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Customer Review

44 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great show, not a great DVD, July 22, 2006
This review is from: Ultraman: Series One, Vol. 1 (DVD)
Like many others I've waited a long time to see Ultraman again and am thrilled about this DVD set. It's a great show, just the way I remember it... in fact it's funnier than I could have realized back when I was a kid. Several of the shows are downright magical especially 'The Rambunctious One From Space.' The writing in this particular show is funny, touching and sometimes just scary enough for kids. Great family viewing or wonderful if you're just into the kitsch of it all.

For new fans thinking about getting this set: you're about to see the origins of Power Rangers and other similar shows. Only the original Ultraman is the king of the genre and never successfully imitated.

For anyone reading all of the harsh reviews, be aware that bootleg versions of these shows are NOT better. It is true that the sound on this set is often poor but it is the best we're going to get. And the fact that it includes the original Japanese language track (and subtitles) puts it well above the bootleg dubs on the market. Picture quality ranges from excellent to just okay but that must be down to the available source. Overall it is not as bad as others are suggesting but it's true that sound quality is not always great.

Sound quality aside, there are several flaws I can find. The hope is that the manufacturer will rectify some of them:

1. A couple of episodes have glitches that cause the picture to freeze. On my computer they cause my player to crash. On my home player it just causes a momentary freeze.

2. The titles in the booklet and on the menus do not match the titles on the DVD packaging. This is a minor issue but it seems sloppy for such a beautiful packaging job.

3. The booklet does not explain some of the manufacturing issues... like the fact that the show reverts to Japanese from time to time (its difficult to know if this is because of the lack of English dub or a defect as others have suggested). It would also have been helpful if the makers of this set had taken the time to explain some of the picture and sound quality issues.

4. Sometimes the English version of the theme song plays at the beginning and sometimes the Japanese version plays. It's difficult to know if this is on purpose but it's confusing and seemingly just sloppy design.

5. Where are the collectible trading cards? I suppose those were pulled because of licensing issues but that's a shame. I was looking forward to them even if it's not that big of a deal.

The bottom line is that this is not a perfect release but it's really the show that presides. The major flaws will hopefully get fixed but we'll have to live with poor sound quality. We're just lucky that someone has preserved this great piece of pop culture.

I give the show an "A-" (the early shows are slightly boring) and the DVD a "C" (great packaging, sloppy manufacturing and poor sound).
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 28, 2007 6:56:26 AM PST
The point where it cuts to Japanese if you are watching in English is because those scenes were never shown when aired in the US, so they never dubbed them in English. Therefore, they didn't have English dialog for it and considering these were dubbed over 20+ years ago, I don't think most of the original dubbers are around anymore!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 1, 2008 7:29:12 AM PDT
This is not correct. I have access to the VHS copies of the English-dubbed versions and they are speaking English on the exact sequences that the Japanese audio is sneaking in on. Case in point, in episode 1, the crew of the plane is surmising what Ultraman's blinking light indicates. On the VHS, this dialogue is in English. On this new DVD, the Japanese audio breaks in.

Posted on Apr 7, 2009 10:26:43 AM PDT
agreed and then some mark, the only thing you really didnt critique was the abysmal quality of the transfer. Washed out colors, lack of clarity and faded skin tones are more akin to vhs than dvd. Go watch the japanese version of this series or even the japanese box set of spectreman if you want to see quality product. both of those sets look amazing upconverted to 1080p. ive always loved utlraman and will continue to do so but this box set is an overall train wreck.
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