History of ultraman

History of ultraman DEFAULT
Ultraman Leo Astra Brothers

So what does this series contribute to the Ultra cannon? First of all, since Leo isn’t from the M-78 Nebula, he’s not considered an Ultra Brother…at first. In fact, he has his own younger brother, Astra, who also hails from Nebula L77. Leo was surprised when Astra showed up in Episode 22 “The Leo Brothers Vs. The Monster Brothers” since he was under the impression his sibling had died when Magma destroyed their homeworld. He’s relieved, especially after he sees that his pet Ron survived too. Like past Ultra family members before him, Astra would swoop down at any time to lend Leo a helping hand whenever the going got tough. They even had a team attack called the Ultra Double Finisher that worked wonders on overgrown rubber demons.

Leoalso introduces us to Ultraman King, the oldest and most powerful Ultra in the entire Showa universe. He is so legendary, in fact, that tales of his greatness are told in Leo’s neighboring galaxy. You can consider him the ultimate helper of all Ultra helpers – the big kahuna, less of a monarch as his titles suggests and more of a cross between god and Santa Claus than anything else.

He makes his first appearance in Episode 26 “Ultraman King Vs. The Magician”, coming down to Earth to help Leo out in his battle with Alien Pressure and giving him a new power-up, much like Zoffy used to. King had watched Leo’s progress as Earth’s sole alien defender from afar and was so impressed with his struggles that he bestowed onto him a power-up to keep him going.

In Episodes 38-39, everyone was shocked when Astra stormed the Ultra Tower to put out the Ultra Flame and steal the Ultra Key, a powerful relic that keeps the Land of Light orbiting around Nebula M78. The Ultra Brothers (sans Taro) tried to stop him from taking the Key, getting into a huge brawl that they continue down on Earth in the process. When Leo rushes to Astra’s defense, the Ultra Brothers don’t give a shit and tell him that they’re going to kill him anyway because their home planet is going to collide with earth since that’s where the Key is.

But then Ultraman King flies down and reveals that this mad thieving Astra is really Alien Babalou in disguise. The real Astra is frozen within a block of ice somewhere in space. After everything wrong is made right, the Leo Brothers are officially adopted into the Ultra family. Aww. Ultra group hug, everyone!

Ultraman Leo - Black Star Director

The final eleven episodes of Ultraman Leo form another mini-arc event, perhaps the the most eventful run of episodes the show had up until that point. “Terror of the Saucer Races” sees major (and majorly weird) shake-ups in the Ultraverse. A new villian is introduced, Black Directive aka Commander Black. He’s all about shiny glass balls and being a creeper. He’s my favorite villain from the Showa Era because he’s one of those artsy tokusatsu bad guys that looks silly in photographs but dazzling in action. Main characters are killed off, including Dan! Oh shucks.

Things get more violent and over-the-top than ever in the single most terrifying Ultraman episode ever made – Episode 47 “The Girl Who Collects the Stardust of Demons” – which is about evil sea shells that burrow themselves into the eyesockets of unsuspecting adults. You can watch it on Crunchyroll if you dare, but before you do, know that it’s not for the faint of heart. Mind the italicization! It’s there for a reason.

After a brutal uphill struggle that lasted for what feels like eternity, Leocomes to its triumphantly bitter conclusion when a group of kids team up to stop Commander Black and Leo puts and end to, well, the Black Star’s madness once and for all. Dan is revealed to be alive after all in his original form of Ultraseven, who comes back to take Leo back to the Land of Light so he can hopefully take an Ultra Nap.

When it comes down to it, there’s a lot to admire about Ultraman Leo. It’s an ambitious television series for 1974, mostly well-executed and impactful. But it’s a hard watch. It’s like if a Grave of the Fireflies had a drawn out animated series adaptation. It would be a masterpiece, for sure, but who would want to sit through all of that pain? Ultraman Leo would, I guess, and he’d be proud to do it. That’s what makes him a hero.

The Ultraman (Anime Series, 1979-1980)

The Ultraman (Anime Series, 1979-1980)

If you’re dying to see Ultraman in a flash of anime glory, this one’s all yours. His name is Ultraman Joneus (or Jonias), and unlike the rest of his real life Ultra cousins, he visits us from Planet U40. (Not to be confused with Planet UB40, the home galaxy of red, red wine.) There, he is part of the Great Eight and is known as being its strongest member. When he merges with a human named Hikari Choichiro, a member of the Scientific Guard, he protects the Earth from the Hellar Fleet and other monsters for about 60 episoses or so, then heads back home like the others.

Joneus had a sister named Amia that the show introduced in Episode 20 who helped Hikari and her brother recover on U40 after a battle. There, she revealed all of the mysteries of their home planet and their conflict with the monsters, but since this show takes place in an alternate continuity and doesn’t affect the rest of the series, it really doesn’t matter, does it? Move along, people.

Oh, an interesting historical side note before we continue along – In 1978, screenwriter Jeff Segal wrote a screenplay for an American Ultraman movie in the wake of Superman: The Movie‘s success. This project was known as Ultraman: The Jupiter Effect, and it focused on the zeitgeist of the early ‘80s planetary alignment paranoia. An evil villain named Drax sends his giant monsters to attack Earth during said astrological event, and a new Ultraman is hosted by an altruistic NASA astronaut to stop him.

Although this was never produced, Segal would later go on to rework the final story arc of Joneus for its English dubbed release as a spliced up direct-to-video feature known as The Adventures of Ultraman

Ultraman 80 (TV Series, 1981–1982)

Ultraman 80 (TV Series, 1981–1982)

The Ultraman cartoon was fun, but as a new decade began, so did a new chapter in Ultra history. Enter Ultraman 80, a series that more or less captured the charm of the original 1966 version. By paying tribute to past rather than breaking ground for the future, it was a pleasant back-to-basics affair that played it safe for the most part (i.e. Not much happened in it). Having said that, Ultraman 80 does have a milestone for the franchise: it introduces Yullian, princess of the Land of Light and the second female Ultra to also have a human form. She would assist 80 during his tougher battles during the latter half of the season.

Ultraman 80 began as a show about a junior high school science teacher named Takeshi Yamato who moonlighted as a member of the UGM (Utility Government Members, another bizarre and generic name), while also leading a double life as Ultraman 80, his true identity. As the show went on, it refocused itself on the UGM crew’s adventures and thus realigned itself with that classic trademark Ultra spirit.

The been-there-done-that nature of Ultraman 80 plus the fact that the anime genre was more popular than tokusatsu at the time make this Ultra entry one of the least talked about in the show’s legacy. It ends quietly, with Yullian and Ultraman 80 leaving back home for M78, confident that the humans can protect their own goddamn planet for once.

In 1983, another screenplay was developed for a US feature film, this time by author Don Glut. It was called Ultraman: Hero from the Stars. In it, the dinosaurs are revealed to still be alive and dormant beneath the earth, and have since become evolved and more dangerous over time. A new Ultraman takes the form of an Earth Defense soldier who is quickly assisted by the rest of the Ultra Family, including Ultra Seven who was intended to die in the final act.

Apparently, this script had Superman references up the ying-yang to make it more appealing to a Western audience. Huh. I wonder why it didn’t get made.

Ultraman Zoffy: Ultra Warriors Vs. The Giant Monster Army

Ultraman Zoffy: Ultra Warriors Vs. The Giant Monster Army (Theatrical Film, 1984)

Finally, Zoffy gets his time in the spotlight for once. In his own movie too! Too bad it’s a clip show that’s one big “previously on…” bit to showcase monster battles. What’s of historical note here is this is the first time Returning Ultraman (or New Ultraman) from Return of Ultraman is given his own unique name: Ultraman Jack. The president of Tsuburaya at the time, Satsuki Tsuburaya, designated him as Jack after a contest sponsored by Ban Dai was held. Fans were pissed by the rename, but now it’s gospel.

Ultraman Story (1984)

Ultraman Story (Theatrical Film, 1984)

The Showa Ultra films are nothing more than greatest hits complilations of monster battles spliced up and reassembled without much effort involved. Ultraman Story is no exception, but it does provide an overarching story about Ultraman Taro (who was the kiddie friendly face of the Ultras) and his lessons training with Ultra Father and Ultra Mother as a child in the Land of Light.

As the eensy widdle Taro learns the proper way of how mutilate giant lizards from clips of events that techically should have occured after he was a grown ass man, Juda, former immaterial entity born of spacial distortion and self-proclaimed Spawn of Evil starts stirring shit up with the spirits of past monsters and his new creation, Grand King. With the help of his family, Taro transforms into Super Ultra to put an end to the madness.

Ultraman: The Adventure Begins

Ultraman: The Adventure Begins (Animated Film, 1987)

There’s nothing more American than Ultraman…or so this cartoon wants us to think. In the first of many attempts to market Ultraman in the US during the 1980s and ‘90s, Tsubaraya approached Hanna-Barbera to co-produce an animated series that would help them crossover. The American animation powerhouse that forced years of Wacky Races on us wouldn’t commit to a series, but did agree to invest a one-off pilot movie instead. And thus we have what might be the most patronizing whitewashed Ultraman adaptation of them all – which is really saying something.

The Adventure Beginssticks to the classic formula that any self-respecting Ultra series should. But instead of having one hero, there’s three – Scott, Chuck, and Beth, otherwise known as the Flying Angels. They’re a team of pilots who kill at air stunt shows. When they get caught in a weird accident, they are saved by Ultra beings from M78 and become the Ultra Force (not to be confused with Ultraforce, an entirely different cartoon). Their mentor: an old dude who runs a golf course and is secretly an agent of intergalactic peace. And guess what? They have three robot assistants of various cuteness to help them out. Meet Samson, the strong blue one; Andy, the adorable tiny one; and Ulysses, the skinny gay one. Aw.

Together, the Ultra Force all reside in their secret lair in Mount fucking Rushmore. You can’t get any more American than that, folks.

The voice cast for Ultraman USA(as it was affectionately re-titled in Japan) was actually pretty decent. Since Batman: The Animated Series’ voice casting director Andrea Romano was also in charge of choosing the voices to bring this pilot to life, it’s no wonder. We have Adrienne Barbeau, otherwise known as the lovely Selena Kyle, who voices Lt. Beth O’Brien, the Ultrawoman of the group; small screen veteran Michael Lembeck as Scott Masterson (the leader); Mr. Slick himself, Chad Everett as Chuck Gavin; and legendary character actor Stacy Keach as Walter. That’s quite an impressive talent roster for a one-shot animated movie that immediately tripped and fell into obscurity.

The Adventure Begins isn’t bad at all. There are several gorgeously animated bits that make you forget you’re watching a Hanna-Barbera cartoon, and the story itself improves and expands upon the typical Ultraman formula. Sadly, it didn’t gain enough interest in the states to warrant a full series order, so it stands alone as a curious artifact of cross-culture entertainment that is only the first of many, as we’ll soon find out in the Heisei Era.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Ultraman’s complete history later this month. Until then, follow Stephen Harber on Instagram and Twitter @onlywriterever. And put some pants on for Christ’s sake.

Sours: https://www.denofgeek.com/culture/the-complete-history-of-ultraman-part-1-1966-1987/

Ultraman: The Long History of Marvel's Newest Hero, Explained

Before Marvel's The Rise of Ultraman starts, here's everything you need to know about the internationally acclaimed superhero.

While he might not be an icon to Marvel readers yet, Ultraman is one of the world's most enduring superheroes. And with The Rise of Ultraman #1, Kyle Higgins, Mat Groom, Francesco Manna and Michael Cho are giving the international icon his Marvel debut.

In Japan, Ultraman first appeared as the star of his own television series in 1966. The success of Ultraman led to the creation of similar shows like Ultra Seven, and Ultraman remained a recurring character in the Ultra Series. Ultraman and his contemporaries became some of the most iconic heroes in international pop culture by the 1980s, and they all remain popular globally today.

The original Ultraman is a gigantic, ancient creature from Nebula M78, and he protects Earth from monstrous threats. The creature fuses its body with Shin Hayata, a member of the Science Special Search-Party, after he collides with his jet. Shin can trigger the transformation into Ultraman by using the Beta Capsule, and Ultraman has bonded with other hosts throughout its long history.

Related: Ultraman Rises in First Look at Marvel Comics Debut

In later series, Shin is portrayed as Ultraman's human form, which made their association even stronger. In addition to the Beta Capsule, the Color Timer is one of Ultraman's most important gadgets. It changes color to reflect Ultraman's energy level. The hero is fuel by the sun, but Earth's atmosphere limits how much power he can use at once. At full strength, Ultraman is remarkably powerful.

Ultraman has various abilities; he can shoot energy beams, including the Specium Ray, a blast that uses an extraterrestrial mineral named Specium. Ultraman can also use the Ultra Slash, a flying disk that's made of energy that can cut an opponent in half. As a titanic creature, Ultraman also has immense brute strength during hand-to-hand combat. Ultraman isn't invincible,  but his impressive size and his imposing power set make him a good match for space's most threatening beasts.

Ultraman has left quite a footprint in pop culture. The success of his first television series spawned the creation of the Kyodai Hero genre, in which protagonists grow to massive sizes and battle equally large monsters. Ultraman lives on through dozens of subsequent series that star some iteration of the original Ultraman or a new character inspired by him.

RELATED: Power Rangers: How Soul of the Dragon Gave Tommy His Final Morphs

In 2019, Netflix released an anime adaptation of the Ultraman manga by Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi, which introduced the hero to a new audience. Similarly, Marvel's Rise of Ultraman series will offer a new take on Ultraman's classic origin.

As a star in television, manga and anime series, Ultraman remains one of the most popular characters in pop culture. Netflix and Marvel, through their respective series about the character, are introducing him to a new generation of potential fans around the world.

KEEP READING: Ultraman Season 2 Trailer Introduces Tarō to the Netflix Series

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About The Author
Colin Tessier (129 Articles Published)

As a freelance journalist with a writing major from Ithaca College, Colin has turned his lifelong enthusiasm for writing into a career. He has experience covering comic books and professional wrestling, two subjects that he has been passionate about since childhood. Colin is a Features Writer for CBR and a contributor for Wrestlezone. He has also been published on Monkeys Fighting Robots and Bam Smack Pow. During his time as a writer for The Ithacan, Ithaca College's award-winning newspaper, Colin regularly reviewed comic book movies and TV shows. When he's not working, Colin can be found drinking too much coffee while he's reading a Stephen King novel or binging comics.

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The History of Ultraman

With numerous series and films spanning several decades, Ultraman has become an iconic character in Japanese science fiction. This is the story of how Ultraman came to be, and the minds behind this popular franchise. If you're a fan of Japanese sci-fi and anime, check out this list of the best Gundam model kits.

Who Created Ultraman?

Ultraman was created by Eiji Tsubaraya and Tetsuo Kinjo as a follow-up to "Ultra Q," a popular TV series on the Tokyo Broadcasting System.

Trailer For The 2016 Version

How Many Episodes of the Original "Ultraman" Series Are There?

The original series aired 39 episodes, along with a special to introduce the series, making for a total of 40 episodes.

The Birth Of Ultraman

Is The Original "Ultraman" Available In The US?

Yes, there have been multiple releases of an English-language dub of the original series. It is available digitally as well as on DVD featuring both subtitled and dubbed versions.

More Information

"Ultraman" is a science fiction television series created by Eiji Tsuburaya. It is considered a "tokusatsu," which means any live-action film or TV drama that features special effects. The term literally translates as "special filming" in Japanese.

The TV show was produced by Tsuburaya Productions and had a total of 40 episodes, including a pre-premiere special which was shown on July 10, 1966.

The whole series was broadcast on the Tokyo Broadcasting System, or T.B.S., from July 17, 1966 to April 9, 1967.

In 1964, Tsuburaya Productions created "Ultra Q," a sci-fi tokusatsu. The show featured continuing characters who explored extraordinary supernatural phenomena, including ghosts, aliens, and giant monsters.

"Ultra Q" was the first of the long-running "Ultra Series." It was shown in black and white and had a total of 28 episodes. The television show was broadcast on T.B.S. from January 2 to July 3, 1966.

"Ultra Q" was the most expensive television series ever produced in Japan at the time. It became so popular that the Tokyo Broadcasting System wanted a new program. The network thought a similar monster-themed series would be ideal, this time filming in color. T.B.S. asked Tsuburaya Productions to create the TV show.

Eiji Tsuburaya worked with writer Tetsuo Kinjo on the concept for the new show. They expanded on the basic idea of "Ultra Q," featuring the war between monsters and civilians. For the second TV series, the focus would be on a special group, specifically created to deal with supernatural phenomena.

This was the beginning of the follow-up series, "Ultraman." It was the result of three different concepts fused together, creating one iconic character of intergalactic heroism.

The first concept was known as "Woo." The story centered on the life of a young girl who went on adventures with a funny looking monster with big eyes.

The second idea was "Bemler." This was Ultraman's first character iteration. In the story, he had a human host named "Officer Sakomizu." He was described as a 28 year old man and a "tough guy" in early drafts.

Sakomizu was a member of a group called the "Science Patrol," eventually named the "Scientific Investigation Agency," or S.I.A. He would transform into a giant winged monster that could fight other enormous villains.

In December 1965, pre-production and story layout began with the title, "Bemler: Scientific Investigation Agency." Tsuburaya and Kinjo added more substance to the story by taking unused ideas from "Ultra Q."

They decided to make Bemler appear more human in form. This was due to the demands of T.B.S. producer, Takashi Kakoi, that the character be easily identified from the rest of the similar-looking monsters in the show. They later changed the image design to be more metallic-based.

In a few months, the third idea was conceptualized. The title was changed to "Redman" because of the leading character's color scheme being predominantly red. In February 1966, the TV show was approved to begin production.

Finally, the three concepts were merged together to form the now popular "Ultraman." On March 22, 1966, the show was registered with the approval of the copyright offices.

To make the show appealing to overseas markets, T.B.S. suggested that they only cast actors who were Western-looking. They found many of their cast members through Toho, a production and distribution company in Japan.

Bin Furuya, whose real name is Satoshi Furuya, played Ultraman. He was specifically chosen for the role because of his physical stature and proportions.

"Ultraman" became so popular that it led to many subsequent iterations of the TV series. Spanning four decades, the show evolved from using props and special effects to being hand-drawn and computer generated.

Some of the shows in the Ultra Series include "Ultraseven," "Ultraman Ace," and "Ultraman Leo." Tsuburaya Productions also created an anime series called "The Ultraman." In 1987, an animated film entitled "Ultraman: The Adventure Begins" was released by the same company.

