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.
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.
- Boss Subtitles: An early franchise live-action example. Now all the Heisei shows from Tiga onward have them. Even a subtitled episode 1 of Ultraseven available online had these.
- Evil Twin: In one episode, 80 fights a clone of Ultra Seven created from a boy's Ultra Seven doll.
- 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.
- 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, many tokusatsu series being produced at the time including this one were severely bogged down by Glurge and other things.
- 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.
- Made of Evil: The Minus Energy monsters are composed of humanity's negative emotions.
- Meaningful Name: Yamato = an older name for Japan; Hoshi = star
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Taking the Bullet: How Emi Johno died, trying to protect Takeshi.