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Series / Ultraman Taro

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All spoilers from Ultraman to Ultraman Ace will be left unmarked. You Have Been Warned!
The Sixth Ultra Brother Appears! Ultraman Taro!

Taro! Ultraman Number Six!!
Opening Theme

Ultraman Taro is a Japanese Series, the sixth Ultra show, aired from 1973 to 1974, with 53 episodes. Ultraseven's first cousin, the son of the Ultra Mother, comes to Earth and merges with Kohtaro Higashi, a young boxer and drifter. Taro is powerful and eager to fight, but he's a bit green. His mother and Ultramen from past shows lend a hand. This show has been one of the highest rated in all the franchise, topping a trend started by the Return of Ultraman two years prior.

Although it is sometimes considered an Affectionate Parody, this series continues with many of the tropes laid down by its predecessors, and seems to be more of just a series which heavily took part in all the trends and tropes introduced in the mid-1970's Tokusatsu Boom. Tsuburaya refers to Ultraman Taro as 'the fairytale of the Ultra Series'. In keeping with this vision, many monsters are inspired by Japanese legends.

Ultraman Taro provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: After asking for help from his brothers, they tell him to go fight Alien Temperor by himself. Once he apparently defeats Temperor (in reality, just the first of two Temperors, and the real Big Bad Temperor's assistant) Taro is too big and bad to accept their help.
  • Adults Are Useless: Played With. This series is no stranger to adults (including a few ZAT members) who are incompetent to deal with monster and alien attacks, and brushing off the children's telltale of such incidents nothing more but crying wolf. Kotaro, on the other hand, is the only exception since he's willing to listen to the kids to prove they're right.
  • An Aesop: For a rather lighthearted and comedic series, even by Ultraman standards, Taro leaves a moral lesson at each episode aimed for kids.
  • Affectionate Parody: Although not strictly a parody, the series is considerably more whimsical than the ones which preceded it.
  • All Your Powers Combined:
    • Taro, Ultraman, Ultraseven, Zoffy, Ultraman Ace, and Jack merge into one being, dubbed Super Ultraman Taro (being the first instance of a Super/Fusion Ultra in the franchise) that can fetch a bell that when rung will dissipate the darkness engulfing Earth during a kaiju attack. This happened again during Ultraman Story when Taro and the Ultra Brothers fused together to defeat Grand King and Juda.
    • The way Taro was merged with Kohtaro.
    • How Temperor was defeated.
    • Tyrant, a fusion of past Ultra Monsters.
  • Body Horror: Depparas, in his 'Re-Depparas' form. This walrus monster has the remarkable ability to pull his body back together if he's blown apart... but when he reforms his body, it's not in any way as intact as it used to be...
  • Book Ends:
    • The series begins and ends with Kotaro's meeting with the Lady in Green, aka, Mother of Ultra.
    • Both the first and final episodes of the series have Mother of Ultra's name written on their respective titles.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: "Taro!"
  • Calling Your Attacks: "Storium Kohsen!"
    • A then-rare example in the Ultra Series, since most Ultras tended not to follow this trope (with the exception of Jack's "ULTRA HURRICANE!")
  • The Chew Toy: Taro gets defeated and humiliated a lot, considering how powerful he's supposed to be.
  • Christmas Episode: An owl-like alien named Miracle comes to Japan to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. It is a shame that he's also being hunted by another alien named 'Terrorist'
  • Continuity Nod: In keeping with the previous series of the Showa era, this series is a direct sequel to Ultraman Ace.
    • All the previous Ultramen, and even Yuko Minami make appearances.
    • The Ultra Sign appears from time to time, and even the Ultra Brothers wear theirs in their civilian attire when they visit Koutaro.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Taro and a group of kids single-handedly send Onibanba fleeing for her life by throwing salt at her. To add insult to injury, Taro throws her into the air, followed by her club, sending her rocketing away into space.
  • Dynamic Entry: One of Taro's signature attacks is to come out of transformation with a Diving Kick to the monster's face.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • Kohtaro doesn't holler out "Taro!" before transforming in the first ten episodes or so.
    • The weird ritual to merge Taro with Kohtaro the Mother of Ultra and the Ultra Brothers do seems to imply Taro was created right there, but later episodes would establish Taro existed long before.
