Ultraman (manga)

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Ultraman
Cover of volume 1
Genre
Created by
Manga
Written byEiichi Shimizu
Illustrated byTomohiro Shimoguchi
Published byHero's Inc.
English publisher
Magazine
  • Monthly Hero's (October 1, 2011 – October 30, 2020)
  • Comiplex (November 27, 2020 – present)
DemographicSeinen
Original runOctober 1, 2011 – present
Volumes19 (List of volumes)
Original net animation
Directed by
Produced by
Written by
  • Kurasumi Sunayama (S1)
  • Harumi Doki (S1)
  • Ryō Higaki (S1–2)
  • Kento Shimoyama (S3)
Music by
  • Nobuko Toda
  • Kazuma Jinnouchi
Studio
Licensed byNetflix
Released April 1, 2019 May 11, 2023
Runtime23–25 minutes
Episodes31 (List of episodes)

Ultraman (stylized in all caps) is a Japanese manga series written by Eiichi Shimizu and drawn by Tomohiro Shimoguchi of Linebarrels of Iron fame. Published in Monthly Hero's since the magazine's inaugural issue. It is part of the Ultraman franchise and a manga sequel of the 1966 television series.[4][5] The series has been collected in 19 tankōbon volumes as of May 2023.

A 3DCG original net animation (ONA) anime adaptation co-produced by Production I.G and Sola Digital Arts was released on Netflix in April 2019. A second season was released in April 2022. A third and final season of Ultraman was released on May 11, 2023, on Netflix.[6]

Story[edit]

Decades have passed since the events of Ultraman, with the legendary "Giant of Light" (光の巨人, Hikari no Kyojin) now a memory, as it is believed he returned home after fighting the many giant aliens that invaded the Earth. Shin Hayata's son Shinjiro seems to possess a strange ability, and it is this ability, along with his father's revelation that he was Ultraman, that leads Shinjiro to battle the new aliens invading the Earth as the new Ultraman.

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

The series began serialization in the first ever issue of Monthly Hero's [ja] magazine, published on November 1, 2011.[7] The magazine ceased publication on October 30, 2020, and the series was transferred to Comiplex website, starting publication on November 27, 2020.[8][9] The first collected tankōbon volume was published on September 8, 2012.[10] In 2014, support videos were streamed at the official YouTube site of Monthly Hero's, featuring Ruriko Kojima, Takeshi Tsuruno (actor of Shin Asuka from Ultraman Dyna) and Susumu Kurobe (actor of Shin Hayata from Ultraman). The three were even interviewed, as well as reviewing chapter 4 of the manga themselves.[11][12][13]

A portal site for the Ultraman manga was announced and launched on October 16, 2014.[14] On May 1, 2015, an alien character design contest was announced for contestants to draw their respective aliens. Winning entries got their characters to appear in volume 7 of Ultraman.[15] The contest ended and the winning entries were announced on August 3, 2015. The winning entries are the grand prize Alien Nephentes (ネペンテス星人, Nepentesu Seijin, by Keisuke Watanabe), Ace Kiler Award (エースキラー賞, Ēsu Kirā-shō) goes to Alien Woovelve (ウヴェルヴ星人, Uveruvu Seijin, by Hiroyasu Okanaga) and Alien Megoma (メゴマ星人, Megoma Seijin, by Kirimoro). These aliens made their appearances in Volume 7 as members of the mercenary group the Ace Killer Squad.[16]

Several tankōbon volumes are also provided with extras, such as soft vinyl figures of Shinjiro's Ultraman Suit in Volume 5, Moroboshi's Ultraman Suit Version 7.2 in Volume 7, and a special edition Volume 8 bundled with a DVD, as well as commentaries, such as in Volume 1 by AKB48 member Sayaka Akimoto, Volume 4 by Hideo Kojima, Volume 5 by Koichi Sakamoto and Volume 9 by Hideo Ishiguro (Ultraman Orb).[17]

On June 23, 2015, Viz Media welcomed the creators of the Ultraman manga series, Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi, at the 2015 Comic-Con International: San Diego.[18] Viz Media licensed the series for English language release in North America in February 2015, and the first volume was released on August 18, 2015.[19][20]

Volume list[edit]

