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Series / Ultraman Decker

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Due to its nature as a sequel, all spoilers for Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga are unmarked. You Have Been Warned!

Ultraman Decker is a Toku series released on July 9th, 2022, created by Tsuburaya Productions and the 34th entry in the Ultra Series.

Nine years after the events of Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga (and seven after Episode Z), the Earth and its colony on Mars are at peace. With kaiju no longer appearing, the Terrestrial Peaceable Union (TPU) has turned away from monster defense and is now focusing on space exploration. Its former strike force, GUTS-Select, has been decommissioned and its jets and airships fully automated.

Then one day without warning, a hostile force arrives in the solar system. Designated the "Sphere" after their round shape, they begin laying waste to cities across both Earth and Mars. The TPU is caught completely unprepared to fight them, especially as they can create electromagnetic interference that disrupts the GUTS-Select arsenal's automation and renders it useless. But in the midst of the attack, a Heroic Bystander named Kanata Asumi is caught by the Sphere when a giant of light appears to him, recognizing his willpower and offering the strength to fight. With that, Kanata becomes Earth's new protector, Ultraman Decker!

But even an Ultraman can't fight off a worldwide invasion alone. While he does drive back the ground forces, the Sphere fall back and blockade the planet; cutting the Earth off from Mars and the rest of the universe (including Trigger and most of the former GUTS-Select team). Over the following year, the Sphere remain silent as the TPU rebuilds GUTS-Select and refits its equipment for manual control, while Kanata signs on as a new recruit. As Earth's kaiju become active again in response to the threat and the Sphere exploit them to renew their attack as opportunity arises, it's up to a new team to come together and take back their world.

Like Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga before it, Decker is also part of the TDG Trilogy 25th anniversary project, in this case celebrating the 25th anniversary of Ultraman Dyna, hence the titular hero's many similarities to the original Dyna all the while giving its own spin for the current generation of audience. It also celebrates the 55th anniversary of Ultraseven by allowing Decker to summon Seven's own kaiju allies.

The series is followed by an epilogue movie, Ultraman Decker Finale: Journey to Beyond.

Recurring Ultra Series tropes

  • Alien Invasion: The series begins with the Spheres attacking Mars and Earth. The first episode results in the Spheres sealing away Earth in a barrier, preventing travel in or out.
  • Creature-Hunter Organization: By the time the series began (seven years since Ultraman Trigger's last battle on Earth), the TPU's Monster Response Department and Monster Research Lab are in decline due to lack of kaiju incidents resulting them being downsized and have their budget cut while the Space Development grows. (Un)fortunately, due to the Spheres' Invasion sealing away the Earth, the situation became reversed.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: Decker or GUTS-Select's opponents brought down by their attacks will blow up on the spot, though if Decker uses Miracle Type's less violent options that can be averted.
  • Henshin Hero: A staple of the franchise, Kanata can transform into Ultraman Decker.
  • Kaiju: This time it predominantly features returning Kaiju of three past series so far in the first episodes: Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga (due to taking place in the same universe), Ultraman Dyna (thanks to this series mainly serving as an homage to it) and Ultraseven (due to the series also celebrating the 55th anniversary of the Showa series). Of note is that major alien/kaiju from Dyna like the Spheres and Mons-Ahgar appear as do the Capsule Monsters of Seven after a long while of being unused besides cameo appearances. And finally there's the "Sphere" kaiju made by the Spheres themselves either from themselves or kaiju they assimilate.
  • Multiform Balance: Like Dyna before him, Decker can switch between Flash Type (balanced), Strong Type (focuses on physical strength), and Miracle Type (focuses on energy and psychic-style abilities). However, unlike Dyna, Decker actually gets a Super Mode in the form of Dynamic Type.
  • Toku: This series homages both Ultraman Dyna (predominantly due to major plot points, characters and story elements being referenced here) and Ultraseven (less overt but major elements of the series are used here in tandem).

