Fifty years ago, an extraterrestrial giant of light known as Ultraman saved the earth but vanished. Ultraman's human host, Shin Hayata, was left with no memory of his time as a hero. Hayata's young son, Shinjirou, is found to have been born with a more powerful and durable body than any normal human. The organization who aided Ultraman, the SSSP, reveals Hayata's past to him. His father then dons a power suit again, assuming the role of Ultraman once more.
One night, Shinjirou is attacked by an alien named Bemular and rescued by his father, who is severely injured in the battle. With dangerous aliens lurking in the city and Hayata out of commission, it falls to Shinjirou to pick up the torch. But in working with the SSSP as the new Ultraman, Shinjirou finds himself wondering how far is he willing to go to help people.
I expected Ultraman to be some type of lame superhero anime, but instead, the series shows respect to its audience since the very beginning. It quite clearly asks the viewer to just to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride without asking too many questions. Its approach made me go in with the preferred mindset effortlessly, and I found our series terrificly entertaining.
The art and animation are one of the strongest merits. The fight choreography are insanely detailed and visually fluid to a point it can hardly be called an anime. Punches during fight scenes truly deliver impact and shit explodes at ridiculous magnitude. CGI
series tend to suffer from low frame rates and compromises when it comes to animation, but Ultraman did not aim to save money here. The production itself is more than enough of a reason to give this a try. I believe some practical effects were even used here to achieve this unique style, but I am not too familiar with this niche in the industry.
The writing offers some idiocy, and especially towards the end, the series seems to be falling quite flat with its Super Power vs. Super Power story line -- some things are just downright out-written to conclude the series, but the English dubs make up for most of it. There are dudes throwing one liners half-ironically and the bros just sound ridiculously manly and badass all the time. I couldn't find him in credits, but I swear Clancy Brown was there. I highly recommend watching this English dubbed for maximum entertainment, the Jap version is just too serious and not very fitting.
From the character department, Ultramen are portrayed so OP that there's even a scene where one of them has an inner monologue moments where he literally says "I wish I hadn't fucked up that dude so badly." I just love stuff like this. For the first half of the show, it really looks like the characters weaknesses are not morals or cryptonite but being so powerful they might actually kill people whom they try to help. It balances out once more powerful super aliens jump in. There are also two quite questionable characters in the series, specifically Ultraman Jr. and Idol Girl, they have their development, and one the reason for their questionable ideals seems to be leaving room for this development, but still one could argue they are annoying to some extent.
In short, hang onto the good sides and you're in for some genuinely entertaining series.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not really feeling the whole CG thing. I’ve seen so many productions with so many talented teams bring CG to heights I’d never guess it would reach, and every time the master creators behind these works exceed expectations I didn’t even know I had, I think to myself, “Finally. This is some good CG.” However, when I settle down off that high, and I calm down, my jaded nature takes back over and turns me back into a critic, if only for the fact the proportion of quality to quantity is so soul crushingly uneven. For every Land
of the Lustrous, I’ll get a couple dozen of Berserk 2016. CG integration suffers from this unbalance as well, even when minimal. For every Psycho-Pass, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, or B: The Beginning I get to see, I'll get at least a hundred of Overlord III. The trend continues with 3DCG environments. Every time I'm blown away by a Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress or Attack on Titan, I have to survive the fever dream that is the Gantz or Inuyashiki anime adaptations. The only type of CG I feel has truly found it’s stride is experimental CG, which simply isn’t trying to quote unquote look good. SSSS.Gridman or Gatchaman Crowds are two perfect examples of shows with creative, talented, and ambitious staff behind them, but which simply lacked the funds or technical means to produce anything better than what they did. I’m happy to tell you and to be able to finally tell myself, without having to compromise or qualify, Ultraman (2019) is some good CG.
