Follow TV Tropes


Series / Ultraman: Towards the Future

Go To

A new hero has come over from the galaxy of dreams.
To protect the Earth's shine, the child of light has come.
— Opening lyrics of the theme song

Ultraman: Towards the Future (known as Ultraman Great in Japan) is a 13-episode miniseries created as an International Coproduction between Tsuburaya Productions (creators of the Ultra Series that is is a part of) and the South Australian Film Corporation.

Astronauts Jack Shindo and Stanley Haggard are the first men to land on Mars and encounter the giant monster Gudis battling the gigantic alien, Ultraman Great. Haggard is killed by Gudis while Jack is pinned underneath a rockslide, but before Ultraman can destroy the monster, it turns into a virus and heads for Earth. As Ultraman cannot last long in Earth's polluted atmosphere, he merges with Jack to battle the Gudis Virus, granting the human the ability to transform into Ultraman whenever all is lost. Jack then joins the anti-monster attack team UMA (Universal Multipurpose Agency) to help them fight the Gudis and many other monstrous threats.

The series was released in Japan Direct to Video in 1990, only finally airing on television in 1995. The series was also distributed in the United States by Sachs Family Entertainment and broadcasted in 1992. In Australia, it was shown on Nine Network in 1993. The series also generated a merchandise line including toys, comic books and a video game.

Tropes featured in Ultraman: Towards the Future include:

  • Aerith and Bob: At least from Morgan's point of view in episode ten, when he finds out that Veronica's husband is named Ryugulo, he wonders if he's Italian. Justified, however, because they're both aliens, but Ryugulo probably didn't bother using a human name.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot + Plant Person: Bios, an alien plant-infected AI, is the source of a hybrid plant-machine monster in one episode, after it forcibly takes over the greenhouses that it was created to run.
  • Alien Invasion: By Gudis spores.
  • All There in the Manual: Some of the monsters' names aren't mentioned on-screen, and can only be found in supplementary material.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Once, by a Gudis-controlled Stanley, and again by General Brewer's forces when he thinks he can do a better job with the Monster of the Week. Of course, he and his team fail. Horribly.
  • An Ice Person: Gigasaurus, a brontosaurus-like monster from Antarctica that breathes freezing gas and causes surrounding temperatures to drop.
  • Animal Motifs: Plenty. The Deganja is modelled after a Tasmanian Devil, the Guardian of the Forest looks like a giant bipedal elephant, the Majaba is a mutant locust, and UF-0 looks vaguely crustacean.
  • And Then What?: How Gudis is ultimately defeated. Jack points out how "consuming all life in the universe" is an evil-sounding goal, but in the end it's self-defeating.
  • Apocalypse Anarchy: The last two episodes - one week after Ultraman is gone is all it takes for people to start committing robbery while dressed like they're in Fist of the North Star.
  • Arch-Enemy: Ultraman and Gudis.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: When an impatient inspector wants to burn down an entire forest, complete with a missing girl somewhere inside to deal with a Kaiju, Colonel Grant confronts him with "what will you tell (the girl's mother)?"
  • Art Shift: The Kodalar looks rather different in and out of water. Possibly justified, as it might be an underwater-adapted creature, and is more sluggish on land.
  • Asshole Victim: The citizen shooting kangaroos with an assault gun from Episode 4. He’s a trigger happy nut ball who is shooting at animals for no reason, not even for sport. He even leaves his friend behind when he see Deganja’s tornado. It’s safe to say, no tears are shed for his death.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: As per Ultra Series norm, giant monsters and aliens form the regular villains.
    • In the first episode, Ultraman himself gets mistaken as one, until the UMA team notices that he's pretty much the only thing that can go toe-to-toe with the Monster of the Week.
  • Attack Reflector: The Kodalar can do this with its own palms. Ultraman gets defeated in this way when a game of energy ball ping-pong goes horribly wrong. In the final episode, the mysterious prophecy disc is shown to turn the tables on the Kodalar, beating it at its own game, and blowing it up once and for all (though it gets fried to a crisp itself in the process).
    • Ultraman himself uses this, against the Gigasaurus, Gerukadon, and the Deganja.
  • Back from the Dead: Everyone thinks this of Jack when he somehow makes it back to Earth in episode one, but of course, he had help from Ultraman. Played straight, however, by Gudis, who has been incubating a second body in the arid Australian outback over the course of the first six episodes. Stanley may or may not be this as well, see Came Back Wrong below.
