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Franchise / Ultra Series

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"Born in the nebula known as M78, together they fight for peace and justice throughout the galaxy. Warriors of great compassion and courage."

In America, there is Superman. In Japan, there is Ultraman.

Created by Tsuburaya Productions, the pioneer special effects team founded by Eiji Tsuburaya (the special effects director of the Godzilla movies) and with a reputation and cultural impact comparable to Star Wars and Superman in its native land, this live-action Japanese tokusatsu-superhero/kaiju franchise is a juggernaut spanning through generations since its creation in 1966, rivaling other 'verses with expansive lore and merchandising that go from toys to museums to golf-caddies and beyond.

The franchise is usually based around humans who attain the power of gigantic, light-based alien heroes from the Land of Light in Nebula M78, gaining the ability to transform into said beings to confront attacks of the fifty foot kaiju/alien of the week, often (but not always) with the help of scientific paramilitary organizations that have a multitude of cool and futuristic gadgets along the way. This formula was codified and followed to the T by the second and most famous entry in the franchise, Ultraman, proving to be one of the first massive hits in the early years of Japanese TV alongside its predecessor, the kaiju-centric Sci-Fi Horror Ultra Q, and its successor, Ultraseven, which combined this formula with alien-filled adventures in the vein of Star Trek and Doctor Who.

However, of the three series that started the franchise, Ultraman proved to be the biggest success story of them all, with the franchise continuing down the kaiju-vs-superheroes route with the fourth series Return of Ultraman. The result was a bevy of sequels and spinoffs introducing new generations of Ultramen and human allies against a constant stream of new kaiju and aliens (with some of those guys becoming popular enough to be recognizable as the Ultras themselves) that continues to this very day, regardless of the occasional pause in production. It also spawned a mini-genre of half-hour Kaiju-based action shows, such as Ambassador Magma, Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot, and Spectreman. It also helped transitioning tokusatsu from the big-screen features dominated by giant destructive monsters like Godzilla and Gamera to the weekly battles on television sets for peace and justice done by great superheroes like Kamen Rider and the Super Sentai, and inadvertently innovated the Kaiju genre by its mere presence alone, encouraging successive directors to play around with Tokusatsu concepts in their monster movies, for example resulting in the famous depiction of Godzilla as a saviour of the planet rather than a mere force of nature, a depiction popular among numerous fans.

While many of its aforementioned imitators are quite popular in Japan in their own right, no other kaiju-based superhero series have become as beloved and recognizable worldwide like the Ultra Series have, with some series even having been distributed outside of Japan. The Ultra series, in fact, has become well-known enough that there have been several attempts at Western adaptations (Ultraman: The Adventure Begins , Ultraman: Towards the Future, Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero; even several attempts at an unmade American Ultraman movie).

In 2019, following the resolution of Tsuburaya's international legal troubles,note  it was announced that the company would be making a major push to bring Ultraman to Western markets. In 2020, Marvel Comics began publishing Ultraman comics and graphic novels, but the heroes from M78 stay in their own universe à la Marvel's work on Star Wars and Halo, rather than being integrated into the Marvel Universe à la Conan the Barbarian. However, this has not stopped them from announcing a crossover miniseries that will see Ultraman, Ultraseven, and Ultraman Taro teaming up with Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Captain Marvel.

The original Ultraman currently holds the Guinness world record for the most spinoff shows, and you can easily see why below:

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The franchise has undergone the following installments:


Ultra Q


Showa Series (1966-1981)

Wilderness Years Series (produced outside Japan)

Heisei Series (1996-2007)

Mega Monster Battle and Ultraman Zero (2007-2012)

New Generation Series (2013-present)


  • Ultra Fight (1970-1971; five-minute episodes consisting solely of fight scenes starring Ultraman and Ultraseven)note 
  • M78 Love and Peace (1999; single episode OVA released as a double bill for Ultraman Gaia: The Battle in Hyperspace)
  • Ultraman Nice (1999-2000; infomercial series that aired following reruns of Tiga)
  • Ultraman Boy's Ultra Coliseum (2003; infomercial series)
  • Ultra Zone (2011-2012; comedy sketch series centered around the monsters)
  • Compilation series (2011-present)
    • Ultraman Retsuden (2011-2013; compilation of episodes from past series)
      • Ultra Zero Fight (2012; Ultraman Zero miniseries aired as part of Ultraman Retsuden)
    • Shin Ultraman Retsuden (2013-2016; alternated between old episodes and the series runs of Ultraman Ginga, Ultraman Ginga S, and Ultraman X)
      • Ultra Fight Victory (2015; Ultraman Ginga S miniseries aired as part of Shin Ultraman Retsuden)
    • Ultraman Chronicle (airs in the off-season between new series; unlike in Shin Retsuden, new series don't air under the compilation banner)
      • Ultraman Zero: The Chronicle (2017)
      • Ultra Fight Orb (2017; Ultraman Orb miniseries aired as part of Ultraman Zero: The Chronicle)
      • Ultraman Orb: The Chronicle (2018)
      • Ultraman New Generation Chronicle (2019; features Ginga through R/B)
      • Ultraman Chronicle Zero & Geed (2020)
      • Ultraman Chronicle Z: Heroes' Odyssey (2021; features not only Z but also Tiga)
      • Ultraman Chronicle D (2022; named for Dyna but also features Z, Trigger, and the first two Ultra Galaxy Fights)
      • Ultraman New Generation Stars (2023; features Ginga through Decker)
  • Kaiju Sakaba Kanpai! (2015; anime solely starring the monsters as employees at the real-life Ultra kaiju-themed restaurant Kaiju Sakaba)
  • Kaiju Girls (web anime; 2016, 2018; part of Ultra Monsters Anthropomorphization Project)
  • Ultra Galaxy Fight (Youtube miniseries)
  • Ultraman Regulos (2023; web miniseries and prequel to Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad)
    • Ultraman Regulos: First Mission (2023; a one-off special and spinoff of The Destined Crossroad)

    Other Media 


  • Ultraman: The Feature-Length Monster Movie (1967; compilation film shown alongside Toho's King Kong Escapes)
  • Ultraman, Ultraseven: Great Violent Monster Fight (1969; compilation film, now considered lost)
  • Hanuman vs. 7 Ultraman (1974; co-produced with Thailand's Chaiyo Productions)
  • Ultraman: Great Monster Decisive Battle (1979; compilation film)
  • Ultraman (1979; compilation film of Ultraman episodes by director Akio Jissoji)
  • Ultraman Zoffy: Ultra Warriors Vs. The Giant Monster Army (1984; compilation film with Zoffy's narration acting as a framing device)
  • Space Warriors 2000 (1985; unauthorized compilation film by Chaiyo and their US distributor Dick Randall)
  • Ultraman vs. Kamen Rider (1993; TV special retrospective of both franchises)
  • Revive! Ultraman (1996; compilation film celebrating 30th anniversary of the franchise)
  • Ultraman Company (1996)
  • Ultraman Zearth (1996)
    • Ultraman Zearth 2: Superhuman Big Battle - Light and Shadow (1997, uses same page)
  • Dragon Force: So Long Ultraman (2017; unauthorized All-CGI Cartoon film by China's BlueArc Studios and unofficial crossover with the 2012 All-CGI Cartoon Dragon Force)
    • Dragon Force: Rise of Ultraman (2019; unauthorized sequel)

