The Ultraman, or as the Ultraman fan wiki posts it, The☆Ultraman, is something different for the Ultraman franchise, animation. Yes, the 8th entry in the series, co-produced with Sunrise (at the time Nippon Sunrise) of Gundam fame, made it’s first but not last journey into the world of animation. Officially recognized as “Ultraman Joneus”, the hero even got his own live action suit in the “Ultra Galaxy Fight” web series on the official YouTube channel.
When strange letters appear in the sky after the skies brighten people know something is up. However, this batch of Ultramen have apparently not learned Japanese so whatever it says they can’t read it. Japan, being Japan and knowing where this stuff leads, created the Science Guard Party (according to the wiki but it’s not what the strangely questionable subtitles for a Mill Creek Ultraman subtitling and Shout Factory “Tokushoutsu” streaming preview). Of course one of them will soon be merging with an Ultraman to fight monsters. See if you can guess which one.
This isn’t even the show’s first appearance to US audiences. Apparently WWOR channel 9 in New York hosted a show from TBS (the Tokyo Broadcasting System, not Turner’s channel) called Japan Tonight, hosted so claims the Ultraman wiki by Telly Savalas of Kojak fame. However, I couldn’t find footage of this. Then, during the home video VHS “Japanimation” craze The Adventures Of Ultraman and Ultraman II: The Further Adventures Of Ultraman took episodes of the show and created a couple of movies. I hope the home video release has something with either of those dubs…or better subtitles.
Meanwhile, Joneus is one of the few Ultramen not coming from Nebula M78. I won’t spoil where he came from since it’s a plot point in the series. He would return, but in live-action form in Ultraman: Great Monster Decisive Battle that same year, where he’s given a look closer to the other Ultras. Oddly, in the recent Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Absolute Conspiracy webseries from 2020 the costume tries to resemble the animated form; though a bit more padded out his colors are closer to what you’d see in animation. So if you saw that show and were curious where he came from, now you know.