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Logo-ultraman
This article is about a/an series entry (the 2nd) in the Ultra Series.
Ultraman title
Ultraman
Number 2
Number of episodes: 39
First episode: Ultra Operation No. 1
Last episode: Farewell, Ultraman
Intro: Ultraman no Uta
Original airing: July 17, 1966 - April 9, 1967
Production Order
previous
Ultra Q
next
Ultraseven

Ultraman (ウルトラマン Urutoraman?) is the second entry of the Ultra Series. It is a follow-up to the television series Ultra Q, though not technically a sequel or spin-off.

The show was produced by the Tsuburaya Productions, and was broadcast on Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) from July 17, 1966 to April 9, 1967, with a total of 39 episodes (40, counting the pre-premiere special that aired on July 10, 1966).

Although Ultraman is the first series to feature an Ultra-Crusader, it is actually the second show in the Ultra Series. Ultra Q was the first. In fact, Ultraman opens with the Ultra Q logo exploding into the Ultraman logo. Ultraman ultimately became a major pop culture phenomenon in Japan. The show's success spawned dozens of sequels, spin-offs, imitators, parodies and remakes.

ProductionEdit

Ultraman's central characters were created by Eiji Tsuburaya from Tsuburaya Productions, a pioneer in special effects who was responsible for bringing Godzilla to life in 1954. The show's predecessor was a series called Ultra Q, a black-and-white 28-episode series very much like the original Outer Limits. The Ultraman project had the following working titles/plots:

  • WoO (WoO ?): This story featured a corporeal space creature with two large eyes, who befriended a reporter named Joji Akita, but the Self Defense Forces, who perceived the alien as a threat, went after them. This was basically the monster version of the British science fiction series Doctor Who (1963), and Woo's personality was also to be comical. The name "Woo" ended up being used for an otherwise unrelated, yeti-like monster, in episode 30 of Ultraman. Later, Tsuburaya Productions would ultimately produce a series dubbed Bio Planet WoO, in January 2006, but this series is very loosely based on the original concept.
  • Bemlar (ベムラー Bemurā?), then retitled Scientific Special Search Party: Bemlar (科学特捜隊ベムラー Kagaku Tokusō Tai – Bemurā?): The main characters are a defense force, with the same Japanese name as the Science Special Search Party (often dubbed as the "Science Patrol"), but disguised as an art/photography team. One of the members, little did anyone (even his teammates) know, gained the ability to transform into a giant birdlike humanoid monster called Bemlar (not the same Bemlar that Ultraman would fight in the first episode of the actual series), who defends Earth from monsters, aliens and other threats. Unlike Woo, Bemlar was a tough and righteous fighter, and he looked very similar in design to the title monster of the 1967 kaiju film Gappa, the Triphibian Monster. Allegedly, the plot was scrapped when it was worried audiences might have trouble telling that one monster was good and the other evil.
  • Redman (レッドマン Reddoman?): The title hero of this project slightly resembled Ultraman as he came to be known, but he looked more demonic and had horns. He came to Earth after his planet was destroyed by aliens from Planet X (Ultraseven also shared this working title).

Both Bemlar and Redman were designed by Toru Narita, who also came up with the final design for Ultraman based on his Redman design, now resembling a less-scary Buck Rogers-style alien being, mixed with a bit of the iconic "Roswell Alien." The characteristic "Color Timer," more familiar to American audiences as the "warning light" on Ultraman's chest, was added at the eleventh hour.

The first series begins when Science Special Search Party (科学特別捜査隊 Kagaku Tokubetsu Sōsa-tai?) member Shin Hayata is flying his plane and a red sphere of light crashes into his Mini-VTOL. The sphere turns out to be the transport (Travel Sphere) for a red-and-silver giant being who calls himself Ultraman. Feeling remorse for having killed the human, he merges his essence with Hayata to revive him. In return, Hayata serves as the human form for this being, and whenever danger threatens, and the resources of the Science Special Search Party are not enough to counter it, he raises and activates a power-object and artifact called a "beta capsule" and transforms to Ultraman to save the day.

