A Look at English-Language Ultraman

A Look at English-Language Ultraman

We at Ultraman Connection are deeply proud of how the Ultraman Series has returned to the English-speaking world. Once again, fans get to enjoy the stories of the Giant of Light in their home, and with Ultra Galaxy Fight, they even get to enjoy them in English.

Note that we did say once again. The Ultraman Series actually has a long history of appearing in the English language. Let’s take a quick look back in time and acknowledge some of the legendary English-Language interpretations of the Giant of Light’s stories!

The Original Dubs

A great many Ultraman Series fans in the west know the hero’s exploits thanks to an English dub produced right after the series aired in Japan. From 1967 to 1991, Ultraman and Ultraseven could be found on various television channels. If you grew up in North America during this period and remember Ultraman, this is almost certainly how you discovered the series.

Ultraman USA

Ultraman: The Adventure Begins was a 1987 co-production between Tsuburaya Productions and Hanna-Barbera Productions. That’s right, Hanna-Barbera, as in Scooby-Doo Hanna-Barbera. Introducing the “Ultra Force,” composed of Ultraman Chuck, Ultraman Scott, and Ultrawoman Beth. Though only consisting of a single film-length OVA, Ultraman USA, as it is called in Japan, is remembered fondly, with the Ultra Force appearing most recently in Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad.

Ultraman Great

A co-production between Tsuburaya Productions and the South Australian Film Corporation, Ultraman: Towards the Future was a 1992 series starring Dore Kraus as Jack Shindo, an astronaut who merges with the heroic Ultraman Great to fight against the viral monster known as Gudis, as well as a host of monsters spawned from forces like pollution. Focusing on environmental themes, elements of the series have returned multiple times throughout the Ultra Galaxy Fight series.

Ultraman Powered

Created by Tsuburaya Productions and the former Major Havoc Entertainment, 1993’s Ultraman: Towards the Future has the curious distinction of being created in America, but never airing there. In many ways a reinterpretation of the original 1966 Ultraman, the series stared tokusatsu veteran Kane Kosugi in one of his earliest adult roles, as protagonist Kenichi Kai. Featuring exceptionally elaborate and detailed kaiju designs, Powered himself returned to the series as a major character after 27 years in Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Absolute Conspiracy, voiced once again by Kosugi in the english dub.

Ultra Galaxy Fight

We’ve mentioned how characters from the previous series returned for the Ultra Galaxy Fight series, so of course we have to mention Tsuburaya’s home-grown international hit. Available on Ultraman Connection right now, Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Absolute Conspiracy and Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad are available not only in the original Japanese, but also in Tsuburaya’s first English-language dubs since Powered. Fittingly, a great number of international Ultras, including not only Great, Powered, and the Ultra Squad, but also the ever-popular Ultraman Ribut, have appeared in this series.

Shin Ultraman

Earlier this year, Tsuburaya Productions and Fathom Events brought the hit movie Shin Ultraman to North American theaters — and with it came an English-language dub! Ultraman Connection has already reviewed the dub (spoilers: it ruled), which you can read here

Needless to say, Ultraman and the English language have been acquainted for decades. Now that the Giant of Light has properly returned to the west, here’s to more wonderful English Ultraman Series to come. For news on those whenever they may come, stay close to Ultraman Connection!