What is a Retsuden?

What is a Retsuden?

We’re eight weeks into Ultraman New Generation Stars now, and we at Ultraman Connection hope that you’ve been enjoying taking a trip into the memories of the universe’s greatest heroes as much as we have. It’s at this time that we wanted to try and help shed some light on exactly what New Generation Stars is, in the greater context of the Ultraman Series — that being a Retsuden.

When it comes to long-running series, few are longer than Ultraman, which this year is celebrating its 57th anniversary! More surprisingly, the series continues to use themes and elements from the entirety of its existence, frequently referencing characters and story elements from as far back as Japan’s Shōwa era in weekly television!

However, though this sense of continuity and respect for the material is admirable, it can also, admittedly, be a challenge for new viewers — Ultraman, after all, is a series for all ages, including many who simply weren’t born yet when formative details about the characters on their television were created.

And so, to solve this problem, the Retsuden format was created! In the space between 6-month airing periods of new Ultraman Series entries, special presentations of previous important characters and storylines from the past, wrapped in a specific framing device are reintroduced to fans new and old, cementing their importance and refreshing the minds of the viewers.

Ultraman New Generation Stars is the latest Retsuden program, designed to help fans hone their understanding of the New Generation era of the Ultraman Series, which has been running for a whopping ten years now. Previous entries include Ultraman Chronicle D, which helped reintroduce fans to the stories of Ultraman Dyna while helping to prepare them for the at-the-time upcoming Ultraman Decker, and Ultraman Zero: The Chronicle, which collected the various adventures of Ultraman Zero across various media, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Zero’s father, Ultraseven.

Retsuden series are vital for helping fans navigate the wide, wonderful multiverse of the Ultraman Series, and have been an integral part of Japanese fans’ experience for years. Now that entries like New Generation Stars are available on the Ultraman Official YouTube Channel globally, why not get in on the action yourself? And to watch series that New Generation Stars and other Retsuden draw from, check out the full episodes of series like Ultraman Z in our exclusive videos section, here on Ultraman Connection!