  • Badass Bookworm: While both Kim and Morgan can qualify as this, Morgan takes the lead by being a nerd who is pretty handy with the controls of UMA's Hummer jets, as evidenced in episode seven when he takes a particularly meddlesome inspector on a (deliberate) joyride in order to buy time for UMA (and Ultraman) to deal with the Monster of the Week.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Jack does this in episode three, trying to convince Jimmy to halt the Gerukadon's rampage.
    • Jack's verbal battle with Gudis' second form may also count.
  • Because Destiny Says So: In the Deganja episode, the aboriginal mystic Mudjudi shows Jack and Lloyd a cave painting depicting what appears to be a confrontation between Ultraman and the Deganja itself (portrayed as an anthropomorphic whirlwind). Take a guess as to what happens by the end of the episode.
  • Berserk Button: Belittle Colonel Grant's team (or downplay their value), and he won't hesitate to (verbally) tear you a new one.
  • Big Bad: Gudis plays this role for the first six episodes of the show.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Majaba, a giant locust mutated by pesticides.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Ultraman, frequently.
  • Big Eater: Charles Morgan. Also Sandman, the simple-minded farmhand from the Majaba episode, who is shown helping himself to the rest of his birthday cake after only one slice has been cut out.
  • Big Good: Ultraman, the "saviour from the stars", as Colonel Arthur Grant would put it.
  • Blow You Away: Episode four featured a monster called Deganja, a Tasmanian Devil-like creature able to create dust devils.
  • Brainwashed: Norberg specialises in this.
  • Breath Weapon: Many of the monsters qualify, including the Gigasaurus' icy breath and the Majaba's poison breath.
  • Brick Joke: Early in episode four, Lloyd protests when Colonel Grant orders him to take Jack along to investigate the Monster of the Week, using Jack's fashion sense as an excuse. Later, when a bartender recognises Lloyd from TV - and reacts negatively when Lloyd jokingly asks if he was good on screen - Jack whispers that it was because of his clothes.
  • Broken Pedestal: The cult leader for Ike, who finally comes around when he realises just how insane he is.
  • Butt-Monkey: Morgan is frequently teased by his comrades, or finds himself on the wrong end of Colonel Grant's snarking. Also Ike, General Brewer's bumbling agent.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Ike, of all people, deserts from General Brewer and joins an apocalyptic cult in the final episode when faced with certain annihilation from the Kodalar and Kilazee, but eventually comes around and is the one who returns the MacGuffin to the UMA team after it gets stolen by the cult leader.
  • Chewing the Scenery: The leader of the apocalyptic cult in the last two episodes gets very hammy while preaching to his followers.
    • General Brewer in Episode 6,
  • The Corruption / The Assimilator: The Gudis Virus does this, turning animals into monsters or making those that are already monsters go on berserk rampages. It also wants to consume every living being on Earth.
  • Came Back Wrong: Stanley suddenly joins the UMA team in the fifth episode (after skulking around in the background for the past few episodes), much to Jack's confusion. It's eventually revealed that he's being controlled by Gudis, but it's not made clear if his body was revived, or he's just a puppet made in Stanley's image. He ends up transforming into the Monster of the Week by the end of the episode, and gets promptly disposed of by Ultraman.
  • Chest Insignia: Ultraman's, of course.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Ultraman's blue lasers against Gudis' red lasers. Yup.
  • Combat Pragmatist: When Ultraman gets distracted and turns around to save an incoming train, Ryugulo seizes the chance to get him In the Back.
  • Combat Tentacles: Gudis prefers these when engaged in direct combat. Also Bogun in episode one.
  • Compressed Adaptation: The 1993 manga, Ultraman G penned by Kazuhiko Shimamoto, is a retelling of the TV show's events, but in one volume, with 13 episodes' worth of content crammed in 120 pages. Naturally, the comic feels rushed and is nearly incomprehensible without watching the show beforehand.
  • Cool Car: UMA's Saltop jeeps, complete with top-mounted laser cannons.
  • Cool Plane: UMA's Hummer jets.
  • Covered in Gunge: In the Majaba episode, the UMA team devises a compound to neutralise the mutated beast (based on the pesticides that caused its mutation in the first place). When the beast and its nest are both sprayed after a fight with Ultraman, Jack (who had just split from Ultraman) and Sandman (the simple-minded farmhand who tried to take an axe to the giant eggs) struggle free from the foamy gunk.
