Thursday, February 19, 2015

ANI-MOVIES, *Ultraman II: The Further Adventures Of Ultraman

Ultraman has had more spinoffs than any other TV series, so it obviously had to get an anime adaptation. It was redone as an animated series in the late 70s and early 80s by Sunrise who at the time was also doing the first Gundam TV series. The series itself wasn't released in English on its own, but the first four episodes were dubbed for an American release as a compilation film.

Set in the future, a strange message from space is seen all over the world written in the sky in an "alien" language. What it was really from the alien hero Ultraman who tries to warn mankind of changes happening to the Earth. He ends up fusing with an astronaut who joins up with a special scientific task force that is assembles select soldiers to handle these new threats to the Earth. The four parts of this movie have some random monster show up, and Ultraman intervenes to stop them. The best of which is in the first one where he takes on four frost-breathing Godzilla clones. He also fights a living tornado! But as usual, his greatest weakness is he can only stay in his giant form for a few minutes before exposure to Earth's sun kills him, like he's a Reverse-Superman or something.

This movie was one of the first anime titles to be release at the dawn of the DVD boom in the 90s, and features some decent animation for the time. The giant monster fight sequences as disasters are exceptionally well done. If you happen to find a place to rent this or in a bargain bin, definitely give it a look. It's a shame that the American production of Ultraman: The Adventure Begins pilot movie done in part by Hanna-Barbera hasn't been released out here yet.

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