National

Superhero Ultraman thwarted by JR Meguro Station staff

by Daisuke Kikuchi

Staff Writer

Superhero Ultraman was spotted around JR Meguro Station in Tokyo last week and again on Tuesday.

Awed eyewitnesses spoke in hushed tones as Ultraman, or a fan dressed as him, entered the station and then turned around and left after station staff asked him to remove the mask.

Shinsuke Yoshizawa was among those who glimpsed the superhero at around 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, while parking his car near the station to pick up his child.

“I was surprised,” Yoshizawa said, adding that he had seen TV news reports about Ultraman’s appearance in the area. “He was a bit chubby, just as I’d heard.”

The Ultraman was previously spotted carrying a shoulder bag, but when Yoshizawa saw him he was walking along a road empty-handed, looking straight ahead and with his eyes flashing.

“He was walking casually, apparently not trying to show off. Actually, passers-by weren’t paying much attention,” he said.

Yoshizawa, 52, said he grew up enjoying Ultraman battling monsters in “Ultra Seven” and “The Return of Ultraman” series.

“My children said they wished they had seen him,” he added.

On Tuesday, TV Asahi’s news variety program “Morning Show” reported on Ultraman’s station appearance.

It aired a statement from Tsuburaya Productions, the video production company behind the superhero.

“Please enjoy ‘cosplay’ as a hobby and refrain from wearing costumes in public areas such as stations. If you do so in public, monsters and aliens may attack you, believing that you’re real.”

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Ultraman. The first TV series, simply titled “Ultraman,” aired from July 17, 1966.

The story takes place on planet Earth, where Ultraman from Nebula M78 helps the members of Science Patrol battle sinister aliens and giant monsters.

In 2013, Ultraman was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the television series with the largest number of spin-offs.

The record is still in place, as the new series “Ultraman Orb” airs from July 9.

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