Ultraman Taiga is a 2019 tokusatsu series created by Tsuburaya Productions and the 31st entry in the Ultra Series. While this show is officially the first entry of the Ultra Series in the Reiwa Era, it is still counted as part of the New Generation Heroes trend that started from Ultraman Ginga.
Long ago, the son of Ultraman Taro named Taiga had saved Earth from an unknown catastrophe and merged with a young boy named Hiroyuki Kudo, remaining dormant ever since. Years later, the boy grows up to join E.G.I.S. (Enterprise of Guard and Investigation Services), a private security organization tasked in handling alien-related cases. Unbeknownst to him, Hiroyuki carries Ultraman Taigas particle of light. The new story begins as Taiga's powers revive from Hiroyuki's body, and later the boy bonded with two more Ultras of different origin. Meanwhile, Ultraman Tregear returns from Ultraman R/B the Movie as the major Big Bad.
The first trailer can be seen here.
Recurring Ultra Series tropes
- Big Bad: Tregear is the main antagonist of the series, although later the Big Damn Movie titled Ultraman Taiga The Movie: New Generation Climax reveals the Malicious Demon Grimdo to be The Man Behind the Man and the source of Tregear's powers.
- Critical Annoyance: Per tradition, all three of our heroes have a Color Timer. Tregear's own Color Timer does not blink as a result of his darkness powers, however.
- Henshin Hero: Not just one newcomer but three with the titular Ultraman Taiga and his True Companions, Ultraman Fuma and Ultraman Titas.
- Kaiju: This time they're mostly summoned by Tregear with the use of Kaiju rings, usually possessing people or using their negative emotions to empower the beats and cause ruin.
- Multiform Balance: Played with. Instead of the title Ultraman having different forms, it's his host that has different Ultramen to choose from. Taiga is the Jack of All Stats, Titas is the Mighty Glacier and Fuma is Fragile Speedster.
- Transformation Trinket: The Taiga Spark brace, which by installing an Ultra Taiga Accessory, allows Hiroyuki to transform into either Taiga, Titas and Fuma. Tregear also has one, called the Tregear Eye.
Ultraman Taiga provides examples of the following tropes:
- Alien Among Us: According to the story description, aliens had been living secretly in the human society.
- Badass Crew: The first series in a while to actually focus on one, with the last time being Ultraman X.
- Balance, Speed, Strength Trio: The Three Ultramen share the same host (Hiroyuki) and form a team named Tri Squad. In respecitve order, Taiga as the Balanced, Fuma as the Speed, Titas as the Strength.
- Book Ends:
- The first episode's title is "Buddy, Go!", the transformation call used by Hiroyuki to transform into one of the three Tri-Squad Ultras. The final episode's title is "Buddy, Steady, Go!", the opening theme of the series.
- Ultra Galaxy Fight: New Generation Heroes begins with the New Generation Ultras (Ginga, Victory, X, Orb, Geed, Rosso and Blu) team up to rescue Ultrawoman Grigio and Ultraman Zero from Ultra Dark Killer, which then leads up to their confrontation Tregear in the first episode. In New Generation Climax, which serves as the Fully Absorbed Finale of the series; the New Generation Heroes and their human hosts team up with Hiroyuki and the Tri-Squad to battle Tregear and save Taro from the latter's brainwashing.
- Again in Ultra Galaxy Fight, Taro instructs the New Generation Heroes to give Ginga power to defeat Ultra Dark Killer with the New Generation Dynamite. In New Generation Climax, Taro does the same to the New Generation Heroes by fusing themselves with Taiga to form Ultraman Reiga and destroy Grimdo.
- For the New Generation Hero era as a whole. Beginning with Ultraman Ginga where Taro serves as The Mentor to Hikaru. Taiga in general serves as the finale for the New Generation Hero trend, with the titular Ultra being the son of Taro.
- Continuity Nod: When the above trailer for Ultraman Taiga was released, the three Ultras are displayed with their home planet backgrounds: Taiga is Land of Light, Titas is the Greece-like scenery of U40, and Fuma is the peak of O-50.