On December 4, 2004, "Ultraman: The Next," a Japanese science fiction tokusatsu superhero film, was produced by Tsuburaya Productions. The movie was directed by Kazuya Konaka.

Ultraman's success continued into the Millennial age. The show has been resurrected in different mediums, including theatrical films, video games, and manga. The measure of its popularity can be seen in the fact that an anime adaptation of the series was filmed decades after the iconic character first appeared.

Sours: https://ultraman-movie.com/a/7u8kw9IKjWn9J
History of Ultraman (1966)

Ultraman

Japanese media franchise

For the Japanese television series, see Ultraman (1966 TV series). For the title character, see Ultraman (character). For the manga, see Ultraman (manga). For all other uses of the term, see Ultraman (disambiguation).

Ultraman, more commonly known as the Ultra Series (Japanese: ウルトラシリーズ, Hepburn: Urutora Shirīzu), is the collective name for all media produced by Tsuburaya Productions featuring Ultraman, his many brethren, and the myriad Ultra Monsters. Debuting with Ultra Q and then Ultraman in 1966, the Ultra Series is one of the most prominent tokusatsusuperhero genre productions from Japan, along with the Toei-produced series Kamen Rider, Super Sentai and the Metal Heroes. The Ultra Series is also one of the most well-known examples of the daikaiju (大怪獣, "giant monster") genre, along with Toho's Godzilla series and Daiei Film's Gamera series. However, the Ultra Series also falls into the kyodai hīro (巨大ヒーロー, "giant hero") subgenre of tokusatsu TV shows.

The Ultraman brand generated US$7.4 billion in merchandising revenue from 1966 to 1987,[1] equivalent to more than $17 billion adjusted for inflation. Ultraman was the world's third top-selling licensed character in the 1980s, largely due to his popularity in Asia.[2] References to Ultraman are abundant in Japanese pop culture, much like references to Superman in U.S. culture.[1]

The Ultraman[edit]

As revealed in Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy, the Ultraman are a technologically advanced civilization who were originally identical to humans. They had evolved into their current state of being following the activation of the Plasma Spark, which replaced their dead sun. Ultraman and his many kin are usually red-and-silver (although several color variations have been seen in recent years) and have glowing yellow almond-shaped dome eyes (although there are exceptions to both the shape and color) and various abilities, most notably firing energy beams from their crossed hands and flight. They share a strong cultural sense of justice and duty, a majority of Ultramen joining the Space Garrison (宇宙警備隊, Uchū Keibitai) to maintain peace in the universe from alien invaders and monsters.

The Ultramen that are sent to other worlds are given Color Timers, or "warning lights", which blink with increasing frequency and turn from blue to red if an Ultraman's energy supply dwindles or he is mortally wounded. Due to human pollution and the light filtering effects of the atmosphere, an Ultraman can remain active on Earth for a limited span of minutes before their energy is depleted and they die. This forces an Ultraman to either assume a human form or merge with a human host body. The latter process has healing properties that include reviving a recently dead person with their own lifeforce.

Ultra beings also appear to be near-impossible to permanently kill, as several times an Ultra being has been killed, only to be revived by another member of their species. An Ultra being can be revived with a massive energy infusion, as when Mebius' allies revived him with their energy after his defeat by Empire. Ultramen always try to avoid battles in inhabited areas or near innocent bystanders, and try to minimize collateral property damage. If these concerns cannot be met, a city like Tokyo could be destroyed.

The Ultraman phenomenon[edit]

The show Ultraman was followed by many other series. Sequels to the original series are: Ultraseven (1967, TBS), The Return of Ultraman (1971, TBS), Ultraman Ace (1972, TBS), Ultraman Taro (1973, TBS), Ultraman Leo (1974, TBS), Ultraman 80 (1980, TBS), Ultraman Tiga (1996, MBS), Ultraman Dyna (1997, MBS), Ultraman Gaia (1998, MBS), and Ultraman Cosmos (2001, MBS). After that, the studio tried a reinvention of the hero through the "Ultra N Project", which involved three heroes: Ultraman Noa (the "mascot" of the Ultra N Project, who appears in stage shows as well as in the final episode of Ultraman Nexus) in late 2003, Ultraman Nexus (2004, CBC), and ULTRAMAN (2004, Shochiku Productions). This was followed by a return to the old-school series' style in the form of Ultraman Max (2005, CBC). In the course of the Max series, another new hero known as Ultraman Xenon was also introduced. April 2006 saw the 40th anniversary series, Ultraman Mebius, which signaled a long-awaited return to the original universe. Another hero was also introduced: Ultraman Hikari, formerly known as Hunter Knight Tsurugi.

The franchise has also been shown in movie theaters, starting with Ultraman Zearth and Ultraman Zearth 2, Ultraman Tiga: The Final Odyssey, released in 2000, as well as ULTRAMAN, a movie that opened in December 2004. The straight-to-video market also saw the release of Ultraman Neos in 2000, as well as special features for Ultraman Tiga, Dyna, and Gaia, who have teamed up in theatrical features (Tiga and Dyna once, as well as the three of them all together). The Ultraman Mebius and Ultra Brothers movie opened in September 2006.

Foreign productions include the 1987 Hanna-Barbera co-production Ultraman: The Adventure Begins (in Japanese, Ultraman USA), an animated movie; Ultraman: Towards the Future (in Japanese, Ultraman Great), produced in Australia in 1991 and Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero (in Japanese, Ultraman Powered), produced in the United States in 1993. The Ultraman series have also been dubbed into various languages, including English, Spanish (only Ultra Q, the original Ultraman, Ultraseven, Return of Ultraman, Ultraman Great and Ultraman Tiga were known to be translated into Spanish), Portuguese (Ultraman, Ultraseven, Return of Ultraman and Ultraman Tiga in Brazil), Korean, Malay, Mandarin, Cantonese, Indonesian, and Filipino (Ultraman, Ultraseven, Return of Ultraman, Ultraman Taro, Ultraman Tiga, Ultraman Dyna, Ultraman Gaia, Ultraman Nexus, Ultraman Max and Ultraman Mebius). Also of note is the American English dub of Ultraman Tiga by 4Kids Entertainment that aired in 2002. The dub considerably distorted the characterization and general mood of the series, and it achieved only limited success.

In 1993, Tsuburaya Productions and Toei Company co-produced Ultraman vs. Kamen Rider, a crossover with the original Ultraman and Toei's Kamen Rider. This direct-to-video feature is co-copyrighted by both Toei (and its subordinates, Toei Video and Ishinomori Productions) and Tsuburaya Productions.

As of 2013[update], Tsuburaya Productions accepts 36 Ultramen as official (counting Ultraman Legend, the combined form of Ultramen Cosmos and Justice, as a separate entity). This figure does not account for Thai-produced Ultramen (the figure is 38 if Next, Noa, and Nexus are counted as separate entities — it has been revealed in Nexus that all three are a single being with various modes used by different hosts). In 2013, the Ultra Series was cited in the Guinness Book of World Records as the record-holder for the most spin-off shows.[3] The Ultraman brand generated $7.4 billion in merchandising revenue from 1966 to 1987,[1] equivalent to more than $17 billion adjusted for inflation. Ultraman was the world's third top-selling licensed character in the 1980s, largely due to his popularity in Asia.[2]

In 2017, Ultraman Ginga S: Showdown! Ultra 10 Warriors!! and Ultraman X: Here It Comes! Our Ultraman were released on 8 January 2017 in the United States as a double feature; this was the first North American theatrical release of an Ultraman feature film in its entire 50-year history. Ultraman Max, Ultraman 80, Ultraman Neos, Ultraman Nexus, Ultraseven X, The Ultraman and other series began airing in the United States on the TOKU channel.

The Ultraman manga, which began in 2011, has sold more than 2.8 million copies as of 2018.[4] At the Tokyo Comic Con on 7 December 2017, Tsuburaya Productions revealed that an anime adaptation of the manga was planned for release in 2019.[5] It was released by Netflix.[4]

Ultraman content, products and services have been distributed in more than 100 countries worldwide, as of March 2018[update]. In China, an Ultraman television series received 1.8 billion views on over-the-top media services between July 2017 and March 2018.[6]

Peyton Reed, the director of the Ant-Man films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, said that Ant-Man's costume design was influenced by Ultraman along with Inframan, another tokusatsu superhero from China.[7] Video game designer Hideki Kamiya (known for games such as Resident Evil 2, Devil May Cry, Viewtiful Joe, Ōkami, Bayonetta and The Wonderful 101) said he loved Godzilla and Ultraman as a child.[8]

It was announced in November 2019 that Marvel Comics has partnered with Tsuburaya Productions to publish Ultraman comic books in 2020.[9][10] As of March 2021[update], Bandai Namco has sold 101.87 millionUltraman soft figures (heroes and monsters) since 1983, while Bandai Namco Arts (including Bandai Visual) has sold 8.48 millionUltramanhome video units between January 1988 and March 2021.[11]

Controversies[edit]

Licensing rights dispute[edit]

See also: ja:ウルトラマン訴訟

Ultraman's licensing rights outside Japan have been the subject of a prolonged legal dispute between Tsuburaya Productions and Chaiyo Productions (also called Tsuburaya Chaiyo Co. Ltd) based in Thailand. Tsuburaya had previously collaborated with Chaiyo on the production of two movies, The 6 Ultra Brothers vs. the Monster Army and Jumborg Ace & Giant—the latter of which featured another Tsuburaya superhero, Jumborg Ace—in 1974. Sompote Saengduenchai, founder/president of Chaiyo Productions, claimed and maintained that in 1976 that Noboru Tsuburaya, the son of the late Eiji Tsuburaya, had given him and his company a contract which had given him rights to everything Ultraman outside Japanese territories in exchange for a monetary loan.

In spite of the fact that the document failed to state clearly and specifically exactly what had been given to Tsuburaya in exchange for these rights, Japanese and Thai courts accepted this contract as real and binding because of the supposed hanko of the late Noboru Tsuburaya, who had died in 1995, in the document. Tsuburaya Productions insisted and maintained that the contract was a forgery (due to factual errors, including the faulty titles of the series in the document, such as Ultra Q being called "Ultraman 1: Ultra Q", Ultraseven being called "Ultraman 3: Ultraman Seven", and Tsuburaya Productions being called "Tsuburaya Prod. and Enterprises", a name the company never did business under), and repeatedly contested the issue.

In the course of the legal battle, Sompote presented photos of himself sharing his photos of Thai Buddhist edifices, stating that Eiji had based Ultraman's face on those edifices, a claim which he has continued to hold since the dispute began. No other evidence supporting this claim is known to exist.

After an eight-year battle in the courts of both countries, Sompote Saengduenchai was awarded a favorable decision on 27 April 2004. The exact ruling fell into some dispute: Some said it only gave him merchandising rights for the first six Ultra Series (Ultra Q through Ultraman Taro) and Jumborg Ace outside Japan, and broadcasting rights of those shows within Thailand. Other accounts, usually reported in the Thai/Asian media, said that Chaiyo had gained the rights to those six shows everywhere outside Japan. The latter could be taken as Chaiyo's side of the story, as Tsuburaya was reported in the Japanese media to continue taking further action against them.

Tsuburaya decided not to market any of the disputed six Ultra Series outside Japan until it had completely settled the rights issues with Chaiyo, although the company continued to merchandise and distribute all of the Ultraman programs created after Ultraman Taro, including the theatrical feature Ultraman the Next, throughout the world. Because of the copyright struggle, importing literature on Ultraman into Singapore and Malaysia was prohibited. It also resulted in a slight backlash against Thai Ultraman fans, who were assumed to be outright Chaiyo supporters.

In 2005 the American company BCI Home Entertainment (BCI/Eclipse), a subsidiary of Navarre Corporation announced they had acquired the DVD license to Ultraman from distributor Golden Media Group Inc., a Hollywood-based distributor, who secured the rights from Tokyo-based UM Corp. Inc., acting as the global agent for Chaiyo. A three-disc box set containing the first 20 episodes of the series was released on 18 July 2006, followed by a second three-disc box set containing the remaining 19 episodes was released on 7 November 2006. Both sets feature the Japanese stereo audio, created by Tsuburaya Productions and Pioneer for their Japanese R-2 DVD release in 1999, as well as the English-dubbed version produced by United Artists for North American syndication. The original Japanese monaural was not included.

Unfortunately, the English audio for Episodes 5 through 39 were not all complete, as BCI sourced private home off-air audio recordings from an unknown television broadcast, which were cut to provide for more commercial time. Therefore, the episodes in question would switch to Japanese audio from English audio to cover the missing gaps. Due to these gaps, BCI's publicity department assumed the original series was edited by UA-TV when it was originally prepared for U.S. syndication. Only minor seconds of extreme violence were trimmed from three episodes, none of which contained dialogue. Tsuburaya Productions had a complete run of the UA-TV's version, which their Los Angeles office, UltraCom Inc., retrieved from a U.S. film warehouse in 1993. In 1994, they provided the English audio for the Expressions in Animation VHS release of the first four episodes, which were sourced for the corresponding episodes in the BCI release.

During the time of the legal battle, Chaiyo came up with three of their own Ultras: Ultraman Millennium, Dark Ultraman (an evil Ultra), and Ultraman Elite. These were not used for purposes other than stage shows and merchandise. Chaiyo also created a TV series that he called Project Ultraman, unaired as of late March 2008, a joint project in China featuring their own Ultraman and attaching Hong Kong star Ekin Cheng to the project.

On 23 August 2006, Tsuburaya Productions filed a new lawsuit against Chaiyo for copyright infringement and plagiarism (concerning their three original Ultraman characters), and the court case was taken to China. The Chinese courts in Beijing opened "The Ultraman Copyright Study Group" in response to the lawsuit.[12] In April 2007, the Thailand Intellectual Property Court ruled in favor of Tsuburaya Productions, ordering Chaiyo to cease and desist making commercial profits from Chaiyo-produced Ultraman characters such as Millennium, Dark, and Elite. The defendants were also fined THB 15,000,000 (approx. JPY 50,904,959 or US$428,673.50 c. April 2007) plus interest and attorneys' fees.[13][14]Project Ultraman went on hiatus as a result of the ruling, which implied that, although Chaiyo owned the right to some of the Ultraman series, it did not own the right to Ultraman and his brothers, including the design. Chaiyo gained permission to merchandise the original series, but lost the right to create and market its own Ultraman, or even use the original, without Tsuburaya's consent.[citation needed]

On 5 February 2008, Thailand's Supreme Court ruled in favor of Tsuburaya Productions of Japan after they made an appeal to the initial ruling. The ruling ended the long legal battle by finding Sompote Saengduenchai was not a co-creator of Ultraman. The decision ended Sompote's bid to continue his enterprise, and the court gave Sompote 30 days to stop profiteering from Ultraman. The final ruling saw Tsuburaya Productions as the sole copyright owner. Sompote was also required to pay THB 10,700,000 plus interest at the rate of 7.5 percent a year starting from 16 December 1997, when the original lawsuit was filed.[15]

In 2009, the Thai Intellectual Property Court and the Tokyo District Court both ruled in favour of the Thai company. This led to the Tokyo District Court on 30 September 2010, ordering Tsuburaya Productions Co. of Japan to pay damages of 16.36 million yen (Bt5.9 million) to Sompote Saengduenchai of Thailand for violating his overseas copyrights on the Ultraman characters.[16]

After the announcement of the film Dragon Force: So Long, Ultraman in July 2017, the dispute on the ownership of the franchise has escalated.[17] But on 20 November 2017, through a Los Angeles court ruling by Judge Andre Birotte Jr, Tsuburaya won the lawsuit against Chaiyo and affiliate groups on the rights of the series after the jury concluded that the supposed agreement between Noboru Tsuburaya and Chaiyo was "not authentic".[18][19] Despite UM Corporation and Chaiyo filing a counter-dispute,[20] on 18 April 2018, the legal court came to a definite close where a final judgement states that the dispute and the document was deemed invalid, forbidding UMC to use the Ultra Series and all its related characters and forced them to pay Tsubaraya damages for its infringement of its rights.[21]

With the release of the sequel film Dragon Force: Rise of Ultraman [zh] (Chinese: 钢铁飞龙之奥特曼崛起; pinyin: Gāngtiě fēilóng zhī àotèmàn juéqǐ), issues between UMC, Bluearc and Tsubaraya had reignited and the company took legal actions against the two companies again.[22] On 10 December 2019, it was confirmed by Tsuburaya that the court has rejected UMC and Bluearc's appeal for a retrial, stating the court's first verdict of regarding the rights and ownership of Ultraman to Tsuburaya is still legitimate and final, and that any future appeals by UMC and Bluearc will likely be rejected.[23] As UMC and Bluearc failed to file a further appeal by 4 March 2020, they were to pay US$4,000,000 (approx. 400,000,000 Japanese yen) in compensatory damages, as well as other various court fees.[24] The resulting victory has reached Thailand as well and the Thai Supreme Court ordered a ruling in favor Tsuburaya Productions as the legitimate copyright owner of the shows listed in the License Granting Agreement alongside ownership over Hanuman vs. 7 Ultraman (and its remake, Hanuman vs. 11 Ultraman) and Jumborg Ace & Giant.[25] Sompote had made an appeal to the court over the decision, but was dismissed.[26] Sompote believes the decision would affect the former two movies' status as national heritage items, and has appealed to both the Supreme Court and Ministry of Culture on that front.[27]

Malaysian book ban[edit]

On 6 March 2014, the Malaysian Ministry of Home Affairs announced that it had banned the publication of an Ultraman comic book Ultraman: The Ultra Power "due to contents that were detrimental to public order".[28][29] Social media users later noticed that a page in the book described the character of Ultraman King (from the film Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy) as a god, which in the Malaysian language is the Arabic word "Allah". The Home Ministry later confirmed that the use of "Allah" was indeed the reason for the ban, claiming that the comparison may "confuse Muslim children and damage their faith".[30][31] This highlighted the larger ban to prevent non-Muslims in Malaysia from using the word "Allah", despite its common usage in Bahasa Melayu to refer to any "god", as well as a suit from the Catholic Church of Malaysia over its usage.[32]

Television[edit]

Series[edit]

Ultraman Kids TV series[edit]

  • Ultraman Kids' M78 Movie (1984)
  • Ultraman Kids' Proverb Stories (1986)
  • Ultraman Kids: 30 Million Light Years Looking for Mama (1991–1992)