Ultraman Decker provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Bittersweet Ending: The Mother Spheresaurus is defeated, finally ending the threat of the Spheres for good and reuniting everyone separated by the barrier. However, in spite of this, Agams sacrifices himself to protect Decker from the Mother Spheresaurus' attack, but he is reunited with Laelia in death.
  • Book Ends:
    • The first and final opponent Decker faces is a Spheresaurus, although in the endgame episodes it is a Mother Spheresaurus, who also is the Sphere's creator and progenitor.
    • The first time Terraphaser is fully activated is after Raibasser fries the original AI in it, rendering it obsolete and forcing Hanejiro to take over as the pilot, in the series finale it is activated for the last time to be piloted by Hanejiro after Agams' death.
    • Meta example. Ultraman Decker is the final Sequel Series to a preceding New Generation Heroes series, that is Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga, just as Ultraman Ginga S is the sequel to Ultraman Ginga, the first New Generation Heroes series.
  • Breaking Old Trends:
    • A Time Skip happens right at the second episode of the series as opposed to during the finale or in a follow-up instalment.
    • Past Ultra series has the main protagonist being either Aliens Among Us or having fused with other Ultras from the past or present. Decker instead has the main protagonist fusing with his descendant, a new one for the franchise.
  • Brick Joke: Captain Murahoshi tells Kanata in Episode 3, "The GUTS Falcon was originally made to be operated by remote control-piloting it really sucks." Kanata gives Ichika the exact same advice in the final episode.
  • Bystander Syndrome: In #16, an old lady manged to pin Spinny down with her washbucket, but the bystanders only watch happily when it appears she caught the creature instead of helping her pin it down to ensure capture. Naturally the creature managed to escape.
  • Central Theme:
    • Looking into oneself to find answers when faced by uncertainties.
    • The future is not yet set in stone. Only our actions depend on how we change it, for better or worse.
  • Closed Circle: The series begins with the Earth becoming an Enclosed Space to the rest of the universe due to the Spheres entrapping it in a barrier.
  • Combat Breakdown: Episode 22 between Decker and Terraphaser, by the time it goes underground Decker is tired and Terraphaser is low on power but they both keep swinging.
  • Combining Mecha: The GUTS Hawk can combine with the GUTS Falcon to form the GUTS Gryphon.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: In Episode 5, Taiji decides to help Ichika feed Elly the Eleking with an experimental battery meant to give power to a city after a disaster, choosing not to ask Sawa (an expert on monster biology) for her opinion on this action. The battery ends up overloading Elly and sends it on a rampage just as Sawa points out the flaw in the plan, even going as far as to reprimand Taiji for going through with it without her.
  • Darker and Edgier: To its preceding series, Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga, in stark contrast with how Ultraman Dyna was Lighter and Softer compared to Ultraman Tiga. From the very start of the series, the setting is much bleaker and while it does balance lighthearted moments at times. The show kickstarted with the Spheres isolating Earth with a barrier, while the titular Ultra himself is unable to stop them and the Mars Colony beforehand is ravaged, furthermore we see soldiers dying onscreen to the Spheres via getting absorbed while Trigger had no such casualties onscreen. Things get even more complicated midway through the series when Professor Yuichiro Asakage, one of the TPU's researchers and initially a major supporting character, turns out to be Agams the Bazdor an alien from an alternate future who came to help the Spheres devour Earth, with his betrayal impacting our protagonist greatly, and Agams' tragic backstory didn't help matters either. It ends up as one of the darker New Generation series as a result.
  • Downer Beginning: The series begins with the Spheres launching an invasion on Mars and Earth and devastating the TPU military. While Decker is able to defeat their monster Spheresaurus, he is unable to fight off the invasion, and the Spheres succeed in forming a barrier around Earth, trapping humanity within their home planet. On top of this, Decker effectively ghosts Kanata for a whole year afterward, leaving him wondering for a while why he was even chosen and if he'll get to be Ultraman again.
  • Enclosed Space: The Spheres lockdown Earth in a planet-wide barrier, trapping all its inhabitants, human, animal and kaiju alike while also trapping any unfortunate passerby aliens inside.
  • Escalating Brawl: Episode 6 starts off with fighting against Pagos but then escalates into battling against additionally three different species of underground kaiju.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: In episode 11, Cpt. Murahoshi puts up an amateur theory that the Kaiju of Earth attack threats to the planet who are Upsetting the Balance like the Sphere and also they view the Terraphaser as such as one. It later turns out he is Right for the Wrong Reasons since it turns out that Terraphaser is actually empowered by Spheres with the native kaiju sensing it.
  • Left the Background Music On: At the end of Episode 17, "Pomp and Circumstance" starts playing, prompting everyone to turn to Hanejiro just as the music comes to a halt.
    Hanejiro: Too much? Perhaps this would be better.
    <cue end credits>
  • Misplaced Retribution: Yuichiro aka Agams wants to destroy the Earth because he blames them for causing the Spheres to appear on his planet, which resulted in the death of his lover. However he doesn't specifically state how humanity caused the Spheres to appear. Making things even pettier is the fact that everyone is still fighting agains the Spheres in the future with Decker (the human) even stating that the only thing Agams caused is creating another world unrelated to the war against the Spheres in the future.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: This is unfortunately what happened to planet Bazdo, who decided to help Earth in the future timeline with the war against the Spheres using their advanced technology, which caused the Spheres to target their planet for consumptions, which resulted in the death of Agams' wife and blaming Earth for causing Bazdo to join the war.
  • Plot-Demanded Manual Mode: By the time the series began, the Nursedessei and the GUTS Falcon have become automated. Unfortunately, the Spheres' Kaiju can disable the function, resulting in the machines being refitted back to be operated manually again.
  • Sequel Series: The first straight-up continuation of a previous series since Ultraman Ginga S, being set seven years after Ultraman Trigger's finale and in the same universe.
  • Stylistic Suck: The animation for the Virtual Training Simulation in Episode 3 is rendered in an obviously crude and low-quality way to the point where it looks like a PS2 game.
  • Terminator Twosome: The series has Agams, who brought the Spheres to Earth and masquerades himself as TPU researcher, Yuichiro Asakage, to help develop and steal Terraphaser to cause humanity's extinction. Opposing him is Decker Asumi, who first send the D Flasher back in time for humanity to defend themselves before temporarily going back himself to help the heroes out.
  • Time Skip: In episode 2, it has been 1 year since the Sphere Invasion and they haven't yet made a move on Earth since surrounding it with a barrier. Humanity has mostly adjusted but a lot of people miss their loved ones stranded on other planets and the dread of another Sphere attack looms over TPU.
  • Virtual Training Simulation: Used by the current GUTS-Select to train.
    • Episode 3, has the three new members go through them to train in piloting the GUTS Falcon and to be in sync in maneuvers with the GUTS Hawk.
    • Episode 4 Cold Open is an Augmented Reality training session.
  • We Have Become Complacent: It's been seven years since the last kaiju appearance, so monster-related departments are being downsized, but TPU training principal Taiji Murahoshi fears that they might need to be bailed out once again if they're unprepared. Surely enough, the Spheres launch their invasion and seal off the planet, even with Decker's help.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Episode 12 ends with Yuichiro discovering that Asumi is Decker.
    • Episode 14 it is revealed that Yuichiro Asakage is an enemy and helping the Spheres for his own purpose, Terraphaser is now an enemy and there is another host of Ultraman Decker who is familiar with Asakage.