American Ultraman fans are about to get more of the series than they can shake a henshin stick at. The upcoming Ultraman U.S. release will feature every single show and film from the franchise released in the past 50 years. According to a report by Scifi Japan, Tsuburaya Production and Mill Creek Entertainment have inked a deal that will allow the latter to distribute every single Ultra show in the United States. This deal encompasses both digital and physical releases.
“We are very excited about this partnership and the opportunity to reintroduce the Ultraman series, with over 50 years of history, to the people of North America,” stated Kei Minamitani, General Manager International Business of Tsuburaya Productions. “We hope that we shall rekindle memories of the fans that enjoyed the series in the ’70s and ’80s and at the same time nurture a new fan base for the younger generation.”
For those not familiar with the Ultra series, each show focuses on a specific “Ultraman,” a giant of light that serves as a space policemen of sorts, protecting planers giant space monsters. Each Ultraman story tends to begin with some battle or accident that forces one of these giants to bond with a human to save their lives. This human then is able to transform into that specific Ultraman, but only for three minutes at a time.
All-in-all, the series spans over 1,100 TV episodes and 20 theatrical releases. Most people in the U.S. will likely be familiar with the recent Netflix anime, which plays a bit with the series’ premise. However, older fans may recall 1987’s Ultraman: the Adventure Begins, an animated film that Tsuburaya co-produced with Hanna-Barbera.
The first releases from this deal to hit U.S. shores will be limited edition steelbook releases the first two shows in the series, Ultra-Q and Ultraman. Mill Creek is also looking to release some of the more recent Ultraman series’ in tandem with these.
As for digital releases, Mill Creek didn’t state any specific services at this time. That said, with the success of the recent anime on Netflix, it’s likely we’ll see some of these classic Ultraman shows there.