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 Post subject: Ultraman on VRV
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:27 pm 


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I've been into Ultraman off and on since I was a kid, but the down spots were mostly due to the lack of availability in the USA up until now. I recently found out about VRV, an app by Crunchyroll that lets you download episodes for offline viewing if you have an Android or iOS device. Hopefully it's available in your country too. There's a 30 day free trial atm & after that it's your standard $9.99/mo. It works hella good compared to Netflix & also has a pretty slick design imo. As of right now they have the full seasons of:

SD 4:3
Ultraman Leo (1974)
Ultraman 80 (1980)
Ultraman Gaia (1998)
Ultraman Nexus (2004)
Ultraman Max (2005)
Ultraman Mebius (2006)

HD 16:9
Ultraman Ginga (2013)
Ultraman X (2015)
Ultraman Orb (2016)
Ultraman Geed (2017)

It's not everything, but that's a pretty good chunk of the Ultra series! I wanted to start with the freshest stuff so I've been working my way through Ultraman Geed & it's pretty great. I use Android so I was able to buy the HDMI adapter and view it on my big screen, but I had to adjust the image to fit properly since my device has a 18.5:9 aspect ratio. I'm looking into ways to view the older episodes on my CRT, which seems to just require a simple HDMI to component adapter.

Anyone else into Ultra?

Side note: I have a Rhea installed in my US VA-1 Sega Saturn & have recently ordered a CiB Ultraman - Hikari No Kyojin Densetsu from a seller on eBay. Once this arrives I wanted to test loading the game's ISO from Rhea with the 1mb ROM cart inserted to verify that it works. It's not supposed to be the best game in the world but for curiosity's sake I wanted to try it out. I'll report back with my findings.
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 Post subject: Re: Ultraman on VRV
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:10 pm 


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I'm into Ultraman, though these days I don't have the patience for the new (since Zero/Belial showed up) shows. They're way too obvious about selling toys and other junk. Nexus a Mebius are my favourites, and the Mebius era movies are pretty great too.

I might rewatch Nexus on my Android phone. Thanks for the tip!

If you haven't watched Thunderbolt Fantasy, definitely check it out.
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 Post subject: Re: Ultraman on VRV
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:26 pm 


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Looks pretty interesting. As a casual Super Sentai fan I checked out a couple episodes of the original Ultraman series (featuring Kobayashi Akiji of Kamen Rider fame in a similar mentor role) some time back, but found that they had pacing issues, though the special effects hold up quite well. Do you have a personal recommendation among these, or even in general? Mebius looks promising, but with almost zero exposure to the Showa-era series I'm not sure I'll appreciate it much (unlike Gokaiger, whose Liveman tribute episode was nothing short of fantastic).
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 Post subject: Re: Ultraman on VRV
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:43 pm 


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I've been watching a few of the original series w/ my son... I watched it as a kid. I should just barrel through the first one on my own though. Good times.
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(featuring Kobayashi Akiji of Kamen Rider fame in a similar mentor role)


I got a dope screen shot of him smoking a pipe... good stuff.
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 Post subject: Re: Ultraman on VRV
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:30 am 


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LEGENOARYNINLIA wrote:
They're way too obvious about selling toys and other junk.

I agree, but I went in knowing and sort of just turn my brain off when the 'ad' starts. The price I pay for family friendly entertainment! I finished Geed last night and liked it well enough but I think my heart is still with the older stuff. I'll have to check out that Thunderbolt Fantasy sometime soon.

WelshMegalodon wrote:
Do you have a personal recommendation among these, or even in general?

[Edit] - Sorry, no. I'm no expert on the series, just have a strong interest in it. I was hoping by starting this thread I would gain a better understanding of it myself. Leo and 80 are charming.

Update: Ultraman - Hikari No Kyojin Densetsu arrived in the mail today but it seems the ROM cart is on the fritz. I was excited & put it into the cartridge slot without checking the contacts first - big mistake. The corrosion scraped off into my Saturn and disabled the expansion for a short while until I carefully cleaned it out. I almost had a panic attack, so let that be a warning to all ye buying ancient electronics.

Still, it's a no go on booting the disc image from Rhea without it. I can't really know if it will definitely work until I order another. On the bright side I know my CCD+IMG+SUB setup is good because it will boot to a screen from the disc telling me that the ROM cart isn't inserted properly. I would open it to see if there was any tinkering I could do but it has similar screws to the old Nintendo consoles & they require a certain bit. Better luck tomorrow.

Update 2: I got ahold of the security bits and scrubbed the contacts clean. I can confirm that Ultraman will load from a Rhea as long as the ROM cart is inserted. I patched my image for North America using Saturn Region Patcher, but I'm not certain it was necessary.

