the Dead or Alive trilogy, and Zatoichi, and a director for two episodes of Max! Wearing sunglasses and what fans called “the greatest shirt of all time,” Miike joined the other four panel members to discuss his experience working on the series, and his favorite moments.

With his blessing, fans and the panel got to watch Episode 15: Miracle of the Third Planet, a hauntingly beautiful story which Miike directed, that left few dry eyes among the panel, or the audience. Scenes such as Ultraman Max gently lifting a car or his comforting a small child have become classic images in the franchise canon. After the episode concluded, Aoyama, Hasebe, and Sean all selected their favorite episodes of the show, sharing their beloved memories of the story they all created together.

Kaito encounters Alien Metron
Sean White springs into action!
Kaito transforms!

The camera then cut to the stage, with a voiceover from original Ultraman Max narrator Shiro Sano explaining the Kaiju threat on Earth. As if on cue, a tide of vicious monsters attacked! However, Max returned to the fray for the first time for global viewers since Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Absolute Conspiracy, using his tremendous speed and skill to combat his foes.

Ultraman Max Battles Eleking and Red King

When the monsters started to overwhelm the hero, however, he found himself aided by his longtime partner, Ultraman Xenon, fresh from Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad! Together, the two struck back against the Kaiju, defeating them with teamwork, and the legendary weapon known as the Max Galaxy!

Ultraman Xenon joins Max!
Max and Xenon Battle Bugdalas and Kesam

As the live appearance ended, there was a special video message from Max narrator Shiro Sano, thanking fans for their love of the series and for the opportunity to narrate Ultraman Max for the first time in seventeen years. Before the show fully concluded, however, there was one last surprise: Hiroko Sakurai (who played Yukari Yoshinaga in Ultraman Max and Akiko Fuji in the original Ultraman) appeared to thank the panel and fans for their support of the Ultraman franchise. The panel joined her and waved goodbye to the fans, concluding the live event.

Cast of Ultraman Max (including Hiroko Sakurai)in Beam Pose!

Once the event ended, there was a short teaser for the future of the UCL story, taking place nine years after the last chapter, moving forward in time alongside the transition between Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga and its successor, Ultraman Decker. Here, fans were treated to the sight of a developed UCL with their own base in outer space, advanced fighter ships, and uniforms, preparing to take on the next threat…

Ultraman Connection Live 1st Anniversary: Ultraman Max Special may be over, but there is still plenty of Ultraman content on the way. If you want to see Ultraman Max’s most recent appearance, all three Ultra Galaxy Fight movies are available free and for rent on UltramanConnection.com. And of course, to stay up to date on our UCL narrative, our live events, and all things Ultraman, stay tuned to Ultraman Connection!

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June 27, 2022

THE 10 DAYS OF ULTRAMAN ANNOUNCED BY ULTRAMAN CONNECTION

Major Ultraman Events Will Culminate in Epic Ultraman Day Show on TokuSHOUTsu

It’s a big year for Ultraman, as the Giant of Light takes bold new steps onto the world stage. As Ultraman Day, our favorite holiday here at Ultraman Connection, approaches, we’ve been thinking of the best way to celebrate. With that in mind, we’ve put together something very special that we think you’ll enjoy with us: The 10 Days of Ultraman!

Let’s get into what each of the 10 days hold in store for fans:

Day 1 – Day 4: Ultraman Rising at Anime Expo

The 10 Days of Ultraman kicks off with a massive bang at the world-renowned Anime Expo 2022! Tsuburaya Productions and Ultraman Connection are producing a transmedia story at the event called Ultraman Rising, which will feature the historic arrival of Ultraman and Kaiju live performers for the first time in the continental United States.

Convention-goers will be encouraged to join The Hunt For Dada, posting photos of the Three- Faced Phantom for prizes and amazing experiences. Check out various panels starring creative juggernauts from across the Ultraman universe, including anime ULTRAMAN directors Shinji Aramaki and Kenji Kamiyama, Marvel Comics Ultraman creators Mat Groom and E.J. Su, and much, much more! Click here to see a complete rundown of all four days at Anime Expo 2022!

Day 5: The Great Sale!

On the fifth day, your wallets can join the festivities, with a tremendous 30% off all merchandise in the Ultraman Connection Store! If you’ve had your eye on a shirt, hat, or even a hoodie, there’s never been a better time to snag that swag!

Day 6: Trivia Night @ The UC Discord!

On day six, head to the Ultraman Connection Discord and talk to Jeff Gomez, Producer for Ultraman Connection, and EJ Couloucoundis, Editor-in-Chief of Ultraman Connection.com—aka, two of the biggest Ultra-fans on the planet! The two will party with fans all night, discussing the most esoteric Ultraman trivia and theories across the canon!

Day 7: Episode Z Unleashed!

Day seven will be extra special for loyal fans, as Ultraman Trigger: Episode Z will be available 100% free for exactly 24 hours! If you haven’t gotten a chance to finish the story of Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga and see how the timeline begins moving forward towards Ultraman Decker, now’s your chance!

Day 8: Decker is Here!

Ultraman Decker, the latest entry in the Ultraman Series, finally premieres, and Ultraman Connection will be having a live watchalong at 9 PM EST on the UC Discord, with Jeff Gomez, EJ Couloucoundis, and special guest The Noob, Evangelia Artemis in attendance, hyping up the future of the Ultraman Series with fans!

Day 9: The Ultraman Art Show @ Instagram

On the Ultraman Connection Discord, fans create and present tons of amazing pieces of fan art. We’ve started spotlighting some of these talented creators, like Klenda V. On Day Nine, we’ll be setting up a special gallery account on Instagram where fans can submit their creations. All works will be properly attributed, and some will even receive special commentary by Sean Nichols! Watch for instructions coming soon!

Day 10: ULTRAMAN DAY!

The big day finally arrives, and after everything to come before, Ultraman Day is going to have to be pretty amazing to top it all. Don’t worry, it will be! Tokushoutsu & Ultraman Connection Present: Ultraman Rising! - The Ultraman Day Special, hosted By Sean Nichols & Mike Dent. The one-hour special will feature highlights from Anime Expo 2022 and an array of surprises. It streams on Sunday, July 10 at 8pm EST.

This event will be followed by a special ticketed Ultraman Connection Live event directly after at 9pm EST, featuring the new series, Ultraman Decker! Seismic toys will be showing off more of the amazing Ultraman Vinyl Odyssey line and special guests abound. But that would be telling!

The 10 Days of Ultraman will start on July 1st, just a few days away! Fans all over the world have already started celebrating on the UC Discord: Why not join them here? And, for everything about the Ultraman Series (including some special surprises coming up!) stay close to Ultraman Connection!

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June 29, 2022

WHAT YOU MISSED! ULTRAMAN CONNECTION LIVE 1ST ANNIVERSARY: ULTRAMAN MAX SPECIAL

On June 17, 2022, Ultraman Connection Live 1st Anniversary: Ultraman Max Special was hosted exclusively on UltramanConnection.com. The event was an epic celebration of both Ultraman Connection Live and Ultraman Max, featuring an epic Max cast & staff reunion, a surprise live appearance of Ultraman Max, Xenon and other Max Kaiju, the continuation of the Ultraman Connection exclusive UCL story, and much more!

