Ultraman Nexus is the 20th entry in Tsuburaya Productions' Ultra Series and aired from October 2, 2004 to June 25, 2005 with a total of 37 screen episodes. An extra unscreened episode was included in the DVD compilation.Set in 2009, Ultraman Nexus is set in an Earth not unlike our own. While Humanity blissfully goes about its daily life, a secret war is being fought in the shadows between the Terrestrial Liberation Trust and monstrous invaders, dubbed Space Beasts. The main branches of T.L.T. are Night Raiders, military response teams who are tasked with eliminating Space Beasts, Memory Police, who mindwipes witnesses and survivors using devices called Memory Erasers as part of coverup efforts and White Sweepers, an armed hazmat team tasked with the destruction of evidence and recovery of research subjects.The series focuses on the life of Kazuki Komon, a recent inductee into one of T.L.T.'s elite Night Raider combat squads and his struggle to cope with his new life. Faced with a world where nothing is truly what it seems, he becomes embroiled within a shadowy conspiracy involving a mysterious silver giant, giant monsters manipulated by an unknown hand, Dark Ultramen and the hidden agendas within T.L.T. itself. As the series focuses primarily on the lives of one of T.L.T.'s Night Raider combat teams, Ultraman Nexus abandons the Monster of the Week concept and focuses on longer character driven arcs. Relatively unique in its concept of the passing of the ability to transform into Ultraman between Dunamists (Humans who can become Ultraman) as well as the use of a Meta Field to draw monsters into pocket dimenstions to prevent further destruction.It is considered a much Darker and Edgier series than its predecessors.
Ultraman Nexus provides examples of the following tropes:
Badass Crew: Night Raider is presented as a team of highly trained and very competent monster eliminators. As the show progresses however, they begin to lose some steam and their equipment begins to appear ineffective, increasingly having to be bailed out by Ultraman. After T.L.T. abandons the Masquerade, Night Raider is expanded to become a Badass Army.
Being Good Sucks: Ultra Man perpetually risks his life, gets pounded by monsters, hunted as an experimental subject and is generally subject of apathy to most of the world.
Blood Knight: Deputy Commander Nagi Saijyo considers it her personal mission in life to kill all beasts.
Body Horror: Nosferu has a tendency to turn victims into rat-like spawn.
Break the Cutie: The goal of series Big Bad Unknown Hand is to shatter the spirit of team-mate Nagi Saijyo so when she inherits Ultraman's Light, it will be tainted by her rage and hatred of him, allowing him to tap into her Heroic BSOD and abscond with the light.
Busman's Holiday: Any time a team member takes time off to visit a friend or loved on, it doesn't end well.
Cast from Hit Points: The Meta Field is later revealed to be a projection of Ultraman's physical essence.
Crapsack World: Your happy existence may be rudely interrupted at anytime by Kaiju knocking over your house and eating you. If you are aware of this fact, you are either mindwiped or inducted into the combat unit which goes toe to toe with them. Played straight in the epilogue — Although the existence of Space Beasts is now common knowledge, the world has banded together to survive and the Space Beasts are no longer being led by a master manipulator, they are only held in check by Night Raider mass recruitment and non-stop street and air patrols with battles still spilling into populated urban areas.
Death Seeker: Most of the Dunamists exhibit this behavior. Jun Himeya considers his ability a punishment for getting an orphan killed during an armed conflict. Ren Senjyu intentionally leaves himself open to attack when fighting because he wants to end his limited lifespan with a bang.
Deconstruction: Of many Ultraman tropes. This series try to be realistic in its portrayal of Ultraman and Space Beast appearing in the world. Such as:
The Ultraman are not fully trusted by humans and the human host of the Ultraman are not exactly stable people themselves. Himeya is a photographer who felt guilty because he couldn't protect a kid he cared about and try to redeem himself by becoming Ultraman. Ren is a death seeker who wants to go out meaningfully because he only has a short life. Nagi is powered by her desire to avenge her parents' death. Being an Ultraman also caused physical issue for them as it is very tiring and unlike previous series, the wound they received in battle does not heal easily and can cause problem in their next battle.