Video Games

  • Ultraman (Arcade/SNES/Sega Genesis/Game Boy - 1991)
    • Ultraman: Towards the Future (SNES - 1991)
  • Ultra Toukon Densetsu (Arcade - 1993)
  • Ultra X Weapons (Arcade - 1995) - a top-down Vertical Scrolling Shooter
  • Ultraman: Hikari no Kyojin Densetsu (Sega Saturn - 1996)
  • Ultraman Fighting Evolution series:
    • Ultraman Fighting Evolution (PlayStation - 1998)
    • Ultraman Fighting Evolution 2 (PlayStation 2 - 2002)
    • Ultraman Fighting Evolution 3 (PS2 - 2004)
    • Ultraman Fighting Evolution Rebirth (PS2 - 2005)
    • Ultraman Fighting Evolution 0 (PSP - 2006)
  • Ultraman (PS2 - 2004)
  • Ultraman Nexus (PS2 - 2005)
  • Kaiju Busters (Nintendo DS - 2009; features only the monsters)
  • Mega Monster Battle series:
    • Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Coliseum (Wii - 2009; features only the monsters)
    • Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Coliseum DX: The Gathering of The Ultra Heroes! (Wii - 2010)
    • Mega Monster Rush Ultra Frontier (Data Carddass - 2013)
  • Ultraman All-Star Chronicle (PSP - 2013)
  • Ultraman Fusion Fight! (2016)
    • Ultraman Fusion Fight! Capsule Fusion (2017)
    • Ultraman Fusion Fight! R/B's Bond (2018)
    • Ultraman Fusion Fight! Buddy Change (2019)
    • Ultraman Fusion Fight! Z Heat (2020)
    • Ultraman Fusion Fight! Beyond Generations (2021)
    • Ultraman Fusion Fight! Ultra Dimension (2022)

Comics and Literature

  • Kettekita Ultraman (Manga)
  • Ultraman Dai Gekisan (Manga)
  • Ultraman Ace (Manga)
  • Ultraman Taro (Manga)
  • Decisive Battle! Brothers (Manga, 1979)
  • Ultra Brothers Story (Manga, 1979-1980)
  • Ultra Monster Kattobi! Land (Manga, 1988-2004)
  • Ultraman G (Manga; adaptation of Ultraman: Towards the Future)
  • Ultraman: Super Fighter Legend (Manga, 1993-1997, 2014-Current)
  • Ultraman (Comic Book, 1993; published by Harvey Comics under their Nemesis imprint, written by Dwayne McDuffie and illustrated by Ernie Colon)
  • Ultraman (Comic Book, 1994; published by Harvey Comics under their Nemesis imprint, written by Larry Yakata and illustrated by Ernie Colon)
  • The Ultraman (Manga, 1998)
  • Ultra Ninpocho (Manga, 2001-2005)
  • Ultraman: Negative One (Manga)
  • Ultraman: The First (Manga, 2003-2008; adaptation of Ultraman)
  • Ultraman Tiga (Comic Book, 2003-2004; published by Dark Horse, written by Tony Wong and illustrated by Koo Fuk Lung)
  • Ultraman: The Next (Manga)
  • Ultraman Nexus (Manga)
  • Ultraman Story 0 (Manga, 2005-2013)
  • Ultraman Max (Manga)
  • Ultra Idemitsujin (Manga, 2007)
  • Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Adventure (Manga, 2008-2010; sequel to Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle)
  • Ultraman (Manga, 2011-Current; Alternate Continuity sequel to the 1966 Ultraman that incorporates elements from other Showa series)
  • Another Genesis (Novel, 2011-2012; reimagines Ultra Series lore)
  • Ultraman Sisters (Light Novel, 2012)
  • Seven Queu: Lovely Idol (Manga, 2013-2014)
  • Ultra Kaiju Anthropomorphization Project: Galaxy Days (Manga, 2014-Current; part of Ultra Monsters Anthropomorphization Project)
  • Ultra Kaiju Anthropomorphization Project Feat Pop Comic Code (Manga, 2015-2020; part of Ultra Monsters Anthropomorphization Project)
  • Ultra Journey: Twin Tail Girl and Twin Tail Me (Manga, 2017; part of Ultra Monsters Anthropomorphization Project)
  • Marvel Comics collaborations (written by Kyle Higgins and Mat Groom with art by Francesco Manna)
    • The Rise of Ultraman (Comic Book, 2020)
    • The Trials of Ultraman (Comic Book, 2021)
    • The Mystery of Ultraseven (Comic Book, 2022)
    • Currently untitled Ultraman/Marvel Universe crossover (Comic Book, 2023)
  • Darkness Heels -Lili- (Manga, 2021)
  • Fight! Sevenger (Manga, 2021; a prequel to Ultraman Z depicting the adventures of STORAGE with Sevenger before Ultraman Z arrived on Earth)
  • Another Gene (Manga, TBA; a spin-off of Ultraman Geed starring new and old characters)

Music Videos

    Related Series 

Related series developed by Tsuburaya Productions include

  • Kaiju Booska (1966-1967; Booska has repeatedly appeared with Ultramen in ads and stage shows, made guest appearances in Dyna and R/B, and co-hosted Ultraman New Generation Chronicle)
    • Booska! Booska! (1999-2000)
    • Booska+ (Manga; 2014-2015)
  • Mighty Jack (1968)
  • Mirrorman (1971-1972)
  • Redman (1972; 138 five-minute segments in the Ohayo! Kodomo Show.)
    • Redman (western comic book adaptation; 2018)
  • Fireman (1973)
  • Jumborg Ace (1973)
  • Dinosaur Great War Izenborg (1977-1978)
  • Andro Melos (1983; several monsters and characters from the Ultra Series appear, and its main villains also appeared in Ultraman Story, Ultra Fight Victory, and Ultraman X while Andro Melos himself appeared in The Absolute Conspiracy and The Destined Crossroad)
  • Denkō Chōjin Gridman (1993-1994)
  • Bio Planet WoO (2006)
  • Upin & Ipin (2007-present; Malaysian CGI cartoon series by Les' Copaque Productions. In 2014 it hosted a Crossover with the Ultra Series and introduced the character of Ultraman Ribut; Ribut is an officially recognized Ultra and made his first canon appearance in Ultra Galaxy Fight.)

The many incarnations over time vary widely in tone, shifting into Darker and Edgier territory with Ultraseven, Ultraman Leo, Ultraman Gaia, Ultraman Nexus, and Ultraman Geed; others like Ultraman Taro, Ultraman Cosmos and Ultraman R/B are in the Lighter and Softer territory; finally, series such as Ultraman Tiga and Ultraman Mebius maintained a balance between the two extremes. Tonal shifts were sometimes brought on by Executive Meddling, ie. Cosmos being toned down due to current events or Nexus becoming edgier in an attempt to reverse declining ratings.

Has an index of Character Sheets.

The franchise in general provides examples of the following tropes:

