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Spectacular, isn’t it? These are some of the monsters that feature in the Ultraman franchise, one of two paintings by Toshio Okazaki published in Shōgakukan’s 1979 edition of Ultra Kaiju (Shōgakukan Nyūmon Hyakka Series #97) (Source: Pink Tentacle)
I have to say that the various Ultraman series fascinate me. They should fascinate you, too. Sure, there are many reasons why you might be scornful or dismissive, but there are plenty more that suggest that the Ultraman phenomenon has much greater depth and power than you might have realised.
Go to the Monster Awareness Month website now, where you can see the other one of Okazaki’s paintings and read some of my thoughts on the Japanese superhero/daikaiju spectacle that is Ultraman — a franchise that has survived since the 1960s and is still evolving and feeding the box office in its native land. Arguably more popular than Godzilla, and certainly more undying on Japanese TV and in cinemas than the King of the Monsters has proven to be, it offers one thing at least that should attract readers of Undead Backbrain: really weird monsters. Lots of them.
I love it. If you want to know why, go read the article “Reveling in Absurdity: The Monsters of Ultraman”.
You can follow up by reading Ruth Merriam’s excellent appreciation of Ray Harryhausen’s Jason and the Argonauts (1963).