  • Crazy Survivalist: Norberg, The Mad Scientist in the UFO episode plans to escape humanity's impending self-inflicted apocalypse by hiding himself and his followers in a fleet of craft reverse-engineered from the UFO. Unfortunately for him, the original UFO itself just happens to be the Monster of the Week...
  • Damsel in Distress: Jean Echo, Jack's love interest, gets taken hostage by a Gudis-resurrected Stanley in the fifth episode, and Stanley steals Jack's Transformation Trinket. Jean escapes his grasp and risks her life to retrieve it, falling into a pit of Gudis spores in the process. Jack manages to fish her out of it, but she spends the next episode under Gudis' Demonic Possession. Thankfully, she gets better.
    • Happens again to Jean in episode eleven, when she falls victim to a Wounded Gazelle Gambit set up by Norberg's goons.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to most of the Ultra Series, this show has a surprisingly serious tone, with frequent conflicts between human characters, far more horrific monster designs and heavier themes, particularly its ever-present undercurrent of environmentalism. It's probably not a stretch to call it a Spiritual Successor to UFO (1970).
  • Darkest Hour: In the first climax, when Ultraman gets sucked into Gudis' second form, and in the penultimate episode, when Ultraman actually gets defeated.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Morgan gets one when he gets involved in a love triangle with two visiting aliens. Unfortunately, one of the aliens is Ryugulo, the Monster of the Week...
  • Deadpan Snarker: Most of the UMA team get their moments, even Colonel Grant and Lloyd, but bonus points go to Ultraman himself, while psychically speaking to Jack. When Jack wonders what else they can throw at the Kodalar that has already defeated them once, Ultraman snarks that he's "open to suggestions."
  • Determinator: No matter how badly Ultraman gets smacked around, he always gets up to either finish off his opponent, or at least subdue them. Lampshaded by Colonel Grant when he chides a naysayer with "never underestimate Ultraman."
    • Unfortunately, this also leads to Ultraman's defeat by the Kodalar, as he sticks around a little too long, even after his Colour Timer has started wailing.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons: The Gerukadon could be seen as this. Its fossilised bones are even shown being dug up at the beginning of the episode.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: UMA's island base certainly gives off this vibe.
  • Energy Weapon: Many, many, many of the monsters' attacks are shown as this, and even Ultraman and the UMA team get their fair share.
    • Eye Beams: And palm beams. And finger beams...
  • Establishing Character Moment: All of the main UMA team get one in the very first episode, in a nice friendly banter scene.
  • Evil Cripple: Norberg is wheelchair-bound after a traffic accident, and seems to be missing a couple of fingers...
  • Evil Laugh: An epic one from Gudis-controlled Stanley in episode five.
    • Norberg also indulges in this, once he boards UF-0.
  • Evil Plan: Gudis wants to Take Over the World with its spores, and is exploiting pollution to do it.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: The UMA team's firearms all shoot lasers.
    • Subverted by farmer Johnson in the Majaba episode, who opens fire on the UMA team (who want to inspect his warehouse for illegal pesticides) with a very real-looking rifle.
    • Subverted again in episode eleven, when Norberg's goons get into a shootout with security forces guarding hangar 45...where UF-0 is kept.
  • Fights Like a Normal: The Guardian of the Forest seems to be the only Kaiju with no overt special powers, relying solely on its own strength and speed.
  • Final Solution: Faced with the threat of Gudis' second form, General Brewer suggests deploying "the big one": a five hundred gigaton nuke. Fortunately, Ike relieves him of his command before it can happen, and Ultraman finishes things off from there.
    • And in episode seven, the local inspector proposes burning the entire forest to deal with the Kaiju, missing little girl be damned. Those around him are appropriately horrified.
  • Finishing Move: Ultraman Great uses the Burning Plasma, which rather than being cross-styled beam, is twin bolts of energy from his hands done as a Kamehame Hadoken.
  • Five-Token Band: The UMA team of six consists of two Asians (a man and a woman), a black man, and three whites (with one of them being female).
  • Fling a Light into the Future: The prophecy disk in the last two episodes is speculated to be this, in-universe.