  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Most shows take place in some variation of this time period.
  • Achilles' Heel: All Ultras have a natural weakness to extreme cold, as light and warmth go hand in hand for them.
  • Action Girl: There are female Ultra heroes, like Yullian from Ultraman 80 and Ultrawoman Beth from Ultraman: The Adventure Begins, but it's more commonly seen amongst human characters in later series, like Ryo Yumimura from Ultraman Dyna, Toba Laiha from Ultraman Geed, and Mizuki Koishikawa from Ultraman Max. However, it is stated that the Land of Light has gender equality, so it's likely there are plenty of unseen female Ultra warriors.
  • Aerith and Bob: The kinds of names ultra Heroes can have probably cover every Theme Naming convention under the sun besides Edible Theme Naming, and even still some of the ultras have human names. In fact, it's completely within the realm of possibility that Ultrawoman Aerith and Ultraman Bob could exist.
  • Aliens Among Us: A number of Ultramen take on human forms instead of hosts, like Ultraseven, Ultraman Leo, Ultraman 80, Ultraman Mebius, and Ultraman Orb. Some series also feature non-Ultra aliens living peacefully on Earth among humans, like Pega from Ultraman Geed and Dr. Gourman (Guruman) from Ultraman X.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: The franchise is loaded with evil aliens who oppose the Ultramen and seek to conquer Earth (Baltan, Dada, Zarab, Mephilas, Metron, Nackle. Guts, etc.). Most of them are also capable of increasing their size to those of the Ultramen.
  • Alien Invasion: Ultraseven and Ultraman Leo had almost nothing BUT alien invaders, but in the former series this was subverted on occasion by having some aliens be sympathetic at times and even had Seven questioning himself why he would protect humans since sometimes the humans were more villainous than the aliens.
  • An Alien Named "Bob": Various Ultramen, where despite being from distant planets in Nebula M78, have Earthling names. Such as Jack, Leo, or Max. Zig-zagged with Ultraman Taro and his son, Ultraman Taiga, both of them having common Japanese names due to the shows being Japanese productions, but rare in the west.
  • Aliens Speaking English: This trope is played with rather unclearly. While the audience hears the Ultras speaking Japanese and their host can understand them, they rarely ever speak while transformed (except their characteristic shouts) and even when they do talk, it's normally to each other, and on occasion humans watching simply won't hear what they're saying. In Ultraman Max, the rest of DASH asks Kaito if he 'understands their language' after he explains what Max and his superior were talking about, implying humans didn't understand the conversation. Apparently, the Ultras communicate via telepathy, and most humans simply lack this capacity.
    • Made all the more confusing by the fact the invading enemy aliens often play this trope straight and almost always speak fluent Japanese.
    • In Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legends, Belial speaks to Rei, who is a human, and Rei himself clearly understands him, which may clear some doubts on the matter.
  • All Myths Are True: It's almost a guarantee that whenever a myth or legend plays a role in an episode, it is 100% real and involves a kaiju that will be battled by the series' title Ultra. And about half of the time, the Ultramen themselves are connected to or were the inspiration for the myth.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: As faithful a tradition here as it is with Super Sentai, often, but not always, in the Grand Finale. A good example is in the final episode of Ultraman where Zetton and the aliens of the same name attack Science Patrol HQ and succeed in devastating much of it.
  • Alternate Universe: Most of the Heisei Ultra series take place in these, separate from the original Showa universe.
  • Animated Adaptation: One in its native Japan called The☆Ultraman and a co-production with Hanna-Barbera called Ultraman: The Adventure Begins.
  • Anti-Hero: While most Ultramen fall under the Messianic Archetype, some also have an anti-heroic attitude. Most notably: Ultraman Agul from Ultraman Gaia, Hunter Knight Tsurugi from Ultraman Mebius, Ultraman Justice from the Ultraman Cosmos movies, and Ultraman Victory from Ultraman Ginga S.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Technically "fifty-meter whatever", but it's still a franchise consisting of TV shows where giant monsters and aliens attack every week.
  • Badass Cape: The Showa Ultras are often shown wearing these around the Land of Light. It's explained in supplementary sources that in the Land of Light they symbolize the hero's status as a highly respected member of the Space Garrison.
  • Badass Crew:
  • Badass Family: Father of Ultra, his wife Mother Of Ultra/Ultra Mother, and son Ultraman Taro, and his adopted brother Ultraman Ace, later still adding Taro's own son Ultraman Taiga. We also have Ultraseven, who's Taro's cousin (from his mom's side), and his extremely powerful son, Ultraman Zero.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • Quite common with Ultra hosts, as a number of Ultras specifically chose someone who died a heroic death to be their host and bring them back as a reward.
    • It's not entirely uncommon for Ultras to die and be resurrected, either through light or Heroic Willpower or The Power of Friendship, and in fact the Land of Light has the means to resurrect them (with the Mother of Ultra being adept at it). However, this also means that Belial is capable of this trope as well.
    • Kaiju also tend to get resurrected on a regular basis by the bad guys, since the Monster Graveyard acts as a free supply zone for them.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: All the Ultras, aliens, and kaiju seem to be able to not only breathe in space, but fly through it as easily as they fly through the sky.
  • Behemoth Battle: The franchise built its success off bringing the trope from cinema to the small screen, using the same quality and innovation in special effects seen in Eiji Tsuburaya's Toho work.
  • Benevolent Monsters: Many series feature these, notably Ultraman Cosmos. Pigmon/Pygmon is also very well known as an example of the trope.
  • Big Bad: Used sometimes. YAPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL! in Ultraman Ace, Chaos Header in Ultraman Cosmos, Empera in Ultraman Mebius, Ultraman Belial for Ultraman Zero and Ultraman Geed, Dark Lugiel in Ultraman Ginga, Dark Zagi in Ultraman Nexus, and so on and so forth. Originally the Kaiju in each series acted independently but it eventually became common for their to be a single threat responsible for sending kaiju to attack Earth.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Many, many Ultra kaiju are insect-based, such as Antlar, Zetton, Doragory, Mukadender, Banpira, Aribunta, Bugbuzun, Kemujira, Kiyla, Sildron, and King Maimai. And we're not even including the Insectoid Aliens!
  • Big Good: In the Showa timeline, this role is held by the Ultra Father, the direct leader of the Space Garrison, and behind him the Ultraman King. Most of the time however the latter is a Greater-Scope Paragon who only intervenes if things really get serious.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Quite a few villains and monsters have these, but Ultraman Mebius and Hikari are among the few heroic characters to possess one.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Eiji Tsuburaya generally didn't like the use of blood, however after his death, the series became noticeably more violent and gorier, like Ultraman Ace and Ultraman Leo. This would be toned down with the Heisei series with some exceptions such as Ultraman Nexus.
  • Boss Subtitles: All Ultra monsters have these.
  • Breakout Villain: Virtually every series has a handful of kaiju or aliens who become the Ultra's most iconic foes and may end up recurring in later series.
  • Breath Weapon: Countless kaiju have these, from fire to acid to lightning to poison gas to energy beams.
  • Bridge Bunnies: The Showa series tended to feature women in Mission Control (usually, they're the only female team members too). The Heisei series would subvert this by having male examples or Two Girls to a Team, with the other being an Action Girl.
  • Broad Strokes: A canon timeline is... questionable, to say the least. It's just best not to think too hard about it...
    • Most of the Showa shows takes place together in one universe, but has a tendency to not line up because of dating systems and general inconsistenciesnote  — not to mention Ultraseven wasn't even in the canon originally, and Ultra Q is still an oddity. From a general standpoint, the Showa era continuity began taking shape after Ultraman and Ultraseven appeared alongside Ultraman Jack in Return of Ultraman, which established that both Ultraman and Seven (plus Zoffy) had visited the same Earth in the same universe, and that Jack was the third Ultra to be assigned to the planet.
    • The Heisei Ultraseven (Heisei Ultraseven and Ultraseven X) and Ultra Q (Ultra Q Dark Fantasy and Neo Ultra Q) series are related to the series they're sequels to, but they're not entirely in the timeline either.
    • Then the 2010s Ultras like the Ultraman Zero movies, Ultraman Ginga, and Ultraman Orb have everyone thrown together into one universe.
  • Busman's Holiday: The now-defunct fansite Absolute Ultraman used to joke that whenever a team member went on vacation something strange was bound to happen.
  • But Now I Must Go: Many series end this way, with the Ultra having to separate from his human host once his tour of duty on Earth is over. Later series tend to drop this, with partnership between Ultra and human being more permanent.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: Many Ultras' human alter egos may shout their Ultra forms' names when transforming, beginning with Ultraman Taro.
  • Came from the Sky: Most of the extraterrestrial kaiju do this, most notably Skydon from the original Ultraman, who was specifically named for this.
