My tokusatsu preferences have always leaned towards the Super Sentai and Kamen Rider franchises, but it's impossible to overstate the popularity of Ultraman. Created by Eiji Tsuburaya, the series launched in 1967 and has continued with a run of popular TV shows and movies ever since. Now, the alien hero from the Land of Light is getting a tribute in the form of four new statues in Tsubaraya's hometown of Sukagawa.

The statues feature both Ultraman and Ultraseven, the first two heroes of the franchise, posed to deliver their finishing moves at statues of two of the show's monsters, Gomora and Eleking.


Click for full size, photo by Sukagawa city government


As reported by Robot6, the statues were unveiled on March 1, and Mayor Katsuya Hashimoto spoke of another reason the city wanted to honor Tsubaraya's heroic creation:


"When the Great East Japan Earthquake struck, we had citizens who helped many others rather than dwelling on their own personal disasters. I want our city to be full of such citizens who embody the Ultraman spirit."


Sukagawa, in the Fukushima prefecture, is less than 50 miles away from the nuclear plant that suffered a meltdown in three of its reactors after being hit by the tsunami in 2011, creating the largest nuclear disaster since 1987.




If you're planning on heading to Japan for a tour of tokusatsu-inspired statues, Sugakawa's Ultramen (Ultramans?) joins statues of Shotaro Ishinomori's Kamen Rider #1 at the Ishinomori Memorial Museum in Miyagi alongside Akarenger, outside Bandai Headquarters in Tokyo, and seated on a park bench in Tokyo. Admittedly, that would be a weird theme for a trip to Japan, but who wouldn't want to sit on a park bench with Kamen Rider before heading up to Fukushima to get Specium Ray'd by Ultraman?