  • Foil: UMA's Colonel Grant and General Brewer. While the former is a Reasonable Authority Figure in charge of a Mildly Military organisation, and trusts Ultraman to get the job done when conventional means have failed, the latter is a trigger-happy General Ripper whose first reaction to any Monster of the Week is to blast it with as much firepower as he can muster.
    • Grant is also shown to be a Front Line General, with no qualms about joining his men in the field, whereas Brewer never puts himself in the line of fire.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Universal Multipurpose Agency, or UMA.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: The two-part finale sees the Earth itself spawn two monsters called Kilazee and Kodalar to destroy the human race as punishment for their environmental destruction.
    • Practically spelt out in the Deganja episode, wherein the mystical aborigine explains that "when the land feels neglected, it sends down the Deganja."
    • And again, in the Guardian of the Forest episode, wherein said guardian is apparently attracted to anything metallic (i.e. man-made) in its domain, and is driven into a frenzy when a bulldozing team tries to deforest its realm.
  • General Ripper / General Failure: General Brewer, who shows up during both climaxes, seems to operate on the logic that "bigger problem = bigger bombs", but always seems to end up making things worse for our heroes.
  • Genius Loci: The Earth is revealed to be this, and it's angry.
  • Giant Equals Invincible / Nigh-Invulnerable: Most of the monsters completely No-Sell UMA's weapons, and even shrug off some of Ultraman's regular punches and kicks. The Kilazee gets a freaking nuke to the face and doesn't even flinch.
    • Subverted rather jarringly with the Majaba's mate, which gets shot down by UMA's Hummer jets.
  • Giant Flyer: Several: the Gerukadon, the Majaba, and finally, the Kilazee.
  • Go Through Me: Said almost word for word by Colonel Grant in episode five, while facing down a Kaiju outside UMA's Home Base with nothing but a pistol-type sidearm. The man really leaves no doubt as to why he's in charge.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Jack puts up quite the fistfight against a Gudis-corrupted Stanley in episode five.
    • Also employed by the UMA team against several other antagonistic human mooks in other episodes.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Norberg in episode eleven gets quite horrifically eaten/absorbed/something by the UFO when it awakens after he's taken the pilot seat. We're only shown a strange white sheet descending from above to smother him, and then Grant's horrified reaction to the event.
  • Green Aesop: Every episode features this, as environmentalism was an especially serious issue in Australia in the 90s. Most blatantly shown by the narrator's emphasis on Ultramar's Colour Timer limit being a consequence of atmospheric pollution.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Ryugulo gets jealous of the attention his wife is showing Morgan, which, together with Ike and his The Men in Black nearly blowing his cover, culminates in him lashing out in his giant, alien form. It takes a heated argument (read: trashing the train depot they were in) with Ultraman to make him back down.
  • Harmless Freezing: And then some. The Gigasaurus emerges from the ice (thanks to a Gudis-controlled Stanley's meddling) seemingly none the worse for wear, but Gudis may have also played a part in restoring its functions. It's explicitly stated that it was revived from dormancy, and is actually growing.
  • A Head at Each End: Ultraman's first earthly opponent in the series, Bogun, has one head on the top of its body and the other on its bottom.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Attempted, but ultimately defied. In the first episode, Jack gets his leg trapped under a rockslide on Mars (caused by Ultraman's first battle with Gudis) when he and Stanley are trying to flee from Gudis. Jack tells Stanley to go on without him (at gunpoint, no less), but Stanley is ultimately killed when Gudis attacks their launcher, as Ultraman has been knocked unconscious at the time.
  • Heroic Second Wind: Once Ultraman's Colour Timer starts running down, the titular hero usually shifts into high gear, in order to end his fights fast.
  • Heroic Willpower: Ultraman suggests that this is Jean's best chance of stopping Gudis from infecting her completely.
  • Hit Flash: Sometimes, during Ultraman's fights.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Ultraman gets hit with this hard in his first fight against the Kodalar, as it uses its Attack Reflector to throw his own Finishing Move right back at him, leading to his first (and only) defeat.
  • Home Base: The UMA team's island base.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: A recurring theme in the show due to the heavy emphasis on the fact that many of the monsters in the series are attacking to punish humans for pollution.
    • In the Deganja episode, a couple of civilians first encounter the Monster of the Week while in the outback hunting kangaroos from a jeep with an assault rifle.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Ultraman (and UMA's) response when faced with the more overtly-innocent monsters.