You can’t even imagine how high my expectations were for this. Kenji Kamiyama, the man, the myth, the legend, is finally back in the director’s chair…on a full CG show?! I was already completely hysterical first reading the headline, but I was blown away all over again with the headlines which followed. Kenji Kamiyama loved working in 3D so much he personally pushed to use it to bring back his greatest masterpiece, as well as my favorite anime of all time, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. I was stunned. I couldn’t believe my eyes, but seeing the final product I finally understand. Aside from the most minor of nitpicks like millisecond by millisecond frame rate complaints or something, the combined efforts of Production I.G. and their associates at Sola Digital Arts (the people who produced all the high budget international adaptations including but not limited to The Animatrix, Halo Legends, and more recently Blade Runner: Black Out 2022) have brought to screen the newest contender for best CG Anime of All Time. I mean, sorry to joke around, but they even fixed the Polygon Pictures face, and that in and of itself is worth a hell of a lot in my book. The digital effects are as clean and crisp as a ufotable show, and the 3DCG environments are the likes of the Kizumonogatari films, if only slightly under. The character shading, again, fixed the Polygon Pictures face and made the characters able to emote like few have before, allowing the cast to come to life nearly on the level of those from Land of the Lustrous. All these small improvements on the medium’s past standards just kept on adding up until I considered this a truly monumental step forwards in the medium of 3D animation.
Finally putting the visuals aside, the rest of the production was stellar in it’s own right. The sound design is sharp and highly, highly detailed. A lot of it is for the spectacle. The sound of concrete slowly crackling underfoot the heavyweight body mechas all the characters fight with, and their own personal sounds like their pounding footsteps, sparkling metal armor, and electrifying sound effects, which is something I mean both literally and metaphorically of course. There’s also a lot for the rest of the show as well though. Even the smallest most tedious little noises down to the differing sounds a coffee cup makes depending on the surface on which it’s placed, Kamiyama and his team of sound designers really put some effort in to make this as audibly stimulating as they could without getting overbearing. The soundtrack is phenomenal as well, and it made so much of the action hit harder and so much of the emotions run higher, which was certainly something I did not expect at all from this innocuous looking superhero show. The orchestral tracks sound like Hans Zimmer’s Man of Steel and the electronic tracks sound like Daft Punk’s Tron:Legacy. It’s seriously awe inspiring and made the impeccable visual direction leave and even bigger impact than it was already leaving.
The voice acting was above average, though not the most praiseworthy voicework I’ve ever heard, which is why I’ll use it to segue into something which was so: the dialogue and character writing. It’s Ultraman, you know it well, it’s any other classic superhero story. I went into this new adaptation with the expectation this fact would hold it back a ton, not because I think it’s inherently bad, but because as an American I’ve seen it done more times than I could even think to count. I come to anime because the Japanese are fifty billion times more creative than we are, and anime as a medium allows infinitely higher levels of unfiltered imagination to shine, so the idea Ultraman was the likes of any other dime a dozen American Superman really left me listless on concept. Luckily, the characters holding this story up were more than worthy to. Our main character Shinjiro is the newest name I get to add to my list of shounen leads who actually deserve the title of “hero” and does more than simply piss me off. Most shounen leads are indecisive, melodramatic, whinny, and generally immature, but not in a way which is constructive to character development. Whenever I get to see a Kamille Bidan, or an Edward Elric, or an Eren Yeager, or a Banagher Links, I get to see a hundred thousand Izuku Midoriyas or Kaneki Kens. Thank God Shinjiro belongs with the former. He's awkward and unsure of himself like anyone his age, but he's a great kid. It’s not just him either. There’s so much of the supporting cast who feel so well realized, like Agent Moroboshi, the ultimate wise Dutch uncle, and the most impressive of which being Rena, the main heroine. If you’re an American like me, and you can empathize with my lack of care towards commonplace superhero stories, then you can probably also agree the genre is plagued with the issue of one dimensional female leads. The girl is only there to be a pretty face and a worthless damsel in distress just so the hero can come and save her. Forgetting about how grossly misogynistic that trope is, it’s just straight up boring from a narrative perspective, and if you’re going to do it, it may as well be with a human character who you actually care for and who the creators actually put effort into building for you to do so. Like Shinjiro, thank God, Rena delivers. She has character, persona, some impact, and honestly puts more thematic meaning on the table than any male character in any body armor in the entire show.