Unlike the previous series, the monsters are actually genuine threats not only because they cause destruction but also the psychological effect they cause to those who saw them. The destruction caused by the monster is treated as a real issue which is why Ultraman transports them to the Metafield to avoid destroying places or worse, injuring citizens. Their existence are also kept secret as to not cause mass panic, which is why the Memory Police were created to erase the memory of ordinary citizens who either witnessed or were attacked by Space Beasts, as quite a number of these people had been driven insane by their encounter with the Space Beasts.
Destroy the Evidence: T.L.T. has the White Sweeper division, which destroys the Space Beasts' remains after battle to keep the existence of Space Beasts a secret. They also recover materials that could be used for research.
Determinator: Most Dunamists tend towards some form of this.
Deuteragonist: The Dunamists is the most important character after Komon.
Devil in Disguise: Dark Zagi disguises himself as one of the human characters until his body is fully restored in the last episode.
Dark Zagi's backstory actually makes him a litteral example. He's an attempt to replicate Nexus that went rogue.
Evil Plan: Unknown Hand has been playing things from behind the scenes with the possession of Mitsuhiko Ishibori, the murder of Nagi Saijyo's parents, turning Shinya Mizorogi into Dark Mephisto, animation of Riko Saida as Dark Faust and using Space Beasts to eliminate Dunamists Jun Himeya and Ren Senjyu all to gurantee that Nagi will inherit the Light and taint it with hatred.
Evolution Powerup: Nexus evolves with each new host, gaining a new form. Actually, he was originally Ultraman The Next from the movie of the same name before evolving into Nexus. In the Final Battle, his newest host causes him to evolve into Ultraman Noa.
For Science!: T.L.T.'s justification for experimenting on any Dunamist they capture.
Gambit Pileup: As an organization, T.L.T. appears to have wheels within wheels within wheels.
Game-Breaking Injury: Many times Ultraman jumps into the fray plagued by lingering injuries from previous fights. These battles rarely end well.
Genki Girl: Night Raider crew member Shiori Hiraki.
Henshin Hero: Partially subverted in that the Dunamists have no special powers in Human form but have access to a cool energy pistol.
Hour of Power: A series hallmark. Subverted in that the Human body was never designed for the level of abuse dished out during fights and the animating Dunamist often collapses long before Ultraman's timer starts blinking.
Invisibility Cloak: The Night Raider vehicles are all fitted with this to keep the Muggles from becoming aware of the secret war.
Night Raiders' job is to destroy monsters before the public become aware of them.
The BFG on the Strike Chester combat aircraft used to atomize monsters is called the "Vanisher".
Megaton Punch: Ultraman Noa litterally punches Dark Zagi into orbit.
Military Mash Up Machine: The rather outlandish looking Alpha, Beta and Gamma Chester combat machines are designed to merge into a single heavily armed combat gunship or a ground based assault vehicle.
Refuge in Audacity: T.L.T.'s solution to media reports on strange sighting is to flood the channels with similar over the top reports.
Supporting Protagonist: The series focuses on the life of Komon, despite the fact that he does not transform into the eponymous hero, making him this trope. However, he does become Ultraman in the series' finale and thus, ditches this role.
To Serve Man: Almost ALL of the space beasts think humans are delicious.
Transformation Is a Free Action: Painfully subverted in that the dangerously Genre Savvy monsters will often take pot shots at the Chester combat vehicles as they adopt close formation during their merger sequence.
War Is Hell: As a photographer, Jun Himeya goes to see the war zone for himself. He returns a self-loathing wreck.
We Are as Mayflies: Without access to the experimental drug "Raphael", Ren Senjyu fully expects to die from cellular degeneration by his 18th birthday.
We Have Forgotten the Phlebotinum: Night Raider is prevented from using the Ultimate Vanisher, a beam cannon packing the same firepower as Ultraman's Over Ray Storm, due to a traitor purging the frequency modulation data from the T.L.T. data networks.