  • I Lied: The alien plant consciousness in episode nine literally spells this out to Dr Krankstein when she accuses it of going against their plan of turning Earth into a paradise. The plants actually do want to do this, but they can't care less about humans, whereas Dr Krankstein certainly does.
  • Impossibly Graceful Giant: Downplayed, in spite of the genre. The monsters generally lumber around on the ground, barring a few stunts, and do seem to portray their massive weight rather convincingly. Even Ultraman himself, giant alien martial artist that he is, moves only fairly faster than his adversaries.
  • Improvised Weapon: While running from the Guardian of the Forest in episode seven, the UMA team stumbles across a field of mushrooms that release highly-corrosive spores on contact. While their equipment gets wrecked, Hollywood Acid-style and all, the spores also seem to repel the giant beast. Kim Shaomin then gets the idea to collect some of the spores and encase them in clay to make "mushroom bombs." They serve as a pretty good deterrent to the beast, at least until the team runs out and Jack has to resort to summoning Ultraman.
  • Irony: When Ryugulo finally decides to take human form after a heated argument with Ultraman, his form resembles Charles Morgan (but with a moustache), the other corner of the love triangle in that episode. Charles is actually amused by this, even comments that at least Ryugulo "has good tastes."
  • Kaiju: Unlike the other 13-episode international co-production, all the kaiju in this series are completely new from the minds of the Australian writers.
  • Kevlard: The Kodalar is the tubbiest of the monsters, and can also take the most punishment from Ultraman. It even shrugs off a beam from a Kill Sat, and survives to hand Ultraman his first (and only) defeat.
  • Kiai: Courtesy of Ultraman.
  • Kill Sat: In the penultimate episode, The UMA team gets its own ozone layer-repairing satellite in orbit, which somehow comes equipped with a beam weapon. It's used on the Kodalar in the penultimate episode, but doesn't really faze the beast.
  • Kindhearted Simpleton: Sandman, a farmhand who helps the UMA team find the nesting grounds of the mutant locusts is intellectually disabled due to brain damage from long term exposure to pesticides.
  • Laser Blade: Ultraman sometimes creates these from his fingertips. Especially notable in the final episode, where he nails the Kilazee through the neck with double laser blades. While it does deal the finishing blow to the huge monster, its head is somehow still attached as it falls to the ground.
  • Leitmotif: The show's theme song doubles as Ultraman's theme song, which plays nearly every time he is summoned.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: In the fight against Barrangas in episode five, Ultraman immediately breaks out the Frickin' Laser Beams (as opposed to going Good Old Fisticuffs on the Monster of the Week first), as if to show how high the stakes are. Fitting, as Gudis reveals its second form in the next episode. Could also be because Stanley's involvement and Jean's Damsel in Distress moment means that It's Personal for Jack.
    • Done again against Gudis' second form, where Ultraman certainly doesn't waste any time before unloading with his pyrotechnics.
  • Living Ship: UF-0, the monster of episode eleven.
  • Love Triangle: One between Ryugulo, his wife Veronica (both aliens), and the UMA team's Morgan. Ryugulo reconciles with Veronica (after a heated argument with Ultraman) by the end of the episode, and they stay together.
    • Morgan also attempts one with Jean and Jack throughout the series, but it's one-sided on his part.
  • MacGuffin: The strange metal disc with the prophecy in the last two episodes.
    • Also the Gudis crystal in episode three, which drives Jimmy to send the Gerukadon on a rampage through the city. Jimmy eventually regains enough control to shatter it, allowing Ultraman to get the upper hand.
  • Mad Scientist: Norberg in episode eleven fits this to a tee. Dr Krankstein in episode nine also comes close.
  • Made of Explodium: Some of the monsters go out this way.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Gudis is behind all the trouble in the first six episodes.
  • Man in a Rubber Suit: But of course.
  • Mildly Military: The UMA team has the aesthetic of a full military organisation, down to the equipment, but their interactions with one another are much less formal than a regular military. As Colonel Grant tells Lloyd in episode one, "You're not in the army anymore."
  • Mission Control: Colonel Grant is usually this, when not being a Frontline General.
    • Lloyd gets to be this when Grant is out in the field in episode nine. He even grins in excitement as he takes the colonel's chair.
  • Monster Is a Mommy: The Majaba is introduced as a type of giant, pesticide-mutated grasshopper, that has not only mated (its mate gets rather-easily shot down midway through the episode), but is already incubating a nest.
