is a fictional character
featured in tokusatsu
, or "special effects" television programs in Japan. Ultraman made his debut in the tokusatsu SF
TV series, Ultra Q: Ultraman: Special Effects Fantasy Series
, a follow-up to the television series Ultra Q
. The show was produced by Tokyo Broadcasting System
and Tsuburaya Productions
, and was broadcast on Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS)
from July 17
to April 9
, with a total of 39 episodes (40, counting the pre-premiere special that aired on July 10
Although Ultraman is the first series to feature an Ultra-being, this is actually the second Ultra Series. Ultra Q was the first. A major pop culture phenomenon in Japan, the show has spawned dozens of imitators as well as numerous sequels and remakes, which continue to be popular today.
To distinguish him from subsequent Ultra Warriors, Ultraman is referred to as the , the first Ultraman, Ultraman Hayata (a reference to his host's surname) or as simply Man.
creator was Eiji Tsuburaya
from Tsuburaya Productions
, a pioneer in special effects
who was responsible for bringing Godzilla
to life in 1954. The show's predecessor was a series called Ultra Q
, a black-and-white
28-episode series very much like today's The X-Files
or The Twilight Zone
. When Ultra Q
was finished, plans were underway for a series that would be even better.
The project had the following working titles/plots:
This story had a corporeal space creature with eyes, who befriended a reporter named Jôji Akita, but the Self Defense Forces, who perceive him as a threat, were after him. This was basically the monster version of the British science fiction series Doctor Who (1963), and Woo's personality was comical.
- NOTE: Tsuburaya Productions produced a new series, Bio Planet WoO, which made its TV series debut in January 2006. It is very loosely based on the above concept.
- , then retitled
The main characters are a defense force (with the same Japanese name as the Science Patrol) disguised as an art/photography team. One of the members, little did anyone (even his teammates) know, gained the ability to transform into a giant birdlike humanoid monster called Bemular (this is not the same Bemular that Ultraman would fight in Episode # 1 of the actual series), who defends Earth from monsters, aliens and other threats. Unlike Woo, Bemular was a tough and righteous fighter (and looked very similar in design to the title monster of the 1967 kaiju film Gappa, the Triphibian Monster). Allegedly the plot was scrapped when it was worried audiences might have trouble telling that one monster was good and the other evil.
The title hero of this project slightly resembled Ultraman as we know him, but he looked more demonic and had horns. He came to Earth after his planet was destroyed by aliens from Planet X. (Needless to say, Ultra Seven shared this working title as well.)
Both Bemular and Redman were designed by Toru Narita, who came up with the final design for Ultraman based on his Redman design, now resembling a less-scary Buck Rogers-style alien being (with a bit of the iconic "Roswell Alien" as well). The characteristic "Color Timer" (the "warning light" on his chest) was added at the eleventh hour.
The premise of the first series begins when Science Patrol (Kagaku Tokusou Tai) member Shin Hayata was flying his plane and a red sphere of light crashes into his Mini-VTOL. The sphere turns out to be the transport (Travel Sphere) for a red-and-silver giant being called Ultraman, and feeling remorse for killing the human, he merges his essence with Hayata to revive him. In return, Hayata serves as the human form for this being, and when danger threatens, he raises the Beta Capsule and transforms to Ultraman to save the day.
Monsters and heroes
One outstanding feature of the Ultraman series was the use of various monster costumes, known as kaiju in Japan. Often wildly imaginative, this feature would influence other series such as Gatchaman and Super Sentai series like Himitsu Sentai Goranger. The principals were played by famous stunt actor Haruo Nakajima, who played the original Godzilla. His apprentice, Bin Furuya, started out as Ultraman. Nakajima had a martial arts background and used it to create a sense of drama in order to be dramatically effective in costumes that had little potential to show emotion. For the first episodes, and this is clearly evident in the action sequences, simple wrestling was used. However, in later episodes sequences gradually evolved into more complex fighting that would later be reflected in anime productions (dramatic windups, extravagant gestures prior to unleashing an energy attack, bellicose roars and threat displays, etc.).
