‘The Ultraman,’ ‘Ultraman 80’ Collections Coming to DVD Sept. 14 From Mill Creek

Mill Creek Entertainment will release “The Ultraman” and “Ultraman 80”  in their North American DVD debut Sept. 14.

Both collections will be on six DVDs at $34.99 each.

Mill Creek Entertainment has licensed the available “Ultraman” back-catalog via international distribution company Indigo Entertainment from Tsuburaya Productions.

“The Ultraman” is the eighth original entry in the “Ultraman” series. This DVD collection includes all 50 episodes. In the animated series, across the planet Earth, strange glowing objects in the form of an unknown language appear in the skies. In order to investigate these strange phenomena, the Earth Defense Forces form the Science Guard Agency led by Captain Akiyama. Akiyama immediately forms a top-rated team of scientific experts. Choichiro Hikari from the Earth Defense Forces space station is chosen to join the Science Guard Agency and begins making his way back to Earth. But as he is traveling through space, Hikari meets Ultraman Joneus. Ultraman Joneus tells Hikari that the Earth is in great danger. In order to defend the Earth, Ultraman Joneus says he must become one with an Earth man. Hikari agrees and he and Ultraman Joneus join forces. When danger strikes, Hikari is able to transform into the gigantic 40 meter tall superhero Ultraman Joneus.

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The ninth original series is “Ultraman 80.” This 50-episode series follows Takeshi Yamato, a 22-year-old young man who lives a double life. During the daytime, he is a rookie but popular science teacher at a junior high school in Tokyo. But after school and on Sundays he works as a member of the elite UGM (Utility Government Members), an Earth defense organization that tackles difficult situations such as alien invasion and attacks from monsters. When the situation gets out of control, Takeshi transforms into a 50-meter-tall mighty warrior, Ultraman 80, and knocks down the most terrifying monsters to save the day.

The “Ultraman” and “Ultraman 80” sets feature episode guides and audio of the original Japanese soundtracks with English subtitles.

Netflix Developing ‘Ultraman’ CG-Animated Feature

Netflix is developing a CG-animated feature film Ultraman in partnership with Tsuburaya Productions and based on the iconic Japanese superhero.

In the film, baseball superstar Ken Sato returns to his home country of Japan to pick up the mantle of Earth-defending superhero Ultraman, but quickly finds more than he bargained for when he’s forced to raise the offspring of his greatest foe, a newborn Kaiju. Struggling to balance the roles of teammate and new father, Ken must confront his own ego, his estranged father, and the conniving Kaiju Defense Force to rise up and discover what it truly means to be Ultraman.

“Making this film is a dream come true. What began as an original story inspired by my love for Eiji Tsuburaya’s Ultraman somehow became an actual Ultraman film thanks to the incredible trust of the team at Tsuburaya Productions, and the support of the folks at Netflix Animation,” Shannon Tindle, who is directing the film, said in a statement. “We’ve assembled an all-star team and I can’t wait to share our unique take on Ultraman with the rest of the world.”

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“Ultraman was born in Japan 55 years ago,” Takayuki Tsukagoshi, CEO and chairman of Tsuburaya Productions, said in a statement. “This partnership with Netflix will be the first full-scale endeavor to reach the global market for Tsuburaya Productions. Ultraman, since it was created, has charmed many people around the world. And Shannon Tindle is one of those people. He was greatly influenced by Ultraman as a child, and he grew up to become a creator himself. I am delighted that families around the world will be able to  watch Shannon and his team’s vision for Ultraman on Netflix and foster feelings of courage, hope and kindness.”

“Having the opportunity to partner with our friends at Tsuburaya Productions to bring this beloved character to our members around the world is an honor,” Aram Yacoubian, Netflix’s director of original animated film, said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to be working with Shannon, John and an incredibly talented team of artists and lovers of Ultraman from around the world. We can’t wait to share our film with fans of this iconic Japanese hero and introduce a new generation to what’s sure to become their new favorite superhero.”

The project continues Netflix’s relationship with Tsuburaya Productions following the release of the “Ultraman” anime series which is currently in its second season.

Mill Creek Bowing Two More Ultraman Collections on Blu-ray June 15

Mill Creek Entertainment is releasing two more collections from the Ultraman superhero library on Blu-ray June 15 — Ultra Galaxy: Mega Monster Battle, containing two complete TV series and a movie on five Blu-ray discs, at $45.99 and Ultraman Zero Collection, containing two movies and two specials across three Blu-ray discs, at $34.99.

The titles are available via Mill Creek Entertainment’s license of the “Ultraman” back-catalog via international distribution company Indigo Entertainment from Tsuburaya Productions.