No. Original release date Original ISBN English release date English ISBN
1 September 8, 2012[10]978-4-86468-301-2August 18, 2015[21]978-1-4215-8182-8
2 March 5, 2013[22]978-4-86468-321-0November 17, 2015[23]978-1-4215-8183-5
3 September 5, 2013[24]978-4-86468-341-8February 16, 2016[25]978-1-4215-8184-2
4 March 5, 2014[26]978-4-86468-358-6May 17, 2016[27]978-1-4215-8185-9
5 November 5, 2014[28][29]978-4-86468-378-4
978-4-86468-377-7 (SE)[b]
August 16, 2016[30]978-1-4215-8186-6
6 July 4, 2015[31]978-4-86468-420-0November 15, 2016[32]978-1-4215-8647-2
7 December 29, 2015[33][34]978-4-86468-422-4
978-4-86468-423-1 (SE)[c]
February 21, 2017[35]978-1-4215-9060-8
8 July 5, 2016[36][37]978-4-86468-301-2
978-4-86468-466-8 (SE)[d]
May 16, 2017[40]978-1-4215-9272-5
9 December 29, 2016[41]978-4-86468-486-6October 17, 2017[42]978-1-4215-9757-7
10 July 5, 2017[43]978-4-86468-507-8May 15, 2018[44]978-1-9747-0044-8
11 December 5, 2017[45]978-4-86468-529-0January 15, 2019[46]978-1-9747-0259-6
12 July 5, 2018[47][48]978-4-86468-537-5
978-4-86468-538-2 (SE)[e]
June 18, 2019[49]978-1-9747-0518-4
13 March 5, 2019[50]978-4-86468-624-2April 21, 2020[51]978-1-9747-1055-3
14 November 5, 2019[52]978-4-86468-677-8October 20, 2020[53]978-1-9747-1487-2
15 April 5, 2020[54]978-4-86468-716-4April 20, 2021[55]978-1-9747-2012-5
16 December 4, 2020[56]978-4-86468-767-6January 18, 2022[57]978-1-9747-2339-3
17 June 5, 2021[58]978-4-86468-809-3August 16, 2022[59]978-1-9747-3000-1
18 April 5, 2022[60]978-4-86468-879-6April 18, 2023[61]978-1-9747-3635-5
19 February 3, 2023[62]978-4-86468-154-4January 16, 2024[63]978-1-9747-4297-4

Motion comic[edit]

To celebrate the fourth volume of Ultraman, Monthly Hero's announced the launch of Motion Comic (モーションコミック, Mōshon Komikku) in March 2014, which features the manga itself being partially animated with colors and voice actors. The first release was all six chapters from Volume 1 of the manga, with Ryōhei Kimura was the first cast to be announced and voicing the main character Shinjiro Hayata. Soon, more casts were added as well while the Motion Comic in progress.[14] Two special Motion Comics were bundled alongside a special release of Volume 8 of Ultraman manga alongside the ULTRASINGLES.[38]

Discography[edit]

A single titled as ULTRASINGLES was released alongside the special release of Volume 8. The single contains three songs by Maaya Uchida, all of them were sung by her character, Rena Sayama, in the Motion Comic, with the lyrics provided by Eiichi Shimizu. The third single, "Ultlove", was first released in the official YouTube site of Monthly Hero's in late December 2015.[39]

  • Lovely Me
    • Composer: Tomokazu Tashiro (田代 智一, Tashiro Tomokazu)
  • Authentic
    • Composer: Koji Igarashi (五十嵐広二, Igarashi Koji)
  • Ultlove (ウルトラブ, Urutorabu)

Anime[edit]

An anime adaptation of the manga was announced in November 2017,[64] which was later revealed to be a 3DCG anime co-produced by Production I.G and Sola Digital Arts. The anime will be co-directed by Kenji Kamiyama and Shinji Aramaki.[65] Nobuko Toda and Kazuma Jinnouchi are composing the music. The series was released on Netflix on April 1, 2019.[66] Oldcodex performed the series' ending theme song "Sight Over The Battle."[67]

During the 2019 Annecy International Animated Film Festival, Netflix announced that a second season is in production. The staff are returning to reprise their roles,[68] with the addition of Hiroyuki Uchiyama as series director. A kickoff event for the second season occurred on August 24, 2021. Japanese voice actor Tatsuhisa Suzuki was originally announced to voice the new character, Kotaro Higashi, but eventually stepped down in August 2021 after he decided to suspend his activities in voice acting for the time being.[69] Tomoaki Maeno replaced Suzuki for the role.[70] The second season was released on April 14, 2022.[71]

