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From a distant planet land, comes our hero Ultraman.note 
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The Ultra Series is one of the oldest and most influential Toku franchises of all time, being the creator of the Kyodai Hero subgenre (with "Kyodai" literally meaning "giant" in Japanese). As First Installment Wins, the original series has become very iconic and commonly homaged in pop culture, as has the titular Ultraman himself.

As a result, there have been no shortage of many Ultraman-like heroes both from Tsuburaya Productions themselves (the producers of the Ultra Series) and other studios, mainly in the 1970's thanks to the popularity of the Ultra Series leading to multiple shows with a similar formula in an attempt to capitalize on its success, later on after the initial craze of the series died, homages began to take the place of these competitors.

To identify them, there's a collective of characteristics that are iconic to Ultraman and a dead-ringer for a deliberate homage that the character should have:

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Not all these criteria have to met at once - even within the Ultra Series itself there are some divergences from the pattern.

Sub-Trope to Fountain of Expies and Stock Parodies. See also Mech vs. Beast, with which this trope sometimes overlaps.


Examples

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     Anime and Manga 
  • Kinnikuman: The series started off as an Affectionate Parody of Ultraman, with the protagonist being an alien Super Hero with a head fin and the power to grow to giant size by eating garlic. Though it's better known for its subsequent Genre Shift to a semi-serious pastiche of Professional Wrestling.
  • Manatsu Tomosato of Kaiju Girl Caramelise is a Spoiled Sweet girl who uses her money to fund her obsession with Kaiju and other Tokusatsu media. One way this manifests is that she makes all her family's male servants sport buzz-cut mohawks and sunglasses that give them a strong resemblance to Ultraman.
  • Birdy the Mighty: The basic story is very similar to Ultraman, with an intergalactic police officer accidentally mortally wounding a human and merging with him, and the two now fighting against evil aliens that arrive on Earth. Birdy even has red and white bicoloured hair and the last part of the remake manga's sequel series Evolution even sees Birdy in a pink and white outfit.
  • Patlabor has a dream episode where Noa homages Ultraman and transforms into a giant hero with a similar color scheme, to fight a Zetton-like monster as a recreation of the famous final episode of the original series.
  • From DokiDoki! PreCure, Aguri Madoka is a downplayed example, mixing elements of Ultraman and Big One. While not a giant, she transforms from her 9-year-old human form to the 16-year-old Cure Ace, and is more powerful than the rest of the team but can only stay transformed for a short time (complete with the jewel on her chest flashing like a Color Timer). She's also not from Earth, has a red-and-white colour scheme, and transforms using a Transformation Trinket.
  • Although not a full blown member of this trope, Angol Mois of Sgt. Frog follows the example of Ultraseven (the succeeding series of Ultraman), being portrayed as an alien who took on a human form based on a human that caught her interest.
  • The 2005 fanservice anime Ultimate Girls feature Silk Koharu becoming an Ultraman-like giant hero, actually her as a costumed giant. The Critical Annoyance played here that instead of a Color Timer-like lamp, her costume slowly torn to reveal bits of her skin, hence the necessity to finish the fight quickly.
  • The first episode of Concrete Revolutio has a human named Akira Shiota who fuses with a crash-landed alien named Grosse Augen. Ironically its an inversion of the trope where the human has the ability to fuse with aliens and the alien's form was used to fight monsters in the city. It also helps that when he was hunted down by the Superhuman Bureau, Jiro helped Akira to Faking the Dead by expelling Grosse Augen and instead taking S Planeterian (an alien expy of Kyrieloid) to become his new host.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: The Eva units are a particularly warped example. Initially they're presented as Humongous Mecha which the taskforce NERV (and their backers SEELE) built to fight alien Kaiju, and which have a limited operational time due to running on batteries. In truth they're actually lobotomised alien giants which NERV created through cloning, and controls by fusing them with the souls of their pilots' mothers. They're also strangely lean and athletic in design, with Word of God saying they were intentionally animated to resemble the movements of Ultramen.
  • In Senki Zesshou Symphogear AXZ, Hibiki Tachibana becomes a vessel for the "Power of God" into an incomplete rampaging giant of light due to possessing Gungnir the God Killer. This form, called Destructor God Hibiki, resembles an Ultraman and even has a blinking Color Timer-like organ on her chest.
  • SSSS.GRIDMAN: As a reboot of the original show, this series' Gridman and other heroes like Gridknight take on similar traits to the Ultras design-wise and power-wise, moreso in the finale when Gridman recovers his original form.

     Comic Books 
  • While Giant-Man was not directly based on Ultraman, his similarities to the character (being a red hero with Sizeshifter powers and sometimes a silver helmet) mean that when he appears in Japanese media he's almost always either compared to Ultraman or given traits that make him more similar to Ultraman. This is probably why, for instance, his Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers incarnation risks dying if he stays enlarged for more than a few minutes.
  • Kaijumax: The guards of the titular facility are designed after the Ultras. Being giant humanoid aliens who combat Kaiju and bond with other species in Symbiotic Possession, though they are not really heroic in nature.
  • In Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance, Ultimon, the leader of Japan's old superhero team, is a notable Ultraman expy, complete with a funky helmet and a jewel on the chest of his costume.