The show opened, as is now Ultraman Connection Live tradition, with a new chapter of the UCL story. Continuing the narrative that has been told throughout the past year, UCL focuses on a world in which humans have not yet gained the protection of the Ultras but have nevertheless taken steps to combat alien threats.

Sean Nichols, reprising his role as Ultraman Max’s Sean White, made contact with the Unidentified Capture League, identifying himself as a member of another Earth’s defense team, Max’s Team DASH, and offered his services as the humans of the UCL begin taking their first steps into a grand unknown future…

Next, Sean Nichols (as himself) rang in the festivities of Ultraman Connection Live’s first anniversary by introducing the audience to several of his old colleagues and castmates, including Sota Aoyama (Kaito Touma/Ultraman Max), Hitomi Hasebe (Mizuki Koishikawa), and producer, director, and series composition Takeshi Yagi!

Sean Nichols (Sean White)
Sota Aoyama (KaitoTouma/Ultraman Max)
Hitomi Hasebe (Mizuki Koishikawa)
Director Takeshi Yagi

As the group began to speak, it became clear that despite the seventeen years that have passed since Ultraman Max ended, all of the panel members have managed to keep in contact with each other, never forgetting the friendships forged on the set. The four then went on to reflect on the making of the series, speak about what made it special to each of them, and discuss what fans still love about it today.

Following this, fans were treated to a special watch party of Yagi’s favorite episodes, Episode 27: The Stolen Max Spark, with commentary from the panel! The Discord chat allowed fans to participate in the fun as well, reacting to the episode’s most iconic moments alongside the cast and director.

Director Takashi Miike

After that, Sean introduced renowned Japanese director Takashi Miike, responsible for creating dark modern classics in Japan such as Audition, Ichi the Killer, the Dead or Alive trilogy, and Zatoichi, and a director for two episodes of Max! Wearing sunglasses and what fans called “the greatest shirt of all time,” Miike joined the other four panel members to discuss his experience working on the series, and his favorite moments.

With his blessing, fans and the panel got to watch Episode 15: Miracle of the Third Planet, a hauntingly beautiful story which Miike directed, that left few dry eyes among the panel, or the audience. Scenes such as Ultraman Max gently lifting a car or his comforting a small child have become classic images in the franchise canon. After the episode concluded, Aoyama, Hasebe, and Sean all selected their favorite episodes of the show, sharing their beloved memories of the story they all created together.

Kaito encounters Alien Metron
Sean White springs into action!
Kaito transforms!

The camera then cut to the stage, with a voiceover from original Ultraman Max narrator Shiro Sano explaining the Kaiju threat on Earth. As if on cue, a tide of vicious monsters attacked! However, Max returned to the fray for the first time for global viewers since Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Absolute Conspiracy, using his tremendous speed and skill to combat his foes.

Ultraman Max Battles Eleking and Red King

When the monsters started to overwhelm the hero, however, he found himself aided by his longtime partner, Ultraman Xenon, fresh from Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad! Together, the two struck back against the Kaiju, defeating them with teamwork, and the legendary weapon known as the Max Galaxy!

Ultraman Xenon joins Max!
Max and Xenon Battle Bugdalas and Kesam

As the live appearance ended, there was a special video message from Max narrator Shiro Sano, thanking fans for their love of the series and for the opportunity to narrate Ultraman Max for the first time in seventeen years. Before the show fully concluded, however, there was one last surprise: Hiroko Sakurai (who played Yukari Yoshinaga in Ultraman Max and Akiko Fuji in the original Ultraman) appeared to thank the panel and fans for their support of the Ultraman franchise. The panel joined her and waved goodbye to the fans, concluding the live event.

Cast of Ultraman Max (including Hiroko Sakurai)in Beam Pose!

Once the event ended, there was a short teaser for the future of the UCL story, taking place nine years after the last chapter, moving forward in time alongside the transition between Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga and its successor, Ultraman Decker. Here, fans were treated to the sight of a developed UCL with their own base in outer space, advanced fighter ships, and uniforms, preparing to take on the next threat…

Ultraman Connection Live 1st Anniversary: Ultraman Max Special may be over, but there is still plenty of Ultraman content on the way. If you want to see Ultraman Max’s most recent appearance, all three Ultra Galaxy Fight movies are available free and for rent on UltramanConnection.com. And of course, to stay up to date on our UCL narrative, our live events, and all things Ultraman, stay tuned to Ultraman Connection!

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June 6, 2022

ULTRAMAN CONNECTION LIVE 1ST ANNIVERSARY: ULTRAMAN MAX SPECIAL ANNOUNCED!

It’s been almost a whole year since Ultraman Connection Live debuted on the global stage with Ultraman Connection Live: Sevenger Fight. That initial virtual event helped to reintroduce the fun and excitement of the Ultraman Series to a stalwart group of fans, setting the stage for the major comeback that Ultraman has staged in the ensuing twelve months.

At such an auspicious time, we at Ultraman Connection feel that it’s only right to celebrate with you, the fans, and with perennial fan-favorite host, Sean Nichols. So, we are announcing Ultraman Connection Live 1 st Anniversary: Ultraman Max Special, featuring the series that brought Sean to the world! The show will stream on Friday, June 17 at 9pm EST, 6pm West Coast.

Tickets are now on sale right here!

Ultraman Max began airing on July 2nd , 2005, during the Ultraman Series’ Generation 2 period. The series was in a world very similar to ours, where threats like the changing climate spawned dangerous monsters, as well as alien invaders seeking to take advantage of the chaos to steal Earth for themselves.

To stand against these threats, the heroic Team DASH battled to protect civilization, including engineer Sean White, the first foreign member on an Ultraman defense team. But, one member of Team DASH, Kaito Touma, has a secret: he has bonded with the lightning-quick Giant of Light, Ultraman Max, to defeat the foes that humans alone cannot stop.

SEAN NICHOLS

Ultraman Connection Live 1st Anniversary: Ultraman Max Special will be a grand celebration of the groundbreaking series, as well as a whole year of Ultraman Connection events! Sean Nichols will introduce fans all over the world to several his old colleagues and castmates, including Kaito’s actor, Sota Aoyama, and Hitomi Hasebe, who played DASH’s ace pilot Mizuki Koishikawa!

SOTA AOYAMA

HITOMI HASEBE

In addition, fans will get to speak with some of the legends behind the camera, as Max series producer/director/series compositor Takeshi Yagi and director Takashi Miike will be sharing some of the amazing stories they helped weave, and their own feelings on their art and the Ultraman Series. Miike has gone on to become one of Japan’s most renowned artists, having directed such dark modern classics as Audition, Ichi the Killer, the Dead or Alive trilogy, and Zatoichi.

