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"This is the story of us brothers. The starting of Ultraman."

―Series tagline

"Color me with your power! R/B!"

―Second tagline

Ultraman R/BRuebe (ウルトラマンR/Bルーブ, Urutoraman Rūbu)[1] is the 28th entry of the Ultraman Series, created by Tsuburaya Productions.

The series can be watched on Shout TV, Tubi, Roku, and Prime Video.

Production[]

Ultraman RB2018 1

The Ultraman featured in this series, Ultraman Rosso and Ultraman Blu, are a duo of brothers.

This series is the sixth installment in the "New Generation Heroes Series" and the last work of the Ultraman Series to be broadcast during the Heisei period. Like its predecessors Ultraman Orb and Ultraman Geed, it uses the setting of transforming and changing forms by harnessing the powers of past Ultraman. However, unlike the previous two series, where the protagonist transformed by combining the powers of two previous Ultraman, the protagonist in this series transforms using the power of a single Ultraman.[2][3]

The program was first announced on April 25, 2018[4], and further details about the new project were revealed on June 7, 2018, at the Tokyo Toy Show 2018. During the event, director Masayoshi Takesue and the main cast members were invited to the stage for a production press conference.[5]

By setting the heroes as brothers and depicting their collaboration, the strength of Ultraman is emphasized. Before Ultraman R/B, this protagonist setup of brotherhood was not uncommon in hero dramas, especially in Toei's hero works. This setting primarily highlights combination techniques in action scenes. However, the concept of brothers was likely first introduced in the hero genre by "Ultraman." The earliest instance was in the final episode of Ultraman, which had to conclude within three seasons and quickly introduced and wrapped up the character of Zoffy. This strong perception naturally continued into the 1971 Return of Ultraman and the subsequent establishment of the Ultra Brothers. This concept was further reinforced in Ultraman Taro and later series.[6]

Through this historical development, the demand for introducing "biological brothers" in both the story and action aspects has risen again, anticipating new developments. Planner Yukinobu Tsuruta decided to introduce the concept of "biological brothers" into the "New Generation Heroes" series to explore more possibilities. The specific project started in May 2017, with the initial project title being Ultraman Z. For this new series, Tsuruta invited Takao Nakano, Junki Takegami, and Satoshi Ito to serve as scriptwriters and series composition. During the invitation phase, Tsuruta already had plans to enhance the performance with comedic elements, as comedy is more easily accepted by child audiences, and this was confirmed by actual viewership analysis.[6]

Although the concept of "those with a common goal" is still emphasized, the image of family relationships is more prominently highlighted. This was clearly articulated in the 1974 series Ultraman Leo with the brotherly relationship between Ultraman Leo and Astra. While emphasizing blood and regional ties between heroes could potentially narrow the worldview, this setting was very effective in the harsh worldview of Leo, who had lost his homeland. The occasional appearances of Astra played a significant role in the storyline, introducing an appropriate lightness to the story, and this direction gradually showed its significance as a challenge.[6]

In this new series, the idea of placing the story within a family and thoroughly depicting the daily life of the family, gradually revealing significant secrets about the family and the town, was proposed by Nakano. Considering that the audience is primarily children, and the family holds an important place in their lives, introducing the family element into the story world was, in a sense, an effective means. In brainstorming sessions with Takegami and Ito, the storyline of the protagonist's parents going missing was conceived and adopted. However, the idea of a missing father was too common, so it was changed to a missing mother.[6][7][8]

When discussing Ultraman R/B, besides the elements of brothers and family, it is essential to mention the characteristics of the enemy. In this series, the antagonist Makoto Aizen/Cereza is a fervent Ultraman fan. This unique setting originated from Nakano's idea, intending to avoid traditional villain roles. Cereza's motive is not to commit evil, but to become an Ultraman and act as a hero, which drives all his actions. Therefore, Aizen will stop at nothing to gain the power of Ultraman Orb Dark and does not care about others' troubles or damage as long as he can act as a hero.[6]

