By Dustin Cabeal
Ultraman vol. 6 is the start of a new storyline. Volume 5 was intense and wrapped up the first few threads of story that the series launched with, but with this newest volume the story slows down and is paced similarly to the first volume. The sixth volume is a great jumping on point for new readers because it goes over everything that’s happened in the story while setting the stage for the next part of the story. Fear not, this isn’t done via info dumps, but rather naturally through the dialogue and conversations.
I’m uncertain how I feel about all these extra Ultramen running around. We’re up to three in this volume, but one thing I do like is how all three of them act differently. They have a different mindset and entirely different reasons for wanting to be Ultraman. It makes for interesting reading as we see all three of them poses great power and wield it differently.
We do learn the identity of the third Ultraman instantly, so if you weren’t reading the series previously, you won’t be left in the dark. It was already known in the last volume, but here he asks for a job from the SSSP. Meanwhile, Shinjiro let’s little Shinjiro almost spill the beans to Ultraman’s number one fan who has taken to stalking the old SSSP facility and wants to meet Ultraman.
There’s not a lot that happens in this volume, but instead, a ton of character development done, both for our new and old characters. The villain from the last arc, who isn’t that different from Ultraman #2 and #3, continues to pop around and I must say… he’s becoming quite the character. He’s an interesting contrast to the story, and the fact that he wasn’t left out of this arc shows that he may play a bigger role yet. Otherwise, the writing continues to be detailed as our two creators thread numerous storylines at the same time, just as they did in the first arc (volumes 1-5).
The art continues to be some of the best I’ve seen. It’s detailed from head to toe. The backgrounds are lush and lively; the characters are detailed and filled with expression. There is a lot of personality on the page, and that makes the dialogue even better.
If you’re following this series, yes this volume slows down some, but it does that to build it all up once again. It’s something that more comics and mangas should do, but instead most opt to build big and stay big until their foundation crumbles. Ultraman is taking the time to make sure each storyline has a solid foundation, and because of that, it’s making some killer manga. And if you’re new to the series, again, there is no reason you couldn’t jump aboard with this volume. I’ll be looking forward to the next volume, and hopefully, you’ll join me.
Ultraman vol. 6
Creators: Eiichi Shimizu, Tomohiro Shimoguchi
Publisher: Viz/Viz Signature