PlotEdit

The storyline begins in the near future, as referenced from the mid-1960s. In episode 23, "My Home Is Earth," it is definitively established that the series takes place in the early 1990s with a plaque, shown at the end of the episode, and dated 1993. However, this was later retconned by the introduction of The Return of Ultraman, which takes place in 1971. Sinister aliens and giant monsters constantly threaten civilization during this period. The only Earth organization equipped to handle these disasters and menaces is the Science Special Search Party, or SSSP, a special worldwide police force equipped with high-tech weapons and vehicles as well as extensive scientific and engineering facilities; this organization is called the Science Patrol, or the United Nations Scientific Investigation Agency, in the English-dubbed version syndicated in the United States.

The branch of the Science Special Search Party that is focused on in the series is located in Tokyo, Japan. Led by Captain "Cap" Toshio Muramatsu (shortened to "Captain Mura" in the dubbed English-language version), the Science Special Search Party is always ready to protect the Earth from rampaging monsters. But sometimes it finds itself outclassed.

One day, Shin Hayata, the Patrol's most capable member, was patrolling near a lake when he witnessed a space monster named Bemular flee, being chased by an orb of red energy. Hayata also gave chase to Bemular, but the orb of red energy collided with Hayata's ship, causing both to crash land and killing Hayata in the process. Ultraman, who was generating the red orb, felt guilty for killing the capable scientist/soldier, and to make up for the terrible thing he had done, chose to revive Hayata in exchange for him becoming his host, who would contain him while he was on Earth. From that day forward, Ultraman staunchly defended Earth against aliens and monsters, with Hayata and the SSSP assisting him.

After Ultraman appeared, he would fight the threat till it was defeated, and he would then fly away to revert to his host. (This was shown, twice, by Ultraman firing a ring of energy from his hands that would fly to a safe location, and then energy from it would materialize Hayata even as Ultraman himself faded away at the same time.) Ultraman's victory was never assured, however, as Ultraman's powers and, indeed, his very life force, came from rapidly depleted solar energy, which was heavily reduced by Earth's filtering atmosphere.

When Ultraman first appears, his "color timer," or "warning light," is always 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 does 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.

In the series finale, a race of Aliens named the Zettonians, and their vanguard Kaiju, Zetton, attack. Ultraman appears to fight Zetton, but is mortally wounded after Zetton, employing a weapon Ultraman had not expected (one directly targeting his color timer/warning light), damages his color timer/warning light, causing him to lose almost all his energy instantly.

When Zoffy, Ultraman's superior, comes to retrieve the fallen hero, Ultraman pleads for Hayata's life and offers his life completely, so that Hayata may live as a normal man. Zoffy then says he has brought two life-forces and that he will give one to Hayata. He then separates them, giving Hayata new life, but Hayata seems to have no memory between the time he first collides with Ultraman's ship (in the first episode), and 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.

Fuji comes to his aid, as Hayata watches Zoffy take Ultraman home. This is a rather different finish to the series than stated in the English dub, which states both that Ultraman will return and that Hayata retains not only his beta capsule but also, apparently, his full memories of all his experiences as he awaits Ultraman's return. The latter ending appears to have been adopted by Tsuburaya as the definitive ending, as Hayata reappears several times throughout the series as Ultraman's host in times of need.