TAKESHI YAGI

TAKASHI MIIKE

Ultraman Max Special will also include Ultraman Connection’s traditional intro and outro videos, dubbed UCL (Unidentified Capture League) set in a universe of Kaiju and aliens but where no Ultraman has arrived on Earth. But the UCL glimpsed a figure of hope last episode: Sean White himself! In this episode Sean explains how the universe of Ultraman Max relates to the world of the UCL.

Stay tuned for more surprises!

June 17th will be the date for this incredible event a whole year in the making, and with tickets on sale here at only $10, the whole world will be watching as we celebrate how far we’ve come and look forward to the exciting future of Ultraman Connection Live. To get your tickets as soon as they are available, become a member for FREE right on UltramanConnection.com.

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June 2, 2022

WHAT YOU MISSED! ULTRAMAN CONNECTION WATCH PARTY: THE DESTINED CROSSROAD

On May 26th, 2022, Ultraman Connection Watch Party: The Destined Crossroad was hosted exclusively on UltramanConnection.com (and on our Ultraman Connection Discord server), free to members. The event was a nonstop adrenaline ride for international Ultra fans and featured screenings of all three Ultra Galaxy Fight films, two separate panels, a continuation of the Ultraman Connection exclusive UCL story, and much, much more!

The pre-show featured the director’s cuts of Ultra Galaxy Fight: New Generation Heroes and Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Absolute Conspiracy for fans that needed to catch up, with the Discord chat allowing for everyone to discuss (and sometimes toss in hilarious comments on) the ongoing story. The official watch party began soon after, starting with the first half of a special Watch Party Roundtable, featuring Ultraman Connection creative Producer Jeff Gomez and Editor-in-Chief EJ Couloucoundis. Special guests were Peter Tatara, the founder and event director of the Anime NYC convention, and Evangelia Artemis, Ultraman Connection’s resident “Noob”!

The four discussed a variety of topics, including the rise of Ultraman’s popularity in the west, how new fans might get into Ultraman, and the success of the Anime ULTRAMAN on Netflix. Finally, the four shared their own unique stories of how they first encountered the characters and world of Ultraman. For Evangelia, it was The Rise of Ultraman trade paperback from Marvel Comics, which is a lesson that any great content on any medium can be a gateway to the M78 universe for a new fan.

Next was the first half of a UCL (Unidentified Capture League) short film called Return to Narak Tower. Continuing the narrative that has been told throughout the Ultraman Connection Live events, UCL focuses on a world in which humans have not yet gained the protection of the Ultras but are now faced with a nefarious scheme of the evil Powered Dada. This was the best UCL short yet, bridging to the Absolutian narrative of Ultra Galaxy Fight with the birth of a new Science Patrol in another universe!

Following this, fans were treated to panel hosted by Sean Nichols, who also voiced Ultraman Chuck in Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad. Joining him for the panel was Ultra Galaxy Fight director Koichi Sakamoto, Raiga Terasaka (Kengo Manaka/Ultraman Trigger), and Kohshu Hirano (Haruki Natsukawa/Ultraman Z)! They discussed their favorite Ultra heroes, teased the mysterious Ultraman Regulos, and discussed the threat of the Absolutians. Before screening the movie, the panel did a segment where they reacted to hidden scenes from the film, as fans tried to guess what happened based on their expressions!

After that, it was time for the main event: Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad was screened in its entirety for the first time, even before Japan! We won’t spoil anything for you here, but some of the highlights included multiple father-son team-ups, the return of alternate versions of Ultraman Tregear and Ultraman Belial, the formal introduction of the mysterious Ultraman Regulos, and a climactic battle that was one of, if not the biggest in Ultra series history! If you missed the massive, multi-hour epic, however, all is not lost, as you can still rent the movie for $6.99 on the Ultraman Connection site.

Once the main event was complete, the show continued with the second half of the Watch Party Roundtable, where they discussed their reactions to Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad. In addition, Jeff Gomez delivered twin bombshell reveals that Ultraman Connection team members have seen Shin Ultraman (and loved it!), and that Ultraman Connection is preparing to have a special presence at the Anime NYC convention this year!

Finally, to cap off the event, the second half of Return to Narak Tower was shown, which tied into the exclusive Ultraman Connection mini-game Mission: Narak Tower. The short film concluded with a surprise appearance from Sean Nichols, reprising his role as Sean White from Ultraman Max and teasing the future of the UCL narrative! This incredible stinger caused an explosion of responses on Discord from the huge number of fans who managed to stay on with the show to such a late hour!

Ultraman Connection Watch Party: The Destined Crossroad may have ended, but there is still plenty of amazing Ultraman action in store. All three Ultra Galaxy Fight movies are available now on UltramanConnection.com. And of course, to stay up to date on the UCL narrative, our live events, and all things Ultraman, stay tuned to Ultraman Connection!

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May 18, 2022

ULTRAMAN CONNECTION WATCH PARTY: THE DESTINED CROSSROAD IS ONE OF UC’S BIGGEST SHOWS YET!

May 26th is fast approaching! Ultraman Connection Watch Party – Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad is just a couple weeks away and we’re here to tell you that this FREE show promises to be the biggest, most bombastic event we’ve ever held! Here’ what you’re gonna get:

• The pre-show starts at 6 PM EST, with a stream containing both Ultra Galaxy Fight: New Generation Heroes – Director’s Cut and Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Absolute Conspiracy – Director’s Cut to help prepare viewers new and old for what they’ll be watching later that evening. After that, viewers can watch the first part of a special Watch Party Roundtable discussion featuring (“Thank You”) Jeff Gomez, Ultraman Connection Editor-in-Chief EJ Couloucoundis, and guests, covering Ultraman’s ongoing presence in the west, and setting up the night’s big screening.

• At 9 PM EST, the show starts in earnest, with the first half of a special UCL short film, Return to Narak Tower, continuing the narrative that began in March’s Ultraman Connection Watch Party: Episode Z.

• Once that ends, a special interview with Ultra Galaxy Fight director Koichi Sakamoto will lead up to the premiere of The Destined Crossroad! In addition to insights from one of the franchise’s most dynamic directors, the interview, to be conducted by Sean Nichols, will have surprise guests, so you won’t want to miss it.

• Then, all of us will take in a viewing of Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad, the turning point in the interdimensional conflict between the Absolutians and the Ultras, in its epic entirety before anyone else!

• When that titanic event concludes, the night isn’t over yet, as the second part of the Watch Party Roundtable commences! Jeff, EJ, and special guests will discuss what we all just witnessed, as well as upcoming projects and more! Finally, the evening finishes up with part two of this month’s UCL short film Return to Narak Tower. A game changer!

• This massive event is free for all Ultraman Connection members—which itself is free to join—and starts at 6 PM EST on Thursday, May 26th.

• After the event, Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad will go on sale at 12 AM EST on Friday, May 27 as a TVOD for $6.99, available with subtitles in 10 different languages; an Ultra-sized selection for fans across the globe:

o English (Dub Script)

o Japanese

o Korean

o Thai

o Indonesian

o Malaysian

o Brazilian Portuguese

o South American Spanish

o Vietnamese

o Tagalog

Fans around the world, we’ll see you at Ultraman Connection Watch Party: The Destined Crossroad! And for more Ultra Galaxy Fight and Ultraman Series news and more, stay close to Ultraman Connection!

