This May, Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi’s spiritual sequel to their “Shin Tokusatsu” series — encapsulating first Godzilla, and soon Kamen Rider — Shin Ultraman is will finally hit theatres in Japan, following multiple delays. But our latest look at the movie makes it clear it will be worth the wait.
The big action stuff looks gorgeous — there’s some spectacular shots in here, like Ultraman’s specium ray just carving through land, or the Giant of Light transforming and exploding through a building as he grows in size. But just like Shin Godzilla before it, it seems Shin Ultraman’s interest will go beyond Anno — a life long Ultraman fan, and a key influence on his work on Neon Genesis Evangelion — smashing together the Kaiju toys of his youth, and dabble a little more in the human element of things, and how real-world logistical organisations react and deal with not just monsters, but having a giant-sized ally like Ultraman living among them.
That’s an element that’s always been key to Ultraman and its many iterations from the very beginning on TV — but given Ultraman’s young audience, has rarely ever taken the main focus away from monsters getting sliced in half by laser beams and explosions and whatnot. If Shin Ultraman can bring both that and some of Shin Godzilla’s more political edge, we could be in for a treat… whenever those of us outside of Japan get our hands on the movie, of course.
Shin Ultraman releases in Japanese theatres on May 13. There’s no word about an international release just yet, but given Tsuburaya’s increasingly global plans for the world of Ultraman, hopefully those details aren’t too far off.
Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.