First came Shin Godzilla, and now comes Shin Ultraman!

Watching Evangelion, you might notice that its fights feel different from other giant robot anime. That’s because Eva draws most heavily not from other anime sci-fi fights, but from the rumbles between the costumed heroes and rubber-suit monsters of classic live-action kaiju and tokusatsu productions.

Eva creator Hideaki Anno has always worn his love for both on his sleeve, culminating in his directing 2016’s Shin Godzilla. Now, Anno is helming another prestige production, the upcoming Shin Ultraman, and the movie’s first trailer has just been released.

In and of themselves, theatrical features in the Ultraman franchise aren’t anything new, with close to three dozen released since 1967, including one each for the past six years. But while Ultraman is never a straight-up comedy, it’s always been first and foremost for kids, with even its in-universe dramatic moments feeling sort of hammy to grown-up audiences. Shin Ultraman, however, looks like it’s going for the same serious, mature tone that Shin Godzilla pulled off so well, making it the most critically acclaimed outing for the kaiju king in decades.

The dialogue-free teaser trailer doesn’t give us any concrete plot details, but it’s apparent that Neronga and Gabora, two Ultraman adversaries who debuted back in the original 1966 TV series, are up to no good, and also looking more unnerving than ever (in contrast, Anno seems committed to keeping Ultraman himself close to the hero’s original visual design).

Several fans also see similarities to the monstrous Aliens from Evangelion.

Anno is credited with planning and scriptwriting for Shin Ultraman, with longtime creative partner Shinji Higuchi listed as director. The two worked as co-directors for Shin Godzilla, and Higuchi also directed both live-action Attack on Titan movies (though some people may still be trying to block their existence from their memories).

The trailer also gives us a glimpse at a document titled “Investigative Report on Giant Humanoid Organism Ultraman (Code Name),” implying that this will be an origin story, set in its own timeline independent from the rest of the franchise.

Shin Ultraman should be arriving in theaters sometime this summer, the trailer promises, by which time we may or may not have been able to finally watch the last Evangelion movie.

Source: YouTube/東宝MOVIEチャンネル via Otakomu
Images: YouTube/東宝MOVIEチャンネル
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