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Ultraman (ウルトラマン,?) is a heroic resident of the UrutoramanLand of Light (an Ultra) created by Tsuburaya Productions who first appeared in the 1966 Tokusatsu television series Ultraman. Ultraman is by far the most popular creation of Tsuburaya Productions to date, and his debut went on to create countless sequel series, each introducing a new Ultra of their own.
Ultraman sets a standard for almost all the Ultras who appear in the Ultra Franchise after him. Ultraman is a tall and muscular humanoid with metallic silver skin coloured with red markings. Ultraman's head has a curved crest which connects to his spine. At the centre of his chest is a circular lamp, the Colour Timer. This is the most symbolic feature of Ultraman's biology, as it acts as an indicator to how much strength he has. It starts off glowing in a rich cyan colour, but as his health depletes without access to cosmic energy (which is unfortunately filtered away by Earth's atmosphere), it turns a solid red, then begins to blink, sounding an alarm as it does so. When Ultraman's energy runs out (either due to passing more than 3 minutes on Earth's surface or by being beaten to a standstill, the alarm increases in pitch and speed, before stopping completely, followed by the Colour Timer going out. As this happens, Ultraman's white eyes begin to flash, and then go dark.
In his debut, Ultraman is revealed to be a galactic crusader who travels from planet to planet, seeking universal justice and peace. In Episode 1, Ultra Operation No.1, Ultraman is pursuing Bemular, an escapee from the Monster Graveyard, home to the resting spirits of defeated kaiju and Aliens. As Ultraman's travel sphere rocketed through the atmosphere of Earth in pursuit of Bemular's own travel sphere, it collided with a ship belonging to the SSSP, killing Shin Hayata in the collision. Feeling remorse for causing the human to lose their life, Ultraman merges his life force with Hayata, fully reviving him. Ultraman then decides to defend Earth from all manner of threats alongside the SSSP, appearing whenever Hayata activates the Beta Capsule. This continues until the Zettonians arrive with their vanguard kaiju, Zetton. Severely outmatched, Ultraman is left on death's door until Zoffy, his superior, came to rescue him. Realising that he needed to return to his home planet, Zoffy stated that they needed to leave Earth, but Ultraman insisted to Zoffy that Hayata be spared, as the two still shared their life force, and leaving Earth would result in Hayata dying. Ultraman even suggests that he would remain on Earth and die from the lack of energy, if it meant that the human would not die alongside him. After a pause for thought, Zoffy agrees to save Hayata, and fully restores his life, but removes his memory - a fact that would later be retconned in subsequent entries in the franchise. Zoffy then departs for the Land of Light, carrying an unconscious Ultraman with him.
Unusually, Ultraman reappeared in this series for the purpose of inducing retroactive continuity on the earlier episodes of the series. Initially, the Ultra Brother for the series, Jack, was said to be the original Ultraman, but due to various factors, Tsuburaya Productions decided to make him a separate Ultra from Ultraman.
When Jack was defeated by Black King and captured by Alien Nackle, Seven and Ultraman appeared to rescue him, destroying the ships that were taking him away for execution. The two Ultras then recharged Jack's energy.
Ultraman reappeared to warn Jack of the danger Zetton II posed to the fourth Ultra Brother, and insisted that Jack stays determined and on his guard.
In this series, Ultraman returns with the other Ultra Brothers to assist Ace in numerous episodes. Ultraman is among the Ultras present when Ace revives two fallen humans, Seiji Hokuto and Yuko Minami on the Land of Light after the two humans were killed by Velokron. As Ace and the Ultra Brothers were impressed by the duo's attempts to rescue people in the chaos before they died, Ace elected to choose Seiji and Yuko as his hosts, being the first Ultra to ever have more than one host at the same time.
Ultraman and the other Ultra Brothers journeyed to Planet Golgotha upon receiving a distress signal, but when they arrived the Ultras found that the area was ominously silent and icy. It was then discovered that there was a series of crosses set into the landscape.
