I was a big fan of Ultraman when I was a kid. In the early ‘90s I discovered there was a new “Ultraman” show, but unfortunately I was more interested in acquiring episodes of the old show on VHS than I was episodes of the new one. Somewhat later I discovered that there have been many, many “Ultraman” series over the years, rivaling Doctor Who in its longevity. A brief search of the internet yields the following results (but I’ve probably missed a few).

Ultra Q  
Ultraman 1966-67
UltraSeven 1967-68 - pp.1-5
Return of…(Jack) 1971-72 - pp.10-13
Ultraman Ace 1972-73 - pp.14-15
Ultraman Taro 1973-74 - pp.16-25
Ultraman Leo 1974-75 - pp.26-33
Ultraman 80 1980-81 - p.25, 38-46
Ultraman USA (The Adventure Begins) 1987
Ultraman Great (Towards the Future) 1990-91 - p.25
Ultraman Powered (The Ultimate Hero) 1993 - p.25
Ultraman Hero 1995
Ultraman Zearth (parody) 1996-97 - p.26
Ultraman Tiga 1996-97 - p.25, 46-50
Ultraman Dyna 1997-98 - p.26, 50
Ultraman Gaia 1998-99
Ultraman Nice 1999-00
Ultraman Neos 2000-2001
Ultraman Cosmos 2001-02 - p.34
Ultra Q: Dark Fantasy 2004
Ultraman Nexus 2004-05
Ultraman Max 2005-06
Ultraman Mebius 2006-07
Ultraman UltraSeven X 2007
Ultraman Retsuden 2011-13
Neo Ultra Q 2013
Ultraman Ginga 2013 - pp.34-36
Ultraman Ginga S 2014 - pp.36-38
Ultraman X 2015-16 - pp.15-16
Ultraman Orb 2016 - pp.6-8
Ultraman Geed 2017 - pp.8-9
Ultraman R/B 2018
Ultraman Taiga 2019
Ultraman Z 2020
Ultraman Trigger 2021

We’ve been discussing other tokusatsu series in this forum lately, and because those series were produced later than Ultraman, I expected them to be technically better, but I ended up being somewhat disappointed in Super Robot Red Baron and Iron King. I enjoyed them, but I didn’t like them as much as I hoped to. Now I’ve started watching Ultraseven, and it’s everything I hoped it would be.

As the liner noteson the DVD set point out, “the difference in the overall quality in production between Ultraman and Ultraseven was marked, and made the show memorable 45 years later. According to Wikipedia, “Such is his popularity that Ultra Seven (or simply 'Seven') has appeared or at least made cameos in nearly every Ultra Series following his own and has had far more exposure than even the original Ultraman (though the original Ultraman is without a doubt the face of the Ultras).”

My wife and I disagree about the relative merits of Ultraseven in comparison to SRRB/IK. I would like to start the discussion with a look at the opening title sequence and music, then open the floor for rebutal.

The title sequence of Ultraman, as you will recall, looks as if it had been spelled out in a can of paint, slowly stirred, then run backwards. Ultraseven looks more like it had been spelled out in brightly colored confetti, placed atop one of those old electric football games, shaken apart, then run backwards. Whereas the soundtrack of Ultraman is jazzy, that of Ultraseven shows more of a classical influence.

Here is the English translation of the lyrics…

Seven… Seven… Seven… Seven…

Seven! Seven! Seven!
Seven! Seven! Seven!

A distant star was once his home
Ultra Seven! Fighter Seven!
Ultra Seven! Seven! Seven!

Onward to the edge of the galaxy
Use your Ultra-Eye and… STRIKE!
Seven! Seven! Seven!
Seven! Seven! Seven!

Dan Moroboshi is his borrowed name
Ultra Seven! Hero Seven!
Ultra Seven! Seven! Seven!

Defeat the great fire-breathing monster
Use yout Ultra-Beam and STRIKE!