Specials[edit]

TV[edit]

  • Ultraman vs. Kamen Rider (1993) Co-production with Toei Company and Ishinomori Productions
  • Ultraseven - Operation: Solar Energy (1994)
  • Ultraseven - The Ground of the Earthlings (1994)

OVA (Original Video Animation) / anime series[edit]

  • Ultraman Graffiti (1990)
  • Ultraman: Super Fighter Legend (1996)

OVT (Original Video Tokusatsu)[edit]

Miniseries[edit]

Films[edit]

Video games[edit]

  • Ultraman MSX (1984)
  • Ultraman: Kaijuu Teikoku no Gyakushuu Famicom Disk System (1987)
  • Ultraman 2 Famicom Disk System (1987)
  • Ultraman Club: Chikyuu Dakkan Sakusen Famicom Disk System (1988)
  • Ultraman Club 2: Kaette Kita Ultraman Club Famicom (1990)
  • Ultraman Club: Teki Kaijuu o Hakken Seyo Famicom (1990)
  • SD Battle Ozumo: Heisei Hero Basho Famicom (1990)
  • SD Hero Soukessen: Taose! Aku no Gundan Famicom (1990)
  • SD The Great Battle Super Famicom (1990)
  • Battle Dodge Ball Super Famicom (1991)
  • Ultraman Club 3: Mata Mata Shiyutsugeki!! Ultra Kyoudai Famicom (1991)
  • Ultraman Game Boy (1991)
  • Ultraman Super Famicom (1991)
  • Ultraman Arcade (1991)
  • Ultraman: Towards the Future SNES (1991)
  • Ultraman Club: Kaijuu Dai Kessen!! Famicom (1992)
  • The Great Battle II: Last Fighter Twin Super Famicom (1992)
  • Versus Hero: Road to the King Fight Game Boy (1992)
  • Battle Dodge Ball Game Boy (1992)
  • Hero Senki: Project Olympus Super Famicom (1992)
  • Battle Soccer: Field no Hasha Super Famicom (1992)
  • Great Battle Cyber Famicom (1992)
  • Ultraman Club: Tatakae! Ultraman Kyoudai!! Arcade (1992)
  • Battle Baseball Famicom (1993)
  • The Great Battle III Super Famicom (1993)
  • Battle Dodge Ball II Super Famicom (1993)
  • Tekkyu Fight! The Great Battle Gaiden Game Boy (1993)
  • Ultra Toukon Densetsu Arcade (1993)
  • Cult Master: Ultraman ni Miserarete Game Boy (1993)
  • Ultraman Sega Mega Drive (1993)
  • Ultraman Club: Supokon Fight! Famicom (1993)
  • Ultraseven Super Famicom (1993)
  • Ultraman Powered Panasonic 3DO (1994)
  • Ultraman Chou Toushi Gekiden Game Boy (1994)
  • The Great Battle Gaiden 2: Matsuri da Wasshoi Super Famicom (1994)
  • Gaia Saver Super Famicom (1994)
  • Battle Soccer 2 Super Famicom (1994)
  • The Great Battle IV Super Famicom (1994)
  • Ultraman Powered: Kaijuu Gekimetsu Sakusen Playdia (1994)
  • Ultraseven: Chikyu Boei Sakusen Playdia (1994)
  • Ultraman Ball Game Boy (1994)
  • Ultra League Super Famicom (1995)
  • The Great Battle V Super Famicom (1995)
  • Battle Crusher Game Boy (1995)
  • Battle Pinball Super Famicom (1995)
  • Battle Racers Super Famicom (1995)
  • Super Pachinko Taisen Super Famicom (1995)
  • Super Pachinko Taisen Game Boy (1995)
  • Super Tekkyu Fight! Super Famicom (1995)
  • Ultra X Weapons/Ultra Keibitai Arcade (1995)
  • Ultraman Hiragana Daisakusen Playdia (1995)
  • Ultraman Alphabet TV e Yokoso Playdia (1995)
  • PD Ultraman Invader PS1 (1995)
  • PD Ultraman Link Sega Saturn (1996)
  • Ultraman: Ultra Land Suuji de Asobou Playdia (1996)
  • Ultraman: Chinou Up Daisakusen Playdia (1996)
  • SD Ultra Battle: Ultraman Densetsu Super Famicom (1996)
  • Ultraman Zukan Sega Saturn (1996)
  • Ultraman Zearth PS1 (1996)[35]
  • Ultraman: Hikari no Kyojin Densetsu Sega Saturn (1996)
  • Ultraman Zukan 2 Sega Saturn (1997)
  • The Great Battle VI PS1 (1997)
  • Battle Formation PS1 (1997)
  • Ultraman Fighting Evolution PS1 (1998)
  • Ultraman Zukan 3 Sega Saturn (1998)
  • Ultraman Tiga & Ultraman Dyna: New Generations PS1 (1998)
  • PD Ultraman Battle Collection 64 Nintendo 64 (1999)
  • Super Hero Operations PS1 (1999)
  • Great Battle Pocket Game Boy Color (1999)
  • Super Hero Operations: Diedal's Ambition PS1 (2000)
  • Kids Station: Bokurato Asobou! Ultraman TV PS1 (2000)
  • Kids Station: Ultraman Cosmos PS1 (2001)
  • Ultraman Fighting Evolution 2 PS2 (2002)
  • Charinko Hero Nintendo Gamecube (2003)
  • Ultraman PS2 (2004)
  • Ultraman Fighting Evolution 3 PS2 (2004)
  • Ultraman Fighting Evolution Rebirth PS2 (2005)
  • Ultraman Nexus PS2 (2005)
  • Ultraman Fighting Evolution 0 PSP (2006)
  • Jissen Pachi-Slot Hisshouhou! Ultraman Club ST PS2 (2006)
  • Pachitte Chonmage Tatsujin 12: Pachinko Ultraman PS2 (2007)
  • Daikaiju Battle: Ultra Coliseum Nintendo Wii (2008)
  • Kaiju Busters Nintendo DS (2009)
  • Ultra Coliseum DX: Ultra Senshi Daishuketsu Nintendo Wii (2010)
  • Kaiju Busters POWERED Nintendo DS (2011)
  • The Great Battle Full Blast PSP (2012)
  • Battle Dodge Ball III PSP (2012)
  • Lost Heroes Nintendo 3DS, PSP (2012)
  • Heroes' VS PSP (2013)
  • Ultraman All-Star Chronicle PSP (2013)
  • Super Hero Generation PS3, PS Vita (2014)
  • Lost Heroes 2 Nintendo 3DS (2015)
  • Ultraman Fusion Fight! Arcade (2016)
  • City Shrouded in Shadow PS4, PS Vita (2017)
  • Ultraman R/B Nintendo Switch (2018)

Books[edit]

Comics[edit]

Harvey Comics series[edit]

Between 1993 and 1994, Harvey Comics published two comic book series based on the 1966 Ultraman television series.

Dark Horse Comics series[edit]

In 2003, Dark Horse Comics published a comic book based on Ultraman Tiga.[36]

Marvel Comics series[edit]

Since 2020, Marvel Comics started publishing an initial new Ultraman comic book limited series titled The Rise of Ultraman, written by Kyle Higgins & Matt Groom with art by Francesco Manna. It debuted in September 2020 and concluded in January 2021.[37][38]

A sequel titled The Trials of Ultraman premiered in March 2021, with Higgins, Groom and Manna returning and is expected to conclude in August of the same year.[39][40]

A spin-off series titled The Mystery of Ultraseven will be released on March 2022.[citation needed]

Manga[edit]

Main article: Ultraman (manga)

References[edit]

  1. ^ abc"Properties-Ultraman". 4kidsentertainment.com. Archived from the original on 28 February 2005. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  2. ^ abWarner, Brad (2005). Hardcore Zen: Punk Rock, Monster Movies and the Truth About Reality. Simon and Schuster. p. 44. ISBN .
  3. ^""最も派生テレビシリーズが作られたテレビ番組"として『ウルトラマン』が世界記録に認定 | 株式会社 円谷プロダクション". Tsuburaya-prod.co.jp. 10 July 2013. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  4. ^ ab"A comic that sold 2.8 million copies comes back as an animation! Anime "ULTRAMAN" to be Released Worldwide on Netflix from Spring 2019! Announcement made at the Anime Expo 2018 as one of the featured animation". Tsuburaya Productions. 6 July 2018.
  5. ^Foywonder (7 December 2017). "Teaser Trailer for Ultraman CGI Anime Movie Coming in 2019". Dread Central. Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  6. ^"News: 'Ultraman' Soars to New Heights"(PDF). License Global. March 2018. p. 4. Retrieved 30 January 2021.
  7. ^Kelley, Shamus (2 October 2018). "The Surprising Tokusatsu Influences of Ant-Man". Den of Geek. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  8. ^Leone, Matt. "Hideki Kamiya: Making Scalebound with a Western publisher". Polygon.com. Archived from the original on 22 January 2015. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
  9. ^"All-New Ultraman Stories to Arrive in 2020". Marvel.com. 23 November 2020. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  10. ^Valdez, Nick (23 November 2020). "Marvel and Tsuburaya Productions are Teaming Up for New Ultraman Comics". ComicBook.com. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  11. ^Fact Book 2021. Bandai Namco Group. 2021. pp. 3–6. Retrieved 2 October 2021.
  12. ^Johnson, Bob (23 August 2006). "Ultraman in Dispute!". SciFi Japan. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  13. ^"Thailand: Court orders Tsuburaya Chaiyo and Chaiyo Productions to stop making a commercial profit from new Ultraman characters". TMCnet.com. 7 April 2007. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  14. ^"Bangkok's Independent Newspaper". Nationmultimedia.com. 5 April 2007. Archived from the original on 4 January 2016. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  15. ^"Final ruling in Ultraman case". The Nation. 6 February 2008. Archived from the original on 15 February 2008. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  16. ^THE NATION Published on (7 October 2010). "Thai wins Ultraman copyright case in Tokyo". Nationmultimedia.com. Archived from the original on 4 January 2016. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  17. ^Aiken, Keith (28 July 2017). "Chinese Ultraman Movie Latest Chapter in Ongoing Rights Dispute". SciFi Japan. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  18. ^"The Fate of Ultraman Rights:Tsuburaya Defeats UM Corp in Latest Court Battle". 22 November 2017. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  19. ^"Tsuburaya Productions Wins Case for Ultraman's International Licensing Rights". 26 November 2017. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  20. ^"Ultraman Rights Challenged Once Again Tsuburaya Productions Back in Court". 14 March 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  21. ^"Notice of Winning Judgment in U.S. Lawsuit Regarding "Ultraman" Rights | Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd".
  22. ^"Notice on unauthorized use of ULTRAMAN character in Chinese film | Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd".
  23. ^"Notice of Winning Appeal Court Judgment In U.S. Lawsuit Regarding "Ultraman" Rights". Tsuburaya Productions. 10 December 2019. Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  24. ^"Notice of Winning Final Court Judgment in U.S. Lawsuit Regarding "Ultraman" Rights".
  25. ^"Supreme Court dismisses Thai firm's copyright claim over "Ultraman"".
  26. ^https://www.thaich.net/news/20200924fh.htm
  27. ^"หวั่นไทยเสียมรดกชาติ! บ.ไชโยฯ ร้อง 2 กระทรวงช่วย หลังแพ้คดีลิขสิทธิ์อุลตร้าแมน". 27 January 2020.
  28. ^"'Allah' behind Ultraman book ban? | Malaysia". The Malay Mail Online. 6 March 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  29. ^"Ultraman comic falls to Home Ministry ban | Malaysia". The Malay Mail Online. 10 March 2014. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
  30. ^"Ultraman book ban: Phantom publisher forced our hand, claims ministry | Malaysia". The Malay Mail Online. 7 March 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  31. ^"Putrajaya confirms axing Ultraman book over 'Allah' reference | Malaysia". The Malay Mail Online. 18 March 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  32. ^Stout, David (7 March 2014). "Malaysia Bans Ultraman Comic Book Over the Use of Word 'Allah'". TIME. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  33. ^"Multiple-Image LIST 1960-1969". 26 September 2007. Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  34. ^"NEW CG-ANIMATED FEATURE FILM FOLLOWING THE ICONIC JAPANESE SUPERHERO "ULTRAMAN" IN DEVELOPMENT AT NETFLIX | Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd".
  35. ^"ウルトラマンゼアス| ソフトウェアカタログ| プレイステーション オフィシャルサイト". 20 December 1996. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  36. ^Cite error: The named reference was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  37. ^June 2020, George Marston 16 (16 June 2020). "Marvel Comics' Ultraman: The Rise of Ultraman coming in September". Newsarama. Retrieved 21 December 2020.
  38. ^"Prepare to Witness 'The Rise of Ultraman'". Marvel Entertainment. Retrieved 21 December 2020.
  39. ^December 2020, George Marston 21 (21 December 2020). "Ultraman returns to Marvel with 2021 sequel". Newsarama. Retrieved 21 December 2020.
  40. ^"Ultraman Faces His Greatest Challenge Yet in a New Series". previewsworld.com. Retrieved 21 December 2020.

External links[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultraman

Of ultraman history

Ultraman (character)

Fictional superhero

Ultraman
Ultraman Profile Photo.jpg

Ultraman portrayed in his Specium Ray stance

First appearance"The Birth of Ultraman" (1966)
Created by
Designed byTohl Narita
Portrayed by
  • Bin Furuya[4]
  • Chūji Saitō (1971)
  • Hideyuki Masuda (1974–75)
  • Shunsuke Gondō (1997)
  • Hiroyuki Inomata (2009)
Voiced by
  • Masao Nakasone (grunt and Ep. 33)
  • Hisashi Kondo (Ep. 1 and 39)
  • Kōji Ishizaka (Ultraman Ep. 15)
  • Isao Yatsu (Return)
  • Mahito Tsujimura (Ace)
  • Shinya Nazuka (Leo)
  • Kenyu Horiuchi (1984)
  • Toshiyuki Morikawa (1996)
  • Issei Futamata (Tiga)
  • Susumu Kurobe (current)
  • Takahiro Sakurai (Ultraman Festival)
  • Tsutomu Isobe (motion comic; Bemular)
  • Kaiji Soze (Netflix adaptation; Bemular)
Motion captureKaiji Soze (2019; motion actor)
Alias
  • Ultraman (1966)
  • Original Ultraman
  • Bemular (2011 manga/2016 anime)
SpeciesUltra
GenderMale
Occupation
  • Member of the Inter-Galactic Defense Force
  • Member of the Ultra Brothers
Affiliation
  • the Inter-Galactic Defense Force
  • the Ultra Brothers
OriginNebula M78, the Land of Light

Ultraman (ウルトラマン, Urutoraman)[5] is a fictionalsuperhero and is the first tokusatsu hero launched by the Ultra Series and by extension, Tsuburaya Productions. His appearance in the entertainment world helped spawn the Kyodai Hero genre with countless shows such as Godman and Iron King.

Ultraman first appeared as the titular character alongside his human host Shin Hayata in the 1966–1967 Japanese television series, Ultraman which ran for 39 episodes. Following Ultraman's success, Tsuburaya created another Kyodai hero series still as part of their Ultra Series project, Ultra Seven. While both series shared the same genre with very similar heroes, there was originally no relations between the two. It was not until The Return of Ultraman was created four years later in 1971 that both Ultraman and Ultra Seven came together into the same story. This event cemented Tsuburaya Productions' decision to have the Ultra Series continue to follow the trend of focusing on an Ultraman with each new entry. The original red-and-silver giant hero himself enjoyed a long series of popularity and has continued to appear in various works in the Ultra Series. Apart from that, he also has a lot of popularity trademarks which make him memorable to this day: his Color Timer, the Specium Ray stance and his famous cry "Shuwatch" (シュワッチ, Shuwatchi).

In the series, Ultraman's grunts and his iconic shout "Shuwatch" were provided by Masao Nakasone (中曽根雅夫, Nakasone Masao), who would later voice him as an actual character in episode 33 during his fight with Alien Mefilas. His dialogue in episodes 1 and 39 were provided by Hisashi Kondō (近藤久, Kondō Hisashi) while in episode 15, he was voiced by Koji Ishizaka (石坂 浩二, Ishizaka Kōji), the narrator of episodes 1 to 19. In subsequent appearances, Ultraman reuses Masao's grunt while his voice being provided by Susumu Kurobe (Shin Hayata's actor) or just simply being speechless during the screen time. Ultraman's suit actor was Bin Furuya (古谷敏, Furuya Bin) during the original season. He would later go on to portray Ultra Guard member Amagi, one of the characters in the later series, Ultra Seven. Ultraman appeared in later works of the Ultra Series played by various voice and suit actors. Although Susumu Kurobe did reprise his role as Hayata or provided the voice of Ultraman himself at times (though his grunts were still reused from the late Masao Nakasone) but there are other occasions where he was voiced by other voice actors.

The Ultraman brand generated $7.4 billion in merchandising revenue from 1966 to 1987,[6] equivalent to more than $17 billion adjusted for inflation. Ultraman was the world's third top-selling licensed character in the 1980s, largely due to his popularity in Asia.[7]

Character conception[edit]

Ultraman's suit variations in 1966: Type A (left), Type B (middle) and Type C (right)

Writer Tetsuo Kinjo originally envisioned an intergalactic reptilian creature named Bemler to be the character that would become Ultraman. The creature could grow in size to 164 feet, with the design being a cross between Garuda and Tengu. Ultraman's memorable design was done by Tohl Narita and clay sculptor Akira Sasaki, with the grey alien concept in mind.[3] Three Ultraman body suits were created for the show, all of which were based on the size of suit actor Bin Furuya. A lot of improvements to Ultraman's design were made during the series' progression. The first suit was known as Type A (episodes 1 to 13), followed by Type B (14–29) and finally Type C (30 and subsequent episodes).