Ace deduced that this was part of a trick by Yapool, and this was true. Yapool had sent the rogue distress signal from the planet to lure the Ultra Brothers away from Earth so that Yapool could deploy his latest Choju, Barabas, uninterrupted. Ace knew something was wrong, but Ultraman insisted that Ace should fight Barabas, and that the Ultra Brothers were in no danger. Ace quickly flew to Earth while Ultraman and the others continued to investigate the crosses. Suddenly, the Ultra Brothers got chained to the crosses! It was then revealed that Yapool had planned this all along, and unleashed his finest robot creation, Ace Killer. Ace Killer was specifically constructed by Yapool to use the abilities of the Ultra Brothers against Ace, and so the robot was commanded to do exactly that, sapping the energy from Ultraman, Zoffy, Seven and Jack. To demonstrate Ace Killer's power, Yapool commanded the evil robot to destroy a mechanical replica of Ace, shocking Ultraman and the others.
Meanwhile on Earth, Ace was starting to gain the upper hand over Barabas, but lost the motivation to continue the fight when Yapool taunted Ace over the fates of his brothers. Losing energy, Ace left Earth to go and rescue his brothers, arriving on Planet Golgotha shortly afterwards. Unfortunately, Ace Killer's superior abilities meant that Ace was close to death, until Ultraman and the Ultra Brothers gave Ace enough energy to unleash Ace's Space Q Beam, destroying Ace Killer. Ace then freed his comrades. Ace then returned to Earth to fight Barabas once more.
A while after Ace defeated Giant Yapool in battle, Alien Hipporito arrived on Earth with the intention of wiping out humanity and doing what Yapool had failed to achieve. Ace arrived to fight Hipporito, and seemed to have the upper hand, but Hipporito trapped Ace in one of his Hipporito Capsules, which began secreting a green fluid. Just before Ace was overwhelmed, he sent off an Ultra Sign as a distress signal, alerting Ultraman and the other Ultra Brothers, all while Hipporito stood cackling maniacally.
Ultraman, Zoffy, Seven and Jack arrived to find that Ace was now a petrified statue made entirely out of Jade. Hipporito appeared, and insisted that it was he who killed Ace. Hipporito then ambushed the four Ultras, trapping Zoffy and Jack in two Hipporito Capsules, while Ultraman and Seven managed to dodge the other two capsules. Both Ultraman and Seven tried to fight off Hipporito, but they got overpowered and captured in the capsules as well. With the entirety of the Ultra Brothers now turned into dead Jade statues, the future of Earth seemed bleak.
In a flash of light, a new Ultra appeared! This Ultra was Father of Ultra, Ace's adoptive father and one of the Space Garrison's leaders. Father of Ultra managed to hold Hipporito off, and turned Ace back to normal by using his Ultra Shower. He was about to do the same to the other Ultra Brothers, when Hipporito fought back, overpowering Father of Ultra. Realising what had to be done, Father of Ultra sacrificed himself by ripping out his Colour Timer, fully reviving Ace.
With Ace's power restored, Ace decisively defeated Hipporito, then used Father of Ultra's timer to revive the Ultra Brothers. Together, they carried Father of Ultra's body off to the Land of Light, where he too was eventually brought back to life.
After being injured by Mururoa, Ultraman Taro was unable to stop the kaiju from covering the world in darkness, and he was forced to journey to the Land of Light. When he arrived, the Ultra Brothers were there waiting for him. The Ultra Bell had the power to clear Mururoa's shadowy abilities, but the tower where it resided had been set on fire. Ultraman, Taro and the other Ultra Brothers then devised a strategy - by fusing together, the Ultra Brothers could brave the flames to climb the tower and retrieve the Ultra Bell. After the Ultra Brothers fused to become Super Ultraman Taro, the Fusion Ultra scaled the burning building and obtained the bell. After defusing, Ultraman and his comrades carried the Ultra Bell through space until they reached Earth.
After the second and master Alien Temperor attacked Earth, Ultraman and the Ultra Brothers arrived to assist Taro. In a climactic battle against the powerful extraterrestrial threat, the six Ultras destroyed Temperor in a massive explosion.
Ultraman attempted to halt Tyrant's rampage through the Solar System on the planet Uranus, but was defeated. Critically injured, Ultraman attempted to send out an Ultra Sign to warn the other Ultra Brothers of Tyrant's arrival, but Tyrant erased the signal with a beam of his own, leaving Ultraman defeated and forcing the hero to retreat.