  • Canon Welding: There wasn't really an Ultra Series canon until Return of Ultraman in 1971, with all the series being treated as totally separate shows at first. Later on with Ultraman Zero's stuff, we get the Heisei series being latched onto the Showa ones as part of The Multiverse, but afterwards, it gets super complicated from there.
  • The Captain: No Ultra series is complete without one as a Supporting Leader, with such examples as Toshio Muramatsu of Science Patrol, Kaoru Kiriyama of Ultra Garrison, Megumi Iruma of GUTS, Shingo Sakomizu of GUYS, and Hiroshi Hyuuga of ZAP SPACY.
  • Chest Blaster: Many kaiju have these (such as Neosaurus and Zegan), but starting with Ultraman Ace, many Ultras have them as well as an alternative Finishing Move. It's often depicted as one of their more powerful attacks, and several Heisei series Ultras use it or a powered up version of their basic one as an 11th-Hour Superpower to destroy the Final Boss.
  • Chest Insignia: The Color Timer, which measure how long how long an Ultraman can safely fight before needing to revert to human form and reacharge, is generally located on their chest.
  • Clip Show: They tend to have these in 2010s Ultra Series, usually around the middle of the show's run, such as Ultraman Geed and Ultraman Orb. But previous series have had these as well, including a mercifully brief sequence in the original Ultraman episode, "The Monster Graveyard"; one in Ultraman Mebius that also pays homage to the final episode of Ultraman, and the New Year's episode of Ultraman Taro, which also introduced Tyrant and gave tribute to the previous four Ultraman shows.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: The Showa Ultras gained their immense power thanks to a Mass Super-Empowering Event. While at first they weren't happy about it, they came to believe there must be a reason for them to gain such power. They decided that meaning was to become protectors of the entire universe.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: Many manga adaptations and spinoffs exist, but Ultraman: Towards the Future had western-style comic books produced as well.
  • Cool Old Guy: The human forms of the Showa Ultras. All of them are around their 50s and 60s, but that doesn't stop them from looking awesome and badass. Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legends takes this even further for Hayata/Ultraman and Dan/Ultraseven.In the movie, stuck in human form, they still manage to kick ass, HARD. To be specific, Ultraman uses a fucking assault rifle to blast Alien Shaplay, while Seven used hand to hand combat and Ultra Willpower to the same alien.
  • Cool Plane: Every defense team has one or more of these, even if the kaiju tend to knock them out of the sky regularly. Many are also capable of combining with each other and can fly through space as gracefully as they can through the sky.
  • Cool Starship: The Artdessei of Ultraman Tiga, the Pendragon from Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle, Phoenix Nest Flight Mode in Ultraman Mebius, and plenty of others.
  • Crack in the Sky: Cracks in the sky usually herald the arrival of a powerful enemy, most notably the the Choju, a race of powerful bio-weapon Kaiju made by the malevolent Yapool people for the purpose of spreading misery and ruin. Notably, they're usually stronger than the average Kaiju.
  • Critical Annoyance: When an Ultraman runs low on Color Timer energy, their timers will begin beeping and flashing.
  • Crossover:
  • Crucified Hero Shot: In many of the Showa series, and a few of the Heisei ones too.
  • Cursed with Awesome: The Ultramen were once Human Aliens. When they built the Plasma Spark to replace their dying sun, it somehow mutated them into the silver giants. According to Ultraman Mebius, they weren't happy with this at first, but believed that there must be meaning for them to gain such power, and decided to use it to protect peace in the universe.
  • Darker and Edgier: Ultraseven, Ultraman Leo, Ultraman Gaia, Ultraman Nexus, Ultra Q Dark Fantasy and Ultraseven X are much darker and have a more adult tone than the other series in the franchise.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: A stock Tokusatsu trope, but more common in later series than earlier ones.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Lots of this — most of the bad guys of these shows are living forces of nature, after all. Almost literal example with Ultraman Tiga's Gatanozoa.
  • Doppelgänger Spin: Many aliens (and several kaiju) are capable of this, with the most infamous being Alien Baltan from the original Ultraman and Alien Guts from Ultraseven.
  • The Dragon: Many intelligent aliens bring powerful kaiju to use against Ultramen, Zetton being a popular choice.
  • Drill Tank: The Magmalizer from Ultraseven and the Peeper from Ultraman Tiga.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Ultra Q may be the first entry in the franchise, but rather than the superhero action that defines the franchise, it featured ordinary humans have encounters with giant monsters and supernatural occurrences, as stories were written as half-hour sci-fi movies instead. Ultraseven may also be this for some as alien invaders were the main focus instead of kaiju, with a significant number of them not being able to turn giant-sized. It is only with Return of Ultraman and Ultraman Ace does the Ultra Series as known today really begin to take shape.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Lots of them.
    • The Ultras themselves are basically benevolent Eldritch Abominations. They're beings whose bodies are made out of light, with the silvery humanoids we see being the closest humans can come to comprehending their true forms.
    • Yapool, the Big Bad of Ultraman Ace is a metaphysical being whose true form is basically the consciousness of an alien Hive Mind. His iconic "Giant Yapool" form is a state he assumes whenever he wants to personally interact with the world.
    • Gatanozoa in Ultraman Tiga is literally a Cthulhu Mythos monster, a dark god made up of darkness.
    • Greeza of Ultraman X is a living void which constantly distorts in and out of the fabric of space, to the point where when scanned it only reads as a mass of nothing.
    • There's also Chaos Header, Maga-Orochi, Bullton, Gan Q, the Kyrieloids, the Space Beasts, and many others.
  • Elemental Powers: Almost every example has been featured in the franchise with its enormous menagerie of monsters, but some Ultras have them as well, like Ultraman Mebius, Ultraman Orb, and the brothers of Ultraman R/B.
  • Energy Absorption: A lot of the tougher monsters possess the ability to consume Ultraman's energy attacks and even reflect it back at the hero, often rendering standard Finishing Moves useless. Good examples of simple Energy Absorption include Bemstar, Tyrant, and Gan-Q, while the more advanced versions are used by the likes of Zetton (who killed Ultraman with it in his debut), Blitz Blots, Goldras, and Alien Reflect.
  • Energy Being: The Ultras are this to varying degrees depending on the continuity. The Showa Era Ultras have bones and organs, but are primarily made of Light. However, in other continuities (such as the Ultraman Tiga-Ultraman Dyna universe), the Ultras bleed light instead of blood.
  • Energy Ring Attack: A number of heroes have attacks like this as a Finishing Move.
    • Ultraman has the Ultra Attack Beam, an upgraded version of his Specium Ray which is depicted as a series of spiral-shaped energy blasts. Some later Ultras have similar attacks as well, such as Ultraman 80 and his Spiral Beam (a concentrated wave of green energy circles).
    • Ultraman Ace and Ultraman 80 have both demonstrated the ability to release energy rings which can be used as restraints to hold monsters in place, allowing the Ultra to more easily perform their Finishing Move(s).
    • Ultraman Orb features attacks built entirely on this trope. Circles are a reoccurring motif in the show (befitting an Ultra named Orb), and the majority of Orb's Finishing Moves are circular energy rings and blasts, such as the Crescent Energy Wave, Water and Ground Calibur (which traps enemies in energy circles, respectively filled with cleansing water or seismic energy blasts) or the Orb Calibur's Counterattack (which absorbs an enemy's beam attacks into a spinning energy circle, which Orb then uses to smack his opponent with).
  • Evil Knockoff: There are several fake Ultramen, but they're mostly shapeshifting aliens or robot replicas though, like Alien Zarab, Gregorl-Man, Alien Babalou, Zelganoid, Chaos Ultraman, Algyuros, and Darclops Zero. A more subtle example is Ace Killer, who doesn't look exactly like an Ultraman but has similar powers.
  • Everyone Is Related: a notable chunk of the members of the Land of Lights Inter Galactic Defense Force are members of the same extended family: Ultrawoman Marie/the Mother of Ultra is married to Ultraman Ken/the Father of Ultra, they have two sons Ultraman Ace (adopted after the death of his birth parents) and Ultraman Taro, who also has a son Ultraman Taiga. Marie also has two sisters (unnamed), one of whom is married to Ultraman Jack and the other who is the mother of Ultraseven, who is the father of Ultraman Zero. Granted these aren't the only Ultras to be related to one another, but they are the only fully established family tree.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Happens a fair bit to various aliens trying to gain control of the Big Bads — Alien Zarab and Ultraman Belial, Alien Nackle and the Yapool-possessed U-Killersaurus, Alien Salome Herodia and Darklops Zero, Alien Chibu Exceller and Dark Lugiel, etc.
  • Exposed Extraterrestrials: Most aliens in the franchise don't wear any obvious clothing unless they assume human form. This includes the Ultras themselves, who simply have biological armor and occasionally wear a Badass Cape or small medals of honor at most.
  • Expy:
    • Each member of the Ultimate Force Zero (other than Zero, obviously) are modeled after Tsuburaya's giant heroes outside of Ultra Series, update with some level in badass. GlenFire is Fireman, Mirror Knight is Mirrorman and Jean-Bot is Jumborg Ace.
    • Monsters in later series are often expies of ones from earlier series. A few based on non-Ultraman kaiju appear as well (Mecha-Gillas from Ultraman 80 comes to mind).
  • Eye Beams: Many monsters have this ability.

