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Ultraman Nexus (ウルトラマンネクサス, Urutoraman Nekusasu) ran from October 2nd, 2004, to June 25th, 2005, as the 17th entry in the Ultraman Series, and the third and final product of the Ultra N Project. Although known for featuring a more serious, adult, and atmospheric story than its predecessor, Ultraman Cosmos, it was also intended as a re-imagining or reboot of the original Ultraman.

On April 24, 2017, TOKU announced that the series would be broadcast in the United States on its channel beginning May 9, 2017.[1][2]

The series can be watched on Vudu.

Production[]

Final project proposal for Ultraman Nexus

The final project proposal for Ultraman Nexus was finalized in March 2004.

After the broadcast of Ultraman Cosmos in 2002, Tsuburaya Productions gradually recognized the need to establish a new Ultraman image that would adapt to the 21st century. This new image of Ultraman was referred to internally at Tsuburaya Productions as the "New Standard Hero." This necessity led them to conceptualize an Ultraman that could serve as a "completely new foundational image." The birth of this new series can be traced back to a film project centered around producer Kiyoshi Suzuki.[3][4]

In the summer of 2001, during the release of Ultraman Cosmos: The First Contact, Suzuki, while planning for the 2002 film Ultraman Cosmos 2: The Blue Planet, also considered the possibility of an original work that would be planned solely as a film, without the premise of a TV series. This work was YELLOW EYES, which reimagined "Ultraman" as a genuine science fiction project that emphasizes human psychology. The screenplay for this movie was written by Keiichi Hasegawa, and Kazuya Konaka directed it. The story mainly depicted a young man who gains unimaginable mysterious powers, and in the midst of unreasonable battles, overcomes violent impulses and awakens a sense of justice.[3][4]

However, due to the impact of the September 11 attacks, directly depicting violence became extremely difficult, and the content needed to be adjusted, shifting the theme slightly in another direction. As a result, while inheriting the concept of Ultraman's rebirth and the biological textures and realistic military settings, a father figure who fights for his children was added, incorporating some familial warmth. This ultimately shaped the project into ULTRAMAN.[3][4]

At that time, Suzuki aimed to expand the age range of "Ultraman" audiences and increase the thematic diversity of the "Ultraman" series. Additionally, in Tsuburaya Productions' vision for the future, 2006 was clearly defined as the "40th anniversary of Ultraman's birth." To vigorously promote the "Ultraman" character at this milestone, the "Ultra N Project," which interconnected magazine activities, theatrical films, and TV series, began preparations at the end of 2003, becoming an unprecedented large-scale project in Tsuburaya Productions' history.[5] Thus, the TV series planned to premiere in October 2004 became the cornerstone of this project. The series proposal for the TV series Ultraman Nexus was handled by Keiichi Hasegawa.[5] A premiere announcement event was held on September 16, 2004.[3][6] The TV broadcast channel was changed from Mainichi Broadcasting System, which aired the previous four TV series, to Chubu-Nippon Broadcasting, which is also part of the TBS network. This secured a nationwide broadcast slot in Japan at 7:30 a.m. on Saturdays.

The proposal to base a new TV series on the ULTRAMAN theatrical film and continue its storyline in the series was put forward by Hiroyasu Shibuya. He also designed Ultraman Noa, the hero who serves as the foundation for the overall worldview, and proposed a comprehensive rollout through children's magazines and events. Among these, the ULTRAMAN film was scheduled to be released in theaters in July, with the TV series Ultraman Nexus set to air in October. The production committee and the film distributor, Shochiku, believed that the popularity of the TV series would enhance the film's box office performance. Therefore, they decided to schedule the theatrical release date for ULTRAMAN in December. This decision necessitated adjustments to the structure of the TV series.

Considering that ULTRAMAN had characteristics of a reboot of the Ultraman series, the theme of the "Ultra N Project" was set as "Return of the Soul," signifying a return to the original spirit of the series. The Ultraman Nexus project also inherited this essence by adopting a fully serialized format. It introduced successive "Dunamists" who would alternate throughout the TV series. The protagonist is a member of a defense team, but he remains an ordinary person without special abilities until the final episode.[7]

Ultraman Nexus 0001

The first promotional poster of Ultraman Nexus.

