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).

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-?
Ultraman Great 1990 - p.25
Ultraman Powered 1993 - p.25
Ultraman Hero 1995
Ultraman Zearth (parody) 1996-97 - p.26
Ultraman Tiga 1996-97 - p.25 (Oct. 19)
Ultraman Dyna 1997-98 - p.26
Ultraman Gaia 1998-99
Ultraman Neos 200-2002
Ultraman Cosmos 2001-02 - p.34
Ultraman Nexus 2004-05
Ultraman Max 2005-06
Ultraman Mebius 2006-07
Ultraman UltraSeven X 2007
Ultraman Retsuden 2011

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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It's just a show, I should really just relax.

It's just a show, I should really just relax.

It's just a show, I should really just relax.

It's just a show, I should really just relax.

...

I like you.  :)

Jeff of Earth-J said:

It's just a show, I should really just relax.

It's just a show, I should really just relax.

It's just a show, I should really just relax.

It's just a show, I should really just relax.

...

THE RHINOCEROS BEETLE IS AN ALIEN INVADER!: Toru's friend Jiro is troubled by recurring dreams of garbage falling from the sky. Jiro begs Gen to help him get to a clean planet. Jiro meets Alien Clean who shows him visions of Planet Clean. The monstrous Satan Beetle appears from space. Jiro believes Satan Beetle will take him to Planet clean, but that is not the case and Ultraman Leo is forced to intervene.

It's just a show. I should really just relax.

It's just a show. I should really just relax.

I should show you some of the stuff that's weird even by Japanese standards.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

THE RHINOCEROS BEETLE IS AN ALIEN INVADER!: Toru's friend Jiro is troubled by recurring dreams of garbage falling from the sky. Jiro begs Gen to help him get to a clean planet. Jiro meets Alien Clean who shows him visions of Planet Clean. The monstrous Satan Beetle appears from space. Jiro believes Satan Beetle will take him to Planet clean, but that is not the case and Ultraman Leo is forced to intervene.

It's just a show. I should really just relax.

It's just a show. I should really just relax.

Tomorrow

Richard Willis said:

In addition to manufacturing fully-authorized BluRay disks, Shout Factory has a TV channel called Shout Factory TV. It is accessible online and on any streaming device. It has rotating offerings of vintage TV shows.

They are announcing an Ultraman marathon on July 10: https://www.shoutfactorytv.com/

"TokuSHOUTsu and Shout! Factory TV proudly present the Ultraman Day Ultrathon, an all-day adventure on Saturday, July 10th, starting at 7 a.m. PT. Ultrathon will feature 19 episodes from 55 years of the Ultraman series, the U.S. streaming premiere of Ultraman Zero: The Revenge Of Belial, and a special adventure, In Search Of An Ultraman! The Invasion From Another Space! A journey across time and space, this newly produced feature includes top voices representing franchise fans around the world, including Kyle Anderson, Jason Narvy, Linda Le, Mike Toole, Lisa J, Daniel Van Thomas, Mach Dent, Alyssa Fay, and Monster Island Buddies!

Ultrathon will also feature one-of-a-kind fan engagement, including exclusive giveaways of top toys from Bluefin Brands and promotional support from Marvel Entertainment, Factory Entertainment, VIZ Media and Right Stuf Anime.

Ultraman Day Ultrathon can be viewed across TokuSHOUTsu and Shout! Factory TV platforms: on TokuSHOUTsu.com and ShoutFactoryTV.com; TokuSHOUTsu’s Pluto TV, Twitch and THETA.tv channels; Shout! Factory TV’s Amazon Fire TV, Android, Apple TV, and Roku apps; and the following digital streaming platforms: IMDb TV, Local Now, Pluto TV, Redbox, Samsung TV Plus, Sling TV, STIRR, Twitch, Vizio and XUMO."

ULTRAMAN KING VS. THE WIZARD (FROM LITTLE ONE-INCH): Monster Human Pressure appears and causes havoc. Tracy describes him as a "Satanic Teletubby." He is driven off by Ultraman Leo and takes refuge in the home of Tetsuo, one of Gen's students. Tetsuo's mother reckons he's had enough physical education and pulls him from the sports center in favor of calligraphy class. When Monster Human Pressure reappears, he shrinks Leo to doll size and traps him inside a balloon. Two children pop the balloon and Leo drops into a river and has a series of adventures at doll size.

Under normal conditions, Gen cannot remain in his Ultraman guise for more than two minutes and forty seconds, but he can remain doll-sized indefinitely. He attacks Monster Human Pressure but is ineffectual. Suddenly, Ultraman King appears from the sky. Ultraman King is known to both Gen's people of Planet L77 as well as Dan's people of the Land of Light, but is considered by both to be a legend. Ultraman King (whose helmet has a "moustache") restores Ultraman Leo to his normal hieght, and together they beat Monster Human Pressure. 

Satanic Teletubby, right?

Is there another kind? Could be worse, could be holding a purse.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Satanic Teletubby, right?

"Is there another kind?"

Good point.

Here's Ultraman King with his molded beard helmet. 

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