The Return of Ultraman

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The Return of Ultraman
Ultrareturn-title.jpg
The Return of Ultraman title card
Genre
Created byTsuburaya Productions
Starring
Theme music composerKoichi Sugiyama
Composer(s)
  • Shōzō Maita
  • Tōru Fuyuki
Country of originJapan
No. of episodes51
Production
Running time30 mins
Release
Original networkTokyo Broadcasting System
Picture format480i (SDTV), 720p
Original releaseApril 2, 1971 – March 31, 1972
Chronology
Preceded byUltra Seven
Followed byUltraman Ace

The Return of Ultraman (帰ってきたウルトラマン, Kaettekita Urutoraman, also known as Ultraman Jack), is a tokusatsu science fiction/kaiju/superhero TV series, and is the fourth in the Ultra Series.

Eiji Tsuburaya had originally intended for the Ultra Series to end with the 1967 series Ultra Seven (Urutora Sebun, 1967). Ultraman (Urutoraman, 1966) proved to be too popular a character to omit.

Eiji Tsuburaya died in 1970. His son Hajime Tsuburaya (who took over Tsuburaya Productions until his own death in 1973) revived the Ultra Series with The Return of Ultraman.

The show features 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). In 1984, he was renamed "Ultraman Jack" (ウルトラマンジャック, Urutoraman Jakku) due to licensing issues. 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 continue fighting against aliens and monsters.

While nearly identical to the original Ultraman in appearance, the red pattern on his silver suit is slightly different. Furthermore, the new Ultraman can be recognized by his shorter pants, the pinstripes along the red areas, and the fuller sleeves/kneepads. The characters and related events are described below using in-universe tone.

Due to the mid-season addition of 'Ultraman' being Ultraman Jack, the series reintroduced his predecessors, Ultraman and Ultra Seven to the series canon - both his predecessors were originally in different canon "universes" beforehand. This began a shared universe which continued throughout the Showa series, with Zoffy, Ultraman's superior, being reintroduced to the canon the following year in Ultraman Ace.

Story[edit]

This series is a follow up to the original Ultraman & Ultra Seven that is set in 1971, four years after Ultra Seven left Earth, and five years after Ultraman came to Earth. The first episode begins with a fight between two giant monsters named Takkong and Zazahn in Tokyo. Amid the monster destruction, young race-car driver Hideki Goh is killed while trying to rescue a little boy and a dog from the falling rubble. His valiant sacrifice is noted by everyone, including his friends and the new defense force MAT (Monster Attack Team), but an unseen being also takes notice. Looking over Hideki is "New Ultraman" ("Ultraman Jack"), who is so touched by the race car driver's heroism, that he decides to combine his life force with that of Hideki, thus bringing him back to life (just like the original Ultraman did with Shin Hayata), much to everyone's astonishment. MAT then asks Hideki 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 will raise his right arm and, by force of will, transform into Ultraman to fight monsters. In addition, the original Ultraman and Ultra Seven are watching New Ultraman's battles from the sidelines, and offer their help when he is in peril.

Characters[edit]

New Ultraman[edit]

New Ultraman (新ウルトラマン, Shin Urutoraman), later known as Ultraman Jack (ウルトラマンジャック, Urutoraman Jakku), is a new Ultra from the Land of Light who begins his journey to protect the Earth four years after the departure of Ultra Seven. Distinguished from Ultraman by his slightly taller stature and pinstripe markings on his body, Jack's fighting style and techniques are similar to that of his predecessor, but he has several techniques unique to him, such as the Cinerama Shot. Midway through the series, he is given the Ultra Bracelet by Ultraseven, a device that can transform into numerous different weapons to best suit the battles Jack fights. [1]

Stats[edit]

  • Height
    40 meters
  • Weight
    35,000 tons
  • Flight Speed
    Mach 5
  • Running Speed
    800 kilometers per hour
  • Home Planet
    The Land of Light, Nebula M78
  • Human Form
    Hideki Goh
  • Transformation Item
    None (force of will)

Weapons[edit]

