Ultraman is the main character of the famous Japanese Sci-Fi TV series “Ultraman” created by Tsuburaya Productions in 1966. Ultraman was designed by Japanese visual artist “Toru Narita” as a giant alien that came from another planet and helps earth people to fight evil. In the first "Ultraman" TV series, his origin was ambiguous. After the success of the first "Ultraman" TV series, Tsuburaya Productions created other giants from Ultraman's homeland and officially claimed "Ultraman" as the name of his species. Other Ultramans have their unique names added to the species name "Ultraman", like Ultraman Ace, Ultraman Taro, Ultraman Leo etc, but the first Ultraman doesn't have a name (obvious reason, Tsuburaya Productions hasn't thought about it when making the first TV series), or sometimes he was named Shodai Ultraman which means the first Ultraman. Tsuburaya Productions then made sequels each starring different Ultramans and titled by their names, together becoming the Ultra series.
Shin Hayata was a member of the Science Patrol (a team fights monsters from outer space with high technology equipments). One night, he was distracted by a red sphere floating in the air while flying his plane. Hayata accidentally crashed on the sphere and died, the red sphere turned out to be the ship of a giant alien with red and silver skin. This being is Ultraman from Nebula M78, he thought Hayata‘s death was his fault, so he gave his life and a device called Beta Capsule to him, and they merged into one person. Normally Hayata maintained his human form, when every time that danger came near, Hayata transformed into Ultraman by clicking the button on Beta Capsule to fight the evil, and protect Earth.
After fought many monsters and alien invaders, Ultraman finally encountered the strongest monster——Zetton. He was defeated by Zetton and almost died during this battle. Ultraman was saved by another giant from Nebula M78 named Zoffy, he left Hayata's body and returned to his home planet (But Ultraman mysteriously appeared in the form of Hayata in later sequels). Years later, other giants from Nebula M78 came to earth to fight monsters.
In the series, the year is 1993 (it was also claimed as 1966 in later sequels, can be considered as a plot conflict) and at this time Earth is constantly being attacked by evil alien creatures, and the Science Patrol is the only force capable of fighting the monsters from outer space, but sometimes they aren't enough against the creatures. That's when Hayata comes in and turns into the giant hero, Ultraman.
Most times Ultraman only comes out to help people when giant monsters (size of 30-40 meters) appear. Ultraman mainly fights three types of monsters: Aliens, Space Monsters, and Earth Monsters. After Ultraman left the earth, many of Ultraman's kind followed his footsteps. As more Ultraman appears, the series brings out more kinds of monsters, such as Robots, Super Monsters (or chou-ju), Superpower Monsters, and Saucer Monsters (UFO monsters). Famous monsters include Alien Baltan, Ace Killer, Zetton, and many more.
This list covers powers used in and outside the series
- Ultraman Physiology: Ultraman is a 40 meters tall space giant, his body structure is nothing like earth organisms. He doesn’t need food, water, and oxygen to survive, but sustains himself with solar energy, thus he can survive in space. He has super strength, able to lift thousands of tons. His body is also super dense thus granting him strong durability, immune to many powerful attacks, including nuclear explosions.
- Specium Ray: 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. This ray is Ultraman's signature move and his best monster-killing weapon. However, it can be reflected (see Alien Baltan II) or 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). 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 Specium Ray is perhaps Ultraman's most powerful single weapon, and very few of the monsters he fights are immune to it; Antlar, Keronia and Zetton are among those few.
- Ultra Slash: Ultraman fires a saw-shaped Specium-energy ring (a Cutting Halo) from his hand. This Halo can slice his opponent in half. The Cutting Halo is Ultraman's secondary monster-killing weapon, however, it doesn't work every time, a Baltan alien was able to deflect a ring with his barrier, Gubira was lucky enough to catch a ring on his nose rather than be sliced by it, and Keelar was just as lucky to catch a ring with his tail. Alien Mephilas destroyed a ring with his Bare Hand Beam, and a ring shattered after striking Zetton's barrier.
