Publisher: Viz Media
Publication Date: August 18, 2015
Ultraman is a manga by Eiichi Shimizu and illustrated by Tomohiro Shimoguchi. This series has been published in Monthly Hero since the magazine’s inaugural issue and apparently this manga is a sequel to the 1966 Ultraman telvision show. It was also available at Otakon 2015 pre-stree date. I’m definitely not old enough to know anything about the television series so I’m going into this review without any solid background of Ultraman.
Volume 1 immediately informs the reader that we’re several decades after Ultraman and his adventures. We’re then introduced to Shinjiro, a mysterious young boy who has plenty of childhood accidents; however, he never sustains any injuries from them. We learn through dialog that his father shares these super human traits and suspiciously seems to have no memory of Ultraman. The manga then cuts to twelve years later; Shinjiro is now a young man with girls on his mind. He knows he isn’t ordinary since he spends his spare time hopping off of buildings and perfecting his super-human techniques. Eventually his life gets turned upside-down when an unfriendly alien tracks him down – with every intention of eliminating the “Ultraman Factor” – a unique power Shinjiro inherited from his father. When the Ultraman looking creature attacks Shin Hayata, Shinjiro has to make an important decision. Will he put on the suit, embrace his Ultraman factor, and save his father? You’ll have to read it yourself to find out.
When I first caught a glimpse of the manga, I immediately thought of the Guyver series and my boyfriend even suggested that it looked like a Guyver rip-off. I suppose we may think that since we’re part of a generation that wouldn’t know about the 1966 series. I am wondering if this was considered when choosing a cover design. Fortunately, I ignored my boyfriend’s jeering and decided to dive in despite my own reservations based upon the cover design. I am glad I did; this manga is worthwhile and moves very fast. The author spends enough time explaining back story; however, Shimizu doesn’t dwell on it long enough for readers to get bored. You don’t need to know the original series to feel good about reading this volume. Despite the size of the manga (its trim size is slightly bigger than most mass paperback manga titles), this one was the fastest I have finished in one sitting. I was surprised by the smooth pace and the action that just forces you to turn the page. I didn’t even once look at the time or check to see how many pages were left. Readers are also treated to several glossy, full color pages in the front of the book. Definitely check out Ultraman if you like action and fighting.
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**This item was provided for review.