It was 47 years ago that a strange capsule granted a simple human being the ability to grow to immense size and beat up sweaty guys in rubber monster costumes. Running only 40 episodes, Ultraman is still regarded as a mega cult success and spawned several spinoffs, manga, a toy empire and weird video games. Created by the father of Godzilla Eiji Tsuburaya, the series is one of the most influential and seminal of the kaiju genre which… could be relevant seeing as how a certain big budget monster fighting movie is opening this week.
I lucked out a few years back and found the first half of series one on DVD at a local Target for $5 and fell in love with this gem. Each episode is mainly the same as a threat appears, the hero holds aloft his capsule and transforms into Ultraman… battle ensues… slapstick comedy is inserted by the goofy guy and rubber flies all over a studio backdrop. The opening credits remains one of the trippiest sequences this side of the original Doctor Who. I mean… is that the sound of a spine cracking or an alien insectoid monster licking its mandibles??
I ask you, is it any coincidence that Pacific Rim opens tomorrow?