  • Ultra Bracelet
    In epsiode 18 the bracelet given by Ultraseven, after when Jack is unable to defeat monster Bemstar. Normally worn on his left wrist, it can transform into numerous kinds of devices, by control with his telekinetically. It can become a beam boomerang like Ultraseven's Eye Slugger or it can transform into a various forms such as solid cutters, lances, crosses and shields. It can immobilize monsters and make vaporize water. It has a healing powers and resurrects Jack after his body was frozen and dismembered by Showgon in episode 40. It can even gather surrounding energy to destroy entire planets such as planet Varduck annihilated in episode 39.
  • Specium Ray
    It is a same weapon of Ultraman's Specium Ray and Jack's main weapon. It is a Plus-style.
  • Ultra Slash
    The spinning circular sawblade of light that slices up enemies or splits them cleanly in half. It is a same weapon of Ultraman's Ultra Slash.
  • Cinerama Shot
    More powerful than Ultraseven's Wide Shot (L-style weapon) but ineffective against the barrier of King Saurus III in episode 4.
  • Fog Beam
    It is used against King Saurus III in episode 4, but ineffective against the monster's barrier.
  • Shooting Star Kick
    After Jack unable to defeat King Saurus III, Jack turns back into Goh and trains in his human form to perfect this kicking technique. He uses it to jump over the monster's barrier and kick off its horns.
  • Ultra Barrier
    A massive beam barrier that is powerful enough to repel against the tidal wave but drains most of the Jack's energy.
  • Ultra Frost
    It can freeze an enemy into a ice. Including the mist is also helpful against monster Prizma's light attacks in episode 35.
  • Eye Beam
    A laser fires from his eyes and used against Alien Meshie in episode 45.
  • Ultra Spark (Flash)
    A converted of the Ultra Bracelet. It can immobilize the monsters. It extends to form of Ultra Lance.
  • Ultra Spark (Cutter)
    A beam boomerang form of the Ultra Bracelet. Similar to the beam form of Ultraseven's Eye Slugger. In episode 31 Alien Zelan takes over the Bracelet, he sends like a multiple of these flying at Jack.
  • Ultra Spark (Cutter - solid form)
    It rebuffed by Black King in episode 37.
  • Ultra Lance
    A converted of the Ultra Spark. It is used to stab Yadokarin in episode 29 and also used in episode 23 to stab lethal holes in the stomach of Vacuumon, the largest monster in the universe.
  • Ultra Cross
    A converted of the Ultra Bracelet that is useful for killing a Vampire-like creatures, such as Draculas in episode 36 and Alien Bat in episode 51.
  • Ultra Defender
    A shield form of the Ultra Bracelet. It is used to deflect against the ice breath of Snowgon in episode 40.
  • Ultra Shot
    Fires from his hand.
  • Hand Beam
    A fireball throw from his hand.
  • Ultra Rocket Bullet
    Multiple rounds shot from the air.
  • Stop Ray
    It immobilizes monsters.
  • Ultra V Barrier
    It crosses hands to repel attack.
  • Barrier Beam
    It is used to protect friends.
  • Spin Kick
    He spins and he kicks.
  • Ultra Throw
    Monster tossing.
  • Slice Hand
    It decapitates monsters with bare hands.
  • Ultra Hurricane
    Spin and throw.
  • Ultra Propeller
    It spins above the monsters and creates a tornado.
  • Ultra Pass-By Cut
    Chop while running past monster.
  • See-Through Ray
    Able to see the invisible monsters.
  • Body Spark
    It is able to toss an enemy by running a charge through his body.
  • Ultra Will-Power
    Telekinetic ability.

