Ultra Seven, the third entry in the Ultra Series, is more serious, had very sophisticated writing and plotting, and its style is purely Science Fiction, as opposed to its kid-friendlier predecessor. Ultra Seven is an iconic character, in fact so successful that he (and actor Kouji Moritsugu, who played Dan Moroboshi) has appeared in many subsequent shows and movies, even starring in Ultraman Leo seven (no pun intended) years later. Decades later, Seven receives a Spin-Offspring, Ultraman Zero.Stationary Post Observer (or Agent) #340 from the M78 Nebula was surveying the Milky Way one time. He flew down to planet Earth when he saw a selfless mountain climber named Jiro Satsuma do a Heroic Sacrifice to save his friend on a mountain climbing journey (Think the movie Vertical Limit). Agent 340 rescued Satsuma in the knick of time, and was so moved by the man's courage that he decided to stay on our planet and patterned his human identity on Satsuma's, going by the name Dan Moroboshi. People would come to know him as Ultra Seven, champion of Earth against alien attacks.
Ultra Seven provides examples of the following tropes:
Acting for Two: Those twin alien girls from "The Secret of the Lake"? In human form, they were played by one actress. They appear together at the end of the episode.
Affectionate Parody: Uchimurasebun from around 1993, with Kouji Moritsugu as the Captain. Moritsugu played another Captain in Ultraman Zearth 2, itself another parody.
Seven and Alien Metron run toward each other at high speed, jump (complete with a freeze-frame), land on opposite sides without actually hitting each other, and keep running. Metron flies off, Seven just jumps so he's upside down, fires up the Eye Sluggler, then controls it telekinetikally so that it hits the top of Metron's back, then jumps back to a standing position before finishing him up with the Emerium Beam.
Against Alien Spehl.
Seven tried this against the Guts Aliens, but it was a No Sell.
Animated Credits Opening: Episodes 1-13 feature an opening logo with scattered paint particles that shake to form the word Ultraseven in Kana; the remaining episodes feature a swirling twin-whirlpool paint effect similar to Ultraman's opening, the logo appearing in two words, one at the center of each whirlpool, the word Ultra higher and to the left. In all episodes, the logo is followed by the animated credits sequence proper, consisting of silhouettes set against a wavy (think lava) multi-color background that changes color as it moves.
Trivia about this opening: None of the silhouettes were animated, all of them and the background were special effects.
Anti-Villain: Numerous aliens are actually terrified of humans trying to destroy their home first. Alien Annon from episode 16 was talked out of destroying Earth by Seven and went back home. And who knows if those underground robots from 17 were conquerors or merely reacting to several sudden intruders. While some actually play up this angle like the Pittans.
Badass: Seven, just Seven. Both Leo and Zero got their badassery from him.
Bittersweet Ending: Series-wise: Pandon and the Ghos aliens are annihilated, yet Seven is weak and is forced to fly home. Meanwhile, all those cities were blown up. And Dan Did Not Get the Girl.
Episode-wise: "The Stolen Ultra Eye" (Maya was abandoned on Earth); "Dark Zone" (The Pegassa home world was destroyed and their envoy stranded on Earth, Seven foils his attempt to blow up the planet); "Glory for Whom" (The Scrappy dies); "Envoy From Nonmalto" (maybe the Nonmaltos were telling the truth...)
Alien Spehl's welts. The fact that it looks like a mummy makes it scarier.
Gorii, a human-ape hybrid created by Alien Goron in "The Great Ape Of Terror".
Bond Villain Stupidity: The Salome aliens were so proud of their creation, they left Dan to die strapped to a table with a bomb about to destroy their base of operations. Dan escaped.
Bottle Episode: "Showdown at -140º" from the Ultra Garrison's point of view, as they never leave the base.
Brainwashed: Nearly EVERY alien (not all) does this to some unfortunate person in the series, be it a pedestrian, member of the Ultra Garrison, or even Dan himself!
Breaking the Fourth Wall: Furuhashi laughs out loud, then turns to the camera and shushes the audience in Episode 40, after a Guts Alien attacks his racer friend, stealing a McGuffin that happened to be fake.
