Saturday, May 23, 2009
Ultraman (ウルトラマン, Urutoraman?) is a fictional character featured in tokusatsu, or "special effects" television programs in Japan. Ultraman made his debut in the tokusatsu SF/kaiju/superhero 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, 1966 to April 9, 1967, with a total of 39 episodes (40, counting the pre-premiere special that aired on July 10, 1966).
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 original Ultraman (初代ウルトラマン, Shodai Urutoraman?), the first Ultraman, Ultraman Hayata (a reference to his host's surname) or as simply Man.
Ultraman's 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:
* WoO (ＷｏＯ, Wū?)
This story featured a corporeal space creature with two large eyes, who befriended a reporter named Jôji Akita, but the Self Defense Forces, who perceives the alien as a threat, went after them. This was basically the monster version of the British science fiction series Doctor Who (1963), and Woo's personality was also to be comical.
The name Woo ended up being used for an otherwise unrelated, yeti-like monster, in episode 30 of Ultraman. Later, Tsuburaya Productions would ultimately produce a series dubbed Bio Planet WoO, in January 2006, but this series is very loosely based on the original concept.
* Bemular (ベムラー, Bemurā?), then retitled Scientific Special Search Party: Bemular (科学特捜隊ベムラー, Kagaku Tokusō Tai - Bemurā?)
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.
* Redman (レッドマン, Reddoman?)
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.
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.
* Captain Toshio "Cap" Muramatsu (村松利夫, Muramatsu Toshio Taicho?): The Science Patrol's leader. He is known as Captain Mura in the US version.
o Age: 36 years old
o Actor: Akiji Kobayashi
* Daisuke Arashi (嵐 大助, Arashi Daisuke?): The Science Patrol's rotund tough-guy marksman.
o Age: 26 years old
o Actor: Iyoshi Ishii
* Mitsuhiro Ide (井出光浩, Ide Mitsuhiro?): 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.
o Age: 24 years old
o Actor: Masanari Nihei, also known as Masanori Nihei
* Akiko Fuji (藤 明子, Fuji Akiko?): 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.
o Age: 24 years old
o Actor: Hiroko Sakurai
* Isamu Hoshino (星野 勇, Hoshino Isamu?): 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. He is known as Hoshino Fuji in the US version, which describes him as Akiko Fuji's younger brother.
o Age:: 11 years old
o Actor:: Akihide Tsuzawa
* Shin Hayata/Ultraman (早田 進/ウルトラマン, Hayata Shin/Urutoraman?): 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 ignite it.
o Age: 26 years old
o Actor: Susumu Kurobe; Ultraman himself is played by Bin "Satoshi" Furuya
* Doctor Iwamoto: A professor from the Scientific Research Center. The Science Patrol's "monster expert". He first appears in Episode 5.
o Age: 40 years old
o Actor: Akihiko Hirata (Occasional substitutes for Hirata: Played in Episode 33 by Hisaya Ito and Episode 36 by Bin Morizuka)
* Home Planet: "The Land Of Light," Nebula M78
* Height: 40 meters (156 feet)
* Weight: 35,000 tons (Earth gravitation)
* Age: 20,000 Earth years old
* Flight Speed: Mach 5
* 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: Though never precisely measured in the stories, it is presumed to be enough for him to be able to lift (press) over 100,000 tons. He can lift a 100,000-ton tanker; Skydon was twice as heavy.
* Occupations: Teacher at Space University (Uchū Daigaku?); Chief of Space Garrison Milky Way Office (宇宙警備隊銀河系局, Uchū Keibitai Gingakei Kyoku?)
* Family Structure
o Father: Director of Space Security Board (Uchū Hoan Chō?)
o Mother: Teacher at Ultra School (Urutora Gakkō?)
* Human Form: Shin Hayata (host)
* Transformation Item: Beta Capsule (Bētā Kapuseru?)
This list covers powers used in and outside the series.
* Specium Ray (スペシウム光線, Supeshiumu Kōsen?): 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.
* Ultra Slash (ウルトラスラッシュ, Urutora Surasshu?): Ultraman fires a saw-like Specium-energy ring (a Cutting Halo (八つ裂き光輪, Yatsuzaki Kōrin?)) 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.
* Ultra Attack Beam (ウルトラアタック光線, Urutora Attakku Kōsen?): 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".
* High Spin (ハイスピン, Hai Supin?): 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. He used it against Bullton successfully; he also used it against Zetton, who interfered with the attack.
* Ultra Air Catch (ウルトラエアキャッチ, Urutora Ea Kyatchi?) 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. (He used this power against the second Redking, who had swallowed a quantity of bombs, so that he could carry the top third, containing the missing bombs, into outer space where they could explode harmlessly.) It is also called Ultra Anti-Gravity Beam (Urutora Han Jūryoku Kōsen?)
