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TV Series
    (July 17, 1966-April 9, 1967)
    Born in Japan
    Tokusatsu (‘special filming,’ or special effects-heavy) series
    Created by Eiji Tsuburaya
    Akiji Kobayashi as Capt Toshio ‘Cap’ / ‘Mura’ Muramatsu
    Sandayu Dokymamushi as Daisuke Arashi
    Masanari Nihei as Mitsuhiro Ide
    Hiroko Sakurai as Akiko Fuji
    Susumu Kurobe as Shin Hayata (aka Ultraman)
    Haruo Nakajima / Satoshi ‘Bin’ Furuya in the Ultraman kaiju suit (Urutoraman)
    In the early to mid-1990s, the Tokyo-based Science Special Search Party defends the Earth against giant monsters and aliens; Hayata is killed in a crash-landing and merged with the Ultra creature to be revived as a defender (‘using the Beta capsule, Hayata becomes Ultraman!’)
    It was actually the second entry in the Ultra Series (the first being the short-lived Ultra Q a few weeks earlier).
    Writer Tetsuo Kinjo originally conceived him as an intergalactic reptilian form called Bemler (one of at least three different working titles).
    Furuya had to work with three different suit types: one with a latex face mask, another which was stolen from the company warehouse, and the last having aged poorly following the series’ conclusion.
    Pretty hard to travel a billion miles in such a short timespan even being that large. (Even at the speed of light, it would take him about 15 minutes to reach earth.)
    Why are none of the monsters threatening the Earth outside Tokyo?
    Tsuburaya planned for only one other successor series, being Ultraseven, the following year.
    ‘The tremendous energy Ultraman gets from the sun diminishes rapidly in Earth’s atmosphere. The warning light begins to blink. Should it stop completely, it will mean Ultraman will never rise again.’ And yet…
    Oh, that warning light? Yeah, the one that starts out blue and then blinks red? It was a last-minute addition.
    He was designed to be the antagonist in the final episode of Ultra Q; the idea was shelved at the last minute.
    Since Ultra Q had next to nothing to do with the elements that were integral to the Ultra Series (in fact it drew comparisons to The Outer Limits), he qualifies as the original of his breed.
    Not common for any series in its time, it received a proper ending (‘Farewell, Ultraman’).
    Kobayashi was the only regular not to survive to its golden anniversary (he died in 1996, two weeks shy of his 66th).
    Most of his successors would wear his iconic red and silver combination; a handful wore blue and silver and at least one was in blue and red.
    He became the most recognizable ‘Japanese superhero’ outside the manga genre.

Credit: Cool It All Right?

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