The Return of Ultraman
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
|The Return of Ultraman|
|The Return of Ultraman title card|
|Created by||Tsuburaya Productions|
|Theme music composer||Koichi Sugiyama|
|Country of origin||Japan|
|No. of episodes||51|
|Running time||30 mins|
|Original channel||Tokyo Broadcasting System|
|Original run||April 21, 1971 – March 31, 1972|
|Preceded by||Ultra Seven|
|Followed by||Ultraman Ace|
Eiji Tsuburaya had originally intended for the Ultra Series to end with the 1967 series Ultra Seven (Urutora Sebun, 1967), but Ultraman (Urutoraman, 1966) proved to be too popular a character to keep down. After Eiji Tsuburaya's death in 1970, his son Hajime Tsuburaya (who took over Tsuburaya Productions until his own death in 1973) revived the Ultra Series with Return of Ultraman.
Featured in this show is a new Ultraman named "New Ultraman" (新ウルトラマン Shin Urutoraman ), or just "Kaettekita Ultraman" (帰ってきたウルトラマン), like the show's title. In 1984, however, he was renamed "Ultraman Jack" (ウルトラマンジャック Urutoraman Jakku ) due to licensing issues, after Tsuburaya and Bandai (which had just bought the Ultraman toy license in Japan) held a contest for children to pick a new name for this Ultraman. Although he is called "Ultraman Jack" for licensing in and out of Japan, he is still sometimes referred to as "New Ultraman"/"Kaettekita Ultraman," by some fans (and also in some official sources). This change was done due to a last minute decision as the original plan for this series was for the original Ultraman to return to Earth to resume the fight against aliens and monsters.
While nearly identical in appearance to the original Ultraman, the red pattern on his silver suit is slightly different, and he can be distinguished by his shorter "pants," fuller "sleeves" and "kneepads," and pinstripes along the red areas.
This series is a follow up to the original Ultraman and Ultra Seven. The first episode begins with a fight between two giant monsters Takkong and Zazahn in Tokyo. Amid the monster destruction, young race-car driver Hideki Go is killed while trying to rescue a little boy and a dog from the falling rubble. His valiant sacrifice is noted by everyone, even his friends and the new defense force MAT (Monster Attack Team), but an unseen being also takes notice. Looking over him is "New Ultraman (Ultraman Jack)," who is so touched by his heroics that he decides to combining his own life-force with Hideki's, thus bringing him back to life (just like the original Ultraman did with Shin Hayata), much to everyone's astonishment. MAT asks him to join the team, which he does, especially since, in this frightening new "Age of Monsters," Earth will need a savior. In times of crisis, Hideki Go will raise his right arm and, by force of will, transform into Ultraman Jack to fight monsters.
MAT (Monster Attack Team)
- Captain Katsushiro Kato: No-nonsense at times, while other times he tends to joke around with his crew. All the same, he is very protective of his small MAT team, and sometimes disregards orders if he feels the circumstances warrant it. He leaves about halfway through the series, replaced by Captain Ryu Ibuki.
- Takeshi Minami: He hints that he grew up on a farm, and tends to watch over the other officers, especially the new member Gô.
- Ippei Ueno: Sometimes superstitious, and loose in his methods when compared to Officer Kishida.
- Fumio Kishida: He comes from an old military family, and tends to have connections still with the higher-level officers who oversee MAT. He lives with his mother, but his father is deceased, as is his older brother who committed suicide upon learning a family secret.
- Yuriko Oka: The only female in the team, but she is very capable, having saved the team by flying the planes or even from being brainwashed. She also serves as communications officer.
- Hideki Gô: The newest member to MAT, he was killed while trying to save a young boy and a dog. Ultraman, upon witnessing this act, merges with Gô's body to revive him and allows Gô to transform when needed. He lives with the Sakata family on his off time from MAT, and before the series, races cars. Due to Ultraman's power, his senses are more enhanced to the point that he can hear and see monsters that other humans can't, and attains telepathy. Transforms through sheer force of will, not requiring a transformation item like other Ultra Series heroes. However, the will isn't that of Gô's but actually Ultraman's; he can either block the process or even transform against Gô's will as a defensive reflex.
- Ken Sakata(episodes 1-37): Owns the car repair shop where Gô works on his off time. He tends to talk to Captain Kato at times, and Kato contacts him when Gô is in trouble.
- Aki Sakata(episodes 1-37): Younger sister to Ken, she takes care of her younger brother Jiro and tends to cook for the family. At times she is teased for being 'Gô's girlfriend', which is taken advantage by an alien who is after Gô. The actress later reprises her role in the Superior Ultraman 8 Brothers movie, where she is married to Gô and is also involved in an incident.
- Jiro Sakata: Young boy who lives with his older brother and sister, though after they are involved in the Alien-Knuckle incident, he goes to live with a cousin. He loves monsters, and even tends to make movies with various cameras.
