The kaiju movies on the big screen at this point in time are in full stride the Godzilla franchise firmly in place and the Gamera franchise just starting up – but on the small screen there were hidden gems like “Ultraman”.
Ultraman is alien from outer-space that gives his unique powers to a human being who is apart of a special team called the Science Special Search Party who are in effect defenders of the earth – this is series is set in the future (I believe in the 1990s).
Ultraman the character comes to life when the kaiju have the ability to grow large – the added aspect of tension is the fact that when Shin Hayata uses the “beta capsule” to become “Ultraman” he has only a set amount of time before his energy runs out this is narrated during the fight scenes as a reminder adding a sense of urgency to the battle and added layer of intensity.
The series itself has many parallels to other shows such as Gerry Anderson’s Thunderbirds and the Super Sentai Series the plot revolved around the team in each episode and other characters within the story – the overall genre is sciences fiction but it delves into fantasy, crime, mild horror and action some of the episodes are noticeably dark in tone while others are lighter. The are constant elements of humour also throughout the series.
It is balanced mix of the all the things stated above which interesting plots, well crafted kaiju and special effects it certainly keeps you watching.
For 1966 special effects for at TV series are well crafted, ambitious and certainly creative for the small budget that was applied – I viewed the series in HD (standard def) Upscaled to full HD the colours are bright and the grainy imperfect quality to the picture actually goes in the series favour adding a layer of atmospheric grittiness.
Ultraman is a diverse imaginatively constructed and realised kaiju TV series with an interesting plot and likable character to ambitious special effects I highly recommend this.
Paul Isaacs 2015