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-Man 1966-67
Ultra-Seven 1967-68
Ultra Fight 1970-71
Return of… 1971-72
Ultraman Ace 1972-73
Ultraman Taro 1973-74
Ultraman Leo 1974-75
Ultraman 80 1980-81
Ultimate Hero 1995
Ultraman Tiga 1996-97
Ultraman Dyna 1997-98
Ultraman Gaia 1998-99
Ultraman Cosmos 2001-02
Ultraman Nexus 2004-05
Ultraman Max 2005-06
Ultraman Mebius 2006-07

Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster 2007-08
Ultraman Retsuden 2011+

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

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