The 30th entry in the Ultraman franchise, Ultraman Z (pronounced Ultraman Zet, like Zed, another pronunciation of the letter Z (which sounds more like “zee” here in the US–I don’t get it either)) follows a rookie Ultraman and his young Earth partner as they try to reclaim the Ultra-Medals, the toyetic power-up of the series. With the right combinations of medals used by Haruki Natsukawa, Z can obtain numerous fighting forms, each with their own special talents. His transformation device, the Z-Riser, isn’t used by him alone, and there are medals based on space monsters that can be used to create new monsters by some of the enemies of the series, including one that is the ultimate villain of the series.
Tsuburaya has recent started re-uploading the series so this is one of those grab it while you can sort of things. The official Ultraman YouTube channel doesn’t always keep stuff up for very long. I’ve been missing out on Ultra Chronicles Z because I’m so far behind. Gridman has long since vanished, and I don’t even know what they’re doing with Ultra Galaxy Fight, which are supposed to be exclusive to the channel. So while it’s still up, catch the first episode as Haruki and Z meet up and begin their partnership when Z’s mentor Zero (unless you ask Zero) is lost and it’s up to the rookie to save the universe. Remember to turn on the closed captions for English subtitles if you don’t understand Japanese, and enjoy!
We learn Yoko is interested in older men and I won’t spoil why she challenges other admirers to arm wrestling, but the former leads her to having a rather odd crush on Z when she learns he’s 5000 years old (though in Ultra-years I’m betting that’s the equivalent of his 20s) that is really the only thing I don’t like about her because she loses her coolness so often early on mooning over him. It’s just weird, man.
The show is slowly re-uploading to the official Ultraman YouTube channel but given the last posting and some of their other temporary postings you may want to get caught up fast. I find the show to be a lot of fun and watching Z and Haruki learn to become a better team while actually getting along a positive.