‘Ultraman X’ Just Became The First Tokusatsu Show To Be Simulcast In America
The weeks around San Diego are always pretty big for live-action superheroes, but if you were caught up in all the movie news that came out of Comic-Con, you might've missed one of the most interesting announcements of the year. On Tuesday, Ultraman X, this year's iteration of the venerable franchise created by Eiji Tsubaraya, became the first tokusatsu show to ever be broadcast simultaneously in Japan and America, thanks to the Crunchyroll streaming service.
The news is the latest in what feels like a small but noticeable increase in American interest in Japanese superheroes that includes last year's release of Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger, the show that provided the source material for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. This, however, represents a pretty big step for expanding the library of what's available, with a simultaneous worldwide release that feels a lot like what happened with Sailor Moon Crystal last year.
And they picked a doozy of a show to kick things off with, too. Here's Crunchyroll's description of Ultraman X:
As Ultra Flares from the sun blanket the Earth, Spark Dolls that had been hidden underground and in the sea are turned into monsters. In order to deal with the sudden outbreak of invading aliens, humanity arms itself with machines of super science and forms the defensive team Xio.
15 years later... A member of Xio, Oozora Daichi, hears a mysterious voice while in combat against a monster. "Unite..." Just as Daichi is on the verge of being obliterated by the creature, he finds himself bathed in a radiant light.
"You and I have united! With our hearts as one, we will fight this monster!" Having joined with the mysterious being of light, Ultraman, Daichi becomes Ultraman X to face threats against Earth!
As for what this means for the chances of other toku shows getting a (legal) presence in America, I expect that's going to have a lot to do with how many viewers Crunchyroll manages to pull in this time. Either way, it should be worth keeping an eye on.