    • Mama Bear / Papa Wolf: Both the Majaba parents make great efforts to defend their nest against the UMA team and Ultraman, for all the good it does them.
  • Monster of the Week: With the exception of the two-part finale.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Jack and Lloyd look really good in sleeveless tops...
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Ike sees General Brewer as this, at least initially. Downplayed by the UMA team themselves, as Grant says that he hired them for their ability to think for themselves, and not just to follow orders.
  • The Narrator: Actually Colonel Grant's own actor.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In episode three, mystic aborigine Mudjudi has the Deganja trapped in a ritual stone circle, and is in the process of appeasing it, when one of UMA's Hummer jets swoops in and tries to score an easy kill. The resulting explosion ruins the ritual, and prompts the Deganja to assume physical form, necessitating Ultraman's intervention.
    • In episode six, General Brewer's carpet bombing of Gudis' cocoon only serves to fuel the monster's growth. Especially after UMA had already tried and failed earlier on.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Gudis traps Ultraman within its own mind during their second fight, but this gives Jack Shindo the opportunity to drive it into a Villainous Breakdown via Talking the Monster to Death / "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • No Social Skills: Sandman, farmer Johnson's assistant. Justified, as he's never been off the farm.
    • In Morgan's case, it's played for laughs.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The UMA primarily uses two types of vehicle: a futuristic red aircraft and an armored car similar to a military humvee. Guess which one is referred to as a Hummer? It's actually the plane, presumably because of the sound its VTOL engines make. The armored car is known as a "Saltop."
  • Not What It Looks Like: The rest of the UMA team walk in on Jack holding a Gudis-corrupted Stanley at gunpoint. Jack immediately says this, but it earns both of them time behind bars. Unfortunately, Stanley has no problems breaking out with Gudis' help.
  • Obliviously Evil: The Guardian of the Forest is just reacting to human incursions onto its forest (notably, it's the first non-Gudis-driven monster encountered), and is not actually out to destroy humanity. Fittingly, Ultraman only buries it underground instead of outright killing it, and doesn't actually score any solid hits on it in their fight (preferring instead to dodge around it like a matador).
    • The Gigasaurus more so, as it's a Fish out of Temporal Water creature that's just lashing out in confusion. Ultraman spends the fight only trying to restrain it.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Ike certainly gives off this vibe.
  • Official Couple: Jack and Jean, all the way.
  • Oh, Crap!: As expected, when humans encounter the Kaiju. To their credit, the UMA team keep their cool, at least until things go pear-shaped.
  • One-Winged Angel: Gudis' second form, arguably.
  • Only Sane Man: Jack Shindo, thanks to Ultraman sharing his knowledge with him.
  • Pet the Dog: Ike catches a boy trespassing, but then hands him some food after realising he's part of a drifter community displaced by the Kodalar's destruction of the fishing industry.
  • Poisonous Person: The final Gudis-made monster, Barrangas, constantly spews poison from its body. Bogun, the first, can also spray a numbing gas from its body that nearly knocks Ultraman out.
    • Taken to its logical conclusion with the Majaba, which is not only a product of pesticide-induced mutation, but has become so reliant on them that it uses them as its food source.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The Gerukadon is brought to life by Gudis by using a fossil fragment (that may or may not be the MacGuffin responsible for controlling it), a drawing of the prehistoric beast in Jimmy's bedroom, his traumatic memories from losing his pet lizard, and Jimmy himself being cocooned by Gudis spores.
  • Prophecies Rhyme All the Time: In the two-part finale, the MacGuffin gives us two: "One that was bound in the deep; one that was born to the sky; one shall be called from its sleep, and darkness shall follow the cry", and "The final plague the world shall know; the one banished; the one buried; the one who sleeps below."
  • Punched Across the Room: More like punched across the city block, but during Ultraman's fight with Bogun, he clobbers it hard enough to send it flying back into a building, complete with Blood from the Mouth.
  • Punny Name: Ike tries to invoke this in episode ten when he calls Jean "Ms. Echo", and then repeats her last name over and over again (as a, you know, echo). This earns him a solid punch to the face from Jean.
  • Puny Earthlings: Ryugulo essentially describes humans as such to his wife - both are aliens who have come to earth as fugitives. While she takes human form to blend in and sight-see, he initially refuses, and disguises himself as a hamburger van, a painting on a wall, and a coffee machine.