The Cassandra: "Seek Tomorrow" AKA "The Fugitive Fortune Teller", "Who Are You?", "Stolen Time"
Double dose of subversion in "Stolen Time". After an act of sabotage in the Radar Room, Dr. Yushima, under alien control, calls Dan an alien spy (half-truth). Dan claims that Dr. Y is under alien control (he's telling the truth). Since Dr. Y is a respected scientist and Dan attacked him (Dan saw him plant a bomb in the boiler room), Dan is thrown in a cell. The Ultra Garrison doesn't believe either claim, anyway.
Played straight in "Dark Zone" with the Ultra Garrison's telling Alien Pegassa the Earth can't change its orbit at will as well as their offer to evacuate their Space Metropolis inhabitants to Earth.
Chekhov M.I.A.: Seven in Episode 40, so that the Ultra Garrison can save him.
Chekhov's Gift: Furuhashi's gift from Africa in Episode 39, "Seven Assasination Scheme Part I" comes in handy to save the day in Part II.
Chekhov's Gun: The necklace from "Answer Max", when Dan, trapped in a see-through tube in the TDF boiler room, tried to shoot it out of an alien's hand, bouncing the laser beam off of the attached medallion, destroying said tube instead.
Cement Shoes: In this case (Episode 41), Dan was chained to a buoy.
Cerebus Retcon: Seven's Superior tells Dan in "The World's Greatest Invasion" Part I that Seven's sustained injuries during his stay on Earth have left him in a weakened condition and to transform again will kill him ... Previously, Seven had bounced back from all kinds of predicaments none the worse for the wear.
Cliffhanger Copout: Episode 14 ends with a creepy freeze-frame of King Joe about to pound Seven in the head. Episode 15 begins with a recap and the plot proper begins just before King Joe (weakly) sets his fists down on Seven. Also, see Angst? What Angst? in YMMV.
Iron Rocks has a bomb set to go off some time after it chains up and attacks Seven.
Played with in "Seven Assassination Scheme", when Seven's Emerium Beam lamp blinks.
Dan's got 15 minutes to free himself and disarm a bomb, or the base will blow up in "Come in, Max".
In 15 hours, the victims of the alien spore in "The Human Farm" will die if a cure from Saturn isn't administered. Ultra Hawk 2 is too slow; it'd take the rocket 3 days to reach Saturn. Cue Dan's stagedHeroic Sacrifice.
Crucified Hero Shot: Episodes 39 and 40, complete with Eye Lights Out after sending a beacon signal to Space Station V3 so that his teammates could find him. It didn't work.
In "Showdown at -140°", he recharges his body by flying up into the Sun, hovering with arms outstretched and feet together.
Crying Wolf: Alien Perolinga claims the amateur astronomer who saw the alien vessels will soon fall victim to this, if he tried to warn the Ultra Garrison often enough. Dan had other ideas.
The darker version of "Fight! Ultra Seven" can be heard in the cliffhangers of "Seven Assassination Scheme" and "The World's Greatest Invasion", and also while Dan's superior first appears and orders him to leave Earth. This same tune became Dan's (and later, Leo's) Leitmotif in Ultraman Leo.
Darkest Hour: Episode 11 when Dan goes up the mountain, Episode 39 when Seven is crucified, Episode 48 after Pandon's defeat, and Episode 49 after the alien's plan of attack becomes clear...
A Day in the Limelight: Jiro Satsuma got this in Episode 17, his plight inside the mine shaft may have overshadowed the main plot (underground earthquakes caused by robots!) An episode before that also had Dan seemingly dying in the first five minutes! and the Ultra Garrison, minus Anne, who had to handle the bulk of the work with Seven cleaning up a loose end in the final minute.
Daylight Horror: Most alien threats take place during the day. The human incidents in "The Targeted Town", as well as Dan's encounter with Alien Metron and their earlier threat to him (he was run off the road by a "driver-less" truck), nearly all took place in broad daylight. (Soga and Furuhashi had their freakout incidents indoors, so it's hard to tell when they happened.)
He hides inside a rock, but space monster Ammon is just one big eyeball...