* Ultra Air Catch (ウルトラエアキャッチ, Urutora Ea Kyatchi?) 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.
* Ultra Psychokinesis (ウルトラサイコキネシス, Urutora Saikokineshisu?): Ultraman's telekinetic power. Used before the Ultra Air Catch Version I. It is also called Ultra Willpower (ウルトラ念力, Urutora Nenriki?).
* Flight (飛行能力, Hikō Nōryoku?): 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 launch 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.
* Teleportation (テレポーテーション, Terepōtēshon?): 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.
* Ultra Current (ウルトラ水流, Urutora Suiryū?): 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.
* Dynamic Size Change (巨大化能力, Kyodaika Nōryoku?): 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 only once, to counteract Dada's micronizer ray.
* Clairvoyance Beam (透視光線, Tōshi Kōsen?): 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.)
* Ultra Chop (ウルトラチョップ, Urutora Choppu?): 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/Keyra. It is also called Ultra Mist Cut (Urutora Kasumi Kiri?).
* Ultra Punch (ウルトラパンチ, Urutora Panchi?): It has the power of 50 Indian elephants.
* Ultra Kick (ウルトラキック, Urutora Kikku?): Ultraman has a shoe size of 320 mon and Three-Fold Joints (Sanjū Kansetsu?).
* Ultra Swing (ウルトラスウィング, Urutora Suwingu?): Ultraman swings an opponent around several times before letting go. It was used against Keronia and defeated the first Redking and Terresdon.
* Ultra Eye Spot (ウルトラアイスポット, Urutora Ai Supotto?): When Alien Baltan II's barrier deflected Ultraman's Cutting Halo, Ultraman used this eye beam to neutralize the barrier. It is also called Ultra Discernment (Urutora Gankō?)
* Slash Beam (スラッシュ光線, Surasshu Kōsen?): 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.
* Catch Rings (キャッチリング, Kyatchi Ringu?): 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 Paralysis Beams (Kanashibari Kōsen?).
* Operation: Star of Ultra (ウルトラの星作戦, Urutora no Hoshi Sakusen?): In Return of Ultraman Episode 38, Ultraman and Ultra Seven used this tactic to free Ultraman Jack.
* Ultra Separation (ウルトラセパレーション, Urutora Separēshon?): In the 1996 movie Revive! Ultraman, Ultraman created four duplicates of himself to fight various monsters simultaneously.
* Marine Spacium Beam (マリンスペシウム光線, Marin Supeshiumu Kōsen?): 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.
* Final Cross Shield (ファイナルクロスシールド, Fainaru Kurosu Shīrudo?): 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.
* Energy Exposure (エネルギー照射, Enerugī Shōsha?): 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.
* Giga Specium Beam (ギガスペシウム光線, Giga Supeshiumu Kōsen?): In the PlayStation 2 video game Ultraman: Fighting Evolution Rebirth (released in 2005), Ultraman, who had been pummeled by the Chaos Specium Beam (Kaosu Supeshiumu Kōsen) of Chaosroid U (Kaosuroido Yū) (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, presumably in the form of accelerated healing of injuries as Hayata would be injured in some episodes. However any injury that Hayata receives is not transferred to Ultraman when Hayata triggers the Beta Capsule, and Hayata can still be shown as wounded when Ultraman reverses the change. Also when Hayata was hypnotized by underground aliens in an effort to control Ultraman, the plan failed since they didn't count on the fact that Ultraman would be immune to mind control by them. 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 (Gohora 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 who retrieved the capsule tripped its igniter switch and nothing happened to either the child or Hayata. When Hayata ignites the capsule, Ultraman does not have to appear precisely where Hayata was standing, but he usually does appear very close to that location, and often, but not always, in a similar pose. Should Hayata use the Beta Capsule inside 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 ignite 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 leaches away his solar energy, Ultraman can only physically exist on Earth for approximately three to five minutes of Earth time. To signal this, a warning light in Ultraman's chest (called the Color Timer (カラータイマー, KarāTaimā?) 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. In the 2006 movie, Ultraman Mebius and the Ultra Brothers, it was stated that Ultraman, Ultraseven, Ultraman Jack and Ultraman Ace had sealed the monster Yapool behind a barrier at the cost of being unable to transform again due to the constant energy drain needed to maintain the barrier. They told Mebius that if they transformed again while the barrier was up that they risked permanent death. However despite this, and the fact that their color timers began flashing soon into the battle, any time limits or risk of actual death were not in evidence. With the destruction of the barrier and Zoffy and Taro reenergizing the four of them they were restored to their full power. This would seem to support the idea that the Color Timer acts more as a Fuel Gauge and that the three minute time limit that Ultra beings operate under on Earth is more of an average time limit before they risk total energy expenditure and possible death to the Ultra being, rather than an absolute. Also the classic line of "If the light stops completely it will mean that Ultraman will never rise again" was more for dramatics then anything else. When Zetton defeated Ultraman, his timer was still faintly flashing but he was too drained to fight and collapsed and would have had his timer go out completely if Zoffy hadn't arrived to recharge him. Subsequent Ultra series have had other Ultramen experience total energy loss and their timer and eyes going dark, yet still being revived by an infusion of energy, however it's likely that once the timer goes out that the time needed to infuse new energy into the dying Ultrabeing is short and that permanent death is still possible.
