Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Ultraman Series One Vol 1|
Actors: Peter Fernandez, Earl Hammond, Corinne Orr, William Kiehl, Peggy Lobbin
Genres: Indie & Art House, Kids & Family, Television
Created by special effects wizard Eiji Tsuburaya (GODZILLA MOTHRA) the 1960s television series ULTRAMAN remains one of Japan's most beloved science-fiction exports. Airing between 1966 and 1967 with a total of 39 episodes ... more »
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Ultra-pleased! And if you want to be, too, watch it in Japan
Irony Value | BAYOU | 08/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There sure are a lot of mean-spirited know-nothings out there, judging from the semiliterate 1-star reviews this puppy is racking up. It's almost as if they liked the craptacular bootleg versions of this that were floating around before...
Look. This isn't absolutely perfect. The dub version has some pretty distracting audio problems, but they're transitory, and I am 99% certain it was the best they could do at the price-point they wanted to be able to offer. Could they have cleaned up the audio? I'm not sure, but I bet if they did the whiners would be whining that the set cost $75.00.
People are complaining about how it sometimes drops into subtitled Japanese--this is so that you can watch THE WHOLE EPISODE, for the first time ever in the US. The US version was previously heavily edited for time. And this simply illustrates my point, to wit:
This is a Japanese series. The actors are Japanese. The director was Japanese. The scripts were in Japanese. The expensive audio and video remastering done a couple of years ago for the Tsuburaya region 2 version was done by, you guessed it, Japanese. The English dub is an afterthought. A treat for American fans too young to read. It's a special feature at best. The Japanese audio is crystal clear; the subtitles are legible and accurate. AND THIS SHOW IS MEANT TO BE ENJOYED IN ITS ORIGINAL LANGUAGE (say it with me now, kids): JAPANESE!
And to the nimrod who complained that the DVD wasn't letterboxed: this show was produced for television 40 years ago. The aspect ratio in which it was presented is the aspect ratio on the DVD. There is no letterboxed version. Anywhere. If you still want it letterboxed, ask your mommy or halfway house caregiver for the safety scissors, cut some black construction paper into two long strips, and TAPE IT TO THE SCREEN!
Sorry for the rant, but ignore the doofuses (doofi?) and buy the DVD. If you can read. :o)"
Great show, not a great DVD
Mark A. Frumento | Cherry Hill, NJ USA | 07/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Like many others I've waited a long time to see Ultraman again and am thrilled about this DVD set. It's a great show, just the way I remember it... in fact it's funnier than I could have realized back when I was a kid. Several of the shows are downright magical especially 'The Rambunctious One From Space.' The writing in this particular show is funny, touching and sometimes just scary enough for kids. Great family viewing or wonderful if you're just into the kitsch of it all.
For new fans thinking about getting this set: you're about to see the origins of Power Rangers and other similar shows. Only the original Ultraman is the king of the genre and never successfully imitated.
For anyone reading all of the harsh reviews, be aware that bootleg versions of these shows are NOT better. It is true that the sound on this set is often poor but it is the best we're going to get. And the fact that it includes the original Japanese language track (and subtitles) puts it well above the bootleg dubs on the market. Picture quality ranges from excellent to just okay but that must be down to the available source. Overall it is not as bad as others are suggesting but it's true that sound quality is not always great.
Sound quality aside, there are several flaws I can find. The hope is that the manufacturer will rectify some of them:
1. A couple of episodes have glitches that cause the picture to freeze. On my computer they cause my player to crash. On my home player it just causes a momentary freeze.
2. The titles in the booklet and on the menus do not match the titles on the DVD packaging. This is a minor issue but it seems sloppy for such a beautiful packaging job.
3. The booklet does not explain some of the manufacturing issues... like the fact that the show reverts to Japanese from time to time (its difficult to know if this is because of the lack of English dub or a defect as others have suggested). It would also have been helpful if the makers of this set had taken the time to explain some of the picture and sound quality issues.
4. Sometimes the English version of the theme song plays at the beginning and sometimes the Japanese version plays. It's difficult to know if this is on purpose but it's confusing and seemingly just sloppy design.
5. Where are the collectible trading cards? I suppose those were pulled because of licensing issues but that's a shame. I was looking forward to them even if it's not that big of a deal.
The bottom line is that this is not a perfect release but it's really the show that presides. The major flaws will hopefully get fixed but we'll have to live with poor sound quality. We're just lucky that someone has preserved this great piece of pop culture.