This innovative setting has brought a clearer expression to the "bond" element that Shibuya has always emphasized. In the proposal, these "bond" are metaphorically likened to a relay race runner, emphasizing the importance of trust. The advantage of setting up "Dunamists" lies in the fact that replacing them allows for a wider range of plot variations, which is a key feature of developing this series.[7][5][8] Suzuki and Shibuya's goal is to create an Ultraman that can be enjoyed by people of all ages regardless of the era, rather than just providing different content for adults or simplistic content for children. According to Suzuki's idea, the main target audience of the past "Ultraman series" was elementary to high school students. In order to broaden the target age range, they proposed increasing the difficulty of the content.[7]

The design of Ultraman Nexus in the series was also very innovative. It was almost the first time that the concept of armor was incorporated into Ultraman's body. This design, created by Hiroshi Maruyama, was based on traditional Japanese samurai helmets for the head and Japanese armor for the body. The toy-interactive armor naturally integrated into the lines of the right arm.[9] The uniqueness in character design was also reflected in the Space Beasts. Judging by their shape and mode of existence, Space Beasts were clearly not the familiar monsters but were envisioned based on biological imagery. The term "Space Beast" began to be used during the planning phase of ULTRAMAN. The planning team insisted on this classification to highlight their ferocity and alien nature.[5][10]

The production of Ultraman Nexus also aimed to improve budget efficiency. Due to the need to make trade-offs to break even, the budget for this project was reduced from the traditional amount exceeding 30 million yen to about 10 million yen. Additionally, the sci-fi setting was utilized to limit the battle zones, allowing for the repeated use of the same stage settings.[11]

Although efforts were made to significantly reduce production costs compared to traditional series in various aspects, such as adopting VARICAM digital cinematography in DVCPRO HD format to replace the long-used film shooting and extensively using computer-generated imagery in the production process, the storyline of this series appeared too realistic and heavy compared to other series. After the broadcast began in October 2004, the popularity of serious tokusatsu works slightly declined due to differences in the time slot. Additionally, the limited initial publicity and the dark, obscure content made it difficult for the audience to resonate with the show. As the viewership ratings declined, related merchandise sales also performed poorly, resulting in sluggish sales in the commercial rankings at the end of 2004.[10]

Due to the low viewership ratings and poor sales, the TBS network decided in April 2006 to replace the Saturday 7:30 a.m. time slot with an information program produced by Mainichi Broadcasting. In December 2004, during the third quarter of the series' filming, Tsuburaya Productions, which intended to create another work following Ultraman Nexus, had to adjust the broadcast time of the new work to the summer of 2005. Consequently, the originally planned 50 episodes were ultimately shortened to 37 episodes.[12] Despite the reduced number of episodes, Shibuya adhered to the belief that "changing course is a betrayal to the audience" and did not alter the initially planned direction. They completed the third quarter and the final episodes.[5][11]

Ultraman Nexus ended after three seasons in June 2005. Two episodes that had been filmed but not broadcast were released as video media. The movie project ULTRAMAN2: requiem, aimed at expanding the audience age range, was also shelved.[5][11]

Despite the commercial failure, Ultraman Nexus attracted fans interested in its style. Thus, in the years following its broadcast, the work was repeatedly re-evaluated and recognized, gaining a certain level of appreciation among the audience.[13]

Synopsis[]

The TLT is a covert international anti-monster unit established secretly to combat Space Beasts, mysterious monsters that are out to attack humans in the year 2009. One of the TLT's new recruits, Kazuki Komon, is attacked by one of them prior to reporting for duty. However, he is saved by a silver giant that he names "Ultraman". What no one knows is that the silver giant is an Ultraman — to be precise, Ultraman Nexus, ready to fight the Space Beasts to save the planet Earth.[14]

Characters[]

Dunamists[]

TLT[]

Night Raiders[]

Memory Police[]

Antagonists[]

Others[]

Ultras[]

Kaiju[]

Cast[]

