Ultraman season 1 premiere recap: Introducing the new legacy!


Episode 1 of Ultraman introduces us to Shinjiro, the son of the original Ultraman, who now must use his power to save the world.

Originally known for fighting giant Kaiju monsters, Ultraman has since been known as mild-mannered Shin Hayata (Hideyuki Tanaka). As a human, he lost his memory of ever merging with Ultraman’s form, and those at the SSSP (Science Patrol) had kept it a secret. Now, as Defense Minister Hayata is met by his associate, Ide (Brian Palermo), we also meet Hayata’s young son, Shinjiro (Cassandra Lee Morris). While told to play in the museum, Shinjiro falls over a high railing! While this would spell tragedy for the average child, it appears he is unique, being remarkably unhurt.

It’s obvious that something strange is doing on. Shin Hayata notes that he somehow does not even remember Ultraman. This is when the truth is revealed to Shin. Not only is the museum revealed to be a front for Science Patrol, but he is told that he was (and ostensibly still is) Ultraman. It is believed that the earth is facing a new threat, as a strange, robotic man-creature (looking similar to Ultraman) is revealed to have caused a plane crash. Shin is told that he and Shinjiro both possess “The Ultraman factor.”

10 years later

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While hanging with his entourage, a teenage Shinjiro (Ryohei Kimura) is apparently not interested in girls as they are, and not just because they’re not his thing. Instead, our young Ultraman-in-waiting leaps from rooftop to rooftop, not quite knowing where he gets his abilities from, or their limits. However, he decides to play hero and defends a girl from a group of harassers. Unfortunately for Shinjiro, he hurts a bully’s foot just by grabbing it, which is not what he meant to do. Soon after he sits on a rooftop feeling bad about it.

However, the robot man from earlier — named Bemular (Matthew Mercer) — attacks Shinjiro, narrowly missing our prospective hero. Attempting to elude the menace, Shinjiro leaps to a nearby stadium. However, he does not fully escape. Luckily, just before Bemular can enforce his terminating will, Shin Hayata slams down to the playing field, defending his son and temporarily deflecting Bemular’s attack. It gives Shin an opportunity to inform his son, “That alien is not Ultraman. I am Ultraman!”

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It’s a rather straightforward story, centered around action and possible identity conflicts. It seems that, whether he likes it or not, Shinjiro must eventually fill the role of his father. This Bemular character apparently won’t have it any other way! The real question is, is Shinjiro up to the task, or will his father have to pick up a bunch of his slack? Of course, one also wonders exactly what Bemular wants, beyond the possible destruction of the Ultramen. World domination? His name in the paper? Whatever it is, it will not bode well for everyone involved.  Clearly, Shinjiro won’t have an even vaguely normal young adult life.  Poor kid!

What are your thoughts on Ultraman? Let us know in the comments!