The evil Alien Babarue had stolen the Ultra Key from the Land of Light in an attempt to destroy Earth by making the Land of Light collide with it. To add danger to the situation, the Ultra Key did more than just keep the Land of Light in a stable orbit; the Key is a powerful weapon capable of destroying entire planets in a single blast. In a desperate attempt to save both planets, Father of Ultra directed the Ultra Brothers to head to Earth to intercept the alien, who had disguised himself as Leo's brother, Astra. Ultraman fought the fake Ultra and threw them down, but Gen, Leo's human form, transformed and came to the fight in defence of 'Astra'. Leo came to the alien's aid, thinking that his brother was being mercilessly attacked by the other Ultras, even though he was worried as to why 'Astra' was fighting his friends. Leo viciously fought back, holding off the entire Space Garrison despite their pleas for Leo to see sense. At the same time, 'Astra' fought off the Ultra Brothers by hitting them with the Ultra Key, but wouldn't answer Leo when he was asked why he had resorted to violence. Even though the Land of Light became visible in the daylight sky, Leo continued to fight back against his comrades. Eventually, the King of the Ultras, Ultraman King, suddenly appeared, and revealed 'Astra' to be Babarue. With the Ultra Key broken in half, the Ultra Brothers attempted to fight Babarue, but the alien flew away, and began to gloat among the deserted streets of a city as the ground began to break apart. Leo left Earth to rescue Astra, then returned to decisively defeat Babarue. With the Ultra Key repaired, and Babarue defeated, both the Land of Light and Earth were at peace once again.
In this movie which adapts the Showa era Ultraman series, Ultraman's role and appearances in the Showa era are slightly modified to accommodate for the film's storyline. Ultraman battled and defeated Antlar after he awakened in Baradhi. Later on, Ultraman, Zoffy, Seven and Jack arrived on Earth after Ace was turned to stone by Alien Hipporito, only to be turned to stone themselves. Father of Ultra, Taro's father and Ace's adoptive father, arrived on Earth and battled Alien Hipporito. Father of Ultra was beaten, but revived Ace with his color timer. Ace defeated the monster and revived his brothers. They then carried Father of Ultra's body back to space. Later, Juda, an evil alien, awakened and summons Grand King. Ultraman and his brothers tried their hardest to stop him, but were beaten. Father of Ultra awakened and told them that Ultraman Taro was the only one who could stop Grand King. They all channeled their energy into Taro's horns and the fused with Taro, who became Super Ultraman Taro. Taro defeated Grand king and Juda vanished, after which Ultraman and his brothers reappeared. Ultraman and his brothers returned home. At home, Taro's parents allowed Taro to join the Ultra Brothers. Ultraman and his brothers also agreed to allow Taro to join them, and they all flew into space together.
During the year 1965, Ultraman pursued Yanakagi to Earth and sealed them away, before leaving victorious. A time travelling alien named Charija freed Yanakagi with the intent of taking them to the present day and defeating Tiga with the Kaiju's help. During the midst of Tiga's battle against Yanakagi, Ultraman arrived from space to help him fight the alien monster. Yanakagi was no match for the combined might of both Ultras. Once the space dinosaur was defeated (and Charija having fled), the two Ultras shook hands before parting ways.
Ultraman appeared with Ultraseven, Ultraman Jack, and Ultraman Ace, fighting Yapool's U-Killersaurus. They chased the monster to Earth, where they sealed it away using the last of their powers. They continued to live human lives in a nearby town for 20 years, until Alien Temperor attacked. Ultraman Mebius appeared and killed him. After the battle, Ultraman, as Shin Hayata, visited Mirai Hibino, Mebius's human form. He explains what happened 20 years ago, and how he feels the seal is about to break. After Mebius battles Alien Zarab, Alien Guts, and Alien Nackle, he is captured by the later two. Ace convinces the other three ultras that they must transform to save Mebius, despire fears of breaking the seal. The four do, and beat the two aliens. They release Mebius, only to get captured themselves. Mebius runs out of energy, and the two aliens break the seal using energy from the captured Ultras. Mebius regains his power, and saves the four, and they take out Alien Guts. Alien Nackle rejoices as Yapool and the U-Killersaurus rise, but is killed by the giant creature. The five ultras battle the U-Killersaurus, but they fail, even when Zoffy and Taro arrive. The six ultra brothers decide to give their power to Mebius, allowing him to vanquish Yapool once again. After this, Ultraman reverts to his human form and continues his life on Earth.
