If you’re a fan of the long running Ultraman franchise that was created long ago by Eiji Tsuburaya (the special effects director that used to work for Toho before founding Tsuburaya Productions), then you will love the current manga series from Shogakukan and published in English by Viz Media that’s written by Eiichi Shimizu, and illustrated by Tomohiro Shimoguchi.
This Ultraman manga series is a direct sequel to the original Ultraman television show back in 1966 in which the main character from that show Shin Hayata, is more grown up, and has a son named Shinjiro Hayata. While him and his son are at a memorial museum, Shinjiro ends up accidentally falling down from a ledge, but somehow survives without any severe injuries. 12 years later, and while in his teen years, Shinjiro starts to become aware of his unnatural abilities and tries to live the best life he can with him. One night, a mysterious being wearing armor that calls itself Bemular (named after the very first Kaiju Ultraman fought in the show), attacks Shinjiro. Shin shows up revealing that he is Ultraman to his son for the very first time, has him sent to someplace safe, and starts fighting Bemular. The place that Shin had Shinjiro taken to be safe happens to be a facility that gives him a Ultraman-like armor, and it’s also revealed that the reason why he has abilities and most regular people don’t have is because he has what’s called the “Ultraman Factor”. Shinjiro decides to wear the armor, and continue the Ultraman legacy that began with his father.
I will not say how this volume ends because it would be a spoiler, and I don’t want to spoil the ending to this at all.
Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi’s Ultraman manga serves as a really good addition to the franchise for it is well-written, and well-drawn. It does however (like I said earlier) take place after the 1966 TV series. Meaning that you really need to watch the show before reading this in order to understand it.
While this Ultraman story does take away the idea of a giant alien being fighting Kaiju, the new concept that it has is a very unique take on Ultraman, and also works very well has a hybrid of Bio-Booster Armor Guyver, and Power Rangers.
The English translation by Joe Yamazaki and lettering by Evan Waldinger for this volume is very well-done and easy to read.
Ultraman The Manga by Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi is a manga that I strongly recommend that Ultraman fans read, and the first volume is a very good start.
I give Ultraman The Manga Volume 1 5/5 Stars, and 2 Thumbs Up.