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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 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 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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March 5, 2022

ULTRAMAN 2 MILLION SUBSCRIBERS EVENT AMAZES FANS: HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED

If you somehow missed it, on Friday, February 18, Tsuburaya Productions premiered Ultraman Connection Live Presents: ULTRAMAN OFFICIAL YouTube 2 Million Subscribers Celebration, commemorating the channel having passed the 2 million subscriber mark in December of 2021. The massive, dual-channel event featured two action packed stage battles, panels with cast members from Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga, Ultraman Z, Ultraman Ginga/Ultraman Ginga S, and Ultraman R/B, and even the mysterious new hero, Ultraman Regulos himself! Here’s a rundown of everything that happened.

The event started with Shunya Kaneko (Akito Hijiri) and Runa Toyoda (Yuna Shizuma/Yuzare) on stage, as a video showing the members of GUTS-Select saying goodbye to Kengo from the finale of Ultraman Trigger played behind them. Raiga Terasaka then appeared as Kengo, transforming into Trigger onstage using his GUTS Sparklence, beginning a performance that recreated some of Ultraman Trigger’s toughest fights.

He first fought off Golba and Carmeara, defeating the former and driving the latter away, only for King Joe STORAGE Custom to appear! Trigger then transformed into his Sky Type to battle King Joe and was joined by Ultraman Z in his Alpha Edge form. After Trigger changed again into his Power Type, the two were able to defeat King Joe together.

Next, Trigger Dark showed up to fight Trigger, and the two engaged in intense hand-to-hand combat, with Trigger victorious. Just as soon as Trigger managed that threat, the three Giants of Darkness all appeared to fight Glitter Trigger Eternity. Eternity successfully fended off the three attackers, but that just heralded a greater threat, in a pair of the franchise’s greatest contemporary enemies. From the Ultra Galaxy Fight series, Absolute Diavolo and Absolute Tartarus appeared!

Luckily, Ultraman Ribut also arrived to help him take on the attackers, and they too were defeated. Suddenly, a Kyrieloid appeared onstage, and to challenge it, Ultraman Tiga! Hudram was close behind, and Trigger, Tiga, and Trigger Dark teamed up against the Kyrieloid and Hudram. The three Giants used their Zepellion Beams to defeat the two enemies, winning the battle.

Then everyone’s favorite Ultraman Trigger villain Darrgon appeared, and battled Trigger again, this time in a one-on-one battle that ended with a recreation of his tragic demise in the show. “My friend!”

Finally in the climactic battle, Trigger transformed into Trigger Truth, a form that harnesses both his light and dark power, to defeat Carmeara, and, in a mirror of the series finale, sacrificed himself to control the Eternity Core, telling the audience that he will return.

After the dramatic live stage battle was over, host Sean Nichols (who played Sean White in Ultraman Max) introduced both the event, and his Japanese assistant, Nene Nakazawa. Raiga Terasaka, Shunya Kaneko, and Yuna Toyoda returned for the first panel. The three discussed the series’ end, their personal picks for most memorable scenes, and even answered questions from the audience!

They then discussed the previously announced Ultraman Trigger: Episode Z special, that will feature the return of Ultraman Trigger, Ultraman Z (Zett), and the rest of the GUTS-Select crew. To help in their discussion, Nichols introduced Kohshu Hirano (Haruki Natsukawa/Ultraman Z) himself! The panel then teased some details about Episode Z including the appearance of the mysterious Evil Trigger, whose identity is yet unknown.

Sean then began the next phase of the panel, focusing on the group of Ultras and Ultraman shows known as the New Generation series! This panel included Takuya Negishi (Hikaru Raido/Ultraman Ginga), Kiyotaka Uji (Sho/Ultraman Victory), Arisa Sonohara (Asahi Minato/Ultrawoman Grigio), and returning from just a few minutes earlier, Kohshu Hirano.

This panel celebrated the anniversary of the ULTRAMAN OFFICIAL YouTube Channel, and nearly ten years of the New Generation series. The panel members discussed what it meant to participate in over a decade of this era of Ultraman and their favorite moments from their respective series.

Although Yuya Hirata (Katsumi Minato/Ultraman Rosso) and Ryosuke Koike (Isami Minato/Ultraman Blu) could not make a live appearance, they were featured alongside Sonohara-san to discuss their series Ultraman R/B in a recorded segment. In the segment, the three discussed the making of Ultraman R/B while commentating on some clips and promotion from the show, as well as its overall comedic tone (the uncut version of this interview was announced to be released at a later date).

After that, fans were returned to the live show for further discussion by the New Generation Heroes panel, including a hilarious story from Kohshu Hirano about ripping his uniform’s pants during his initial transformation as Ultraman Z. Nichols then allowed fans online to ask the cast members questions, giving each actor the opportunity to reflect on their Ultraman experience! The segment with a special announcement by the Ultraman R/B family that ULTRAMAN OFFICIAL YouTube 2 Million Subscriber shirts where available now on Amazon Japan!

Continuing with the New Generation Heroes celebration, the event then transitioned into its second epic live battle with Dark Lugiel and Reibatos invading the stage! Negishi-san returned to his role as Hikaru Raido, appearing on stage and using the Ginga Spark to become Ultraman Ginga, and taking on the two foes. As Ginga fought off Dark Lugiel, Uji-san appeared as Sho, using the Victory Lancer to transform into Ultraman Victory, wielding the Shepherdon Saber against Reibatos.

Tired of fighting him, Reibatos then summoned Kamisori Demaaga. But luckily, the R/B family reunited for battle, using their R/B Gyros to transform into Ultraman Rosso, Ultraman Blu, and Ultrawoman Grigio respectively. The three Ultras easily defeated Kamisori Demaaga, who exploded in spectacular fashion on the spot.

Ultraman Ginga and Dark Lugiel returned to the stage, where Dark Lugiel summoned Zero Darkness to fight Ginga! However, Hirano-san arrived on the scene as Haruki, using the Z Riser to become Ultraman Z, and battling the dark reflection of his master Ultraman Zero. After intense hand-to-hand combat, Z was able to defeat Zero Darkness, only for Absolute Diavolo to attack him!

Before the golden giant could prevail, the mysterious new Ultraman hero that fans have glimpsed in previous events rushed onto stage. Striking a pose, he proclaimed himself to be the only opponent for Diavolo, the possessor of the Red Dragon White Tiger Fist, Ultraman Regulos!