Ultraman appeared near the end of the series to help Ultraman Mebius fight Alien Mefilas. After Mebius and Mefilas had been fighting for some time, with Mebius clearly losing, Shin Hayata suddenly appeared and transformed into Ultraman. Together, the Ultras fought back, bringing the fight to a stalemate. Mefilas declared himself the loser, but vowed that he would return again to fight Ultraman. Mefilas left Earth, and Ultraman congratulated Mebius. Unfortunately, this rematch between Ultraman and Mefilas was never to take place, as Empera killed Mefilas in cold blood for his betrayal. Ultraman would appear again in the final episode, helping the rest of the Ultra Brothers break the seal that blocked the sun.
At first, Ultraman's presence in this show is kept secretive. The show's protagonist, Rei, keeps having visions where he sees a mysterious giant figure on the side of a mountain. This figure is Ultraman. At a point before the events of the show, he journeyed to Planet Boris, but was defeated by an unknown force and got petrified into the statue. Ultraman would reappear again as the NSP Campanella began to catastrophically fall towards the planet, assisting Rei and the crew of the Pendragon in their escape, but King Joe Black suddenly appeared, intent on bringing the humans down with the planet! Ultraman dragged the alien warship away, and the Pendragon made its escape, just before Planet Boris was destroyed in a huge explosion. Fortunately, Ultraman had survived the planet's destruction unharmed.
Ultraman took residence in the Land of Light, training new ultras. Once Ultraman Belial broke out of his prison, Ultraman, Ultraseven and Zoffy all went to stop him. They gave Belial trouble, but he threw Ultraman and Seven down the side of a building to the ground. Belial nearly killed Zoffy, and even defeated Father of Ultra and the other brothers before stealing the Plasma Spark. After the spark was stolen, the planet began to freeze over, and only Seven and Ultraman managed to block the freezing wind, although they were forced into human form. Ultraman Mebius returned to the planet shorty afterward, and Ultraman telepathically told him to find the human Reiblood, Rei. After doing this, they returned to the Land of Light, only to be ambushed by Alien Shapley and his monsters. Shapley damaged Mebius's Mebius Brace, preventing him from transforming, and shot the BattleNizer out of Rei's hands. After nearly falling down a cavern trying to retrieve it, Rei is saved by Ultraman, and Ultraseven uses his capsule monsters Windom, Miclas and Agira to defeat the monsters. After journeying to the Plasma Spark chamber, they are once again attacked by Shapley. The Ultras defeat him and throw him down a gorge. The ultras then take the last of the light, guarded by a frozen Taro, and transform to defeat Belial. After flying to the monster graveyard, they begin to take on hundreds of monsters. Ultraman battles monsters from his series and some others, such as Zetton and Alien Baltan. After coaxing Rei into turning into Reimon Burst, Belial begins to gain the upper hand. Ultraman fights Reimon's Gomora, but it is too powerful, Nearly defeating the Ultras. Suddenly, the ZAP Spacy ship appears with Ultraman Dyna, and the captain subdues Rei while Dyna beats back the other monsters and Gomora. Seven is eventually baddly beat, and with his dying act throws his Eye Slugger through a portal. Ultraman then attempts to fight Belial, but is also beaten. Suddenly, another Ultraman appears from the portal. Ultraman Zero, the son of Ultraseven. Zero defeats Belial, and throws him into a stream of lava. Suddenly, Belial reappears, combined with the other monsters, forming Beryudora. Ultraman attempted to fight it, but he was weak and Beryudora was too strong. It only took the combined power of all the ultra's beams to stop him, combined with the force of the resisting monsters, and Beryudora exploded. Ultraseven was then revived by the plasma spark and they returned it to the Land of Light, unfreezing it and everyone on it.