Often costumes of famous monsters like Godzilla would be recycled and altered, sometimes with nothing more than spray paint and often while the actor was still inside. Nakajima quipped once that the staggering gait of some of the monsters he portrayed was due less to his acting than to the fumes he had to endure. Some of the costumes could not be shown fully as his feet would be exposed, a necessary allowance to maintain balance in the often cumbersome outfits. Also, the expense of repairing the scale cities and landscapes used for battle scenes required economy of movement and meticulous planning.
The storyline begins in the near future, as referenced from the mid-1960s. In episode 22, "My Home Is Earth", it is definitively established that the series takes place in the early 1990s, as a plaque shown at the end of the episode displays the current year as being 1993. Sinister aliens and giant monsters constantly threaten civilization during this period. The only Earth organization equipped to handle these disasters is the Science Special Search Party (SSSP), a special police force with branches all over the world, and equipped with high-tech weapons and vehicles, as well as extensive scientific and engineering facilities. The branch of the Science Patrol that is focused on in the series is located in Tokyo, Japan. Led by Captain "Cap" Muramatsu (shortened to "Captain Mura" in the dubbed English-language version), the Science Patrol is always ready to protect the Earth from rampaging monsters, but sometimes finds itself overmatched. When the situation becomes desperate, Hayata, the Patrol's most capable member, holds the key to salvation in the form of a power-object called a "Beta Capsule", which, when ignited, allows him to transform secretly into the amazing, super-humanoid-powered giant from space—Ultraman.
While active as Ultraman, Hayata's human body goes into a type of deep coma, reviving only after the threat has been neutralized and Ultraman willingly departs. Victory is never assured, however, as Ultraman's powers—his very life force—comes from rapidly depleted, stored solar energy. At the beginning of each transformation from Hayata-to-Ultraman, the warning light on the giant's chest begins as a steady blue color. Yet as Ultraman exerts himself, the Color Timer changes to red, then blinks—slowly at first, then with increasing rapidity—as his energy reserves get closer to exhaustion. As the voice-over narration reminds the viewer—beginning with episode 2 and for each episode thereafter—if Ultraman ever reaches the point of total energy depletion, he "will never rise again."
Per the DVD set from BCI Eclipse (in episode 39, "Farewell Ultraman"), in the original subtitled version, Ultraman fights an enemy called Zetton, who employs a weapon Ultraman had not expected—one which damages his Color Timer and disables his ability to measure his power supply. As a result, Ultraman stays in his form too long and collapses into a dormant state. Fortunately despite this loss, the Science Patrol's members were able to defeat Zetton on their own. When Zoffy, Ultraman's superior, came to retrieve the fallen hero, Ultraman pleads for Hayata's life and offers his life completely, so that Hayata may live as a normal man. Zoffy then says he brought two lives and that he will give one to Hayata. He then separates them, giving Hayata new life, but Hayata seemed to have no memory between the time he first hit Ultraman's ship and his standing outside Patrol Headquarters as he watched Zoffy take Ultraman home. This is a rather different finish to the series than the English dub which stated Ultraman would return and that Hayata retained his Beta Capsule as he awaited Ultraman's return.
The Science Patrol
- Captain Toshio "Cap" Muramatsu (村松利夫)
The Science Patrol's leader. He is known Captain Mura in the US version.
- Daisuke Arashi (嵐 大助)
The Science Patrol's rotund tough-guy marksman.
- Mitsuhiro Ide (井出光浩)
The Science Patrol's somewhat comical inventor. Although he sometimes feels that Ultraman's intervention makes his role useless, his inventions have occasionally been critical in saving the day such as helping the superhero defeat particularly formidable monsters. He is known as Ito in the US version.
- Akiko Fuji (藤 明子)
The Science Patrol's radio/communications operator, and ostensibly their token female member. However in most adventures, Fuji proves to be the most level-headed and capable member after Hayata.
