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Series / Ultraman Gaia

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"Is he an ally of justice, or a messenger of the devil?"
"On Earth, there are kaiju and Ultramen. So we want to love this planet even more."

Ultraman Gaia is a tokusatsu series that aired from September 5, 1998 to August 28, 1999 on TBS. It is the thirteenth entry in the Ultra Series, with Chiaki Konaka as head writer.

Ultraman Gaia takes place in yet another universe, one that is totally different from the world of the original Ultramen (the inhabitants of the Land of Light), as well as the world of Ultraman Tiga and Dyna. It is the first series to feature two Ultramen as the main characters — Ultraman Gaia and Ultraman Agul, both having conflicting philosophies in regards to defending the Earth from a mysterious, malevolent and extremely intelligent cosmic entity.

The first half of the series explores the growing tension between them, and their eventual clash. The second half has them reconcile their differences so they can defeat their common enemy.


The series is available for streaming on Crunchyroll in all territories except Asia. It is the seventh Ultra series installment made available on the site.

Ultraman Gaia provides examples of the following tropes:

  • A Day in the Limelight: Team Seagull in episode 9, Team Crow in episode 10.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The CRISIS integrated-circuit supercomputer. Although it manages to predict in 1997 that Earth would be annihilated by something known as "Kongenteki Hametsu Shorai Tai" (Entity that Brings Radical Destruction), its calculations had been sabotaged by the monster Zorlim, and it gets infected by a computer virus in episode 27.
    • Averted by Gamu's PAL, which works perfectly as an auto-pilot and even survives being shot down.
  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier: Aerial Base.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Hiroya invades Aerial Base with surprising ease in episode 18, by taking advantage of Agul's ability to teleport through certain materials and just transforming back to save power.
    • Later, in episode 27, a computer virus manages to completely override XIG's computer systems.
  • Alternate Universe: From the Showa-era Ultras (Ultraman to Ultraman 80) and Tiga/Dyna's universe.
  • Anti-Hero: Hiroya Fujimiya / Ultraman Agul is a Nominal Hero. Though he occasionally helps Gaia in certain battles, he reminds Gaia that their alliances are merely because it is his duty to protect Earth (the planet, not the humans on it) due to his belief. After suffering an Anti-heroic BSOD in episode 26, he is presumably killed by Zorlim and doesn't appear until ten episodes later, and only leaves this trope for good when he finally gets his powers back in episode 41.
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  • Apocalypse Cult: There is one that makes sporadic appearances throughout the series. They give out a lot of leaflets.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: It's an Ultra Series. Standard procedure.
    • The nature of the series means that the threats tend to be towards Earth rather than just humanity (there aren't any serious invasion attempts in the show), and so the 'Whatever' tends to be a few orders of magnitude larger than just 'fifty feet' far more frequently than is comfortable.
  • Back for the Finale: Tons of monsters return in the finale...on the heroes side.
  • Badass Bookworm: Gamu Takayama. A scientist who can assume a superhero form to fight monsters. Hiroya Fujimiya, too, but Gamu is the more obvious example. Something of a subversion for the franchise, as this is the only time The Smart Guy(s) transforms into the Ultra until Ultraman X.
  • Badass Crew: XIG. The individual teams even more so.
  • Bad Future: Aero Viper ends up accidentally dragging the group to two. One timeline shows Team Falcon performing a Heroic Sacrifice to kill it, the other shows it destroying the aerial base and everyone else in the process in a Mutual Kill. Interestingly, Aero Viper is itself trying to avert both futures to create one where it doesn't die and the final fight with Aero Viper takes place in the latter Bad Future, which implodes when Aero Viper is killed and that future ceases to exist.
  • Bar Brawl: Fujimiya and Reiko gets into one in episode 25. The morons who started it only helped to fuel Fujimiya's Humans Are Bastards mindset.
  • Bash Brothers: Gaia and Agul, after solving their differences.
  • Benevolent A.I.: The AI companion that Gamu made to help him, PAL, is his constant ally and never once wavers. It even sacrifices itself to distract Zogu and save him in the end.
  • Beware the Superman: When it looks like Agul has turned against them, XIG doesn't look forward to fighting him, given they know firsst hand what an Ultraman is capable of.
  • Big Damn Heroes: During the finale, GUARD has suffered heavy losses, Zogu has beaten both Ultras, and everything seems lost...then Earth's monsters emerge and open fire on Zogu's Dobishi army. All of them.
