Lesley Aeschliman

Manga Review: Ultraman Volume 2

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Ultraman Volume 2 focuses on Shinjiro Hayata, the son of the man who was Ultraman years earlier. Shinjiro recently learned his father’s secret and must now decide whether or not he’ll become the new Ultraman.

Ultraman Volume 2

Ultraman Volume 2

Written by: Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi
Publisher: HERO’S INC.
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: November 17, 2015

Volume 2 sees Shinjiro being thrust into the Science Special Search Party, where a comrade of his father’s introduces him to the world around Ultraman. Unknown to Shinjiro, though, situations are being set up to nudge him into agreeing to become the next Ultraman, since he hasn’t made up his mind to actually take on the superhero identity. As a reader, I felt bad for Shinjiro, since it doesn’t seem like creating situations to encourage him to agree to the job is the right way to go about it. I can only imagine what could happen if Shinjiro were to find out the truth later.

But while this is going on, a serial murder case is unfolding in the city. Due to the suspicious nature of the murders and the condition the victims’ bodies are in, the Science Special Search Party starts becoming involved. This leads to Shinjiro being sent out as Ultraman to fight against the murderer and having an epic battle.

Ultraman Volume 2 also introduces a new character, a teen idol named Rena. Her father was a fan of the original Ultraman, and she grew up hearing stories about him. When Rena finds herself in the middle of Ultraman’s conflict near the end of the volume, she seems to be taken by him. I get the impression that perhaps Shimizu and Shimoguchi are building up to Rena developing a crush on Ultraman, especially with some of her facial expressions and reactions that she has when she sees Ultraman performing a heroic action in front of her. But whether she could become a viable love interest for Shinjiro remains to be seen.

The art in this volume continues to captivate the reader, especially the fight sequences. Also, I thought that the drawings of the poster featuring Rena looked as if Shimizu and Shimoguchi made sure to take their time to make the poster grab the reader’s attention. Whenever the poster appeared in the volume, it always seemed to stand out from the rest of the art surrounding it on the page. The combination of the art and the storytelling continue to make Ultraman a captivating read.

Ultraman Volume 2 is a strong continuation of the first volume of the series. Readers who enjoyed Ultraman Volume 1 should appreciate seeing how the story evolves in the second volume, and when they finish, they will likely find themselves wanting to read the next volume to find out what will happen to Shinjiro and the other characters.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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