Ultraman thread

Discussion in 'Whatever' started by ultrakaiju, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. Temporal Marauder

    Temporal Marauder Toy Prince

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    I’ll stick with it a bit longer.
    Man I could NOT vibe with Leo ( again I could not get past the first 5 or so episodes). Ultraseven is probably my favorite so I was super into seeing Dan Moroboshi return. But he’s such a dick in this series and the main guy that plays Leo is a whiney twerp. The formula of “ get out of my face and learn this ultramove to defeat the enemy” gets old real quick. There’s a similar dynamic in Ace from what I can gather.
    I hope I’m wrong on both shows and they develop into something worthwhile for me. I’m certainly willing to give it a go due to my absolute love for the previous shows.
     
  2. skaldavsatanssol

    skaldavsatanssol Toy Prince

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    I’ll give you that Ultraseven’s character was character assassination but keep in mind it was the actor himself who wanted Seven to be in it so they worked with what they had. As for Leo being a twerp I’m sorry but I don’t buy it. He’s probably one of the strongest of the Ultras due to his abusive mentoring from Seven and if anything reminds of a Japanese Bruce Lee. I can’t speak for Heisei but Leo might be the only series with fast paced/martial arts leaning fight choreography. It’s also probably the goriest entry when all is said and done and (no spoilers) but it gets very dark towards the end.

    May I also comment on you saying that the cast dynamic improved with each series? Permit me to disagree because I felt that Seven had the last truly great cast a la Dan and Anne. For me Ultraman had the most likeable bunch with the dreamteam of Hayata, Fuji and Ide. Hell, Ultra Q was strong too because it also featured the wonderful Hiroko Sakurai as Yuriko. She’s one charming actress! On the opposite end of the spectrum I think that while Return of... has some fantastic episodes, these are never to the credit of the cast themselves (besides perhaps the Leogon ep) and is only thanks in part to the writers and directors. The main actor for Return is an awful z-grade performer who gives a wooden performance everytime. I know it might not be as easy to detect because of the language barrier but keep that in mind should you return to it and you’ll see what I mean. He was probably chosen because he’s handsome but as for his acting skills? Yeeeeesh. He marked a significant decline in quality for a post Eiji Tsubaraya world.
     
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  3. Temporal Marauder

    Temporal Marauder Toy Prince

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    Ok. I will def give Leo another chance.
    Re: Return. Yeah Go is kinda a simple character, almost like a big dum guy but he’s cast perfectly because the character is naive and good hearted so I bought it. Was he wooden? Absolutely I can’t argue there. BUT I like Jiro. He’s the least annoying of the child actors. His older brother and sister were also interesting and I found myself caring about them. A lot of the Team members in Seven were basically non existent. It doesn’t bother be due to Dan’s story. But Returm felt balanced. Everyone had their moments and as a result you got invested in them. When the older siblings got killed off it was a complete shocker / gut punch. Return also feels like a return to the formula of Ultraman and Go is not that different than Hayata except Go is allowed to have depth since the stories allow for it. The original Ultraman is iconic and great but also pretty flat character wise. Especially Hayata. Ide and Furashi constantly stealing the show from the main character. Maybe they wanted Hayata to be cool and mysterious?
    Anyways just my opinion. Subject to change.
    I did not know that the actor that played Dan asked for the role. Thanks for the trivia.
     
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  4. skaldavsatanssol

    skaldavsatanssol Toy Prince

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    I can’t recall Return’s cast too well to be honest and I don’t like children actors much but I enjoy the points you raised. While Return’s characters’ backgrounds might be explored in further detail, I still prefer the simplicity of the OG Ultraman cast as they are a likeable bunch. As you said I definitely think Hayata being mysterious was the intention.

    You are correct in saying outside Dan and Anne the Seven cast at large is not as memorable.

    It’s great to bring some discussion onto this Ultraman thread, thank you! For a forum dedicated to collecting kaiju this thread should have a much higher page count than fucking Marvel or Star Wars.
     
