Netflix Ultraman Review
A little too late for the party but here’s my Netflix Ultraman review.
This Netflix series is based on the manga series of the same title which was written by Eiichi Shimizu and illustrated by Tomohiro Shimoguchi. There’s a total of 14 volumes of manga which started its run September 2012 and is still ongoing.
The series is an actual sequel to the first Ultraman series from the 70s with recurring characters from the TV series returning in CG anime form.
To make it more hip and modern, we are introduced to the son of the original Ultraman, Shinjiro who manifests incredible powers like strength and superior leaping ability. He’s in high school too, again to make it more appealing to a younger audience.
There’s just so many tokusatsu tropes peppered throughout the series like secret identities and big twists here and there. We also get to see more and more Ultramen making an appearance and then the main
Rider Ultraman gets insanely powered up like other Toku shows.
I can confidently say for this Netflix Ultraman review, that it’s giving me a serious Iron Man vibe much like what they are currently doing with the Reiwa era Kamen Rider, Kamen Rider Zero One. Character design is top notch and we also get some interesting tweaks to their look.
I like all the throwbacks that they put in here like the SSSP secretly operating decades after the final battle in the TV series that aired in Japan all those years ago. And holy hell, the villains are also getting some major facelifts like Bemular/ Bemlar…
Fantastic fight scenes too. While it sticks to traditional melee combat we all love from the genre it can at times be more Dragon Ball-y in nature with characters throwing all sorts of energy projectiles. As the season progresses, we get to see more fun action sequences with flying and kicks implemented and it was a treat seeing each Ultraman have a different fighting style with Shinjiro being the standard, Dan being the swordsman and the Seiji being the quick fighter with lighter attacks.
Still on the subject of action sequences, they do not use shaky camera work for those scenes. Every fight scene is stable so every karate chop and dropkick feels heavy.
It can be gruesome at times though. Like this one scene in episode 2 where Ultradad saves his son from series baddie Bemlar in his prototype suit and gets soundly beaten. At one point Bemlar even runs his clawed hand into Ultradad’s abdomen anime style.
Ultraman’s weapons here are smart and nostalgic. I dare say I liked the modern touch too with side blades using patented Specium energy to power them. Then they get to use the classic Specium Ultrawave with a modern twist.
I like the journey that Shinjiro takes for the first season with him starting as a whiny brat to somebody who can be considered a hero. But during the times that he’s whiny, it’s annoying as hell. By the time the season finale comes, he’s grown up a bit and a little more mature. I love the realization he gets at the end of the finale too. Was expecting to get a good upgrade but alas, this isn’t the real Ultraman.
You also can’t help but compare this series to just about any Kamen Rider season. There’s just so many tropes here like one Ultraman, Ultra Seven aka Dan Moroboshi being the bespectacled prick with antagonistic feelings towards Shin. There’s also Seiji Hakuto aka Ultraman A (Ultraman Ace) who seems carefree but with a big secret.
Netflix Ultraman Review Verdict
This isn’t your daddy’s Ultraman with giant rubber suits and monsters. It is however faithful to the source material as well as the themes that come along with it like justice and freedom. Of course we also got insane action sequences and great looking twists here and there.