Coming from the sky, Ultraman is about to become larger than life on Netflix. This fifty-year-old Japanese science fiction series will be released worldwide in April 2019 on Netflix as an action-packed 13-episode season done in CG.
The Ultra Series has been a decades-long staple of tokusatsu television, spanning over fifty years with new Ultraman, monsters, and stories introducing every single year. Current Netflix’s version is an adaptation of the 2011 manga by Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi. The Ultraman anime series gives the superhero a new start, throwing everything away but the original 1966 Ultraman series and building from there.
Back in the 1960s, Shin Hayata, a member of the Science Special Search Party (SSSP), bonded with Ultraman to defeat giant monsters and alien invaders, preventing the Earth’s destruction. In 2019, Shin’s son – Shinjiro – takes on the responsibility to defend Earth from external threats by becoming Ultraman. In the modern-day world of Netflix’s Ultraman, the earth is filled with aliens and government agencies where it’s difficult to differentiate the good guys from the bad.
One of the most significant divergences in this version is that Shinjiro’s incarnation of the hero is as a human-sized man in an Ironman suit of armor, rather than a hero who grows to the size of a skyscraper. Another thing unique about this version is that Ultraman’s battles are all done with breath-taking martial arts combat techniques similar to something like Raiden in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.
Oh man the sound of the alien’s bones breaking as he goes up against Ultraman WILL HAUNT MY DREAMS pic.twitter.com/oMWQ3ZPOnI— NX (@NXOnNetflix) April 4, 2019
Despite the differences, this new Ultraman does bear some similarities to his predecessor. The iconic Specium Ray can be used by Shinjiro when he locks two connectors on either side of his gauntlets to activate it. His arms will generate two arc beams along the length of his forearms, and this move can be used for either defense or attack. Otherwise, this humanmade suit looks and feels quite like the original Ultraman, with the signature red-and-grey color scheme and large color timer crystal on the chest.
Netflix’s Ultraman feels like a concrete consolidation of the original Ultra Series, honoring the original series as gospel. It has also outdone itself as it takes bits and pieces from the other series and putting them in a more streamlined universe. The action is non-stop and exciting, unlike the original Ultraman where the moves are somewhat predictable and boring.
Ultraman Season 1 will be available on Netflix worldwide starting on 1 April 2019.