- Isamu Hoshino (星野 勇)
A little boy. The Science Patrol's unofficial mascot, he gets to hang out with the full-fledged members and is even issued a uniform later on. He often gets into trouble, and sometimes Ultraman would have to save him.
- Shin Hayata/Ultraman (早田 進)
The Science Patrol's brave, no-nonsense deputy captain. His life changed irreversibly when Ultraman accidentally crashed into his "Delta VTOL" with his TravelSphere and killed him, destroying both ships. To make amends, Ultraman merges his own lifeforce into that of the Earthman before the brain functions of the latter are irreversibly terminated, thus reviving him. He then gives Hayata the microphone-like device called the Beta Capsule, with which he can transform into Ultraman by depressing a red push-button switch on its side with his thumb to activate it.
- Doctor Iwamoto
A professor from the Scientific Research Center. The Science Patrol's "monster expert". He first appears in Episode 5.
- Home Planet
The Land Of Light,Nebula M78
40 meters (130 feet)
20,000 Earth years old
- Flight Speed
- Jump Ceiling
800 meters (2,600 feet)
- Running Speed
450 kilometers per hour (280 miles per hour)
- Swimming Speed
200 knots (230 miles per hour)
- Physical Strength
He can lift a 100,000-ton tanker (Skydon was twice as heavy)
Teacher at ; Chief of
- Family Structure
- Human Form
Shin Hayata (host)
- Transformation Item
Ultraman's special powers
This list covers powers used in and outside the series.
Ultraman crouches slightly forward and crosses his wrists together, with his right forearm vertical and left forearm horizontal in front of it, and the thumb edge of his hands facing his body, to shoot from the outer edge of his right hand a particle/light-ray that kills most opponents. The effect is either an explosion or a fatal burn. The ray can be reflected (see Alien Baltan II) but loses intensity once reflected. The ray can also be negated by similar energy (see Alien Mephilas). Specium is actually a substance found on Mars that itself is deadly to at least one monster species (the Baltans), as established in Episode 2 ("Shoot the Invader"). The Specium Ray—indeed all of Ultraman's Specium-type energy attacks—may be based on that substance, but this is never stated as the case in the series. Regardless, the Spacium Ray is perhaps Ultraman's most powerful single weapon, and very few creatures are immune to it, such as Keronia and Zetton. In Ultraman vs. Kamen Rider, Ultraman uses it in conjunction with a giant Kamen Rider 1's Rider Kick to destroy Sasori-Gadoras, who had managed to absorb the ray earlier. (This weapon was used on nearly all opponents.) In Ultraman Mebius, he used this to destroy Mephilas' blasts. In the movie, he used this on Ukillersaurus, and combined it with Ultra Seven's Wide Shot in an attempt to defeat alien Guts.
Note: In the Toho film Godzilla vs. Hedorah, Godzilla had done the same Ultraman pose while fighting against Hedorah'''
Ultraman fires a saw-like Specium-energy ring (a ) from his hand. This Halo can slice his opponent in half. The Cutting Halo does have drawbacks however: a Baltan alien was able to deflect a Halo with his barrier, Gubira was lucky enough to catch a second Halo on his nose, rather than be sliced by it, and Keelar was just as lucky to catch a third Halo with his tail. Alien Mephilas destroyed a fourth Halo with his Bare Hand Beam, and a fifth Halo shattered after striking Zetton's barrier. In Ultraman vs. Kamen Rider, Ultraman used this to sever Sasori-Gadoras' tail after Kamen Rider 1 had been struck. (This was used against Redking and Alien Baltan II, among other opponents.) In the Mebius movie, he used it cut Ukillersaurs' tentacles during the final battle. In Episode 47 of Ultraman Mebius, Alien Mephilas was able to evade a pair of the halos Ultraman sent at him for a while, before shattering them with his bare hands.