Using his expert martial arts techniques, the new Ultraman Regulos successfully fought off Diavolo, chasing the villain away as he fled the scene. Ginga and Victory then returned, still battling against Dark Lugiel and Reibatos, but now with Absolute Tartarus joining the fray. To make matters worse, Leugocyte appeared as well, contributing further to the two Ultras’ dire situation. When all seemed lost, however, the Ultras combined their powers with help from the audience and transformed into their strongest forms: Z became Ultraman Z Delta Rise Claw; Rosso, Blu and Grigio fused their powers to become Ultraman Gruebe; and Ginga and Victory combined and transformed into Ultraman Ginga Victory! Ultraman Regulos also reappeared to aid his new companions and battle Absolute Tartarus. With great difficulty, the Ultras finally defeated their formidable adversaries, and exited the stage. That is, except for Ultraman Regulos…

Nichols then returned to stage, where he observed that Regulos had uttered some spoken lines during the battle. Then, as a special surprise, he introduced Regulos’s Japanese voice actor, Shugo Nakamura! Nichols also announced that a special Ultraman Regulos promo video and an extended interview with Shugo Nakamura would be posted soon on the ULTRAMAN OFFICIAL YouTube Channel.

Sean also announced Ultraman Talks, an after-show for Ultraman Connection Live featuring interviews with all the panel guests, which was hosted live right here at UltramanConnection.com. Finally, he made a massive announcement for Ultra fans all over the world eagerly awaiting Ultraman Trigger’s return: Ultraman Trigger Episode Z will have a special screening for international Ultra fans right here on Ultraman Connection, come March 18—the day of its Japanese release on Tsuburaya Imagination!

The show concluded with Terasaka giving fans a message on behalf of all the New Generation Heroes, saying that he hopes everyone enjoyed the event and continues to support the Ultraman series. Then, true to Sean’s promise YouTube fans jumped to Ultraman Connection and reunited with Sean and the New Generation and Trigger actors, with all seven performers interacting with UC members and answering more questions—another big bonus event for registered Ultraman Connection members!

That’s it for now, but of course, for all things Ultraman, Ultraman Trigger Episode Z, and Ultraman Connection Live be sure to stay tuned right here at Ultraman Connection!

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February 18, 2022

ULTRAMAN TRIGGER EPISODE Z SPECIAL COMES TO ULTRAMAN CONNECTION ON MARCH 18

Tsuburaya Productions is excited to announce that Ultraman Trigger Episode Z, a special sequel to the Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga series is coming exclusively to Ultraman Connection on March 18, 2022, at 9pm EST / 6pm PST.

The special will stream as a part of an exclusive program coming to Ultraman Connection, which will celebrate both Ultraman Trigger and the powerful fan favorite Ultraman Z (Zett)!

Attendees will get not only the special showing here, but also get access to a special VOD that will be watchable on personal time later, for $11.99. Tickets are on sale now for the Video on Demand by itself for $4.99 here.

Also, to celebrate this massive event, the Ultraman Trigger Episode Z special program will include a commentary talk show about the special, featuring a number of the actors!

Raiga Terasaka (Kengo Manaka/Ultraman Trigger)

Terasaka-san is one of the headliners, and the eponymous character of Episode Z, portraying Kengo Manaka. As his grand adventure comes to a well-deserved climax in the special, we’ll hear his thoughts on his time as an Ultraman, and what Trigger and Episode Z mean to him.

Runa Toyoda (Yuna Shizuma/Yuzare)

Responsible for the dual roles of GUTS-Select member Yuna Shizuma and Yuzare, Ultraman Connection viewers have had the pleasure of meeting Toyoda-san before at the Ultraman Connection Holiday Special. Now that the main run of Trigger has ended, we’ll catch up with her again, and learn more of Yuna and Yuzare’s secrets!

Kohshu Hirano (Haruki Natsukawa/Ultraman Z)

It’s been some time since Hirano-san received universal acclaim for his role as Haruki Natsukawa in the Seiun Award-winning Ultraman Z. Having returned once to make a big splash in Ultraman Trigger, the time has come for Hirano-san to talk about his time as a defender of humanity, and what he thinks is next for Haruki.

Tickets are on sale now for both the special show and the VOD for personal viewing for $11.99 here.

At the end of the Trigger series, we bade a tearful farewell to Kengo Manaka, the incarnation of light, and his allies in GUTS-Select. As Ultraman Trigger, Kengo seemed to sacrifice himself to contain the Eternity Core. The story seemed over.

Well, not quite!

Ultraman Trigger Episode Z will have simultaneous premieres in Japan (on the Tsuburaya Imagination streaming service) and right here for the rest of the world on Ultraman Connection. This story acts as an epilogue, set two years after the events of Trigger’s final battle against Megalothor, and will answer mysteries left in the wake of that struggle. We can’t say what brings Kengo back, or why Ultraman Z is once again fighting the forces of evil alongside Trigger.

Under most circumstances, global fans might have to wait months or years to see this story come to its long-awaited conclusion. However, with the rise of Ultraman in North America and around the world, things are changing! As announced by Sean Nichols during the Ultraman Connection Live Presents: ULTRAMAN OFFICIAL YouTube 2 Million Subscribers Celebration, tickets are now on sale for the special right here on Ultraman Connection!

More details will be revealed about the event as we approach this massive day. Until then, why not prepare for the big event by catching upon all 25 episodes of Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga, ad-free, on Ultraman Connection?

And watch the dramatic trailer for Ultraman Trigger Episode Z here:

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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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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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July 3, 2022

MARVEL SUPER HEROES WILL CROSSOVER WITH ULTRAMAN FOR THE FIRST TIME IN UPCOMING COMIC BOOK MINISERIES

Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain Marvel to Battle Kaiju & Super Villains with Ultraman and Ultraseven in Historic Team-Up

Avengers Assemble! Schuwatch! Marvel Comics and Tsuburaya Productions have announced a major comic book crossover miniseries featuring heroes from the Marvel Universe entering the Ultraman Universe. The announcement was made by series co-writer Mat Groom before a cheering crowd in the Main Event Hall during Anime Expo 2022 at the Ultraman Arrives: Super Anime Extravaganza at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

This will be the first time that the celebrated Giants of Light, Ultraman and Ultraseven, and their Kaiju foes will appear side by side with Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain Marvel, and their super villain nemeses.

The as-yet untitled Ultraman/Marvel Universe crossover will be the fourth title to come out of the collaboration between Tsuburaya Productions and Marvel Comics. Previous series include The Rise of Ultraman, The Trials of Ultraman, along with the much-anticipated upcoming series The Mystery of Ultraseven, on sale this August.

Fans have been clamoring for a meeting between these unique sets of heroes, and so Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski, VP & Executive Editor Tom Brevoort, Transmedia Producer Jeff Gomez and series co-writers Kyle Higgins and Mat Groom have come together to make this happen. The deal was negotiated by Danny Simon of The Licensing Group.

The crossover series will take place within the continuity of the current Marvel Ultraman comics, drawing on thematic comparisons between the stoic heroism of the Ultras and Marvel’s Earthly champions. No Kaiju or super villains were announced, but concept art unveiled during the Anime Expo event teased classic spiked Kaiju, Bemular. Further details of the storyline are still under wraps.