  • Kazuki Komon (孤門 一輝, Komon Kazuki): Takuji Kawakubo (川久保 拓司, Kawakubo Takuji)
  • Jun Himeya (姫矢 准, Himeya Jun): Yusuke Kirishima (桐島 優介, Kirishima Yūsuke)
  • Ren Senjyu (千樹 憐, Senju Ren): Masato Uchiyama (内山 眞人, Uchiyama Masato)
  • Nagi Saijyo (西条 凪, Saijō Nagi): Yasue Sato (佐藤 康恵, Satō Yasue)
  • Eisuke Wakura (和倉 英輔, Wakura Eisuke): Tamotsu Ishibashi (石橋 保, Ishibashi Tamotsu)
  • Shiori Hiraki (平木 詩織, Hiraki Shiori): Keiko Goto (五藤 圭子, Gotō Keiko)
  • Mitsuhiko Ishibori (石堀 光彦, Ishibori Mitsuhiko): Kosei Kato (加藤 厚成, Katō Kōsei)
  • Yu Kirasawa (吉良沢 優, Kirasawa Yū): Nobuhiko Tanaka (田中 伸彦, Tanaka Nobuhiko)
  • Yoichiro Matsunaga (松永 要一郎, Matsunaga Yōichirō): Masami Horiuchi (堀内 正美, Horiuchi Masami)
  • Togo (東郷, Tōgō): Kenji Sahara (佐原 健二, Sahara Kenji)
  • Riko Saida (斉田 リコ, Saida Riko): Shion Nakamaru (中丸 シオン, Nakamaru Shion)
  • Shinya Mizorogi (溝呂木 眞也, Mizorogi Shin'ya): Mitsutoshi Shundo (俊藤 光利, Shundō Mitsutoshi)
  • Saya Shuto (首藤 沙耶, Shutō Saya): Hitomi Hidaka (日高 ひとみ, Hidaka Hitomi)
  • Hiroyuki Misawa (三沢 広之, Misawa Hiroyuki): Yoshito Takeuchi (竹内 義人, Takeuchi Yoshito)
  • Mizuo Nonomiya (野々宮 瑞生, Nonomiya Mizuo): Tomomi Miyashita (宮下 ともみ, Miyashita Tomomi)
  • Sera (セラ): Mai Tanaka (田中 舞, Tanaka Mai)
  • Jinzo Negoro (根来 甚蔵, Negoro Jinzō): Hiroshi Okochi (大河内 浩, Ōkōchi Hiroshi)
  • Megumi Sakuta (佐久田 恵, Sakuta Megumi): Tomoko Kawashima (川嶋 朋子, Kawashima Tomoko)
  • Naoichi Harisu (針巣 直市, Harisu Naoichi): Eiichi Kikuchi (きくち 英一, Kikuchi Eiichi)
  • Takashi Ojiro (尾白 高志, Ojiro Takashi): Kei Suzuki (鈴木 圭, Suzuki Kei)
  • Hayato Kaimoto (海本 隼人, Kaimoto Hayato): Hisataka Kitaoka (北岡 久貴, Kitaoka Hisataka)
  • Sara Mizuhara (水原 沙羅, Mizuhara Sara): Kyoko Toyama (遠山 景織子, Tōyama Kyōko)

Music[]

Opening Themes
  • Eiyuu (英雄, lit. "Hero")
    • Lyrics, Composition, & Arrangement: Akihito Tokunaga (徳永 暁人, Tokunaga Akihito)
    • Artist: doa
    • Episodes: 1-25, 37
  • Aoi Kajitsu (青い果実, lit. "Unripe Fruit"/"Blue Fruit")
    • Lyrics: Daiki Yoshimoto
    • Composition & Arrangement: Akihito Tokunaga
    • Artist: doa
    • Episodes: 26-36
Ending Themes
  • Itsumo Kokoro ni Taiyou wo (いつも心に太陽を, lit. "The Sun Is Always in My Heart")
    • Lyrics & Composition: Yuka Saegusa
    • Arrangement: Masazumi Ozawa (小澤 正澄, Ozawa Masazumi)
    • Artist: U-ka Saegusa IN db
    • Episodes: 1-13
  • Akaku Atsui Kodou (赤く熱い鼓動, lit. "Red Hot Heartbeat")
    • Lyrics: Rina Aiuchi
    • Composition: Masaaki Watanuki (綿貫 正顕, Watanuki Masaaki)
    • Arrangement: Masazumi Ozawa
    • Artist: Rina Aiuchi
    • Episodes: 26-36

Home Media[]

Ultraman Nexus released across 10 DVD volumes in 2005. On February 22, 2008, Climax Stories: Ultraman Nexus released, featuring the series compiled into a hour-long film with narration by Takuji Kawakubo. A complete DVD box set was released on August 24, 2012.[15] Box sets of Ultraman Max and Ultraman Mebius released around the same time, with all three having covers illustrated by Masayuki Gotoh.

Spin-offs[]

  • Manga: A manga adaptation created by Takashi Shiina was serialized in Televi-Kun from December 2004 to August 2005. A tankōbon was released on May 18, 2015.[16]
  • Video Game: A video game based on the series was released by Bandai on May 26, 2005 for the PlayStation 2.