The Type A suit had its mask created from fibre-reinforced plastic (FRP) and coated with latex, giving Ultraman a "wrinkled" face. The mask was originally intended to have a mouth-opening mechanism but the latex-coating prevented such functions. Bin Furuya mentioned that Type A fitted him poorly and it forced him to hunch a bit.[10] Followed by the deterioration of the Type A suit, Type B was made later on. Its mask removed the mouth-opening mechanism concept and latex coating, opting instead for a full FRP cover. Some of the staff in the series were not made aware of the changes that were made and were surprised by Ultraman's face having the sudden change from an alien-like face to an "iron mask" looking face. The Type B mask even had its jaw feature more narrow and sharpened compared to the Type A design. Type B was also bigger compared to Type A and according to Furuya; "it was better fitting, and had padding so it looked like Ultraman was more muscular".[10] The Type C suit was nonetheless an improved variant of Type B, which featured slight changes in the facial positions of the eyes, mouth and ears. The rest of the body of each suit was a painted wetsuit, a design choice that was previously used for the Kemur Man from Ultra Q, the series that preceded Ultraman. Type A's boots were derived from modified Jika-tabi, Type B variant were pointed shoes with hidden zippers and Type C were red leather shoes painted silver.

Due to being made with wet-suits and latices, the suits were incapable of sustaining long periods of time. What happened to each of the suits follows:

  • Type A: Was decommissioned due to deterioration, its mask having poorly aged due to its latex-coating. It was briefly modified into Imitation Ultraman for episode 18.
  • Type B: Was put into storage after the Type C suit was commissioned. It was later stolen from Tsuburaya's warehouse sometime in the 1970s and its current location and status are unknown, or even if it still exists at all.
  • Type C: Was handed over to the programming staff following the series' conclusion. The mask was removed at that time due to having poorly aged.

According to Furuya the original Ultraman suit was destroyed, but this has not been confirmed.[10]

The Color Timer[edit]

Ultraman's victory was never assured, as Ultraman's powers and, indeed, his very life force, came from solar energy, which was heavily reduced by Earth's filtering atmosphere. His time limit was stated to be three minutes, though certain scenes do show him capable of still fighting while exceeding this limit.

When Ultraman first appeared, his Color Timer (カラータイマー, Karā Taimā, or "warning light" in the U.S.), was a rich cyan color. As time goes on, the color timer turns solid red, and then starts to blink, giving off a warning chime as it did so. When Ultraman runs out of energy, the color timer goes out, and turns black. Ultraman's color timer is linked directly to his heart, and damaging it will cause mortal injury or serious pain to Ultraman. Ultraman and other Ultra Warriors from M-78 receive their Color Timers through modification surgery in hopes of notifying them about energy reduction when fighting against monster threats on certain planets or locations.[11]

According to Tohl Narita, Ultraman was not originally meant to have a time limit, as the original design he made lacked one. This was actually made to reduce the cost of the special effects.[3] The protagonist of the succeeding series, Ultraseven, averted this through his forehead "Beam Lamp" feature but subsequent Ultra Warriors after Seven, however, returned to the time limit trend. Seven's lack of Color Timer was explained by Tsuburaya as being due to his early days as a non-combatant officer, having originally been sent only to observe the Milky Way galaxy before becoming more intimately involved in Earth's affairs.[11]

Naming[edit]

The name Ultraman was originally what the alien spaceman from Nebula M78 called himself when he spoke to a comatose Hayata about merging their forms as compensation for the accident that caused their ships to collide. After Ultraman's first battle with the monster Bemular, Ide asks Hayata what the hero's name is; Hayata replies "Does 'Ultraman' sound all right?" This originally implied that the name was conceived by Hayata himself, but later appearances by other aliens and Zoffy confirm that it is his actual name.

In certain media, Ultraman was referred to as Original Ultraman (初代ウルトラマン, Shōdai Urutoraman). Dating back to 1971, the emergence of the main character of the fourth Ultra Series, The Return of Ultraman, would cause confusion due to sharing the same name, hence the original was called Original Ultraman and the second incarnation was called Ultraman II (二世ウルトラマン, Nisei Urutoraman) before he received his own name, Ultraman Jack (ウルトラマンジャック, Urutoraman Jakku) by Noboru Tsuburaya, Tsuburaya Productions' president at that time. Said name is also one of the original concepts of Ultraman Taro and it first appeared in acknowledgement during the 1984 film, Ultraman Story.

Additionally, Ultraman Jack was meant to be Ultraman returning to Earth, but was made as a separate character out of respect for the late Eiji Tsuburaya, who passed away in 1970.

History[edit]

Showa era[edit]

Ultraman is an Ultra Warrior (ウルトラ戦士, Urutora senshi) that hails from Nebula M78. While chasing the space monster Bemular, he accidentally collided with SSSP Officer Shin Hayata who was on a patrolling duty. Feeling guilty for playing a part in his death, Ultraman merged their bodies together and gave Shin the Beta Capsule. From that day forward, Ultraman staunchly defended Earth against aliens and monsters, with Shin Hayata and the SSSP assisting him. While Hayata worked alongside his fellow SSSP members, he would switch to Ultraman should the situation call for it.

In the series finale, a race of aliens from the planet Zetton, and their vanguard kaiju, Zetton (named after its planet of origin), attack. Ultraman, aided by the SSSP, battled Zetton, but before Zetton was defeated, he mortally wounded Ultraman with a weapon the hero had not expected, one that directly targeted his Color Timer/warning light. That damage caused him to lose almost all his energy instantly.

When Zoffy, Ultraman's superior, arrived to retrieve the fallen hero with a special life energy, Ultraman pleaded for Hayata's life to also be spared, going as far as to offer his new life to the human, so that Hayata could live as a normal man. Zoffy agreed with Ultraman and gave Hayata a spare life energy, he then separated them, but left Hayata with no memory between the time that he first collided with Ultraman's ship (in the first episode), and the time that he is shown standing outside the Science Special Search Party Headquarters, holding the Beta Capsule but apparently not knowing what it is or what it does as he watched Zoffy take Ultraman home. This is a rather different ending to the series than stated in the English dub, which stated both that Ultraman would return and that Hayata retained not only his Beta Capsule but also, apparently, his full memories of all his experiences as he awaited Ultraman's return. Coincidentally, this ending appears to have become the definitive ending to Tsuburaya, as Hayata reappeared several times throughout succeeding Ultra Series as Ultraman's host in times of need.

Revive! Ultraman gives an alternate ending to the series 29 years after the series finale, where Zoffy recombined Hayata and Ultraman after giving the former another life force. After the battle against Zetton, both Hayata and Ultraman were shaken to the core following their previous defeat. Past monsters were mysteriously revived and Ultraman defeated them again, but he was once again weakened by Zetton. When it seemed that his defeat would be repeated, SSSP member Ide created a specialized formula that replenished Ultraman's energy, allowing him to finally defeat Zetton and properly put an end to his mission on Earth.

He would later join the Ultra Brothers (ウルトラ兄弟, Urutora Kyōdai), a group of Ultra Warriors dedicated to protecting the galaxy.

Subsequent history in the Showa era[edit]

  • The Return of Ultraman (1971): Appeared in episode 38, he and Ultraseven rescued Ultraman Jack who was defeated by Alien Nackle. Though not appearing at first, he communicated with Go/Ultraman Jack via telepathy in episode 51. In the latter episode, he was voiced by Isao Yatsu (谷津勲, Yatsu Isao).
  • Ultraman Ace (1972): Appeared in episodes 1, 13, 14, 26 and 27 but out of all these episodes, the only scene that featured him talking was in episode 13 with his voice provided by Mahito Tsujimura (辻村真人, Tsujimura Mahito). He was shown witnessing Ace's fusion with Hokuto and Minami. In subsequent appearances, he and the Ultra Brothers were captured by Yapool in episodes 13 and 14 and by Alien Hipporito in 26 and 27. His suit in episode 1 is simply repainted from Ultraman Jack.
  • Ultraman Taro (1973): Appeared in episodes 1, 25, 33, 34 and 40. In episode 1, he was among the Ultra Brothers that witnessed the fusion of Ultraman Taro and Kotaro and later delivered the Ultra Bell to the Ultra Tower in episode 25. In 33 and 34, he and the rest of the Ultra Brothers joined Taro on Earth while fighting against Alien Temperor. In episode 40, he was the first to fight Tyrant on Uranus, but was defeated in the end.
  • Ultraman Leo (1974): Appeared in episodes 38 and 39. He and the Ultra Brothers tried to confront Astra, who had stolen the Ultra Key from the Land of Light, until he was revealed to be an impostor named Alien Babarue by Ultraman King. He is voiced by Shinya Nazuka (名塚 新也, Nazuka Shinya).[14]
  • The 6 Ultra Brothers vs. the Monster Army (1974 (Thailand)/1979 (Japan)): In this work, Ultraman was voiced by Toshio Furukawa (古川 登志夫, Furukawa Toshio).
  • Ultraman 80: Ultraman was mentioned by Ultraman 80 during the latter's battle against Alien Baltan VI as he used the same cutting halo to defeat his opponent. Ultraman's "reappearance" here was reused from episode 16 of the original series.
  • Ultraman Zoffy: Ultra Warriors vs. the Giant Monster Army (1984): In this work, Ultraman was voiced by Kenyu Horiuchi (堀内 賢雄, Horiuchi Ken'yū).
  • Ultraman Story (1984): Kenyu Horiuchi reprised his role in this work.

Heisei era[edit]

  • Ultraman Zearth (1996): Ultraman was referenced multiple times in this film, as his giant statue which was dedicated to his series' 30th anniversary was quickly eaten by Cotton-Poppe. When Katsuto/Ultraman Zearth performed his Speciu-shula Ray in front of a mirror, Ultraman's image can be seen on his reflection. In the second film, Ultraman was referenced again where his defeat by Zetton becomes an inspiration for MYDO officers to create a cannon with a similar energy beam output to Zetton's to defeat Lady Benzene's Ultraman Shadow. However, the plan backfired, not only because of Shadow not being a genuine Ultraman, but of quickly setting up a protector on his Color Timer the moment the beam hit his chest, which resulted in reflecting it back to MYDO.
  • Ultraman Tiga (1996): Appeared in episode 49. Ultraman assisted Ultraman Tiga to defeat monster Yanakahgi. Considering that Tiga is from an entirely different timeline than the original Nebula M78 universe, a lot of plot contortions are made in order to bring together this dream team to honor the 30th anniversary of the original Ultraman. Thus, the Ultraman in question here is in fact an alternate universe version. He is voiced by Issei Futamata (二又 一成, Futamata Issei).
  • Ultraman Mebius & Ultraman Brothers (2006): In this film, it was revealed that Ultraman, Ultraseven, Ultraman Jack and Ultraman Ace had sealed Yapool and his Super Beast, U-Killersaurus, beneath the lake of Kobe at the cost of most of their energy. In the end, they assumed human lives, Ultraman masking himself as Hayata. 20 years later, Hayata becomes the airport administrator in Kobe Airport and approaches himself to Mirai Hibino (the human form of Ultraman Mebius) alongside his comrades, giving him advice after being shaken due to being unable to save a young boy in the past. The human Ultra Brothers later witnessed Mebius' battle against an alien group that had arrived to revive Yapool. When Mebius was unable to handle the invaders, the Ultra Brothers had no choice but to transform again for the first time in 20 years. But even after Mebius was rescued, they quickly fell prey to the aliens' trap and were used to unseal Yapool before they could stop them. While fighting against Yapool/U-Killersaurus, Zoffy and Ultraman Taro came to their aid and replenished their energies. With the Ultra Brothers united, they combined with Mebius to form Mebius Infinity to defeat Yapool and free Kobe. As this film also commemorated the 40th anniversary of the Ultra Series and Ultraman, the character himself was given a wrinkled face, in tribute to the original Type A suit.
  • Ultraman Mebius (2006): Following the events of the film, Ultraman returned in episode 47 and 50 of the series. After Alien Mefilas brainwashed the whole population into becoming his servants, Mirai seeks Hayata's help, but he was not able to do anything, as Mefilas' actions were not endangering the civilians. However, after seeing Ultraman Mebius fighting against Mefilas (the latter almost killing the GUYS officers), Hayata was able to interfere again as Ultraman and ended the fight with no losses on both sides, telling Mefilas to retreat instead. The alien complied to his wishes and looked forward to their next confrontation, although he was killed by Alien Empera shortly after due to his incompetence. He later had a short conversation with Teppei Kuze, one of the GUYS officers, and was among the Ultra Warriors that cleansed the Sun from Alien Empera's sunspot.
  • Superior Ultraman 8 Brothers (2008): In this work, Ultraman is also an alternate universe character who came to Earth alongside his comrades, Ultra Seven, Ultraman Jack and Ultraman Ace. Having arrived on Earth, they assumed the lives of mundane civilians, with Ultraman disguising himself as bike shop owner Shin Hayata, having married Akiko Fuji and having a daughter named Rena Hayata (based on Rena Yanase from Ultraman Tiga). Having lived on Earth for a long time, they eventually forgot their actual identities. This, however, all changes when the safety of their Earth was threatened by unnamed dark figures, until their wives reminded them whom they really were, allowing Hayata and the others to regain their memories and powers as Ultra Warriors, assisting the alternate Heisei Ultra Warriors and Ultraman Mebius (the prime reality version which was forcefully brought into their universe) against their enemy. In the end, after Daigo completed the space vessel which meant to bring its passengers to the Land of Light, Hayata and his comrades join along with their wives, as Hayata and Akiko rode a space vessel that resembles the SSSP's Jet VTOL. This work also reuses the "New Type A" face used by Ultraman in the previous film.

Galaxy Crisis era[edit]

For the following appearances below, refer to List of Mega Monster Battle characters#Ultra Brothers:

  • Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle (2007): Ultraman pursued the evil Alien Raybrad, but was defeated and petrified in a mountain on the planet Boris until Reimon and the ZAP SPACY crew freed him. Ultraman returned the favor to the Pendragon crew by attacking King Joe Black to give the humans enough time to escape Boris' destruction.
  • Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle: Never Ending Odyssey (2008): Ultraman returns in the final episode alongside Ultra Seven to rescue the ZAP SPACY crew again from Alien Raybrad. At the same time, Seven also reclaimed his Capsule Monster Miclas from Rei.[15]
  • Ultraman Mebius Side Story: Ghost Reverse (2009): Ultraman was among the Ultra Brothers that witnessed Ace and Taro's departure when intercepting Hikari's Ultra Sign.[16][17][18]
  • Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy (2009): Following Belial's escape, Ultraman was among a number of Ultra Warriors that tried to stop Belial from advancing to the Plasma Spark. Alongside Ultra Seven and Mebius, they survived Belial's assault in the Land of Light and recruited Rei to assist them in their battle, later being joined by the Leo Brothers and Seven's son, Ultraman Zero.[19]
  • Ultraman Zero: The Revenge of Belial (2010): Ultraman was among the Space Garrison members that studied the Darklop's remains and donated his light to Zero's travel sphere so that the youth could travel to an alternate universe.[20]
  • Ultraman Saga (2012): When Zero went to another alternate space to battle Alien Bat, Ultraman and the other Ultra Brothers sensed that Zero was in danger and worried for the youth. In the director's cut version of the film, the Ultra Brothers arrived to assist Ultraman Saga in fighting against Hyper Zetton's revived monster army. Ultraman fought against Antlar, an old foe from his time on Earth.[21]

New Generation Heroes era[edit]

  • Ultraman Ginga (2013): Alongside the Ultra Brothers, Ultraman was among the combatants of the Dark Spark War, fighting against Zetton, but soon cursed into becoming a Spark Doll by Dark Lugiel when he and the rest of the Space Garrisons tried to protect Taro (thus making him the only Spark Doll to retain sentience in the series). His Spark Doll soon fell into Dark Lugiel's hands and was used by Seiichirō Isurugi alongside Ultra Seven against Ultraman Ginga before the man was defeated, allowing Hikaru (Ginga's host) to recover it. Chigusa briefly uses the Spark Doll alongside Kenta (Ultraman Tiga) and a reformed Seiichirō to hold off Super Grand King for Ginga to free Misuzu. In the aftermath of Ginga's battle with Lugiel, Ultraman and the other Spark Dolls' curse was lifted and they returned to space. In the Extra Episode, a copy of Ultraman's Spark Doll was utilized by Chigusa again to fight Zetton, who was controlled by Dark Lugiel's former minion, Alien Magma.[22] Previously in 2013, he was present in an award ceremony when the Ultra Series was nominated as the series with the most spin-offs and sequels, holding the certificate given by Guinness World Records with Takuya Negishi, Hikaru Raido's actor in Ultraman Ginga.[23][24]
  • Ultraman Ginga Theater Special: Ultra Monster ☆ Hero Battle Royal! (2014): Ultraman was among the sketches that Tomoya draw in his book until a strange cosmic energy wave took effect, thus materializing Ultraman and other sketches into Spark Dolls. Ultraman was used by Tomoya when he and his friends tried to play, using Ultra Warrior Spark Dolls, until software bugs created a group of five Dark Ultramen for them to fight. Tomoya/Ultraman fights against Chaosroid U and wins by firing his Specium Ray.
  • Ultraman Ginga S (2014): As revealed in episode 54 of Shin Ultraman Retsuden, Ultraman and the rest of the Ultra Brothers donated their powers to Taro when he raced to Earth after detecting a new threat. In Ultraman's case, he donated his Specium Ray and Ultra Slash, which soon became one of Ultraman Ginga Strium's powers. After his job on Earth ended, Taro returned the loaned powers back to the Ultra Brothers.
  • Ultraman X The Movie (2016): Ultraman was summoned by the blue stone that was previously used to seal Zaigorg and assisted Ultraman Tiga and Ultraman X against Zaigorg and his Devil Clone Beasts. Facing Gorg Fire Golza, Ultraman finds himself accompanied by Asuna via Xio Bazooka and Wataru in Land Musketty. With Ultraman injured by Golza's cannonball, Asuna and Wataru used the powers of Cyber Gomora and Cyber Zetton, respectively, to delay Golza while Ultraman recovered and destroyed it with his Specium Ray. After being captured and having its energy stolen by Zaigorg, Ultraman's Cyper Card resonated with Ultraman X and created the Beta Spark Armor, with X using it to free Ultraman and Tiga. Both him and Tiga participated in the formation of Cyber Wing to ease the worldwide Ultras' battles with Tsurugi Demaaga. After the battle ended, Ultraman took his leave, followed by Ultraman X.
  • Ultraman Orb (2016): Ultraman was the one who sealed Maga-Zetton until it was reawakened sometime prior to the series. Maga-Zetton fought Ultraman Orb and was defeated, revealing Ultraman's Ultra Fusion Card, but the ensuing battle turned the entire forest area into a smoldering crater. Alongside Ultraman Tiga, Ultraman's power is channeled to Ultraman Orb when using the form Spacium Zeperion, which allowed him to use Ultraman's power as well.[25] In his human form of Gai Kurenai, he was able to utilize Ultraman's power in a smaller range by reflecting an incoming attack, having first used to counter Alien Zetton Maddock. During the final episode of the series, Ultraman and the other Ultra Fusion Cards in Gai's possession transform into physical projections of themselves to assist Ultraman Orb in delivering the finishing blow on Magata no Orochi, while Juggler held off the monster long enough to expose its weak spot.
  • Ultraman Geed (2017): Alongside the Ultra Brothers, Ultraman participated in a fight against Belial before he was caught in the Crisis Impact. His power lives on through his Ultra Capsule, called an Ultraman Capsule (ウルトラマンカプセル, Urutoraman Kapuseru), as Riku used it in unison with the Belial Capsule to assume Ultraman Geed (Primitive). According to director Koichi Sakamoto, said form utilized the brutish strength of Belial while retaining Ultraman's heart of justice.[26] In the final episode, Ultraman was among the Ultras whose beings resonated with Geed's spirit during his final fight with Belial Atrocious, as Ultraman King materialized other four clones of his Fusion Rise forms to join the battle.
  • Ultraman R/B (2018): Ultraman and Belial's R/B Crystals were among those in Saki's possession before she relinquished them to Asahi.
  • Ultra Galaxy Fight: New Generation Heroes (2019): Alongside members of the Ultra Brothers, Ultraman was mentioned to have fought against Ultra Dark-Killer and succeeded by donating his energy to Taro. After the fiend revived and established the League of Darkness, the Ultra Brothers assembled the New Generation Heroes and observed their battle from the Land of Light.