- Electrical Immunity: Ultraman is shown to be immune to electrical or lightning attacks. Not all Ultra-Crusaders have this immunity.
- Ultra Attack Beam: 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, Ultraman only used it once.
- High Spin: 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.
- Ultra Air Catch 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 Red king)
- Ultra Psychokinesis: Ultraman is shown to possess telekinetic abilities.
- Flight: 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. When Ultraman flies to space, he can turn himself into a light ball and warp space to travel beyond light speed.
- Teleportation: 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 invading Baltan forces. 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. When Ultraman teleports, he leaves behind Hayata's body in its comatose state, and the two cannot re-emerge until they are insufficient proximity.
- Energy Shield: Ultraman is able to create an energy shield to block attacks from opponents. It has been shown that this energy shield can block energy rays, fire, poison gas, and freezing gas.
- Ultra Current: 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.
- Dynamic Size Change: 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.
- Clairvoyance Beam: 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.
- Slash Beam: In his battle against Alien Mephilas, Ultraman used this line of chevron-like bolts fired from his fingertips while the two were in flight, and Mephilas countered with his Bare Hand Beam, which resulted in Ultraman being temporarily blinded.
- Catch Rings: Ultraman spinning at high speeds can produce three yellow energy rings to bind an opponent.
- 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, injuries that Hayata sustains are not transferred to Ultraman when Hayata ignites 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 did not 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, 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 ignite 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 by throwing himself headfirst 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 of 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 leeches 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 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." This means Ultraman will turn back into his human form/human host. However, if Ultraman drains too much energy, an actual death might happen. 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. During the battle with Yapool, Ultra Brothers drained most energy to set up a barrier to lock Yapool on earth. Ultra Brothers told Mebius that if they transformed again while the barrier was up that they risked permanent death. 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 re-energizing 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-Crusaders operate under on Earth is more of an average time limit, rather than an absolute. 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 had not arrived to recharge him.
Subsequent Ultra series has had other Ultra-Crusaders experience total energy loss and their timer and eyes going dark, yet still being revived by an infusion of energy. It is likely that once the timer goes out, the time needed to infuse new energy into the dying Ultra-Crusader is short, and that permanent death is still possible.
In Ultraman Leo series, it also reveals that if Ultraman stayed on earth in human size rather than giant size as his normal appearance, he will save a lot of energy and exist on earth much longer, probably without time limit. However, turning into a smaller size much limiting Ultraman's powers.
Since more Ultramans break the time limit in the subsequent Ultra series, it's reasonable to infer that Ultramans have ways to overcome energy loss. A comic book Ultraman Story 0 provides one example is to speak with "the voices of stars“ to refill energy.
In a crossover short film Ultraman vs Kamen Rider, Ultraman maintained his giant form from morning to dawn, which clearly exceeds the 3 minutes time limit. The reason stays unknown.
- Home Planet: "The Land Of Light," Nebula M78
- Height: 40 meters (131 feet)
- Weight: 35,000 tons (Earth gravitation)
- Age: 20,000 Earth years old
- Flight Speed: Mach 5 (Able to travel beyond light speed in outer space)
- 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; Chief of Space Garrison Milky Way Office.
- Human Form: Shin Hayata (host)
- Transformation Item: Beta Capsule
Since the wake of the first Ultraman there have been a legion of Ultra Warriors over the years who continue to combat giant monsters on Earth. Most of them bond with different human hosts after they save their lives from doom, and some of them transformed into human forms by themselves. Among them:
- Ultra Seven
- Ultraman Ace
- Ultraman Taro
- Ultraman Leo
- Ultraman 80
- Ultraman Great (from Ultraman: Towards the Future from the Australian TV series)
- Ultraman Powered (from Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero from the U.S. TV series)
- Ultraman Tiga
- Ultraman Dyna
- Ultraman Gaia
- Ultraman Nice
- Ultraman Cosmos
- Ultraman Neos
- Ultraman Nexus
- Ultraman Max
- Ultraman Mebius
- Ultraman Zero
- Ultraman Ginga
- Ultraman X
- Ultraman Orb