- "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The series' opening, "Buddy, Steady, Go" is written and sung by Takuma Terashima, who also voiced Ultraman Taiga himself.
- Episode 0 of Taiga (which can be watched in YouTube for free) is about Taiga viewing three past battles of his seniors. Two of them involves fighting their own friend while struggling with the power of bonds. That same thing happened in episode 16 when Taiga was brainwashed by Tregear and it took the help of Hiroyuki, Titas and Fuma to save him back.
- How the villains in the show being able to create a Skull Gomora and a mindless clone of Ultraman Belial had the viewers wonder how they were able to obtain Belial's genetic samples. The next season after Taiga reveals that fragmented remnants of Belial's cells are called the Devil Splinters. It's possible Mabuze is gathering Devil Splinters (which isn't mentioned yet at the time) to create these aformentioned monstrosities before Celebro did.
- Generation Xerox: The relationship between Tregear and Taro can be seen by many as a parallel to Belial and Father of Ultra.
- In a Single Bound: The first trailer reveals that Taiga inherited his father's acrobatic leap.
- Jerkass: The Victim of the Week of #3, Imari. He's the president of a company called Cozmo Technica who's entirely self absorbed and doesn't really show any real sense of understanding just how much danger his life is in. It turns out he's also Lethally Stupid as his monumentally idiotic "birthday rocket" that he shot into space collided with a satellite and got two innocent people killed, something he shows no remorse for. He refuses to take orders from E.G.I.S. due to his ego despite having hired them to protect him and when Hiroyuki pulls a Diving Save to keep him from being sucked into the vacuum of space he shoves Hiroyuki for shoving him and nearly gets him killed. He even callously suggests a memorial to the astronauts he killed... on another rocket, proving he'd learned nothing. No one's really crying for him when Souya punches him out for even suggesting that.
- Mythology Gag
- The first episode does this to Ultraman Taro's first episode. As a Kaiju bioweapon from/related to the previous series is killed easily by a brand-new Kaiju to demonstrate its might.
- Taiga watching previous events like in Ultraman Story
- Taiga Tri-Strium form has the same colors as the ZAT uniform and the Taiga Blast Attack is based on Ultra Dynamite.
- To other series
- Episode 6 is a sequel to The Boy who Cried Flying Saucer.
- In Episode 10 we hava a homage to episode Ultraman Dies at Sunset.
- In Episode 15 we have return from Skull Gomora.
- Episode 18 features a deteriorated-looking Zetton under the control of an Alien Bat.
- Episode 22's plot is a more positive take on "Ambassador of the Nonmalt", with Takkong filling in Guyros' role.
- Raiju: Gorothunder is a Monster of the Week whose motif is based on the Raiju. Its design is inspired by Shinto lightning god and it can summon thunder and lighting.
- Red Is Heroic: Taiga is the most obvious, Titas also counts.
- Rookie Red Ranger: Taiga is actually very young and inexperienced in battle but is dedicated in his mission to protect Earth.
- In episode 16, when the other members of E.G.I.S. try a Journey to the Center of the Mind via a neural link device in order to save Hiroyuki from the nightmares that affected his bond with Taiga, Pirika shouts "Link Start!" to start the neural link.
- Episode 23 has twice references of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: first was during Titas and Belial's fights referencing Jojo and Dio's stand cries while Alien Chibull Mabuze's death was proclaiming how his race's science is the best in the universe.
- Spin-Offspring: The titular Ultraman is the son of Ultraman Taro.
- Spiritual Successor: To Ultraman Tiga. Apart from their similar-sounding names, they are the first Ultra shows of a new Japanese imperial era (Heisei for Tiga, Reiwa for Taiga), and also breaking the trend of the Ultra Series (multicolored forms and body coloration for Tiga, three Ultras sharing the same human hosts in Taiga).
- We Used to Be Friends: Tregear is presented as an old friend of Taro before his downfall.