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Nova obsorbed Orb's attack and exploded like a firecracker! 

Nova's design is based on the teru teru bozu, a type of handmade Japanese rain dolls.


"...a type of handmade Japanese rain dolls."

Oh, I did not know that!

"Nova obsorbed Orb's attack and exploded like a firecracker!"

...like fireworks.

Also, Orb squeezed Nova's head at one point and it squealed like a balloon losing air.

EPISODE 23: “The Blade of Darkness”

“Juggler has decided to take a more direct approach now that nearly all his rivals in his campaign against Orb have been eliminated. Is Gai ready for total war against his nemesis?”

We’re gearing up for the end of the series. I get an Obi-Wan/Anakin vibe from Gai and Juggler, but there’s a bit Doctor/Master, too.

EPISODE 24: “The Giga Lord Monster Strikes Back”

“The ominous rumors among the alien community on Earth finally manifest in the form of a resurrected Lord Monster, more powerful than all the others.”

CLIFFHANGER: Juggler slices Naomi across the back with his sword, apparently killing her.

We were going to save the final episode until tonight, but after that cliffhanger we both wanted to continue on. I wasn’t going to reveal spoilers for the last episode, but if I don’t I won’t have anything to say. So from this point on it’s all spoilers.

EPISODE 25: “The Wandering Sun”

“Magata no Orochi has beaten Orb, and Juggler has crushed Gai’s spirit. Is there any way the Earth can survive?”


This is what the whole series has been building towards. Where to begin…? First of all, Naomi inexplicably survived Juggler’s assault last episode. Also, her grandmother, Natasha, wasn’t killed in the attack which cost Gai his ability to transform into his own ultra-being (which explains how she could be Naomi’s grandmother in the first place). She was saved from that battle by none other than (wait for it)… Jugglus Juggler. Juggler still has some good in him, and teams up with Ultraman Orb to defeat Magata no Orochi.

After the battle, Naomi confesses she has known Gai-san and Orb are one and the same, but it is time for him to move on. He says there are problems he must deal with “on the other side of the ocean.” She asks him to take her along, but he says that’s silly. She tries to recover by saying, “I was joking, obviously,” but it’s pretty obvious she wasn’t joking. Before he walks off into the sunset, she asks to hear his theme song played on his alien harmonica thingy one more time.

Okay, that’s a rather predictable ending, but it fits the “fairly tile” nature of the series. When we watched the first episode, I was disappointed at first at the juvenile trapping of the show, but I must admit the underlying story arcs soon won me over.

NEXT UP: Ultraman Orb: The Movie

"Fairy tale"?

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Okay, that’s a rather predictable ending, but it fits the “fairly tile” nature of the series.

No, "fairly tile."

(Yes, "Fairy tale.")

Sometimes my fingers have minds of their own.

While Gai and Naomi were dealing with Juggler, Jetta and Shin had their own mission. They tracked down the physical Pacific Records at the home of Professor Kishine. The Pacific Records (太平風土記 Taihei Fudo-ki), are ancient texts that holds information about ancient kaiju and some prophecies pertaining them. The professor had died, but his wife gave them the original book. The professor and his wife knew about SSP from their website. As she tells Jetta and Shin they are doing a great job, she ends the visit with "Something Search People, move out!"

ULTRAMAN ORB: THE MOVIE: This movie is like an episode of the TV show on steroids! It starts out like the movie of the 1960s Batman TV show (in that it threw everything into the mix), and ends up being the Destroy All Monsters! of Ultraman. It starts (and I mean the very first scene) with Ultraman Orb teaming up with Ultraman Zero in Hawaii. By the climax, Ultraman X, Ultraman Victory and Ultraman Ginga have all been drawn into the plot and defeated. But Ultraman Orb calls on their light (using “trinity fusion” power) to become Orb Trinity. Even that is not enough to defeat the dai kaiju threat… until a traveler arrives on the scene. The “traveler” is none other than Dan Moroboshi, UltraSeven himself, who appears on the scene as Gai Kurenai is beaten and at his lowest ebb. UltraSeven is the most popular Ultraman in Japan, and they brought Kohji Moritsugu back to save the day for the 50th anniversary. Ultimately, all six Ultramen team-up to defeat the alien monster threat.