- Electrical Immunity
When attacked by Neronga in Episode 3 of the series, and by Alien Mephilas in Episode 47 of Ultraman Mebius, Ultraman evidences immunity to electrical or lightning attacks. Not all Ultra-beings have this immunity.
By focusing energy from his left hand into a spiral energy beam around his right arm, then directing the energy at a target creature, Ultraman can induce a temporal stasis, in effect paralyzing the target. This is a rare power, and was only used once, against Keronia in Episode 31, when the Spacium Ray had failed him. Resembles a Karate "Seiken-zuki".
Ultraman can counter temporal/spatial attacks or can damage opponents by spinning rapidly in an upright position. The attack is remote, and does not involve beams, but it can rip space on a local level, cause remote explosions, or create immobilizing rings of force. It was used against Bullton successfully; also used against Zetton, who interfered with the attack.
- Version I
Using narrow beams from his index fingers, Ultraman can paralyze objects suspended in mid-air. This is followed by a Cutting Halo that divides in two to cut the suspended object into thirds. (Used against Redking II.) It is also called
- Version II
With considerable concentration, Ultraman can converge two parallel swirls of energy originating from his palms to lift an opponent off the ground and repel it. This power also may involve a remote attack, as it was followed by explosive destruction of the target. It was used against Keelar.
Ultraman's telekinetic power. Used before the Ultra Air Catch Version I. It is also called .
Ultraman can propel himself in a controlled manner through the air. Apparently it takes little energy to do this, as he almost always is able to take off at the conclusion of a fight and get out of sight to change back into his human host. Book sources indicate this is possibly due to special jet boots, but that effect is never in evidence on the television programs.
In dire emergencies when flying to a location would be too slow, Ultraman can teleport to it instead. Ultraman used this power to return to Earth from Planet R, in order to combat an invading Baltan force in Episode 16. However, this power has a high energy demand and his warning light will usually turn red and/or begin to blink as soon as he arrives at his destination. In the English-language dubbed version only, a peculiar symptom of Ultraman's preparation to teleport is manic laughter. When Ultraman teleports, he leaves behind Hayata's body in its comatose state, and the two cannot re-merge until they are in sufficient proximity. Note: despite the statement in the show that teleportation is a major drain of his energy, when Ultraman teleported from Planet R to Earth his warning light was still blue, and this was also after having destroyed Baltans on Planet R.
Ultraman can direct a high-pressure stream of water from his fingertips by touching his hands together. This may not actually be water from Ultraman's body, but rather a forced condensation of water in the atmosphere channeled into a stream. It was used to kill Jamilar, whose body was water-soluble, and to extinguish the fires caused by Pestar.
Ultraman can control his molecular structure, phasing from human-size to giant-size. He places his hands in front of his chest at 45 degree angles, thumb edge facing inward, and then sharply gestures outward. This is not the same as his transformation from human form as Hayata. It was used to counteract Dada's micronizer ray.
Ultraman's vision extends into a wider range of the electromagnetic spectrum than that of humans, at least into infra-red and ultraviolet, and probably further to include gamma rays and X-rays. One manifestation of this power is a beam of energy, resembling a spotlight, that is emitted from Ultraman's eyes and which renders electromagnetic cloaks used by shielded objects and beings inoperative. (Used to spot the Baltan spaceship in Earth's atmosphere at night, and the Dada when it attempted to remain invisible.)
A standard karate chop, though a more powerful version is accompanied by a flash of energy on impact. Ultraman used an example of the latter to defeat the monster Jirass. It is also called .
It has the power of 50 Indian elephants.
Ultraman has a shoe size of 320 mon and .
Ultraman swings an opponent around several times before letting go. It was used against Keronia and defeated Redking and Terresdon.
When Alien Baltan II's barrier deflected Ultraman's Cutting Halo, Ultraman used this eye beam to neutralize the barrier. It is also called
In his battle against Alien Mephilas, Ultraman used this line of chevron-like bolts fire from his fingertips while the two where in flight, and Mephilas countered with his Bare Hand Beam, which resulted in Ultraman being temporarily blinded.