  • Fallen Hero: While Ultras are known as the guardians of light, there are several evil Ultras throughout the franchise such as Evil Tiga, Belial, and Tregear who initially fought for good, but became corrupted and embraced darkness instead.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: All the defense teams use laser weaponry, but unlike standard firearms and vehicle armaments, these actually can hurt the monsters.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: Mostly in the '70s series, with both Kaiju and Ultras being sliced to bits, decapitated, stabbed, blinded, and even eviscerated, but also some human examples, notably a young kid getting shot in the face in the infamous Thai/Japan coproduction film Hanuman vs. 7 Ultraman.
  • Fantastic Racism: Racism told via aliens is a recurring theme in the series, like in Ultraseven, Return of Ultraman, and Ultraman Max. A few series have also mentioned that due to Alien Invasions and Aliens Are Bastards being commonplace, anti-alien sentiment is commonplace on Earth.
  • Finishing Move: It's a required part of the Ultraman arsenal, usually a variation on a Kame Hame Hadoken that makes the Monster of the Week explode spectacularly. Although not every episode ends with the monster being blown up.
  • First-Episode Resurrection: More often than not, the explanation for the protagonists' human forms.
  • Fragile Flyer: Winged Kaiju, when they appear alongside land-based counterparts, are typically depicted as the weaker of the two and are usually the ones killed or otherwise defeated first.
  • Fun with Acronyms: With exception of Ultraman's Science Patrol and Ultraseven's Ultra Garrison, the anti-monster teams almost always have fancy acronym names.
  • Fusion Dance: Ultras are shown to have this ability in most continuities, though how it works varies between the power booster type and forming a new being.
  • Gag Dub:
    • Ultraman Tiga's dub is chock-full of unfunny, mood-destroying jokes and loads of Bowdlerization. Surprise! It's from 4Kids!
    • The TNT Ultraseven dub is rather notorious for not taking itself very seriously.
    • This happened even earlier, with Space Warriors 2000, an unauthorized recut made using footage from the films Hanuman vs. 7 Ultraman and Ultraman Zoffy. Due to it's unofficial nature, it was quickly pulled from television by Tsuburaya's lawyers. Here is a "hilarious" excerpt: [1]
  • Gentle Giant: The Ultramen themselves are 50-meter benevolent aliens of light, but many series also feature peaceful kaiju that the Ultras usually don't fight, but instead have to assist or protect.
  • Giant Equals Invincible: Played with. About 80-90% of the time, the kaiju can only be defeated by the Ultramen after the humans have exhausted everything they can do against the enemy, but the human characters are often key in helping defeat the monsters in the first place. The teams have been shown to be capable of defeating monsters without the help of Ultras but it often takes a hell of a lot of time, effort, and powerful, one-of-a-kind weaponry.
  • Giant Flyer: There are lots of flying kaiju, mainly bird or pterosaur-based. Examples include Birdon, Bemstar, Maga-Basser, Lidorias, Melba, Dexador, Hydra, and Arigera.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Despite the Gentle Giant entry mentioned above, don't get it twisted: The Ultras will hold nothing back to protect humanity and the Earth, dishing out pain and justice against kaiju and alien alike. If you are a threat to peace and goodness in the galaxy, it's only a matter of time before you meet your (often explosive) end at the hands of the Ultras.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Many of the Grand Finales have many of the heroes' allies return to aid them. In some cases such as Ultraman Cosmos and Ultraman Gaia, this included the kaiju. Gaia was noteworthy as it made a token effort to avert What Measure Is a Non-Human? towards its end and the kaiju showed it while coming forward and facing off against Zogu's army.
  • Grand Finale: Each series tends to end with the Ultraman being faced with an uber-strong monster or the Big Bad and having to leave Earth or split from their host, but Ultraman Mebius, the Milestone Celebration series, went all out and did a three-episode long finale/love letter to the entire franchise.
  • Gratuitous English: Shows up quite frequently, particularly in the acronyms of defense team names. Ultraman Max and Ultraman Gaia also featured defense team members with English as their native tongue in the main cast.
  • Greater-Scope Paragon: Ultraman King is the strongest Ultra in the series, but he's a hermit who leaves Father of Ultra to watch over the Land of Light, and doesn't come out unless it's a matter of great importance.
  • Greater-Scope Villain:
    • Alien Empera is the main one for the Showa series. Many of the franchise's most iconic kaiju (including Ultraman Ace's nemesis Yapool) were once a part of the army he used to invade the Land of Light. He's first mentioned in Ultraman Taro, but it isn't until 33 years later (in Ultraman Mebius) that he actually makes an appearance.
    • Alien Reiblood spawned the Reionyx in Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle and empowered Ultraman Belial, who would go on to become one of the most infamous foes of the Ultras.
  • Green Aesop: Occurs infrequently due to the shared theme of protecting Earth; the Australian-produced series, Ultraman: Towards the Future, thrives on this trope.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Very common fate for Ultra monsters in the Showa era TV shows, especially Ultraseven and Ultraman Ace, to the point of having its own page.
  • Hand Blast: The Ultramen use these as their Finishing Moves, but lots of kaiju and aliens also have lesser versions of them.
  • Head Blast: The franchise has numerous examples, such as Ultraseven, who kickstarted the trend with his forehead beam called the Emerium Ray. Other Ultras such as Ultraman Ace, Ultraman Taro and Ultraman Leo have displayed this ability as well; basically, if an Ultra have a gem embedded in their forehead, it's definitely capable of ejecting an energy blast.
  • Heart Light: The Ultras always have one of these. The faster it's flashing, the closer they are to running out of power.
  • Henshin Hero: Considered to be the Ur-Example in Japan.
  • Hero Killer
    • Once or twice a series, a horribly powerful monster will defeat the Ultra heroes, with notable examples including Zetton and Birdon. They get better, and usually with a shiny new upgrade.
    • Ultraman Belial. The only two Ultras in the entire universe capable of even fighting him without being curbstomped are Ultraman King (who curbstomped him) and Ultraman Zero, who'd spent several years undergoing Training from Hell at Ultraman Leo's hands.
  • Hero Secret Service: Nearly every Ultra has one in the form of their military group they're teamed with, who perform support fire, wear down the monster for them, sometimes even kill lesser monsters by themselves so the hero can focus on the main baddie, and are often the ones to resurrect the Ultra in the event that they fall in battle in newer entries.
  • Holding Out for a Hero: This trope is sometimes given as the reason why 'transform into Ultraman' isn't the response to the monster showing up and the Anti-Monster group helping that particular Ultra have to make an effort first: the Ultras don't want humanity to DEPEND on them, they want them to progress to the point they can fight side-by-side WITH them.
  • Hong Kong Dub: Some of the later Ultra series were dubbed in Malaysia; the bad voice acting and extremely thick accents make the dubs almost incomprehensible to English-speaking viewers.
  • Horn Attack: Many kaiju, with a good chunk of them able to shoot laser bolts and lightning from their horns too.
  • Horned Humanoid: Some Ultras, like Ultraman Taro, Ultraman Leo, and the Father of Ultra.
  • Hour of Power: It's well-known that Ultras can only stay around for three minutes, as tracked in their Color Timers. Traditionally, this is justified as Earth's atmosphere not being suitable for the enormous absorption of solar energy required to keep them alive, but some Ultras don't seem to have this problem and can stay around much longer unless the plot demands it. However, this idea was originally made as a way to keep Ultraman from being completely invincible and because it helps keep the special effects budget in check.
  • Human Aliens: The Ultramen often become such, but they were once human-like before the Plasma Spark transformed them.