  • Exploited Immunity: Taro would spontaneously combust, run toward his enemies, and explode. He'd always survive these attacks.
  • Eye Scream: ZAT use an unusual method to attack Rodera, using a bamboo tree to slingshot Higashi onto Rodera's snout. He then hacks away at Rodera's eye, causing it to violently bleed. A truly painful way to suffer.
    • "New" Bemstar gets a spear to the eye courtesy of an angry father.
  • First-Name Basis: Kids and civilian allies call him "Kohtaro-San". This is the same as Mr. Miyagi calling Daniel LaRusso "Daniel-San".
  • Friend to All Children: He trains with them and spends a lot of time hanging out with one or even saving one.
  • Fun with Acronyms: ZAT= Zariba (Malay for "stockade") of all Territory.
  • Fusion Dance: Tarou and the other Ultramen do this on the Land of Light to retrieve the Ultra Bell from a burning tower, and again in Ultraman Story to defeat Juda and Grand King.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Dorobon and the stolen Color Timer. This quickly turns into Gone Horribly Wrong After the colour timer starts indicating that like any other Ultra, Dorobon has been struck by the limited time rule...
  • Gratuitous English: The theme song's intro.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: ZAT (usually) can't shoot straight against any opponent. Their haplessness and incompetence may be the reason civilians often pick up the Idiot Ball. However, ZAT seem to be much better shots when flying their planes, and utilise some rather odd methods to hurt Kaiju, such as when ZAT took to launching one of their team-mates into the air and onto Rodera's snout. The team-mate then hacked away at Rodera's eye, partially blinding them.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Dorobon, who ripped Ultraman Jack's Color Timer out of his chest in exchange for the Deputy Captain of ZAT, used it later to increase his power and defeat Taro. Taro was on the receiving end of a bad beatdown, that is, until the stolen Color Timer blinked red, signalling the kaiju's energy was running out.
  • The Hyena: Live King, who swallowed Higashi and a dog. Big belly laugh...
  • Idiot Ball: Most of the times that a human thinks he/she can take on a kaiju. Higashi did this in the first episode (the incident that caused his death in the first place). Also, see the top of the page.
  • Injured Limb Episode: Taro defeats Gorgosaurus early on in one episode, but hurts his arm in the process which stays throughout the episode.
  • Kick the Dog: Jack, ironically one of the more powerful Ultra Brothers, experiences this towards the latter half of the series.
    • Tyrant, a super-chimera formed from various Kaiju and Choju, rampages throughout the Solar System, beating down each and every one of Taro's brothers in turn. He then gets his ass handed to him by Taro.
  • Lady of War: The Ultra Mother.
  • Learning to Ride a Bike: The episode, "Go Beyond the Ultra Brothers!" revolves around Taro's human host, Kotaro, befriending a young boy named Takeshi who's learning how to ride a bike, while dealing with the Monster of the Week, Tyrant. In fact, the climatic Ultra-vs-kaiju fight that caps the episode is inexplicably intercut with Takeshi struggling to maintain balance on his bike in the middle of a chaotic kaiju attack and pedaling to escape.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to its predecessors. Seems to have been made from the point of view of a child.
  • The Juggernaut: Tyrant manages to defeat the first five Ultramen with ease, only to be beaten down in a Curb-Stomp Battle by Taro. Somewhat Deconstructed, as while he won, some sources cite this simpleminded advance as why he lost so easily to Taro: he exhausted himself and was worn down by the time he arrived on Earth from the gauntlet.
  • Made of Iron: Kohtaro Higashi. Just the things he survived in the first half of the first episodenote  before his death and resurrection should have killed any other man.
  • Mama Bear: Mother of Ultra; Queen Tortoise
  • Meaningful Name: Kohtaro sounds like Taro, the name of the child protagonist in Japanese children's tales, and Ultraman Taro himself. Higashi=East, which is in keeping with Ace's hosts, who are Seiji Hokuto = North, and Yuko Minami = South.
    • Dorobon's name is derived from Dorobo, meaning thief.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: After being killed by Birdon and brought back by his mother, Taro gets his own version of the Ultra Bracelet.
  • Momma's Boy: Both Taro and Higashi. Mother of Ultra deliberately patterned her human form after Higashi's dead mother.
  • Mythology Gag: Taro looks like Seven, being family and all, but retains the time limit (and Color Timer) of his silver counterparts. In addition, he and Seven are first cousins (this is canon, according to Tsuburaya).