Ultraman, spinning at high speeds, can produce three yellow energy rings to bind an opponent. It was used on Z-Ton, who managed to break free. It is also called .
In Return of Ultraman Episode 38, Ultraman and Ultra Seven used this tactic to free Ultraman Jack.
In the 1996 movie Revive! Ultraman, Ultraman created four duplicates of himself to fight various monsters simultaneously.
A rainbow-colored Spacium Ray used to defeat Zeton in Revive! Ultraman.
- Energy Transfer Beam
In Ultraman Tiga Episode 49, Ultraman used this to replenish Ultraman Tiga's stamina.
In the prologue of Ultraman Mebius & Ultraman Brothers, Ultraman, Ultra Seven, Ultraman Jack, and Ultraman Ace used this to imprison U-Killersaurs and Yapool in the sea at the cost of their ability to transform.
In Ultraman Mebius and Ultraman Brothers, Ultraman, Ultra Seven, Ultraman Jack, and Ultraman Ace gave energy from four directions to Ultraman Mebius, who had been imprisoned by Alien Guts.
In the PlayStation 2 video game Ultraman: Fighting Evolution Rebirth (released in 2005), Ultraman, who had been pummeled by the of (but survived) and empowered by the light of the Plasma Spark, used this extremely powerful version of the Specium Ray to destroy Chaosroid U and save the Land of Ultra from Alien Mephilas' invasion.
- Beta Capsule Transformation
Ultraman's cohabitation within Hayata's body is not entirely unlike the religious or spiritual concept of possession. However, Ultraman does not attempt to control Hayata's decision-making. Hayata's mind and spirit control his body under ordinary circumstances. Yet it is possible, as evidenced by the many close calls to Hayata's life, that Ultraman can intercede in some way to protect Hayata's body. Only the Beta Capsule can trigger the physical transformation from Hayata to Ultraman. Where the Beta Capsule goes when Ultraman is active is not known, but during his first battle with Gomora (Gahora in US version) the Beta Capsule was somehow separated from him by a strong attack from the monster. This also revealed that the Beta Capsule only works for Hayata, as the child that retrieved the capsule hit the switch on it and nothing happened to either the child or Hayata. When Hayata activates the capsule, Ultraman does not have to appear precisely where Hayata was standing, but usually does appear very close to that location, and often, but not always, in a similar pose. Should Hayata use the Beta Capsule in a building, Ultraman can choose to appear from within it or outside of it, even projecting himself during transformation through the specially-reinforced walls of Science Patrol Headquarters. One occasion demonstrates the variability: Hayata was atop a building during a mission where Alien Baltan was attacking, and the Beta Capsule fell out of his reach and landed on a ledge below. With Hayata needing to transform immediately and having no way to reach the device safely, he took an extraordinary gamble and threw himself head first off the building and managed to grab the capsule and activate it as he fell. Ultraman then appeared on the ground, safely standing on his feet. Ultraman changes back to human form by beaming a spiral of energy from his hands to a point on the ground. Hayata's body materializes within this spiral, and Ultraman's body vanishes. The only episode that showed Hayata split from Ultraman and laying in a coma was when Ultraman teleported from a planet he had destroyed some Baltans on back to Earth so that he could finish off the rest off them. For unknown reasons, Hayata's body was left behind in a deep coma state, possibly in stasis, until Ultraman returned. Either the teleportation power somehow split them apart or else Ultraman left Hayata's body behind to maintain the secret identity.
