The tokusatsu icon gets a visual boost from a Yokohama landmark.

As the star of one of the original tokusatsu/kaiju series, Ultraman is never far from the popular imagination in Japan. This month, though, he’s really on people’s minds, thanks to the release of the newest film in the franchise, Shin Ultraman, on May 13.

So at first glance, you might think this image, shared by Japanese Twitter user @bxz_td, is a leaked production still from the movie, especially since it shows Ultraman towering over the city of Yokohama exacty as the place looks today. But it turns out this isn’t the work of the Shin Ultraman production team, but a single Ultraman fan, and what’s more, he didn’t use any CG or other digital effects to achieve this cool visual.

So how did the Ultraman fan, who’s a friend of @bxz_td, pull this off? With some good old practical effects, plus a ticket to the observation floor of Landmark Tower, a gigantic skyscraper in Yokohama’s Minato Mirai harbor district.

Landmark’s observatory is on the 69th floor, 273 meters (896 feet) above the street. It offers amazing views of everything from Mt. Fuji to Yokohama Bay and even the skyline of Tokyo, two cities over. On the day he visited, @bxz_td’s friend brought along an Ultraman figure (since any true fan owns at least a few), waited for the sun to go down and the sky to get dark enough for the observation floor’s windows to partially reflect the room’s interior, and snapped the photo.

Of course, Ultraman doesn’t grow to giant size just for fun. He does it to fight against colossal monsters that threaten humanity, and so sharp-eyed observers may also notice the hero’s draconian foe Bemular, who @bxz_td’s friend also brough along for the photo shoot.

▼ Bemular

▼ The scene gets even cooler with the addition of Ultraman’s iconic beam.

The clever trick photo has had commenters expressing their excitement and relief at the idea of Ultraman standing guard in Yokohama, but if a trip up to the top of Landmark isn’t on your schedule, don’t forget that you can find a 1:1-scale Ultraman in Tokyo these days too.

Source: Twitter/@bxz_td
Top image: Twitter/@bxz_td
Insert images: Pakutaso, Twitter/@bxz_td
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