I give the show an "A-" (the early shows are slightly boring) and the DVD a "C" (great packaging, sloppy manufacturing and poor sound)."
Not perfect - but THRILLED that it's finally available!!!
JB Kelly | Philadelphia, PA | 07/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ok, first off, I have to respectfully disagree with the bad reviews here re: quality of this release. After reading them, and then buying the set, I was pleasantly suprised when I popped it in the dvd player. The video quality is very good (without question better than any of the three different bootlegs sets I've seen) and the audio dub is, well, pretty good. Was the audio totally restored and cleaned up? No, I don't think so but it doesn't sound overly noisy (again, especially compared to bootlegs). I have the Japanese laserdisc set and I also have the Japanese DVD box set that was fully remastered (video and audio [only in Japanese though - no english dub or subtitle included]). The picture quality on the Japanese dvd set is amazing but this set looks pretty d*mn good...AND this set has the english dub and subtitles! AND it's very affordable! For $20, packaging is great, as are the menus and booklet. If you're an ultraman fan, should you buy it? ABSOLUTELY!!
Re: the TSUBURAYA PRODUCTIONS VS. CHAIYO PRODUCTIONS issue, it is a shame. Ultraman deserves the best quality release and it's out there! This set does have it's quirks (some spots where the dub isn't present, strange chapter marks, haven't found the original english intro yet - maybe it's here somewhere) but Tsuburaya has never made much of an effort to try to release this much loved series to the U.S. --- I love AND support Tsuburaya (again, bought the Tsuburaya Laserdisc and DVD Japanese Box sets...for a small fortune) but c'mon...40 years and nothing!
Go buy this - you'll love it! And maybe, if it sells enough, Tsuburaya will take notice and find a way to release a-Japanese equivalent 11 DVD fully remastered English set...but if you want to feel like a kid again, running home afterschool to flip on channel 48 (well, in philly area), this is, without question, the best $20 you could spend!"
A Joyous Memory of Things Past
Theodore Keer | New York, NY United States | 01/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the official DVD release of the first 20 of 39 episodes. Color, 450 Minutes, English dubbed and Japanese language originals, English Subtitles, Special Features. Tsurubaya Productions (c) 1966
This live action Sci-Fi series was a staple of my childhood, surpassed in esteem only by Star Trek and Doctor Who. The U.S. English Language release stopped airing around 1980. I was overjoyed to find that it was finally available in a non-bootleg release. Although some of the original footage has been replaced with black and white (very minimal) and the English language version occasionally drops into Japanese due to the loss of portions of the dubbed release, the quality of this production is quite excellent.
The story involves Hayata, the hero, and the other members of the "Science Patrol" the damsel Fuji, the clownish Ito (Ide), Captain Mura (Muramatsu), dependable Ayashi, and boy sidekick Hoshino. The Science Patrol is called in to investigate strange phenomena, natural and scientific disasters, and, of course, monster sightings. In the first episode, Hayata is accidentally killed by a benevolent alien who merges with Hayata in order to restore him to life. Hayata is normally human, but when danger calls (almost always in the form of a 200ft Godzilla analog, but with ingenious variations, including lobster-clawed bug men, carnivorous space algae, and abominable snow men) Hayata transforms into a giant bug-eyed red and silver bio-mechanoid who can shoot death rays, fly, "Shuwach!" and do amazing Sumo moves. On watching this show again as an adult after 30 years, I am struck by the show's refreshing lack of political correctness. The contrasts between the English dialog (often cynical) and the Japanese (overblown and exaggeratedly technical) are striking, and show the difference between the post-60's anti-intellectual attitude of the U.S. compared to the earnest sincerity of the Japanese.
I strongly recommend that English speakers listen with English audio and the subtitles (which show the contrasting original Japanese dialog) simultaneously.
This show is certainly intended for children or those nostalgic for their childhood. But as such, it is a wonderful addition to my library. I have watched all the episodes recalling the joy which they brought me as a child, and can't stop singing the theme song. I hope this would translate to present day children. The special effects are done with blue-screen imaging and men in plastic monster suits, but, as with Doctor Who, the plot (however minimal) and the monster concepts drive the show. Many scenes have an spookiness or poignancy which one wouldn't expect from whatever today's version of Pokemon or the Power Rangers might be.
The second volume is of no less a quality and I recommend it for all the same reasons."