10 Best Ultraman BooksMarch 1 , 2018
Fans of Japanese daikaiju films are likely familiar with Ultraman, the monster-fighting hero who has appeared in numerous TV and film adaptations. Though immensely popular in Japan, you won't find much related to Ultraman in stores in America, making it tough to find gifts for fans. Luckily, there are a lot of books online that feature this franchise. For the tokusatsu fan on your list, here are the 10 best Ultraman books. If you're shopping for a Japanophile, you might also want to check out this list of the best Japanese history books.
What Are The 10 Best Ultraman Books?
- "Ultraman, Vol. 1" by Tomohiro Shimoguchi
- "Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters: Defending the Earth with Ultraman, Godzilla, and Friends in the Golden Age of Japanese Science Fiction Film" by August Ragone
- "Ultraman Tiga Volume 1: Return of the Warrior" by Tony Wong (Dark Horse Comics)
- "The Big Book of Japanese Giant Monster Movies Vol 2: 1984-2014" by John LeMay and Shane Olive
- "Ultraman #1" by Dwayne McDuffie
- "The Big Book of Japanese Giant Monster Movies: The Lost Films" by John LeMay
- "Ultraman Encyclopedia"
- "Xenorama #17: The Journal of Heroes and Monsters" by David McRobie and John LeMay
- "Photo-book the Ultraman Chronicles Vol.1 Tokusatsu"
- "Ultraman Visual Book 50th Anniversary Official Photo Book"
An Introduction to Tokusatsu
Ultraman began as a television sequel to Eiji Tsuburaya's successful "Ultra Q" series in 1966. The show quickly grew a rabid fan base and became a cultural sensation in Japan. However, there is more to the Ultraman world than its films and television shows. This pioneer of Japan's "monster craze" provides a perfect character for books, not only for dedicated fans to engross themselves in, but also for newcomers who want to get a glimpse of the Ultraman phenomenon. With all the materials available for purchase on the internet, here is a list of the ten best Ultraman books.
Let us start off with #1. "Ultraman, Volume 1" follows the life of Ultraman Shin Hayata, 20 years after what happened at the end of the original series. This manga, which was written in English, does not require prior knowledge of the series since it does the job of introducing the characters in the Ultraman universe. The book is also an origin story, presenting Shinjiro, the son of Shin, who discovers a whole new world as he inherits his father's powers.
At #2 we have "Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters." This book tackles the life of Eiji Tsuburaya as he established the special effects techniques that brought life to Ultraman and Godzilla. Written in English, the book presents the creator's contributions to Japan's film industry. It features on-set photos, posters, and concept art. This material will be interesting to anyone with a love for Japanese monster movies.
Coming in at #3 is "Ultraman Tiga Volume 1: Return of the Warrior." The story is set in the year 2049, and Earth has settled into a period of peace, thus unequipped for any monster attacks. However, this peace comes to an end when they receive a mysterious message from space. Ultraman appears in a new incarnation, "Tiga," once again facing monstrous giants and alien invaders. This volume is for avid Ultraman fans who enjoy immersing themselves in the expanded universe of the series.
At #4 on our list is "The Big Book of Japanese Giant Monster Movies Volume 2: 1984 to 2014." This book presents the monsters of Japanese films over the Heisei and Millennium eras. It provides in-depth information about the plot, history, and production of each film. This volume is for Kaiju fans who want to learn some trivia about the monsters in Japanese movies.
#5 on our list is the "Ultraman #1" comic book, written in 1993 by Dwayne McDuffie before he started Milestone Media. The story takes place after the series "Ultraman: Towards the Future." This material is best for kids, or anyone who wants to read the adventures of Ultraman in comic book form.
At #6 is "The Big Book of Japanese Giant Monster Movies: The Lost Films." This volume provides details of those monster movies that were lost or destroyed, developed but unmade, produced but unreleased, and scrapped alternate versions. This is great for those who want to dig deep into the world of Japanese monster films.
Coming in at #7 is the "Ultraman Encyclopedia." Written in Japanese, this book features numerous photographs of all 39 episodes of "Ultraman" from 1966. This visual guide includes monster fight scenes, the complete equipment used by Science Patrol, and behind-the-scenes production photos. Japanese readers and devoted Ultraman fans will enjoy delving into the smallest details of the series.
At #8 is "Xenorama #17: The Journal of Heroes and Monsters." Although this magazine is dedicated to Mothra, the issue also includes articles on Ultraman, Young Samson and Goliath, and Toho's vampire movies. "Xenorama #17" is for Ultraman followers who also appreciate other animated series and fantasy films.
#9 on our list is the vibrant "Photo-book the Ultraman Chronicles Volume 1 Tokusatsu." This picture book features all the heroes and monsters from "Ultra Q" through the "Ultraman Leo" series. Although the book was written in Japanese, all the names of the characters are translated into English. This volume is considered a collector's item among die-hard Ultraman fans.
Last, at #10, is the "Ultraman Visual Book 50th Anniversary Official Photo Book." This volume was released as a tribute upon the series' 50th year. Written in Japanese, the book contains photographs of all the characters, as well as the evolution of Ultraman from 1966 to 2016. Ultraman devotees can reminisce about growing up alongside their favorite superhero.
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