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Series / Ultraman Ace

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Spoilers for the Land of Light continuity of the Ultra Series preceding this one, including Return of Ultraman, may be left unmarked. You Have Been Warned!
Now, transform, Hokuto and Minami!

Stand up and fight
Stand up and fight
Ultraman Ace
He's the ace of outer space!

Ultraman Ace is a tokusatsu show that aired from 1972 to 1973. It is the fifth installment in the Ultra Series.

Yapool, an interdemensional mastermind with an eternal grudge against the Ultras, seeks to take over the Earth with Terrible-Monsters (aka Choju, or 'Super Monsters'), his empowered artificial monsters, along with a handful of aliens recruited into his ranks as agents. The 5th Ultra Brother, Ultraman Ace, goes to combat him not in one, but two hosts, who he saves during Yapool's first attack against the Earth: TAC officers Seiji Hokuto and Yuko Minami. Together, Seiji and Yuko (and later just Seiji) must combat Yapool's forces and other nasties to preserve peace on Earth.

Ultraman Ace provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Dad: Father of Ultra, who adopted Ace into his family when Ace was orphaned as an infant.
  • Action Girl: Yuko Minami, who not only fought alongside her team but was one of two hosts of Ace (at least until she was written out of the show).
  • All Your Powers Combined: Ace Killer absorbed the powers of all the crucified Ultras in episodes 13 and 14 to defeat Ace. It didn't work. And then the Ultra Brothers gave their powers to Ace to perform his one-shot special move, the Space Q. That did work.
  • And That's Terrible: This line from the final episode is a particular knee-slapper, when Yapool (in Jumbo King's body) demands the humans to surrender Alien Simon (which is currently in the care of Hokuto and three kids):
    Yapool [through Jumbo King]: If you Earthlings protect Alien Simon, you're our enemy! Give Simon to us! Or else, I'll destroy everything and kill everyone!
    Random kid: … if that happens, that'll be bad.
  • The Artifact: Starting at the end of episode 28, Minami is written out of the show, and for the remainder of the series Hokuto transforms into Ace all on his own. Despite this, the Expository Theme Tune continues to call on both of them to transform all the way to the finale.
  • Badass Bystander: Hokuto and Minami started out as this, before they became Ace's hosts. Ace selected them after he watched their valiant efforts to save people from Verokron's attack which nearly got them killed.
  • Badass Santa: Father of Ultra, and especially when he uses his disguise.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: Where Bemstar and Pigmon show up, but not Ace.
  • Bat Signal: The Ultra Sign, which is different for each Ultra Hero, allows Ace to call for help.
  • Blaming the Tools: In the episode "The Life-Sucking Sound!", a young boy named Haruo reprimanded for his poor musical skills blames it on his violin, opting to throw it into the trash. Being Ultraman, this somehow leads to the residual anger attracting negative energy from Yapool's dimension, turning the violin into the violin-based monster Geegon who goes on a rampage.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: This series is much gorier than the previous shows.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: Or rather, "Ring Touch", "Ultra Touch", or something similar.
  • Big Bad: Yapool, an interdimensional alien taking many forms that plots to conquer Earth and destroy the Ultras and all who oppose them. He's also the first example of this in the Ultra Series, and one of the most beloved in the franchise, and as such has made many reappearances since then. Exactly what Yapool constitutes is unclear; while it was initially established that Yapool was an entire race of aliens, it appears to have been changed midway through the series to have Yapool be either a single member of his kind, or a single alien altogether, with this latter interpretation sticking.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Alien Simon. Who is a seemingly benevolent friendly alien, but turns out to be Yapool's latest guise to get TAC to lower their guards and be destroyed by Jumbo King.
  • The Bus Came Back: The Christmas episode, with two returning Ace characters. Rumiko, Jiro, and Goh from Return of Ultraman in Episode 10. Minami in the last episode.
  • But Now I Must Go: Actually happens twice to both main characters. In episode 28 Minami reveals she's an alien from the Moon and has to return there now that her mission on Earth is over, leaving Hokuto alone as Ace. Then in the final episode Hokuto himself leaves Earth to the Ultra's planet after he loses the ability to return to human form and becomes an Ultraman permanently. Later installments would have him regain the ability to take his human appearance but he's no longer fully human and his life as Seiji Hokuto is over.
