Five Ways Ultra Seven Defined the Ultraman Genre


When one mentions the term Ultraman, whether you are referring to the character, the 1966 series or the genre at large, the mental image will always be that of the original Ultraman himself.

However, did you know that it was actually Ultraman’s succeeding series Ultra Seven which defined the genre for years to come, by not only building on ideas already established in the Ultraman, but by also introducing new elements and tropes which became hallmarks of future Ultra series.

In this article, we have put together a list of five ways in which the success of 1967’s Ultra Seven impacted subsequent series in the Ultraman genre. Let’s have a look at what they are:

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Flashback Friday #32 – Ultra Seven X (2007)


Tsuburaya’s “What if” Ultraseven took steroids and was catered for an adult audience

Ultraseven X

Made as a revival of the 1967 classic, Ultraseven, Ultraseven X was the 23rd entry in the Ultraman franchise and was also the first Ultra series to be shot in wide screen high-definition format. The show was exclusively for an adult audience and it first aired on October 5, 2007 at 2.15am on CBC and 2.25am on TBS. The series lasted for 12 episodes.

The story begins with the protagonist, Jin, waking up in his apartment with no recollection of his past nor his own identity. He then encounters a mysterious woman named Elea, who warns him of the Aqua Project. Jin soon embarks on a hero’s journey to find out his past and identity, as well as the mysteries behind all the alien attacks around the city. Fighting alongside the amnesiac hero are his fellow DEUS Agents, K and S.

Ultraseven X eventually became a fan favourite among Western Tokusatsu fans (especially those who don’t watch Ultraman) due to its more mature and darker premise, which is almost in similar fashion with one of its predecessors, Ultraman Nexus.

Flashback Friday #29: Chouseishin Gransazer (2003)

From top left in a clockwise direction, Flame Tribe, Wind Tribe, Water Tribe, Earth Tribe

From top left in a clockwise direction, Flame Tribe, Wind Tribe, Water Tribe, Earth Tribe

Chouseishin Gransazer


“Some 400,000,000 years after an advanced human civilization was destroyed by aliens, 12 direct descendants of the civilization’s warriors (called “Sazers”) have their powers awakened and form four tribes: Flame, Wind, Earth and Water. Each Sazer is based on a Zodiac sign represented in an animal totem or spirit representation. At first, they wage war on each other, but after learning the truth of their ancestry and their reason for awakening, the Gransazer tribes unite to protect Earth from the Warp Monarch, an alliance of various alien species, from once again extinguishing all life on the planet.”

12 different characters. In a 51 episodes series. One could imagine how messy that could be.

The series started off with the Tribes fighting against each other, and the different tribes slowly discovering their powers. Each tribe could form their own Mecha, and to a certain extent, it does sound very Super Sentai-ish after awhile. After they discover their true purpose, they unite to combat the actual threat to Earth. And get this, all their Mechas are able to combine in the end!

After a certain part of the series, they had mix and match of characters in each episode. Certainly was not possible to include all 12 in every single episode. They did have decent character development though, but it still felt lacking for some of the other characters.

It was enjoyable nonetheless, the first in the Seishin series. Gransazer was succeeded by Justiriser, followed by Sazer-X, but the connection was not really explored until the Sazer-X crossover movie, which I was pretty sure was just a fan service of sorts.

Who was your favourite “Sazer” in the series? Leave a comment below!