is the eighteenth installment in the long-running Ultra Series
, airing from July 7, 2005 to March 25, 2006 with a total of 39 episodes (plus one special comprised mainly of stock footage
). Preceded by Ultraman Nexus
and succeeded by Ultraman Mebius
.In the not-too distant future
, monsters appear around the world and attack mankind. To combat the threat, the United Defense Federation creates the special anti-monster task force DASH (Defense Action Squad Heroes
). Aiding DASH in its struggle is the alien giant Ultraman Max, who is secretly Touma Kaito, a DASH pilot.
After the darker and less kid-friendly spin
on Ultraman in Ultraman Nexus
, Tsuburaya Productions returned to the franchise's roots, with a new monster every week
and an overall light-hearted tone. Ultraman Max
is notable for several callbacks
to previous Ultra
series, from reintroducing several famous Ultra
Monsters and casting players from the original Ultraman
to paying homage to the plots of past episodes and even referencing the first Ultra
series, Ultra Q
. In contrast to the low ratings of Nexus
was a huge success and set the tone for future Ultra Series like Mebius
Ultraman Max provides examples of the following tropes:
- Alien Invasion: As per most Ultra Series.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Max's superior, Ultraman Xenon, arrives in episode 13 to save Max from Zetton. While it's still Max that finishes the job (and only with his Midseason Upgrade given to him by Xenon), Xenon is still clearly more powerful than he is.
- The Cameo: Ultraman Max and Ultraman Xenon appear in Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legend the Movie when Belial arrives on the Land of Light.
- Cats Are Mean: Tama, Kuro, and Mike.
- Clip Show: The special 40th episode.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Look at Professor Yoshinaga in episode 16, after taking a ride in a DASH vessel piloted by an incapacitated Captain. Her hair is standing up and she looks giddy and absent-minded. She even leans on the wall with a huge smile on her face.
- Five-Man Band
- Fluffy the Terrible: Tama, Kuro, Mike.
- Gratuitous English: Sean. Justified because he's American, and will pepper his speech with English phrases.
- Lighter and Softer: Compared to the preceding series, Ultraman Nexus.
- Midseason Upgrade: The Max Galaxy.
- Monster of the Week: Gleefully returns to the formula after Nexus.
- Mythology Gag: This happens a lot.
- Ultraman Max looks a lot like Ultra Seven.
- Several classic monsters like Gomora, Red King, the Baltan aliens, Pigmon, Eleking, Antlar, et al. appear frequently, sometimes even in multiple episodes.
- Hayata, Fuji, and Ide as well as Dan turn up as supporting characters.
- An entire episode is centered around a monster from Ultra Q, and the show itself is established as existing in-universe. The episode was shot in black and white, like the show.
- When Zetton appears, so does Max's superior, Ultraman Xenon, simular to Zoffy's first appearence in the original series. Only this time, Xenon arrives in time to actually fight.
- In Episode 16, Chief Tomioka raises a spoon in a typical Henshin pose.
- Per Episode 24, Alien Metron from Ultra Seven survived and has been in hiding for 40 years...
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Episode 15, Eve's original form is just harmless immobile object, just being extremely large. DASH team decide to burn it, trigger it to counter with fire.
- Not So Stoic: Elly sheds tears in Episode 16 and the Christmas episode, and her personality changes when she and Pigmon share a body.
- Only Sane Man: Elly, especially in Episode 16.
- People Puppets: Pigmon is trapped in Elly's body due to one of Shamu-Seijin's experiments.
- Ridiculously Human Robots: Elly
- Robot Girl: Elly again.
- Sequel Episode: Episode 24 to "The Targeted Town" from Ultra Seven, down to the same actor voicing Alien Metron and even the same director (Akio Jissoji).
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: A subtle example in episode 24. Alien Metron claims he still want to conquer Earth, and had came up with some plans during his hiding. It doesn't matter, the pollution on Earth's so bad that it's no longer worth conquering. The only reason he still linger here for 40 years is because he really like Earth.
- Sixth Ranger: Ultraman Xenon
- The Stoic: Elly again.