  • Creator Cameo: The violin teacher in "The Life Sucking Sound" was played by composer Tohru Fuyuki.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • Pursue the Mystery of the Transformation Terrible-Monster: After Koyama gets possessed by the Choju Brocken, Koyama's son tries telling his friends and the TAC that his father has been used as host to a parasitic monster. It doesn't work for most of the episode until Koyama/Brocken reveals himself at the end of the episode.
    • A Gift From Zoffy had the choju Dreamgillas appearing randomly whenever Yukio is daydreaming had the boy reporting to the TAC of the monster's presence, only for the monster to repeatedly disappear due to existing only in the child's mind. Even Hokuto have difficulties believing the boy, until Zoffy personally intervenes telling Hokuto that Yukio is in fact telling the truth.
    • Revenge of Verokron have this happening to Hokuto himself, where after being lured into having a device implanted into his mind by Yapool, he then hallucinates Verokron from episode 1 returning, which nobody believes until the end of the episode.
  • Cold Snap: Episodes 13 & 14.
  • Commuting on a Bus: Zoffy, Ultraman, Ultra Seven, and Ultraman Jack. They appear from time to time but mostly leave things for their then-youngest brother, Ace.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The five Ultra pledges, from the final episode of the previous series is re-recited again by Jiro.
    • When discussing how to eliminate Sabotendar in cactus form, Captain Ryu references Nokogirin being mutated on Earth by MAT, prompting TAC to try to kill the choju in space instead. Unfortunately, this is what Yapool wanted and once again, a miniature monster becomes kaiju-sized thanks to the attack team.
  • Critical Annoyance: The Color Timer, again. The show also reveals that Ultras can transfer their Color Timers to others to give them a bit more energy to keep the fight going.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: Episode 13. Even Ace ended up in such a pose after fighting Barabas to exhaustion when Yapool as Ace Killer caught him.
    • Minami in Episode 25
    • TAC members late in the show.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death:
    • The Muruchi that appears to assist Metron Jr. and Doragory gets brutalized by the latter after accidentally bumping into him, having his jaw and leg torn off effortlessly. As he continues to make sounds on the floor after having this done to him, it can be inferred that Muruchi II died a particularly slow and painful death.
    • Metron Jr. being sliced in half.
    • Baraba. In an act of stupidity, he fires his sword off at Ace, who catches it, just as he did in his previous fight. However, Ace throws the sword back at Baraba this time, impaling him through the chest. Baraba is still alive and continues to fight, but then Ace strikes him so hard on the back of the head that his eyes burst out of their sockets, held up only by their optic nerves. The creature then hops about, screaming in pain. Ace then dislocates Baraba's axe-arm and uses it to decapitate him.
    • Unitang gets paralyzed and melted alive.
    • Black Satan gets electrocuted, set on fire, and blown up by Ace's metallium ray.
    • Sabotendar getting his tongue shot off before being cut open and eviscerated.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: Ultraseven put up quite a fight against Alien Hipporit before he too was turned into a bronze statue.
  • Dare to Be Badass: In Episode 6, when Ace was knocked down by Brocken, an Ultra Sign from M-78 appeared in the sky, which read, "On your feet! Fire! Slice!" That was all Ace needed to get his Heroic Second Wind and defeat Brocken.
  • A Day In The Lime Light:
    • Yoshimura is the lead in episode 16 when he returns to his hometown during vacation.
    • Mikawa in Episode 4, where she is lured into a trap by an "old friend" from school.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage:
    • In "Goodbye, Yuuko! Daughter of the Moon", TAC sings their theme song right after Minami's departure.
    • In the Christmas episode featuring "Santa Claus and his assistant", children sing the Ultraman Ace main theme.
  • Dimension Lord: Yapool resides in his own dimension, which is also where he creates the Terrible-Monsters he sends to attack Earth.
  • Disney Death: The five Ultra Brothers are turned into bronze statues and Father of Ultra dies temporarily at the hands of Alien Hipporit, thankfully Ace is resurrected by Father of Ultra's last energy and is able to destroy Hipporit and free the brothers who take Father's body back to M78 to be resurrected.