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 Zoffy's 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: "Shuwatch" (シュワッチ, Shuwatchi?), 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 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.
* Supergun: 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").
* Spider-Shot: 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.
1. Ultra Operation No. 1 (ウルトラ作戦第一号, Urutora Sakusen Dai Ichigō?)
2. Blast the Invaders (侵略者を撃て, Shinryakusha o Ute?)
3. Science Patrol, Move Out (科特隊出撃せよ, Katokutai Shutugeki seyo?)
4. Detonation: Five Seconds (大爆発五秒前, Dai Bakuhatsu Gobyō Mae?)
5. Secret of the Miloganda (ミロガンダの秘密, Miroganda no Himitsu?)
6. The Coast Guard Command (沿岸警備命令, Engan Keibi Meirei?)
7. The Blue Stone of Vallarge (バラージの青い石, Barāji no Aoi Ishi?)
8. The Violent Monster Region (怪獣無法地帯, Kaijū Muhō Chitai?)
9. Operation: Thunderbolt (電光石火作戦, Denkōsekka Sakusen?)
10. The Mysterious Dinosaur Base (謎の恐竜基地, Nazo no Kyōryū Kichi?)
11. The Rascal from Outer Space (宇宙から来た暴れん坊, Uchū kara Kita Abarenbō?)
12. Cry of the Mummy (ミイラの叫び, Miira no Sakebi?)
13. Oil S.O.S. (オイルSOS, Oiru Esu Ō Esu?)
14. The Pearl Defense Directive (真珠貝防衛指令, Shinjugai Bōei Shirei?)
15. Terror of the Cosmic Rays (恐怖の宇宙線, Kyōfu no Uchūsen?)
16. Science Patrol Into Space (科特隊宇宙へ, Katokutai Uchū e?)
17. Passport to Infinity (無限へのパスポート, Mugen e no Pasupōto?)
18. The Brother from Another World (遊星から来た兄弟, Yūsei kara Kita Kyōdai?)
19. Devils Rise Again (悪魔はふたたび, Akuma wa Futatabi?)
20. Terror on Route 87 (恐怖のルート87, Kyōfu no Rūto Hachijūnana?)
21. Breech the Wall of Smoke (噴煙突破せよ, Fun'en Toppa seyo?)
22. Plans to Destroy the Surface (地上破壊工作, Chijō Hakai Kōsaku?)
23. My Home is the Earth (故郷は地球, Kokyō wa Chikyū?)
24. The Undersea Science Center (海底科学基地, Kaitei Kagaku Kichi?)
25. Rogue Comet Cyphon (怪彗星ツイフォン, Kai Susei Tsuifon?)
26. The Prince of Monsters: Part 1 (怪獣殿下 前篇, Kaijū Denka Zenpen?)
27. The Prince of Monsters: Part 2 (怪獣殿下 後篇, Kaijū Denka Kōhen?)
28. Human Specimens 5 & 6 (人間標本5・6, Ningen Hyōhon Go Roku?)
29. The Subterranean Challenge (地底への挑戦, Chitei e no Chōsen?)
30. Phantom of the Snow Mountains (まぼろしの雪山, Maboroshi no Yukiyama?)
31. Who Goes There? (来たのは誰だ, Kita no wa Dare da?)
32. The Endless Counterattack (果てしなき逆襲, Hateshinaki Gyakushū?)
33. Forbidden Words (禁じられた言葉, Kinjirareta Kotoba?)
34. A Gift from the Sky (空の贈り物, Sora no Okurimono?)
35. The Monster Graveyard (怪獣墓場, Kaijū Hakaba?)
36. Arashi, Don't Shoot! (射つな! アラシ, Utsuna! Arashi?)
37. The Littlest Hero (小さな英雄, Chiisana Eiyū?)
38. The Spaceship Rescue Command (宇宙船救助命令, Uchūsen Kyūjo Meirei?)
39. Farewell, Ultraman (さらばウルトラマン, Saraba Urutoraman?)
40. Revive! Ultraman (甦れ!ウルトラマン, Yomigaere! Urutoraman?)
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, 2006, 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, 2006. 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.