Created by Eiji Tsuburaya in 1966, the Ultraman series have spawned an evergreen franchise in Japan, making the 40-meter-tall silver and red being from the M78 Nebula one of the most widely recognized characters in the world. In addition to over 1400 episodes and dozens of feature films, Ultraman is on the rise worldwide.

A second season of the ongoing anime ULTRAMAN recently dropped on Netflix, a feature in production with ILM and Netflix, dozens of North American licenses have been activated, live events stream on fan hub Ultraman Connection, and millions of fans subscribe to the Ultraman Official YouTube channel. Live-action feature Shin Ultraman is currently breaking box offices records in Japan.

The Ultraman and Marvel Universe comic book crossover is set to premiere sometime in 2023.

About Tsuburaya Productions

Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd. is an independent television and film production company founded in 1963 by well-known special effects man Eiji Tsuburaya. Their most famous program is the Ultraman TV and film series, begun in 1966, has been seen in over 100 territories worldwide and has spawned over 3,000 licensed products. Besides Ultraman, Tsuburaya Productions is a fully integrated production, marketing, and events company.

About Marvel Entertainment, LLC

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media for over eighty years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing, publishing, games, and digital media.

For more information visit marvel.com. © 2022 MARVEL

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May 17, 2022

ULTRAMAN RETURNS TO MARVEL COMICS IN ULTRAMAN: THE MYSTERY OF ULTRASEVEN

Kyle Higgins and Mat Groom continue their Ultraman saga in a new series this August

New York, NY— May 17, 2022 — Following the two acclaimed limited series The Rise of Ultraman and The Trials of Ultraman comes a brand-new chapter In Ultraman’s Marvel Comics adventures—Ultraman: The Mystery of Ultraseven!

This latest installment brought together by the landmark collaboration between Marvel Comics and Tsuburaya Productions will once again feature the amazing storytelling skills of writing duo Kyle Higgins and Mat Groom. Joined by rising star artist Davide Tinto, the pair will continue to dive deep into the secrets behind the pop culture icon’s fascinating mythology in an adventure that will thrill longtime fans of the global phenomenon and welcome Ultraman newcomers!

In addition, the double-sized debut issue will include an additional story spotlighting the history of Ultra Q and more instructional Kaiju Steps by Gurihiru!

Giant Kaiju roam. A sinister conspiracy consolidates power. And there’s nobody left to stop it — because Ultraman is GONE! How did the situation go so wrong…? And how can the United Science Patrol claw their way back from the brink? The answers lie in the appearance of an enigmatic new Ultra, and a secret that has remained hidden for decades. From distant stars to lost dimensions, untangling this twisted web will require Shin Hayata to go farther and fight harder than ever before!

"Kyle and my reimagination of this universe started with a long-term masterplan — which is why we featured Dan Moroboshi's mysterious disappearance in the very first pages of The Rise of Ultraman," said Mat Groom. "It's so exciting to have reached the stage where we can now pull back the curtain on that mystery... and its world-shaking implications!"

Strap in — The Mystery of Ultraseven unfolds now! Check out the cover of the debut issue below and pick up Ultraman: The Mystery of Ultraseven #1 when it hits stands in August!

ULTRAMAN: THE MYSTERY OF ULTRASEVEN #1 (OF 5)

Written by KYLE HIGGINS & MAT GROOM

Art by DAVIDE TINTO, DAVID LOPEZ & GURIHIRU

Cover by E.J. SU

On Sale 8/17

About Marvel Entertainment

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media for over eighty years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing, publishing, games, and digital media. © 2022 MARVEL

For more information visit marvel.com.

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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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June 26, 2022

WRITER-ARTIST JESSIE ELIAS (ZELTRAXMILLENNIUM) DRAWS INSPIRATION FROM THE GIANT OF LIGHT

Jessie Elias, also known as ZeltraxMillenium, is a devoted Ultraman fan, video host, voice actor, article writer, and artist. Jessie is a full-time staff member of HeroClub and hosts the ZeltraxMillenium YouTube channel boasting a couple of thousand subscribers and a Twitter following of nearly the same. HeroClub is co-owned by Editor-in-Chief Billy Doyle (also known as WheelChair21 on Twitter and Facebook) along with Brian Benjamin (Ben_Odinson on Twitter). Jessie even interviewed Ultraman Connection’s very own Jeff Gomez on his show!

Jessie’s first interaction with Ultraman was the 4kids dub of Ultraman Tiga on cable in the early 2000s, way before Ultraman had permeated the American cultural canon. He was enamored by the general themes of hopefulness and overcoming adversity. As an autistic person who has struggled to feel accepted, Ultraman served as a beacon of hope for Jessie. From that point on, he dedicated himself to finding anything else from Tsubaraya Productions.

“I am always a proponent of supporting official releases. Now more than ever we’re getting so much Ultraman stuff in America and I know everyone on the other end is working their butts off to make it all more accessible to us. We’ve gotta support!”

Through this effort, Jessie began collecting all the Ultraman memorabilia he could get his hands on. Some of his most prized items include the Ultraman Orb and Ultraman Geed Blu-ray sets.

“I love those two because they explore the idea that it doesn’t matter where you came from before, it’s what you do now that defines you.”

One of Jessie’s many collectibles

Ultraman has inspired Jessie to realize that he is in charge of his fate and the difficulties of the past do not undermine his potential. He has applied this philosophy to many aspects of his life and has made changes for the better. At one point he didn’t believe he could be an interviewer, but with the confidence he gained from Ultraman, he harnessed his power and now has great conversations with some of the top voice actors and creators in the community.

“I really like how all the Ultras and their hosts have such neat support systems. All the different science and military organizations want to help them. They all think before they act and work together.”

He doesn’t only do interviews, though. In one of his recent videos, Jessie drew attention to the impact of inflation on the toy market and the repercussions of inaccessibility. While he generally doesn’t get political on his platforms, he feels it’s important to pay attention to how real-world issues affect the franchises he loves.

Although he can have strong opinions on various aspects of the toy and collectible industry, he tries not to let himself get dragged into too many online battles. (That wouldn’t be the Ultraman way, after all!) He also does reviews, hauls, list videos, and vlogs and has been posting consistently since 2011.

Jessie has cultivated quite the community from his engagement with Ultraman fandom. He is a regular participant in various Discord groups, including Ultraman Connection, in which he and friends discuss theories, air their grievances, give each other reviews on content, and take part in the inevitable camaraderie that any Ultra-fan group develops.

“We talk a lot about the differences between each Ultraman series and how they manage to be so versatile and yet keep the same themes. Ultraman R/B was so comedic and yet it came out right after Geed which was such a deep, emotional story. It’s just cool how two shows can be so opposite in tone but still have the same message.”

Jessie is responsible for recruiting a multitude of new Ultraman fans through his reviews, articles, and videos and for that we at Ultraman Connection are always grateful!