  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Colonel Grant may be gruff and stern when he needs to get the job done, but he's also shown to genuinely care for his men.
  • Red Is Heroic: Apart from Ultraman's usual red-on-silver getup, UMA's main colour motif is red.
  • Rogues Gallery: Interestingly, the very opening shows us all of the enemies in the series (if not in chronological order): Kilazee, Barrangas, Deganja, Kodalar, Guardian of the Forest, Majaba, Ryugulo, Bogun, Gudis (second form only), UF-0, Gerukadon, Gigasaurus, and finally Bios.
  • Running Gag: Morgan and his attempts to get a love life. It even becomes the subject of one episode.
  • Sadistic Choice: The Gudis-corrupted Stanley does this to Jack: either throw his Transformation Trinket into a pit of Gudis spores, or he'll shoot Jean. For better or for worse, Jean loses her grip and falls into the pit anyway, and Stanley transforms into the Monster of the Week.
  • Scenery Gorn: Clips of ruined towns and cities are sometimes shown, to further drive home how damaging the monsters can be.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Not even the threat of a court martial from General Brewer can change Colonel Grant's mind about how to deal with Gudis.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Near the climax of the Majaba episode, farmer Johnson, already being pursued by both UMA (for his illegal pesticides) and the Monster of the Week (for sustenance from said pesticides), decides to abandon his farm (and Sandman) and haul ass in his truck. Exactly what happens to him isn't shown, but considering there were other mutant grasshoppers out there...
    • Also the idiot with the assault rifle at the start of episode three, when he sees a whirlwind (actually the Deganja) approaching the jeep. He doesn't get far before it overtakes him.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: According to the mysterious prophecy on the metal disc in the last two episodes, the Kodalar and Kilazee might be this, as it's implied that they've been active in the past (though the circumstances are not elaborated upon).
  • Shapeshifter: Ryugulo and Veronica's species seems to be this.
  • Shout-Out: A subtle one: Grant points to a picture of the MacGuffin that the final two episodes are centred on and declares its prophecy to be "the apocalypse", to which Morgan asks, "now?" in an almost petulant voice.
    • When Ultraman is facing-off with Bios in episode nine, the scene is filmed like a spaghetti western, complete with twitching fingers on both sides. In this case, Ultraman proves to be better at the quick draw. Heck, listen closely enough, and you can even make out a Dramatic Gun Cock as Ultraman "reloads" his finger-beams for the final shot!
  • Sickly Green Glow: The main colour of the Gudis spores, as if to contrast with Ultraman's Red Is Heroic armour and blue energy blasts.
  • Sinister Scythe: The Majaba's entire right hand is one. Ryugulo has both hands, a tail, and a head scythe.
  • Spell My Name With An S: Though supplementary material does spell out their names properly, the Kodalar and Kilazee are pronounced as "Kuh-da-rah" and "Shi-luh-ghee" in the show.
  • Spoiler Opening: The original OP is a montage of all the monsters in the show, which was there right in the first episode. This seems to be a trend in foreign-produced Ultramen shows, with Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero having the same issue.
  • Starfish Aliens: The show notably lacks humanoid aliens (as compared to earlier series), as exemplified by Gudis, Ryugulo, and UF-0. The humanoid monsters are all either Gudis or pollution-induced mutants.
  • Stock Footage: Ultraman being summoned, Once an Episode, and the UMA team launching their futuristic Hummer fighter jets.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Whenever the monsters and/or Ultraman show up.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: When Jack suddenly reveals himself to Jean in episode one, she spends some time wondering about how he returned, and is suspicious about how he knows so much about the Monster of the Week. The rest of UMA also takes some time to trust Jack after his unexpected return, especially when he appears to be a Gudis expert with no prior Foreshadowing.
    • Later in the episode, Ultraman's first, sudden appearance before the UMA team causes them to initially mistake him as hostile - especially when he starts slugging it out with a Kaiju in the middle of the city.
  • Tainted Veins: Jean sports these while infected by Gudis.
  • Take Over the World: Gudis certainly wants to.
  • Talking the Monster to Death / "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Jack delivers a clever one to Gudis: if it's so hell-bent on consuming/assimilating everything, what will be left for it to do once it's done? Cue Villainous Breakdown.