Ultraman Geed is up next, but we may take a little break between “Ultra” series and watch something else. And, there are some new (to DVD) Ultra series being released next month!

Here's a look at what's coming...

FEB 28 – Return of Ultraman (Ultraman Jack)

APR 21 – Ultraman X

MAY 12 – Ultraman Ace


I am well into watching the Ultraman: Geed series at this point, so I thought I’d better start getting some thoughts down while the stories are still fresh in my mind. First of all, Geed is pronounced “Jeed” (but it often sounds like “Jeedo” or even “Jiro”). Here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia followed by the English translation of the theme song’s lyrics.

“Riku Asakura is a teenager with no knowledge of his past, save being found near an astronomical observatory as a baby following a universe-wide cataclysm called the Crisis Impact. When a giant monster destroys his home, Riku and his alien roommate Pega stumble upon a secret base 500 meters under Earth. Riku learns he is an Ultraman in human form and is given the ability to use the Geed Riser transformation device and Ultra Capsules (items that each contain a fragment of an Ultraman's power) by the base's operating system RE.M. to become Ultraman Geed to save everyone. But Riku later learns that he is the son of the instigator of the Crisis Impact: Ultraman Belial.

“Deciding to fight against fate, he is joined by monster hunter Laiha Toba, AIB agent Moa Aizaki, and office worker Leito Igaguri, who becomes the host of Belial's nemesis Ultraman Zero. Riku soon learns that the monsters he faces are Fusion Rise forms of Kei Fukuide, who seeks those who are hosts to unformed Ultra Capsules called Little Stars.”



Prepare yourself!! HERE WE GO!

In order for me to become myself
Anyone's smile should not covered by shade!
A wish that could change the future

Sitting around doing nothing won't get us anywhere!
I have decided my own STORY!
Every time against it, build up HISTORY!
Friends' smiles of supporting shall become my power
GEED... I will be strong

For everyone, prepare yourself!

It's not a star that will shines tomorrow
but the seed of flashing light in the chest
The aching pain depicts my DESTINY!
It stirringly awaken a new-found soul

It begins the NEXT STAGE
Prepare to challenge, NO DAMAGE
My mission is to replace my own Destiny
GEED... Connect the Bonds

Continue to believe in a new world!

Continue towards tomorrow!

Ultraman Geed does a better job of introducing the concept of “fusion” (i.e., borrowing the “light” of other Ultramen) than did its direct predecessor, Ultraman Orb, which seems odd because, presumably, anyone watching Geed would already be familiar with the concept via the previous series. In this case, Ultraman Geed can draw on (or will soon acquire) the powers of the original Ultraman, Ultra Seven, Ultraman Leo, Ultraman Cosmos, Ultraman Hikari, Ultraman Zero and Ultraman Belial and combine them in various ways to become Ultraman Geed Primitive, Ultraman Geed Solid Burning, Ultraman Geed Acro Smasher, Ultraman Geed Magnificent, Ultraman Geed Beyond or Ultraman Geed Royal Magamaster. It’s pretty much the same concept, but with a whole new slew of toys and dolls to sell.

Insread of cards, Riku uses bullet-shaped capsules about the size of a shot glass. He heeps them in a special holster on his belt, then puts them into another device, them slides a third device over it before transforming. As he performs these steps, he says (in English): “You Go!” “I go!” “Here we go!” His catchphrase is “Sanding around doing nothing won’t get me anywhere!” which he learned from his childhood friend Moa (more about her later). Apparently, the name “Geed” is somehow derived from an abbreviation of this phrase in Japanese. Sometimes, when he’s tranformed into Ultraman, the camera does a Ditko-esque “cutaway” view to show what Riku looks like under the helmet.

