In honor of this year’s G-Fest being Ultraman-themed (because of the 50th anniversary), I’ve been putting together an appropriate playlist for the drive to Chicago. While the various show’s themes and insert songs are fun in their own right, I find that the covers are the most exciting to rock out to. Here are a couple of the bands that can really kick out the jams:
- King of the cover bands, of course, is Animetal. Eizo Sakamoto’s veritable franchise dedicated an entire album to 34 Tsuburaya titles with Animetal Marathon III, and that’s the source for the best range of hits (seriously, for all you meme-generators out there, they do a cover of Redman’s theme!), but even the American spin-off Animetal USA covered Ultraseven’s theme in their 2nd album’s hero medley.
- The Surf Coasters’ cover of the Ultra Q theme has been played on Kaijucast many times, for good reason:
- While the high-pitched cute tones of Garamones might put off some people, I’m pretty amused by all of the interstitial sketch segments in their album (they’ve clearly put more thought into Kanegon poops than I ever have!), and their couple of original tracks are also catchy. Plus, they have vocal-less versions of all of the songs included just in case.
- Katokutai’s Ultra Great Hits album is catchy as heck (autotune suits Ultraman 80 way better than I would have thought), but woefully short at just 7 tracks. They got Kiyotaka Taguchi to do one of their music videos, which is pretty badass.
- Masaaki Endoh’s Ultraseven cover from Enson2 can only be described as majestic, but I also really like his cover of Ultraman Nexus’s “Hero” from Enson3…probably just because that’s my all-time favorite Ultraman theme. (In this case, though, I think I do prefer doa’s original version better, though.)
- The album Ultraman – 40 Years Later is also a lot of fun, covering numerous different musical styles as may be appropriate to whichever series they’re tackling at the time, ranging from orchestral to jazzy to pop. There’s a fair amount of (presumably chidren’s) choirs in them, in case that’s a deal breaker.
- Of course, if rock’s not your thing, you can always go with the mellower Ukulele Ultraman album from the Ukulele Café Quartet.
Those are just the handful of artists who have really caught my attention, but I’m by no means a connoisseur. If you’ve got some particular favorites to recommend, please leave a comment!