  • Dramatis Personae: Used in the last episode at the very end for identifying TAC members.
  • Evil Counterpart: Ace Killer
  • Evil Doppelgänger: Hideki Goh is impersonated by an alien in episode 10.
  • Evil Knockoff: Ace Robot, which Ace Killer used for target practice. Not really evil, but still an imitation of the real thing.
  • Extradimensional Emergency Exit: Whenever Yapool was defeated, he would retreat back into his home dimension ensuring his return in the future. This remains one of Yapool's most favoured tactics in the series, and when this fails, his Resurrective Immortality will ensure his eventual revival.
  • Eye Scream: Baraba's eyes pop out when Ace hits him in the back of his head hard enough with the nerves connecting them to his skull also coming out.
  • Forced Transformation: Takai, who desecrated the tomb of Okayama's bovine god, was turned into Cowra, a cow Choju.
  • Foreshadowing
    • Both hosts would suffer the effects of Ace's injuries and energy depletion, Minami more so that Hokuto. Then, she had to leave Earth for good, as well as for other reasons.
    • In Episode 28, Minami sees strange lights on the moon; then Lunatyx appears...
    • In Episode 26, Alien Hipporit leaves behind an Ace action figure, which an angry child throws across the room in disgust, beheading it. Hokuto took it back to TAC HQ. Ace ended up falling in Hipporit's trap, not really losing his head, but still...
    • Minami is big on classical music, especially with Moon in the title, which she even plays in future appearances (Moonlight Sonata).
    • Speaking of which, the sad background music playing throughout Episode 28 is Debussy's Clair De Lune, a piece about the Moon.
  • Four Is Death: How many Ultramen were crucified on planet Golgotha? Four. They happened to be the same ones who came down to rescue Ace from Alien Hipporit only to fall into the same trap as Ace. Subverted when Father of Ultra joined the fray, and ultimately had to sacrifice himself to resurrect Ace, bringing the number up to five.
    • Jumbo King is comprised of four of Yapool's Terrible-Monsters. He also has four arms and four legs.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Many episodes begin with a screeching sound of Choujuus during the opening credits. Yes, even before the intro's opening bell notes play.
  • Fusion Dance: Ultraman Ace's first method of transforming.
  • Gorn:
    • A lot of the kaiju's deaths are pretty gruesome, especially Muruchi's.
    • Aribunta's secretions melting humans down to the bone.
  • Groin Attack: Ace does this in several fights, every now and then driving his foot / knee into a monster's private regions. Also, pay attention to where Ace aims his Metallium Beam / Forehead Blast when executing Garan, Alien Fire and Iceron.
  • Henshin Hero: Two-in-one.
  • Human Aliens: Minami, who came from the Moon. Hokuto is a human host.
  • Humanoid Aliens: The Ultra Brothers.
  • Idiot Hero: Hokuto was perhaps the first instance of this in Ultra History... even in Ultraman Mebius he still showed signs of being the hothead of the Ultra hosts.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be : Tends to happen whenever Ace uses the Ultra Guillotine as a Finishing Move.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Baraba. This happens to him twice in the same rematch.
  • Impostor Forgot One Detail: Goh is left handed, loves rice cakes, and knows how to use chopsticks. Yapool should know that.
  • Kaiju: To the extreme. Terrible-Monsters are considerably stronger than regular Kaiju due to them being engineered by Yapool, and thus provide significantly greater challenges for Ultras to bring down.
  • Last Note Nightmare: In some of the cliffhangers.
  • Honor Before Reason: Captain Ryuu's superior officer trying to blow up planet Golgotha with a missile. Ryuu ordered Hokuto to disregard that order. Hokuto took a third option.
  • Made of Phlebotinum: The Specium Missiles wielded by TAC's planes. Because they utilise the elements used by the original Ultraman, they are significantly more powerful than other weapons utilised by the humans.
  • Meaningful Name
    • Hokuto = North Star or Big Dipper, one of the Asterisms used to discern which direction is north.
    • Minami = South, Yuh = Moon.
    • Golgotha was the name of the planet where Ace Killer lured the Ultra Brothers in Episode 13, the same planet where all of them, except Ace, were crucified!
    • Barabas was the name of Ace Killer's kaiju.
    • Lunatyx, from the Latin Luna = Moon
  • Mix-and-Match Critter: Jumbo King, Yapool's last monster, is created from four of his previously destroyed beasts; Mazaron Man, Mazarius, Unitang and Cowra.
  • Mood Whiplash: See Mythology Gag below. This seemingly lighthearted moment leads to a much darker plot concerning that alien.
    • Ace performing Sumo Wrestling poses with King Crab.