Despite all these amazing powers, Ultraman has one main weakness: Since Earth's atmosphere filters out his solar energy, Ultraman can only be on Earth for 3 minutes. To signal this, a warning light in Ultraman's chest (called the in the Japanese-language version) starts out at blue. At the 1 minute mark it starts to blink, and then turns red and blinks faster at the two minute mark. Some sources have given 2:10 as the mark where the timer begins to blink. If the Color Timer/warning light stops, Ultraman will "never rise again". Obviously, at whatever point the blinking begins, Ultraman typically has only a short amount of time left to defeat his foe and return to his human host. However, Ultraman has occasionally been able to extend his operating time by flying towards the Sun and "recharging". However it should be noted that in the Episode where he fought the monster Dada, Ultraman was clearly well beyond the three minute time limit in that issue and his warning light was not blinking very rapidly, so while Dada was back in the building chasing the humans Ultraman could have flown to the sun to recharge off camera or else the warning light is not an automatic timer but more along the line of a fuel gauge and that as he was standing around scanning for Dada he was burning minimal energy.
Ultraman rarely engages in conversation, and when he does it seems to be in a telepathic manner. In Episode 1, as he reveals who he is and what he must do to keep Hayata alive, his discussion with the clearly unconscious Hayata in the damaged Travelsphere can only be explained via telepathy. However, his conversation with the monster Mephilas does not follow this pattern. Zoffy also speaks to Ultraman in the final episode while the two are in the Travelsphere, though it is not clear if this is via telepathy as was the case earlier with the unconscious Hayata. Otherwise, Ultraman does engage in vocalizations, specifically the shouts and barks he makes in reverberating human-like cries ("kiais") while fighting a monster. Although these sounds and other grunts of exertion are most common, Ultraman also has one oft-repeated, and now extremely iconic phrase that he clearly utters: , which he shouts when jumping into the air to fly. In Japanese pop-culture, "Shuwatch" or 'Shoowatch' has been the phrase most associated with Ultraman.
The Science Patrol's arsenal
The Patrol personnel wear special orange field-uniforms that are worn under a regular duty blue business suit
uniform. When the order to go into the field is given, the outer suit is designed to be quickly removed in favor of the field uniform. Accompanying the field uniform are special helmets with ear fixtures that improve the reception of their communicator pins, and visors that provide visual aid (such as when using weapons). The field uniform/helmet combination also provides a degree of protection from radiation—even enough to allow a human to operate in space.
- Jet VTOL (AKA: Jet Beetle)
The Science Patrol's iconic principal craft. Frequently just called the "VTOL/Beetle". (The prop for the Jet VTOL was originally from the 1962 Toho SF epic, Gorath, but repainted and probably modified for this series. It should be noted that the Gorath prop was slightly pointier than the rounded VTOL.) Up to three are seen. A hydrogen-rocket modification is later built for it, allowing it to go into space. It is generally armed with missiles of varying quality, depending on the episode.
- Sub-VTOL (AKA: Sub-Beetle)
A smaller, triangular version of the Jet VTOL, it is actually an STOL with no VTOL capabilities. This was the vehicle piloted by Hayata when he crashed into Ultraman in the first episode. Generally not used to attack monsters, as it lacks the heavier firepower and carrying space of the Jet VTOL.
- Submarines S16, S21 and S25
The Science Patrol's underwater vehicles, which are airlifted by the Jet VTOL one at a time.
- Underground Tank Pelucidar
The Science Patrol's subterranean vehicle with a huge drill at the front. Similar to the Mole from Thunderbirds. Named after the underground world from Edgar Rice Burroughs' At the Earth's Core. It appears to have its own incidental music when it is first used.
- Science Patrol Car
A silver 1961 Chevrolet Corvair, with the Science Patrol logos on the doors and roof.
The basic sidearm carried by each Science Patrol member. When unholstered, the barrel flips out from the handle and the gun is ready to fire. The weapon discharges either a wave of what looks like electricity or, alternatively in some episodes, a thin beam of energy. Three of them can be combined for a "triple shot", which is powerful enough to take down a (revived) monster. Returns for an episode of Ultraman Dyna (as an "older model").
The heavy atomic gun, and Arashi's favorite weapon. Fashioned as a two-handed weapon—somewhat like a submachine gun with a massive maw—it is clearly more powerful than the standard Supergun sidearm, and visually more impressive. It has at least three settings; stun, red-heat, and heavy damage.
