Film / Ultraman: The Next

"I had the best flight ever."

Ultraman: The Next, simply released as ULTRAMAN in Japan, is a 2004 tokusatsu film, part of the Ultra Series.

An isolated scientific facility is thrown into chaos when a horrific creature tears through its corridors, killing its military personnel. Sara Mizuhara, a leading scientist at the facility, attempts to kill the beast with specially made bullets filled with a special poison. She falters, and the creature escapes...

Shunichi Maki is a First Lieutenant in the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force and pilots F-15 Eagle jets. It's been his dream to do so since he witnessed the "silver meteors" passing overhead as a child, but now he has a new dream. He wishes to be with his family: his wife Yoko and his sickly son Tsugumu. Right before he fully resigns, though, a strange light appears in the sky and he is scrambled with the other pilots to investigate. Unfortunately, his partner has to pull away when the strange light nearly crashes his plane, and Maki then has a head on collision with the light, but little does he know that he is now going to be major part in a battle for the fate of the Earth.

Aliens, possession, giant monsters and lessons about responsibility and fatherly commitments make up this big budget movie that takes a new spin on the beloved character alongside Ultraman Nexus.

Ultraman: The Next provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: Sara is pretty tough for a scientist and takes on The One twice.
  • Alternate Continuity: In the first place the movie makes no mention of the Ultra Garrison and everyone treats Ultraman and "The One" as the crazy things that they are. In Ultraman Zero: The Revenge of Belial it's revealed that the Ultraman Nexus universe, and by extension this film, takes place within a wholly different universe than the rest of the Ultra shows!
  • Backstory: For Ultraman Nexus
  • Badass: Both Ultraman and The One, naturally.
  • Big Bad: The One.
  • Darker and Edgier: Keeping in tone with Nexus, this film is a pretty realistic take on the series, meaning it's a bit darker than your standard Ultraman fare.
  • Dark Is Evil: The One is a thoroughly dark looking creature, having mostly black colors.
  • Demonic Possession: Basically what The One did to his host, Udo.
  • The Determinator: Maki for sure. To the point where he survives going past the limits of his body while battling The One at the end.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The One is constantly evolving until it becomes some strange... horrific... doomy thing.
  • Evil Counterpart: What with the possession and all of that, The One functions as a twisted version of this particular Ultraman, especially when you realize this one changes and evolves as it changes hosts.
  • Finishing Move: The iconic Specium Beam of course!
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: The military shows up in the nick of time to save Ultraman during the final battle.
  • Hour of Power: As with all Ultra shows, Ultraman can only stay on Earth for a few minutes. In this case, it's because Maki's body can't take it.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Maki slowly learns how to use his new-found powers, starting off with just beating the hell out of things.
  • I Am A Humanitarian: The One.
  • Ill Boy: Tsuguma has a bad bill of health, which is what spurs Maki to resign from the military.
  • Make My Monster Grow: Twice, for both Ultraman and The One. And the second time is a real growth spurt.
  • Narm: Maki's freakout moment when he received visions of The One makes it look like his actor took his acting lessons from Shatner.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Justified with The One, who absorbs things to gain new abilities and more mass.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: The One is this through and through.
  • Title Drop: When explaining that the first monster to appear is "The One", Maki asks what Sara and the others will call him. She suggests "the Next". At the end of the film, people start referring to the mysterious red and silver giant as "Ultraman".
  • With Great Power: A major theme of the movie.
  • What Could Have Been: A sequel, Ultraman 2: Requiem was teased but due to the performance of Nexus the film was canceled, and Tsuburaya moved ahead with a theatrical version of the then-current television series, Ultraman Mebius.

Alternative Title(s): Ultraman The Next