On a serious note, the victims of the alien spores in "The Targeted Town" go on violent rampages, pass out, and soon after forget what happened, reminiscent of some descriptions of alcoholics' behavior.
One of the Godora aliens, disguised as a woman, shows up at the Ultra Garrison Boiler Room to watch the bomb in there go off. She tells Dan she's not afraid to die...
From "Nightmare on the Fourth Planet":
Robot Commander's treatment of his secretary looks like Domestic Abuse.
His guards wear uniforms reminiscent of Soviet or DPRK army uniforms.
Robot Commander claims that humans built robots hundreds of years before Dan and Soga's arrival, then took over the planet, enslaving humans. Robot Commander was by then in need of humans to sustain the machines. Seems the machines from Zero One ran with the idea ...
The Spehl Aliens, apart from the real life controversy that got Episode 12 banned, give off a paedophilic vibe.
Do Not Adjust Your Set: Many times, such as "Stolen Time" (hypnosis via TV screen), "The Invisible Challenger" and Part II of "The World's Greatest Invasion".
Doppelgänger: Dan is this to Jiro Satsuma. Also, Dan impersonated Masaki Kazamori in the video specials from 1999.
So believes Alien Goron, who despite looking like a gorilla, has a tail. He thinks he can turn Anne into an ape/human hybrid just like he did with Gorii, his first test subject, once her brain is irradiated.
The episode takes place in a monkey zoo, so monkeys of all shapes and sizes get plenty of screentime.
Heroic BSOD: The Ultra Garrison and Captain Kurata, complete with freeze-frames, when Anne tells them Dan is Seven in the last episode.
Heroic RROD: Seven, after fighting Pandon, transforms back to Dan and collapses.
Heroic Sacrifice: Jiro Satsuma per the flashback in Episode 17, which inspired Ultraseven to stay on Earth, copying Satsuma's likeness under the name Dan Moroboshi. Satsuma lived, subverting the trope.
Heroic Second Wind: Seven vs. Starbem Guyron, Reconstructed Pandon, Iron Rocks, Crazygon, King Joe, Gabora, Darii, Petero, and so on.
Pandon was defeated twice by preventing a weakened Seven from using his Eye Slugger. The first time, Seven grabbed it and mutilated Pandon by using the weapon like a sword or knife; the second time was even worse for the kaijuu because he caught it and threw it back at Seven, who used telekinesis to shoot it back, decapitating the monster.
In "Showdown at -140º", Chief Yamaoka refused to evacuate the base as the temperature was dropping and people were passing out from the cold. In his view, evacuating the base was the same as deserting their duties as an earth defense team.
Seven himself, even after his superior orders him not to transform and return to M-78 instead.
Hour of Power: Averted, as he can fight almost non-stop. In extreme cases, he does run out of energy...
Humans Are the Real Monsters: The rationale for most alien attacks. Poignantly so in "Dark Zone" and "Envoy from Nonmalto", the latter comes to a conclusion where even Dan is left wondering if it's true...
The show was pretty big on this, yes. In one episode an alien puts funky space seeds in cigarettes to erode the trust between humankind and cause our civilization to collapse. The narrator assures us that the episode could only happen in the future. Why? Because people don't trust each other enough in the present. Then again in a slightly later one the narrator almost seems to be encouraging this, when he says that if you see a suspicious person you should call the Ultra Garrison, because they might actually be an evil space invader.
The Pedan impersonating Dorothy Andersencalls out the Ultra Garrison for sending an "exploration" rocket to planet Pedan. Their "invasion" caused the Pedans to invade Earth in retaliation.
The Ultra Garrison blew up Starbem Guyron's home world by accident, thinking it was uninhabited. Cue kaijuu attack.
Idiot Ball: In Episode 46, Dan and Anne were following a Salome alien responsible for blowing up a ship. Dan blew it when he would stare at the "pretty girl" for a long time, then chased her by car at high speed. Not long after, he got captured.
Ironic Echo: All three of the Guts Aliens' Leitmotivs (Aron vs Seven, Dan's first encounter with the aliens, and the fight leading to the crucifixion) can be heard at double speed when Seven destroys their spaceship.
