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YMMV / Ultra Series

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  • Archive Panic: With 29 basic shows (and a handful of non-basic), a few dozen movies, some specials, and numerous manga and video games - made over 50 years and counting. It's so bad that the Guinness Book of World Records has determined that the original Ultraman is the world record holder for most spinoffs.
  • Awesome Music: So much of it that they had to get their own sub-page.
  • Bizarro Episode: Almost anything directed by Akio Jissoji. Examples can be found in Ultraman, Ultraseven, Ultraman Tiga, Ultraman Dyna, and Ultraman Max.
  • "Common Knowledge": Many people will say that Ultraman is a single long-running series featuring multiple incarnations of the eponymous character. Yeah, except Ultraman only ran for 39 episodes from 1966-1967 and all his "incarnations" are completely different individuals that, at times, may not even be related at all to the original Ultraman. Pop-Cultural Osmosis is likely responsible for the issue at hand here.
    • The Color Timer's purpose is to keep the budget under control... except it was a last-minute addition to the series, created while the first episode was being filmed (hence why early promotional materials and the transformation model of Ultraman show no Color Timer) for the sake of giving the hero a weakness; not to mention that special effects scenes can often take up as much as half or more of a typical episode's 24 minutes.
  • Complete Monster: Numerous examples. See here.
  • Continuity Lockout: Many of the later series rely heavily upon the massive mythos established by earlier series, and viewers are often required to be familiar with them. Ultraman Mebius is a really good example of this.
  • Cult Classic: The best way to describe its status in America. While it lacks an English-speaking fanbase as large as, say, Godzilla or Kamen Rider, the Ultramen remain very recognizable to many (and not just among Kaiju and Toku enthusiasts!) and many fans of more popular Japanese special-effects franchises have favourites from it.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: The monsters. To many, they're the real stars of the franchise, especially the most famous and popular of them. Including the examples under Rooting for the Empire below, we have Alien Mephilas, Tyrant, Golza, Birdon, Bemstar, Galberos, Gudon, Twin Tail, Dada, Alien Zarab, Alien Babalou, Pigmon, Miclas, Windam, Agira, Nova, Bullton, Vakishim, Velokron, and Doragory.
    • The series have plenty of monsters who only appeared in a single episode of the entire franchise, but have fans demanding for them to be brought back as recurring foes, like Geronimon, Melba, Lagoras, Jirass, Silver Bloome, Neosaurus, Kiyla, etc.
    • Let's not ignore the human characters either. Most people come to watch the Ultras battle monsters, but some will end up staying for the fun casts of human characters who support the heroes all the way.
    • Redman, a very obscure Ultraman-clone has, as of 2016, seen a large resurgence in popularity after his old episodes were re-dicovered and uploaded online. He quickly reached memetic-status due to his series low-budget fight scenes (even by genre standards), and the character's seemingly unprovoked brutality towards his "victims".
  • Fandom Rivalry: Used to have a rivalry with the Kamen Rider and Super Sentai franchises that has died down now that it has become common knowledge that Tsuburaya Productions helps Toei with marketing the shows.
  • Faux Symbolism: Possibly a subversion as Eiji Tsuburaya and his family are Catholic.
    • Crosses and other Christian imagery are used in attacks and story plots, like the Antlar episode of Ultraman, in which Mt. Ararat appears and the people of Barraj/Vallarge call Ultraman Noah.
    • Also a number of monsters and characters have Biblical names (Gomora, Sodom, Ultraman Belial, Barabas, Judah, Alien Mephilas and Dark Mephisto, Ultraman Noa...).
  • First Installment Wins: The Showa Ultra Series, especially the original Ultraman, are more iconic and popular than the Heisei ones in both Japan and the rest of the world (which is not to say the later series haven't enjoyed their share of success though) to the point where non-Japanese people are often unaware the Heisei series even exist.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • Go ahead and ask any Malaysian kid (or their parents) if they've heard of Ultraman. Chances are, they would be at least familiar with one incarnation of Ultraman or another (even the American attempts). Being one of the earliest Kaiju/Tokusatsu show to make it over (the first versions of Ultraman first aired in the late 70s) and there being an official toy distributor in the country helps. Technically, this explains the Hong Kong Dubs, since the show, along with Doraemon, is just that popular over here.
    • The original Ultraman developed a strong following in Latin America when it aired in the region during the 60s and 70s. Spanish-language Ultraman merchandise like comics were produced there, and it still remains a Cult Classic in some places.
