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Is the new film something only for fans, or can anyone enjoy it?

Ultraman is a tokusatsu franchise that has been around for almost sixty years now. Ranking among the likes of Godzilla, Super Sentai (also known as Power Rangers abroad), and Kamen Rider in terms of popularity in the genre, this “giant superhero” has won the hearts of children and adults alike for generations. So of course, that means the franchise continues to this day!

The newest addition to the Ultraman universe is Shin Ultraman, which just hit theaters on May 13. Directed by Shinji Higuchi and written and planned by Hideaki Anno, this film is intended to be in the same spirit as the latest Godzilla movie, Shin Godzilla, which was also created by the same duo. Two of our Japanese language reporters went to see it: K. Masami, a huge Ultraman fan, and P.K. Sanjun, who has no attachment to the franchise whatsoever. Both came back with the same reaction: the Shin Ultraman movie is awesome.

This film is a reboot of the original series, which aired from 1966 to 1974. At this point, the show has undergone 56 years’ worth of reboots and remakes, probably leaving fans and non-fans alike with reboot exhaustion, but Shin Ultraman has its own twist on the franchise that makes it worth watching. We won’t specify how it set itself apart, as then we’d be spoiling the movie, but suffice it to say it does so in a sufficiently entertaining way.

Initially, Ultraman fan Masami worried that Hideaki Anno, whose work on Evangelion has been so iconic that expectations for his other productions have been high, was not actually directing Shin Ultraman but merely planning and writing the …continue reading