Tsuburaya has announced their full Ultra Series Blu-Ray release calendar for the remainder of 2015. Included on the slate was HD Remasters for fan-favorites The Return of Ultraman and Ultraman Gaia.
Broadcast in 1971, The Return of Ultraman was the fourth show of the Ultra Series and the revival of the franchise following a four-year break. In it, the hot-shot aspiring racer Hideki Go is resurrected by the being later known as Ultraman Jack after he bravely sacrifices himself to save his loved ones. Joining forces with the Monster Attack Team, Hideki gains the power to transform into Ultraman Jack to face a new wave of Earth-based monsters and alien invaders. The Return of Ultraman is best known for having several episodes directed by Godzilla veteran Ishiro Honda, being the first series to establish a continuity link between the original Ultraman and Ultraseven, and for being a massive influence on Hideaki Anno’s Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Ultraman Gaia, meanwhile, was the third of the initial Heisei Ultra Series after Ultraman Dyna, broadcast in 1998. Written by Chiaki Konaka (The Big O, Rahxephon), Gaia revolved around Gamu Takeyama, a college prodigy who becomes a member of the XiG organization to face new monster threats being manipulated by a mysterious malevolent entity. Gaia was a radical new take on the formula, having multiple story arcs and character development, one of the largest support team infrastructures in the franchise’s history, and for being the first series to headline two Ultra heroes throughout with both Gaia and Agul.
The announcement of the Blu-Ray boxes for both shows come as part of the fully released slate for the rest of the year, which also includes Ultraman Ginga S: Decisive Battle! The 10 Brave Ultra Warriors on July 24th, the Ultraman Dyna Blu-Ray Box on September 25th, and the Ultraman X combo DVD & Blu-Ray Boxes starting on December 24th.
The Return of Ultraman Blu-Ray Box will be a single release unlike the Ultraseven and Ultraman sets to come before it. All 51 episodes of the series will be completely remastered in HD. The set will contain staff and cast interviews, along with a booklet and more yet-to-be-announced features. It is set to be released November 26th for 49,800 yen.
Meanwhile, the Ultraman Gaia Complete Blu-Ray Box will carry the HD Remaster 2.0V banner like the Tiga and Dyna sets. The set will contain the entire series, the film Ultraman Tiga, Ultraman Dyna, & Ultraman Gaia: The Battle In Hyperspace, and the straight-to-video spin-off Gaia Again.
Also carrying over from the Tiga and Dyna sets, the Ultraman Gaia Complete Blu-Ray Box will house the special features from the previous Gaia DVD releases such as the uncut mecha launch sequences, a 24-page color booklet, and a brand-new “XIG Mecha Chronicle” shot in 4K. The Ultraman Gaia Complete Blu-Ray Box will be released February 26th, 2016 for 48,600 yen.
Ultraman X will premiere as part of the next cour of episodes for Shin Ultraman Retsuden starting July 14th.
Source: Tsuburaya Station