The tales of the Ultramen (and on rare occasions Ultramwomen) started with this first episode. The original Ultraman was intended to be a spin-off of Ultra-Q, which from what I’ve heard of the show can be best described as “what would happen if Mulder and Scully fought Godzilla”. However, this tale of a giant alien who merges with a human to fight giant monsters was not only a hit in Japan but was dubbed into English and enjoyed worldwide appeal.
The version we’re about to see tonight, the first episode, is released by Shout Factory, who posted the intros to a recent marathon stream on Pluto TV. We’ll see that intro, hosted by kaiju expert August Ragone, and then the episode. Surrounding both is a discussion on the history by Mr. Ragone and at the end the series impact. I’m going full-on with this one. If I can get videos going it may be the last Saturday Night Showcase for awhile. I want to redo the intro for BW Panelling or the first of three episodes would be here tonight.
One note about the show’s intro: you’ll hear the theme played twice. That’s because in Japan the theme song (which has the same music but different lyrics) had two verses. If you listened to the Japanese language side of the DVD, which I happen to have, you could hear the original Japanese theme song or the US one. Enjoy.
If this sparked your interest in Ultraman (and possible the many, many spinoffs) you can catch the full series on Shout Factory’s website. Scout around for some other shows you may like, too. Here are all the intros from Ragone’s marathon hosting, and if you want to learn more about the goings-on in the kaiju world check out his website.