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|Return of Ultraman|
|Return of Ultraman is the 4th entry in the Ultra Series|
|Created by:||Tsuburaya Productions|
|Starring:||Jiro Dan, Jun Negami|
|Opening Theme:||"Kaettekita Ultraman" (帰ってきたウルトラマン Kaettekita Urutoraman "The Return of Ultraman")|
|Country Of Origin||Japan|
|Number Of Episodes||51|
|Running Time||25 mins|
|Original Channel||Tokyo Broadcasting System|
|Original Air Date||April 2, 1971|
|Preceded by||Ultra Seven|
|Succeeded by||Ultraman Ace|
Return of Ultraman (帰ってきたウルトラマン Kaettekita Urutoraman roughly meaning "Ultraman Has Returned") is a tokusatsu SF/kaiju/superhero TV series, and is the 4th Ultra Series. It aired on the Tokyo Broadcasting System from April 2, 1971 to March 31, 1972.
Eiji Tsuburaya had originally intended for the Ultra Series to end with the 1967 series Ultra Seven, 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 "Returning Ultraman" (帰ってきたウルトラマン Kaettekita Urutoraman), 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. Furthermore, the new Ultraman can be distinguished by his shorter pants, the pinstripes along the red areas, and the fuller sleeves/kneepads.
This series is a follow up to the original Ultraman and Ultra Seven. 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, even his friends and the new defense force MAT, 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 Go will raise his right arm and, by force of will, transform into Ultraman Jack to fight monsters.
- Main article: MAT (Monster Attack Team)
- Katsushiro Kato: 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 leaves about halfway through the series, replaced by Captain Ryu Ibuki. Episodes 1-22.
- Ryu Ibuki:The Next Captain of MAT after Katsushiro department. Episodes 23-51.
- Takeshi Minami: He hints that he grew up on a farm, and tends to watch over the other officers, especially the new member Go.
- 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. She is very capable, having saved the team on many occasions. She also serves as communications officer.
- Hideki Go: The newest member of MAT, he was killed while trying to save a young boy and a dog. Ultraman, upon witnessing this act, merges with Go's body to revive him and allows Go to transform when needed. He lives with the Sakata family during his time off 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 Go's but actually Ultraman's; he can either block the process or even transform against Go's will as a defensive reflex.
- Ken Sakata (episodes 1 - 8・14 - 17・19・23・26・28 - 30・34 - 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 Go is in trouble.
- Aki Sakata (episodes 1 - 7・9・14 - 17,19・20・22・23, 26, 27, 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 'Go's girlfriend', which is taken advantage by an alien who is after Go. 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 (episodes 1 - 10・14 - 17・19・20・22 - 24・26・28 - 30・33 - 41・44 - 46・48・49・51): Young boy who lives with his older brother and sister, though after they are involved in the Alien Nackle incident, he goes to live with a cousin. He loves monsters, and even tends to make movies with various cameras.
- Rumiko Maruno (episodes 38 - 41, 44, 49 - 51): A women who watched out for Jiro after the death of his siblings by Alien Nackle. She is a college student.
Monsters and Aliens
- Takkong (Episode 1-2)
- Zazahn (Episode 1)
- Arstron (Episode 1)
- Sadola (Episode 3)
- Detton (Episode 3)
- Kingsaurus III (Episode 4)
- Gudon (Episode 5-6)
- Twin Tail (Episode 5-6)
- Gorbagos (Episode 7)
- Ghostron (Episode 8)
- Dangar (Episode 9)
- Stegon (Episode 10)
- Mognezun (Episode 11)
- Shugaron (Episode 12)
- Seamons (Episode 13-14)
- Seagorath (Episode 13-14 & 37)
- Eledortus (Episode 15)
- Terochilus (Episode 16-17)
- Bemstar (Episode 18 & 37)
- Sartan (Episode 19)
- Magnedon (Episode 20)
- Beacon (Episode 21)
- Gokinezula (Episode 22)
- Zanika (Episode 23)
- Vacuumon (Episode 23)
- Kupukupu/Kingstron (Episode 24)
- Zagorath (Episode 25)
- Nokogirin (Episode 26)
- Gronken (Episode 27)
- Varricane (Episode 28)
- Yadokarin (Episode 29)
- Oxter (Episode 30)
- Plooma (Episode 31)
- Alien Zelan (Episode 31)
- King Maimai (Larva and Adult forms; Episode 32)
- Alien Mates (Episode 33)
- Muruchi (Episode 33)
- Leogon (Episode 34)
- Pris-Ma (Episode 35)
- Draculas/Vampire Woman (Episode 36)
- Black King (Episode 37-38)
- Alien Nackle (Episode 37-38)