MAT (Monster Attack Team)[edit]

The MAT (Monster Attack Team) is a special task force formed to combat the monsters that are once again appearing on Earth. The Japanese MAT headquarters is located at the bottom of Tokyo Bay and is at first led by Captain Katoh and later led by Captain Ibuki. Other headquarters worldwide and plus a space station (which gets swallowed by monster Bemstar [2]). MAT support Ultraman Jack. [3] [4]

  • Captain Katsushiroh Katoh (加藤 勝一郎, Katō Katsuichirō) (Played by Nobuo Tsukamoto)
    Makes no sense 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 transferred to a space station in episode 22.
  • Captain Ryuh Ibuki (Played by Jun Negami)
    The second MAT captain, starting with episode 22 and onward. Captain Katoh's replacement.
  • Hideki Gōh (郷 秀樹, Gō Hideki) (Played by Jiro Dan)
    The newest member of MAT, he was killed after being hit by falling masonry while trying to save a young boy and a dog from a collapsing building. Ultraman Jack, upon witnessing this act of heroism, merges with Gōh's body to revive him and allows Gō to transform when needed. He lives with the Sakata family during his time off from MAT, and before the series, races cars. Due to Jack's power, his senses are more enhanced to the point that he can hear and see monsters that other humans cannot, and attains telepathy. Gōh Transforms through his willpower alone, not requiring a transformation item like most other Ultra Series heroes. However, the will is not that of Gōh's but actually Ultraman Jack's; he can either block the process or even transform against Gōh's will as a defensive reflex.
  • Takeshi Minami (南 猛, Minami Takeshi) (Played by Shunsuke Ikeda)
    He hints that he grew up on a farm, and tends to watch over the other officers, especially the new member Gōh. Actor Shunsuke Ikeda who also portrayed as Ichiroh in Kikaida 01.
  • Fumio Kishida (岸田 文夫, Kishida Fumio) (Played by Ken Nishida)
    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.
  • Ippei Ueno (上野 一平, Ueno Ippei) (Played by Wataru Mitsui)
    Sometimes superstitious, and loose in his methods when compared to Officer Kishida.
  • Yuriko Oka (丘 ユリ子, Oka Yuriko) (Played by Mika Katsuragi)
    The only female in the team. She is very capable, having saved the team on many occasions. She also serves as communications officer.

MAT Mecha[edit]

MAT has a vast arsenal of mecha that they use to defend the Earth against the newly emerging monsters and they support Ultraman Jack.

  • MAT Headquarters
    Located at the bottom of the Tokyo Bay. Connects to the land surface using air chutes.
  • MAT Arrow #1
    The VTOL fires a missiles.
  • MAT Arrow #2
    Round-winged jet/propeller craft. Can swift and short turns. It also carry missiles on its belly.
  • Space Arrow
    A converted of MAT Arrow #1 that capable of space travel and reconoissance. Used for inspecting a MAT space station in episode 29.
  • MAT Gyro
    Jet-propelled helicopter. Can carries tanks and other heavy vehicles. Fires a missiles.
  • MAT Vehicle
    A vehicle with the packs of arsenal and has a roof rocket launcher attachment. Can travel on ground or water. It can activate a camouflage colors in episode 32.
  • MAT Jeep
    Often used in conjunction with the MAT Bazooka, especially over rough terrain.
  • MAT Sub
    Mini-submarine for combat against the underwater monsters.
  • MAT Space Station
    Outpost for the early detection of invasions from space. In episode 18, it's was swallowed by the space monster Bemstar.
  • MAT Shoot
    Standard handgun for MAT team members. Mostly shoots bullets, or switch the cartridges to shoot lasers or heat rays. There are an A Type and a B Type.
  • MAT Gun
    A portable and useful automatic rifle. It can firing multiple shots at quick targets.
  • Laser Gun SP70
    Powerful laser rifle. It's pronounced "SEVEN-OH". Used to destroy Seagoras' horn in episode 14 and also used to blow off the small Kupukupu in episode 24.

