Original Run: July 2nd, 2005 – April 1st, 2006 (Japan)
Created by: Tsuburaya Productions
Directed by: various
Written by: various
Music by: Kuniaki Haishima, Toru Fuyuki
Cast: Sota Aoyama, Hitomi Hasebe, Kai Shishido, Hikari Mitsushima
Tsuburaya Productions, 40 Episodes, 24 Minutes (per episode)
Following the adult oriented and scarier Ultraman Nexus, Tsuburaya went back to their roots and gave us Ultraman Max. While it isn’t considered a great Ultraman series, it is one of my favorites.
Ultraman Max gave us a series that was much more like the formula of the earlier shows. We had a hero that worked for a bad ass defense force that also featured a lot of cool characters. The show also gave us a lot of the cooler old school Ultraman kaiju while introducing some new ones. It also had a couple really good stories featuring Pigmon, my favorite Ultraman kaiju of all-time.
The show was well-produced and the effects were a step up from what was seen before it. Visually, it was more refined and had a lighter and cleaner look than its predecessor Ultraman Nexus.
I’m not a huge fan of how Ultraman Max, as an Ultra Warrior looks. His suit was a bit too chunky and overly ornate but it at least didn’t hinder the action.
I really liked the Android character Elly. She was played by Hikari Mitsushima and she would go on to be in the live action Death Note televisions series and became the most well-known star to come out of this series. As a young girl, she was in Rebirth of Mothra II. She also crossed over into Kamen Rider territory with a brief role in Kamen Rider Den-O.
The defense force, in this series called DASH, had the coolest outfits in the Ultraman franchise. In fact, their jackets are some of the coolest ever.
Ultraman Max isn’t most fans’ favorites and it isn’t my favorite either but it is much better than a lot of Ultraman series. It moved the franchise back in the right direction, leading into the superior Ultraman Mebius.