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Series / Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero

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Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero (aka Ultraman Powered in Japan) is a 13-Episode miniseries and the third (and final) International Coproduction in the Ultra Series, this time between Tsuburaya Productions and Major Havoc Entertainment (later renamed Steppin Stone Entertainment).

The members of WINR (pronounced "Winner") respond when members of the Baltan race attack Earth, but the Baltans are only fended off when a gigantic alien, Ultraman Powered, joins with WINR member Kenichi Kai and gives him the power to metamorphose into Ultraman in times of danger. After the initial battle, Ultraman declares that the Baltans were not completely defeated and that he will remain on Earth to continue the fight.

Despite being produced in the US, Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero never actually saw release there. Instead, the entire series was released in Japan as both Direct-to-Video in 1993 and airing on TV in 1995.

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The show has examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptation Species Change: A few monsters get these.
    • Chandler is changed from a bat-like monster to a prehistoric flightless bird.
    • Dada goes from a three-faced alien to a trio of sentient computer viruses.
    • Dorako is changed from a natural dragon-like monster to a bioweapon of Alien Baltan.
    • Zetton is a robot instead, also created by the Baltans in this series.
  • Adaptational Badass: Dorako, hands down. The guy was pretty much a punching bag for Red King in Ultraman. Here, he not only kills Red King, but also gets to battle Ultraman for the first time and actually defeats Ultraman and injures him badly enough that he's forced separate from Kai.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Gomora gets hit hard with this. In the original series, he's a furious and virtually unstoppable juggernaut who pummels the crap out of Ultraman and takes numerous grievous injuries before finally going down. Here, he dies only a couple hours after being revived from his hibernation due to being unable to adapt to the present.
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  • Art Evolution: Every monster in the series is given a massive design upgrade, often more detailed and menacing appearances that some fans consider to be superior to the original designs. In Japan, they're differentiated from their classic counterparts with the "Powered" title (e.g.: Powered Red King)
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: As per Ultra Series norm, episodes revolve around battling rampaging giant monsters.
  • Big Bad: Ultraman's most iconic enemy, the Baltans, are given this status.
  • Blue Is Heroic: All WINR's uniforms had them.
  • Disney Villain Death: The Female Red King in the 3rd Episode.
  • Finishing Move: Ultraman's (unnamed) Specium Ray, which is named as "Mega Specium Ray" in the Japanese-speaking perspective.
  • Five-Token Band: As an American equivalent to Science Patrol, WINR's five members are made of three whites (two of whom are female), a black man as the captain, and a Japanese guy as the host of Ultraman.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Defense team Worldwide Investigation Network Response-team (WINR)
  • Fusion Dance: Baltan and Dada do this to turn giant-sized.
  • International Co Production: The second final of these done in the late 80s and early 90s by Tsuburaya, as well as the second American one after the animated Ultraman: The Adventure Begins.
  • Kaiju: Uniquely, every monster in the show is recycled from the original Ultraman.
  • Monster of the Week: Following the formula of the original Ultraman, ''Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero" primarily deals with weekly kaiju threats that need to be stopped.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Dorako kills Red King — an ironic twist on the events of episode 25 of Ultraman.
    • Like Science Patrol, WINR airlifts Gomora, only for the anesthetic to wear off earlier than expected.
    • Ultraman's battle against Aboras and Banila references how the script for the two monsters' original appearance called for Ultraman to fight them both, instead of just Aboras like in the final result.
  • Red Is Heroic: Ultraman himself.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Zambolar and Red King (although Dorako kills the latter).
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Kemular is called Kemura in this series. Likewise, Chandler is changed to Chondra.
  • Toku:
  • To Win Without Fighting: Ultraman "against" Zambolar in The Fires Beneath".
  • Two Girls to a Team: Theresa Beck and Julie Young are the team's girls.

Alternative Title(s): Ultraman Powered


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