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Tue, 11 Dec ’12

OTAKUSWAG: Ultra Seven Defends Our Planet From Boredom

The super sentai series lands on DVD!

Thanks to a steady diet of Power Rangers in the mid-nineties, many of us either grew up with spandex-clad teens piloting giant robots against giant rubber monsters, or administered the shows to our kids. Yet, what many don’t realize is that Power Rangers is just another entry in a proud tradition of Japanese television known as tokusatsu (lit. “special filming”), a genre marked by mixing live-action and copious special effects. Today, Shout! Factory makes genre history by releasing one of tokusatu‘s founding fathers, Ultra Seven, on DVD for the first time ever. Just how exciting is this? We’re so jazzed that we’re giving away copies to some ultra-lucky readers. So, hold on to your barely visible zippers because it’s going to be a wild ride.

Equal parts tokusatsu and sentai, Ultra Seven was legendary special effects director/Ultraman creator Eiji Tsuburaya’s follow-up to Ultraman, which went on to renown as one of Japan’s greatest sci-fi/fantasy series of all time. Following the Ultra Guard, an elite unit of the Terrestrial Defense Force who served as our planet’s frontlines against a seemingly never-ending stream of alien aggressors hellbent on capturing or destroying Japan, the show is a campy good time with a theme song that will haunt your dreams (in a good way). Did we mention that one of the Ultra Guard, Dan Moroboshi, is actually an alien who transforms into Ultra Seven, a giant being who’s here to kick ass and chew bubblegum (and he’s all out of bubblegum) in the name of justice? Collected for the first time on DVD, this 6-DVD set also comes with an exhaustively researched 24-page book with an essay by August Ragone. It should be noted that episode 12 was banned from Japanese broadcast due to its potentially offensive nature to atomic bomb survivors, but with 48 other episodes to enjoy, this is still the set to own for tokusatsu fanatics.

You may be thinking, “What’s so exciting about a show from 1967?” Well, considering that it comes from one of Japan’s most impressive special effects pedigrees (these are the guys who brought Godzilla to life!) and dealt with real-world issues like the cruelty of war and social injustices, Ultra Seven was a show ahead of its time. Plus, at the end of the day, who doesn’t like to watch a team of over-the-top freedom fighters doing righteous battle with all manner of rubbber-suited monsters? And we’re giving it away. To you. For free. You can also head to our Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages for additional chances to win. If that doesn’t catch your Eye Slugger, then we need to have a word with Dan Moroboshi because you’re probably an alien bent on world domination.