A third and final season was released on May 11, 2023.[72]

Episode list[edit]

Series overview
SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
113April 1, 2019 (2019-04-01)
26April 14, 2022 (2022-04-14)
312May 11, 2023 (2023-05-11)

Season 1 (2019)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleOriginal release date
11"A Power That Shouldn't Be On This Earth"
Transliteration: "Kono Chikyū ni Atte wa Naranai Chikara" (Japanese: この地球にあってはならない力)
April 1, 2019 (2019-04-01)
22"An Inescapable Fate"
Transliteration: "Nogare rarenai Unmei" (Japanese: 逃れられない運命)
April 1, 2019 (2019-04-01)
33"Being Ultraman Isn't Bad"
Transliteration: "Urutoraman Yaru no mo Warukunai kamo" (Japanese: ウルトラマンやるのも悪くないかも)
April 1, 2019 (2019-04-01)
44"Release the Limiter!"
Transliteration: "Rimittā Kaijo!" (Japanese: リミッター解除!)
April 1, 2019 (2019-04-01)
55"City of Aliens"
Transliteration: "Iseijin no Machi" (Japanese: 異星人の街)
April 1, 2019 (2019-04-01)
66"The Curse of Ultraman"
Transliteration: "Urutoraman to iu Noroi" (Japanese: ウルトラマンという呪い)
April 1, 2019 (2019-04-01)
77"Hidden Thoughts"
Transliteration: "Himerareta Omoi" (Japanese: 秘められた思い)
April 1, 2019 (2019-04-01)
88"The Beginning of Truth"
Transliteration: "Shinjitsu no Makuake" (Japanese: 真実の幕開け)
April 1, 2019 (2019-04-01)
99"Nice To Meet You, Brother"
Transliteration: "Hajimemashite, Nīsan" (Japanese: はじめまして、兄さん)
April 1, 2019 (2019-04-01)
1010"Star Council"
Transliteration: "Seidan Hyōgi-kai" (Japanese: 星団評議会)
April 1, 2019 (2019-04-01)
1111"You As You Are"
Transliteration: "Sono mama no Kimi de ite" (Japanese: そのままの君でいて)
April 1, 2019 (2019-04-01)
1212"Ace Killer"
Transliteration: "Ēsu Kirā" (Japanese: エースキラー)
April 1, 2019 (2019-04-01)
1313"A Real Ultraman"
Transliteration: "Hontō no Urutoraman" (Japanese: 本当のウルトラマン)
April 1, 2019 (2019-04-01)

Season 2 (2022)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleOriginal air date
141"The Man from NY"
Transliteration: "Nyūyōku kara kita otoko" (Japanese: NYから来た男)
April 14, 2022 (2022-04-14)
152"Flames of Fury"
Transliteration: "Fundo no Honō" (Japanese: 憤怒の炎)
April 14, 2022 (2022-04-14)
163"The Man without the Light"
Transliteration: "Ushinawareta Hikari" (Japanese: 失われた『光』)
April 14, 2022 (2022-04-14)
174"Attack on SSSP"
Transliteration: "Katoku-tai Kyūshū" (Japanese: 科特隊急襲)
April 14, 2022 (2022-04-14)
185"The Golden Fortress"
Transliteration: "Kogane no Jōsai" (Japanese: 黄金の城塞)
April 14, 2022 (2022-04-14)
196"Ultraman No.6"
Transliteration: "Roku-banme no Urutoraman" (Japanese: 六番目のULTRAMAN)
April 14, 2022 (2022-04-14)