The Sakata Family[edit]

Goh has a life outside of MAT and the Sakata family serves an important role in providing this balance. They are almost like his own family. [5]

  • Ken Sakata (坂田 健, Sakata Ken) (Played by Shin Kishida)
    Owns the car repair shop where Gōh works on his off-time. He tends to talk to Captain Katoh at times, and Katoh contacts him when Gōh is in trouble. Alongside his younger sister, Aki Sakata, Ken is murdered in cold blood by the Alien Nackle in episode 37.
  • Aki Sakata (坂田 アキ, Sakata Aki) (Played by Rumi Sakagibara)
    Younger sister to Ken, she takes care of her younger brother Jiroh and tends to cook for the family. At times she is teased for being 'Gōh's girlfriend', which is taken advantage by an alien who is after Gōh. She dies in episode 37 after an attempted murder by the Alien Nackle went awry. The actress Rumi Sakagibara later reprises her role in the Superior Ultraman 8 Brothers movie, where she is married to Gōh and is also involved in an incident with an Alien Nackle, although she survives this time.
  • Jiroh Sakata (坂田 次郎, Sakata Jirō) (Played by Hideki Kawaguchi)
    Jiroh is the younger brother to Ken and Aki. He survives the Alien Nackle incident, and he goes to live with a cousin. He loves monsters, and even tends to make movies with various cameras of the various monsters which come to Japan.
  • Rumiko Murano (Played by Kazuko Iwazaki)
    The College student who take care of Jiroh. She is not the part of the Sakata family, but a replacement for the dead Aki. First appears in episode 38 and onward.

Production[edit]

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). When translated into English, this title also follows the Japanese title for Godzilla's Revenge, All Monsters Attack.

Episodes[edit]

  • All Monsters Attack Earthtron
  • Takkong's Big Counterattack
  • Evil Monster Realm of Terror
  • Certain Kill! Shooting Star Kick
  • Two Big Monsters Attack Tokyo
  • Battle! Monsters vs. MAT
  • Operation Rainbow Monster
  • Monster Time Bomb
  • Monster Island S.O.S.
  • Dinosaur Explosion Directive
  • Poison Gas Monster Appears
  • Revenge of Monster Shugaron
  • Terror of the Tsunami Monsters - Tokyo's Big Pinch!
  • Terror of Two Monsters - Tokyo's Giant Tornado
  • Revenge of the Monster Lad
  • Mysetery of the Big Bird Monster Pterochilus
  • Monster Bird Pterochilus - Tokyo Big Aerial Bombing
  • Ultraseven Arrives!
  • The Giant Invisible Monster That Came From Space
  • The Monster is a Giant Shooting Star in Space
  • Monster Channel
  • I'll Kill this Monster
  • Monster of Darkness, Spit Out the Stars!
  • Quake! Birth of the Condo Monster
  • Leaving My Home Planet Earth
  • Mystery! Homicide Beetle Incident
  • Go to Hell with This One Blow!
  • Big Operation - Ultra Special Attack
  • Jiroh Rides a Monster
  • The Accursed Skeleton God Oxster
  • Inbetween a Devil and an Angel...
  • Decisive Battle Under the Setting Sun
  • The Monster User and the Boy
  • The Life that Can't be Forgiven
  • Atrocious! Light Monster PrizMA
  • Rout the Night
  • Ultraman Dies at Twilight
  • When the Ultra Star Shines
  • The Twentieth Century Yhetti
  • The Phantom Snow Woman
  • Revenge of Baltan-seijin Jr.
  • The Monster That Stands on Fuji
  • Demon God Barks at the Moon
  • To the Starry Sky with Love
  • Assassinate Hideki Goh!
  • This One Blow Filled with Anger
  • The Targetted Woman
  • I'm Taking the Earth!
  • Space Warrior, Your Name is MAT
  • Invitation from Hell
  • The Five Ultra Pledges

Theme song[edit]

  • "Kaettekita Ultraman" (帰ってきたウルトラマン, Kaettekita Urutoraman, "The Return of Ultraman")
    • Lyrics: Kyōichi Azuma
    • Composition: Koichi Sugiyama
    • Artist: Jiro Dan, Misuzu Children's Choral Group

Manga[edit]

A manga series by Akira Mizuho (水穂 輝, Mizuho Akira) ran in Bessatsu Shōnen Sunday from May to December 1971.

Other Appearances[edit]

References[edit]