Reiwa era[edit]

  • Ultraman Z (2020): His power inhabited the Ultraman Medal (ウルトラマンメダル, Urutoraman Medaru), one of the many Ultra Medals manufactured in the Land of Light. When Genegarg stole them and was destroyed by Ultraman Z's Zestium Beam, said Medal was among those scattered from the explosion and salvaged by STORAGE member Yoko. She would give it to the Ultra, allowing Z to assume Beta Smash.

Profile[edit]

Ultraman's statistics below were never mentioned in the original series, but were brought up in magazines and official websites. There are also certain succeeding series that deviate Ultraman's original statistics:[5]

  • Height: 40 m (50 m in episode 40 of Ultraman Taro)[27]
  • Weight: 35,000 t
  • Flight Speed: Mach 5
  • Birthplace: Nebula M78, Land of Light
  • Age: Over 20,000 years old[28]
  • Year Debut: 1966
  • First Appearance: The Birth of Ultraman (1966)

Description[edit]

As the official website of Tsuburaya Productions stated: "[Ultraman] visited the Earth after chasing the Space Monster Bemular, he protected the Earth against monster and alien threats. Aside from his main attack Specium Ray, he also possesses a number of techniques. His place of origin is Nebula M78. Despite his strength, he is also friendly to non-hostile monsters. His human form on Earth is Shin Hayata of the Science Special Search-Party. He is also a member of the Ultra Brothers."[5]

Transformation[edit]

Hayata himself transformed into Ultraman through the use of the Beta Capsule (ベーターカプセル, Bētā Kapuseru), a flashlight-like object which allows him to switch between his human state and Ultraman. By pressing the red button on the capsule, a stream of light forms a spiral-like circle which warped his body as Ultraman rises, appearing in a manner that involves his right arm forming a fist forward and his left folded down.

The Beta Capsule is always shown stored in Hayata's SSSP jacket. In episode 22 of Ultraman, the Beta Capsule (or to a lesser extent, Ultraman's power) had the ability to free Hayata from external influence, as the Underground People tried to control Ultraman by brainwashing Hayata until Ultraman's transformation freed him. But despite this, the gadget can also be easily lost, as shown in episode 26 during Ultraman's fight with Gomora, where he accidentally dropped it and it was picked up by a local boy, who mistook it for a toy. This was also played for the sake of comedy, as seen in episode 34 when Hayata mistook a curry spoon for the Beta Capsule before switching to the original one. Two other versions also existed:

  • In the beginning of Ultraman X The Movie, Dr. Guruman attempted to replicate the Beta Capsule in hopes of summoning Ultraman. But instead, it triggered a chain reaction that causes the whole research lab of Operation Base X to explode.
  • Ultraman's data was later used by Guruman to create his Cyber Card, which soon brings forth the creation of X Beta Capsule (エクスベータカプセル, Ekusu Bēta Kapuseru) for Daichi to use with X Park Lence and transform into Ultraman Exceed X Beta Spark Armor.

In the original concept for The Return of Ultraman, Hideki Goh (the series' main protagonist) was meant to use the Beta Capsule to become Ultraman Jack.

Other forms[edit]

  • Glitter Version (グリッターバージョン, Gurittā Bājon): Featured in Superior 8 Ultraman Brothers. Ultraman and the alternate Ultra Warriors received strength from the citizens' hopes and gained a power boost that was identical to Tiga's Glitter Tiga. His attack, combined with the alternate Ultras, was called Superior Myth Flasher (スペリオルマイスフラッシャー, Superioru Maisu Furasshā), made by combining their original finisher attacks.
  • Ultraman Dark (ウルトラマンダーク, Urutoraman Dāku): The corrupted form of Ultraman, which first appeared during the events of Ultraman Ginga. After Seiichirō Isurugi was given the Spark Dolls of Ultraman and Ultra Seven, the Dark Dummy Sparks (ダークダミースパーク, Dāku Damī Supāku) given to him allowed the man to assume the corrupted forms of the two Ultra Warriors, Ultraman Dark and Ultra Seven Dark, respectively. Ultraman Dark's appearance is identical to Ultraman, but with black colors replacing the original silver, and Ultraman's eyes and Color Timer both shine red. His attacks retain the same name and power statistics, though they appear to be darker. Ultraman Dark (Seiichirō) first appeared after Ultraman Ginga defeated Zaragas, and brutally attacked the Ultra Warrior before swapping out with Ultra Seven, but before he could deliver the finishing blow, Seiichirō was stopped by Misuzu Isurugi, his daughter. Ultraman's Spark Doll was returned to normal after Ultraman Ginga defeated Seiichirō. The suit of Ultraman Dark was reused from Ultraman Geist, another evil doppelgänger of Ultraman that appeared in certain stage shows. Also, the third volume of Ultraman Ginga's Blu-ray/DVD release stated that his conception was based on Imitation Ultraman, a disguise assumed by Alien Zarab from episode 18 of Ultraman.[31] In the 2014 crossover game Super Hero Generation, he demonstrated the attacks the Dark Specium Ray (ダークスペシウム光線, Dāku Supeshiumu Kōsen) and the Dark Ultra Slash (ダークウルトラスラッシュ, Dāku Urutora Surasshu).

Powers and abilities[edit]

Ultraman's combat technique usually relied on brute strength, which goes by fighting his opponents in melee combat, then finishing them with his beam attacks. In the middle of combat, he sometimes used different skills that either assist him in the combat or neutralize dangerous situations that the SSSP are involved in. His skin possessed natural protection against extreme heat, electricity and atomic bomb explosions.

His signature attack was the Specium Ray (スペシウム光線, Supeshiumu Kōsen), which was performed by having his forearms form a cross stance, with his left arm in a horizontal position and placed forward while his right arm is in a vertical position and placed backward, reflecting a shuriken. This finisher launches a beam of white energy which consists of an extraterrestrial mineral called Specium (スペシウム, Supeshiumu) that can be found on Mars (ep. 2). When his arms form the "+" stance, his right hand emits negative Specium and his left arm emits positive Specium, thus creating a destruction beam with the heat of 500,000 degrees and power level of 500,000 horsepower.[32] Said mineral itself is the main weakness of Alien Baltan, one of the adversaries of Ultraman, and is frequently used to defeat other monsters-of-the-week. However, Specium also has a counterpart, Spellgen, which was used by the second generation Alien Baltan (ep. 16) to counteract the Specium Ray, prompting Ultraman to slice the Alien in half with the Ultra Slash attack. Certain monsters in the series have been shown to be resistant to the Specium Ray, and took more than one shot to be killed.[5]

Ultraman also uses the Ultra Slash (ウルトラスラッシュ, Urutora Surasshu), an energy projectile saw disc attack launched from Ultraman's right arm in a manner of a flying disc. This is mainly used to dismember an opponent, usually by slicing them into half down the middle. Like the Specium Ray, it had its own weakness, certain opponents like Gubila (ep 23) or Kiyla (ep 39) were able to catch the disk moments before it hit them and throw it back at the Ultra Warrior. There are also other non-conventional uses for the Ultra Slash:

  • In episode 13 (the final episode) of Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle, Ultraman summoned the Ultra Slash from his left arm and instead of throwing it, he used it to chop off King Joe Black's left arm in a similar manner to a karate chop to save the ZAP SPACY's Space Pendragon and escape Planet Boris.[34]
  • In Ultraman X The Movie, Ultraman first used the Ultra Slash in a manner of a shield to defend himself from Gorg Fire Golza's attack before it launched towards the monster.

Human hosts/forms[edit]

Shin Hayata[edit]

Shin Hayata (, Hayata Shin)[38] is the protagonist of the Ultraman TV series. He is 25 years old at the start of the series; he first encountered Ultraman when the giant hero accidentally collided with Hayata's VTOL Jet with his "Travel Sphere". Feeling guilty about the accident, Ultraman fuses himself with Hayata to ensure the man's survival, causing them to share the same life, also giving Hayata the means to fight against monster and alien threats. He is the Sub-Captain of the Science Special Search-Party and is in charge whenever Captain Toshio Muramatsu is unavailable. Although portrayed as a dutiful officer, there are also times where he was out of focus, sometimes for the sake of comedy. His connection to Ultraman remains a secret to the rest of the SSSP members even until the series finale; however, in episode 14 Muramatsu and member Arashi noticed that Hayata shared a similar injury to Ultraman after his fight against a monster. This was never brought up again later on.

In episode 39, the series finale, both Ultraman and Hayata were gravely injured after Zetton defeated them. Zoffy arrived to recover Ultraman and gave Hayata another life, allowing him to live while being separated from Ultraman. In the original Japanese ending, Hayata was left without any memories of Ultraman, but in the English dub, he retained his memory while telling his SSSP teammates that Ultraman would return to Earth. Coincidentally, this ending appears to have become the definitive ending to Tsuburaya, as Hayata later appeared in subsequent series with Ultraman. Revive! Ultraman also gave an alternate ending that allowed Hayata to retain both his connection with Ultraman and his memories.

Although Hayata does appear in person later on in other Ultra Series entries, starting from the following events of Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy, it was revealed that Hayata is no longer the original human who became one with Ultraman, but rather the Ultra Warrior in a human form, in a similar manner to Dan Moroboshi with Ultra Seven.[21] While the reason for this is unknown, it is possible that Hayata and Ultraman separated sometime after Ultraman Mebius or the fact that since Return of Ultraman, the two never met again, thus "Hayata" becomes his human form ever since Ultraman's re-emergence.[a]

Hayata is portrayed by Susumu Kurobe (黒部進, Kurobe Susumu) in all of his appearances. Originally, there was no audition for the role of Hayata, and he simply took the role after he was approached by Toho execs to take the role.[39]

Other hosts[edit]

In certain circumstances, Ultraman would possess other people as substitute human hosts.

  • In episode 33 and 34 of Ultraman Taro, the Ultra Brothers possessed the male ZAT officers in order to hide themselves from Alien Temperor, who was hunting them on Earth, and to teach Kotaro Higashi/Ultraman Taro not to be arrogant and to not rely on his brothers-in-arms too much. Ultraman possessed the ZAT officer Shūhei Aragaki (荒垣修平, Aragaki Shūhei) and later a volleyball player once Temperor saw through their deception.
  • In Ultraman Ginga, Ultraman was transformed into a Spark Doll and was among those in Dark Lugiel's possession. It later ends up in Hikaru's possession. Ultraman would later be freed once Dark Lugiel was defeated, although another Ultraman Spark Doll appeared certain times after the series:
    • Ultraman's original Spark Doll at first was given to Seiichirō Isurugi (石動 誠一郎, Isurugi Seiichirō) alongside Ultra Seven's Spark Doll. Having been corrupted by Alien Nackle Gray, he used Ultraman's corrupted power, turning him into the dark Ultra Warriors Ultraman Dark and Ultra Seven Dark. He defeated Hikaru in their first encounter and invited him in his quest to rule over everything, but was rejected and defeated by Hikaru. Seiichirō's defeat had saved him from Gray's brainwashing and purified the two Ultra Warriors' Spark Dolls. He would later use the Ultra Seven Spark Doll for good to assist Ultraman Ginga when his daughter Misuzu falls victim to it like him.
    • In order to assist Ultraman Ginga in rescuing Misuzu from Gray's influence, Ultraman's Spark Doll was used by Chigusa Kuno (久野 千草, Kuno Chigusa) to help delay Super Grand King while Hikaru tried to reach Misuzu. She would later use the Spark Doll copy of Ultraman on two occasions, first against Alien Magma and Zetton in the extra episode of Ultraman Ginga and later in Mountain Peanuts (a magazine novel which served as a prologue to Ginga S) against Android One-Zero/Nosferu.
    • During the events of Ultraman Ginga Theater Special: Ultra Monster ☆ Hero Battle Royal!, Ultraman's Spark Doll was among the copies which were created when Tomoya Ichijōji (一条寺 友也, Ichijōji Tomoya)'s sketchbook of Ultra Monsters radiated strange cosmic waves. Tomoya would later use the Spark Doll when playing with his comrades, but later participated in a fight against a group of five evil Ultramen, facing Chaosroid U. Ultraman and the other fake Spark Dolls later reverted into his sketchbook once the effects of the cosmic radiation dried out.

Cultural impact[edit]

Design basis[edit]

In the Ultra Series, Ultraman's main body has become the basis for most of the succeeding Ultra Warriors onwards. This design can be seen in certain Ultras such as Ultraman Jack (who was originally meant to be the returned original Ultraman), Ultraman Tiga, Ultraman Cosmos and others.

Parodies and homages[edit]

Ultraman, as well as the elements from his own series, has been referenced and parodied numerous times in popular culture; examples include:

  • The South Park episode "Mecha-Streisand" features Leonard Maltin as Ultraman.
  • Episode 30 and 57 of Sgt. Frog features the Flash Spoon (フラッシュスプーン, Furasshu Supūn), a spoon-themed object which turns its user into a giant, much like the Beta Capsule. When activated, the user rises in a similar manner to the Ultraman.
  • Episode 3 of Wooser's Hand-to-Mouth Life Phantasmagoric Arc has Wooser imagine himself fighting against Len who wears a monster costume while he wears a cap with Ultraman's fin-like head and performs the Specium Ray pose.
  • Manga artist Akira Toriyama is a fan of science fiction movies, as well as the Ultra Series' Ultraman and Ultra Seven. One of his manga, Dr. Slump, features two minor characters, Nekotoraman and Nekotoraseven, on a theatrical poster pointed out by Senbei Norikami. Also, episode 1 of the manga's anime adaptation has a character themed after Ultraman, who pulls up the sun with his fishing rod.[40]
  • Chapter 1 of My Hero Academia manga features Ultraman as a silhouettes of one of the many superheroes.[41]
  • Episode 15 of OVA Patlabor: The New Files bears multiple parodies and tributes to the final episodes of Ultraman and Ultra Seven. The point of view character, Noa Izumi transforms into Ingraman (parodying Ultraman and Ultra Seven) and fights against Griffon (parodying Zetton), but loses to it and the Section 2 Division 2 members destroy it by themselves. In the end, Ingraman's bond with Noa was ended by Zero (parodying Zoffy) and Noa gains another life.
  • According to A Certain Magical Index's writer Kiyotaka Haimura, the design of Accelerator's shirt changes from being based on Devilman to the original Ultraman. This change is made during Volume 5 of the novel series to commemorate the character's change in sides, from antagonist to supporting protagonist.[42]
  • In the Ben 10 franchise, one of Ben Tennyson's aliens, Way Big, was made from DNA sample from the To'kustar. Way Big resembles the original Ultraman in both size and appearance and his species' name is a play on the tokusatsu genre as a whole. His Cosmic Ray attack is based on the Specium Ray.
  • Ultimate Girls has the main character Silk Koharuno and UFO-Man fighting giant monsters in a similar manner to Ultraman.
  • Episode 93 of Gin Tama features Space Woman, a gigantic alien with a similar appearance to Ultraman.
  • The first episode of Concrete Revolutio has the superhuman of the week, Gross Augen as a giant hero fuse with Akira Shirota and fight against the S Planeterian.
  • Issue #67 of Marvel Comics' Exile has Morph changing his appearance into that of Ultraman. Issue #66-68 of that comic introduced the Science Squad, an attack team founded by the Curt Connors of Earth-3752, based on the SSSP from Ultraman.
  • Peyton Reed, the director of the Ant-Man films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, said that Ant-Man's costume design was influenced by Ultraman, along with another tokusatsu superhero, Inframan.[43]
  • Birdy the Mighty focuses on a female alien Altera fusing with Tsutomu's mind after his body was gravely injured. As acknowledged by voice actor Kenichi Suzumura in an interview, the manga and its anime adaptation's premise is loosely adapted from Ultraman's situation with Hayata.[44]

In other media[edit]

The following below refers to Ultraman and Hayata's appearance outside of TV, such as manga and novel adaptations:

Films[edit]

The CGIUltraman, as shown in the clip Ultraman_n/a
  • On July 16, 2015, Tsuburaya Productions streamed a region-locked video on their official YouTube site titled as "Ultraman_n/a" without any description. Set in Shibuya, Tokyo, a giant monster emerges from underground and is quickly countered by Ultraman, before the fight concludes the video ends with the text "7.7", a reference to series creator Eiji Tsuburaya's birth date. This video received a lot of attention, mainly due to both Ultraman and the monster in question being rendered CGI models instead of suit actors. In the clip, Ultraman is shown opening his mouth, a feature which was originally planned for the Type A suit, but had to be scrapped.[45]
  • In August 2019, a movie adaptation for the original Ultraman was announced, named as Shin Ultraman under the direction of Shinji Higuchi and writing of Hideaki Anno, both men previously cooperated for Toho's Shin Godzilla.[46] The movie was slated to be released in 2021, as additional cast members were announced a month later.[47] On December 15, during Tsuburaya Production's Tsubucon fan convention, the design of the titular Ultraman was unveiled, which takes the design cues from Tohl Narita's early impression of the character, lacking a Color Timer.[48]

