We don’t know for sure just when audiences outside of Japan will be able to feast their eyes on Evangelion creator Hideaki Anno and his Shin Godzilla partner Shinji Higuchi’s riff on Ultraman, one of the most iconic Japanese superheroes of all time. But in the meantime, we can spend the next few days in awe over the film’s opening Kaiju catastrophes.
To celebrate the film’s recent release in Japan, the first 10 minutes of Shin Ultraman have been released online in a limited-time capacity, meaning you’ve got the next 48 hours to watch the introduction of the giant of light himself, and a world beset by giant monsters.
The clip quickly introduces us to a Japan in a state of crisis as kaiju begin wreaking havoc all over the country, leading to the swift founding of the SSSP, or the S-Class Species Suppression Protocol (reinforcement unit) to contain and study monstrous threats. We quickly learn, however, just as Higuchi and Anno showed us in Shin Godzilla, what this actually means a lot of people in suits sitting around laptops and dealing with layers of government while said giant monsters just roam about causing horrifying levels of destruction. It’s a similar mix of that nostalgic Tokustatsu imagery—CG riffs on men in monster rubber suits stomping around sets of cities and towns, and even the soundtrack feels ripped out of the ‘70s—and the grounded banality of what are basically office workers tasked with trying to stop it all.
So it’s a good job Ultraman shows up to beat the snot out of at least one of those threats—classic Ultra beast Neronga, an electricity-sucking creature that can also turn invisible—in the final moments of the preview. It’s very cool just watching how completely alien Ultraman feels shrugging off the monster’s attacks before unleashing a devastating one of its own. We may not get to see much of Ultraman here, but if this is the vibe we get for much of Shin Ultraman whenever we get to see it outside of Japan, we’re going to be in for a very cool treat.
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