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Series / Ultraman 80

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Spoilers for the Land of Light continuity of the Ultra Series preceding this one, including Ultraman Leo, may be left unmarked. You Have Been Warned!

The man who came from a distant star will teach us about Love and Courage!

Ultraman 80 (or Ultraman Eighty) is a tokusatsu series, part of the Ultra Series that lasted from 1980-1981. It is the final official entry of the Showa Ultra Series, with the franchise going into partial hibernation for fifteen years afterwards.

The Japanese government discovers why giant monsters appear around the world — the monsters were created from the negative energies of hatred, racism, self-doubt, and anger. These negative energies manifested from the nightmares and selfish wishes of people and are "created" with malicious thoughts, giving credence to the monsters' "evil" natures.

An Ultraman named "80" (a translated sounding name of his real name — "Ehiti") comes from Nebula M78 and assumes the human guise of Yamato Takeshi, a schoolteacher who moonlights as a member of UGM, a government task force assigned to fight the monsters that appear.

80, as Takeshi, enacts a proactive plan to eliminate hatred and jealousy in humans by teaching young children to put aside their fears, their anger, and their pre-conceived notions of racism and close-mindedness. By teaching a new generation of children to be more open to new ideas and ways of thinking, 80 believes that this will lessen the monsters appearing over time as well as advancing the human race to be above all petty feelings.

Unfortunately, there are still too many factors in the world that contribute to negative energy, and 80 must answer the call to battle these creatures while still trying to maintain a human life in order to better understand where negative norms come from, as 80 is an alien that has transcended these negative issues coming from an advanced race.

Later in the series, 80 is helped by a mysterious woman named Hoshi Ryoko, who shares his goals of teaching humanity to overcome their problems. Ryoko is also an Ultra from Nebula M78, a princess named Yullian, who turns out to be 80's childhood friend. Together, the two Ultras fight the most powerful Minus-Energy Monsters yet.

With so many different ideologies and negative norms handed down from one generation of humans to another, 80 has his work cut out for him while staying on Earth.

Currently available for streaming on Shout! Factory.

Ultraman Eighty provides examples of the following tropes:

  • All There in the Manual: The robot monster Mechagiras is said to have been constructed using human slave labor abducted by the transdimensional train from Ultra Q.
  • Badass Teacher: Takeshi Yamato's daytime job is a teacher. It's not a good idea threatening his students, especially if he's in Ultraman form.
  • Band Episode: The episode "Operation Silent Tokyo" has Takeshi (80's human form, posing as a schoolteacher) starting a Garage Band with his class at his students' request. But this being Ultraman, their band practice is interrupted by the monster Noiseler, who is attracted to noise and starts targeting Takeshi's band.
  • Baseball Episode: "The Evil Glove is Laughing at You", featuring a baseball glove who absorbed too much Minus Energy and turning into a rampaging kaiju.
  • Bizarro World: The 4th Dimension in episode 5, homeworld of the Bam Aliens, which is where they store their mechanical kaiju Mechgiras. It can only be accessed by teleportation in and out of the world, and when Takeshi gets trapped in it he had to destroy the Bam Alien's dimensional controller to get out.
  • Blaming the Tools: The episode "The Evil Glove" (a Recycled Plot from Ultraman Ace) starts with this premise. A child Yamato is friends with sucks at baseball, and takes his anger out by stomping on his glove claiming "it's too tight for him to use". Then Minus Energy infects the glove, turning it into a baseball-glove-esque monster called Glovusk.
  • Boss Subtitles: An early franchise live-action example of the subtitles showing up with the monsters' appearance onscreen rather than at the start of the episode. This caused all the Heisei shows from Tiga onward to have them appear this way and has stuck as a franchise tradition.
  • By The Power Of Gray Skull: "Eighty!"
  • Cassandra Truth: In the first episode, Takeshi attempts to warn the school he worked in about an impending kaiju attack, which he sensed due to his natural ability as an Ultra. However, there have not been any kaiju attacks for 5 years In-Universe, so his warnings are promptly ignored until the kaiju Cresscent materializes in the middle of the city...
    The Principal: (to Takeshi): "Have you been reading too much manga?"
  • Evil Twin: In one episode, 80 fights a clone of Ultra Seven created from a boy's Ultra Seven doll.
  • End of an Era: The final instalment of the original Showa run of the Ultra Series, the Showa universe wouldn't be revisited until Ultraman Mebius as the start of a new age itself.
  • Expy: Barracks is one for Iron Rocks from Ultraseven. Both are mobile platforms made of wrecked battleships which assaults Ultras with their turrets.
  • Fanservice: In her very first episode, Ryoko Hoshi goes to the gym with Takeshi and resident hottie Emi Johno. We're talking tight leotards here. Mood Whiplash soon followed.
  • The Heartless: "Minus Energy" is the negative emotions of humans — that makes Giant Monsters. 80 decides to be proactive in handling this by teaching the next generation to be more positive.
  • Heroes Act, Villains Hinder: A rarity for Ultra series, 80 isn't content with simply waiting for the monsters to show up and blow them up: he's actually proactive in dealing with the Minus Energy problem by planning to teach his students to be less negative and more openminded so the next generation will produce less than the previous one.
  • Hour of Power: Like most Ultra beings, 80 has a limit of a few minutes to battle. Three, to be precise.
  • Human Aliens: In addition to 80 and Yullian taking on a human identity, other examples include 80's childhood friend Alma, Vibros Millie and Alien Ruria.
  • Lighter and Softer: Due to the moral reformation going on in Japan at the time and the pressures from Moral Guardians to make children's shows childish, Ultraman 80 was significantly lighter in tone than Leo, outright giving a more optimistic setting and returning to the classic formula of the franchise along with a significantly reduced amount of violence.
  • Loose Lips: Hoshi kept mentioning obscure planetary facts to UGM from time to time, so Captain Ooyama put two and two together, figuring out her and Yamato's secret.
  • Loves My Alter Ego: One Breather Episode had Takeshi being set up on a date after some convincing by his students, only for the date to go awry when a kaiju attack interrupts. Takeshi had to risk life and limb to get his date and his students to safety before going henshin to battle the kaiju. After the battle, though? Takeshi's date is no longer interested in him... she now had a crush on Ultraman 80!
  • Made of Evil: The Minus Energy monsters are composed of humanity's negative emotions.
  • Meaningful Name: Yamato = an older name for Japan; Hoshi = star
  • Merchandising the Monster: The episode "Wrath Of The Emperor" initially subverts this, with the mayor and police chief of Kiya Village using village myths, earthquakes and a loud speaker to fake the monster Cathy's awakening, in an attempt to attract tourism and industries to their village. Once Cathy turns out to be real, a hunter briefly attempts to capture the monster for a traveling show and when that fails, he resorts to the next best business plan: running for his life from the monster.
  • Plot-Driving Secret: If anybody found out Yamato was 80, he'd be forced to return to M-78.
  • Put on a Bus: The entire middle school supporting cast and by extension subplot after ep. 13.
  • Retool:
    • For the Ultra series as a whole, since it returns to the straightforward style of the first 3 Ultra series, especially in the 2nd half.
    • In fact, unusual for a tokusatsu, Noboru Tsuburaya explicitly intended for it to be a dorama program as well as a tokusatsu, hence the focus on the interpersonal relations between Yamato and the staff and students, however after ratings dipped 13 episodes in, TBS retooled the program into a more traditional Sci-Fi Ultra series, with Noboru later stating he was disappointed he was unable to keep his original vision of the show intact (Noboru would get vindication of sorts, as the tribute episode of 80 in Ultraman Mebius would focus on the exclusively on the school angle).
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: The Captain. Also, Emi Johno.
  • Shout-Out: The entire series is said to be made under the popularity of Kinpachi-sensei. Of course, that is until the show was forced to undergo a massive Retool as stated above.
  • Students Playing Matchmaker: The episode "Airport Emergency" has Takeshi Yamato (Ultraman 80 in human form, posing as a schoolteacher) being convinced by his students to go on a date with another teacher he had a crush on, with the three students playing matchmaker tagging along. This being Ultraman, the date is quickly interrupted by a kaiju attack when the monster Gabishale crashes their date. Eventually Takeshi managed to transform himself into Ultraman 80 without his date or his accompanying students noticing as usual and destroys the monster, but after the monster is defeated and Takeshi returns to his date, much to Takeshi's dismay, his date now has a crush on his alter-ego, Ultraman 80.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Gynoid Emi for flesh-and-blood Emi Johno. Thankfully this didn't last long.
  • The '70s: Music and costumes have heavy influences from the era, though the show aired and takes place at the very beginning of the 1980s.
  • Taking the Bullet: How Emi Johno died, trying to protect Takeshi.