- Mars 133
A gun invented by Ide/Ito that works on the same principal as Ultraman's Spacium Ray, and is thus mortally effective against Baltans. The name is read "Mars ichi-san-san" (one-three-three) in Japanese.
- QX Gun
This weapon attacks a monster's nervous system. Stands for "Quickly eXtinguish Gun".
- Mad Bazooka
Freakishly large cannon occasionally brought out by Arashi when the Spider-Shot is just not enough.
- Spark 8
An attachment for the Supergun invented by Ide/Ito, and used by him, that enables the gun to fire rapid shots. The effect is best described as a gattling gun that 'erases' parts of a monster from existence. Judging from its only effectiveness, it is easily the most effective handheld weapon the Science Patrol has, yet is only used twice; against a revived monster (Dorako II) and Geronimon.
- Monster Translator
It was invented by Ide/Ito to translate any monster's language. It was used to communicate with the friendly monster Pigmon, in the second of the two episodes he appeared in. A more modern (i.e.: no tape reels) version is invented early on in Ultraman Tiga.
- Science Patrol Shuriken
Hayata hurls a shuriken or shaken shaped like the Science Patrol's logo at the man-sized version of the monster Baltan in episode 2. (On the DVD, you can actually see it bounce off, before the film is edited to show it stick in to the monster.)
- Communicator Pin
Each Science Patrol officer is equipped with a small pin shaped as the organization's emblem that has a radio transmitter of considerable power and range for its size. All the operator has to do is pull out the small antenna at the top of the pin to activate it and send a message.
Alphabetized by city.
- KEMO-TV / Channel 20 • San Francisco, California (1968-?)
- KTVU-TV / Channel 2 • San Francisco, California (1977-1982)
- KTXL-TV / Channel 40 • Sacramento, California
- WTCG-TV / Channel 17 • Atlanta, Georgia
- WKBG-TV / Channel 56 • Boston, Massachusetts
- WUTV-TV / Channel 29 • Buffalo, New York
- WCCB-TV / Channel 18 • Charlotte, North Carolina
- KBSC-TV / Channel 52 • Los Angeles, California
- WDRB-TV / Channel 41 • Louisville, Kentucky
- WPHL-TV / Channel 17 • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- WDCA-TV / Channel 20 • Washington, D.C.
- WSNS-TV / Channel 44 • Chicago, Illinois
- WXON-TV / Channel 20 • Detroit, Michigan
- WPIX-TV / Channel 11 • New York, New York
Licensing rights dispute
See Ultra Series
The American company BCI Eclipse has released the entire Ultraman
series on DVD
with the original Japanese soundtrack and the original 1960s American dub. On July 18
, the first twenty episodes of the series were released in a 3-disc set which included interviews with Peter Fernandez
, Corinne Orr
and Earl Hammond
, who were part of the American dubbing team. The remainder of the series was released on October 10
. Because of a licensing rights dispute, BCI Eclipse acquired licensing through Thailand-based Chaiyo Productions. By the time Tsuburaya Productions has settled the licensing dispute with Chaiyo Productions, BCI's DVDs had since been discontinued.
A new R1 DVD Box set will be released October 14, 2008.
There has also been a digital re-release movement in Japan where the entire Ultraman series are to be released as a collector's box set. These box sets feature the entire series plus various limited edition items such as posters, etc.
In video games
A Super-Nintendo (SNES) game featuring Ultraman was also released, and reached #2 on Screwattack
's Top 10 Worst Fighting games list.
Note: The Super-Nintendo game was based Ultraman: Towards the Future, which featured Ultraman Great, NOT the original Ultraman.
In Japan there was an Arcade game called Ultraman that had the player as Ultraman facing off against Ultraman's classic foes. This Arcade game would later be adapted to the Sega Genesis/Mega-Drive and was released in Japan. It served as the template for the Super Nintendo version that would feature Ultraman Great.