I Surrender, Suckers: In "Project Blue", Alien Bado pretended to beg for mercy after Seven had the upper hand during their fight, only to produce some kind of stabbing weapon, which he tried to poke Seven in the face with. Seven then tosses him headfirst against some rocks.
Jerkass: Kurata, in spite of his Ensemble Darkhorse status, is often condescending, cocky, competitive, and quick-tempered.
Kappa: Tepeto, who not of Earth, but controlled by aliens.
Karmic Death: Gas-guzzling, fire-breathing Kurasso...burned to death, engulfed in flames.
Last-Second Chance: Seven successfully convinced Ammon to leave Earth this way. Alien Pegassa got angry and tried to blow up Earth instead when Dan tried this after Pegassa's space colony was destroyed.
When Dan "dies" in "Fly to the Mountain of Evil", his teammates (Anne is missing, somehow) take it very hard. The twist is that Soga in particular Screams Like a Little Girl, sobbing loudly, yelling out Dan's name.
Meaningful Background Event: In the episode "Escape From Area X" Dan is seen covering his ears while an Ultra Garrison staff officer is explaining the concept of virtual space to Kiriyama. This may look like a blooper, but Alien Bell, which was hiding in that virtual space, emits an ear-piercing ring that bothers and eventually harms humans, but it can and does stun a Human Alien like Dan. It seemed like Dan's hearing could pick up the sound no matter how faint. Cue the ear piercing ring coming out of the radio a few seconds later.
Mind Manipulation: Almost half of the entire series's aliens have used this on the Ultra Garrison to do their bidding in their plans to take over the world. There are so many different examples of this that it may probably take up most of this page.
Alien Pega (His own subtitle is Hypnosis Alien!)
Missing Episode: Ultra Seven is this and then some. Tsuburaya has a self-imposed ban on Episode 12. Out of the Hawaiian Dub, only episodes 21, 22, and 35 survived. In the Cinar/Turner dub, all episodes were dubbed, but between 1985 and 1994, Turner's own video copies of episodes 5, 6, and 7 disappeared. Strangely enough, the banned Episode 12 was dubbed and broadcast in the States, and can even be found online. Nowadays, "Super Weapon R-1" is banned due to parallels to the Fukushima-Daiichi disaster.
Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness: Arguably a 2: World Of Phlebotinum, as it tries to offer more scientifically logical explanations for things that occur in the show, yet at the same time, concepts such as Seven himself are hard to explain scientifically. However, it is above most Ultra Series and even some Godzilla films, which are pure fantasy stuff at times.
Part of the setup for Episode 39 (a daytime patrol by two Ultra Garrison members that came up with nothing but a happy scene at an amusement park full of unsuspecting people), compared to what happened after Dan and Anne run into the Guts aliens...
The was a hilarious moment in Episode 24 "Return North!" when the Kanan aliens, operating out of a lighthouse, place Windam under their control, causing him to attack Dan. Dan transforms and "defeats" his friend by wearing him down, complete with "Fight! Ultraseven" playing in the background. This happens just as Furuhashi has a close call with an airliner.
No Sell: Against the Guts Aliens (first fight), Starbem Gyeron (with the Eye Slugger, no less), King Joe, and Pandon (first fight, when the Emerium Beam won't even fire; second fight, when Seven threw the Eye slugger and Pandon caught it and threw it back; then Seven used telepathy to defeat him with it).
In episode 40, the Ultra Garrison tried to rescue a crucified Ultra Seven from the air by firing an Applied Phlebotinum beam into Seven's Emerium lamp. Too bad it was a hologram.
Off with His Head!: Alien Chibull, Gabora (it then took a life of its own), Alien Prote (it was a Hologram, though), and Reconstructed Pandon, to name a few. In a subversion, Alien Goron's head separated from his body when Seven blew him up.
Or Was It a Dream?: Dan thinks his superior officer is just a nightmare brought on by his weakening condition, then the Ultra Eye pops out of his pocket and flies across the room to float in front of an owl-shaped cuckoo clock. Dan sits on the bed and reaches for his pocket, realizing the Ultra Eye is not there after all.
