Netflix has released a new trailer for the new animated version of Ultraman, an adaptation of the manga series by Tomohiro Shimoguchi and Eiichi Shimizu, which was a direct sequel to the original live action TV series from the 1960s.
In the original story, Ultraman is an alien, a "giant of light" who comes to Earth and fuses with Shin Hayata, a member of Japan's Science Patrol, to fight giant kaiju that attack the world, usually Tokyo. Shin transfers into Ultraman to fight the kaiju when they attack cities, usually using martial arts moves before using his energy ray to blow them to bits.
The new animated version takes place decades later when the original Ultraman has long retired and more kaiju start attacking Japan again. Shin Hayata's teenage son finds he's inherited powers from his father and becomes the new Ultraman. Hilarity and explosions ensue.
Ultraman is a classic pop culture series that just about every Japanese and Asian kid knows, and a lot of people in the West still remember. It was a reaction to kaiju movies like Godzilla by introducing a friendly giant alien to beat up kaiju and become a hero to 8-year-old boys everywhere. The show was dubbed into English and broadcast on syndicated television in the US in the 1970s. In Japan, there has been a new Ultraman spinoff series every year since the first premiered in 1966. There have also been manga and animated spinoffs.
Tsubaraya Productions is going to keep producing Ultraman shows and movies for as long as Japan exists.
Just look at all the clips from their official YouTube channel.
Ultraman is endless.
Ultraman is eternal!
It looks like Ultraman was partly inspired by some classic American Science Fiction, E.E. Doc Smith's Lensman stories, a series about an intergenerational family of galactic peacekeepers. There's an entire Ultraman universe where his home planet is the headquarters of a whole family of different Ultramen all pledged to protect the universe… because Justice! The other series that was inspired by Lensman is the Green Lantern series as we know it from DC Comics. That's the common link between these series, trivia fans.
The new Ultraman is directed by Kenji Kamiyama and Shinji Aramaki, who had both previously directed different incarnations of the Ghost in the Shell animated series, so that should be of interest to everyone who liked those shows.
Ultraman will be streaming on Netflix starting from April 1st.