Ultraman Fighting Evolution 0 Bargain Edition will be released July 19, 2007 in Japan for PSP.
In other media
Ultraman served as an assistant to General Tani on the hit Japanese game show challenge, Takeshi's Castle
Ultraman is a member of the heroes in Banpresto's "SD Great Battle" video game series, appearing alongside Kamen Rider and Mobile Suit Gundam. Each Great Battle title would feature a current Ultraman, Rider, and Gundam.
In the video game King of the Monsters a character named "Astro Guy" is an obvious spoof. The character even crosses his arms in the same fashion as Ultraman. Astro Guy is later replaced by Atomic Guy, another knock-off, in King of the Monsters 2.
In a couch gag on The Simpsons, the family appears as anime characters, with Homer Simpson as Ultraman.
A short clip from the series appears very briefly during a montage in the 1969 film Midnight Cowboy.
In the eighth volume of the Manga Sgt. Frog there are constant references to Ultraman, with a character named "Wet Traman" representing Ultraman.
In 2007, a Super Bowl TV spot for Garmin personal navigation systems featured a character named "Garmin Man", obviously inspired by Ultraman. He transforms using his Garmin, and fights the evil "Maposaurus" using several Ultraman-like moves, including a finishing beam attack.
In the Cartoon Network series, Ben 10, an Omnitrix alien named Waybig bears a resemblance to Ultraman.
In the Yu-Gi-Oh GX anime TV show, there is a card called Elemental Hero Neos with the same resemblance as Ultraman. It has the ability to fly and merge with cards called Neospacians.
In the Simpsons, the character, Ralph Wiggum, says, "My sash says Ultraman."
The base for the 2007 Hugo Awards trophy featured Ultraman standing at Mount Fuji.
At least two Mexican wrestlers, Ultraman and his son Ultraman Jr., have used the name in lucha libre.
Chikara Pro Wrestling's Ultramantis Black's name is said to have been based from and is in tribute to Ultraman.
In Ranma 1/2, the master of "The Good Old Days" martial art style wears Ultraman's mask.
In the Manga Azumanga Daioh, the character Osaka wears an Ultraman mask in one strip in volume 3.
In Yoshiki Takaya's Guyver series a student can be seen wearing an Ultraman mask. This occurs in the tenth issue and is in the background.
In the "Giant Billy and Mandy All-Out Attack" episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Billy is transformed into "Super Happy Hyper Monster Fighter B", a giant version of himself who dresses like Ultraman.
In the "Mecha Streisand" episode of South Park, Leonard Maltin turns into an obvious knock-off of Ultraman.
In the opening of Lucky Star the pose that Konata does is from Ultraman.
In the last of Yakitate Japan, when the judge had a reaction and became a Manta Ray to swim the 7 seas,Tsukino uses the Bolneze ring that belonged to Pierrot Bolneze.He appeared from the sky and appeares like how Hayata transforms into Ultraman
In Tony Hawk's Underground 2 remix, the secret skater named Voltraman was made to resemble Ultraman. He can be found at the Kyoto stage.
In Yudetamago's Manga Kinnikuman, an American football Choujin named Specialman was made to resemble Ultraman's look. Also, his son, named Specialman Jr., appears in Kinnikuman Nisei. Even in
the Manga Chapter 28, and Anime Episode 6 of Kinnikuman a seigi choujin from M78 Nebula named "Uldraman" was resembled to Ultraman.
In the song "Okkusenman" based of Rockman 2's Wily Castle 1-2 music, is a song based on childhood and growing up, which among other things, includes watching and being a fan of Ultraman. "Ultraman 7" is said in the semi-chorus.
In DiC Entertainment's Kid in Bed logo (which was used from 1987-2005), an Ultraman figure can be seen on the desk next to the kid's bed.
In the book Captain Underpants and the Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People, a villain named Captain Blunderpants(an evil counterpart of Captain Underpants) parodies Ultraman.