I first spotted Ultraman in Odaiba, in a retro themed arcade shown left. I then found him proudly standing outside the Bandai headquarters who make Ultraman figures and toys. All the mascots have the distinctive yellow eyes and the red and silver costume. They also have a blue half sphere on their chest. This is a warning light which flashes red when the energy reserves have been used up.
The Ultraman series started in 1966 but has been regularly adapted until the present day. The Ultraman series was originally only 39 episodes, but it was such a commercial success that many sequels and remakes followed. Each series features a different costume for the Ultra Warriors.
In the original series, the main character is Shin Hayata, who crashes his plane into a red sphere of light. Inside the sphere, which is really an unusual vehicle, is Ultraman. After surveying the crash Ultraman finds the lifeless Hayata and, feeling pity on him, decides to merge their life force together and bring him back to life. As a result Hayata can transform into Ultraman whenever Earth is in danger from the various monsters that regularly attack it.
Ultraman is 130-feet tall, 20,000-Earth-years old, can run, swim and fly extremely fast and has an array of special powers including the Specium Ray and Ultra Slash.
The show’s creator, Eiji Tsuburaya, was also a part of the team behind the original Godzilla movie. Various monsters appeared in the show and many have been made into 3D mascots. In Japanese they are called Kaiju which translates as Strange beast. In the book you’ll find the very strange Alien Baltan and the infamous Kanegon.