Ultraman Manga to Go on a Two-Month Hiatus for the Author’s Health

The official website for the anime of Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi’s Ultraman manga has announced that the manga will not appear with a new chapter in the new issue of Shogakukan’s Monthly Hero’s magazine, and will instead publish a new chapter in the magazine’s May 2019 issue on April 1, 2019. The manga’s 12th compiled book volume release has been delayed from February 5, 2019 to March 5, 2019.

The announcement explained that Shimoguchi is currently recovering from health issues, and is gradually returning to his working pace.

Source: ANN

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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Manga Review: Ultraman Volume Two

Originally written for WatchPlayRead.com

Ultraman Volume 2 focuses on Shinjiro Hayata, the son of the man who was Ultraman years earlier. Shinjiro recently learned his father’s secret and must now decide whether or not he’ll become the new Ultraman.

Ultraman Volume 2
Written by: Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi
Publisher: HERO’S INC.
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: November 17, 2015

Volume 2 sees Shinjiro being thrust into the Science Special Search Party, where a comrade of his father’s introduces him to the world around Ultraman. Unknown to Shinjiro, though, situations are being set up to nudge him into agreeing to become the next Ultraman, since he hasn’t made up his mind to actually take on the superhero identity. As a reader, I felt bad for Shinjiro, since it doesn’t seem like creating situations to encourage him to agree to the job is the right way to go about it. I can only imagine what could happen if Shinjiro were to find out the truth later.

But while this is going on, a serial murder case is unfolding in the city. Due to the suspicious nature of the murders and the condition the victims’ bodies are in, the Science Special Search Party starts becoming involved. This leads to Shinjiro being sent out as Ultraman to fight against the murderer and having an epic battle.

Ultraman Volume 2 also introduces a new character, a teen idol named Rena. Her father was a fan of the original Ultraman, and she grew up hearing stories about him. When Rena finds herself in the middle of Ultraman’s conflict near the end of the volume, she seems to be taken by him. I get the impression that perhaps Shimizu and Shimoguchi are building up to Rena developing a crush on Ultraman, especially with some of her facial expressions and reactions that she has when she sees Ultraman performing a heroic action in front of her. But whether she could become a viable love interest for Shinjiro remains to be seen.

The art in this volume continues to captivate the reader, especially the fight sequences. Also, I thought that the drawings of the poster featuring Rena looked as if Shimizu and Shimoguchi made sure to take their time to make the poster grab the reader’s attention. Whenever the poster appeared in the volume, it always seemed to stand out from the rest of the art surrounding it on the page. The combination of the art and the storytelling continue to make Ultraman a captivating read.

Ultraman Volume 2 is a strong continuation of the first volume of the series. Readers who enjoyed Ultraman Volume 1 should appreciate seeing how the story evolves in the second volume, and when they finish, they will likely find themselves wanting to read the next volume to find out what will happen to Shinjiro and the other characters.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi Collaborate on Getter Robo Devolution Manga

The October 2015 issue of Akita Shoten’s Bessatsu Shōnen Champion magazine has revealed and published a prologue chapter of Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi’s new Getter Robo Devolution ~Uchū Saigo no 3-bun Kan~ (Getter Robo Devolution ~The Last 3 Minutes of the Universe~) manga. The magazine also announced that the main story will start in the magazine’s January 2016 issue, which Akita Shoten will publish on December 12, 2015.

The manga is based on Ken Ishikawa and Go Nagai’s Getter Robo robot anime and manga franchise.

Source: ANN

Manga Review: Ultraman Volume One

Originally written for WatchPlayRead.com

Ultraman Volume 1 is inspired by the Japanese superhero TV show from Japan that began airing in the 1960s. This manga adaptation appears to be a “new generation” story to continue from the original television series.

Ultraman Volume 1
Written by: Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi
Publisher: HERO’S INC.
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: August 18, 2015

Volume 1 starts out by establishing the basic premise from the original Ultraman television series, but quickly moves ahead to a time when Ultraman has left Earth and has become a memory.

Shin Hayata, a former member of the Science Special Search Party that worked with Ultraman years earlier to fight alien creatures called kaiju, takes his young son Shinjiro to a museum dedicated to Ultraman. But during this visit, it’s established that there’s something strange about Shinjiro: he falls a great distance but is unhurt.

This bothers Shin, but things become even more complicated after he talks with his former teammate, Ide. Shin admits to having no memory of the time when Ultraman was around but can remember everything clearly from before and after then. Ide drops several bombshells, including the fact that Shin was Ultraman after the two of them had merged. Personally, I felt that the first chapter of Ultraman Volume 1 did a great job of establishing the concept of Ultraman for readers who don’t have familiarity with it, and it also effectively set the stage for what happens later in the story.

The story jumps ahead 12 years to Shinjiro as a teenager, and it’s revealed that he has other abilities besides not getting hurt if he falls from any height. It’s reinforced that Shinjiro has these unusual abilities, but has no idea why he does. But when a new alien threat comes to Earth both Shin and Shinjiro find themselves facing off with it. Near the end of the volume, Shinjiro is given a way to amplify his power in order to help fight the kaiju. Volume 1 establishes that Shinjiro is becoming the new Ultraman, whether he really wants to or not.

Much of Ultraman Volume 1 spends its time trying to establish the characters, their situations, and the world that they inhabit. It can make the early portion of the story feel like it’s dragging a little but once it’s hinted there’s something unusual about Shinjiro and Shin learns the truth about Ultraman, the story starts picking up. And the reader is rewarded by impressive fight sequences during the last third of the volume.

The art in this volume looks impressive, especially the fight sequences. There’s also a drawing that caught my interest in a two-page spread on pages 120-121 which depicts Shin revealing to Shinjiro that he’s Ultraman. The contrasts of the shades make it stand out, and the details included for the drawing of Shin also catch the eye. The overall art style, when combined with the storytelling, makes this volume of Ultraman an engaging read.

Ultraman Volume 1 seems to be off to a good start. From what I see here, I believe it’s a series that can appeal to readers whether or not they have any familiarity with the Ultraman television series. Readers who enjoy the Tiger & Bunny anime or manga series will likely find something to like about Ultraman.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi to Launch a New Manga in September 2015

The September 2015 issue of Akita Shoten’s Bessatsu Shōnen Champion magazine has announced that Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi will begin their previously announced manga based on Shotaro Ishinomori’s 1970s tokusatsu TV series Robot Detective in the magazine’s next issue, which Akita Shoten will publish on September 12, 2015. The manga remains untitled.

Shimizu and Shimoguchi announced the manga in January 2014, and it was originally slated to debut in Fall 2014 in conjunction with Akita Shoten’s Shōnen Champion family of magazines.

Source: ANN