is a character featured in tokusatsu (special effects) television programs in Japan. Ultraman made his debut in the tokusatsu SF/kaiju/superhero TV series, , a follow-up to the television series Ultra Q. The show was produced by Tokyo Broadcasting System and Tsuburaya Productions, and was broadcast on Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) from July 17, 1966 to April 9, 1967, with a total of 39 episodes (40, counting the pre-premiere special that aired on July 10, 1966).
Although Ultraman is the first series to feature an Ultra-being, this is actually the second Ultra Series. Ultra Q was the first. A major pop culture phenomenon in Japan, the show has spawned dozens of imitators as well as numerous sequels and remakes, which continue to be popular today.
To distinguish him from subsequent Ultra Warriors, Ultraman is referred to as the , the first Ultraman, Ultraman Hayata (a reference to his host's surname) or as simply Man.
Ultraman's creator was Eiji Tsuburaya from Tsuburaya Productions, a pioneer in special effects who was responsible for bringing Godzilla to life in 1954. The show's predecessor was a series called Ultra Q, a black-and-white 28-episode series very much like the original Outer Limits, although some compare it to today's The X-Files or The Twilight Zone.
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Official Site: Tsuburaya Productions
Links: Wikipedia International Catalogue of Superheroes Toho Kingdom