For the first time, Ishirō Honda, best known for his work on the Godzilla movies and other classic Toho tokusatsu, worked on the Ultra Series, and directed some of the episodes of this series, including the first episode (titled "All Monsters Attack" (怪獣総進撃 Kaijū Sōshingeki ), which is the same as the Japanese title for the film Destroy All Monsters).
Later Appearances 
In Ultraman Mebius & Ultra Brothers, its revealed that in 1986, Ultraman Jack and the Ultra Brothers chased a surviving Yapool to Earth, in which they imprison the monster under the ocean near Kobe City. In the process, the Ultra Brothers lost their powers and are forced to live as human beings. Hideki Gô, in particular, returns to the car-racing industry and works as a racing instructor. When Yapool is freed, Gô and the Ultra Brothers are forced to transform once more to help an overwhelmed Mebius. With the aid of Zoffy and Ultraman Taro, all the Brothers regain their full powers and return to Nebula M78. Jack would appear later in Episode 50 of the Ultraman Mebius TV series, where he encourages Team GUYS member George Ikaruga.
In Super 8 Ultra Brothers, Jack appears in his human guise, but like his fellow brothers, has suddenly lost his past memories. He turns out to be an alternate reality version but after remembering his past, he joins his Brothers along with Ultraman Tiga, Dyna, and Gaia in their fight against Kageboshi.
Jack was also featured prominently in Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy. He joined the fray alongside Ultraseven and Ultraman as they attempted to defeat Ultraman Belial in his initial attack on the Land of Light. In the sequel, Ultraman Zero: The Revenge of Belial, he only makes a cameo alongside the rest of the main Ultra family as they examine the remains of Darklops Zero.
Notable Episodes 
- Episode 18
"Enter Ultraseven." Ultraseven made a guest appearance. He and the original Ultraman made appearances in other episodes, especially Episode 38, "When the Ultra Star Shines." In that episode, both Susumu Kurobe and Koji Moritsugu reprise their roles as Shin Hayata and Dan Moroboshi (the alter-egos of Ultraman and Ultraseven, respectively). (For more on "When the Ultra Star Shines," skip two notes down.)
- Episode 34
"The Forgiven Life", (about a mad scientist who engineered a rampaging giant lizard/plant monster) was written by then 16-year old Shinichiro Kobayashi, who later wrote a similar story that became the basis for Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989), upon his story winning First Place in Toho's Godzilla Story Finals Contest (a big fan event at the time). Furthermore, the hit rock ballad "Flower, Sun, Rain" (Hana, Taiyô, Ame), by famed Japanese rock band Pyg, was played in the episode's climax.
- Episodes 37 and 38
("Ultraman Dies at Sunset" and "When the Ultra Star Shines," respectively), a two-parter, are considered among the best and most classic episodes in this series, as well as the entire Ultra Series. This story arc features one the more intelligent alien foes, Knuckle-seijin, who traps Ultraman Jack to his untimely "death" at the hands of his bodyguard monster, Black King. As he is about to be executed, Ultraman and Ultraseven appear to rescue him. Furthermore, regular characters Ken Sakata and his sister Aki are both killed in this episode.
Ultraman Jack Statistics 
- Height: 40 meters
- Weight: 35,000 tons
- Human Form: Hideki Gô
- Transformation Artifact: None, using Force of Will (Urutora Nenriki). He is an exception among Ultra-Crusaders, since he does not use an external device to transform, like Ultraman's beta capsule, Ultra Seven's Ultra-Eye("Task-Mask"), and so forth.
- Home Planet: "The Land Of Light," Nebula M78
Ultraman Jack's Powers & Weapons 
- Specium Ray: Jack can fire the Specium Ray by crossing his arms in a lower case "t" shape. It is exactly like the original Ultraman's Specium Ray. It can obliterate monsters in one shot.
- Ultra Slash: Jack can fire the Ultra-Slash from his hand. Same as Ultraman's and Zoffy's. Can slice through monsters easily.
- Ultra Bracelet: A multipurpose weapon that can be used like the Eye Slugger, but can also transform into a lance, a cross, shield, and light reflector. It can even piece back together a dismembered Ultraman.
- Cinerama Shot: L-styled beam fired from his right arm.
- Fog Beam: Jack can fire a stream of energy from his hand when he places his other hand above it. Similar to Ultraman's Slash Ray.
- Eye Beams: Jack can fire powerful energy beams from his eyes.
- Ultra Barrier: A telekinetic barrier that is powerful enough to turn back a tidal wave. Possibly one of the most elaborate display of movements for any Ultra ability.
- Ultra-Frost: Jack can fire an ice beam attack that can defrost any freeze monsters.
- Body Spark: Jack can send electric shock waves though his body. Used to shock monsters who are grabbing hold of Jack.
- Palm Fireball: Jack can send out a fireball from his palm.
- Finger Shot: Godai can smoke a strong crusher from his finger in a dragon rice as the Codenic Crusher, but counter than usual Codenic crusher.
Jack also has the energy to "see" invisible villains by piercing through their camouflage which reveals them.
Theme song 
- "Kaettekita Ultraman" (帰ってきたウルトラマン Kaettekita Urutoraman , "The Return of Ultraman")
See also