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Alien Terrorist.
  • Narrator: Tetsuro Sagawa AKA Captain Ryu except Akira Nagoya AKA Captain Asahina for Episodes 50-52
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Blowing-himself-up-and-regenerating, Ultra-Brother-Merging, Healing (both Taro and his mother have this ability), Ultra Seven and Zoffy's merging with humans, and other one-shot powers.
  • Noble Bird of Prey: Birdon, who sidelined two Ultramen.
  • One-Woman Wail: Taro and Ultra Mother (and by association The Land of Light) each had a Leitmotif like this. Also, some episode endings.
  • Papa Wolf: King Tortoise, just as protective of his offspring as his mate, to the chagrin of well-meaning ZAT and Tarou.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: A minor case in episode 10. Kotaro won his boxing match, but is left completely tired and famished before he could regroup with ZAT and deal with Depparas. Luckily, Kenichi and Saori brought enough food for Kotaro to fill his stomach before transforming into Taro.
  • Scare Chord: A loud, blaring horn section played whenever a kaijuu starts its rampage or when thing became dire.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: An opening credits example with Taro. Just the ZAT base and the mechas appear.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The cliffhanger music sounds too upbeat for some of the predicaments Tarou encountered. Case in point: Episodes 17 and 18, two of a three-part episode featuring Birdon, have DownerEndings, but the ending music sounds triumphant and cheerful instead.
  • Swallowed Whole: Kohtaro and a pooch, compliments of Live King.
  • Swamp Monster: There's one swamp constantly covered in Mysterious Mist, which turns out to be inhabited by a toad-like monster called Tondaile who uses its Overly-Long Tongue to ensnare and capture humans for food.
  • Title Scream: A variation; see the top of the page.
  • Title Sequence: Live action mecha and the ZAT base, only the title logo is animated, breaking with tradition.
  • Tornado Move: Tarou defeats Rodera by spinning into a tornado, where Rodera is trapped and spun upwards until exploding.
  • Transformation Sequence: One of the more polished ones in the Showa era.
  • Transformation Trinket: The Ultra Badge, worn on Higashi's shoulder. When it shines, it's time to fight kaijuu.
  • Unconventional Food Usage: In episode 2 ("This Time It's Ultra Mother"), Kohtaro Higashi (Taro's human host) ends up getting Swallowed Whole by the kaiju Live King, and is unable to transform due to being trapped with a child and a puppy inside Live King's stomach. The ZAT managed to bail Higashi out by having their jets spray copious amounts of pepper (the episode itself said two tonnes?) on Live King's face, causing the monster to sneeze Higashi, the child and puppy out. It works.
  • Walk the Earth: He turns in his badge, kills an alien, and walks away...
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Piccolo, a Pinocchio-esque alien prince, who grew huge and went on a rampage because a group of unseen humans poisoned his new human friend's pet rabbit that he had decided to help look after.
  • The Worf Effect: The first 5 Ultramen were easily defeated by Tyrant, despite being incredibly powerful in their own rights, only to lose fairly easily to Taro. Played with, however, as some sources say that Tyrant lost to Taro so easily because he had exhausted himself fighting the other five, and each did manage to land successful hits on him (some from their Finishing Move attacks) even if they failed to stop him. This is also the route taken by the Ultraman Fighting Revolution 3 adaptation of the episode, as Tyrant keeps the damage each Brother inflicted on him between rounds and thus can indeed be heavily worn down by the time Taro fights him.
  • Worf Had the Flu: While fighting Tyrant, many of the Ultra Brothers get badly hurt while trying to send an Ultra Sign to the next Ultra when Tyrant blindsides him. Also, Ultra Seven fought him on a clearly cold Uranus, his known weakness. Also applies to Tyrant, as several sources state the Ultra Brothers wore him down by the time he arrived on Earth and unlike the other Brothers, Ace managed to successfully warn Taro of what was coming before Tyrant arrived.
  • You Are Number 6: The title song even says so.


Video Example(s):


Ultra Bucket

What do you do when you've got a drunken Kaiju by the name of Veron getting up to mischief? Taro has the answer, thanks to his King Bracelet being able to transform into a handy bucket (water included!) to sober Veron up, in one example of a new power for the bracelet being brought in because the plot required it.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / WaterWakeup

Media sources: