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
Return of…(Jack) 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
Ultraman UltraSeven X 2007

Neo Ultra Q 2013
Ultraman Ginga 2013
Ultraman Ginga S 2014
Ultraman X 2015-16
Ultraman Orb 2016
Ultraman Geed 2017
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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Awesome.

Regarding our different expectations (and to rephrase what I was getting at yesterday), two grown men in rubber suits is silly enough to begin with; the approach to the subject matter needs to be serious enough to offset that.

Regarding yesterday’s monster, it drank gasoline. In its smaller form, it sucked it right out of the pump like a frat boy with a keg.

Regarding “Pokemon trainer” concept, I’ll have to take your word for it, but it does provide for a variety of match-ups. Whereas Ultraman was basically giant alien vs. alien monster, Johnny Sokko Giant Robot vs. alien monster, and SRRB giant robot on giant robot action, the mix ‘n’ match nature of Ultraseven means pretty much anything goes. Plus I have already pointed out that none of the monsters from previous series were reused. SRRB and IK both featured imaginative designs, but the suits themselves were substandard, I though, in comparison to Ultraman or Ultraseve. YMMV.

Jeff of Earth-J:

"Are you referring to the same Tim Reid who played Venus Flytrap on WKRP in Cincinnati?"

I hope there isn't more than one!  I knew he got into film production (he did a couple of TV series with his wife). I imagine he somehow got involved with bringing ULTRA 7 to the US.  Apart from turning it into a joke, it's just odd that it was so OLD already when he did this.  I found out years later the show was made RIGHT after ULTRA MAN, in the late 60's, but this U.S. translation was concocted in the 80's.

We’re also watching That ‘70s Show, which features Tim Reid in later seasons. I liked his mid-‘80s half hour “dramady” set in New Orleans in which he was an undertaker. I have the whole series (it lasted only one season) on VHS, but I’ve never watched it a second time.

In the Ultraseven episode we watched last night, alien space poppy seeds placed in cigarettes drove smokers temporarily insane. An alien race was performing a test prior to launching an all-out invasion. Their theory was that humans generally follow the rules of society based on mutual trust. Their plan was to undermine society by using the drugged cigarettes to destroy people’s trust. Voiceover narration at the end of the episode assured viewers not to worry; an attack such as this could only happen in the far distant future, because as of today, there’s not enough mutual trust in the world to undermine. What did you think of the serious underlying theme, honey?

Moving on to the Ultra Guard’s equipment…

POINTER: A blocky, silver armored car, a modified 1957 Chrysler Imperial. It can generate a force field (called the “shield”), and probably other stuff I haven’t seen yet as well. I don’t know why they call it the “Pointer”. That makes about as much sense as referring to Ultraseven’s boomerang blade as an Eye Slugger. (Actually, the term “Eye Slugger” has yet to be used in an actual episode; I got that from the liner notes.)

ULTRA HAWK ONE: A jet that can break apart into three-components and recombine in flight.

ULTRA HAWK THREE: Like the FF’s Pogo Plane.

ULTRA HAWK TWO: Haven’t seen it yet. Maybe the three components are referred to separately as One, Two and Three…? I know I’ve heard two of the three components as “Alpha” and “Beta.” Maybe Tracy can shed some light.

ULTRA BALA: Our Japanese cat has been rechristened “Bala Seven” for the duration.

I wished Iived near you people. I'd come over so often you'd get sick of me. Oh. Maybe that would be a bad thing.



Henry R. Kujawa said:

Jeff of Earth-J:

"Are you referring to the same Tim Reid who played Venus Flytrap on WKRP in Cincinnati?"

I hope there isn't more than one!  I knew he got into film production (he did a couple of TV series with his wife). I imagine he somehow got involved with bringing ULTRA 7 to the US.  Apart from turning it into a joke, it's just odd that it was so OLD already when he did this.  I found out years later the show was made RIGHT after ULTRA MAN, in the late 60's, but this U.S. translation was concocted in the 80's.

 

 

The IMDB lists over a dozen guys called "Tim Reid", so it's not necessarily the same one.



The Baron said:

I wished Iived near you people. I'd come over so often you'd get sick of me. Oh. Maybe that would be a bad thing.



Bob, you will always be welcome in our home. :)
This is the Pointer. I really like this car.
Attachments:
Ultra Hawk

(sorry these are not in one post. Something to do with the memory limit.)
Attachments:
Since I am having problems, you will have to wait for Ultra Hawk as three ships.

With regards to the last episode, I did enjoy the serious moral voice-over at the end.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

We’re also watching That ‘70s Show, which features Tim Reid in later seasons. I liked his mid-‘80s half hour “dramady” set in New Orleans in which he was an undertaker. I have the whole series (it lasted only one season) on VHS, but I’ve never watched it a second time.

 

What show was that? If you mean Frank's Place, he wasn't the undertaker, his girlfriend was. He was a college professor from Boston who inherited a restaurant when his father died. His father was never in his life and he didn't want anything to do with him or his things. He visited New Orleans with the intention of selling the restaurant to the employees, going back to Boston, and forgetting about it, but a contrived contrivance* caused him to move to New Orleans and run the place. 

*The contrived contrivance was that the senior waitress -- the one who only waits on customers who had been patrons since the restaurant's founding 50 years ago -- put a hex on him that made his life miserable back in Boston.

Tthat's right... it all comes back to me now!

 

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