  • Big Entrance: Agul's return to the series when the Earth restores Fujimiya's power and upgrades him to Agul V2 involves a tidal wave pulling Fujimiya into the ocean, then beneath waves the sea parts and reveals his new upgraded form as an orchestral choir sings in the background. He then proceeds to rescue Gamu and deliver a Curbstomp Battle to the Monster of the Week.
  • Big Fancy Castle: Gamu meets up with Catherine Ryan in one when he was in Germany in episode 42.
  • Big Good: The Earth itself. It gives Gamu and Fujimiya the power to become Gaia and Agul to defend it to begin with. It later restores Fujimiya's power and upgrades him to Agul V2 later in the series and in the finale initiates a Gondor Calls for Aid to awaken all its monsters to fend off Zogu's army.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Zogu descends from space in an angelic form and seemingly rescues the Ultramen from the Dobishi swarm...only for it to be a ruse to get them to let their guard down so she could take them out. Later on, when they hammer her after being supercharged, her disguise shatters to reveal her true form as a demonic abomination.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Agul's Agul Blade.
  • Blob Monster: Apatee (episode 3), Algyuros (episode 16) and Meemos (formed from the DNA of previous two in episode 27).
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Team Hercules. Their MO boils down to 'drive up to the Kaiju and shoot it'; when that fails, it becomes 'fight the Kaiju on foot'.
  • Breather Episode: Episode 35 is much lighter in tone in this rather dark series due to focussing a group of Dumb Crooks holding the egg of Kaiju for ransom by pretending to be aliens, while GUARD takes them completely serious.
  • Busman's Holiday: Gamu gets one in episode 5. He is ordered to take a day off and go inform his parents in Chiba that he's joined XIG (and quit the university). On that same day, Bokurag appears to attack that very place.
  • Call-Back:
    • In episode 24, just as Gaia is about to perform his Finishing Move on Zonnel II, he recalls the agonizing last moments of C.O.V. (episode 1), Psycho Mezard II (episode 19) and Pazuzu (episode 22). He decides not to destroy Zonnel II, instead using a beam to calm the kaiju.
    • Episode 27 has a scientist mentioning how Meemos was created from the DNA of Apatee (episode 03) and Algyuros (episode 16).
  • Came Back Strong: While his host survives, Agul is more or less gone after sacrificing his power to upgrade Gaia. In episode 41, the Earth resurrects him and upgrades him into Agul V2.
  • The Cape: Ultraman Gaia.
  • Co-Dragons: The Roots of Destruction, Zogu and Gakuzom,are the two highest ranking minions of the Radical Destruction Bringer.
  • Combined Energy Attack: Energy is gathered from all of Earth's monsters and channeled to Gaia and Agul, restoring their power and giving them a huge super charge. They go from struggling with Zogu's army to annihilating it. They follow this up by finishing Zogu off in the Final Battle.
  • Critical Annoyance: In a subversion of the trope as it usually plays out in the franchise, the Life Gauge on Gaia and Agul's chests begin blinking only when they run low on energy.
  • Crossover: In every movie Gaia appears in.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to both its predecessor and most of the Ultra Series. This show's threats tend to be on a planetary scale on a regular basis. It is made even obvious by the generally serious tone of the series, which is in stark contrast to the upbeat and light-hearted atmosphere of its predecessor. This is due to the influence from the lead writer Chiaki Konaka with his infamously philosophical themes writing style.
  • Deuteragonist: Hiroya Fujimiya / Ultraman Agul
  • The Doll Episode: Episode 19 — Lilia's Maze.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Radical Destruction Bringer. It's something capable of opening wormholes from across the universe, creating pocket dimensions, creating monsters, altering existing lifeforms into monsters, and even its motivations are strange, with it describing itself via Mouth of Sauron as viewing humans like insects on a trash heap. Even more frightening is we never get so much as a glimpse of what it truly looks like.
  • Enemy Mine: The finale sees the Earth's monsters and GUARD unite against Zogu and her army.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs:
    • Episode 20 has Geschenk, based on a Velociraptor.
    • Algona in episode 35.
  • Everything Is Online: XIG's control systems, which is why a rogue computer virus was able to severely disrupt the Aerial Base. After Atsuko manages to eliminate it, the virus went to Geobase, merged itself with the DNA samples of previously defeated monsters Apatee and Algyuros and transformed itself into an imitation of Ultraman Gaia.
  • Evil Twin: Played with by several Monsters of the Week in this series.
    • Episode 3 has Gaia fighting against Apatee, said monster has a Life Gauge identical to Gaia's, even imitates Gaia's fighting pose at the start of their battle.
