The Ultraman Franchise is celebrating its 50th anniversary and it feels like every event I go to is an anniversary. It’s actually not that surprised in the tokusatsu world because three of the biggest franchises, Ultraman, Kamen Rider and Super Sentai, started 5 years apart from each other (it that order), so they tend to celebrate anniversaries at the same time.
50 years being a pretty impressive number it was time for ultra sized event in Ikebukuro’s Sunshine city, that mall including an aquarium, a planetarium and 2 amusement parks.
I’m not an Ultraman expert, I’ve watched a few episodes of different shows and I recently started following Orb, the newest one, but that’s all. By the way in most countries you can watch Orb and X, the previous one, legally and for free on Crunchyroll. If you country doesn’t have CR, Ultraman Orb is also available on the official Tsuburaya Productions Youtube Channel, but no subtitles for you, and you’ll be only able to watch the latest episode.
I arrived too late for the stage show, which is sad but also allowed me to have the first rooms of the exhibition all for myself. The exhibition wasn’t that big but had a lot of things: some creatures and life size items, a ball pit where you could trow balls at kaijus, and a big collection of human sized ultras. I have no idea if everyone was there because I need to study more, but they were a lot. The next corridors were displaying kaiju soft vinyl figures ans as someone who’s attracted to Ultraman because of the monster design, I was extremely happy.
Makes me want to start a sofubi collection.
The last room of the museum area was pretty awesome, a giant diorama with ultras fighting kaiju in the middle of a city. I probably spent half of my time there, looking at this with the eyes of a 6 years old kid and taking as many pictures as I could. My only regret for that room was how low the sky/wall was.
While I was drooling in front of the tiny city Alien Magma and Alien Babarue appeared, followed by all the kids coming back from the stage show. They used a tiny stage I haven’t noticed yet to do some comedy show before being kicked by Ultraman Zearth. I didn’t know that guy and now that I read online that he’s a parodic ultra using an electric toothbrush to transform I really want to watch his movie.
Why didn’t I notice that stage? It was in the shade of a life sized Ultraman head. That’s a big shade.
Besides the exhibition and the stage shows, several booths offered activities: a kaiju shooting game, a photocall with Ultraman Orb, some mini games, an ice cream booth with as many topping combinations as different ultras (yes, eating ice cream is an activity, my Orb ice cream was delicious) , toys in demonstration, photo spots, and a particularly amazing video recording booth where you could dress up as Gai Kurenai and shoot your transformation. Unfortuntely they only had child sized costumes.
I spent a bit more than an hour on that event, half of it taking pictures. The games were clearly aimed at little kids and needed extra money so I didn’t try but the rest was enough to keep me busy until it closes. The souvenir shop was as expected huge but kind of disappointing, I didn’t see that many exclusive goods and remembered seeing most of the stuff they had at Tokyo Station’s Character street. I’m still a bit salty for having missed the stage show but it was overall a nice exhibition, even without it.