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Series / Redman

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Redman is a Japanese tokusatsu series consisting of 138 five-minute shorts produced by Tsuburaya Productions, the makers of the Ultra Series, which the series is a spin-off from. It was broadcasted through 1972 as a segment on the Japanese children's variety show Ohayo! Kodomo Show on Nippon Television.

This super, super low-budget series is quite simple in premise. Every episode the titular character would battle one or more different kaiju (usually monsters from the Ultra Series) in a location-shot backdrop like a quarry, woodlands or a field. Redman would encounter his monstrous opponents wandering about and begin to engage in combat with them, always ending with the monsters defeated (often in a brutal manner). And yeah, that's pretty much every single one of the 138 shorts.

Now normally, a series like this would have faded into obscurity long ago, but in 2016 Redman experienced a resurgence of memetic levels. You see, Tsuburaya Productions began uploading episodes onto their official YouTube channel that year and they caught on around the Internet's Ultraman fandom by storm due to the sudden and violent natures of the battles and their No Budget production values making them highly entertaining with the right mindset and making it seem as if Redman was a crazed monster-murderer instead of an Ultraman-esque superhero. TsuPro seems to have caught on to this as well, because in 2018, the series was given an American Comic-Book Adaptation illustrated by big-name Godzilla artist Matt Frank that frames the violence from the kaiju's perspective. The Redman comic now has its own trope page.

See the first episode here

Tropes applying to Redman:

  • All There in the Manual: Magazines from the period state that Redman is an alien who came to Earth and merged with Officer Sakomizu of SIA after invaders destroyed his home planet.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Redman does this for all of his special moves. Including the Red Fall, which is just dropping someone off a cliff.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: An authorized American series illustrated by Matt Frank that uses Redman's popular Alternate Character Interpretation from the perspectives of the monsters he fights.
  • Disney Villain Death: Redman has a habit of throwing his enemies off cliffs, which is listed as one of his Finishing Moves under the name of Red Fall.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: Plenty.
    • Redman's fighting style is unusually brutal, using furious kicks and punches and occasionally slashing up monsters with his Red Knife.
    • The monsters' deaths tend towards being surprisingly gruesome for low-budget shorts on a kiddie show. A lot of them get decapitated, impaled, stabbed multiple times, tossed off cliffs, and even get their heads bashed against hard surfaces before having their necks snapped.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: One of Redman's Finishing Moves, the Red Arrow, allows him to do this by creating a giant spear to throw at monsters.
  • Kaiju: Mainly those from the Ultra Series, but Darkron from Mirrorman and Zaurs from Mighty Jack also appear.
  • Mythology Gag: Redman's name and backstory are recycled from early drafts of Ultraman.
  • Neck Snap: A fairly common way for Redman's opponents to go.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: There is no story at all in Redman. The show consists of nothing but fight scenes.
  • Off with His Head!: Happens every so often for the monsters Redman battles.
  • Omega Cast: There are no supporting characters, just Redman and the kaiju.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: The same monsters get recycled many times, despite being brutally killed in their previous episodes. It's never explained if they're the same monsters as before or other members of the same species.
  • Ultraman Copy: The titular hero is a big Ultraman homage, but lacks a color timer, doesn't appear to change in size and fights much more aggressively than his inspiration. Supplementary material also states that Redman was born when an alien who was the Last of His Kind merged with Officer Sakomizu, a human official, to combat Kaiju.
  • Villain Team-Up: It's not uncommon for Redman to have to face multiple kaiju at once.