Uh… Wait, what?
No, hold on, what was that?
Ultraman Connection faithful, you’ve been with us for years now, and we’d like to think that we’ve always had a pretty good grasp on the ins and outs, past and future, of the Ultraman Series.
That teaser, though… That strange teaser that first showed up the end of Ultraman Decker Finale: Journey to Beyond, and now has received a public release… To paraphrase Benoit Blanc, “It compels us.”
For the past few weeks, we at Ultraman Connection have played this teaser over and over again. We have a corkboard. We have things we think we know, but until April 21st, the date listed at the end of the teaser, bud is can only speculate.
With that in mind, let’s get speculating!
Very rarely is speech part of an Ultraman Series trailer. The visuals are often enough to build hype, after all. However, this time, the trailer is FULL of speech. More than the official subtitles could handle, even. Thankfully, we’ve deciphered just a few of the early lines before the official subtitles started, listed here:
“This area is a Kaiju warning zone.”
“Prepare the defensive line!”
“Retreat! Back to the secondary defensive line!”
“Engaging the hostiles.”
“Investigate the source of this phenomenon.”
…Yikes. Whatever is going on in this world, it is going poorly. The existence of Kaiju that cannot be defeated easily, entire areas at constant risk of a Kaiju attack… Things seem bleaker than usual.
The Titles of a Hero
“Beyond the singular point, a bichrome helix streaks across the universe. A spirit rises.”
Messages flashing momentarily past glimpses of our mysterious hero can give viewers a message of hope, in contrast to the words of panic echoing through the teaser. Though he does not sound like most previous heroes we’ve seen (or look like them, but that’s for later), we can at least be confident; someone is coming.
The First Reactions
When the subtitles in the teaser finally start, it is with a conversation.
“What do you make of that 50-meter class extraterrestrial humanoid?”
“He helped us. That’s an indisputable fact.”
Forget coming: Ultraman is here, and he’s here to do good. And yet, there is somehow an air of… mistrust, even in this small exchange. Unlike previous series, these humans do not know what to make of the giant. Though one of the two speakers is confident that Ultraman has helped, there is still an implication; will he help if he appears again?
Let’s step away from words before we come to the final moments of the teaser and talk about what we can see. The Ultra in this teaser is in silhouette, little visible save for an irregularly shaped, jagged color timer, his luminous eyes, and a glowing crest over the right side of his head, shining a brilliant blue.
The first impression of this design is that it drew us back to another series, one known for its unconventional design, as well as a darker tone. I speak of 2004’s Ultraman Nexus, the culmination of Tsuburaya’s ambitious “Ultra N Project.” Nexus was known for its darker tone than other Ultraman Series entries, as well as a certain legendary silver Ultra that connected the entire Ultra N Project together.
In addition, the sense of bureaucracy to the initial dialogues draws reasonable comparisons to Shin Ultraman — imagine what could be done with that tone in a weekly series? How would that work…?
We’re certainly not claiming that this mysterious character actually has any ties to Nexus, Shin Ultraman, or Ultraman Noa, but if this series’ similarities run more than skin deep, this will be a very interesting year for Ultraman.
He Is Familiar
The last line of the teaser completely recontextualizes everything prior:
“It’s been going around among the astronauts for decades…”
He’s BEEN here.
Everything we thought we knew is in disarray. Legends of the giant in space? Decades of stories about the mysterious extraterrestrial? Why is Ultraman arriving now? What’s changed?
There are so many questions, and so few answers until the date specified at the end of the teaser: April 21st. When that day comes, you can bet that Ultraman Connection will be there, learning the secrets of this new Ultraman alongside you fans.
See you then.