The first four volumes of the Ultraman manga were bookended by the sentence “This is the beginning of a new age.” Volume 5 starts with that sentence, but ends with the sentence fading from the page – and that says a lot about where this volume of the manga ends.
Ultraman Vol. 5 starts with the concert of idol Rena Sayama being crashed by two aliens – Igaru (Rena’s stalker), and a new antagonist, Adad. And the majority of this fight is, in a lot of respects, about the reveal of what’s going on with the recent serial murders, Igaru’s role in that, and what Adad is up to.
What makes this a game-changer is how incredibly public this fight is – Ultraman had fought aliens who had preyed on humans before, and there had been some minor masquerade breaches before, there had been nothing quite this significant by this point in the story. Humans had seen the new Ultraman, but they weren’t aware that extraterrestrials were among them, and now that has changed. Humanity knows that aliens walk among us, some of them are generally mundane people but others are a very dangerous threat.
It’s interesting reading this volume while also being partway through the Netflix animated adaptation, as by this point in the anime, the truth is out, as Shinjiro has already had an extremely public battle with Adacic, before the concert.
In all, I liked this volume, and now that society’s view of the universe has been somewhat shaken up, I’m definitely going to continue reading the manga to see where things go from here.