Ultraman RB2018 2

The main actors of Ultraman R/B participated in the production press conference.[9][10][11][12]

On the other hand, Katsumi Minato and Isami Minato, who gain Ultraman powers, do not have the traditional awareness of warriors. As the story progresses, they first establish their identities as Ultraman before fighting as Ultraman. This reflects the true spirit of Ultraman, but the protagonists' consciousness and fighting style do not resemble typical Ultraman, while the enemy behaves extremely like an Ultraman but is not a hero at heart. This contrast makes Aizen see Katsumi and Isami as unqualified Ultraman, leading to Aizen's frustration. This character setup and behavior pattern prove that the "R/B" series has a "meta-Ultraman" structure. The protagonist brothers, who obtain Ultraman powers, will grow through their cooperation, and the element of two Ultraman fighting together will not appear weak in battle. However, the story development is limited to Ayaka City, highlighting the need for a compact worldview due to budget and schedule constraints.[13][7]

This meta-concept is supported by the following events. The transformation of the enemy in the latter half to be completely different from Aizen in the first half was a strong request from Tsuruta. At this stage, as the series composition of the "New Generation Heroes," the 13th episode typically summarizes the first half and connects to the second half's development. However, in "R/B," this is not merely a regular summary but a starting point for changes that greatly increase audience interest. This is reflected in Ushio Minato's line to Asahi Minato, "Who are you?" and in the episode 14, the introduction of a new antagonist, Saki Mitsurugi, who is different from Aizen in style, using this change as a further hook to develop a dual relationship between Saki and Asahi.[14][15] This series of changes gradually took shape around mid-November 2017. At this time, Tsuruta invited Takesue to be the main director, and with the addition of Takesue, the team specifically discussed casting plans, the development of the latter half of the story, and Asahi's true identity.[13]

Initially, the idea was to have the missing mother return in episode 13 and become the second antagonist. However, considering the importance of a mother to children, this idea was abandoned, and the character of Saki was introduced instead. As the symbol of the antagonist in the latter half of the series, Saki is different from Aizen; she is not a traditional villain. Her relationship with Asahi, as the story progresses, reveals a unique presence. This non-villainous trait is explained towards the end of the story with the return of the mother, Mio Minato.[13][16]

During the planning stage, there was no character of Asahi, and the idea was to make Saki the sister at the end of the TV series. However, in the end, both characters were established, giving significance to Asahi and the appearance of "Ultrawoman Grigio" in the movie[17], making both Asahi and Saki indispensable characters. Looking at the whole series, the latter half of the story highlights the individuality of the female characters, who become a strong force driving the story forward. Although this development seems to marginalize Katsumi and Isami, for these two Ultraman, the latter half's worldview might indeed reflect their neutral stance.[13]

Synopsis[]

The two main characters, Katsumi and Isami Minato, are brothers who live with their younger sister and father who run a specialty store. Until then, they suddenly encountered an unknown gigantic organism; a monster had appeared on the street.

Using the R/B Gyro, along with the power of the R/B Crystals, they transform themselves into Ultraman!

The battle of Ultraman Rosso and Ultraman Blu starts here!

R/B Crystal Navi[]

R/B Crystal Navi (ルーブクリスタルナビ, Rūbu Kurisutaru Nabi) is a segment at the end of the show where Katsumi and Isami showcase the R/B Crystal of the week.