Originally released in 2007, the 13-episode “Ultra Galaxy: Mega Monster Battle” was linked to a popular Japanese arcade card game in which monsters from across the “Ultraman” series engaged in head-to-head combat. The show is set in the distant future, as the Earth organization Zap Spacy explores unknown planets for much-needed natural resources. Under the leadership of Captain Hyuga, the crew of the spaceship Pendragon crash lands on Planet Boris, a desolate world teaming with warring giant monsters. There they encounter a mysterious young man named Rei who uses a device called the Battlenizer to summon and control his own monsters. The story continues in the 2008 sequel series “Ultra Galaxy: Mega Monster Battle Never Ending Odyssey.” The Pendragon team are attacked by the Reionics Hunters, members of the alien Pedan race that seek to exterminate all of Rei’s kind. The conflict leads the crew to the monster-filled Planet Hammer and an encounter with Alien Reiblood, first of the Reionics.

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Rei and the Pendragon crew return in the 2009 theatrical feature Mega Monster Battle Ultra Galaxy the Movie, a special effects extravaganza with nearly all of the Ultra Heroes. A terrifying threat returns to destroy the Ultraman homeworld, the Land of Light in Nebula M78, when the evil Ultraman Belial is released from centuries of imprisonment. Armed with a powerful Reionics weapon called the Giga Battlenizer, Bellial defeats one Ultraman after another and steals the Plasma Spark, the energy source for the Land of Light. Ultraman Mebius seeks out Rei to help rescue Ultraman and Ultraseven and recover the Plasma Spark. But will even the timely assistance of Ultraman Dyna and the powerful young fighter Ultraman Zero be enough to turn the tide against Belial and his army of monsters?

The Ultraman Zero Collection kicks off with Ultra Galaxy Legend Side Story: Ultraman Zero Vs Darklops Zero, a two-part special first released in 2010. Answering a distress call, Rei and Captain Hyuga become trapped in a pocket dimension where an unknown alien is creating evil imitations of the Ultras. When Ultraman Zero comes to their rescue, he is challenged by the black giant Darklops Zero, an armored warrior who looks just like him.

In the 2010 feature film Ultraman Zero: The Revenge of Belial, the Ultra Heroes discover the Ultraman Belial still lives and is creating his empire by conquering planets in an alternate dimension. Dispatched to this new universe, Ultraman Zero encounters space pirates, a princess and her robot protector Jean-Bot, the hotheaded Glenfire, and the mysterious Mirror Knight, who must all join forces to put an end to Belial and his schemes.

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The two-part special Ultraman Zero Side Story: Killer the Beatstar (2011) follows the events of The Revenge of Belial. The Ultimate Force Zero team of Ultraman Zero, Glenfire and Mirror Knight come to the rescue when Princess Emerana and Jean-Bot are captured by the villainous Beatstar. Vowing to destroy all organic life, Beatstar sends the deadly robot Jean-Killer to crush his foes as plots to crash his artificial planet into an inhabited world.

The 2012 movie Ultraman Saga presents a team-up of Ultraman Zero, Ultraman Dyna and Ultraman Cosmos. The three heroes join forces with Team U (played by members of the J-idol group AKB48) to save children on an alternate Earth from the conqueror Alien Bat and his monster, Hyper Zetton.

All titles in the Ultra Galaxy: Mega Monster Battle and Ultraman Zero Collection sets feature DTS-HD Master Audio of the original Japanese soundtracks with English subtitles. The films Mega Monster Battle Ultra Galaxy the Movie, Ultraman Zero: The Revenge of Belial and Ultraman Saga also come with never-before-released English dubs.

‘Ultraman Leo’ Coming to Blu-ray May 25 From Mill Creek

Mill Creek Entertainment will release the classic Japanese series “Ultraman Leo” on Blu-ray as both a special-edition Steelbook and in standard packaging on May 25.

The seventh and final entry in the first wave of the “Ultraman” series premiered in Japan in April 1974. The mighty hero Ultraseven is crippled while defending the Earth from an invasion by the tyrannical Alien Magma. He is rescued by Gen Otori, a young Ultra warrior who had fled to Earth following the destruction of his home world, Planet L77 in the Leo constellation. Unable to return to his giant form, the injured Ultraseven resumes his human identity of Dan Moroboshi and trains Gen to become the next Ultra Hero — Ultraman Leo.

“Ultraman Leo” offered a more mature and often violent tone than its kid-friendly predecessor, “Ultraman Taro.” The show features a new Earth defense team; the Monster Attacking Crew; the return of classic Ultra Heroes such as Ultraman, Zoffy, Jack and Ace; and the introduction of three new Ultras.