Gallery[]

Images[]

Trivia[]

  • At one point in development, Ultraman Nexus was meant to be a series called Ultraman Cross (ウルトラマンクロス, Urutoraman Kurosu) and was conceived as a foil to its predecessor, Ultraman Cosmos.
    • As production on the movie that eventually became The Next involved more of the crew from the new show, the decision was made to merge the show into the movie's continuity, and it was renamed Nexus.
  • Another suggested title was Ultraman Noa, which comes from the true form of Ultraman Nexus, Ultraman Noa.
  • This is the last series to use Ending Credits. The following shows until Ultra Galaxy removed Ending Credits.
  • This the first and only Ultraman Series where the Ultraman's host was not the main character.
    • It is also the first show with multiple hosts for a single Ultraman.

External Links[]

References[]

  1. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/daily-briefs/2017-04-24/toku-to-air-ultraman-nexus-live-action-series-with-english-subtitles/.115237
  2. http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2017/04/25-1/toku-channel-lines-up-ultraman-nexus
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Ultra Tokusatsu PERFECT MOOK vol. 17: Ultraman Nexus, pg 4
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6557cGaCmM
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Ultra Tokusatsu PERFECT MOOK vol. 17: Ultraman Nexus, pg 5
  6. https://hicbc.com/tv/nexus/info/002/
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Ultraman Nexus and Ultraman Max (TV Magazine Special Edition) pg 36
  8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QGJ4XxyT4I
  9. Tokusatsu Design Works Hiroshi Maruyama pg 33-49
  10. 10.0 10.1 Ultraman Nexus and Ultraman Max (TV Magazine Special Edition) pg 37
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVEo_JkI57Y&t=189s
  12. Ultra Tokusatsu PERFECT MOOK vol. 23: Ultraman Max, pg 4
  13. https://www.sanspo.com/article/20230524-MUWNMBSCYVMBVFSW2LSZXTLKD4/
  14. http://www.hicbc.com/tv/nexus ウルトラマンネクサス
  15. https://m-78.jp/news/n-1379
  16. https://m-78.jp/news/n-3102

