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Ultraman Vol. #02 Manga Review

3 min read

Ultraman Volume 2 CoverBecoming a hero!

Creative Staff
Story/Art: Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi
Translation: Joe Yamazaki

What They Say
With the SSSP now operating as a covert agency, Shinjiro Hayata has inherited the mantle of Ultraman from his father and learned of a new and terrifying alien invasion. Though Shinjiro has his father’s powers and an amazing armored exo-suit, he has a lot to learn if he’s going to survive this secret war!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Continuing on from where last volume left off, Shinjiro is introduced to Edo, the former evil alien known as Zetton that’s now part of the SSSP. We also learn a bit more of the set-up, mainly centered around a galactic council and the fact that Bemular is stirring things up. It’s nothing too crazy, but it fortunately doesn’t waste much time in getting the premise established. And of course, we learn that aliens have been living in secret on Earth, and that it’s up to Shinjiro to become the new Ultraman. To add to all this, a murder mystery with a strange connection to an idol also seems to be in the works.

With all that out of the way, Shinjiro finally properly kicks off his work as Ultraman via a rescue sequence. Though that may sound a little flat, it’s handled quite impressively and helps to give our protagonist a nice heroic entry into the public eye. And honestly, it plays very well into an underlying theme that things may not be quite on the up and up, with the SSSP starting Shinjiro with a glamorous and morally straight forward job before advancing along a darker path. Of course things continue on this way and the new Ultraman makes a bit of a name for himself, and ends up with both supporters and those who call him an imposter.

Things finally hit full throttle, though, when Shinjiro is sent to kill an alien murderer. At first it looks like it’ll be a straightforward matter, as the fellow in question looks like little more than a twisted thug. However, he soon sheds those expectations, and a serious battle taking approximately half of the book erupts! The fight turns into an absolute slugfest and a visual powerhouse, and even pushes into a great take on the old concept of the time limit on Ultraman, instead turning it into a full on limiter removal! With that our hero truly takes his first steps into the shoes of Ultraman, just in time for the book to end on a cliffhanger showing that things are progressing for the villain as well.

In Summary
While it’s not quite the amazing rollercoaster ride that the first book managed, this is still a top notch read that’s quite enjoyable from beginning to end. For the most part, this book is centered around Shinjiro stepping into the mantle of Ultraman, and it’s handled quite well. Though things start off relatively slow for our hero, there seems to be an actual plot reason behind that, and fortunately plenty of visual polish helps to keep things exciting. What’s really impressive here, though, is the battle that takes up around half of the book. It starts off looking pretty low key, but by the end it’s a top notch fight that’s sure to impress, with plenty of flair and a wonderful flow about it. Add some plot lines moving in the background and a few emotional elements here and there, and you get a great volume that really solidifies the potential that this series shows.

Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: A
Text/Translation Grade: B+

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: November 16th, 2015
MSRP: $12.99