- Alien Varduck (Episode 39)
- Alien Black (Episode 40)
- Snowgon (Episode 40)
- Alien Baltan Jr. (Episode 41)
- Builgamo (Episode 41)
- Alien Stora (Episode 42)
- Paragon (Episode 42)
- Alien Grotes (Episode 43)
- Kodaigon (Episode 43)
- Granadas (Episode 44)
- Alien Kentauros (Episode 44)
- Robonez (Episode 45)
- Alien Cygnus-61 "Erika" (Episode 45)
- Alien Messie (Episode 45)
- Alien Zoole (Episode 46)
- Red Killer (Episode 46)
- Femigon (Episode 47)
- Yametaranese (Episode 48)
- Sasahiller (Episode 48)
- Alien Mysteler (Good and Evil; Episode 49)
- King Bockle (Episode 50)
- Alien Bat (Episode 51)
- Zetton II (Episode 51)
- Hideki Goh (郷 秀樹 Gō Hideki): Jiro Dan (団 時朗 Dan Jirō)
- Katsushiro Kato (加藤 勝一郎 Kato Katsushiro): Nobuo Tsukamoto (塚本 信夫 Tsukamoto Nobuo)
- Ryu Ibuki (伊吹 竜 Ibuki Ryu): Negami Atsushi (根上 淳 Negami Atsushi)
- Takeshi Minami (南 猛 Minami Takeshi): Shunsuke Ikeda (池田 駿介 Ikeda Shunsuke)
- Ippei Ueno (上野 一平 Uneo Ippei): Hatashi Mitsushi (三井 恒 Mitsushi Hatashi)
- Yuriko Oka (丘 ユリ子 Oka Yuriko): Mika Katsuragi (桂木美加 (Katauragi Mika )
- Fumio Kishida (岸田文夫 Kishida Fumo): Ken Nishida (西田健 Nishida Ken)
- Jiro Sakata (坂田 次郎 Sakata Jirō): Kawaguchi Hideki (川口英樹 Hideki Kawaguchi)
- Aki Sakata (坂田アキ Sakata Aki): Rumi Sakakibara (榊原るみ Sakakibara Rumi)
- Ken Sakata (坂田健 Ken Sakata): Shin Kishida (岸田森 Kishida Shin)
- Rumiko Maruno (村野 ルミ子 Maruno Rumiko): Iwasaki Kazuko ( 和子 岩崎 Kazuko Iwasaki)
- Ultraman Jack (ウルトラマンジャック, Urutoraman Jakku ): Isao Yatsu (谷津勲 Yatsu Isao)
- Narrator (ナレーター Nareta): Akira Nagoya (名古屋章 Nagoya Akira)
- Ultraman (ウルトラマン Urutoraman) & Zazahn (ザザーン Zazan): Eiichi Kikuchi (菊池英一 Kikuchi Eiichi)
- Kaiju (怪獣 ): Toya Takanobu (遠矢孝信 Takanobu Toya) (Most of the Monsters)
- Episode 1
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).
- Episode 18
"Ultraseven Arrives." The First Crossover of the Ultra Series with Ultraseven making a guest appearance to give Jack a new weapon to defeat Bemstar, the Ultra Bracelet with he uses throughout the series.
- 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 & the first Christmas Episode. This story arc features one the more intelligent alien foes, Alien Nackle, who came to Earth along with his henchmen to conquer it, & disguised as an old man. To collected info of Ultraman's powers, and to find a weakness, He revived Seagorath and Bemstar who were easily defeated. Alien Nackle along with his bodyguard Black King defeated Ultraman and captured him tied in a cross to his untimely "death" to their planet. As he is about to be executed, The Original Ultraman and Ultraseven appear to rescue him. Furthermore, regular characters Ken Sakata and his sister Aki are both killed in this episode. Susumu Kurobe and Kohji Moritsugu even reprise their roles as Shin Hayata and Dan Moroboshi.
- Episode 33
The Monster User And The Boys is the first episode in the Ultra Series that cover the topic of discrimination, fear of the unknown and mob psychology. It was also one the most remembered episodes in Return of Ultraman by Japanese fans. Ultraman Mebius even made a entire episode as tribute to it.
- Return of Ultraman (film) (Movie Version of Episode 5-6)
- The Return of Ultraman: Fear of The Torando Monsters (Movie Version of Episodes 13-14)
- Jiro-Kun Rides a Monster (Movie Version of Episode 29)
- "Kaettekita Ultraman" (帰ってきたウルトラマン Kaettekita Urutoraman "The Return of Ultraman")
DVD Box Set
In 2002, Tsuburaya began rereleasing Ultraman-Ultraman Leo on Japanese boxsets. Return of Ultraman got a boxset. There is a also DVD made by the Malaysian company VGB Network. It came out in 2013, contains Malay, English, and Chinese subtitles. A few grammatical errors are made as VBG is not a American company.
- Main article: Return of Ultraman (manga)
- Originally, Ultraman Jack was meant to be Ultraman, whom would have returned to Earth as referenced by the show's name, Return of Ultraman, but this decision was scrapped and he was made as a separate character out of respect to the late Eiji Tsuburaya, who past away in 1970. However, the name of the show still remained "Return of Ultraman".
- In the original concept for Return of Ultraman, Hideki Goh was meant to use the Beta Capsule to become Ultraman Jack, like how Shin Hayata transforms into Ultraman but this decision was also scrapped.
- Return of Ultraman is the first series to contain an advertisement break featuring the logo.