    • Many aliens (both good and evil) appear as such too, but it's often unclear whether this is a disguise or not, since many aliens in the franchise can take human forms.
  • Humanoid Aliens: Most of the evil aliens (Zarab, Guts, Nackle, Temperor etc.), since they're portrayed by People in Rubber Suits.
  • Humans Are Special: The reason that the Ultramen put Earth on a very high priority. Humans are identical to them before the Plasma Spark turned them into their current forms, so they think of humans as a reflection of themselves.
  • Humans Need Aliens: A curious example. While the defense teams always need the Ultras to save the day against the monster in almost every episode, the Ultras often need their help when it comes to powerful foes as well. In fact, the Ultras like to make it clear that they don't want humans to become reliant on them.
  • Humongous Mecha: Plenty of giant robots. King Joe, Windam, Imperiser, Galactron, Darclops Zero, Grand King, Mecha-Gomora, Jean-Bot, Deathfacer, etc.
  • Hybrid Monster: Plenty, often serving as super-powerful foes for the heroes. They include Tyrant, Izmael, Jumbo King, Giga Chimera, Five King, the Belial Fusion Beasts, Zeppandon, and Beryudora.
  • International Co Production: Ultraman: The Adventure Begins and Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero with USA (although neither ever aired there), as well as Ultraman: Towards the Future with Australia (also never aired there). There's also Hanuman vs. 7 Ultraman with Thailand, but fans prefer not to talk about that one due to the legal chaos that resulted from it.
  • Imported Alien Phlebotinum: The Transformation Trinkets that Ultras give to their hosts, but also METEOR from Ultraman Mebius and much of the technology used by TLT in Ultraman Nexus.
  • Isle of Giant Horrors: The series has featured a couple over the years, such as Tatara Island in the original Ultraman, Subject Phantom from Ultraman Max, and the Kapuya Islands of Ultraman Cosmos.
  • Joke Character: Ultraman Zearth and Ultraman Nice. The former was created as a Self-Parody while the latter was created for a series of commercials (and Japanese commercials are well known for being bizarre), so when they appear in stage shows or make cameos, they are often a comic relief duo.
  • The Juggernaut: Some of the kaiju are so strong that even the Ultramen have trouble defeating them. Good examples include Antlar, Tyrant, Fire Golza, Black King, and King Joe.
  • Kaiju: Where would the franchise be without them? They run the gamut of appearances and origins, and many are just as famous and popular as the Ultramen themselves (Gomora, Red King, Eleking, Zetton, King Joe, Antlar, Pandon, Twin Tail, Bemstar, etc.).
  • Kame Hame Hadoken: Almost all Ultramen possess some variant of this, typically done by putting their arms into a cross-like shape.
  • Kiai: The Ultras do this quite a bit. Each one has their own stock grunts, but the original Ultraman's "SCHUWATCH!" is best known.
  • The Kiddie Ride: There's one by Sega with a simple racing game built in that you get to pick and race against several Ultras, and one strange ride that you get to ride on the back of Ultraman, the latter has been copied endlessly by Chinese knockoff ride manufacturers and is the basis of various knockoff "ride on a superhero's back" rides that are quite common in Asia.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo
  • Leitmotif: The "Wandaba" scat theme that is used for many of the defense teams. Modified versions appear in Fireman, Mirrorman and Jumborg Ace.
  • Licensed Game: Lots of them, such as the infamous Ultraman: Towards the Future for the SNES and the more well-received Ultraman Fighting Evolution series.
  • Light Is Good: The Ultramen are beings of light, after all.
  • Lighter and Softer: Ultraman Taro, Ultraman Dyna, Ultraman Cosmos, and Ultraman Max are all much less somber and often more comical in tone.
  • Long-Lived: Ultras are extremely long lived. For reference: Ultraman Mebius is 6,800 years old and considered young.
  • Long Runner: The entire Ultra Series has been running for over 50 years and still going. The number of episodes is so mind-boggling huge that why would you even bother to count?
  • Lovecraft Lite
    • Some of the monsters are truly eldritch in nature (like Bullton or Gan Q), you just won't realize it as the Ultras (nearly) always avert their effect. Sometimes though, not even they're immune to the monstrosity.
    • Ultraman Tiga and Ultraman Cosmos seemed to love this trope, an Eldritch Abomination taking the role as Big Bad in the latter, with a healthy dose of The Corruption.
  • Mass Super-Empowering Event: The Origin Story of the Showa Ultras — they replaced their dying sun with the Plasma Spark, which mutated their entire species into the powerful giants they are now.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The usage of "Ultra" originates the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, in which the gymnasts had created an impressive maneuver dubbed the "Ultra C", turning the word "Ultra" into a catchphrase by the announcers. Eiji Tsuburaya (developing Ultra Q under the title Unbalance at the time) was inspired by the English word's popularity, and the rest, as they say, is history.
    • Many Ultras and monsters have names that can be quite meaningful or punny if you're familiar with the Japanese language or the Bible.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Thrives heavily off this, with so many heroes, monsters, vehicles, and Transformation Trinkets just begging to be turned into toys. 2010s series like Ultraman Ginga, Ultraman Orb, and Ultraman Geed kick it up a notch with the Spark Dolls, Ultra Cards, Ultra Capsules, etc. becoming an integrated part of the show due to Bandai's partial ownership of Tsuburaya Productions.
  • Messianic Archetype: Most Ultras and their human alter egos are this (especially the earlier ones).
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: It would be more appropriate to say Mid-Cours upgrade due to the way Japanese TV airings work, but many Ultras get a new power, a new form, or a new weapon at some point in the middle of the series in order to battle an especially powerful monster. Examples include Ultraman Max, Ultraman Mebius, Ultraman Orb, Ultraman Cosmos, and Ultraman Geed.
  • Militaries Are Useless: Defied with the various organizations (The Science Patrol, Ultra Garrison, M.A.T, etc) that assist the Ultras. They're shown as very effective against various monsters even if they needed the Ultra's help. There are even times where they managed to save an ultra or take care of a threat without their help.
  • Mind Control: This happens from time to time, due to the fact that many of the aliens of the Ultra Series are able to control humans in some way to make them do their bidding.
  • Moe Anthropomorphism: It's official, various kaiju got this in Ultra Kaijuu Gijinka Keikaku (Ultra Monsters Anthropomorphization Project). The project also got three manga series (two traditional and a 4koma) and a web anime short series.
  • Mons: The Capsule Monsters from Ultraseven and the Maquette Monsters of Ultraman Mebius. Then there's Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle, which focuses almost entirely around this.
  • Monster of the Week: With the exception of Ultraman Nexus (in which a single monster takes anywhere between 2-6 episodes to finally kill off), this forms the formula of the franchise's series. Of course, some one-shot foes end up becoming recurring enemies of the heroes if they're popular enough.
  • The Movie: Several of these, see the list above.
  • Multiform Balance: Many Heisei Ultras can do this. Some like Ultraman Tiga, Ultraman Dyna, and Ultraman Cosmos simply change type as they wish, while others like Ultraman Orb and Ultraman Geed do so by using items containing the powers of other Ultras for brand new forms and new sets of powers.
  • Multi-Part Episode: Many of these, but the most notable is "The Monster Prince" two-parter from the original Ultraman, which introduced Gomora and saw Ultraman get defeated for the first time.
  • The Multiverse: Beginning with Ultraman Zero's stuff, the Ultra Series has been portrayed as such. The different universes include:
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Lots of kaiju reference earlier series' beasties. If they're recycled from a previous show, they'll do something that references their actions in their debut episode.
    • Some series just thrive off of this to the point of Continuity Lockout - Ultraman Mebius is a good example.

