The Ultraman franchise from Japan combines superheroes and Godzilla-sized monsters. Of course I got into it immediately. Sort of. Ultraman: The Adventure Begins was a Hanna-Barbera produced pilot movie that never made full series. When I first saw Ultraman: Towards The Future I was at first disappointed because it was in live-action, which doesn’t usually do superheroes nearly well. (An odd comment given next week’s Saturday Night Showcase if things work out as planned.) However, the show easily won me over. As I learned more about the series I grew to be a fan. Not a die-hard fan but I always enjoy watching it, as typing “Ultraman” into the site search engine will reveal.
Ultra Fight Victory is a team-up of various Ultraman heroes throughout the franchise, focusing on Ultraman Victory. As this particular franchise has had limited exposure in the US (two cartoons, one produced in the US, as well as two dubbed shows and two live-action shows made for the US–one of which never actually aired here…it’s a long story) I have no idea who most of these characters are. It is still a fun Ultra-adventure and if it gets you curious about the franchise, it has had its own victory.
What’s really unique here is that it comes from Tsuburaya’s own YouTube channel. For now. The series of 13 shorts that make up Ultra Fight Victory were once on the channel with subtitles, then taken down to be replaced by a combined video, then taken down again to be put back up in miniseries serialized format, only now with dubs. As of this writing this is the only Ultraman production to do so, not counting the original Ultraman and Ultraman Leo, Ultra Seven, Ultraman II (the anime), and Ultraman Tiga as well as the Netflix The Ultraman anime I haven’t seen beyond a few clips. There are also a few movies but I’ve never seen them on TV. The one we’re watching tonight is the only dub I know of on Tsuburaya’s official channel and if there’s a subtitled video still up there I haven’t seen it. Everything else is in Japanese without any form of translation. You’re guess on what makes Ultra Fight Victory so special is as good as mine. Enjoy just the same.
UPDATE 10/14/2018: For some reason they took it off their official channel so to continue to bring this to you I have a fan-editing of the miniseries into a movie. I don’t know why they took it down. They have since added subtitles to a few other shows through closed captions and auto-generated captions you have to switch to English from Japanese, so your mileage may vary. It’s a way to watch Ultra shows legally even if I had to bypass the system to keep this Showcase active.
If you don’t mind the lack of English you can check out their official YouTube channel for more official Ultraman action. I’m hoping someday we’ll get more translated (dubbed preferred but I’ll accept subbed) shows after this one.