Sometimes 3DCG anime can get a bit of a bad rap, but Netflix, Production IG, and Sola Digital Arts’ CG adaptation of the Ultraman manga looked pretty slick when it dropped last year. But taking the show (and the manga’s) suit designs and putting them into Ultraman’s home turf of live-action actually really works.
The suits were created as part of a campaign to make a special video promoting the Ultraman anime’s terrestrial broadcast in Japan, being run on the crowdfunding site Makuake. Officially supported by Ultraman owners Tsuburaya Productions, the campaign—which has already smashed its five million yen ($79,417) target—will create a short promo featuring live-action versions of Ultraman’s Shinjiro Hayata and Dan Moroboshi, two of the main characters from the show who transform into Ultraman and Ultra Seven, respectively. And it’s not just stuntmen in the suits; it’s actually the character’s voice actors from the show, Ryohei Kimura and Takuya Eguchi!
That’s fun enough as it is, but what’s really good is getting to see the designs from Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi’s manga (via the anime) be translated into reality as if they were suits being made for a new Ultraman show. They’re already pretty rad themselves, Iron Man-esque practical takes on the rubbery, skintight suits of typical Ultra heroes. But seeing that bodysuit actually bend and crease because it’s something being worn by a real person under the layers of armour just gives off those great Tokusatsu vibes even more.
It’s a strange journey for them—from page, to digitally rendered screens, to reality. But one definitely worth taking! The campaign for the Ultraman PV is set to end on Makuake March 31.