Manga[edit]

  • Ultraman is the main character of a popular manga series, Ultraman Chotoshi Gekiden. In the 1996 OVA, he is voiced by Toshiyuki Morikawa (森川 智之, Morikawa Toshiyuki).[49]
  • In the 2003 manga Ultraman THE FIRST (ja:ウルトラマン THE FIRST) Ultraman and Hayata's role remain the same, as the manga is a reinterpretation of the TV series. However, additional plot elements were added, such as making the Alien Baltan the manga's main antagonist, who orchestrates almost every event in hopes of studying Ultraman's strength and weaknesses. In his final battle, Ultraman fought against Zetton (which was re-imagined as a colossal monster with knowledge of Ultraman's techniques) and was defeated by its overwhelming strength until the SSSP defeated it in a similar manner to the series. Ultraman was soon picked up by Zoffy, with Hayata being separated and given a new life.[50]
  • In the 2005 manga Ultraman Story 0 (ja:ウルトラマンSTORY 0), Ultraman is the first of his kind to be mutated into a giant after the Plasma Spark radiated their world. He is also the first one to face the Alien Baltan, the Ultra Warriors' enemies.
  • The 2011 Ultraman manga takes in an alternate timeline with Ultraman being the only Ultra Warrior to set foot on Earth. Several years after the giant left the Earth, Shin Hayata's (voiced by Takayuki Sugō (菅生 隆之, Sugō Takayuki) in Motion Comic) memory of Ultraman is completely erased and he has settled down and had a family, with a son named Shinjiro Hayata. Hayata also becomes the Minister of Defense after retiring from his service in the SSSP.[51] Although Ultraman had long left, his fusion with Hayata left the man with his DNA, which gives Hayata superhuman abilities. 12 years prior to the story, he regains his full memory of Ultraman after watching footage of Bemular attacking an airplane, and the rest of the SSSP members had protected him from being test subjects. His son, Shinjiro inherits these powers and the father-son pair are enlisted into the reformed SSSP, whose new mission is to fight against rogue aliens. The Ultraman title lives within battle suits called Ultraman Suits (ウルトラマンスーツ, Urutoraman Sūtsu), which were designed for combat, with Shinjiro taking one of the suits and inheriting his father's title as Ultraman.[52] Other than the prototype and finalized product used by Shinjiro, two more Ultraman suits were made as the series progressed, one was called Ver. 7.1 (based on Ultra Seven) used by Dan Moroboshi and the non-SSSP manufactured suit, Ver. A. (based on Ultraman Ace), used by civilian Seiji Hokuto.[53][54]
    • In Chapter 70, he was actually revealed to have been disguised as Bemular, an antihero alien whose exo-suit bears the same technology as the Ultraman Suits. His true motive is unknown, aside from calling Shinjiro Hayata's inheritance of Ultraman's power a nuisance.

Novels[edit]

  • The novel adaptation of Ultraman, written by Tetsuo Kinjo in August 1967, Ultraman's role is historically the same as the TV series. Aside from that, the novel incorporates leftover plans from the series which never made it into the final cut, such as having Alien Mefilas form an alliance with past aliens, and having Geronimon revive Gomora and Red King instead of Draco and Telesdon (as was done in episode 37 (the U.S. dub of said episode, however, used the first two names, probably by mistake)). Another leftover plan that was incorporated into the story is also the scene where Ultraman died after his Color Timer was shattered by Zetton, which was omitted from the television series due to it being too violent for children.
  • Another Genesis, a novel series launched in 2012, has Ultraman's design drastically altered. Following the destruction of the Land of Light at the hands of Ultraman Belial, Ultraman fell into a deep seclusion and went mad, resolving to restore his destroyed home world by hunting shards of the fallen Plasma Spark. He first appeared in Chapter 2, facing off against a giant Antlar that mutated from the effects of a Plasma Spark shard. He emerges victorious and mercilessly stabs Antlar with the shard to death.[55] He reappears in Chapter 9, having trailed Blast, the main protagonist of the novel (whose body was altered after a Plasma Spark shard was imbued to his heart) and had a short scuffle with him until he ripped of the shard from Blast's chest, simultaneously killing him. During that time, his image drastically changed to resemble Ultraman Belial.[56]
  • Ultraman appeared during the climax of Ernest Cline's 2011 novel Ready Player One, during which the main character, Wade Owen Watts/Parzival, acquired the Beta Capsule and transformed into Ultraman to fight against Nolan Sorrento/IOI-655321, who piloted Mechagodzilla. In the 2018 film adaptation of the novel, director Steven Spielberg was unable to secure the rights to Ultraman and instead had both the Iron Giant and the RX-78-2 Gundam fulfilled the same role.[57]
  • Ultraman appeared in Mountain Peanuts, an anthology series from Tatarajima Futatabi released in June 2019. Taking place a year before Ultraman Ginga S, Ultraman was transformed from his Spark Doll by Chigusa Kuno, who wished to defend the civilians in against Nosferu Lived by Android One-Zero. Their battle resulted with Nosferu defeated and Chigusa awakened in a crater.[58]
  • Although he never appeared, Ultraman was mentioned in the 2016 novel Ultraman F, which is a non-canon story that took place one year after Ultraman leaves the Earth. Here, Hayata allowed himself to be experimented on in hopes of gathering secrets from what is left of Ultraman's remains. A child scientist named Soso (who would later become Dark Mephisto) revealed that Ultraman had three forms (which is largely based on his costume changes during his show's runtime), with each symbolizing Ultraman's battle specifications (Type A for strength, Type B for random techniques and Type C for long-ranged attacks).[59]

Video games[edit]

Ultraman, as featured in City Shrouded in Shadow
  • In the game City Shrouded in Shadow, Ultraman appears in the first level, fighting against his impostor, Imitation Ultraman (later revealing the fake to be Alien Zarab). Their battle puts Ichi City in danger and sets the motion of the game, which involves the players (portrayed as civilians) trying to escape from the city as soon as possible, while the battle turns into the largest obstacle they will ever face.[60] He later appears in level 14, teaming up with Ultramen Taro and Zero against the evil Ultra, Belial.
  • Ultraman is featured as one of the playable characters in the app game Monster Strike as part of the collaboration with the Ultra Series. When the players used the "Strike Shot", Ultraman would initiate his strongest attack, the Specium Ray.[61][62]
  • In the 2020 mecha-themed fighting game Override 2: Super Mech League, Ultraman (based on the main character from the Netflix series) appears as a playable guest character.[63]

Stage shows[edit]

  • Ultraman Festival live stages
  • 2016: Ultraman appeared during the climax of the first arc of the stageshow when the Ultra Warriors were having a hard time facing Zetton Alien Baltan. Ultraman debuted his newest attack, the Colorium Ray (カラーリウム光線, Karāriumu Kōsen), an attack from a winning entry in a Televi Magazine competition.[64] He was voiced by Takahiro Sakurai (櫻井孝宏, Sakurai Takahiro).[65][66]
  • 2018: Takahiro Sakurai reprised his role,[67] along with the Ultra himself performing a combination attack with Taro, Cosmo Miracle Slash (コスモミラクルスラッシュ, Kosumo Mirakuru Surasshu) as part of the entry made by the children.[68]

Comics[edit]

  • Marvel Comics announced in November 2019 that they have partnered with Tsuburaya Productions to publish Ultraman comic books and graphic novels. A five issue miniseries titled The Rise of Ultraman released from September 2020 to January 2021.[69][70] The aim of their partnership was to introduce Ultraman to new generation.[71] It was followed by another five issue miniseries titled The Trials of Ultraman which started being published in March of 2021.[72]

Reception[edit]

[edit]

  • Kurobe: Ultraman is immortal, so that's why I want him to go on for more than 50 years.
  • Furuya: He should go beyond our lifelines.
  • Kurobe: So I want Tsuburaya to keep releasing Ultraman in any way possible. Whether it's television or films, for audiences in Japan and around the world to enjoy, if that continues, then Ultraman will live on. That's my wish.

Interview with Susumu Kurobe, Hiroko Sakurai and Bin Furuya, SciFi JAPAN TV[39]

Todd Gilchrist of the IGN describes both Hayata and Ultraman as "a Peter Parker-style everyman becomes a superhero whenever alien monsters invade Earth, which conveniently occurs at least once every episode; subsequently, some fairly awkward fight scenes ensue, and the world eventually is saved from certain destruction." He also said that among the reason of the series' popularity were either due to Hayata talking directly to the audience, the SSSP investigating cases, or Ultraman's battle with the monsters and aliens "whose girth is matched only by his ability to flail his arms and flash his eyes." He gives the series the rating of 8 out of 10.[73]

While reviewing the complete DVD series of Ultraman, R. L. Shaffer (also from IGN) described Ultraman as "a giant, skyscraper-sized extraterrestrial being that protects us from equally gigantic monsters, aliens, dinosaurs and other nefarious foes. Each week, Ultraman faces off against fantastically fun villains, destroying towns, villages, forests and cities along the way.". Nevertheless, he admitted that the series "become a cult sensation, largely thanks to its monsters and dazzling battles" and gives a rating 8 out of 10.[74]

Bin Furuya, Ultraman's suit actor, has said that when he first wore the Ultraman suit, Eiji Tsuburaya had predicted that the show would create good memories for the children watching. Furuya trained for his role in Ultraman by practicing its beam techniques and "Shuwatch!" pose, inspired by "tap dancing and karate movements". As the Ultraman suit was very thin, he mentioned having received injuries in several ways during the set, so much so that Kurobe and Hiroko joked "of all the casts of Ultraman, he would be the first to go". When being asked what Ultra Warrior and Ultra Monster is his favorite, he answered the original Ultraman and Red King respectively, having enjoyed their fight scene in the show. His favorite episode of Ultraman is 23, which featured the appearance of Jamila, a monster who was mutated from an abandoned astronaut and tried to seek vengeance upon the government. Furuya mentioned that he genuinely cried while portraying Ultraman when he was forced to kill the monster. He also stated that although he liked playing the role of Ultraman, he enjoyed his time as Member Amagi for being able to expose his face.[10] Furuya originally did not like acting as Ultraman, fearing that several scenes on set would bring harm to him, especially when recording scenes in water, which would enter his suit and he feared he would drown, but in the end, he grew more absorbed in his work and took a liking to it.[39]

According to Susumu Kurobe, during his time playing Hayata, he felt uncomfortable when wearing the SSSP uniform during shooting, especially when filming on location, but Hiroko Sakurai stated that she had no problem with it and even commented that the cast once went out to lunch while wearing the uniform. Despite his character Hayata and Ultraman being related, he never get a chance to perform together with Ultraman's suit actor Bin Furuya, as both recorded in their respective scenes (real life for Kurobe and special effects studio for Furuya). Kurobe himself has a daughter named Takami Yoshimoto (吉本 多香美, Yoshimoto Takami), whom played Rena Yanase, the secondary protagonist of Ultraman Tiga. Initially, Kurobe prevented his daughter from acting in the series but eventually gave her his blessing to do so. They both appeared together in the film Superior Ultraman 8 Brothers, with their characters likewise written as father and daughter. He has joked that the decision to have Hayata and Fuji married in the movie was a "mistake", as it made his wife "jealous". When asked who is his favorite Ultraman, Kurobe answered that it was Ultraman Zero.[10] His favorite Ultra Monsters were Pigmon, Alien Baltan and Woo.[75] If possible, Kurobe, Hiroko and Furuya wish to believe that Ultraman will surpass their lifetimes and hopes that Tsuburaya Productions will keep putting Ultraman in any form of media for all audiences worldwide to enjoy.[39]

Popularity[edit]

Shin Hayata trying to transform with a curry spoon before switching to the Beta Capsule

One of the most popular jokes in Japanese culture is the scene from episode 34 of Ultraman, which involves Hayata mistaking a curry spoon for the Beta Capsule while hastily trying to transform and stop the monster Skydon from falling down to Earth. This scene was devised by Akio Jissoji, and while receiving complaints from Samaji Nonagase, another Ultraman director, the episode's high viewer ratings justified the work. Because of this, certain Japanese media (mostly in anime and manga) tends to reference an in-joke to the incident either by repeating the same mistake or simply using a pair of spoons to replicate Ultraman's eyes.[76]

There is also a Mexican pro-wrestler Milo Ventura Chávez, whose alias during matches is Ultraman.[77] His son is named Ultraman Jr. Although unrelated, another Mexican pro-wrestler Starman was previously known by the name Ultraman Jr.[78] The defeat of Ultraman at the hands of Zetton in episode 39 of his series delivers a huge impact to the audiences, so much so that it served as inspirations for Japanese pro wrestlers Atsushi Onita and Akira Maeda in their career in hopes of "avenging the fallen hero".[79]

In February 2007, a popular internet video called Omoide wa Okkusenman! simultaneously aired in Japan and quickly become a sensation. The song describes the singer reminiscing about his childhood and friends, particularly pretending to be Ultraman and Ultra Seven with them, while realizing his life and theirs is nothing like what it used to be.[80] In September of the same year, Ultraman was the important guest of the year's Hugo Award ceremony. His design is presented in the year's Hugo Award, sculpted by Takashi Kinoshita of the world-famous model and figure company Kaiyodo Co., Ltd (ja:海洋堂). Ultraman was also the one who presented Steven Moffat, writer of "The Girl in the Fireplace" from series two of Doctor Who with the Hugo Award.[81]

In 2006, a character popularity poll was launched in response to the 40th anniversary of the Ultra Series. Based on Oricon's list, Ultraman was placed first in the list in according to the total of voters. He is ranked first place in by female voters and second place by of male voters.[82] Five years later on the Ultra Series' 45th anniversary, Ultraman was placed seventh in the popularity poll after losing to Zero, who scored the first place and ranked 11th in 2013 after losing to Ultraman Tiga.[83][84]

Ultraman's Ultra-Act figure participated in a 2015 April Fool's Day joke, where P-Bandai announced the "release" of a 40 m scale of Ultraman's figure (which is Ultraman's own size). This was only during shown on said day and never revealed again afterwards.[85]

Merchandise[edit]

Ultraman Milky, a result of a joint collaboration between Ultraman (right) and Fujiya Co.'s mascot Peko-chan (left), cosplaying as Ultraman

Having gained a long time popularity, Ultraman has also been featured in several promotions and merchandises, either by Tsuburaya Productions itself or by extension, a cross-promotion. The first one was a set of action figures from the Ultraman line sold by the Marusan toy company back in 1966, the same year the character and his series' debuted. Said toys were later displayed at the Yokohama Doll Museum on March 12 and 13, 2016 as part of the 50th anniversary of the Ultra Series celebration .[86] Tsuburaya has also collaborated with Fujiya Co. twice; once in the 1990s where a chocolate confectionery was released alongside an Ultraman card and later in 2016 in a collaboration with Peko-chan, Fujiya Co.'s main mascot (from the milk confectionary Milky), as said company was celebrating its 65th anniversary, which served as a tie-in to the Ultra Series' 50th anniversary.[87]

Ultraman's soft vinyl doll had been sold several times by Bandai since the 1990s. In 2010, Ultraman was given his first release as a highly articulated action figure in the ULTRA-ACT toyline.[88] Following his temporary corruption into Ultraman Dark in Ultraman Ginga, both he and Ultra Seven Dark were released in 2014 as repainted versions of their original figures.[89] To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Ultra Series, Ultraman got his second release in July 2016 as a poseable action figure in the S.H. Figuarts line alongside two of his iconic enemies, Alien Baltan and Zetton.[90][91]

In 2014, Ultraman and several of the Ultra Monsters from his series helped promote TOEIC to Japanese citizens, while being portrayed as a well-dressed businessman. A promotional video features him communicating with Dada while English subtitles are displayed. Ultraman helps the alien by giving him advise on how to start a business, but he confronts him after Dada's business plan turns out be an invasion of Earth.[92][93][94]

In the fashion world, Ultraman is also a part of "A Man of Ultra", a branch of a fashion house with clothing themed after the Ultra Series. Ultraman himself had been present to promote the company's products, though sometimes the character is also accompanied by other characters of the Ultra Series, such as Ultra Seven and Ultraman Ace.[95] On November 2, 2015, a special violin painted with the attributes of the Ultraman series was presented in a concert at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre Concert Hall and was sold to a lucky spectator at the price of 780,000 yen (US$6,428).[96]

In a cross-promotion with the FamilyMart convenience store franchise, Ultraman and Alien Baltan were sold as Chinese steamed buns designed with their likeness. This was, however, sold to a limited date, starting from January 19, 2016.[97][98]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^In episode 33 of Ultraman Taro, Hayata refused to be recognized as a human being, only using said name when entering Earth.

References[edit]

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Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultraman_(character)
All Ultraman Transformations (1966-2016)

The History of Tokusatsu Part 3: Ultraman Part 1

HoT1

Welcome back to the History of Tokusatsu, today we’ll dive in and cover the first part of the Ultra Series.


Today’s installment covers the Ultra Series from Tsuburaya Productions. Now, you may be wondering why it’s not called the Ultraman Series, and there’s a very simple answer to this question: Ultraman was not the first entry in the franchise. A fact not a lot of newer fans know is that the iconic Ultraman, one of Japan’s greatest tokusatsu heroes, was actually from the second TV series within the franchise. The originator of the Ultra Series was the 1966 show, Ultra Q.

ultra q

Ultra Q was Tsuburaya Productions’ first full length TV series, it premiered in January of 1966, which would turn out to be a historic year for the company as it launched three full shows that year – Ultra Q, Ultraman, and Booska. Tsuburaya Productions by this point had done contributing work on various TV series but, having been created in 1963, were relatively new to the world of making full length TV series themselves. You would never know this given how they hit the ground running in 1966.

Ultra Q, Ultraman, and Ultra Seven are known for their historically high tokusatsu ratings, with Ultraman having one of the most viewed tokusatsu episodes ever, and this is in part due to the show airing during the Takeda Hour. The Takeda Hour was an hour of TV sponsored by Takeda Pharmaceuticals and home to some of the most viewed programs at the time, including the very first scripted Japanese TV show – Moonlight Mask. Although there is no solid reason given, it’s been widely assumed that there was no direct follow up to Ultra Seven because the show featured an almost 10% drop in ratings from Ultraman, which itself saw an increase from Ultra Q.