Jessie has also branched out into taking commissions for custom painted figures. If you’d like to commission a piece from him, or just connect with him in general, you can reach him by email at elias_jessie@yahoo.com or on his social medias which are linked below. Stay tuned for more on UltramanConnection.com!

https://twitter.com/ZeltraxMilleniu

https://www.facebook.com/ZeltraxMillennium

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uagFIxU2NKs

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June 16, 2022

ARTIST KLENDA V FINDS BEAUTY AND HUMANITY IN THE ULTRAS

The Ultraman fan community is a very special place. It’s one of nostalgia, theories, events, art, and a mutual appreciation for the deeper philosophy of the Ultraman universe. One of the people who contributes greatly to the community is artist Klenda, aka @Klenda_V on Twitter.

Klenda began her journey as many have; by growing up watching the 1966 classic Ultraman series. After having lost touch with the franchise over the years, she was reintroduced as an adult by her brother who gave her a copy of Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legends The Movie, which featured Ultraman Zero, after a trip to Japan. The nostalgia engrossed her and during the pandemic, Klenda immersed herself into Ultraman Taiga, which had been running weekly on the Ultraman Official channel on YouTube.

Klenda was touched by the sentiment of Ultraman. She had grown tired of the grittiness and moral ambiguity of many western superheroes and felt that Ultraman represented the honor of upholding morals with gratitude.

The thing about Ultraman is that it’s really a love story,” Klenda smiled. “The Ultras love humanity despite the humans’ apathy, negligence, and hopelessness. Despite everything they always choose to connect.

Klenda especially expressed admiration for Ultraman Nexus. “It shows us what hope can look like in a world that has given up.” A theme we both agreed is extremely pertinent in the current state of the world.

With her background in fine arts and her affinity for comic books, Klenda has developed a unique and refined creative style. Her work is unique and stands apart from other Ultraman fan art because of the almost romantic and at times familial nature to her design choices. Klenda gives us glimpses into the home life of Ultras, embracing their children, going on dates. She sometimes Tweets that she could watch a whole series about the relationships of the Ultras, set entirely in the Land of Light.

Geometrically pleasing psychedelic scenes, vibrant tableaux, portraits that capture the stoicism of Ultraman himself—Klenda definitely has range, but all her pieces share a mesmerizing intensity.

Ultraman is supposed to be beautiful. I want to represent that beauty, that’s what I hope to do in my work.

While she does take plenty of inspiration from 1990s - 2000s era Ultraman series such as Tiga, Gaia, Max, Nexus, and Agul, one of her recent inspirations has been Takahiko Waki who designed Absolute Tartarus’ suit for the more recent Ultra Galaxy Fight series.

In fact, Klenda found herself slipping through the looking glass in December of 2021 during the Ultraman Connection Live: Holiday Special. In the middle of the livestream event, the Absolutians invaded Tsuburaya Productions’ Tokyo studio, and Absolute Tartarus began directly addressing fan messsages. I asked her to tell us what happened.

For context: as soon as Tartarus was announced to be answering questions, the comment section went crazy; people asking Tartarus what gym he went to, what beauty regime he kept, etc. I thought, ‘surely he wouldn’t answer one of THESE,’ and joined in with ‘Why are you so handsome?

At which point they selected the question, to which he replied: ‘Ohohohoh, Klenda…Klenda. You have potential. Someone like you, must feel lonely on this planet, full of Land of Light believers. You, are always welcome, in the Kingdom.’

Firstly, thank you Walter Roberts for ruining my life. Second, that might be the most surreal moment of my life. It took a while to process that part of Ultraman—something I’ve been watching since before my memory begins—had reached out and poked me, specifically. It was awesome, it definitely made me more invested in Tartarus as a character and a villain, and I’m pretty sure I’m now legally obligated to go visit a live Tartarus show and take a photo with him."

I dearly wish I had a recording of the rest of this encounter; his other answers were also amazing, including him attempting to read out a keyboard-smash. It was a great time and that alone was more than worth the price of admission!

One of Klenda’s other favorite Ultra-muses is Zoffy because of how iconic his suit is.

I think a good way to tell how well a character is designed is if a child can draw it and you can tell who it is. If a child drew Zoffy, you’d know right away.

When asked if there was any other reason, she connected to Zoffy, Klenda admitted she was raised in a large family and relates to the different bonds Zoffy has with each of the Ultra Brothers. She felt represented by his ability to tap into various parts of himself to help his siblings respectively.

However, Klenda isn’t the only one who developed this kind of kinship with Ultraman. Through posting her work, Klenda came in touch with fellow fan artists and writers and has become a part of a thriving Ultraman fan community, many of whom are also women. They use Twitter and Discord to discuss their pressing questions, dissect the mythology of the franchise, and display their fan art.

Over the 56 years that it’s been around, Ultraman has been so internally consistent. It keeps to its core principles of compassion, mercy, and hope. No matter what iteration of Ultraman you watch, it’s coming from a foundation of love.

As of now, Klenda doesn’t sell prints of her work, but she does take private commissions and she can be reached on twitter @Klenda_V and her website Klenda-V-Portfolio.carrd.co.

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May 31, 2022

THE NOOB ON SHIN ULTRAMAN: FIRST IMPRESSIONS

If you’re an Ultraman fan (or even an Ultra-noob like myself) you’ve more than likely heard the news… Shin Ultraman is now in release in Japan!  Shinji Higuchi, director of beloved classics such as Shin Godzilla, Attack on Titan (2015), and many more, has outdone himself again.

As a noob, I don’t have enough experience with the Ultraman franchise to determine the all-time best Ultra film, but judging from what I have seen, Shin Ultraman serves as the most encapsulating contemporary addition to the property. You don’t have to take it from me though, so far Shin Ultraman is the highest grossing live-action movie in Japan this year and has been deemed the most commercially successful movie in Ultraman history. Let’s talk about why (minimal spoilers).

The story follows the S-Class Species Suppression Protocol (SSSP) as they attempt to handle the recent serial invasion of earth by Kaiju. When one of their battles is taken over by Ultraman, the Kaiju is defeated but SSSP member, Shinji Kaminaga, is killed along the way. Ultraman somehow preserves Shinji’s soul by taking his form and periodically switching back and forth between Shinji and the true Ultra form. Ultraman assumes Shinji’s role in society and continues to protect humanity from further threats, some of which take the form of Kaiju and aliens that any Ultraman fan will be excited to see.

What makes the structure of Shin Ultraman so special is that it’s basically a four-part episodic that’s been elegantly smushed into one two-hour epic. While the film does have a lot going on, the fast pacing and overarching themes create an effortless flow.

At times it even has an almost art film quality. With dynamic angles, distinct camera work, a soundtrack comprised of music from the days of classic Ultraman, and the use of vintage sound effects in modern fight scenes, Shin Ultraman is an amalgamation of all our favorite Ultraman quirks with a modern spin. Its cinematic motifs don’t take away from the obvious love that Shinji Higuchi has for the franchise. He still commits to the Ultraman narrative structure that we all know and love but with a more serious lens to the visual narration.

Shin Ultraman deals with major topics like misinformation, the question of morality as a hero, corruption in high places, fearmongering, and much more. The film wasn’t afraid to draw parallels to real life issues, and that is very on brand for the franchise, considering Ultraman himself was originally created as an icon to ignite hope for a post-World War II Japan. I think Shin Ultraman does a great job of resurging the nature of Ultraman and refreshing the idea of what Ultraman movies can look like.