Productions
Showa Series Ultra Q | Ultraman | Ultraseven | Return of Ultraman | Ultraman Ace | Ultraman Taro | Ultraman Leo | Ultraman 80
Heisei Series Ultraman Tiga | Ultraman Dyna | Ultraman Gaia | Ultraman Cosmos | Ultra Q: Dark Fantasy | Ultraman Nexus | Ultraman Max | Ultraman Mebius | Ultraseven X | Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle | Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle: Never Ending Odyssey | Neo Ultra Q | Ultraman Ginga | Ultraman Ginga S | Ultraman X | Ultraman Orb | Ultraman Geed | Ultraman R/B
Reiwa Series Ultraman Taiga | Ultraman Z | Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga | Ultraman Decker | Ultraman Blazar | Ultraman Arc
Outside of Japan Ultraman: The Adventure Begins | Ultraman: Towards the Future | Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero | Ultraman: Rising
Original Video and TV Special Ultra Fight | Ultraman vs. Kamen Rider | Ultra Super Fight | Ultraman Nice | Heisei Ultraseven | Ultraman Neos | Ultraman: Super Fighter Legend | Ultra Idemitsujin | Ultra Zone
Showa Movies Ultraman: Monster Movie Feature | Ultraman, Ultraseven: Great Violent Monster Fight | Return of Ultraman | The 6 Ultra Brothers vs. The Monster Army | Ultraman (1979) | Ultraman: Great Monster Decisive Battle | Return of Ultraman: MAT Arrow 1 Takeoff Order | Ultraman ZOFFY: Ultra Warriors vs. the Giant Monster Army | Ultraman Story
Heisei Movies Ultra Q The Movie | Revive! Ultraman | Ultraman Zearth | Ultraman Zearth 2 | Ultraman Tiga & Ultraman Dyna | Ultraman Tiga, Ultraman Dyna, & Ultraman Gaia | Ultraman Tiga: The Final Odyssey | Ultraman Cosmos: The First Contact | Ultraman Cosmos 2 | New Century Ultraman Legend | Ultraman Cosmos vs. Ultraman Justice | New Century 2003 Ultraman Legend | ULTRAMAN (2004) | Ultraman Mebius & the Ultra Brothers | Super 8 Ultra Brothers | Mega Monster Battle Ultra Galaxy: The Movie | Ultraman Zero: The Revenge of Belial | Ultraman Saga | Ultraman Ginga Theater Special | Ultraman Ginga Theater Special: Battle Royale | Ultraman Ginga S The Movie | Ultraman X The Movie | Ultraman Orb The Movie | Ultraman Geed The Movie | Ultraman R/B The Movie
Reiwa Movies Ultraman Taiga The Movie | Ultraman Trigger: Episode Z | Shin Ultraman | Ultraman Decker Finale | Ultraman Blazar The Movie
Spin-Offs Andro Melos | Ultraman Zearth: Parody Chapter | Revival of the Ancient Giant | The Return of Hanejiro | Gaia Again | Ultra Q Kaiju Legend | Ultraman Kaiju Legend | Hikari Saga | Armored Darkness | Ghost Rebirth | Ultraman Zero vs. Darklops Zero | Q - Door to Another Dimension | Killer the Beatstar | Ultra Zero Fight | Ultra Fight Victory | Ultraman Orb THE ORIGIN SAGA | Ultra Fight Orb | New Generation Heroes | The Absolute Conspiracy | Sevenger Fight | The Struggle of Special Section 3 | The Destined Crossroad | Continued Ultra Fight | Shin Ultra Fight | Return of Special Section 3 | Ultraman Regulos | Ultraman Regulos: First Mission | Ultraseven IF Story | SKaRD Break Room
Rebroadcast Shows Ultraman Retsuden | New Ultraman Retsuden | Ultraman Zero: The Chronicle | Ultraman Orb: The Chronicle | Ultraman New Generation Chronicle | Ultraman Chronicle: ZERO & GEED | Ultraman Chronicle Z: Heroes' Odyssey | Ultraman Chronicle D | Ultraman New Generation Stars
Informational Ultraman The Prime | ULTRAMAN ARCHIVES | Ultra Science Fantasy Hour | Ultra Fight Club | UlSummer Information Station | Ultra Information Center | Professor Teruaki's "Blazar Kaiju Academy" | Super Power! Ultra Encyclopedia! | Ultra Construction Tour | THE ORIGIN OF ULTRAMAN | Ultraman 4K Discovery
Docudramas Fly in the Sea Breeze! Ultraman | The Men Who Made Ultraman | My Beloved Ultraseven | The Man Who Wanted to be Ultraman | The Kaiju Club | The Two Ultramen
Other Series and Movies Kaiju Booska | Captain Ultra | Mighty Jack | Fight! Mighty Jack | Operation: Mystery | Chibira-kun | Mirrorman | Redman | Triple Fighter | Emergency Directive 10-4·10-10 | Iron King | Horror Theater Unbalance | Fireman | Jumborg Ace | Mirror Fight | Jumborg Ace & Giant | Mars Men | Army of the Apes | Pro-Wres no Hoshi Azteckaiser | The Last Dinosaur | Dinosaur Expedition Born Free | Dinosaur Great War Izenborg | Star Wolf | Dinosaur Squadron Koseidon | Anime-chan | Gridman the Hyper Agent | Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad | Moon Spiral | Cyber Beauties Telomere | Booska! Booska!! | Otasuke Girl | Mysterious Incident Special Investigation Team SRI | Mirrorman REFLEX | Bio Planet WoO | Operation: Mystery - Second File | Mirror Fight 2012 | Operation: Mystery - Mystery File | Gridknight Fight
Anime The☆Ultraman | Ultraman Kids | Ultraman Graffiti: Wild! Ultra Country | Ultraman: Super Fighter Legend | Ultra Nyan | Ultra Nyan 2: The Great Happy Operation | Ultraman M78 Theater Love & Peace | Gridman the Hyper Agent: boys invent great hero | The・Ultraman: Jackal vs. Ultraman | Kaiju Sakaba Kanpai! | Kaiju Girls | SSSS.GRIDMAN | ULTRAMAN (2019) | Kaiju Step Wandabada | SSSS.DYNAZENON | KAIJU DECODE | GRIDMAN UNIVERSE
Outlaw Content Space Warriors 2000 | Project Ultraman | Ultraman The Animation | Ultraman: A Little Journey on Earth | Fun... English with Ultraman | Young Ultraman | Ultraman Big Transformation | Sinic Q | Red Jade | Dragon Force: So Long Ultraman | Dragon Force: Rise of Ultraman
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