  • Named After Their Planet: The reason why almost all the alien foes of the Ultras are called "Alien ____" (or "____ Seijin" in Japanese), although Kemur-Man from Ultra Q uses a different style for this convention. A notable exception to the trope is Dada from Ultraman.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands:
    • Although the Ultras always have a set base of powers, many develop and use one-shot attacks for specific monsters that are never seen again, or, even, completely pointless in the face of a preexisting one. And each time they would re-appear in another series, they'd only have the base powers they were known for. However, the worst offender is Ultraman Jack's Ultra Bracelet, which can shapeshift into whatever is needed at the time. It even revived him from the dead when he was dismembered by the kaiju Snowgon! But as a rule of thumb, it seems to be that Ultras prefer to use their conventional abilities, only using their "new powers" if it is absolutely critical for defeating the Monster of the Week.
    • Recurring kaiju are also prone to this, showing off abilities in later series that they never displayed in earlier appearances. Gomora's Super Oscillatory Wave introduced in Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle is a good example of this.
  • Oddball in the Series:
    • The franchise tends to produce some that deviate a fair bit from the standard formula, like Ultraseven (which dealt almost entirely with alien invaders instead of kaiju), Ultraman Cosmos (in which the hero would try to pacify monsters instead of killing them), and Ultraman Nexus (a Darker and Edgier reboot attempt where monsters are dealt with more seriously and form story arcs, taking multiple episodes to kill).
    • Ultra Q and Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle (although technically they're considered spinoffs) are also notable, as the Ultramen have little to no role in those series.
    • In the 2010s, this became more regular, as the defense team formula was usually eschewed for more varying casts, like a gang of paranormal investigators in Ultraman Orb and the protagonist's friends in Ultraman Geed and Ultraman Ginga.
  • Off with His Head!: Like bisection it's a common fate for monsters, also having its own page.
  • Offscreen Rebuilding: A hallmark of Toku, though the heroes do try to keep their collateral damage to a minimum.
  • The Omnipotent: Ultraman King, the God of the Ultras. He's referred to as almighty and so far has never shown anything close to the limit of his power. He's effortlessly defeated the incredibly powerful Ultraman Belial then created a moon around him to imprison him, brought a dismembered Ultraman Leo back to life with zero effort, and merged with the universe to save it from cosmic destruction.
  • Once per Episode: Every episode has to have the main character become the series' Ultra at least once, and 90% of the time, he has to fight the Monster of the Week.
  • One Riot, One Ranger:
    • In the universes where Ultras are an organized military group, the Ultra Space Garrison normally only sends a single Ultra to deal with a planet's current kaiju infestation/run of alien invasions. It's normally enough. However, often times other Ultras are often shown to be ready to jump in and help if things get too much for that one Ultra.
    • Exaggerated with the fact Zoffy is shown to be frequently deployed to wipe out entire alien invasion fleets on his own.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The franchise has featured a decent variety of dragon-based kaiju over the years, like Narse, Hydra, Dorako, Fire-Draco, Dodongo, Mizunoenoryu, Don Ron, Zorlim, Dipras, Zoiger, Natsunomeryu, and Maga-Orochi.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: A common nickname for the Ultras is 'Giants of Light.' Given they're 50 meter tall human-like beings, they certainly qualify.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: It's a well-known fact that the Ultra Series has lots of bizarre kaiju and aliens, even amongst their more standard-looking foes. Many have become popular and iconic in their own right for being weird, such as Bullton, Gan Q, Dada, Alien Metron, Lunatyx, and Nova.
  • People in Rubber Suits: Both heroes and villains. The sheer gamut of designs is worth marveling at alone, but for bonus points, some kaiju have very unconventional suit designs, such as not having any limbs for the suit actor to put his arms and legs through. Additionally, several quadruped kaiju do not crawl on their knees, like most four-legged monsters (like Anguirus from the Godzilla movies), but actually stand on all four feet!
  • Phantom Zone:
  • Physical God:
    • Ultraman King. Not only is he considered to be god of the Ultras, throughout his appearances he is shown to be all-knowing and omnipotent. He is even shown capable of reviving a dismembered Ultraman Leo without breaking a sweat. In the Ultra Galaxy movie, he is able to easily defeat Ultraman Belial who managed to defeat every Ultraman except Zero and form a space prison around him — which also acts as a moon to the Land of Light — singlehandedly. And in Geed, he recreates the universe after Belial destroys it.
    • Ultraman Noa (the original, true form of Ultraman Nexus) and Ultraman Legend (the Fusion Dance of Ultraman Cosmos and Ultraman Justice) are both considered deity-level Ultras, though it's unclear whether they're on King's level.
  • Power Crystal: The Color Timers are usually these (either built into their bodies or grafted on for missions).
  • Power Limiter: The Color Timers serve as this. Most Ultras can only safely remain on Earth for only three minutes due to the atmosphere limiting the massive amounts of light they require to survive. Additionally, taking massive amounts of damage can make a Color Timer go off early. It usually requires about twenty-four hours for a Color Timer to fully recharge..
  • Psychotic Smirk: Often whoever's the Evil Knockoff of the titular giant makes this expression, but some kaiju manage to pull this off beyond just being toothy. Enomena and Gazote/Gazort/Gazoto from Ultraman Tiga, as well as Fake Agul/Algyuros from Ultraman Gaia, are prime examples.
  • Puny Earthlings: Pretty much every alien has the power to change size, disguise themselves as a human, and command kaiju. The good news for humans is that one of these races has decided to take our side.
  • Red Is Heroic: All Ultraman have silver and another color as part of their design, with red being far and away the most common.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: If a show has two main Ultramen, they often form this dynamic, one being passionate and optimistic while the other is cooler and more pragmatic. An excellent example is Ultraman Gaia and Ultraman Agul from Ultraman Gaia, who literally are red and blue.
  • Retcon: As of 2011, most of the Ultra Shows have been retconned into one continuity, with most Ultras coming from or claiming M78 as their home. More like, it has confirmed there are Alternate Universe counterparts for all these Ultras in the M78 continuity. The latest Ultraman Zero movie confirms that the Ultraman multiverse exists.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Hanejiro in Ultraman Dyna and Rimu/Lim. Eleking in Ultraman Mebius, who are incidentally both the Team Pet of their shows.
  • Rogues Gallery: Countless recurring kaiju in the franchise's 50-year history pulled from nearly every series are reused on a regular basis to menace new generations of Ultra heroes.
  • Rogues' Gallery Transplant: Kaiju from later series tend to be recycled from previous ones, especially if they're extremely well-known or popular.
  • Rookie Red Ranger:
  • Say My Name: While not universal, most human hosts call out their Ultra partner's name when they trigger the transformation. This was invoked in Ultraman Z, where Z specifically tells Haruki to shout "Ultraman Z!" This in turn led the showrunners to make "I ask that you chant my name!" Z's Catchphrase.
  • Scenery Porn
  • Sea Monster: Many of the aquatic kaiju, like Eleking, Gubira, Muruchi, Reicubas, Maga-Jappa, Lagoras, Gesura, Seagorath, Pestar, and Takkong.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Villains and monsters sometimes fall into this, such as the King Demon Beasts in Ultraman Orb, Ultraman Belial, and Gatanozoa and the Dark Giants in Ultraman Tiga.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Some series feature the Ultramen as such, like Ultraman Tiga's petrified statue, the Spark Dolls of Ultraman Ginga, and Ultraman X's consciousness becoming data.
  • Secret Identity: Most Ultraman human hosts/forms keep their alter egos secret from their teammates until the end of the series.
  • Shared Signature Move: Every Ultra in the franchise can perform the Ultra Beam by putting their arms in a cross formation. However, they can use it as base for creating variations, but ultimately the cross armed beam is the signature attack for the entire race in all universes. It was originally called the Spacium Beam when the first Ultraman aired, but eventually got renamed Ultra Beam once other series had different Ultras having their own names for the same beam attack. Additionally, Ultraseven reveals through a mindscope of the titular Ultra that the formula for element that allows Ultras to use the beams is "M2SH3GWAB1".
  • Sharing a Body: Implied to be the case with most Ultras and their human hosts, but it's more obvious in some cases like Leito Igaguri and Ultraman Zero in Ultraman Geed. Ultraman Taiga is unique in that there are four beings sharing that one body.
  • Shipless Faster-Than-Light Travel: The various heroes are fully capable of travelling from their homeworld in Nebula M78 to distant planets without the need for starships. They have starships (in the online exclusive Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Absolute Conspiracy series, Princess Yullian is seen travelling in one) and the Ultras have been seen using red orbs to travel (though that seems to be in order to conserve their strength in preparation for a fight), but normally Ultras are shown to easily travel between worlds or even galaxies.
  • Sibling Team: Some Ultras, such as Ultraman Leo and Astra, Ultraman Ace and Ultraman Taro (adopted in this case), and the title duo of Ultraman R/B.
  • Sizeshifter: A basic Ultra power, though normally they shrink less often than they grow. Many of the aliens in the series can perform this as well. Ultraman Max is unique in that he can also increase his size to a maximum of 900 meters, though like a lot of one-off Ultra powers, he seems to only use it if it is absolutely necessary.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Individual shows can vary, but the franchise as a whole generally favors idealism. Even among the darkest and most serious entries, there's still ultimately an air of optimism and hopefulness, although that won't stop individual episodes from tackling heavier subject matter with a Downer Ending or Bittersweet Ending included, and in the more cynical entries, the hero may prevail but there's no guarantee they won't be put through the wringer in the process (Leo being a good example). Still, very rarely will you see this franchise go as cynical as the likes of contemporaries such as Kamen Rider, whose stories can border on downright bleak at their darkest. Across the franchise, idealistic themes including Humans Are Special, never giving into despair, and fighting for a better tomorrow will consistently shine through, even in the most cynical moments.
  • Space Police: Most Ultras belong to such an organization, known as the Space Garrison. However, it deals with troublemakers of a far greater scale, up to and including Eldritch Abominations and Galactic Conquerors
  • Spell My Name with an S:
    • Almost all of the monsters' names, especially for the series that haven't been localized for English speaking countries — which is pretty much all of them. This can make a massive headache out of viewers trying to hunt around for info on kaiju from this franchise.
    • Ultraseven, Ultra Seven, Ultra-7 (English dub only)... there's really no official way of spelling his name.
    • And depending on who you ask, it's either Father/Mother of Ultra, or Ultra Father/Mother.
  • Spinoff Babies: Ultraman Kids, a Lighter and Softer 26-episode anime featuring kiddified versions of several different Ultras and monsters.
  • Stranded Invader: Return of Ultraman isn't an invader, per se, his job being a "Space Inspector" tasked with observing planets, Mates however gets badly affected with Earth's pollution, lose contact with his UFO and is stranded on our planet for years unable to go home. He ends up adopting an orphaned human child while searching for his UFO, but this story unfortunately has a Downer Ending when Mates' identity as an alien is exposed and he's killed by a human policeman as result of Fantastic Racism.
    • Alien Chadabin from Ultraman Dyna originally came to Earth to blow it up in order to facilitate a space construction project, believing it to be an empty planet, until he accidentally kills an innocent human and realize earth is inhabited. Out of guilt, Chadabin assume the deceased's identity and forgo the chance to return to his planet, becoming a loving husband and father to the dead man's family and spending the rest of his life as an Earthling.
    • The inhabitants of the Nebula House from Ultraman X, consisting of an Alien Icarus, and Alien Nackle and an Alien Valkie are originally agents sent by their race with plans to conquer Earth, but after realizing Earth is under Ultraman X's protection and that previous aliens had failed, decide to stay put. They end up losing contact with their superiors and eventually remains on earth in their human disguises, assuming normal human jobs while sharing a rented apartment together.
    • Ultraman Orb reveals that their version of Earth has plenty of alien invaders living among humans, all of them who got stranded after botched invasions one way or another. Notably, there's an alternate version of Commander Black, who ends up becoming a diner owner after a thwarted invasion, and is famous among humans and aliens alike for his delicious coffee.
    • Ultraman Taiga continues the trend with numerous failed alien invaders deciding to live their lives out among humans, in human disguises. Notably an Alien Bat who adopts a human name, Seiji Komori with his partner, an Alien Pitt who likewise gave herself a human name, Hitomi Mizuno, forming an Interspecies Romance and deciding to ditch their invasion ideas.
  • Super-Powered Alter Ego: Although how much the Ultras and humans share the body varies. In some, like Daigo Madoka and Gamu Takayama, the Ultra side is dormant until they transform. In others, like Shin Hayata and Hideki Goh, it seems to be that the Ultras are dominant. Leito Igaguri presents an interesting case in that Ultraman Zero can take full control of Leito's body whenever he wishes.
  • Super Toughness: The Ultras in general, due to having literal armor for skin.
  • Symbiotic Possession: Most Ultras do this, for when times get too tough, their human hosts can call upon their power to save the day.