Season 3 (2023)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleOriginal air date
201"The Sign of a New Awakening"
Transliteration: "Aratanaru Yochō" (Japanese: 新たなる予兆)
May 11, 2023 (2023-05-11)
212"The Curse of Ultraman"
Transliteration: "Oyako ni Furikakaru Noroi" (Japanese: 親子にふりかかる呪い)
May 11, 2023 (2023-05-11)
223"The Choice of a Hero"
Transliteration: "Hīrō to shite no Sentaku" (Japanese: ヒーローとしての選択)
May 11, 2023 (2023-05-11)
234"No One to Trust"
Transliteration: "Shinjite moraenainara, ore wa ichi-ri demo yaru" (Japanese: 信じてもらえないなら、俺は一人でもやる)
May 11, 2023 (2023-05-11)
245"Hide and Seek"
Transliteration: "Ou mono to owareru mono" (Japanese: 追うものと追われる者)
May 11, 2023 (2023-05-11)
256"A Warrior's Return"
Transliteration: "Rekisen no Yūshi" (Japanese: 歴戦の勇士)
May 11, 2023 (2023-05-11)
267"The Fourth Successor"
Transliteration: "Yo'ninme no Keishō-sha" (Japanese: 4人目の継承者)
May 11, 2023 (2023-05-11)
278"Taro vs Ultraman"May 11, 2023 (2023-05-11)
289"Time of Awakening"
Transliteration: "Saranaru kakusei" (Japanese: 更なる覚醒)
May 11, 2023 (2023-05-11)
2910"The Disaster"
Transliteration: "Shin no Yakusai" (Japanese: 真の厄災)
May 11, 2023 (2023-05-11)
3011"A Nightmare Come True"
Transliteration: "Akumu no shōkan" (Japanese: 悪夢の召喚)
May 11, 2023 (2023-05-11)
3112"Finale"
Transliteration: "Saraba, warera no..." (Japanese: さらば、我らの――)
May 11, 2023 (2023-05-11)

Video game[edit]

On January 10, 2020, an Ultraman mobile game based on the manga has been announced for released on iOS and Android devices. The game, titled Ultraman: Be Ultra, launched in early 2020 in Japan.[73][74]

Reception[edit]

In the week of June 29 to July 5, 2015, Japanese site Oricon revealed that the Volume 6 of Ultraman was placed at 33rd in a ranking with a total of estimated 26,214 sold copies.[75] From July 6 to 12 of that year, Volume 6's selling was boosted to number with an estimated number of 73,673 copies.[76] On December 28, 2015, to January 3, 2016, the Volume 7 of Ultraman was placed 20th rank with an estimated total of 43,969 copies.[77] The ranking dropped to 38 in the week January 4–10 with a total of 68,100 copies.[78] In the week of July 4–10, Volume 8 was ranked 20 with an estimated 41,077 sold.[79] During the 2016 annual Comic-Con International, Ultraman is ranked 5th in "Best New Manga for Kids/Teens".[80] In early 2017, Volume 9 was ranked 24th with a total of 59,898 copies.[81]

The manga sold over 2.4 million copies by 2017.[82] As of 2018, the manga has sold more than 2.8 million copies.[83]

Rebecca Silverman of the Anime News Network reviews volume 1 of the manga and praises Shinjiro for his plot involvements in the storyline, although highlighting that "the timeskip is a bit abrupt, as is Bemular's introduction".[84]

Merchandise[edit]

On April 30, 2016, a 1:1 scale FRP version of Dan Moroboshi/Ultraman Suit Version 7.2's Spacium Sword was announced to be released at August 2016 and pre-orders were made available at 55,000 Yen (59,400 Yen if tax is included) in Eikoh.[85][86]

In October 2015, an articulated action figure of Shinjiro Hayata in his Ultraman Suit, which was made by a collaboration between Ultra Act (Tsuburaya's own figure line) and S.H. Figuarts. The figure is sold under the price of 6,840 Yen and pre-orders were made from October 23, 2015, while shipping started in May 2016.[87] In 2016, Gecco Corp. produced a 1/6 scale diorama of Shinjiro Hayata in his Ultraman Suit, which has a removable head to switch between either Shinjiro or Ultraman Suit helmet.[88] Another collaboration merchandise was made with Pioneer SE-MX9-K in releasing headphones themed after Shinjiro's Ultraman Suit helmet.[89]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Series Director (シリーズ監督)
  2. ^ This release is bundled with a soft vinyl figure of Shinjiro's Ultraman suit.
  3. ^ This release is bundled with a soft vinyl figure of Moroboshi's Ultraman suit version 7.2.
  4. ^ This version is bundled with a DVD special and ULTRASINGLES.[38] The DVD contains:[39]
    • Motion Comic Volume 1: Truth (実態, Jittai)
    • Motion Comic Volume 2: Hokuto (北斗)
    • Music Video: "Ultlove" (ウルトラブ, Urutorabu) by Maaya Uchida
    • Music Video: NO ONE KNOWS by Megumi Han
  5. ^ This release is bundled with a soft vinyl figure of Shinjiro's Ultraman suit B-type.

References[edit]

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