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  5. Temporal Marauder

    Temporal Marauder Toy Prince

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    Agreed!!
     
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  6. ultrakaiju

    ultrakaiju Die-Cast Staff Member

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    Original '66 cast forever. I mean, it may sound like an easy answer, but actually a lot of people don't feel that way. But yeah, the Science Special Search Party is where it starts and ends for me. Hayata was great of course, and I really had a great time with the dynamic of Arashi and Ide, it brought so much more to the show that just some over-powered hero constantly coming in to save Japan from the monster of the week. Fuji, well, no more really needs to be said there. But actually I loved Muramatsu, I think he is greatly understated and appreciated, his role as team leader was vital to providing that 'wisdom' and 'guidance' to the show. I don't know, I guess it is more of things I can't directly put my finger on, and I will fully own that the deep relationship I have with the '66 crew may taint my impression somewhat of others, but I can't help it, I have, and will, adore them.

    I am loving this conversation, finally some Ultra love. Glad it is kicking off. I will say, just for the record, that anyone who got the blu-rays and is just not feeling them, or simply has had their enjoyment out of it and is probably not going to revisit another viewing, hit me up. I am so envious of markets whee such things can be had just at the click of a order button.
     
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  7. skaldavsatanssol

    skaldavsatanssol Toy Prince

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    Funny you should mention Muramatsu because my appreciation for him increases upon rewatches. Once the dive into tokusatsu has been made you will notice his actor Akiji Kobayashi is in just about every Showa tokusatsu production there is - Ultraman, Kamen Rider or otherwise. I think they have a nickname for him in Japan like the master or godfather or something... I forget to be honest but I’ll look into it. Dude’s a living legend.
     
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  8. XVivaHateX

    XVivaHateX Addicted

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    Really enjoy this discussion. Its true, you would think there would be more conversation like this but sadly, I think a lot of the members came over here from western art toys and not giant monsters and bandai figures.

    Its been years since I cracked open the bootleg set and I just started a re-watch of the blu ray Ace set and I gotta say its definitely not as good as I remember it. Like you guys are saying the cast is just not likable at all. Hokuto is fine but Minami is so under developed. The rest of the cast are just assholes. I dont want spoil it but the way they wright her out of the show is pretty bad. I also feel like the writing suffered a little with the move to a more super-hero type show. That being said there are some good episodes, just off the top of my head, the ep with Aribunta the ant kaiju, the famous two part execution one (all the ultra bros crucified), the weirdo Christmas episode, the father of ultra premier where the bros fight Hipporito.I would for sure go in and cherry pick some of the better ones. This site has a good ep summary and ratings. https://betacapsulereviews.wordpress.com/ultraman-ace/

    In terms of where I land with the other series. Far and away the best cast is the OG 66. I think seven is really good as well. For Return, I find Go kind of a likable doofus. I agree his acting isnt great but it doesnt ruin the show for me. The actual episode writing is some of the best in the franchise though. It ranks up there at #2 under 66. I admit I have only watched about half of Leo. I totally agree about not liking Moroboshi as a complete prick. The show is pretty cool though if you can get past that, with some great fight scenes. Im definitely getting when the set comes out to pick up where I left off.
     
  9. Temporal Marauder

    Temporal Marauder Toy Prince

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    Re: Ace.
    Watched two more episodes last night and both were winners. Episode 4 in which a Kazuo Umezo style manga artist creates living Kaiju from his drawlings and exploited resentments. Noriko gets credit for driving the plot on this one. Wow Episode 5 with the ant creature was a really well done action jam packed episode. Based on these two alone, I have hopes there will be more awesomeness ahead.

    Re: Ultraman 66
    It holds up to repeat viewings, which for a show this early says a lot. Everything about it is so iconic but Hayata not being a developed character really hurts the show. I think they realized this and fixed it in Seven. At the end of the season they finally bring into the scripts the fact that Hayata is both alien and human and those beats are the most interesting moments for his character.