Hopefully this will be helpful for Rhea/Phoebe users who may be interested in playing this or King of Fighters 95. You'll still need the game's ROM cart, but with it it's possible to play these games on consoles from other regions.
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Last edited by 8BA on Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:40 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ultraman on VRV
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:26 am 


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I discovered that Amazon offers offline viewing through the Prime Video app for Android & iOS. Through this a subscription to Toku is currently 3.99/mo after a 1 week free trial in the US. Hopefully this applies to other territories as well. Toku has a few Ultra series that aren't already available on VRV. I've tested it on Android and it works just as fine. It's also a good way to watch Kamen Rider Amazons & the newly arrived AVGN episodes early ^.^

SD 4:3
Ultraman Neos (2000)

HD 16:9
Ultraseven X (2007)
Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle (2007)
Neo Ultra Q (2013)
Ultraman Zero (2015)

Lately I've been hammering through Ultraman Leo, which has it's fine moments but doesn't hold up well today. 25 of 51 episodes in, I have to say it can be grueling to watch at times. Still, the insane lapses in logic and hilariously cruel training sequences make the whole thing worthwhile. I think I can be forgiven for taking a short break to watch the first season of UGMMB before resuming.

I also played a little bit of Ultraman Powered for 3DO today using the Retroarch 4DO core. Can't say for certain how accurate the emulation is as I no longer own a 3DO, but certainly there are worse Ultraman games. All in all a fun afternoon & I'll probably return to it when I have more time.
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 Post subject: Re: Ultraman on VRV
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:41 pm 


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The newest series, Ultraman R/B, might be premiering through simulcast on Crunchyroll tomorrow. There's no official announcement but I've read that is standard for them with the series.

++++++++

I finally finished Ultraman Leo (1974) last night. It has not aged well and isn't for everybody to begin with. That said, I'm pretty fond of it overall as a series of 51 kaiju-based fever dreams.

Some of this feels like a David Lynch or Lucio Fulci film, except that the weirdness is unintentional and probably born from a panicked filming schedule with no budget. The violence is insane for a kid's show. There's alot of wacky cruelty on display here. Even by episode 51 you won't know what to expect because the show could unceremoniously kill anybody at any time.

The costumes are so cheap and poor that the kaiju would be mostly forgettable if they weren't also so laughable. Leo's costume is just the worst out of all the Ultramen. The audio can be pretty unpleasant with all the grunts and screaming. Sometimes story threads & established plot elements are just completely forgotten about. I couldn't tell if Ootori Gen's friends knew he was Leo or not until the final episode :lol:

It does succeed at being escapist entertainment, because this does not feel like our version of Earth that all of this is happening on. This is a weird place where logic and physics don't hang around. I found myself sucked in, just wondering what it would be like to exist in a terrifying reality like that of Ultraman Leo. I kind of like it.
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 Post subject: Re: Ultraman on VRV
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:54 am 


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If your intent was to get someone interested in watching Leo with that quick review, you've succeeded.

Quote:
51 kaiju-based fever dreams


A splendid product description if I've ever seen one! I can see it on the (unlikely) DVD release now.
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 Post subject: Re: Ultraman on VRV
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:55 am 


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WelshMegalodon wrote:
If your intent was to get someone interested in watching Leo with that quick review, you've succeeded.


Same, that sounds fucking rad. :lol: Thanks for the heads up 8BA, not into Ultraman myself (only even really know it from that SNES launch fighter) but that sounds like a good time.
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 Post subject: Re: Ultraman on VRV
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:28 pm 


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Yeah, I should check out Leo. The guy's a 52m tall martial artist!
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 Post subject: Re: Ultraman on VRV
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:42 am 


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BIL wrote:
WelshMegalodon wrote:
If your intent was to get someone interested in watching Leo with that quick review, you've succeeded.

Same, that sounds fucking rad. :lol: Thanks for the heads up 8BA, not into Ultraman myself (only even really know it from that SNES launch fighter) but that sounds like a good time.

Ha, no sweat. I'll probably update with a little review for each of the longer series I end up watching. Many of them are 50 episodes strong so it might be useful to some if they're on the fence about investing that much time.

The newest series R/B did not end up on Crunchyroll, but Tsuburaya has temporarily hosted it for free on their YouTube channel without subs. Not long after a group calling themselves ColorTimerSubs graciously added an English translation. I watched it last night & found it much better than I expected. The new protagonists are these hilarious brothers who run a clothing store with their dad. Their suit actors have pretty impressive chemistry as well. It's pretty funny and looks like it's going to be a good season.

Update: It looks like Ultraman is a Netflix thing now, at least in Japan. There are over 40 different works appearing on the service there including many of the films & full seasons. While it sucks that it probably means the franchise won't be appearing on Crunchyroll beyond the current license expiration date, If they happen to be working on subs for all of it that could work wonders for the series' exposure & awareness around the world. Maybe we'll see R/B & the entire history of the show slowly start to trickle out to other territories. This is just my best guess as to what's going on behind the scenes & why we didn't get R/B on Crunchyroll.
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