It’s Tuesday! You know what that means: Toku Tuesday, Vol. 1 Issue 9
The 23rd series in the long running Ultra franchise, Ultraseven X is the first in the franchise to be aimed exclusively at adults, and, trust me, it works – very well. The show has none of the kiddie-friendly extras that tend to clutter most henshin hero programs (including Kamen Rider and Super Sentai) that’s meant to sell toys. So, you won’t find any crazy cool jets or bulky weapons or advanced power-ups for our hero. This is a henshin hero series stripped down to the bare minimums with a focus set squarely on telling an engaging, character driven story. This series is so focused, Ultraseven gets little screen time, but when he shows up, there’s purpose and reason and the conclusion is often satisfying and yet still open enough to warrant suspense and anticipation for the next episode.
The story begins with our hero, Jin, waking up from a strange dream in a sparse apartment/office overlooking the city. A mysterious young woman gives him cryptic admonishment and gives him the Ultra Eye before an explosion rocks the building, cutting their meeting short and forcing Jin to escape. From here on, Jin must rediscover his memories, uncover the truth behind DEUS (the special police force he apparently is an agent of), and protect the city from alien invaders as the mighty galactic being known as Ultraseven.
I can’t really get any deeper than that synopsis without spoiling things – and I think I’ve been pretty good at not posting spoilers – so I’ll just encourage you to check this great series out. It was my first foray into the Ultra franchise as it was the first Ultraman show I watched to completion. It’s only 12 episodes long, but it’s a ride I still find time to relive from time to time.
Overall, this show is a solid, mature take on the original 1967 Ultra Seven (that’s right, Ultraseven X is a remake/sequel). There’s no pandering to parents’ wallets and the action (super-sized and not) is entertaining and, at times, inventive. Plus, the theme by band Pay Money to My Pain is down good.