The Steelbook and standard Blu-ray releases of “Ultraman Leo” include all 51 half-hour episodes in high-def with DTS-HD Master Audio of the original Japanese soundtrack with English subtitles.

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Digital redemption will also be available via Mill Creek Entertainment’s streaming service movieSpree.

Mill Creek Entertainment has licensed the entire available “Ultraman” back-catalog via international distribution company Indigo Entertainment from Tsuburaya Productions.

‘Ultraman Taro’ Bowing on Blu-ray Jan. 12 From Mill Creek

Mill Creek Entertainment will bow the next release from the “Ultraman” superhero library — Ultraman Taro — on Blu-ray as both a special edition Steelbook and in standard packaging Jan. 12.

It’s the North American debut of the series, which has never been broadcast on TV or available on any home entertainment format.

Ultraman Taro is the sixth entry in the “Ultraman series,” premiering in Japan in April 1973.  After being scouted to the Earth defense team ZAT (Zariba of All Territory), young boxer Kotaro Higashi is severely injured during a Kaiju attack. At the chasm between life and death, Mother of Ultra appeared and saved Kotaro by merging his life with a young Ultra Hero, thus giving birth to the sixth Ultra Brother — Ultraman Taro.

Ultraman Taro took a kid-friendly approach, introducing several new monsters and aliens inspired by folklore. Classic Ultra heroes, such as Ultraman, Ultraseven and Zoffy, also return to assist the powerful but inexperienced Taro as he learns the ropes of being an Ultra Brother.

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The Steelbook and standard Blu-ray releases of Ultraman Taro will each contain high definition video for all 53 half-hour episodes with DTS-HD Master Audio of the original Japanese soundtrack with English subtitles.

Digital redemption will also be available via Mill Creek’s streaming service, movieSpree.

Mill Creek has licensed the entire available “Ultraman” back-catalog via international distribution company Indigo Entertainment, from the team at Tsuburaya Productions.

‘Birth of Ultraman Collection’ Coming to Blu-ray July 10

The Birth of Ultraman Collection, containing some of the best episodes of the original “Ultraman” series, is coming to Blu-ray July 10 from Mill Creek Entertainment at $25.99.

It will include both the original Japanese language and the classic English dub audio tracks plus The Birth of Ultraman — Ultraman pre-premiere special, the very first appearance of the hero.

The set will be exclusively sold on DeepDiscount as part of the launch of a dedicated “Ultraman” storefront that will offer up all of Mill Creek’s current Blu-ray and steelbook releases in addition to other “Ultraman”-related merchandise and products.

The exclusive Blu-ray release also features art created by Alex Ross, which is also featured on The Rise of Ultraman cover for Marvel Comics, and Tsuburaya Production’s recent collaboration with the debut issue releasing September 2020.

The release is part of Mill Creek Entertainment’s license of the entire available “Ultraman” back-catalog via international distribution company Indigo Entertainment, from the team at Tsuburaya Productions.

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“The Birth of Ultraman Collection” includes the following episodes:

  • Episode 1, “Ultra Operation No. 1,” in which the story begins as the heroic alien Ultraman pursues the space monster Bemular to Earth, leading to a fateful encounter with Shin Hayata, an agent of the SSSP;
  • Episode 2, “Shoot the Invader,” in which Ultraman’s iconic foe, Alien Baltan, makes its first appearance in a tale narrated by Ide, the SSSP’s genius inventor;
  • Episode 19, “Demons Rise Again,” in which an ancient time capsule unleashes the red-skinned monster Banila and its blue-skinned rival Aboras, who wage a titanic battle in the National Stadium;
  • Episodes 26 and 27, “The Monster Highness” Parts 1 and 2, the only two-part Ultraman story that features the Ancient Monster Gomora, who escapes captivity and overwhelms Ultraman as it rampages towards Osaka;
  • Episode 33, “The Forbidden Words,” in which even Ultraman may not be able to stop Alien Mefilas when he tries to convince a boy to give him the Earth; and
  • Episode 37, “A Little Hero,” in which Ide suffers a crisis of faith as the Friendly Monster Pigmon warns that the evil creature Geronimon is reviving an army of monsters to destroy Ultraman and the SSSP.

The Birth of Ultraman — Ultraman pre-premiere special aired in Japan on July 10, 1966, one week before the series premiere. The stage show was filmed before a live studio audience and introduced viewers to the story, cast and characters of “Ultraman.” This July 10 event on television is now celebrated annually and known throughout the world as “Ultraman Day.” Never-before-released in America, the special is presented in black and white (as originally broadcast) in standard definition with Japanese audio and English subtitles.

