It was revealed through Tsuburaya Productions' parent company, Fields Corporation, that a new Ultraman series will premiere this July. Not surprising, as this is the 50th Anniversary year of the original hero's debut. The question is... What is this series?
Many may remember how last year Tsuburaya revealed a concept trailer for an Ultraman series bringing the hero to life in full CG. The piece ended with the date 7.7, the fake date of special effects master Eiji Tsuburaya's birthday. (He was born on the 10th of July, but legend skews his birth on the celebration of Tanabata.) Little is known or has been discovered about the footage since it was released online by Tsuburaya. While it's possible the July release is pointing at this particular series there has also been evidence of another Ultra series being produced with practical effects and a traditional style.
The image above has been floating around Japanese websites confirming the use of some sort of tokusatsu Ultra series. With rumors of both practical and CG Ultra series being produced this year, it's possible the July release could be either one of these projects.
The tokusatsu Ultra series is supposedly titled Ultraman Minerubu, or Minerva, as some Japanese fans have been translating it as. (Minerva is the Roman Godess of Wisdom; likely nothing more than a metaphoric name instead of a hint toward a female Ultra—Although that possibility would be exciting.)
Ultraman X premiered last July to massive world wide success thanks to the simulcast by Crunchyroll. The successful series reached 400 million overseas and the feature film, Ultraman X: Here Comes Our Ultraman! will hit Japanese theaters March 12th, 2016.
Stay tuned for more updates on Ultraman's 50th Anniversary.
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Header art by Sinad-Jaru.