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Cover artwork for the 2011 Japanese DVD release featuring Ultraman Joeneus.
|Genre||Superhero, science fiction|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Hisayuki Toriumi, Takeyuki Kanda|
|Written by||Keiichi Abe, Sōji Yoshikawa, Hiroyuki Hoshiyama, Bunzo Wakatsuki, Yoshihisa Araki, Keisuke Fujikawa, Yasushi Hirano, Kiyoshi Miyata|
|Original run||April 4, 1979 – March 26, 1980|
The Ultraman (ザ☆ウルトラマン Za Urutoraman) is a Japanese animated television series co-produced by Tsuburaya Production and Tokyo Broadcasting System. The series aired on TBS Television affiliates on the Wednesday 7:00 PM time slot from April 4, 1979 to March 26, 1980, lasting a total of 50 episodes. It was the eighth installment in the Ultra Series and aired four years after the end of Ultraman Leo.
The show was the first animated incarnation of Tsuburaya's iconic superhero Ultraman, as well as one of the earliest works of anime studio Nippon Sunrise (now known simply as Sunrise), who also worked on their now-iconic mecha series Mobile Suit Gundam during the same year.
The Ultraman featured in this series is named Ultraman Joneus (ウルトラマンジョーニアス Urutoraman Jōniasu, alternately spelled Ultraman Jonias), who is also called Ultraman Joe (ウルトラマンJ Urutoraman Jō) for short, and he hails from the Planet U40 (as opposed to the Land of Light in Nebula M78, where Ultra-beings usually came from).
- Height: 70 meters (120 meters~micro size)
- Weight: 50,000 tons (85,000 tons~0 tons)
- Flight Speed: Mach 8
- Jumping Distance: 100 meters
- Home Planet: Planet U40
- Human Form: Choichiro Hikari
- Transformation Item: Beam Flasher (ビームフラッシャー Bīmu Furasshā)
Power and weapons
- Planium Beam (プラニウム光線 Puraniumu Kōsen): "L" style beam attack. Its A-type throws an energy ball and its B-type shoots an energy beam, with many other variations such as an electric beam and "+" style beam.
- Locking Spark (ロッキングスパーク Rokkingu Supāku): A powerful version of Planium Beam A-type.
- Astro Beam (アストロビーム Asutoro Bīmu): A beam from his Astro Spot.
- Star Beam (スタービーム Sutā Bīmu): A star-shaped beam from his Astro Spot.
- Boomerang Guillotine (ブーメランギロチン Būmeran Girochin): A crescent-shaped slashing laser beam.
- Ultra Laser Shot (ウルトラレーザーショット Urutora Rēzā Shotto): Continuous energy bullets.
- Little Beam (リトル光線 Ritoru Kōsen): Makes a monster small-scale.
- Ultra Spinning Flash (ウルトラスピニングフラッシュ Urutora Supiningu Furasshu): Continuous energy bullets from his spinning body.
- Ultra Stopper (ウルトラストッパー Urutora Sutoppā): Makes a monster an activity stop temporarily in an energy barrier.
- Ultra Eyes (ウルトラアイ Urutora Ai): A clairvoyant ability.
- Ultra Medical Power (ウルトラメディカルパワー Urutora Medikaru Pawā): A ring-shaped beam.
- Super Magma (スーパーマグマ Sūpā Maguma): A powerful beam of planium energy and the Super Magma Energy Capsule.
- Ultra Body Screw (ウルトラボディスクリュー Urutora Bodi Sukuryū): A flying drill attack.
- Ultra Barrier Case (ウルトラバリヤーケース Urutora Briyā Kēsu): Seals a monster in an energy barrier.
- Barrier Gas (バリヤーガス Bariyā Gasu): Seals a monster in a gaseous barrier.
- Defence (ディフェンスファープ Difensu Fāpu): An energy barrier.
- Ultra Barrier (ウルトラバリヤー Urutora Bariyā): An energy barrier.
- Space Mirror Barrier (スペースミラーバリヤー Supēsu Mirā Bariyā): An energy barrier.
- Ultra Thaw (ウルトラ解凍 Urutora Kaitō): Heating his body.
- Teleportation (テレポーテーション Terepōtēshon):
- Energy Infusion (エネルギー注入 Enerugī Chūnyū): Transfers his life energy.
Scientific Defense Guard
The Scientific Defense Guard (科学警備隊 Kagaku Keibitai) is a branch of the Earth Defence Force.
- Tetsuo Akiyama (アキヤマ 徹男 Akiyama Tetsuo): The first captain of the Far East Zone. He is transferred to the America Zone in Episode 26.
- Daisuke Gondo (ゴンドウ 大助 Gondō Daisuke): The second captain of the Far East Zone, who takes over Akiyama's duties from Episode 27 and onward.
- Kei Marume (マルメ 敬 Marume Kei): A chubby strongman and an expert marksman.
- Hiroaki Tobe (トベ 博明 Tobe Hiroaki): A smart alik weapons developer.
- Mutsumi Hoshikawa (星川 ムツミ Hoshikawa Mutsumi): The female member.
- Choichiro Hikari (ヒカリ 超一郎 Hikari Chōichirō): He encounters Joneus on his way from the space station EGG 3 to the earth, and merges with Joneus. (Ultraman Jonias)
- Pig and Monkey: The Pigmon-like robot operator and mascot of the team, respectively.
- Professor Henry Nishiki
- Yuriko Nojima
- Secretary Sakurada
- Adjutant Miyai
Home Video releases
In the United States, there have been two feature-length movie compilations:
- The Adventures of Ultraman (1981), a featured-length movie produced by Tsuburaya Productions specifically for the English-language market. The movie is composed of edited footage from several episodes of the series. The storyline was rewritten for this adaptation with a new script by Jeff Segal and music composed by Mark McKinniss.
- Ultraman II: The Further Adventures of Ultraman (1983), a dub of the first four episodes co-produced by Tsuburaya Productions and Associates Entertainment International. Despite the title, it has no continuity with the previous English dub of the series. Although the translation is closer to the original Japanese scripts than the first movie, the characters' names were still changed (although, the names given to the characters are not the same ones used in the previous dub). The order of the third and fourth episodes were also switched.
- On April 5, 1980, the episode 14 of The Ultraman aired on U.S. national television when New York superstation WOR-TV Channel 9 (now WWOR) aired it as the first part of "Japan Tonight!", a special seven hour block of programming from TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System), hosted by actor Telly Savalas. Japanese actress/author/talk show host Tetsuko Kuroyanagi introduced the episode surrounded by assorted Ultraman toys and merchandise while explaining to the American audience just who Ultraman is, "It's very, very popular in Japan - He's like your Superman". The episode was dubbed into English by William Ross (Frontier Enterprises) in Japan and was sponsored by Bandai America.
- In April 2017, the television network TOKU announced that they would released the series in the United States in the near future. Months later, it was confirmed that the series will be released in Japanese with English subtitles in the channel starting January 29, 2018.