The story, as I’ve brushed by here and there, is just the standard superhero vs alien invaders flick. I’m not about to lie to you here and tell you it’s something it’s not, because then you’ll just be disappointed when you go and watch. What I will say, though, is what I tell people about Haikyuu, the shounen volleyball manga adaptation for those of you who somehow aren’t familiar with it. This show is all tropes, but it knows which tropes are actually good, it knows specifically WHY they’re good and why screenwriters have used them for ages, and most importantly, it actually has the tact and talent to take that knowledge and deliver it to screen in the exact manner in which it was meant to be. Kenji Kamiyama is the man for the job, and I’d say he made it impossible for you to argue with that statement. If I had to describe Ultraman (2019) in one word, I would say inspired. Kamiyama’s direction is outstanding, and while it doesn’t even hold a candle to his best work like Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex it still shines brightly even in his already impressive filmography. His wide framing shots are so epic and resounding, and I’d call them as memorable as the surrealist brain stamps from Eden of the East. His mixed martial arts meets super power action direction is so tense and dynamic, and I’d call it as well executed as the legendary fight scenes of Guardian of the Sacred Spirit. The man even brought in his experience with Blood: The Last Vampire to makes things a lot darker and more violent than I ever expected this show to. I can’t say enough on his behalf, and if anything impresses me the most, it’s the fact I could even begin to respect him more than I already did.
yay, its Spring 2019 ! Netflix what do you have? NETFLIX's Orginial Ultraman ? lets give it a try...
.. what is ultraman? it's a Japanese live action science fiction television series...Netflix has adapted the live action into an anime for us ... thank you Netflix .. V-E-R-Y... N-I-C-E....
Its a CG anime... Its CG , i mean its a full CG anime...... i won't really hate on it... coz you get accustomed to the CG ... and its not really that bad...
The "FIGHTS" are really boring...i didn't find anything amazing or spectacular about the fights...they are all CG fights anyways... and ...they are all average...
The characters are not very likeable.... some are ok, like moroboshi and -----.... most of em are ahole's..but.. its really funny whenever the "pop idol" meets our mc, coz she always forgets who he is....(RIP, it baited you into an idol show,but not really)
This music is not very memorable... and the OP.... This time Netflix didn't make a skip intro icon... why? because the OP ... the OP.... IT DOESN'T HAVE ONE!...hu?.. Its Netflix what did you expect...
THE DUST! THE FREAKING DUST ! in this anime is too realistic to be true!!
In the end.. it was enjoyable ...now you know why you should watch it... yes you watch it for the 8D dust particles..
Ultraman is a callback to a simple era of superhero shows. Where heroes would come to grips with their powers, fight bad guys and save the day. And yes there's a ton of fighting.
Gloriously choreographed action sequences set against the backdrop of not too far into the future society where aliens are slowly assimilating with humanity. The show looks beautiful with high quality models, perfectly suited backgrounds and fitting lighting. Almost every scene in the series will undoubtedly look good.
Unfortunately there lies the show's most divisive aspect. It's stylized low frame animation. It often feels choppy and takes time to get accustomed to. Thankfully
this is a non issue during the action sequences. But it is a significant annoyance during the more standard dialogue moments. Which is honestly the second issue. The writing of the series never feels inspired. But it isn't bad either. It just feels typical for the genre. This unfortunately extends to the characters as well. You'll get a sense of deja vu at times, as if you've heard those lines somewhere else.
But those negatives really doesn't stop Ultraman from being a highly engrossing action show. It's a blast to watch. At least every episode will have a spectacular action sequence that make blood boil. And at the end it succeeds at entertaining it's viewers.