How he came to have an alien roommate is never explained; he just does. He calls an “elevator” to take him to his underground secret headquarters. It rises from the ground and materializes (it can materialize anywhere), then disappears the same way. The alien AI is REM, an acronym for something, but I don’t recall what. Tomorrow I will discuss the characters, but here are the lyrics to the show’s closing theme song.

Being lit by the sunset
Talking as if in a daze
That place I am aiming for
I believe it is coming soon

Anyone and Everyone
I feel something in my chest
Something that makes me want to run away at times
So I get support from my friends

Let's go!
To grab the best tomorrow
Of freedom without restraint
You cannot gain it alone
Feel the warmth
Of the strong, strong pulling hands
There are thousands of stars that blink
On the moonlight's face
I want to protect this

Value each other
We all have colorful personalities
Don't act confused
Acknowledge each other
To create new possibilities

Let's go!
To grab the best tomorrow
Of freedom without restraint
You cannot gain it alone
Feel the warmth
Of the strong, strong pulling hands

Let's go!
To grab the best tomorrow
Of freedom without restraint
You cannot gain it alone
Feel the warmth
Of the strong, strong pulling hands

Let's go!
On the best road to bonds
Don't be afraid of anything
Fragments of irreplaceable hope
Are now clenched
I can go beyond any fate


RIKU ASAKURA: Ultraman Geed, son of the infamous Ultraman Belial. Has no memory of his alien heritage. Very inexperienced, learning as he goes along.

“MANAGER”: Riku’s adult friend who owns a convenience store. When the store is destroyed by a kaiju, he gets a food truck. He has a wife and a little girl.

LAIHA TOBA: A beautiful monster hunter who meets Riku and becomes his roommate.

MOA AIZAKI: Riku’s childhood friend, sightlu older than he is. She is now an agent of AIB, the Alien Investigation Bureau. It is from Moa that Riku gets his catchphrase. She pretends to be an insurance investigator (among other things), but although she and Riku do eventually discover each other’s secrets, they pretend they don’t know. She is pretty, too, but in a “funny girl” kind of way, with a flat nose and a wide mouth. Moa and Laiha become rivals for Riku’s platonic love. We learn later that she is in love with Riku, but he doesn’t know.

LEITO IGAGURI: A mild-mannered office worker, married with a little girl, Mayu. When he is mortally wounded helping Ultraman Geed, Ultraman Zero fuses their life forces to save his life. Zero is Belial’s mortal enamy and at first doesn’t trust Geed, but eventually becomes his mentor. Leito is a true “Clark Kent” to Ultraman Zero. When Leito removes his glasses, he speaks with Zero’s voice. Like Ultra Seven, he uses a pair of ultra-glasses to transform.

KEI FUKUIDE: Riku/Geed’s arch enemy, an ally of Belial. The monsters Geed faces are Fusion Rise forms of Kei Fukide and Belial.

“LITTLE STARS”: Human hosts of unformed Ultra Capsules. The kaiju are drawn to the hosts, and Geed protects them. Each “little star” grants a particular power to its host: telekinesis, pyrokinesis, teleportation, etc. Hosts have included Manager’s daughter, Leito’s daughter and a random street performer. When the hosts give up their little stars to Ultraman Geed, an Ultra Capsule is left behind to add to Geed’s arsenal.

Now that we’re 12 episodes in and I’ve (finally) gotton these initial posts out of the way, I’ll continue with episode summaries going forward, as I did with Ultraman Orb. It has taken Tracy a while to warm up to this new cast of characters (I’m not sure she has yet), but I liked them immediately. She particularly dislikes Moa, and negatively compares her to Naomi. She’s not too wild about the inexperienced Ultraman Geed, either.

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