Ultimately, Shin Ultraman has ranked as one of my all-time favorite Ultraman experiences and I can guarantee it’ll be on your list too. Shin Ultraman is currently only available in Japan, but we are all hoping for international releases in the coming months, so stay tuned here on UltramanConnection.com for more!

The Noob is Evangelia Artemis, a New York-based writer and otaku who works on staff at Ultraman Connection. She attended a closed screening of Shin Ultraman with the staff of Ultraman Connection.

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May 27, 2022

A NOOB REVIEWS ULTRA GALAXY FIGHT: THE DESTINED CROSSROAD

The time has finally come… Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad is here! This is the third series

of the Ultra Galaxy Fight saga, but if you haven’t seen the first two, never fear, the Noob is here to tell

you—you don’t have to! The Destined Crossroad is powerful enough to stand alone and still make

perfect sense. This review is based on the Ultraman Connection Watch Party screening of the entire

UGFDC series uncut—which was attended by a record number of you by the way! The movie was in

English, but the TVOD will offer subtitles in various languages for international fans.

The story follows the Ultras as they battle their all-time nemeses the Absolutians, spearheaded by the

almighty Absolute Tartarus. The Ultras must protect the Land Of Light against the threats of the

Absolutians along with many other foes, old and new, recruited by them. With the help of Ultras from

every corner of the franchise, the battle is epic, enthralling, and jam-packed with action!

A movie as fast-paced and intense as Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad could easily have been

confusing to a newcomer, but between the recap at the beginning and the clarity of the story

throughout, I felt prepared to enter the battlefield alongside the Ultras. I felt I could trust the film to

bring me along for the ride, and I was not disappointed. Psychedelic visuals, entrancingly choreographed

fight sequences, insane costumes, and awesome sound effects worked together to build a delectable

narrative for any Ultra-fan to dissect.

Although there were certainly some references that would be better appreciated by a seasoned

Ultraman enjoyer, even as a noob I could recognize the intricacy of the character relationships. The

focus on the interactions between some of the female Ultras, the camaraderie of some of the more

playful Ultras, even the communication between the Ultras and Absolutians offered great insight into

the inner network of the Land of Light. It was extremely rewarding to see how the Ultras function

amongst themselves outside of a human-centric context.

The Destined Crossroad works to further the Ultraman philosophy of unity creating strength. Although

the passion exerted by individual Ultras in each fight exemplify the importance of ‘giving each effort

your all’ and ‘believing in yourself’, the Ultras aren’t unique for their willpower.

The distinction between the fighting style of the Absolutians and the fighting style of the Ultras is that

when faced with overwhelming challenges, the Ultras share in the strength of their bonds and even

merge with one another to increase their power. They work together and cheer each other on. The

Ultras prioritize teamwork while their foes often pursue highly individualistic concerns indulging in their

own best interests sometimes at the expense of one another.

When Tartarus shows the slightest bit of concern for Absolute Diavolo, for example, warning that

Diavolo has expended one of the last of his remaining “lives,” for example, Diavolo literally smacks his

leader’s hand away and grunts that he knows. The Absolutians, it seems, have little comprehension of

kindness or negotiation (which would have solved their whole crisis a lot less violently).

In the Ultraman franchise we usually see Ultras and their enemies battle on Earth, one on one, so

getting the opportunity to see the social interactions, politics, and emotional relationships between

their people on such a large scale was definitely a treat.

All in all, for me, the most important takeaway from Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad was a

reminder we all need from time to time:

“Do not fight with anger in your heart.”

Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad is available now to registered members of Ultraman

Connection as a 24-hour Timed Video On Demand rental for $6.99 in the Operations Room. Rent the

movie now and you can also have a 24% discount off any Ultraman item in the Merch Store! Registration

for membership is FREE so be sure to sign up and stay tuned for more updates on

UltramanConnection.com!

The Noob is Evangelia Artemis, a New York-based writer and otaku who works on staff at Ultraman

Connection. Her first live appearance was at the Watch Party Round Table for UGFDC.

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May 24, 2022

SHIN ULTRAMAN – JEFF GOMEZ’S FIRST IMPRESSIONS

By special arrangement with Tsuburaya Productions, several Ultraman Connection team members got to see Shin Ultraman, the new theatrical feature recently released in Japan, directed by Shinji Higuchi. Although we don’t want to get into spoilers, we did want to share our impressions of the film with you and proudly assure all fans of Ultraman that it is indeed a special experience.

One of the meanings of the term “shin” in Japanese is “essence” and the filmmakers have truly captured both the fundamental meaning and narrative of the original Ultraman series. There are cosmetic differences, of course, and the film very much takes place in its own universe, but the very elements that first drew me to Ultraman as a hero—his otherness, his stoicism, his nobility—are all here.

A central theme in the film is that we must ask ourselves what a being such as Ultraman sees in us and what we see in ourselves. Despite our selfishness and our predicaments are we worth saving? I am fascinated by the fact that the answers are not easily forthcoming in the film. They are subtle and don’t always turn out as we could have hoped. At the same time Shin Ultraman retains a sense of optimism that distinguishes it from its predecessor Shin Godzilla.

The story is a fascinating, action-packed, and affectionate distillation of Ultraman. But what initially appears episodic does get sewn together in an exciting and novel way by screenwriter Hideaki Anno. To this end, the movie is more expansive than the trailers let on, giving the scenario an epic scope.

Finally, Shin Ultraman is elevated by a warm and subtle cast, as well as a dry wit that cocks its head at some of the series’ stranger and more fantastical tropes. Higuchi’s stylish eye, aided by cinematographers Osamu Ichikawa and Keizō Suzuki, hearkens to the best of Japanese and European cinema of the late-1960s and early ‘70s.

So, the concepts and action (and Kaiju!) are allowed to be way out there, but the filmmakers are taking the story and story world quite seriously. To me, this elevates the film to be worthy of serious consideration not just in Japan or to the core fan base, but to the entire world. Shin Ultraman is undoubtedly a work of art.

In an interview in Japan, Shinji Higuchi said, “I think the original Ultraman had a world where a wonderful future awaited. Of course, people had their problems and troubles, but they faced them with a carefree spirit that surpassed their worries and problems. When I decided to make Shin Ultraman, I wanted to create a story about such people and a wonderful team…and depict the intelligence, courage, and ability to solve problems that are necessary to depict such a future.

“In this day and age, we don’t need the darkness of the heart, at least not in this Ultraman. The Ultraman of the past was a shining jewel without price, and I wonder how much of that can be achieved with today’s cast. I want to do my best to make it all the way through to the end."

I couldn’t agree more, and with Shin Ultraman, achievement unlocked.

Jeff Gomez is the key creative Producer behind Ultraman Connection. Editor-in-Chief EJ Couloucoundis and the Noob, Evangelia Artemis, will file their own impressions shortly.

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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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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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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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