The official name for the Ultraman in this series is "New Ultraman" ("Shin Urutoraman"). But in the late 1970s, Bandai (which had since become the licensor for Ultraman toys in Japan) held a survey for children, and Tsuburaya gave him his current official licensing name, "Ultraman Jack" ("Urutoraman Jakku"). He is still occasionally called New Ultraman, however. See more »
Now known as Ultraman Jack, this fourth installment of Ultra Series, and first of what's known as the Second Ultra Series (consisting of this series, Ultraman Ace, Ultraman Taro, and Ultraman Leo), Ultraman returns to earth after four years of hiatus from the last episode of the Ultra Seven.
Hideki Go (Jiro Dan) is a young man aspiring to be a race car driver. One day when kaijyu Takkong goes on a rampage, he saves the life of a boy, and a dog while losing his. Ultraman - a visitor who came to protect earth from M78 nebula was watching. Impressed with his courage, he decides to merge with him. Now reborn, Hideki joins MAT, and battles the menace of attacking kaijyu.
The series starts out good with hordes of good looking kaijyu on every episode, but from around episode 10 the quality of kaijyu design starts to go down hill. The appearance got more juvenile looking as the episodes progressed, and by the time it gets to the last episode, alien from planet Batt looks like nothing more than a Smoky the Bear in a tiger costume. This, I understand is due to the low ratings the series suffered when it first aired, and marketing showed that children wanted to see combination of alien, and kaijyu in each episode. They also wanted Ultraman to get boost in power. This resulted in more kaijyu that's geared for younger audience, and Ultraman getting the Ultra Bracelet from Ultra Seven that changes into multitude of weapons. The best of the kaijyu design Twin Tail, I believe is based on the sketch of the walking vegetation that appeared on "Day of the Triffids".
This is the first series where the relation of all Ultra heros are brothers is revealed, with Ultraman Jack being the fourth in the brotherhood. Ultraman Jack appears in ten other Ultra series/movies as a guest, and costar. Most recent being "Ultraman Saga" (2012).
In this series, life of Hideki Go as a civilian is shown. He lives in Sakata's house/automobile repair shop with Jiro (Hideki Kawaguchi), Aki (Rumi Sakakibara), and Ken (Shin Kishida). It's the first time the main protagonist is shown in his private life. In episodes 37 and 38, due to the schedule conflict of actress Rumi Sakakibara, her role Aki Sakata gets killed by alien from planet Knuckle. But in the movie "Daikessen! Cho Ultra hachi kyodai" (2008), Aki is seen married to Hideki, with a daughter between them.
There's something endearing about this series, probably because the actor Jiro Dan and his supporting casts did such a good job of bringing warmth to the story. It's still one of the best Ultra series ever created.
Great series that's still fun to watch today. It's certainly one of the best ultra heroes to come out of Japan.
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