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.

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Ultraman cover art from volumes 1 & 12

If you think about it, superheroes have been a part of Japanese pop-culture ever since the post-war period, and in particular the 60s and 70s. Astro Boy is Pinocchio with Super-Powers. Characters like Shotaro Ishinomori’s Android Kikaider and Kamen Rider featured protagonists fighting a supervillain organizations and their superpowered minions, and so on. And, of course, there is the tokusatsu classic – Ultraman from Tsuburaya Productions.

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