Ultraman Cosmos

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).

INDEX = NING 2.0 version

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, 50-55
Ultraman Gaia 1998-99 - p.55
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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  • S.O.S. FROM THE SEA: "All fish have disappeared from the sea... and at the same time, a giant monster is spotted! A curious scale-like object is found at the site where it was seen. Could it be from the monster? Then, there's another sighting at a nearby aquarium! Just what is this elusive monster?"

    I grew impatient for the HEART members to be introduced individually, so I looked tham up.


    HIRONOBU UEMATSU: Sub-captain of HEART.

    GENKI KAGURA: The human host of Ultraman Neos.

    TAKAYOSHI HINO: He holds various doctoral degrees in physics, radio waves, fluid mechanics, aerospace engineering, metal engineering and electronic engineering among others.

    NANA HAYAMI: Nana is the team's biology expert. She was previously a doctor from Kyoto Prefecture with specialty for heart surgery.

    AYUMI KITABAYASHI: Ayumi is the youngest member of HEART, a computer genius who graduated from the California Institute of Electronics (CCC) at the age of 15. She often stays at HEART headquarters for communications and analysis operations and can understand seven languages, including, English, French and Spanish.

    YOKO FUKIWARA: Yoko is the secretary of the Intelligence Bureau. She acts as a liaison between HEART and the Cabinet Intelligence Agency, and as a liaison and coordinator during HEART operations.

  • I don't know if it has anything to do with anything here, but "kagura" is a type of Shinto ritual ceremonial dance.


    Here's a short video of one.

    Kagura (神楽(かぐら), "god-entertainment") is a type of Shinto ritual ceremonial dance. The term is a contraction of the phrase kami no kura ("seat of god…
  • THE RED GIANT! SEVEN 21: "Monsters are appearing toward the North and South Poles, and one of the revived monsters heads for Tokyo! A TV station crew risks their lives on the situation, but their gamble goes sour. That's when another monster appears from the sjy! Now there are two massive monsters laubching a terrible attack!"

    This episode introduces two new characters: Erika (a TV news reporter) and Shin (her producer). Shin and Erika are a couple, but they try to keep it secret from their co-workers. Neos is getting the worst of the battle with the two monsters when Shin transforms into an ultra giant of light. Later, Kagure decides he should be called UltraSeven Two-One (for "21st century"). No explanation is given for the "UltraSeven" part of the name; it is completely metatextual. It is UltraSeven, but this is supposedly a rebooted universe.

    I don't know the significance of the name "Kagura" *if any), but that's interesting about the dance.

  • THE INVISIBLE BOND: "Hino thwarts a monster's sudden attack and is riding high, but then makes a big mistake in the next mission. Just as he is reeling from the error, two giant monstes launch a merciless attack!"

    Hino gives the "all clear" that a block of apartments has been evacuated, but he misses a little boy who has returned for his parakeet. They fire at the giant, mushroom-like kaiju which emits a poison gas. Uematsu rushes to the boy's side and lets the boy use his own gas mask. The boy is fine, but Uematsu must spend some time in the hospital. Hino takes some time off, but recovers his confidence just in time to save Neos from two monsters double-teaming him.

  • REVENGE OF ALIEN ZAMU: "A world conference to unravel the mysteries of Dark Matter is underway in Japan. Secretary Fujiwara's rival, Professor Otomo comes to Japan as well, but there is someting off about her. A man monitors her from the shadows and a mysterious flying object appears. The conference area is on high alert, but..."

    Yoko Fukiwara and Otomo were up for the same job in America years ago. It all came down to an archery competition, but Otomo cheated causing Fukiwara to lose and go on a different life path. They have another competition, Otomo cheats again, but Fukiwara prevails. Otomo apologizes and admits she cheated, but Fukiwara is happy with her life and has moved on. The Alien Zamu are back for revenge, partially controling Otomo. Because they lost their world and failed to evolve, they want Earth to succumb tot he Unbalance as well. Neos fights the Zamu at giant size while Seven 21 (pronounced "Seven Two One") fights his paert of the battle at normal size. 

  • KING OF THE BIOSPHERE: "All communications from geological surveyors at Kojin Island have been cut off, and their whereabouts are unknown. Members of HEART move to their rescue, but once on Kojin Island, they're immediately attacked by a pack of Rock Eaters. A member of the surveyor team, Masayuki, manages to save them at the last."

    Masayuki has been befriended by a human-size kaiju he has named "Bamo" because of the noise he makes. Bamo looks like the fifth member of the Banana Splits (Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper, Snorky and Bamo). Bamo is friendly, but the Rock Eaters are afraid of it because, when Bamo grows angry or excited, he grows into a fierce, alpha daikaiju. Like Bruce Banner when he transforms into the Hulk, Bamo's personality changes. If HEART kills it or takes it away, it might upset the balance of this closed ecosystem and cause more harm than good, but Masayuki is reluctant to leave his loyal friend behind.

  • RESTORATION OF EARTH, SOUTHWARD EARTH!: "In the past, Professor Usami made presentations on his theories concerning dark matter activity. Professor Usami has since passed away, but Minato and Ayumi head south to investigate his findings. However, enroute via a large passenger ship, they come across a disturbing read tide."

    The deceased professor's daughter is convinced that this episode's kaiju is a force for good. She not wrong, but there are two identical monsters. the "professor" appears, but it ends up being UltraSeven 21 in disguise (which I guessed). His "thing" seems to be appearing in human guise and/or at human size.

  • OUR DINOSAUR COASTER: "People are shocked when it is announced that the children-favorite dinosaur roller coaster at an amyusement park is due to be dismantled. In an effort to prevent this, citizens come up with various plans to spark a dinosaur boom around the city, however, this leads to a huge incident!"

    First of all I would just like to say: that summary sucks! The roller coaster (built within the framework of a stegasaurus) is not going to be dismantled but closed. Three children, two boys and a girl, are the ones who come up with a plan to save it. They bury the fossils of three different dinosaurs where they are sure to be found in the hope that their discovery will spark an interest in dinosaurs which will in turn save the dinosaur-themed roller coaster. (It's a bit of a stretch, I admit.) The dark matter fuses the fossils into a hybrid dinosaur which must be dealt with. 

    The story takes place over the course of three days, and Tracy and I were just as interested in the kids' t-shirts as we were the plot. On the first day of the story, Tracy noticed that one of the boys was wearing an "Arizona" t-shirt. The next day, the girl was wearing a shirt with an English slogan which was difficult to read because of the camera she wore around her neck. On the third day, she wore a t-shirt with a different slogan in English. 

    1st T-SHIRT:




    158 MILE

    2nd T-SHIRT:

    LOVER [manga drawing of girl]

    Who are the Cutie Girl

    Any help in identifying these t-shirts would be appreciated.

    • no idea about the specific shirts, but the Japanese are infamous for having nonsensical or ungrammatical English slogans on shirts, caps and other paraphernlia.

  • DETERMINE! THE SX RESCUE OPERATION: "A massive meteorite has fallen in the Japanese Apls! Vice-Minister Katagiri of the Cabinent Intelligence Bureau orders HEART to carry it out to space and dispose of it immediately. Commander Minato determines that the meteorite first needs to be investigated, and sets out in the SX alone towards the massive meteorite."

    Vice-Minister Katagiri is an officious little beaurocrat and his orders would have endangered the HEART team, so Captain Minato himself takes over the investigation and is "consumed" by the meteorite. Uematsu assumes command and learns something of what making life and death decisions entails. At his human size, UltraSeven 21 advises Kagura, and at giant size assists Neos. Fujiwara ends up punching Katagiri in the nose.

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