Patriotic Fervor: What gets the Ultra Garrison especially worked up about the deaths in "The Ultra Garrison Goes East" is that as foreigner assassinations on Japanese soil they make Japan look bad. Not to mention, they were scientists from the Western Hemisphere side of the Garrison.
Phantom Zone: Alien Icarus' Fourth Dimension, which Dan successfully breached. The virtual space that Alien Bell was hiding in, too. Also, see Squashed Flat below.
In "Nightmare on the Fourth Planet", Robot Commander staged live executions of insubordinate humans that aired on TV for his amusement. Dan and Soga didn't realize these executions were real when they first witnessed them as they happened.
Instead of quietly killing Dan, the Guts Aliens figure they'll capture Seven, show him to the world for less than 24 hours, and assasssinate him just as the world looks on. They thought the people of Earth would surrender quickly after.
Red Shirt: A young, impetuous upstart called Aoki in "Glory For Whom?", and Soga's sniper rival Kiyota in "The 0.1 Second Kill".
Reflective Eyes: "Number 340! No, let's call you by your name on Earth: Ultra Seven."
In "Dark Zone", the Pegassas expected Earth to change its orbit on a dime to avoid a collision with their space colony. Since that wasn't going to happen, they would have destroyed the Earth anyhow, seeing as any planet not advanced enough to comply was not worth their time.
Since the Ultra Garrison and Dr. Miyabe's Defense Barrier got in their way of an invasion and got one of their alien vessels destroyed, Alien Bado was willing to blow up the Earth.
Scare Chord: A show specialty; in fact, one of the first bits of music, the one that introduces the Ultra Garrison, sounds like a series of chords.
Shapeshifter Mode Lock: Seven, whenever his Ultra Eyewas stolen. Also, when he was defeated in the opening minutes of Ultraman Leo, he was stuck in human form. He recovered offscreen. "Escape From Area X" is a subversion; while Alien Bell's chirp prevented him from using the Ultra Eye, he transformed by sheer force of will regardless.
Shaggydog Story: "The Stolen Ultra Eye" from Maya's point of view; "Dark Zone" from Alien Pegassa's point of view.
Sixth Ranger: Dan first showed up as a civilian that happened to run into Furuhashi, Soga, and an alien invasion. After suggesting a method to make the otherwise invisible Cool aliens visible and vulnerable to attack, he rode shotgun in one of the Ultra Hawks to deploy the Ultra Garrison's Improvised Weapon. The plane crash-landed and he called on Windam to attack the alien ships. When Windam was overwhelmed, he called him back, transformed, killed an alien, set the hostages free, and took the alien ship into outer space to be blown up. Dan was then inducted as a full member of the Ultra Garrison.
Squashed Flat/Phantom Zone: One episode had aliens do this to humans, not by literally squashing them, but by taking their picture, somehow capturing their life essence on film, leaving the inert bodies behind
Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The Magellan aliens always intended to blow up the Earth, never mind Maya's in it.
Wham Episode: "The Ultra Garrison Goes West", "Seven Assassination Scheme", and "The World's Greatest Invasion", all two-part episodes.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Agira and Mikuras weren't mentioned in the show after their final appearances. In Agira's case, Dan never called him back in Episode 46. All Capsule Monsters would show up again in other continuities.
What the Hell, Hero?: Both Kiriyama and TDF Chief Yamaoka got one from a subordinate for not evacuating the base quick enough during the huge blizzard in "Showdown at -140º", causing unnecessary casualties.
Worthy Opponent: Seven to numerous aliens who treated him like an actual individual. Sometimes Seven could even talk a few aliens out of attacking Earth since they would trust his word over any human's.
The Pedan aliens specifically ask Dan to join them.
The Metron aliens warn Dan to stay away from Kitagawa (where "The Targeted Town" is set) as they don't want to kill another alien.
You Are Number Six: The explanation for Ultra Seven's name is he's the unofficial seventh member of the Ultra Garrison with the way he keeps showing up to save their bacon. Lampshaded in the Cinar dub.
Also, Stationary Post Observer # 340, as his commander called him in "The World's Greatest Invasion".