     Film - Live-Action 
  • Godzilla: Jet Jaguar from Godzilla vs. Megalon is a very notable Ultraman copy, being a silver/red (with some yellow and blue added to make him more distinct) hero that can grow to size and fights the Kaiju Megalon and Gigan alongside Godzilla.
  • The Super Justice Team (a whole family of expies) in Big Man Japan, Played for Laughs.
  • The Super Inframan, an old Shaw Brothers sci-fi film where the titular hero is a pastiche between Ultraman and Kamen Rider. He can even super-size himself, and launch energy blasts by crossing his hands together and at one point, enlarges himself to kaiju size to defeat a similarly-supersized monster.

     Live-Action TV 
  • Tsuburaya Productions: As the original producers of the Ultra Series, they've made many Ultraman-like heroes following the success of the original shows. Chief among them stand:
    • Denkou Choujin Gridman: The titular hero is a digital expy of Ultraman, being a red/silver giant that fights against Kaiju and can change his size to match his opponents, other heroes in the franchise follow a similar pattern to him. The series also had a Power Rangers-like adaptation in the West known as Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad.
    • Fireman: Like the aforementioned Gridman, Fireman takes a lot after Ultraman, being red/silver colored and fighting Kaiju, as well as being an alien from outer space.
    • Mirrorman: The titular hero was a downplayed example at first, lacking a Color Timer and having no red/silver color scheme instead having the red replaced by green. Later on he does gain a Color Timer of his own after the series had a Retool.
    • Redman: The titular hero is also a big Ultraman homage, but lacks a color timer, doesn't appears to change in size and fights much more aggressively than his inspiration. Supplementary material also states that Redman was born when an alien who was the Last of His Kind merged with a human officer to combat Kaiju.
    • Jumborg Ace: Created for Tsuburaya's 10th anniversary, the titular hero was also an homage to Ultraman as a silver/red hero who fights Kaiju. Though in this case, the hero is a Humongous Mecha rather than a giant alien.
      • The Emerald Alien, who gives the human pilot his vehicles, looks like a Color Timer-less green-eyed Ultraman.
  • Iron King: The hero of the show is a red and silver giant who transforms from a human to fight Kaiju, and has his gems serving as a Critical Annoyance when he's running low on energy.
  • Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger: Unofficial Giant God Prism Ace is an Expy and Corrupted Character Copy of Ultraman, but he also serves as a living Take That! to Chaiyo Productions, a company infamous for trying to steal the rights to the Ultra Series after a collaboration with Tsuburaya Studios.
  • Spectreman: The titular character acts and resembles a cross between Ultraman (complete with a shiny pointed helmet and Sizeshifter ability) and Superman, being an interplanetary agent who protects the Earth against evil monsters and alien invaders, while also maintaining a Secret Identity as an ordinary human.
  • Zone Fighter: As one of the more notable Follow the Leader attempts to emulate the Ultra Series' success, the titular hero is very much an Ultraman in everything but name. The series even drives the point more by having Expies of famous Ultra Series Kaiju fight the hero.

     Tabletop Games 
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: There are many homages to the Ultras in various cards, stand-outs are:
  • Monsterpocalypse: One of the factions, the Shadow Sun Syndicate, is a criminal organization that has developed a procedure that turns selected soldiers into size-shifting bio-mechanical ninja named "Zors" (and although the name recalls the Power Rangers, their model design is significantly Ultraman-esque).

    Video Game 
  • Astro Guy of King of the Monsters is a human(oid) character with a red-and-blue costume, a helmet crest, and yellow goggles that evoke Ultraman's appearance. Fitting, as many of the other playable characters that he can fight are expies of famous Kaiju.
  • Tech Romancer: In the Cast of Expies of various Humongous Mecha franchises, Pulsion is the Ultraman stand-in, being a Human Alien who transforms into a red-and-silver giant and can fire Ultraman-style beams and energy disks. Pulsion's moveset also includes weapons and a berserker mode which reference Neon Genesis Evangelion, a series with action scenes heavily styled after Ultraman.

     Western Animation 
  • Ben 10:
    • The title character received his powers by bonding with the Omnitrix, a Super Wrist-Gadget which contains the DNA of different alien species and can transform him into one of them. All of his transformations have the green Omnitrix symbol somewhere on their bodies, which after a random period of time will begin flashing red and return him to human form.
    • One of Ben's strongest alien forms, "Way Big", is a blatant Ultraman stand-in, being a red-and-white giant with its Omnitrix symbol on its chest, and a head fin similar to the original Ultraman. Its powers include Flight and firing a "cosmic ray" from its arms similar to Ultraman's signature Specium Ray, while its species "Toku'star" is a blatant corruption of "Tokusatsu". In Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, Way Big's Ultimate Form has a red-white-blue colour scheme similar to Ultraman Tiga, adds more Ultraman attacks to its arsenal, and even performs a "Rise" to further drive the point.
  • Downplayed with Capital G from Dexter's Laboratory. As a size-changing black hero who is a member of the Justice Friends, he more closely resembles Marvel Comics character Bill Foster/Black Goliath. However, his red/blue/white color scheme and goggles, coupled with him turning giant during the episode "Last But Not Beast" to fight the giant monster Badaxtra during the latter's rampage in Japan, give him a faint resemblance to Ultraman.
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