The Ultraman is a Japanese animated television series that ran from April 4, 1979 to March 26, 1980, lasting a total of 50 episodes. It was the eighth installment in the Ultra Series and aired four years after the end of Ultraman Leo. The show was the first animated incarnation of Tsuburaya’s iconic superhero Ultraman, as well as one of the earliest works of anime studio Nippon Sunrise (now known simply as Sunrise), who also worked on their now-iconic mecha series Mobile Suit Gundam during the same year.
The Ultraman featured in this series is named Ultraman Joeneus, Urutoraman Jōniasu?, alternately spelled Ultraman Jonias), who is also called Ultraman Joe for short, and he hails from the Planet U40 (as opposed to the Land of Light in Nebula M78, where Ultra-beings usually came from).
In the English language there have been two anime film versions:
- The Adventures of Ultraman (1981), a featured-length movie produced by Tsuburaya Productions specifically for the English-language market. The movie is composed of edited footage from several episodes of the series. The storyline was rewritten for this adaptation with a new script by Jeff Segal and music composed by Mark McKinniss.
- Ultraman II: The Further Adventures of Ultraman (1983), a dub of the first four episodes co-produced by Tsuburaya Productions and Associates Entertainment International. Despite the title, it has no continuity with the previous English dub of the series. Although the translation is closer to the original Japanese scripts than the first movie, the characters’ names were still changed (although, the names given to the characters are not the same ones used in the previous dub). The order of the third and fourth episodes were also switched.