  • Tap on the Head: Colonel Arthur Grant is subject to this in the two-part finale, when the cult leader steals the prophecy disc from him.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Gudis' first physical form is destroyed by Ultraman on Mars in the first episode, but its essence escapes to Earth in the form of cosmic microbes. Said microbes cause no small amount of trouble for the first six episodes.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: In episode ten, after Morgan has humiliatingly seen off a drunkard who was getting between him and Veronica (Ryugulo's wife), he comes back with his little brother (who is taller and more muscular than he is). Morgan hesitates before bracing himself for a fight. Fortunately, Ryugulo zaps them from within his guise as the hamburger van. They aren't badly hurt, but it's enough to see them off.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: As Charles Morgan would say, "burger is my middle name."
  • Transformation Trinket: Jack Shindo's Delta-Plasma Pendant.
  • Troll: In episode six, Charles Morgan pretends to go along with General Brewer's orders when he forcibly usurps Colonel Grant's command in order to deal with Gudis' cocoon, going so far as to launch a Hummer jet in pursuit of Jack and Jean, and even fires a warning shot, but when he's finally got them in his crosshairs, he tells General Brewer that he still needs an official UMA command code. This drives the general into a spectacularly hilarious frothing frenzy.
  • Two Girls to a Team: UMA has Jean Echo and Kim Shaomin.
  • Villain Teleportation: Barrangas seems to be able to use its red poison clouds to either do this, or to Flash Step around Ultraman. Ryugulo also does this in a later episode, as does the Gerukadon in episode three.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Jack provokes Gudis into this while trapped in a pocket dimension inside its head. It distracts Gudis long enough for Ultraman to break out, finally destroying Gudis for real.
  • Volatile Tasmanian Devil: The Monster of the Week for episode 4 is Degunja, a Tasmanian Devil-themed kaiju who can generate tornadoes and shoot energy blasts from it's hands. Supplementary materials revealed that Degunja used to be a normal Tasmanian Devil, before being infected by the Gudis virus turning it into a rampaging monster.
  • Walking Wasteland: Marine version. The Kodalar is responsible for spreading the red algae that's poisoning the seas in the finale.
  • We Have Reserves: General Brewer's general attitude to the assets he commands.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Not really a weakness per se, but Bios is pacified by classical music. Unfortunately, it likes classical music so much that it grabs the Hummer jet that is playing it on its loudspeakers, forcing Ultraman to intervene to save the pilots.
  • Weather Manipulation: The Deganja can summon whirlwinds when it needs to go somewhere fast. It's also shown to cause an overcast sky and lightning storms at one point. When it gets purified of Gudis' influence, it brings rain to the parched outback.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The alien plants in episode nine (that would later turn into Bios and fight Ultraman) wanted to help the Earth recover from pollution, even if it meant sacrificing human lives.
  • Wham Episode: The penultimate episode, wherein Ultraman gets defeated by the Monster of the Week in an alarmingly quick Curb-Stomp Battle, leading to...
  • Wham Line:
    "Ultraman has been defeated. The UMA team has no answers to the latest invasion. The Earth lies defenceless before its enemies..."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The leader of the apocalyptic cult is last seen declaring his submission to the Kodalar (that has just made landfall), MacGuffin in hand. We don't see what becomes of him, but considering the MacGuffin is next seen in Ike's hands as he returns it to the UMA team, it can't have been good...
    • Also farmer Johnson in the Majaba episode, last seen on the run in his truck from both UMA and the monsters.
  • Yandere: Ryugulo could be seen as this, for his wife Veronica.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Farmer Johnson keeps Sandman in line by threatening to send him to a home if he doesn't listen to him.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Invoked by Veronica as she tries to hide from Ike and his The Men in Black. She shape-shifts from her regular youthful guise into that of an elderly woman. Unfortunately, Morgan's ex-girlfriend notices that she's wearing the pendant he had planned to give to her, and tips Ike off. Things only go From Bad to Worse from there.
  • You Wouldn't Believe Me If I Told You: Essentially, Jack's response whenever he's asked about how he survived his encounter with Gudis on Mars.
  • Your Head Asplode: Done rather dramatically at the end of episode six, wherein Ultraman explodes out of Gudis' head at full size after talking the monster into a Villainous Breakdown while trapped in a pocket dimension inside its head.


Video Example(s):


Ultraman: Towards the Future

The Australian-produced Ultraman series uses an instrumental orchestral score for its opening titles.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / InstrumentalThemeTune

Media sources: