Hero Magazine’s Ultraman Manga Story Revealed: Now we have MechaUltraman

As you may remember, a few months ago, a new manga magazine called Monthly HERO’s announced that among the first new mangas that the magazine will publish, their featured manga will be based on Tsuburaya’s Ultraman. And while the first issue of the new magazine isn’t set for release until the end of November/start of December, we have recieved word on the new story for the new manga, which will be drawn by Shimizu Eiichi and Shimoguchi Tomohiro, best known for their work Linebarrels of Iron.

The story will have a much darker tone compared to the original Ultraman series, and be drawn in the seinen manga art style.

Ages after the legendary hero protected Earth, a new hero will inherit the bloodlines of the legendary hero and emerge. Set decades after the original Ultraman story, the story surrounds Shin Jiro, a high school student and son of Shin Hayata, the original Ultraman. While it’s been years since Ultraman fought to defend Earth, Jiro is very aware of Ultraman, and aspires to be a hero that saves the world as Ultraman did. One fateful day, he is lead to a high-tech suit that allows him to change into a new incarnation of the legendary gigantic hero. Will Jiro finally have a chance to be a HERO?!!

It’s been said that the new storyline will be very complex, and question numerous social issues. The main question: who really is the enemy? Is it the monsters, aliens, or humans themselves? And can this boy, born of a hero, become a hero too?

For more on this, and the seven other new mangas that will be published in Monthly Hero’s, you can check out the official website here: http://www.heros-web.com/works/ultraman.html

-M.C., the Quantum Twin

The Final Chapter: Viz Media’s Shonen Jump to end March 2012.

In recent days, Viz Media announced at the New York Comic Con that publication of Shonen Jump magazine will end in March of next year with a “farewell April 2012 issue”. It’s end will mark the unveiling of a new online magazine called Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha.

At least three of the titles from Shonen Jump’s most recent issue, Bleach, Naruto, and One Piece will be carried over into this new publication. Shonen Jump has been publishing several online titles since 2010, but so far they have been supplements only available to current magazine subscribers.

The publication has been in print since Viz first launched the American version of Shuesha’s Weekly Shonen Jump in November 2002, following the release of “Issue 0” in July of the same year. Manga titles from it’s nearly decade-long run have included Dragonball Z, Yu-Gi-Oh!, One Piece, Bleach, Yu Yu Hakusho, Shaman King, and arguably its most popular title, Naruto.

Truly, these are sad days for American manga/anime fans. While various individual mangas are still in print (or reprint in some cases) in the U.S., Shonen Jump was one of the only regular manga publications in the U.S., introducing a fresh American audience new stories, new characters, and a new style of writing and illustrating. Introduced at the start of American interest in anime, it rode on a wave of newfound popularity, and kept building with every new title brought over. And for a time, sales of Shonen Jump and other manga titles outpaced American comic book giants. But as overall popularity waned, other similar publications fell short and came to an end. And now Shonen Jump, the publication that started a cultural revolution, has become another victim of changing times.

Hopefully, the publication will find new life in this new online format. Best of wishes to Viz Media on their new endeavor. Ganbatte!

-M.C., the Quantum Twin

New Ultraman Manga coming in October!

The Japanese company Hero’s will be launching a new seinen manga (a manga whose target audience is 20+ year-old males) called Monthly Hero’s on October 25th, and one of the first new mangas coming from this line will be a new Ultraman title.

The new Ultraman manga, created by Shimizu Eiichi and Shimoguchi Tomohiro (who both worked on the anime Linebarrels of Iron), will be launched with this new magazine.

To celebrate the new series, they will be releasing a special Ultraman Begins 2011 Aratana Tatakai no Hajimari doujinshi, which will be available at Comic Market in the Tokyo Big Sight Convention Center next month, where they can be purchased by donating 500 yen to the Ultraman Foundation.

In addition, the book will have an interview with Shimizu and Shimoguchi, and contain illustrations by them and the the follwoing artists: Umezu Kazuo (Drifting Classroom), Okazaki Takashi (Afro Samurai), Kitazaki Taku (Angel Cop), designer/modelmaker Nirasawa Yasushi (Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust), Hiromoto Sin’Ichi (Hells Angels) and Fujisawa Tohru (GTO). There will also be written contributions from Ultraman novel author Shukawa Minato, Ultraman director Yagi Takeshi, author Yamamoto Hiroshi, and essayist Uno Tsunehiro. There will also be an interview with Ultraman scriptwriter Uehara Shozo.

So for those of you who are either big fans of manga or big fans of Ultraman, this could potentially be a must-have for collectors and a must read for manga and toku fans, so if you feel like picking up a copy of the new manga or doujinshi, go out and get it!

-M.C., the Quantum Twin