When Ultra Q began, it was a show quite unlike anything else that had ever been on Japanese TVs at the time. The draw of TV back then was it being able to provide an experience the entire family could get behind. The potential of an entire family viewing meant something with cinimatic values could garner the most viewers. Ultra Q, unlike Ultraman, did not feature a hero fighting against monster and instead each episode featured its own unique monster and the characters they impacted. This format gave viewers at the time the experience of having a kaijuu movie in their homes week after week with cutting edge special effects and production values. Ultra Q is actually one of the reasons the Ultra Series is known just as much for its transforming heroes as it is for its uniquely designed monsters – often times just as iconic as the heroes themselves.

Ultraman hit the airwaves in July 1966, one week after a preview special known as The Birth of Ultraman, which introduced viewers to the core cast, Ultraman, and an early monster via a stage show. Ultraman was an immediate ratings success, quickly improving on the impressive ratings seen by Ultra Q. Unlike many of today’s tokusatsu shows that feature action-heavy scenarios, Ultraman dealt with sci-fi and special effects first and foremost. Tsuburaya’s intent in making Ultraman was to have each episode provide a cinematic quality not unlike that of a movie, leading to a not uncommon at the time episodic series.

ssp

Ultraman introduced most of the traits still heavily associated with most Ultra shows – a “science patrol team” investigating monster occurrences, typically having a member that becomes the titular Ultra character in each series where one is present. One of the show’s most iconic traits saw the alien Ultraman fuse with a human to use as a host, something that would be the norm in all but a handful of shows.

After Ultraman finished the third series, Ultra Seven, began. Ultra Seven was originally not a sequel to Ultraman and only became considered such years later. The original intent with Ultra Seven was to create an alternate take of the formula created by Ultraman. The series featured a much heavier sci-fi theme involving mysteries and more mature stories than seen in the previous series. Also introduced was a hero who, rather than taking a host, was the Ultraman character himself in human guise.

By the time the 1971 Return of Ultraman began, Tsuburaya Productions founder Eiji Tsuburaya had passed away, leaving the company and the series in the care of his eldest son. The series saw the creation of a unified world, featuring appearances from both Ultraman and Ultra Seven. The Ultraman seen in the show greatly resembled the original Ultraman and was initially just called Ultraman. Later additions to the franchise would give the hero the name of Ultraman Jack.

The Return of Ultraman saw the beginning of the longest consecutive run of shows in the franchise, beginning with The Return of Ultraman and continuing with Ultraman Ace, Ultraman Taro, and finally, Ultraman Leo.

As the years went on, Ultraman saw its popularity diminish somewhat, with Taro being the first show to see ratings dip into the single digits. A world wide oil crisis heavily impacted the series with Ultraman Leo. The approach in Ultraman Leo saw a hero who favored hand to hand combat as opposed to the wild energy beams of past heroes. Ultraman Leo’s dark approach was initially popular with fans but soon the series saw viewership taper off, leading to a change in formula. The second half of the show saw many characters written off and themes changed as well as as Leo himself now sporting a variety of beam attacks.

80man

The series went into a slumber after Leo, only to return with 1979’s The Ultraman, an anime series. The anime series was launched in the same year as Mobile Suit Gundam and was produced by the same studio, Sunrise. The series was followed by Ultraman 80, a show featuring a teacher as the lead character. After the end of Ultraman 80, there would not be a wholly original Japanese TV series in the franchise for another 15 years. In the interim there were various movies made as well as two foreign series based on the Ultraman concept.

A 1990 series produced in Australia, titled Ultraman Towards the Future and Ultraman Great in Japan featured a hero who met Ultraman on mars before bonding with the giant of light to protect the earth from monsters. The series was notable for featuring, as of now, the only instance the spandex traditionally associated with Super Sentai suits was used as the basis of an Ultraman suit. The second foreign series produced was the American Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero, known in Japan as Ultraman Powered. The series featured Kane Kosugi, who appeared in Ninja Sentai Kakuranger as Jiraiya, who transformed into Ninja Black. Despite being produced in America the show never actually aired in the USA.

After two comedic outings in Ultraman Zearth and Ultraman Zearth 2, Ultraman finally returned to the airwaves in Japan with Ultraman Tiga, which would later be shown in the United States via a comedic dub that changed nearly all of the show’s content but served as an introduction to tokusatsu for many viewers. The series introduced the first Ultraman that was capable of changing forms and was the first instance an Ultraman TV series featured CGI graphics, often seen in Ultraman Tiga flying away. Tiga was also noted for its star, Hirashi Nagano, who took the lead role in the show while his band, V6, was at the height of their popularity. V6 contributed to the show by performing the opening theme song, Take Me Higher.

Tiga was followed up by a sequel, Ultraman Dyna, taking place over a decade after Tiga as humans have begun to venture out towards other planets. The series began with an irreverent tone and comedic hero before turning to heavily dramatic plots and an ambiguous ending that made viewers question the fate of the show’s hero.

An epilogue movie, Ultraman Tiga: The Final Odyssey, was released in 2000 and saw the conclusion to the story that began in Ultraman Tiga. Dyna star Tsuruno Takeshi was featured in the movie as a guest star.

gaiaman

1998 saw the premiere of Ultraman Gaia, a rather ambitious series not only for Ultraman but for tokusatsu as a whole. Gaia was one of the earliest series to feature a heavily serealized story that involved regular writers and guest writers needing to be present at staff meetings to iron out details and know where the series was headed. Ultraman Gaia was written by Chiaki Konaka, a legendary anime writer who would go on to writer Serial Experiments Lain and Digimon Tamers, another show that took a traditionally light show in a more dramatic direction.

There would not be a series after Gaia until 2001’s Ultraman Cosmos. Ultraman Cosmos took a unique approach and began its story with a movie, Ultraman Cosmos: The First Contact, beginning 10 years before the TV series itself. The TV series would begin a month later and featured a hero who rather than outright defeat most of his adversaries would attempt to heal them. The series featured a storyline revolving around monsters being turned evil, necessitating Ultraman’s help in healing them.

Towards the end of its run, Ultraman Cosmos was taken off the air when its star was accused of attacking his girlfriend. While the series was off the air the miniseries Ultraman Neos aired its first two episodes. The series quickly returned after all charges were dropped against the Ultraman Cosmos star. Ultraman Cosmos gained an extended run when it returning, leading to a series that ran for 65 episodes, which to this day remains the longest running original Ultraman series. I say “original Ultraman series” because things get confusing when you consider Ultraman Retsuden, but we’ll look at that in another installment.

The series went back into hibernation after Cosmos before returning in 2004 with a new take on the first series Ultra show, Ultra Q. Ultra Q: Dark Fantasy aired late at night and featured many of the mysterious and horror themed stories seen in the original series.

Shortly after Dark Fantasy, Tsuburaya launched one of its most ambitions project, the Ultra N Project. The project was intended to take Ultraman towards a more mature avenue featuring darker plots and serialized stories once again. The Ultra N Project was divided into three “chapters” called Noa: Nostalgia, Next: Evolution, Nexus: Trinity.

Noa: Nostalgia revolved around an angelic Ultraman named Noa, featured primarily in stage shows. Next: Evolution revolved around the 2004 movie, Ultraman The Next, the first big budget film in the series. Nexus: Trinity was the final installment and revolved around the 2004-2005 series Ultraman Nexus.

Ultraman Nexus presents itself as an interesting entity within the franchise and as a point where one might see Ultraman’s popularity begin to wane. The show was originally intended to air in a prime time slot, one which it was bumped for by what is heavily believed to be Gundam SEED Destiny, the sequel to Mobile Suit Gundam SEED. Ultraman Nexus was relegated to an early morning airing and despite this dramatically different time slot, the staff behind the show did not compromise their vision and continued with the dark and dramatic series they had always envisioned. Ultraman Nexus aired early in the morning, around 7:30 AM, and drove children away, leading to lower viewership numbers than had been seen before in the franchise. Toy sales were also slow, leading to an early cancellation of the series and an untimely end to the Ultra N Project.

Ultraman Max hit the airwaves after Ultraman Nexus and was supposed to be the first show since Ultraman 80 to take place in the original universe but Ultraman Mebius would quickly render this false. Max was a unique series in that it saw a number of well known and popular movie directors such as Takeshi Miike come aboard to direct and write various episodes. The star of the original Ultraman even played a regular character within the show.

mebiushikari

The following year saw the premiere of Ultraman Mebius, the 40th anniversary series. The series featured a rookie Ultraman come to earth and take the form of a human as he endeavored to protect the earth and understand humans. Many actors from the original shows returned to guest stars and within the series itself Mebius was the first Ultraman seen on earth since Ultraman 80 left. Ultraman Mebius continued to mark troublesome times for Tsuburaya Productions, who had to borrow heavily from Fields, a pachinko company, to actually be able to produce the series. Fields would later come to own Tsuburaya Productions for a time.

After Ultraman Mebius came to an end, Tsuburaya experimented with various short form 13 episode shows, Ultra Seven X, a dark series intended for adult viewers, Ultra Galaxy and Ultra Galaxy NEO, series only aired on cable that featured monsters in favor of any original Ultraman characters, though various Ultraman would appear towards the climax of each series.

Ultraman survived through film from 2008 to 2012 with The Super Ultra 8 Brothers, featuring the return of the stars from Ultraman Tiga, Dyna, and Gaia.

A movie entitled Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legends would come a few years after Ultra Galaxy and featured the cast of Ultra Galaxy, the star of Ultraman Mebius, and a new Ultraman, Zero, who would go on to become the face of the franchise for the next four years despite never starring in a proper TV series himself. Ultra Galaxy was the third time Ultraman Mebius star Igarashi Shunji returned to Ultraman, including a two episode direct follow up to Ultraman Mebius that featured the return of its entire cast, before he retired from acting.

2013 saw the first somewhat traditional Ultraman series since 2006’s Ultraman Mebius. Ultraman Ginga was a 13 episode series aired over the course of six months and featured a hero who was also able to transform into monsters. The series was popular enough to garner a sequel series the following year, Ultraman Ginga S, a 16 episode series that introduced the brooding Ultraman Victory. The Ultraman Ginga saga came to an end with a movie that featured every Ultraman hero from Tiga through Ultraman Ginga S teaming up.

2015 saw the third consecutive year of new Ultraman shows with the premiere of Ultraman X. X features a hero who uses various armors based on the monsters he battles as well as guest appearances from former stars and Ultraman heroes. The 22 episode series would be the longest since Ultraman Mebius’ 50 episode run almost a decade before.

At the time of this writing, the 50th anniversary series, Ultraman Orb, has been announced and is just two months off from its grand premiere.

Although we’ve come to the present day, there are still many more productions to cover. Ultraman has survived not only through its movies and TV series but also through unique productions that set it apart from other tokusatsu franchises and appeal to viewers of older shows and adult themes. All this and more will be covered in The History of Tokusatsu: Ultraman Part 2.

Sources: Sunday Mainichi, 100 Million People Were Impressed At That Time – 50 Year TV Ratings Record, Cinema Today, Ultra Warrior Ultra Complete Book, Variety, Ultraman Is Crying


Sours: https://tokusatsunetwork.com/2016/06/history-tokusatsu-part-3-ultraman-part-1/

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This may not be the article you are looking for. For other uses of the word "Ultraman", see Ultraman.

"What are you, Ultraman? Are you an alien... or a human?"
"I am both. I was born to fight those who break universal laws, like you.
"

―Alien Mefilas and Ultraman, "The Forbidden Words"

Ultraman

Alternative Name(s)

Original Ultraman (初代ウルトラマンShodai Urutoraman)
Original (初代Shodai)
Man (マン,Man)

Height

40 m
53 m (Ultraman Taro episode 40)

Suit Actor(s)

Bin Furuya (First Suit Actor)
Kenya Soma (Ultraman Mebius & the Ultra Brothers, Super 8 Ultra Brothers)
Hiroyuki Inomata (Ultra Galaxy Legends)
Shinnosuke Ishikawa (Ultraman X The Movie)

Ultraman(ウルトラマンUrutoraman) is an alien from a place called the Land of Lightin Nebula M78, who chased the monster Bemularto Planet Earth, and merged with Shin Hayataduring his tenure there. He is the first Ultra to visit Earth and defended the planet against Kaiju until he was recalled after his battle with Zetton. Ultraman was given his titleby his human host.

It was the introduction of this iconic character that had popularized the Ultraman Series in Japan and the world, arguably being the face of the franchise as a whole.

Conception

Creation

Ultraman was designed by Tohl Narita, who was originally asked to create and design an alien monster for a canceled episode of Ultra Q. However, under the direction of Narita himself, staff art Kymio Sasaki was told to repeat the work by molding clay, and the mask and body were created. The suit was created based on the model of Bin Furuya, who was Ultraman's original suit actor. Some model changes were made due to damage. Three types of suit exist: Type A (from episode 1 to episode 13), Type B (from episode 14 to episode 29), and Type C (episode 30 until the end of the series). Small peepholes resembling black dots were made near the eyes for the suit actor to see out of.

Latex was used for the suit's skin. Movement of the mouth was considered by the development team, but it felt too unnatural and was canceled. The Ultraman suit is very intense, and is not very damaged by aging; therefore, it is a very durable suit. The suit has been manufactured to fit the body and shape of the person inside.

In some newer suits, the dots are less visible to others. The Type A and B suits were recreated in more modern films (Ultraman Mebius & the Ultra Brothers and Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legends The Movie respectively). Different suits have been made as time passes, for different uses such as new Ultraman series, films and even live shows. The quality of suits from Return of Ultraman to Ultraman Leo are not as good as the one from the original Ultraman series. The latest suits show a more modern-looking Ultraman, as technology develops, more detailed suits are made for the character's future appearances.

Narita's initial designs did not include the Color Timer, which was later added on in a last minute decision in order to save effects costs of editing one on.

Etymology

The name "Ultraman" is a compound name. "Ultra" is a prefix that means "on the far side, beyond" to the extreme level, which means that the term "Ultraman" literally means "on the far side, above men." In other words, the Ultramen are beings that are highly superior to the human race. His name in Japanese is Choujin, which means "Ultra Man" written with a space between "Ultra" and "Man." The series title, as transliterated from the Japanese characters, reads as "Urutoraman", which means "Ultraman" and is written as one word.

Within the series itself, his name is given to him, in "Ultra Operation No.1", by Hayata, but whether this was Hayata's decision or Ultraman's is unknown.

Design

Ultraman has an entirely silver and red body. The silver is supposedly made of solid Spacium, whereas the red parts are organic. Ultraman possesses two oval-shaped eyes, which shine whenever he is alive and full of energy. When Ultraman loses energy, his eyes start to either turn on and off, or turn off completely, showing he is either unconscious or in a state of death, though his eyes also switched off when he was blinded. Ultraman possesses, on his chest, a Color Timer, which functions as his "warning light." When he is losing his power, or is extremely weak, his Color Timer, which is connected to his heart, changes color into a red color and starts blinking His Color Timer. Ultraman's body has a humanoid form, and on his back he wears a dorsal fin, extending almost all the way down his back but not rising up very high on his skin, whose purpose is unknown. Not all Ultras share the dorsal fin, like Ultraman 80. Ultraman possesses two rectangular "ears," and he has a small crest on his head too.

Anatomy

Main article: Residents of the Land of Light
Speciumexplaned.jpg

It is popular knowledge that the Ultramen are beings completely made of light. However, the Ultras are not simply made of light when in physical form, just like humans, they possess internal organs and even bones, similar, if not the same, to a human's. From the pictures seen on the side, taken from some documents from Tsuburaya Productions, Ultraman possesses the same bones as humans: a pelvis, a spine, ribs, among other bones in his arms and legs. From his organs, his lungs can be seen. Ultraman also possesses very strong and toned muscles in his entire body. The Color Timer functions as part of Ultraman's heart, and when the Color Timer has either been totally destroyed or severely damaged, it transforms into a spiky form. Ultraman's skull clearly has the oval shaped position of his Multi-Presensing Eyes (マルチプレセンシングアイMaruchi Puresenshingu Ai), his Digital Sonic Organized Ears (デジタルソニックオーガナイズドイヤーDejitaru Sonikku Ōganaizudo Iyā) are also shaped from the skull, and his Space Navigate Deflector (スペースナビゲートディフレクターSupēsu Nabigēto Difurekutā) crest is part of the skull too. Their silver skin, or Ultra Armor, is made of solid Spacium itself. In his right and left hands, there are glands that emit Spacium Energy Minus Beams (スペシウムエネルギーマイナス線Supeshiumu Enerugī Mainasu-sen) and Spacium Energy Plus Beams (スペシウムエネルギープラス線Supeshiumu Enerugī Purasu-sen) respectively, which are needed to fire the Spacium Beam.

Legacy

Ultraman's design, like Ultraseven's, has been used as a base to create designs of almost all other Ultras, such as Ultraman Jack, Ultraman Ace, Zoffy, Ultraman 80, and most of the Heisei-era Ultras such as Ultraman Tiga, Ultraman Dyna and Ultraman Gaia, and is also the most used design base to create a new Ultra. Most of the Ultra designs modeled after Ultraseven's, such as Ultraman Taro, Ultraman Leo and Ultraman Zero, possess a Color Timer. The Ultra N Project's Ultras are designed after Ultraman's design, but with a new version of the Color Timer, and the design has been very altered, such as Ultraman the Next having a insectoid appearance, and Ultraman Noa possessing a completely silver body.

Fighting Style

Ultraman's fighting style was originally very simplistic, mainly punches, kicks and the occasional throw, followed by the Spacium Beam. As time went on, more techniques were added to his roster and the fights became more choreographed. Ultraman's first suit actor, Bin "Satoshi" Furuya, was a student of judo, and as the series went on, his background as a martial artist was put to use in the fights. Several of Ultraman's attacks are made on techniques from Judo, such as the Ultra Attack Beam. Also, the reason for the Spacium Beam cross style position is, according to some, Eiji Tsuburaya having borrowed ideas from Christianity (he was a convert to Roman Catholicism), and the beam's stance is based on the cross, a famous symbol of good.

Personality

Ultraman's personality is shown through his host for most of his main series. Ultraman is shown to be fairly clever, as he was able to outsmart his team and many enemies as well. His patience, however, is shown to be questionable, as he initially resorts to aggression upon facing monsters. Although, he is shown to be passive, if not persuasive when he needs to, as shown with Seabozu. He also is shown to be very concerned and sorry with what he had done to Hayata, and even after the first wave of invasion had ended with Zetton, he insisted that the man should live when Zoffy was going to relieve him of his duties.