    Re: Ultraseven
    I finished watching Return Of and started rewatching Ultraman and Seven waiting for Ace to show up. I enjoy them even more though I’ve watched those two series the most. The Return experience enhanced the rewatch. But I still stand firm that Seven is the best ultra series I’ve seen so far. Dan sometimes being caught between the humans and the aliens makes for the most interesting moments of the early shows. Trying to protect earth while also trying to stop humans from developing planet killing technologies itself makes an interesting tension.
    More iconic creature designs. The most atmospheric settings ( think ep. 8 metron/the marked town ) since Ultra Q. I Feel like Seven really was the extension of Ultraman with elements of Ultra Q that we’re missing from its successor.
    Let’s not forget about Ultra Q! IMHO it has some of the best and strangest episodes of the entire run ( think Grow Turtle or Challenge from the year 2020).
     
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  10. Temporal Marauder

    Temporal Marauder Toy Prince

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    I agree he’s also great in Kamen Rider. You don’t see many actors from Toho/Tsuburaya also in Toei shows.
     
  11. Temporal Marauder

    Temporal Marauder Toy Prince

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    Muramatsu in the Dada episode!
     
  12. skaldavsatanssol

    skaldavsatanssol Toy Prince

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    My man, I always enjoy reading this reviewer’s takes after I watched an episode.

    Love the manga artist ep. Pretty creepy and feels like a different show for half it’s runtime. The skeleton in his basement is the creme de la creme. As XVivaHatex said the crucifixion episode is great too. I normally don’t go for realistic looking toys but I want the CCP set of that episode!

    So I made my choice clear about loving the 66 cast best but as for my favourite show it’s actually Ultra Q in all its Twilight Zoneness and then I can’t decide between Seven and Ultraman. Seven has this fantastic sci-fi horror vibe which just speaks to me and Ultraman perfectly encapsulates the giant hero genre - it’s iconic.

    I guess my power rankings would go:
    1. Ultra Q
    2. Ultraman = Ultraseven
    3. Ultraman Leo
    4. Return of Ultraman
    5. Ultraman Ace
    ... I’m yet to watch Taro but I will OK? Have been subbing it with plenty other tokus but I’m kind of keen because I hear it’s got some of the strangest episodes despite (or maybe because of) being the most childish entry.

    I don’t know if its said much but I want to take a minute to appreciate how much variety there is in the franchise and for a show about fighting giant monsters in rubber suits, they generally don’t just phone it in. There is a vast array of intriguing plots and a wealth of competent directing and almost experimental cinematography at times. As a work of art, the Ultra series is not to be ignored!
     
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  13. Temporal Marauder

    Temporal Marauder Toy Prince

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    I’m glad you mentioned the cinematography and visuals being almost experimental. I totally agree. There’s some shots in Seven and Return that are using really experimental optical printer effects. There’s the psychedelic influences of the era too that I adore ( Mirrorman also has a lot of trippy elements especially in the fight sequences).
    I also love Ultra Q and sometimes struggle placing that one as my favorite Ultra show. Ultra Q has some of the most trippy/experimental directing. I imagine some of these young directors were part of the Japanese New Wave or influenced by Euro new wave / surrealist cinema. It’s just a hunch on my part. The director who did Grow Turtle and Kanegon’s Cocoon ( Harunosuke Nakagawa ) has an eye that is almost borderline David Lynch or Louis Bunuel at times. Jissoji’s episodes in Ultraman and Ultraseven also clearly have an auteur’s eye and his shots are closer to those you’d see in film as opposed to tv. Cool lighting effects and interesting blocking.
     
