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As the current tokusatsu series Ultraman Geed stomps closer to its titanic climax, the giant hero franchise looks to fill the void by returning another of its ilk to television screens with Ultraman Orb: The Chronicle. The star of 2016’s Ultraman Orb, Kurenai Gai was an alien wanderer who seemed to joyfully stumble about the cosmos running into danger wherever it may be, ready to take on the giant monsters that inevitably threaten innocents in every corner of the vast Ultraman multiverse. Now, fans new and old have the chance to see his journey through new eyes, with this series.
Before the uninitiated get too excited, let’s establish right now that this is not likely to be a series featuring new stories for the character. Like Ultraman Zero: The Chronicle, which aired in the first half of 2017, it means to retell the story of its title hero with special television edits of his past appearances. And they are many.
In addition to Gai’s mainstream TV adventures, he was also seen in the sequel film Ultraman Orb: Lend Me The Power of Bonds, the brief action series Ultra Fight Orb, the amazing Ultraman Orb: The Origin Saga, and he’s made special guest appearances in the stories of other Ultra heroes. Before his time was done, he had fought alongside his fair share of world-savers, including Zero of Ultraman Geed, Zero’s father Ultraseven, space explorer Ultraman Dyna, monster collector Ultraman X, young adventurer Ultraman Ginga, genius defender Ultraman Gaia, and more.
It may be a coincidence that Tsuburaya recently began hyping up an upcoming announcement of mysterious interest to fans, but when Ultraman Zero got his Chronicle series, it served as a prelude to his role as a series regular in the current Ultraman Geed. Could this be the go-between for a fresh Orb story, or are we just killing time by reliving Orb’s greatest hits while we wait for something entirely separate to pop up? Only time will tell.
Ultraman Orb: The Chronicle hits Japanese airwaves January 6, 2018.