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Anime Profile: The Adventures of Ultraman

USA Info
Japanese Info
The Adventures of UltramanZa Urutoraman (The Ultraman)The Adventures of Ultraman
· · ·
Ultraman II
1982 (The Adventures of Ultraman)1979
· · ·
19?? (Ultraman)
Tsuburaya Productions
Ultraman: The Adventure BeginsUrutoraman USA
· · ·
HarrisHikari Choh-iciroh
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-- more listed below ---- more listed below --

Look for this on Blu-ray or DVD at Amazon, and on VHS at Amazon.

Characters: The Adventures of Ultraman

English Name
Japanese Name
English Name
Japanese Name
Glenn Tobe Pigu Pigu
Harris Hikari Choh-iciroh Ultraman Jonias Ultraman Jonias
Heller Heller --?-- Amia
Loto Roto --?-- Baltan-seijin

Description: The Adventures of Ultraman

Nineteen seventy nine saw an innovation in Ultra-hero technology: the advent of the animated Ultraman. Called simply "Ultraman" in his series (The Ultraman), Tsuburaya Productions have dubbed this one "Ultraman Jonias" (or "Ultraman Joe" for short).

It all started when the Earth became surrounded by strange colored lights. Then strange, unknown symbols appeared in the air over several major cities. Fearing invasion, the Earth Defense Force put together a special task force, the Science Garrison. One of the members was Coichiro Hikari, stationed on an orbiting space station. During Hikari's travel to Earth, he was intercepted by a ball of light. Suddenly he found himself face-to-face with a being who called himself "Ultraman," from a planet (called Ultarra in some references) in constellation U40. Ultraman informed Hikari that his planet was about to face great dangers that only he could stop. In order to go to Earth and warn them, however, he had to merge with Hikari. This he did, although Hikari thought at first that it was a dream.

Soon after, prehistoric monsters arrived frozen in icebergs. Hikari discovered he had a green star-shaped badge in his possession. After failing to stop the beasts, Hikari heard Ultraman's voice again, telling him to use the Beam Flasher. By placing the Beam Flasher on his forehead, Hikari would become a human-sized Ultraman, who would then grow to "normal" Ultra height (in his case, about 70 meters).

Ultraman Jonias had more attacks than any other Ultraman, due in no small part to the fact that animation lets a studio do much more without a heavy special effects budget. He had numerous energy-beam type attacks, and like the other Ultras, Jonias had a ColorTimer on his chest, in this case star-shaped. Unlike the others, his ColorTimer changed from green (okay) to yellow (in trouble) to blinking red (it's now or never!).

In the end, Ultraman Jonias was rewarded for his defense of Earth by becoming an individual human being.

Curiously enough, Ultraman Jonias was the first of several Ultra-heroes which were never really officially connected to the whole Ultra-mythos. A costume for a live actor was made of Ultraman Jonias, and used in several stage shows in Japan, but otherwise Ultraman Jonias never appeared with the other Ultra-heroes. In other episodes in the series (and in the English The Adventures of Ultraman), others from Ultraman Jonias' home appeared, including "Amia" (a woman Ultra), "Loto" (an Ultraman similar in appearance to Jonias), and "Erek" (an Ultraman with shoulder decorations, perhaps indicating leadership). These were friends of Jonias who were called in to help with an alien invasion. All four were part of an effort to colonize other parts of the galaxy.

The Ultraman was released in America in two different forms in the USA. One was the 1982 production The Adventures of Ultraman, which included the first episodes and the last storyline. More recently, several directly-translated episodes have appeared in the US, on a video titled Ultra Man II; here Hikari was known simply as "Harris." The Ultraman also has the distinction of being the first Ultra-series to be shown in Moscow, which happened around 1994.

There is also a German translation for the Adventures of Ultraman movie (when the Humans and Ultarans battle the invaders), which I believe is the first 3 episodes of the series.

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