Japan's iconic giant hero franchise Ultraman is celebrating its 55th anniversary, along with announcing TSUBURAYA CONVENTION 2021 SPECIAL PROGRAM, a free online livestream event, set for December 13th, 2021 at the official Ultraman Connection site.
I figured in celebration of such an occasion, I should do a thread about the franchise and hopefully get people hooked on it especially since it's now becoming widely available to different markets outside Asia.
To anyone unfamiliar, Ultraman is a long running Science Fiction Superhero franchise originally developed by the late Eiji Tsuburaya, co-creator of TOHO's Godzilla and founder of Tsuburaya Productions.
The franchise began in 1966 with the Sci-Fi/Horror series, Ultra Q, which was developed as anthology series in the style of The Twilight Zone but with monsters or "Kaiju", however the show was more like a precursor to The X-Files as several of its episodes featured a recurring cast of characters who investigate strange supernatural phenomena, including giant monsters, aliens, ghosts, and various other threats. Then when Ultra Q ended, Tsuburaya and his crew decided its follow up series would be a superhero show and thus Ultraman was born, broadcast on TV that same year and since then would end up becoming a long running franchise that would enter the Guiness Books of Records for "Most Spin-offs" for producing 31 shows plus movies and specials. The crew would get experiment especially during the Showa era with the first 4 shows having a scifi/mystery angle and some writers would even take advantage of this by using the show to tackle sensitive topics from dangers of nuclear arms or even bigotry.
Tsuburaya Productions is now finally making its shows available in the Western market after suffering a hurdle in the form of Thai film studio Chaiyo Productions over the rights after its founder lied about owning the rights. The below video explains the entire situation.
Tsuburaya are also uploading their Ultraman and non-Ultra shows on their Youtube channel with optional English subtitles including a weekly upload of their current airing series, Ultraman Trigger (though an episode from 2 weeks ago will be removed each week for certain series).