Ultraman participated in a great battle some time in the past. He fought Zetton and the other kaiju with the Ultra Brothers and some ultras from other universes. Suddenly, a dark giant named Lugiel appeared on the battlefield. He started to turn all the ultras and kaiju into Spark Dolls. Ultraman helped shield Taro from the blast, and was turned into a Spark Doll. As a result of his heroics with the rest of the brothers helped Taro keep his consciousness, and help Hikaru Raido through the dark spark war.
Ultraman appeared again as Ultraman Dark, DarkLived by Mizusu's father. He first appeared and attacked Ultraman Ginga after he defeated Zaragas, and then morphed into Seven Dark to continue the battle. After Ginga fled, Ultraman was returned to his Spark Doll form and hidden. He reappeared again to challenge Ginga and Jean-Nine, foghting both to a standstill, until Hikaru reminded him of his daughter and how she felt. Saddened by this, Seiichiro de-DarkLives and gives Ultraman and Ultraseven's Spark Dolls to Hikaru.
The next day, Mizusu herself is DarkLived into the monster Super Grand King, and slowly begins advancing on the school. Driven by her anger for her father, she proves too powerful for Ultraman Ginga and Jean-Nine. Hikaru's friends all decide to help by UltraLiving into Ultraman, Ultraseven and Ultraman Tiga. Chigusa, as Ultraman, fights Grand King and manages to push him back, but all three are eventually beaten. Ultraman times out and returns to Spark Doll form.
After Dark Lugiel's defeat, he returned to the Land of Light in his natural form.
Ultraman is set to appear in the 2016 Ultraman X film, alongside Ultraman X, Ultraman Tiga, Ultraman Ginga, Ultraman Victory, Ultraman Nexus, Ultraman Max, and Ultraman Zero. His powers will be incorporated into the Beta Spark armor for Ultraman Exceed X, along with Tiga's power.
Ultraman is famous for his vast amounts of abilities, the most famous of which is his Specium Ray, a beam composed of an energetic cosmic element called Specium. Ultraman can also fire blades of energy called the Ultra Slash, and fire jets of water from his hands, called the Ultra Shower.
While Ultraman's height is set at 40 metres as a standard, like the other Ultras he is able to control or alter his height to match opponents.
- Ultraman, along with several other Ultras and kaiju from the Ultra series, made an appearance in the Banpresto video game Battle Soccer: Champion of the Field in 1992. The game was a crossover with multiple other franchises, including Gundam, Kamen Rider, and the Godzilla franchise.
- Ultraman and Godzilla next appeared together in the Granzella/Bandai Namco game City Shrouded in Shadow.
- Numerous references to Ultraman and the Kaiju he fought appear in Toho's films.
- The novel Ready Player One includes a battle between Ultraman and Mechagodzilla, in an unofficial appearance. However, as the film adaptation had to officially license every character and the rights to Ultraman were tied at the time, the robots RX-78-2 Gundam and the Iron Giant (from the movie of the same name) take his place in the fight against Mechagodzilla.
- The fourth Ultra Brother, Ultraman Jack, was originally the same as Ultraman, being nicknamed New Ultraman. However, Ultraman himself appeared mid-season in The Return of Ultraman, making Jack a different Ultra altogether. Much later, a discussion by Tsuburaya Productions in 1984 (long after The Return of Ultraman's original run) officially changed his name to 'Ultraman Jack', with the two being considered different characters. However, Jack was still nicknamed as 'New Man' for a while after being given an official name. Jack looks almost exactly like Ultraman, except for the fact that he has a slightly longer crest and striped markings on his torso.
- Owing to Ultraman's importance as the first Ultra of the franchise, Several other Ultras, including those from foreign markets such as the United States and Australia, bear a direct resemblance to Ultraman, including Zoffy, Jack, Great, Powered and Neos.
- The three original Ultraman suits were made from several pieces of latex glued together over a thin foam pad, and later over a fiberglass "skull".
- ↑ Tsuburaya All Monster Encyclopedia. Ultraman; Page 2