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Anime / Ultraman: The Adventure Begins

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Ultraman: The Adventure Begins (aka Ultraman USA in Japan) is a four-part animated pilot that is an International Coproduction between Tsuburaya Productions (the owners of the Ultra Series that it is a part of) and Hanna-Barbera, with animation by Ashi Productions. It was released on October 12, 1987. It is the second animated series in the Ultra Series canon, after The☆Ultraman (aka Ultraman Joeneus).

Scott Masterson, Chuck Gavin, and Beth O'Brien are the Flying Angels, a stunt pilot trio. One day, during one of their shows, they are consumed by a blinding light, only to return unharmed. The three are later informed that they have become hosts to three Ultra Warriors from the planet Altara (Ultra) in Nebula M78. Together, as the Ultra Force, they defend the Earth from extraterrestrial monsters called the Sorkin Monsters.

The cast had some surprising inclusions, like Adrienne Barbeau as Beth and Stacy Keach as the team's mentor.

Ultraman: The Adventure Begins provides the following tropes.

  • And the Adventure Continues: The threat posed by the Sorkin Monsters may be over, but the Ultra Force still remains together to combat future threats to Earth.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: The Ultras' trio of support robots: Samson, Ulysses and Andy, respectively.
  • Combat Tentacles: Green Shocks has an array of extremely mobile vines, which can be used for everything from swiping, to smashing, to ensnaring opponents. These vines also grow back extremely quickly, making him quite the challenge to face.
  • Failed Pilot Episode: Was made to test the waters for an American animated Ultra series, which ended up not happening.
  • Finishing Move: The Granium Light Ray, which can be performed by Ultraman Scott, Ultraman Chuck, and Ultrawoman Beth. It is a form of the signature Ultra Beam that all other Ultras use.
  • Harmless Villain: The friendly and unassuming monster Zoon. The only thing that's threatening about Zoon is his size. Chuck steps in when the army attack Zoon out of fear, and helps him relocate to another planet instead of destroying him.
  • Killer Rabbit: King Myra, the most powerful of the Sorkin Monsters, starts out as a small and adorable monster called Wylon. He gets more powerful and ruthless when he grows every 90 minutes.
  • Landmarking the Hidden Base: Mount Rushmore is the Ultra Force's base of operations. It comes equipped with advanced fighter planes that the Flying Angels can use, as well as three robot companions.
  • Plant Aliens: The vegetation monster Green Shocks, who has accelerated regeneration and powerful vines, plus a head full of lava-like acid.
  • Robot Buddy: The Ultra Force is assisted by three support robots. These robots are originally named Combot Model MF842, Combot Model BA666, and Utiloid Model ZQ14582, but to keep things simpley they are named by Scott and Beth as Ulysses, Samson, and Andy, respectively.
  • Scary Shadow Fakeout: When the pilots first see Andy's show they think he must some huge threatening thing. He's actually a cute little bot that barely comes up to their waists.
  • Shock and Awe: The electronic machinery monster Eem. He can assimilate with scrap metal from all kinds of machinery to form his body, after which he is known as Garuballade. Even in his base form, Eem can utilise electricity to great effect, though without his armour he's extremely vulnerable.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Ultrawoman Beth is the only female in the Ultra Force, though she's not the only female Ultra in the Ultra Series (other female Ultras include Mother of Ultra, Yullian, Dark Faust, and Ultrawoman Grigio).
  • Transformation Trinket: Averted, unusually for an Ultra story; the three pilots would automatically change to their superhuman forms when they were in life-threatening danger (they can also transform at will in some instances). It's been speculated this might've been part of why it was never picked up for a full series, as a common device for building tension was separating the hero from his transformation item. If he changes automatically when he's about to die, it's hard to create drama.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: The three main characters.