History

Ultraman

Initially a basic Ultra Soldier, Ultraman arrived on Earth while pursuing an escapee of the Monster Graveyard; Bemular. In his pursuit, he accidentally collided with Shin Hayata, an officer of the Science Patrol, who was on a scouting mission in his jet. Hayata was killed in the same crash, but out of remorse, Ultraman gave Hayata his own life, and merged their bodies, to keep him alive. After Bemular was destroyed, Ultraman stayed to protect Earth from more threats, such as ancient monsters and alien invaders. Some memorable mentions are his encounters with the Baltan, his close match with Alien Mefilas, and his defeat at the deadly monster Gomora. However, his time on Earth came to a close after his battle with Zetton. His Color Timer was damaged in his fight with Zetton, in which his enemy used a weapon that Ultraman had not expected--one specifically targeting the Ultra Warrior's warning light. Zetton was left to be destroyed by the Science Patrol. Ultraman was retrieved by his superior, Zoffy, and was taken back to their home world.

Return of Ultraman

After Ultraman Jack was defeated by Alien Nackle and Black King, Jack was taken by Nackle's ships to his home planet to be executed, however, just before he could be killed, Ultraman and Ultraseven appear, rescue and save Jack by using the Ultra Star which revived Ultraman Jack and destroyed his ships. Jack thanked his comrades and went back to Earth. When the Ultra Star Shines

When Go was about to transform into Jack to fight a revived Zetton, the Original Ultraman talked to him telepathically of how dangerous Zetton is. The 5 Ultra Oaths

Ultraman Ace

After the sacrifice of Seiji Hokuto and Yuko Minami by Verokron, the Ultra Brothers and their new member Ultraman Ace appeared to give them life and Ace was asigned to protect Earth. Shine! The Five Ultra Brothers

After Ace was defeated by Brocken, he along with the Ultra Brothers summoned the Ultra Sign to encourage Ace to defeat Brocken. Pursue the Mystery of the Transformation Terrible-Monster

After an Ultra Sign was summoned, Ultraman and the other Ultra Brothers saw it and headed for Planet Golgotha. After their arrival, each member asked the others what's wrong. Ace said he saw The Ultra Sign and Ultraman was confused, as he assumed that Ace had summoned the Ultra Sign. Yapool summoned Baraba to destroy Earth and The Ultras realized it was all a trap and that Ace has to go back to Earth, but a cold mist was unleashed that weakened the Ultra Brothers. Ace hesitated to return to Earth, so Ultraman decided that they should give him their powers to get Ace to Earth, but Ace wouldn't accept it because it would kill the Ultras, so Ultraman slapped him in the face and encouraged Ace to go back to. The Ultra Brothers gave enough power to Ace, who flew back to Earth, but the Ultras were pulled to their crosses and were to get tied on their crosses. Ace managed to return to Earth and quickly fought Baraba. Yapool, however, warned Ace that if he kills Baraba, the Ultra brothers would be killed by the entity himself. Unable to properly fight with the thought of his brothers in danger, Barbara gained the upper hand until Ace reverted back to his previous forms of Hokuto and Minami as Baraba returned back to Yapool, his mission a success. Ace Killer appeared and absorbed the Ultra's powers, and took Ultraman Jack's Ultra Bracelet. Ace came back but had a tough battle with Ace Killer, so they give Ace their energy from their Color Timers. Ace was able to defeat him with the Space Q. They went back to M78 while Ace went back to Earth to fight Baraba. Execution! The Five Ultra BrothersThe Five Stars that Scattered Throughout the Galaxy

When Ace summoned the Ultra Sign, Ultraman, and the Ultra Brothers flew to Earth, and we're shocked to see that Ace had been turned into a Jade Statue. Alien Hipporit suddenly appeared, and they were prepared to fight, but Alien Hipporit trapped Ultraman, and Zoffy in chambers while Jack and Seven dodged away from it. While Seven was fighting the alien, Jack tried to free Ultraman, and Zoffy but was trapped too after attempting to get them out with his Ultra Bracelet. Later, and they were all turned to statues. Ace freed him and the rest of Ultra Bothers and brought Father of Ultra back to the Land of Light. Total Annihilation! The Five Ultra BrothersMiracle! The Father of Ultra

Ultraman Story

After taking the Father of Ultra back to M78 after the battle with Alien Hipporit and while Ultraman Taro fights Enmargo, Juda summons Grand King. The Ultras see it coming and lured it to another planet after failing to destroy it in space using their Ultra Beams. While the Ultra Brothers were completely decimated by Grand King, Father of Ultra awakens and says Taro is the only one able to defeat it.

The Mother of Ultra tells Taro this and he defeats Enmargo. He flies to the aid of his brothers. Then Mother of Ultra tells them they must channel their energy into Taro's horns. They do so and vanish, and Taro becomes a Super Ultra. He soon defeats the monster and Juda vanishes. Father of Ultra is recovered and they all have an inspirational conversation and Taro became a member of the Ultra Brothers. Ultraman Story

Ultraman Taro

Ultraman along with the Ultra Brothers revived Kotaro after he died in a plane crash by Astromons. Like the Sun, Mother of Ultra When Taro retreated after being hurt by Mururoa and went to the Land Of Light, Ultraman, and the Ultra Brothers were waiting for Taro when he arrived. They all went to retrieve the only item which could clear the space monster's smoke, the Ultra Bell. Taro and The Ultra Brothers arrived, pulling the Ultra Bell with them. The legendary device’s tolling cleared away Mururoa’s darkness in an instant! After Mururoa was defeated, Taro returned the Ultra Bell. Burn On! The Six Ultra Brothers

Ultraman joined the battle against Alien Temperor when he was visiting Earth and Taro with the Ultra Brothers. 5 Seconds Before the Great Explosion of the Land of Ultra!The Last Day of the Six Ultra Brothers!

Ultraman fought Tyrant on Uranus after Zoffy was defeated. Upon being defeated, Ultraman tried to warn his brothers with an Ultra Sign, but Tyrant destroyed it and went on. Go Beyond the Ultra Brothers!

Ultraman Leo

The evil alien Babarue managed to freeze Astra, Ultraman Leo's younger brother, and later made a disguise out of him. "Astra" flew to the Land of Light, and after being followed by the Ultra Brothers (Ultraman, Zoffy, Ultraman Jack, and Ultraman Ace), he manages to steal the Ultra Key. The Ultra-homeworld fell out of its orbit, and was heading towards Earth to crash. When he was going to escape, he was stopped by Ultraman, and the two had a short fight, but "Astra" escaped and flew to Earth. The other brothers raised Ultraman from the ground, and he said that it wasn't Babarue who stole the Ultra Key, but "Astra", the Ultras were shocked, and they all flew to Earth following him, not before informing Ultraseven that "Astra" took the Ultra Key. Dan Moroboshi told Gen Otori about what happened, Gen was shocked, and after "Astra" arrived on Earth, Dan tried to stop him using his Ultra powers, and the Ultra Brothers arrived on the scene. Gen stopped Dan, and the two started to fight, but the Ultra Brothers started to fight against "Astra". Ultraman managed to hurt "Astra" and make him fall, but he raised up, and after Gen Otori and Moroboshi stopped fighting, he used his Ultra powers and made "Astra" weak, but Gen recovered and beat Moroboshi to unconsciousness, and he transformed into Ultraman Leo. After a hard battle against the four Ultra Brothers, he raises "Astra", asks him what he did but "Astra" didn't answer anything, and tells the Ultras to stop, but they denied and told him that stealing the Ultra Key may make the Land of Light to clash against Earth, destroying it. At that same moment, the Land of Light was close to Earth, and natural disasters started to occur, earthquakes and fissures were occurring. And the Ultra Brothers started to fight both Leo and "Astra". After a short battle, the Ultra Brothers had no choice but to use their Triple Beam against "Astra", and they fired them at him, but Leo protected him and took the damage. Leo fell to the ground completely hurt, "Astra" menaced the Ultra Brothers, and he was going to shoot a beam from the Ultra Key, but suddenly, a mighty thunder from the sky fired at "Astra", and he fell to the ground, and the Ultra Key broke into two pieces. And suddenly, Ultraman King appeared, and after saluting Zoffy, he told the Ultras to watch out for "Astra", and he fired his beam, and the fake Astra transformed back into Alien Babarue. The Ultras defeated Babarue, recovered the real Astra from his imprisonment, and Ultraman Leo and Astra became the first members from the Inter Galactic Defense Force that were not born in the Land of Light. Battle! The Leo Brothers vs. the Ultra Brothers!The Leo Brothers and the Ultra Brothers, Time of Victory

Ultraman Mebius & the Ultra Brothers

In 1986, Ultraman, Seven, Jack and Ace were fighting, U-Killersaurus after a rough battle on the moon. When the Ultras were about to launch their beams at the enemy, Ultraman alerts them that if they fire and miss, their beams would destroy the Earth, so the Ultras threw the monster into the sea next to the city Kobe. The heroes decided the only way to defeat it and Yapool, was to seal it under the sea with the Final Cross Shield, but at the cost of not being able to transform into their Ultra selves. They used the Final Cross Shield, and the monster was sealed along with Yapool, and peace reigned on Earth for many years. Now taking on the forms of Shin Hayata, Dan Moroboshi, Hideki Go and Seiji Hokuto, the four Ultra Brothers were stranded on Earth.

Then 20 years later 2006, Shin Hayata has become an airport administrator of the Kobe airport and sees Mirai Hibino land in Kobe, who was looking into strange readings found in the area, and later met Mirai in person and invited him to see the rest of the Ultra Brothers, and their human hosts.

When Ultraman Mebius was fighting Imitation Mebius, Hayata and the others watched. After Mebius defeated Alien Zarab, he was surprisingly attacked by Alien Guts, was defeated, and sealed in a cross of crystal. Seiji decided to help Mebius. Hayata, Dan and Go initially refused due to their worry of breaking the Final Cross Shield, but after a short while, they all agreed after remembering their duties as Ultramen. The Ultra Brothers then transformed once again. The brothers fought for about 1-2 minutes with their low energy, despite this, but because of their limited power, they were defeated by Guts and Alien Nackle, and they were all crucified in crosses above Kobe's sea where Yapool and U-Killersaurus were sealed. Guts and Nackle then threw Mebius away and drained the remaining energy from Ultraman and the other Ultra Brothers.

While seeing his fellow Ultras in pain, Mebius found new strength after being encouraged by a young boy whom he befriended prior to the battle, and the teachings of the four Ultra Brothers, he then returned to the fight, with great courage. He managed to destroy Alien Guts, and freed the Ultra Brothers, but not in time. U-Killersaurus and Yapool where already freed from their prison. Once freed, the Yapool killed Alien Nackle and upgraded the U-Killersaurus to U-Killersaurus Neo.

The powerful Terrible-Monster easily beaten down the weakened Ultras, until surprisingly, Commander Zoffy, and Ultraman Taro arrived on the fray. Taro and Zoffy quickly restored their fellow Ultra's energy, but even with full power they still could not defeat the monster. They decided to give their light to Mebius to finish the battle. Ultraman Mebius, combined with the other Ultra Brothers, transformed into Mebius Infinity, and defeated it once and for all. Ultraman Mebius & the Ultra Brothers

Ultraman Mebius

Alien Mefilas III, the third generation of Ultraman's old sworn enemy, Alien Mefilas I came to Earth after his partners Yapool, Deathrem, and Grozam were killed. Mefilas III came with his ship to Japan, and used his mind control power to turn all the population against Ultraman Mebius, and switched their minds thinking it was Mefilas III himself who was saving the world all the time. However, Ultraman, as Shin Hayata, was watching, and tried to stop Mefilas III from what he was doing, however, because Mefilas III didn't harm any humans, Ultraman couldn't fight him. Mefilas III later tries to attack GUYS, but Ultraman Mebius appears to fight him, and later Ultraman joined the fray too. Mefilas III fires a beam of electricity at Ultraman, but Ultraman is immune to it. After a short but heavy battle against Mefilas III, Ultraman tells him to surrender, because he can't defeat two Ultras and GUYS, Mefilas III wisely surrenders, but promises for the second time, that he will return to fight Ultraman. Sadly, the promise was broken because Mefilas III was killed later by the evil Alien Empera. Mefilas's Game When Alien Empera covers sun with a rock, all the Ultras Brothers used their beams to destroy the rock. Words from the Heart -Final Trilogy III-

Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle

At one point, Ultraman went to a terraformed planet, Boris, but was overpowered by Alien Reiblood's spirit and was petrified into a mountain side. In the series finale, when the ZAP SPACY Crew attempted to flee the planet, Ultraman subdued the the malfunctioned robot from Planet Pedan, allowing the team to escape as Planet Boris was turned into nothing but a giant planet-sized fireball when an artificial sun crashed into the planet. UltramanReibloodPlanet Escape

Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle: Never Ending Odyssey

After Alien Reiblood was destroyed by EX Gomora and EX Red King, his soul however wasn’t finished yet. As the ZAP SPACY was escaping Planet Hammer as it was imploding, Alien Reiblood spirit emerged from the black hole that was the planet to attempt to pull them back to their deaths. However the spirit was ultimately stopped by the combined forces of Ultraman and Ultraseven as the two Ultras fired their Ultra Beams, destroying the core of Reiblood's spirit. Planet Destruction

Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legends The Movie

Much later, Ultraman returned to the Land of Light and served as a High-Ranking Ultra. But the revival of Belial forced him and his elite brethren to repel the renegade from claiming the Plasma Spark, only to ultimately fail. After Ultraman Belial steals the Plasma Spark, causing the Land of Light to freeze over, both Ultraman and Seven are forced to assume their human forms due to the sharp depletion of energy on M78. When Rei and Mirai are wandering the frozen Land of Light in search of the Spark Tower, they are ambushed by Alien Shaplay and his monsters. As Seven, as Dan, rescues Rei and his capsule monsters fight off the monsters, Ultraman, as Hayata, fires at Shaplay, knocking him into a glacier and burying the alien beneath the frozen rubble. Later on, Shaplay ambushed the Ultra Brothers inside the tower to try and get some revenge, but after Dan incapacitates him, Ultraman fires on Shaplay again, sending him over a cliff to his death. After reuniting with Taro, Taro provides them with enough energy to become their Ultra forms again to go to the Monster Graveyard and challenge Belial, eventually winning with the help of Ultraman Zero. Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legends The Movie

Ultraman Zero The Movie: Super Deciding Fight! The Belial Galactic Empire

Sometime after the destruction of Belial, the Land of Light was attacked again by robots. After Ultraman Zero and Ultraseven defeated them, a piece of them was taken to the Inter Galactic Defense Force, where Ultraman 80 found out it was coming from another universe. Ultraman like everyone else was shocked by that fact, but Ultraman Zero decided to take the challenge and go there. To his surprise, Ultraman Belial, now known as Kaiser Belial, was responsible for many events and he sent an army of Darklops to attack the Land of Light. Ultraman and every other legendary hero fought against the army, and in the end they succeeded in destroying it. Ultraman Zero The Movie: Super Deciding Fight! The Belial Galactic Empire

Ultraman Saga

When Seven noticed that his son had traveled to another universe, the Ultra Brothers appeared. The question is raised, if Zero's universe hopping was in any way related to the multiversal threat they had detected. A ship of unknown origin giving off a strong amount of minus energy was abducting monsters, dead or alive, even those in the Monster Graveyard. The Ultras declared they would watch for the threat but also noted they could only monitor a small amount of the countless other multiverses at any time. Before the climatic battle against Hyper Zetton, Alien Bat unleashed 5 other kaiju: Antlar, Pandon, Tyrant, Black King, and Verokron, each more powerful than before. The Ultra Brothers: Ultraman, Seven, Jack, Ace and Leo transformed into their Ultra forms in the Land of Light and flew to Dyna's Earth to help Ultraman Zero. The Brothers arrived and Ultraman fought against Antlar, who swiftly destroyed him with his signature move: the Spacium Beam. Ultraman Saga

Ultraman Ginga

Prior to Ultraman Ginga, Ultraman participated in the Dark Spark War but this time he fought not only alongside with the Ultra Brothers but, with the other Ultras that came from other universes and their allies against evil side. In the war Ultraman faced his arch nemesis, Zetton. In the midst of the great battle, an unknown evil appeared and turned every Ultras alongside their allies, monsters, and aliens into Spark Dolls. Just as the war about to end an unknown warrior appeared and faced the villain but like others he also turned into Spark Dolls and kept within his Ginga Spark. The location of his Spark Doll is in Dark Lugiel's possession.

Ultraman-D Debut.jpg

Ultraman was later Darklived into Ultraman Dark (ウルトラマンダークUrutoraman Dakku), a black and red version of himself. He was given to Seiichiro Isurugi along with Ultraseven. Switching between the two Ultras, Seiichiro easily defeated Ginga in their first encounter, but the second time round, Ginga defeated Ultraseven Dark with renewed determination, purifying him and Seven's Spark Dolls. The Ginga Spark StolenThe Jet Black Ultra Brothers Ultraman was lived into by Chigusa Kuno to combat the threat of Super Grand King. He joined Seven and Ultraman Tiga, but the three of them were ultimately defeated while stalling Super Grand King. Darkness and Light Not long after Lugiel's defeat, he was restored to his corporeal form alongside other Spark Dolls as they departed. Your Future

Months later, Ultraman returned when Chigusa and Kenta sought a way to stop Alien Magma, who had Darklived into Zetton. With Chigusa as his host once more he fought together with Tiga on the moon. Despite their best efforts, both monsters easily overpowered them. Moreover, both Ultraman and Tiga's Color Timers began to blink. Fortunately, Ginga appeared in the nick of time and defeated both Alien Magma and Zetton. Ginga then transported Ultraman and Tiga back to Earth before they reverted back to Chigusa and Kenta. Friends Left Behind

Ultraman Ginga S

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As mentioned by Taro, Ultraman was among the five senior members of Ultra Brothers that donated him their powers as a sign of support. Thanks to this, Taro changed himself into the Strium Brace for Hikaru Raido/Ultraman Ginga to assume Ginga Strium. Ultraman's power was seen used, among them were Spacium Beam against several Inpelaizers. It is presumed that his powers were returned back after Taro's job on Earth is done.

Sours: https://ultra.fandom.com/wiki/Ultraman_(character)


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