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“Ultraman” premiered on Japanese television on July 17, 1966. While the series was still in production, the North American rights were licensed to United Artists, who in-turn commissioned voice director Peter Fernandez (“Speed Racer”) to supervise the English dubbing of the show. The English-language version was syndicated to American television in 1967 and went on to air in various markets across the country into the early 1980s.

‘Ultraman X’ and ‘Ultraman Ace’ Coming on Blu-ray This Spring From Mill Creek

Mill Creek Entertainment is releasing to new titles on Blu-ray from the “Ultraman” superhero library for their North American debut.

“Ultraman X” will arrive on Blu-ray as both a complete series plus movie combo pack at $39.98 and a movie-only, stand-alone Blu-ray at $19.98 on April 21.

“Ultraman Ace” will come out in a steelbook at $49.98 while the complete series will also be available in standard Blu-ray packaging at $39.98 on May 12.

The first Ultraman series with an ongoing antagonist, “Ultraman Ace” premiered in 1972 and features all of the earlier Ultra Heroes — Ultraman, Ultraseven, Ultraman Jack and Zoffy — as recurring characters. The releases include all 52 half-hour episodes with DTS-HD Master Audio of the original Japanese soundtrack with English subtitles. In this fifth entry in the Ultra Series, theinterdimensional alien Yapool launches a war against the Ultra Heroes for galactic domination. As the conflict spreads to Earth a new hero, Ultraman Ace, is tasked with protecting the planet from Yapool and his Terrible-Monsters, experimental beasts more powerful than ordinary monsters. Divided between his two human hosts’ personalities, Ace must learn to balance them and his superior energy powers as he battles alongside Earth’s Terrible-Monster Attacking Crew (TAC) and his fellow Ultramen to overcome these terrible new foes.

“Ultraman X” was originally released in 2015. When a massive “Ultra Flare” from the sun envelops the earth, Spark Dolls buried underground and undersea are turned into monsters. In order to deal with the sudden outbreak of marauding creatures, mankind forms Xio, a special defense team equipped with the latest in super-science. Then, 15 years later, Xio is engaged in battle against a monster when team member Daichi Ozora hears a mysterious voice say, “Unite! If you and I join together, you will fight that monster with one heart, one mind!” He agrees, merging with a giant of light to become Ultraman X. Also included with the complete, 25-episode series is the 2016 theatrical feature film Ultraman X: The Movie — Here He Comes! Our Ultraman. In the film, X is joined by his longtime ally Cyber Gomora and a team of Ultra Heroes (Ultraman, Ultraman Zero, Ultraman Max, Ultraman Victory, Ultraman Ginga, Ultraman Nexus and Ultraman Tiga) to stop the evil beast Zaigorg and a “powered up” army of classic monsters.

Digital redemption on Mill Creek Entertainment’s streaming service movieSpree is also included with each release.

‘Return of Ultraman’ and ‘Ultraman Orb: The Origin Saga’ Flying to Blu-ray in February From Mill Creek

The Japanese series “Return of Ultraman” and “Ultraman Orb: The Origin Saga” are coming to Blu-ray in February from Mill Creek Entertainment.

“Return of Ultraman,” the fourth entry in the “Ultra Series” that premiered in April 1971, comes out in both steelbook ($49.98) and standard ($39.98) packaging Feb. 25. After years of relative peace, mankind is once again under attack by giant monsters and alien invaders. A new Ultra Hero, Ultraman Jack, arrives from Nebula M78 to combat this threat alongside the Earth defense unit known as MAT (Monster Attack Team). The series features guest appearances from the original Ultraman and Ultraseven, presenting the very first team-up of the Ultra Heroes. It also brings back some classic foes from previous shows while also introducing dozens of new aliens and monsters. The releases include all 51 half-hour episodes with DTS-HD Master Audio of the original Japanese soundtrack with English subtitles. Digital redemption will also be available via Mill Creek Entertainment’s streaming service movieSpree.

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The complete 12-episode “Ultraman Orb: The Origin Saga” debuts Feb. 11 at $19.98 with the bonus special Ultra Fight Orb, which picks up from the events of the theatrical feature film Ultraman Orb: The Movie — Let Me Borrow the Power of Bonds. Both properties have never been broadcast on TV or available on any home entertainment format in North America. “Ultraman Orb: The Origin Saga” is a prequel to the 50th anniversary series “Ultraman Orb” (now available on Blu-ray and digital). Debuting in Japan on Amazon Prime Video in December 2016, the show reveals how Gai Kurenai became the hero Ultraman Orb, and why his friend Jugglus Juggler turned into his arch enemy. Ultraman Orb joins Ultraman Zero and Ultraseven in Ultra Fight Orb to stop a mysterious villain who has revived an army of ghost monsters. Digital redemption on movieSpree is also included.