Manga Review: Ultraman Volume Three

Originally written for WatchPlayRead.com

Ultraman Volume 3 focuses on a young man named Shinjiro Hayata, whose father was Ultraman years earlier. Shinjiro has learned his father’s secret and must now become the new Ultraman.

Ultraman Volume 3
Written by: Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi
Publisher: HERO’S INC.
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: February 16, 2016

Volume 3 sees Shinjiro learning about an alien city that’s secretly hidden on Earth. An explanation is given as to how the city is hidden, and how not everyone who aids the SSSP knows where it’s actually located. Personally, I thought the explanation made sense for the kind of world that’s been established in the series up to this point.

Seeing the alien city is a trip for both Shinjiro and the reader, since there are new kinds of aliens that have never been seen up to this point. A new human character named Jake is introduced while Shinjiro and Moroboshi go through the alien city. Jake chooses to live in there and act as an informant for the SSSP. Maybe it’s just me, but there’s something about Jake that makes me not entirely trust him for some reason.

Shinjiro also has to deal with the emotional struggle that’s raging inside of him. Now that he’s Ultraman, he finds that he can never truly return to the life he had before taking on this secret identity. And to make things worse, it turns out that Moroboshi appears to be envious of Shinjiro because he wants to be the next Ultraman. Moroboshi is definitely being set up as a rival for Shinjiro, even though the two of them both aid the SSSP. At the end of Volume 3, Moroboshi does something foolish that I think could potentially hurt him in the next volume of the series.

We also see teen idol Rena again in Ultraman Volume 3, and it’s revealed she has a connection with someone on the police force who is obsessed with tracking down the murderer in the serial murder case. This revelation finally made it clear why this particular character is so intent on trying to track down and apprehend the serial killer. I hadn’t guessed that this member of the police force had any kind of connection with Rena, so this revelation surprised me as much as it did his partner.

The art in this volume continues to grab the reader’s attention. One of the most notable things that stood out to me is the image that covers pages 160 and 161. Here, we see Shinjiro and his father sitting across from each other, with their respective Ultraman suits standing behind them. In a lot of respects, it almost seems this image is meant to represent the “passing of the torch” from father to son. The page that introduces the reader to Jake also includes art that makes the reader sit up and take notice of this new character.

Ultraman Volume 3 is an exciting continuation of the story, and it begins tying things together that were introduced in Volume 2. Readers who have read and enjoyed the first two volumes of the series won’t be disappointed by how the story continues to move forward.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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