After a long while of hiatus, the tokusatsuseries Ultraman came back in 1971's Return of Ultraman. Created by Tsuburaya Productions, this time the series was spearheaded by Eiji Tsuburaya's son Hajime Tsuburaya, and brought the series back to traditional monster-fighting after the more experimental Ultra Seven and into mainstream popularity once again. The show played a big part during Toku's transition from movies to television, and a big player during the "Henshin Boom" era launched by Kamen Rider's popularity.Plotwise it goes like this: After 3 years without an Ultra warrior to defend Earth, the Monster Attack Team is commissioned to battle various giant creatures, and has achieved limited success, but with an ever growing array of opponents, the human race is getting overwhelmed in a new "Second Age of Monsters".Suddenly, an Ultra warrior appears that looks similar to the original Ultraman, which leads people to believe that the original has returned to help Earth. In reality, this Ultra warrior's containment suit has some subtle differences, and is a whole new Ultra, whose name is Jack, which is unbeknownst to everyone. The Japanese public and M.A.T. simply call him "Ultraman" or "New Man".Jack battles one of the creatures rampaging and during his battle, race car driver Goh Hideki heroically rescues some innocents from the destruction, but is killed doing so. After Jack defeats the monster, Jack feels remorse about Goh's death and merges with him, leading to a recovery and a subconscious command to join M.A.T. in order to help out the brave humans who came to aid him during his first fight on Earth.With a new purpose in his life, Goh balances his life in three ways — to be a heroic member of M.A.T., a race car driver who loves his girlfriend very much, and a human guide for Jack to ease his mission on Earth against the hordes of evil monsters and alien invaders.
Return of Ultraman provides examples of the following tropes
All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Twice. In Episode 38, after Alien Knackle jams all communications to the MAT base, he uses the phrase just before blowing up the MAT Space Station. In the last episode, Alien Bat destroys the MAT base.
Sort of a complicated example of this. Ultra Seven is still debated among fans to be in its own separate continuity, however this series creates a new timeline that establishes Ultra Seven took place in 1967 instead of the 1980s like it was originally stated. It was originally supposed to be the original returned to Earth.
This can apply to the original Ultraman series as well, which was said to have been set in 1993 in an episode.
Goh's conversation with Ultraman Jack at the end of the first episode, set to a sunrise on a mountain top.
Jack's defeat against Gudon and Twin Tail (beginning of episode 6).
Alien Knackle and Black King's double-teaming Jack, ending at sunset with a couple of vessels taking a crucified Jack away (episode 37).
Curb-Stomp Battle: Jack vs. Alien Knackle + Black King (he turns this around on them later). Before that, Jack vs. Gudon and Twin Tail.
Creepy Child: The alien boy from episode 31, the same one who turns the Ultra Bracelet on Ultraman Jack. He was so devious, even Captain Hibiki wouldn't believe Goh when he first became suspicious of the kid. All the same, Hibiki saved the day.
Darker and Edgier: Although not actually tonally darker than Ultraseven, the characters reacted to events around them far more realistically than previous Ultra series.
Deus ex Machina: The Ultra Bracelet was this in episode 40, after Jack lost to Snowgon. Ultra Seven was this in Episode 18, when he delivered it.
Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Jack in episode 23 as he destroys the planet eating cloud Vacuumon by going inside of him and using the Ultra Bracelet to chop him up (causing him to explode of course).
Do Not Adjust Your Set: Alien Knackle jammed communications at the M.A.T. base and showed his true face to M.A.T. this way in episode 38.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: In episode 37, Goh jumped off the roof of a hospital, only to transform as he fell. Otherwise, it looked like he was trying to kill himself.
Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: In-universe and meta-example. Episodes 37 & 38 take place around Christmas (Jiro wishes "Merry Christmas" to Goh at one point), and aired Dec. 17 and 24 in 1971 (Christmas Eve in America) note Although Christmas is a big deal in Japan for shoppers, New Year's Day is the preferred holiday. Now it wouldn't be hard to picture just how miserable Goh and Jiro were...
Turns out Christmas in Japan holds special meaning for couples, especially sweethearts. Poor Goh.