CharactersEdit

UltrasEdit

Ultraman Shin Hayata
Zoffy Zoffy

SSSPEdit

MonstersEdit

ArsenalEdit

EpisodesEdit

Main article: Ultraman Episodes
  1. Ultra Operation No. 1 (ウルトラ作戦第一号 Urutora Sakusen Dai Ichigō?)
  2. Shoot the Invaders (侵略者を撃て Shinryakusha o Ute?)
  3. Science Special Search Party, Move Out (科特隊出撃せよ Katokutai Shutugeki seyo?)
  4. 5 Seconds Before the Big Explosion (大爆発五秒前 Dai Bakuhatsu Gobyō Mae?)
  5. Secret of the Miloganda (ミロガンダの秘密 Miroganda no Himitsu?)
  6. The Coast Guard Command (沿岸警備命令 Engan Keibi Meirei?)
  7. The Blue Stone of Baraj (バラージの青い石 Barāji no Aoi Ishi?)
  8. The Lawless Monster Zone (怪獣無法地帯 Kaijū Muhō Chitai?)
  9. Operation: Lightning Speed (電光石火作戦 Denkōsekka Sakusen?)
  10. The Mysterious Dinosaur Base (謎の恐竜基地 Nazo no Kyōryū Kichi?)
  11. The Ruffian from Outer Space (宇宙から来た暴れん坊 Uchū kara Kita Abarenbō?)
  12. Cry of the Mummy (ミイラの叫び Miira no Sakebi?)
  13. Oil S.O.S. (オイルSOS Oiru Esu Ō Esu?)
  14. The Pearl Oyster Defense Directive (真珠貝防衛指令 Shinjugai Bōei Shirei?)
  15. The Terrifying Cosmic Rays (恐怖の宇宙線 Kyōfu no Uchūsen?)
  16. Science Special Search Party Into Space (科特隊宇宙へ Katokutai Uchū e?)
  17. Passport to Infinity (無限へのパスポート Mugen e no Pasupōto?)
  18. The Brother from Another Planet (遊星から来た兄弟 Yūsei kara Kita Kyōdai?)
  19. The Demons Rise Again (悪魔はふたたび Akuma wa Futatabi?)
  20. Terror on Route 87 (恐怖のルート87 Kyōfu no Rūto Hachijūnana?)
  21. Break Through the Smoke (噴煙突破せよ Fun'en Toppa seyo?)
  22. The Underground Destruction Work (地上破壊工作 Chijō Hakai Kōsaku?)
  23. My Home is Earth (故郷は地球 Kokyō wa Chikyū?)
  24. The Undersea Science Center (海底科学基地 Kaitei Kagaku Kichi?)
  25. Strange Comet Cyphon (怪彗星ツイフォン Kai Susei Tsuifon?)
  26. The Prince of Monsters: Part 1 (怪獣殿下 前篇 Kaijū Denka Zenpen?)
  27. The Prince of Monsters: Part 2 (怪獣殿下 後篇 Kaijū Denka Kōhen?)
  28. Human Specimens 5 & 6 (人間標本5・6 Ningen Hyōhon Go Roku?)
  29. The Challenge to the Underground (地底への挑戦 Chitei e no Chōsen?)
  30. Phantom of the Snow Mountain (まぼろしの雪山 Maboroshi no Yukiyama?)
  31. Who Has Come? (来たのは誰だ Kita no wa Dare da?)
  32. The Endless Counterattack (果てしなき逆襲 Hateshinaki Gyakushū?)
  33. The Forbidden Word (禁じられた言葉 Kinjirareta Kotoba?)
  34. A Gift from the Sky (空の贈り物 Sora no Okurimono?)
  35. The Monster Graveyard (怪獣墓場 Kaijū Hakaba?)
  36. Arashi, Don't Shoot! (射つな! アラシ Utsuna! Arashi?)
  37. The Littlest Hero (小さな英雄 Chiisana Eiyū?)
  38. The Spaceship Rescue Command (宇宙船救助命令 Uchūsen Kyūjo Meirei?)
  39. Farewell, Ultraman (さらばウルトラマン Saraba Urutoraman?)
  40. Revive! Ultraman (甦れ!ウルトラマン Yomigaere! Urutoraman?)

Movies

  1. Ultraman (長篇怪獣映画ウルトラマン Chōhen Kaijū Eiga Urutoraman?)
  2. Akio Jissouji's Ultraman (実相寺昭雄監督作品ウルトラマン Jissouji Akio Kantoku Sakuhin Urutoraman?)
  3. Ultraman: Great Monster Decisive Battle (ウルトラマン怪獣大決戦 Urutoraman Kaijū Daikessen?)

CastEdit

SongsEdit

Opening theme

External linksEdit

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