Characters[]

Protagonists[]

Minato Family[]

Antagonists[]

Others[]

Ultras[]

Kaiju[]

Cast[]

  • Katsumi Minato (湊 カツミ, Minato Katsumi): Yuya Hirata (平田 雄也, Hirata Yūya)
  • Isami Minato (湊 イサミ, Minato Isami): Ryosuke Koike (小池 亮介, Koike Ryōsuke)
  • Asahi Minato (湊 アサヒ, Minato Asahi): Arisa Sonohara (其原 有沙, Sonohara Arisa)
  • Ushio Minato (湊 ウシオ, Minato Ushio): Ginnojo Yamazaki (山崎 銀之丞, Yamazaki Gin'nojō)
  • Mio Minato (湊 ミオ, Minato Mio): Kaori Manabe (眞鍋 かをり, Manabe Kaori)
  • Makoto Aizen (愛染 マコト, Aizen Makoto): Motoki Fukami (深水 元基, Fukami Motoki)
  • Saki Mitsurugi (美剣 サキ, Mitsurugi Saki): Ayane Kinoshita (木下 彩音, Kinoshita Ayane)

Guest Cast[]

  • Matsuo Kumashiro (熊城 松雄, Kumashiro Matsuo): Sei Hiraizumi (平泉 成, Hiraizumi Sei)
  • Yuha Ninomiya (二宮 ユウハ, Ninomiya Yūha): Kanoko Sudo (須藤 叶希, Sudō Kanoko)
  • Kaoru Komaki (小牧 カオル, Komaki Kaoru): Yuri Kobayashi (小林 由梨, Kobayashi Yuri)
  • Erina (えりな): Yua Shiraishi (白石 優愛, Shiraishi Yua)
  • Nanaka (ななか): Nanako Ode (大出 菜々子, Ōde Nanako)

Voice Actors[]

  • D.R.L.N. (ダーリン, Dārin): Kaede Yuasa (湯浅 かえで, Yuasa Kaede)

Staff[]

Music[]

Opening Theme
  • Hands
    • Artist: Masayoshi Oishi (オーイシマサヨシ, Ōishi Masayoshi)
    • Lyrics: Kentaro Sonoda
    • Composition: Kentaro Sonoda, Tsubasa Ito
    • Arrangement: Tsubasa Ito, Kentaro Sonoda
Ending Theme
  • Yume Hiko (夢飛行, Yume Hikō, lit. Dream Flight)
    • Artist: Suzuko Mimori (三森 すずこ, Mimori Suzuko)
    • Lyrics: Shihori
    • Composition: Hajime Mitsumasu (光増ハジメ, Mitsumasu Hajime)
    • Arrangement: EFFY

Home Media[]

The series was released on 4 DVDs, as well as two Blu-rays, which released on November 22, 2018 and February 26, 2019.[18][19] Both contain special features such as R/B Crystal Navi segments, behind-the-scenes videos, booklets containing information by staff and interviews with the cast, and one half of a recorded discussion between cast members. The second additionally has deleted scenes from the series.[20]

Streaming Limitations[]

An unusual case considering previous years, Tsuburaya Productions blocks most countries outside Asia from viewing the series via their official YouTube channel, and the series is not simulcasted on Crunchyroll either. However, the series is simulcasted in China. On various social media platforms and their own website, Tsuburaya Productions has stated that there will soon be new information regarding the viewing of Ultraman R/B for countries outside Asia.[21]

Gallery[]

Images[]

Videos[]

Trivia[]

  • This is the final live-action entry in the Ultraman Series to have a full televised run in the Heisei era, due to Emperor Akihito (Emperor Heisei) stepping down as the incumbent Emperor of Japan and being replaced by his son, Prince Naruhito, marking the rise of Japan's Reiwa era.
  • This is the first series to introduce two Ultras in episode 1 of the series, instead of adding in another Ultra later on.
  • Koichi Sakamoto stated that if he was participating as a director, he would have made Ultraman Leo and Astra appear in this series (Although he stated that bringing Astra to a battle could be difficult). He also commented on planning to create "Ultraman R/B Fight" series if he has a chance.[22]
  • This series was originally intended to be named Ultraman Z, and to feature only one titular Ultra Warrior.[23][24] The name was later recycled for a later entry in the Ultraman Series.

External Links[]

References[]

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 | 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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