    • Ace playing "Toreador" with a kaiju (complete with Bizet playing in the background). Everything was funny until the kaiju knocked him silly.
  • Narrator: Shin Kishida AKA Toho's Dracula AKA Ken Sakata.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands
  • Off with His Head!: Often happens to the Choju that Ace fights, which earned Ace the title of "The Guillotine Prince".
  • Phantom Zone: Yapool's dimension, from where he creates his monsters and oversees their actions on Earth. It is also the location of Ace and Yapool's epic mid-season fight that briefly takes the latter out of the role of main antagonist.
  • Put on a Bus: Yuko Minami leaves in episode 28 to return to her home in the Moon.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: From Ultraseven, with some selections from Return of Ultraman.
  • Retool: After Minami left, Hokuto became the sole human host for Ace, and the show became a bit Darker and Edgier.
  • The Reveal
    • Minami is from the Moon.
    • In the last episode, the seemingly benign Alien Simon turned out to be Yapool, who has created Jumbo King (a kaiju made up of parts of four other kaiju), and turns children against Hokuto, who then reveals his Secret Identity to everybody.
  • Secret-Keeper:
    • For Hokuto and Minami, TAC. Also, the children who were deceived by Alien Simon, for Hokuto.
    • Hokuto and Minami transform and save Jiro at the same time, so it's possible he (and Rumiko) knows.
    • In Episode 2, Captain Ryuu kind of lets it slip that he knows Hokuto is Ace but never reveals it to anyone else.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: If Ace transforms in front of people who don’t know his identity, he would supposedly become trapped forever in his Ultra form. Fortunately, this didn't happen, as Hokuto has appeared numerous times since then.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Out of uniform and in her true form, Minami.
  • Significant Reference Date: July 7th, the birthday for Hokuto and Minami, was actually Eiji Tsuburaya's birthday. At the end of Episode 14, Konno wonders whether they're siblings or sweethearts.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Ace in the opening credits, which feature kaiju from Return of Ultraman and Ultraman.
    • The kaijuu are an inversion, as they don't appear in this show.
  • Spoiler Title: "Goodbye Minami, Moon's Little Sister"
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: To an extent Minami is a Moon person who chose to return there after her mission while Hokuto remains on Earth and later permanently becomes an Ultraman. In the series itself they're portrayed as more of a close friendship than a romance though, with him even refering to her as like a "sister" in her final episode. However follow up appearances tended to treat them like they did have a romantic thing going on. In Mebius when they're finally reunited 30 something years later they lament they couldn't "Grow old together" and their alternate universe versions in Superior Ultraman 8 Brothers were married
  • Transformation Trinket: The Ultra Rings.
  • Transformation Sequence: Tsuburaya, in a direct attempt to compete with Kamen Rider's transformation sequences, featured Hokuto and Minami doing stunts such as leaping several feet into the air to transform.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 28, when Minami leaves the team and is revealed to have come from the Moon.
  • Wonder Twin Powers: How Hokuto and Minami summon Ace, after each of their rings shines. They don't need to be in actual physical contact; just a hand on a video screen will do!
  • Worf Had the Flu: Father of Ultra, Ace's adoptive father, fights Alien Hipporit and, while doing the best out of everyone to fight him, gets beaten down. He then sacrifices himself by tearing out his colour timer (but revives Ace who finishes the job). Father of Ultra had actually been weakened due to a combination of things (depending on the source, he either expended too much energy going to Earth top speed or was tired from training Taro). Later appearances show that he would have otherwise crushed Hipporit without breaking a sweat.



Video Example(s):


The Death of Alien Metron Jr.

At the climax of the first act of Ace's rematch against Alien Metron Jr. and Doragory, Ace manages to deal with the alien in a particularly badass yet simultaneously gruesome way, courtesy of his Vertical Guillotine, cutting him neatly in half lengthways! Still, the battle isn't over; as Ace's Colour Timer begins to blink, he now has to face off against the extremely-strong Terrible-Monster Doragory, who's still able to put up quite the fight.

How well does it match the trope?

4.62 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / HalfTheManHeUsedToBe

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