Humans Are Bastards: Episode 33 featuring benevolent alien call Meits, who came to Earth for observation. He took care of an orphan boy, who often got bullied by villagers. When the boy was accused of being an alien, he showed up to protect him and got beaten to death. You can't blame Goh for just standing there and watch as the alien Muruchi, previously trapped in a pocket dimension of Meits's psychic, caused havoc on the town.
Kingsaurus III from episode 4 is referred to as "The Third" as he is the third "king" monster of the franchise (after Red King from the original series and Eleking from Seven). Very few fans are aware of this, though.
Detton from episode 3 is also referred to as the brother of Telesdon from the original series considering the same suit is used with a different head.
The appearances of Aliens Zetton and Baltan.
The plot of a certain two-part episode is similar to Episodes 39 and 40 of the previous show.
Names to Run Away From Really Fast: An object for a change. Satan-Z, or "Hell on Earth", an explosive compound 6000 times more powerful than nitroglycerin. Created by humans for peaceful purposes (like blowing up mountains along western Japan to produce a cooler climate across the archipelago), coveted by Knackle aliens for their planned invasion of Earth.
A very dark example was the death of Aki Sakata, as she was on her way back from having Goh's watch fixed at the jeweler's when Alien Knackle and his mooks grabbed her, threw her in a car, terrorized her, and dragged her as she tried to jump off the moving vehicle. Not to mention, Ken was run over as he tried to stop them.
No Sell: Against Bemstar (before he got the Ultra Bracelet) and Black King (with the Ultra Bracelet!). Speaking of which, in Episode 31 the Ultra Bracelet acted up and attacked Ultraman Jack.
Our Vampires Are Different: The alien monster Draculas in episode 36, it possesses the corpse of a woman (dubbed "Vampire Woman") and Jack even kills him by impaling him in the heart with a lance from the Ultra Bracelet.
The crew of the M.A.T. Space station in episode 18.
Goh was this to his teammates in the last episode, but Jiro and Rumiko got to say goodbye to him afterwards.
ReTool: The series took a turn toward sci-fi and alien threats beginning with "Ultra Seven arrives".
Retronym: The protagonist was originally meant to be the original Ultraman. When it was retconned that he was a different Ultrabeing, he was referred by a series of nicknames such as the "New Ultraman" or "Ultraman II" before the name Ultraman Jack was officially decided years after the fact.
The So-Called Coward: In "When the Ultra Star Shines", Captain Hibiki, under alien Mind Control, accuses Goh, who just returned from the crucifixion ordeal in space, of hiding when Black King attacked Ultraman. Goh is taken outside to stand before a firing squad, and would have been shot if Oka hadn't gotten suspicious of her teammates and pulled a Big Damn Heroes on them, knocking Hibiki unconscious.
Symbiotic Possession: Started out just like in Ultraman, but the longer Goh was a host, the more the two beings merged into one, so they became inseparable at the end of the show. Hayata's own situation was Retconned in one of the movies to be similar to Goh's.
Theme Music Power-Up: Its name was "The Ultraman Who Rises at Twilight" and came in at least three versions: vocal (rare and unused in the show proper); an instrumental march; and the better-known, shorter instrumental version (played in a lower key; also used in episode previews). A fourth version (slow with a trumpet solo) was played occasionally at the aftermath of a fight.
To Know Him I Must Become Him: Alien Knackle studies, not just Ultraman or even Hideki Goh, but MAT as a whole, to further his alien invasion agenda.
Goh's watch, which Aki had taken to the watchmaker that day to get a new band for it; she is clutching it and gives it to Goh as she is dying after Alien Knackle's kidnapping and vicious attack. No word on how long Goh carries it after the episode in question.
Averted with Goh's car at the beginning of the show. The Sakatas burned his race car down when they thought he'd been killed.
Transformation Sequence: Somehow Ultraman Jack (aka "Shin Man" or new "Ultraman") started it from within, until Goh learned to do it spontaneously. Looked like Jack was always in control, to the point that Goh couldn't transform in front of Alien Bat as the "New Man" could sense the danger it entailed.
Transformation Trinket: None, Jack is the only Ultra with a human host in the entire franchise that had no transformation item.