Looking Back at Ultraman X Episode 1 “Voice from the Starry Sky”

Looking Back at Ultraman X Episode 1 “Voice from the Starry Sky”

Hello and welcome, Ultraman Connection readers! With this week’s episode of Ultraman New Generation Stars focusing on the defense team XIO from Ultraman X, we thought it’d be the perfect time to look back at the first episode of the series, and what makes it so special!

Hard to believe it’s been almost 10 years now since Ultraman X first premiered, and things have changed a lot since then! Notably, this series was the first to be simulcast for English-speaking audiences internationally. I’m sure it was many of our readers’ first experience following an Ultraman series from week to week – as it was for me! It was a huge step to make the franchise more accessible to a wider audience, something that’s continued even today with simulcasts through YouTube and here on Ultraman Connection. Last season we even had a simulcast English dub of Ultraman Blazar!

Almost 10 years later, Ultraman X is still a great place to start if you’re brand new to the franchise. The first episode throws the audience into a completely new version of Earth, with its own unique defense team and unique characters. A lot of that unique style comes from the focus of XIO’s mission, to study monsters and seek the best ways to minimize their threat, rather than just destroying them to protect human civilization. 

This focus is exemplified by our main character, Daichi Oozora. He’s a researcher who works on the XIO team for very personal reasons. He has a personal interest, a passion for the kaiju they study, and dearly hopes that they will be able to ensure coexistence in the future with the help of their technology. But Daichi also studies the universe in the hope of one day discovering the meaning of his parents’ research, which was left unfinished. They had gone missing when he was still very young, researching signals from space and trying to decipher their meaning.

Space brings a whole heaping ton of trouble, with “dark” bursts of lightning that make ordinarily-peaceful kaiju go berserk. However, the Ultraman franchise always makes the point that not everything that’s alien or outside of our expectations is bad or something to be only feared. Ultraman X himself also arrives from space, and finds a cozy home inside of Daichi’s communicator! 

Much like Ultraman Blazar, another series directed by Kiyotaka Taguchi, Ultraman X also focuses heavily on the theme of “communication”, so it’s hilariously fitting that X winds up using Daichi’s personal cell phone while on Earth. Unlike Blazar though, this show has a lot more banter between Daichi and Ultraman X as they try to figure out how to fight together. This scene, when they first “Unite” and transform to fight as Ultraman, is flat-out one of the funniest parts of any Ultraman show I’ve seen. First of all, Daichi is afraid of heights and X has to talk him down from a brief panic attack after they’ve transformed! 

More seriously, their teamwork also creates a new kind of power that makes their bond unique from other Ultraman heroes, and their respective hosts, that we’ve seen in other series. Their signature “Xanadium Beam” doesn’t kill the Kaiju they fight against! Instead, it gets rid of the “dark” energy causing them to attack, and they shrink down into miniaturized figures called “Spark Dolls” instead. It’s a power borne out of their combined wills to protect lives, but also Daichi’s own wish to protect the lives of Kaiju, and to learn more about them in order to protect a coexistence with these creatures. 

Actually, I take back my previous statement. Daichi – and Ultraman X as a whole series has a lot more in common with Ultraman Cosmos than any other Ultraman show I can think of. There’s another good recommendation for all you readers if you’re looking for something to watch now that Blazar has finished airing!

The whole series of Ultraman X lives up to the bombastic opening episode here, with many more mysteries that are explored, fun characters we meet, and spectacular fights that push Daichi and X’s united teamwork to its limits. This week’s highlights in Ultraman New Generation Stars also shows off one of my personal favorite episodes, “A Soldier’s Back”. But there are many more episodes that are just as good, and also deserve to be watched on those merits!

From the start, the first episode “Voice from the Starry Sky” cements a new world, a new defense team, and a new main character through which we explore all of it. It focuses on many classic elements of the franchise, but with a fresh take which serves as a perfect jumping-off point – or jumping-on point, depending on how you think of it – for new fans looking to explore more of the franchise. Don’t take our word for it though, take the opportunity to go watch Ultraman X for yourself. We here at Ultraman Connection are united in our appreciation of this fantastic series, and hope that you all will enjoy it as well.