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  14. skaldavsatanssol

    skaldavsatanssol Toy Prince

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    Jissoji's my main man and I think I might have mentioned a few pages back in this thread that his episodes always stand out. I suppose outside of the Ultra series he has directed his own films which are also quite good. Just a sidenote - if you haven't watched the banned Ultraseven ep it's directed by Jissoji and features Sakurai so you should definitely get on top of that. If you want, it can be arranged. Unfortunately outside of him (and the guest eps by legendary Ishiro Honda which I actually found underwhelming for someone of his calibre) I haven't become too acquainted with director's names and should definitely compile a list of the stand out ones upon rewatches. Thank you for pointing out Nakagawa, his contributions to Ultra Q were fantastic.

    I'd say that the Japanese new wave was definitely a factor because the lighting in as you mentioned in certain episodes is just uncanny. It can be held to the same standard to a lot of arthouse releases for the time period.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2020
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  15. Temporal Marauder

    Temporal Marauder Toy Prince

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    I have never seen the banned episode, only heard of it. How does one obtain it?
     
  16. skaldavsatanssol

    skaldavsatanssol Toy Prince

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    PM'ed
     
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  17. Temporal Marauder

    Temporal Marauder Toy Prince

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    Aaaaannmnnd Muramatsu is in episode 6 of Ace!
     
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  18. ultrakaiju

    ultrakaiju Die-Cast Staff Member

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    I dunno, but I sure hope @toothaction is sitting down for this one.

    http://www.megomuseum.com/mego-corp...ment-with-tsuburuya-productions-for-ultraman/



    Finally some news I can get behind. This is the combination of so many dear childhood dreams. Can I please ask, dear folks of Mego, to please, please, pleeeeeaasse get this right. Honestly, there all already some pretty amazing and successful things/examples (Takara HC) you can riff off, and I would just so much rather have a proper Ultraman, or army of them. then a[nother] disappointing entry just trying to get in on some licensed action. I know this is probably sounding a little over-skeptical and demanding...... but honestly, it is so easy to do this properly with the right attention paid to it. I'd be sad if they messed it up.

    And I also would not say 'no' in any way to some Mego playsets and kaiju enemies to play with set up a screen-accurate diorama.



    Bonus fun:


    Oh, and as an extra aside, they really should take this opportunity to give us some SSSP team members, and I would definitely also welcome a HQ while they are at it (hey, a guy can dream right. If we're coming this far...)

    ala Wayne foundation playset
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2020
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  19. toothaction

    toothaction Team Tsubu Staff Member

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    Seated, thankfully, but I will need a quick sponging off and costume change.
    [​IMG]
    If they hook up with custom crew Random Noir we might be in good shape.

    Tentative toddler squee at the ready.
     
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  20. TattooDougHardy

    TattooDougHardy Comment King

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    So Ultraman Taiga was the end of the New Generation Heros and yesterday, the premier fo the new era came: ULTRAMAN Z (Zett)! Tsuburaya is simulcasting Zett on their YouTube channel Fridays at 8:30pmEST/5:30pmPST with english subs. Each episode will be on YouTube for 2 weeks. The new series is off to a great start, with a lot of humor, a new anti-monster team, and lots of classic kaiju coming up, including a great appearance by Gomess and the Ultraman Leo robot Sevenger being a regular part of the show.

    I'm super stoked that we have an official simulcast again, and I look forward to continuing episodes!

     
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  21. ultrakaiju

    ultrakaiju Die-Cast Staff Member

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    An epic discovery. I need every one of these. But I would settle for one.

    just discovered on urbanracer002's instagram:


    Must get.
     
  22. toothaction

    toothaction Team Tsubu Staff Member

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    ^ RE-discovered, you mean?
     
  23. ultrakaiju

    ultrakaiju Die-Cast Staff Member

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    Fair enough, but I didn't get a proper good luck at them before.
     
  24. toothaction

    toothaction Team Tsubu Staff Member

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    I think it's just that yr brains are melting. S'cool, happens to us all.

    Here's something...

    (o|o)

    When and why did we remove the Ultrafaz from the thread title?
     
  25. TattooDougHardy

    TattooDougHardy Comment King

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    I need to find those online...
     

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