  • Tagalong Kid: Older series tend to have such characters like Isamu Hoshino in Ultraman or Tohru Umeda in Ultraman Leo. The Movies almost always features one, with the best example being Nao from Ultraman Zero: The Revenge of Belial.
  • Tail Slap: Many kaiju, most notoriously Gomora, while Eleking sports a Prehensile Tail.
  • Thematic Rogues Gallery: All the Ultras' enemies can be summed up as "Giant Monsters and Alien Invaders". Of course, they come in a diverse array of origins, motifs, appearances, and much more, but they're all generally defined as being threats to what the Ultramen have sworn to protect — the peace of Earth and humans.
  • Time Abyss: Ultras are extremely long lived beings, and thus even the youngest qualifies. For reference: Ultraman Mebius is over 6,000 years old and Ultraman Zero is 5,900. Both are considered teenagers by Ultra standards. In contrast, the Father of Ultra, the oldest known normal Ultra, is 140,000 years old. However, the reigning champs are Ultraman King and Ultraman Noa (the original form of Ultraman Nexus) who are both in the 300,000 year old range.
  • To Win Without Fighting: On more than one occasion, the Ultras have to do this with a benevolent or non-malicious Monster of the Week, usually having to either fulfill its needs or protect it from something else.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Subverted. While there are many episodes that involve Tokyo, and it is certainly the most important city in any series, there have been numerous stories set in other parts of Japan (most unfamiliar to non-Japanese viewers). They've even had a few adventures in other countries and outer space!
  • Touched by Vorlons: According to the Manga, those who merged with Ultras may gain some of their abilities even after the Ultra has departed. This has been touched upon in some of the series as well, but mostly the main benefit of being an Ultra's host is being brought Back from the Dead.
  • Transformation Sequence: Not common, as the franchise likes to keep transformations short and sweet, but later series are more likely to feature them.
  • Transformation Trinket: The human hosts/forms use these in order to become Ultramen (with the exception of Ultraman Jack's Hideki Goh, who used his own willpower). In the 2010s series, these were expanded to the monsters as well, such as the Kaiju Capsules and the Spark Dolls.
  • Tunnel King: There are lots of burrowing kaiju in these shows, like Gomora, Telesdon, Earthtron/Arstron, Golza, Gomess, Gudon, Antlar, Gubira, Tigris, and Mogrudon.
  • Up, Up and Away!: Ultras almost always do this after defeating the Monster of the Week. Also done whenever the humans transform.
  • Variant Power Copying: Series since Ultraman X have made this a staple ability of the Ultra heroes, usually allowing them to get forms based on the powers of previous heroes or monsters. (The trend was, however, originally kicked off by Ultraman Ginga, which used regular Power Copying instead.)
  • Villain Decay: No matter how nigh-unstoppable the monster was in their original appearance, they'll almost always be much easier for the Ultras to defeat in any reappearances.
  • Villain Team-Up: With so many kaiju, aliens, and Big Bads, it's not uncommon for later series to pair up bad guys from different shows to fight different Ultramen.
  • Vine Tentacles: Various plant-themed monsters and villains typically use vines as whips and tentacles.
  • Wham Episode: Lots of these. For example, in the original Ultraman, an episode called "The Monster Prince" shocked the viewers because it was the first time Ultraman actually LOST a fight. Same for when Zetton killed him at the end of the series in "Farewell, Ultraman".
  • When Trees Attack: Lots of plant kaiju, including Greenmons, Juran, Astromons, Gijera, Solitura, Alien Jagira, Keronia, Leogon, Sabotendar, and Rafleya.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Many examples. While most of the kaiju are just forces of nature, many of the aliens have good reasons for the trouble they cause on Earth. And even then, sometimes the ethics of killing kaiju are brought into question. Subverted overall, because the Ultras themselves are aliens.
  • The Worf Effect: Any kaiju that defeats an Ultra in their first appearance demonstrates how powerful it is through that, notably Gomora and Zetton in the original Ultraman, though Birdon killing Zoffy in Ultraman Taro is also well-known. The kaiju may also be on the receiving end occasionally, as seen with Red King and Tyrant.
  • Youkai: As a Japanese series, many kaiju based on youkai have appeared, like Snowgon, Woo, Enmargo, Sakuna Oni, King Kappa, Tepeto, Obikoboushi, Jihibikiran, and Yamawarawa

Ultraman. Bringing Peace to Earth Since 1966.

Alternative Title(s): Ultraman



The trope maker for Henshin Heroes in Tokusatsu

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