  • Genre Turning Point: As stated on the main page, the Ultra Series was responsible for transitioning the Japanese Tokusatsu genre from kaiju-centric cinema like the Godzilla and Gamera movies to the small-screen superhero action like Kamen Rider and Super Sentai that makes up most of the genre today. It is often considered an in-between of the two sides of Toku as a result.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In a 1931 Cthulhu Mythos short story, The Lair of the Star Spawn by August Derleth and Mark Schorer, the characters manage to stop the Great Old Ones Lloigor and Zhar with the aid of the Star Warriors from Orion, described as monstrous-size glowing beings that "shot great beams of annihilation and death". The Land of Light is located in Nebula M78 in the Orion Constellation. Doubly hilarious with Ultraman Tiga featuring such things as Gatanozoa, Zoiger (Lloigor), and R'lyeh.
  • I Am Not Shazam: Most people assume that every different Ultra hero and series is the same as the original Ultraman, thus will call them all just "Ultraman" — a problem that persists even on this very wiki.
  • Mainstream Obscurity: Related to I Am Not Shazam above. Lots of people know who Ultraman is, what he looks like, and what he does, but few actually really known anything beyond that, hence the common assumption that Ultraman is a long-running show where the hero's appearance changes from season to season.
  • Memetic Mutation: The franchises' fame and popularity has spawned many in Japan.
    • Shuwatch! Explanation 
      • Dyuwah! Explanation 
    • VO VO VO VO VO! Explanation 
    • Japanizing Beam!Explanation 
    • Corn King/Corn GodzillaExplanation 
      • Red King isn't redExplanation 
    • Mirai's Ocular Gushers as a reaction gif for anything sadExplanation 
    • Metron's coffee tableExplanation 
    • Ryu shouting at Ultraman Mebius that "You didn't protect a damn thing!"Explanation 
    • The Ultraman intro's character silhouettes are a popular stock parody of the series. Here's one for Pacific Rim.
    • A Pixiv meme is to draw characters posing in an upside-down position, in which their bottoms are above their heads. This is inspired by the appearance of the popular Return of Ultraman kaiju Twin Tail, who is positioned upside-down.
  • Memetic Psychopath: When Tsuburaya Productions began uploading episodes of the spinoff Redman online, the fanbase immediately latched on to the titular character being this, due to his knife-like weapon and habit of brutally stabbing monsters that weren't even harming anyone.
  • More Popular Spinoff: Technically Ultra Q should be the record-holder for most spinoff shows, but because its first spinoff Ultraman is more popular and well-known worldwide, the world record goes to the second entry in the Ultra Series.
  • Narm Charm: Like any good toku work, the Ultra franchise runs on this. Each show often has incredibly touching, sad, and heroic moments despite the fact that each episode revolves around 2 (or more) People in Rubber Suits fighting on a miniature stage.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Plenty. See here.
  • Periphery Demographic: Although the franchise primarily targets kids, there are a lot of older fans who enjoy watching the series because of how the shows are not afraid of making some occasional social commentary without toning it down for children. Ultraseven is a good example, but even the original Ultraman and Return of Ultraman are known and acclaimed for having a bit of this every now and then.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis: "Ultraman" only refers to the original series and the first Ultra hero, but due to how well-known it is compared to its successors (mainly outside Japan), most people will never get that right and assume every Ultra hero is the same as the original. Not helping is that some series actually do call their title hero just "Ultraman" (Ultraman Nexus, Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero and Ultraman: Towards the Future), but those can be justified by that they're meant to be remakes ignoring all previous series.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Many of the monsters are very well-loved by the large fanbase. Some of the favorites are Alien Baltan, Alien Metron, Antlar, Red King, Gomora, Dinosaur Tank, Jirass, Black King, Eleking, Gubila, King Joe, Zetton, Gan Q, Alien Guts, and Pandon.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: To western viewers, the Ultra Series seems goofy and stereotypical, and insignificant compared to such franchises as Power Rangers and the Godzilla movies, as well as the vast amounts of anime and manga, but it cannot be understated how big it was in Japan when its first shows were airing (we're talking ratings of 25-40% of viewers; and it's still quite beloved today) and how much it has influenced anime, superhero, and kaiju series, as well as video games, in Japan.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Space Warriors 2000, the infamous bootleg movie produced by Dick Randall by stitching together scenes from the Ultraman Zoffy movie and the Hanuman Vs 7 Ultraman movie with a dub so cheesy it makes Saban's Masked Rider look tame.
    Red King: They call me Mr. Bad!
  • Special Effects Failure: Because of the way Tokusatsu works, the franchise is as prone to this as it is to Visual Effects of Awesome, especially in the 1970s due to the Japanese economy being in a rough spot from the Energy Crisis. The monster suits of the 70s are often considered to be some of the franchise's worst.
  • Tear Jerker: Surprisingly capable of pulling this relatively often. See here for some general examples.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Given that it is originally made by a special effects team, the franchise itself is known for its high quality miniature sets and costumes. Even the ones from the 60s and (to a lesser extent) 70s were often on par with contemporary work in Japanese toku cinema — on a television-level schedule and budget — but the movies Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legends and Ultraman Zero: The Revenge of Belial are considered the crowning achievements of the franchise.


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