    • Later on in episode 16, Algyuros transforms itself into an imitation of Ultraman Agul, but with red eyes and a creepy smile.
    • Then in episode 27, Meemos, a monster which contains the DNA of both the previously mentioned monsters, manages to transform itself into an imitation of Ultraman Gaia V1.
    • Yet another imitation of Ultraman Agul appears to fight Gaia in episode 38 after being summoned by the Queen Mezard.
    • The most obvious example - Episode 42: Gamu vs. Gamu.
  • Expy: Several Toku fans have noted the striking resemblance Gan-Q has to the kaiju Ganmons from the live-action Giant Robo series. Both are large eye kaiju, both can walk and both can change forms to suit their needs.
  • Final Battle: Gaia and Agul, supercharged by all of Earth's monsters lending their power vs Zogu.
  • Finishing Move
    • Ultraman Gaia's Photon Edge and Quantum Stream.
    • Ultraman Agul's Photon Crusher.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Gamu. He designed the Esplender, as well as the repulsor lifts that allow Aerial Base and the XIG fighters to defy gravity.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: Fujimiya is of the belief the Earth is ticked off at humanity for their actions towards it and thus doesn't really concern himself with protect its people, and to a degree even believes the Earth wants humanity destroyed. It's implied a benevolent one happens in the end with the Earth itself awakening all its monsters at once to fight Zogu.
  • Genius Loci: Earth in this continuity is a sapient entity that directly chooses Gamu and Fujimiya to become Gaia and Agul in order to protect it from the Destruction Bringer.
  • Going Down with the Ship / Suicide Attack: Commander Akio Ishimuro stays back to use the almost destroyed Aerial Base to ram into Mokian in episode 47 in a last-ditch attempt to destroy the kaiju. Luckily, Gaia bails him out in the nick of time. As a bonus, Mokian is successfully destroyed.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: It's implied the Earth itself is the Gondor, with its monsters being the ones that heed it. The heroes then call for aid from their allies around the world to both back up the monsters and to restore Agul and Gaia's power.
  • Guardian Entity: The Ultramen, who in this universe aren't aliens but guardians protecting the Earth.
  • "Hell, Yes!" Moment: The Earth restoring Fujimiya's power and upgrading him into Agul V2 so he can save Gamu from being abducted by the Destruction Bringer. Fujimiya's face, when it happens, screams this trope, as does the orchestral music playing in the back ground.
  • Henshin Hero: Minus their ability to transform into Ultramen, Gamu and Fujimiya are just regular humans.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Gamu's AI companion PAL holds off Zogu to save Gamu and Fujimiya after he's defeated by Zogu, dying in the process.
  • He's Back!: Fujimiya regains his will to fight and the Earth answers his request to be granted to the power to fight again, not only restoring his powers, but upgrading him into the much stronger Agul V2. He then proceeds to free Gamu and demolish the Monster Ofthe Week.
  • Hope Crusher: Implied to be why Zogu shuts out all communications but television: to crush their hopes before wiping humanity out. It nearly works.
  • Horde of Alien Locusts: The sky covering Dobishi swarm that Zogu comes to Earth with. They're even referred to as locusts by characters inuniverse.
  • Humans Are Bastards: This is Hiroya Fujimiya's mindset at the start of the series.
  • Hypocrite: The Destruction Bringer, through its Mouth of Sauron, claims to be trying to destroy humanity because they're a virus infecting the universe...but Yuki calls it out for being this and that just being an excuse: they just hate humanity and want to kill them out of Fantastic Racism.
  • Kaiju: Two types. Those from Earth and those from space.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: The Destruction Bringer basically just gives up and leaves Earth alone after Zogu and her army are destroyed.
  • Meaningful Name: Ultraman Gaia appropriately gets his name from the Gaia hypothesis, which states that the Earth functions like a giant, living creature.
    Gamu (to Atsuko): "Some people say that the Earth is a living being named Gaia..."
    Atsuko: "Gaia?"
    Gamu: "What do you think of 'Ultraman Gaia' for the giant's name? Gaia's a cool name, right?"
    • Agul gets his name from Azul, which is Spanish for blue, as well as the words "Aggressive", "Agreement" and Aku, the Japanese word for evil, all of which are fitting for his role as a blue-colored Anti-Hero.
  • Mercy Kill: Gaia has to put down the Monster of the Week in episode 39, who was a scientist turned into a monster by the Japanese military in World War 2 and then further mutated by pollution caused by the Earth Penetrating Bomb. The man even thanks Gaia for it.
  • Mind Screw: What happens to Gamu in episode 6, courtesy of Gan Q.
  • Monster of the Week: Following the tradition of a typical Ultra series.
  • The Movie: Ultraman Gaia: The Battle In Hyperspace (1999) and Superior Ultraman 8 Brothers (2008), both unrelated to the series' storyline.
  • Mouth of Sauron: The Destruction Bringer uses a few of them throughout the series.
  • Mundane Utility: The nature of Gaia/Agul's powers and transformation means that Hiroya can easily infiltrate the Arial Base control room and lock everyone out... and Gamu can just teleport in as Gaia (episode 18).
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Fujimiya doesn't take finding out the Radical Destruction Entity has been manipulating him from day one and he's ultimately endangered the Earth well.
  • Mythology Gag
    • Ultraman Agul's design takes some influence from Ultraseven, as a reference to how the latter was originally meant to be blue.
    • In episode 45, Blitz Blotz, a black and white avian monster destroys a G.U.A.R.D. base resembling the Science Patrol headquarters.
    • Before Gamu used his Esplender to store Gaia's essence, Gamu transformed into Gaia with a photoelectron tube, mirroring Shin Hayata's transformation as Ultraman via Beta Capsule.
    • Episode 18 shows that there's apparently a restaurant/cafe called 'Eyeslugger' somewhere in this universe's Tokyo.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: The series was first aired from 1998 to 1999, but is set in the year 2000, with flashbacks to key events taking place in the late 1990s.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Destruction Bringer claims to be trying to protect Earth and the universe from humanity, but eventually it's shown to be a facade: it simply thinks A God Am I and views itself as having the right to judge humanity, and as it hates them, wants to kill them, and uses heinous methods to do so. It was also mainly using this facade to manipulate Agul to its side.
  • Oh, Crap!: Agul's reaction in episode 5 when Bokurag reveals its Healing Factor powers.
  • One-Winged Angel: When Agul attacks the Death God in episode 48, he transfoms into Zebub. From this to this.
  • Operation: [Blank]: The mission to channel energy from all of Earth's monsters to Gamu and Fujimiya to restore their powers is called the Gaia Mission.
  • People in Rubber Suits: It is a Toku series after all.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • When Fujimiya saves a young girl, Yuki from a collapsing building during Geschenk's attack in episode 20.
    • A bigger example in episode 24, when he saves an entire hospital from the wrath of Geel II. He had awakened that monster earlier in the episode, having a change of heart when he saw the fear of the fleeing patients and staff, as well as a young boy who looked up to the Ultramen as heroes.
  • Product Placement: One of the Team Crow members is seen listening to rock music using a Panasonic CD player in episode 10.
  • Put on a Bus: After the events of episode 26, Fujimiya / Agul is not seen again for quite a while.
    • The Bus Came Back: Fujimiya returns in episode 36. Having given his powers to Gamu, it is only in episode 41 that Agul makes his comeback with a new Super Mode.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Gamu Takayama / Ultraman Gaia and Hiroya Fujimiya / Ultraman Agul. Just look at their respective skin colors when they are Ultramen.
  • Rewind, Replay, Repeat: Happens a few times with Kenji Tabata and his videotapes.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: A man named Kondo objected to an artificial bacteria that could turn humans into bio-weapons during WWII. The military replied by forcing him to be the test subjection. After becoming a monster, his response was the slaughter them and everyone else in the facility except for his best friend.
  • Running Gag:
    • Every time Team Hercules lands in the Stinger, they knock at least one bicycle over.
  • Satanic Archetype: Zogu is clearly made with old scratch in mind: she first appears as an angelic, beautiful being, only afterwards revealing herself for the monster she truly is. To add to it: her demonic true form is 666 meters tall and weighs 666,000 tons.
  • Science Hero: Gamu Takayama, who gets help from his friends at Jounan University too.
  • Secret Chaser: Kenji, Reiko, and Michifumi from KCB are constantly trying to uncover the identity of both Ultramen and the true cause of the wave of monsters. They end up succeeding with dire consequences. : Gamu and Hiroya's de-transformation are broadcasted to the world.
  • Secret Identity: Downplayed, though Gamu does a decent job of keeping quiet about being the alter ego of Gaia. Fujimiya, on the other hand, does not really give a damn.
  • Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: The Mezard Queen attempts this on Fujimiya be assuming the form of his deceased friend Inamori in an attempt to get him back on her side. Once he realizes what's going on, she tries to use the form to stop him from shooting her, and while it works at first he ultimately comes through and shoots her. She attempts it again on Gaia by making Imitiation Agul and berating him on human selfishness, but Gaia doesn't buy it.
  • Shout-Out
    • Catherine "Cat" Ryan dresses up like Sarah Connor.
    • Episode 42 has Gaia engaging in a swordfight with Bizorm using laser beams.
    • Episode 5 feature monster call Bokurag. The direct-to-DVD Gaia, Once More has a flying monster called Byakhee and underwater city Celephais. Yeah, tributes to Cthulhu Mythos.
      • It helps that the series writer is actually a contributing Chthulu Mythos author.
  • Stone Wall: The Stinger, often used by Team Hercules, is unusually tough and reliable, but slow as molasses.
  • Story Arc: Despite retaining the traditional Monster of the Week format and having most episodes having a somewhat self-contained story, Ultraman Gaia is the first Ultra Series to make use of continuing story arcs.
  • Superpowered Alter Ego: Averted, surprisingly. Gaia and Agul are Gamu and Hiroya, imbued with power and in giant form.
  • Super Mode: Gaia's Supreme Version and Agul's Version 2.
  • Surprisingly Good English:
    • Courtesy of Georgie Leland. Her actress, Maria Theresa Gow is of Scottish and Filipino descent.
    • There is also this gem in episode 9 from Michael Simmons, the African-American member of Team Seagull. Simmons is portrayed by Samuel Pop Aning, who is from Ghana.
      "May God be with you."
  • Symbiotic Possession: Between both Ultras and their human hosts. Par for the course for Ultramen (unless they make them up) - but subverted here as it's the humans who take over the giants' forms.
  • Tank Goodness: How the American division of G.U.A.R.D. responds to Zonnel II's appearance in Arizona. Zonnel II took out the tanks in seconds, and a good number of soldiers died that day.
  • The Gloves Come Off: The Destruction Bringer essentially does this in response to humanity's attempted counterattack against it in episode 45. Only at that point does it break out its strongest minions, the Destruction Devils and Roots of Destruction. Each of which is leagues stronger than anything it sent previously.
  • Theme Song Power Up: Happens in episode 49.
  • The Unfettered: Ultimately subverted with Fujimiya. He desperately wants to be this and just let humanity kill itself off with its own stupidity or perish to monsters that won't destroy the Earth in the belief it's for the best, but he's still got a heart deep down and ultimately can't just let people die in front of him, no matter how badly he thinks he should. Several times he saves people on reflex, only to berate himself after for doing it.
  • Transformation Trinket: Gaia's Esplender and Agul's Agulator. The Esplender (and likely the Agulator) is unique in that it's the only Ultra Transformation Trinket to be made by a human instead of given to them by the Ultra.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Subverted. Despite most monster attacks taking place in Japan, Gaia has fought monsters in Canada, United States and Germany.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: Some villagers in episode 13 become this, under the influence of Psycho Mezard. They gave the KCB trio a hard time.
  • Tsundere: Type A for Atsuko, although her feelings for Gamu ended with No Romantic Resolution. Of course, she does have her Clingy Jealous Girl moments to Gamu in episode 42 when he hold hands with Alchemy Star member Catherine in Germany, even though she can sense it in Aerial Base and broke her pen twice.
  • Ultimate Evil: The Entity that Brings Radical Destruction, the Big Bad of the series. It's never actually seen or appears, but is responsible for the events of the entire series either directly or indirectly. It basically just gives up after Zogu is killed.
  • Was Once a Man: Tsuchikera in episode 20, with a tragic background story similar to that of Jamilla.
  • We Can Rule Together: The Destruction Bringer is very dedicated in its desire to recruit Fujimiya to its side.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist:
    • Fujimiya SINCERELY wishes he was this earlier on, but can't bring himself to actually go through with it.
    • Hiiragi sincerely wants to protect humanity, but in his desire to do so is willing to go to extremes that threaten the Earth itself.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Episode 23: Gamu is dismissed from XIG.
    • Episode 26: Gaia obtains his Super Mode from Agul, Fujimiya gets Put on a Bus. Gamu is allowed back at XIG.
    • Episode 36: Fujimiya comes back.
    • Episode 41: Fujimiya finally regains his powers.
    • Episode 47: Aerial Base is completely destroyed, XIG base of operations is now GEOBASE.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Blitz Blot demolishes Agul in their fight, but Gaia is later able to fight him much more evenly. However, by the time Gaia showed up, it'd already been worn down fighting Tigris II and had its eye shot out by Hiiragi. Even with him weakened, Gaia still needs a considerable amount of back up and his allies destroying Blitz Blots strongest weapon to finish him off.