"My dad looks great when he flies his Eagle."
"I like him, because he flies a plane."
- ―Tsugumu Maki introducing Shunichi in the beginning of ULTRAMAN.
Shunichi Maki (真木 舜一 Maki Shunichi) is the protagonist of the movie ULTRAMAN which serves as a prequel to the TV series Ultraman Nexus. He is chronologically the first Deunamist in the Ultra N Project.
"It was terrific..."
"It's wings shinning in the sun..."
"It looked like a sliver meteor..."
- ―Maki describing the fighter plane that made him want to become a fighter pilot.
As a boy Maki once went to visit a relative and that was the first time he ever saw a fighter plane and from then on he knew what he wanted to be, a pilot soaring through the sky.
Encounter with Light
Years later, a grown Maki was a fighter pilot and married to his beloved Yoko, with a young boy. Unfortunately his son had a congenital blood disease and the doctor's told him if he got sick again he would not live to see his next birthday. Resolved to spend what little time he may have with his son, Maki resolved to retire. When speaking to his friend and fellow pilot Tsuyoshi Kurashima about his problems, a scramble order was called. An unknown flying object was invading Japanese airspace and refused to answer any hails. The two took of in their jets but Kurashima's plane's instruments began to malfunction, forcing him to return to base. Maki pressed on and when the object disappeared of his radar it appeared right in front of his plane, causing him to crash. In that moment Maki found himself floating in a tunnel of light, at first thinking he was dead instead he was met by a ball of energy that morphed into a humanoid made of light particles.
When Shunichi awoke he crawled towards a restaurant and asked for a phone before collapsing unconscious. That night he dreamt of the red orb, flying in from space and crashing into his plane before awakening in a hospital with his family. With a clean bill of health and several unanswered questions Shunichi left the air force to spend more time with his family. He got a job flying a tour plane and spent whatever time he could with his wife and son, going to restaurants and amusement parks all the while he was being watched by a woman in black.
One day he was finishing his last rounds when his family visited, he was preparing to do one last flight and return to take his son flying. However the woman in black, later revealed to be named Sara, was his next passenger. In the air she was cold and soon pointed a gun at his head as a military escort arrived and Maki was forced to land on a corner of street. Maki was taken into a military van and briefed on his situations. He was being held by BCST and counter bio-terrorist organization that works in tandem with the US special forces. Maki was taken to a secure location and and placed in a meeting room. They explained to Maki that what happened to him in the sky happened to another in the ocean deep. A UFO landed in the sea and the exploration submarine sent to investigate was destroyed and the only known survivor was a young man named Takafumi Udo, who was slowly changing into a monster. They kept him imprisoned but he escaped. It was at this time Maki had a psychic flash as he saw the Beast's escape as it rampaged, through the monster's point of view. This sudden outburst caused Sara and colonel in charge of the operation to right him off as the same as Udo. Maki was forced into a bunker in a warehouse near the base and locked inside at gunpoint. Once there he began to feel a bizarre sensation similar to what happened before. However he realized that it wasn't a postcognition and that the Beast was nearby and approaching him. Panicking he slammed his fist against the door demanding to be let out.
As Maki hammered his way out the bunker, the One slaughtered the army unit stationed to exterminate it. Of those left only Sara was still unharmed. As the beast encroached on her Maki made his way out of the bunker blowing off the last door with a pulse of red energy. Maki walked out of the bunker attracting the creature's attention. As Maki shouted for Sara to escape the beast's thoughts forced their way into mind. The beast declared it would kill Maki because he stood in his way. Maki ran dodging the monster's hand but was hit by a swing of its tail and slammed into a wall with enough force to leave a crater. It was then that the light within him began to surge up and Maki stood up as his body began to glow. Despite the watching Sara's expectations, Maki didn't become another version of the One but a giant humanoid warrior covered in organic silver armor.
While Maki was clearly surprised at first he wasted no time in challenging the beast. The two fought in the warehouse in a battle that seem to be able to go in either direction. However Maki eventually kicked the monster away and sent it flying into the wall. Unfortunately it spotted Sara and attempted to crush her with its tail. Maki moved quickly and shielded her with his own body to her surprise. However the beast now had the advantage, after whipping him with his tail several times, the One wrapped it around him, trying to strangle him. Maki struggled in vain to free himself, however he discovered a new power. The blade on his arm began to glow as he concentrated, turning around quickly he severed the end of the monster's tail and removed the end from around his neck. Maki charged forward, ready to finish the battle only for something unexpected to happen. His energy core began to pulsate as his body was wracked with pain and his strength began to fade. The beast commented on Maki's incomplete merger and assaulted him. Maki fought back, pushing the monster away, and then charged his elbow blade again (its true name is the Stratos Edge) and swung around firing an arrow shaped burst of energy that cut open the monster's side and blew a hole in the door behind it. The beast left, knowing it would die if it continue to battle and Maki was too weak to give chase. He collapsed on the ground and returned to his human form through a blue light similar to the one he first transformed with.
Maki once again found himself in front of Ultraman within the tunnel of light where they first met. He was only able to ask why him before he awoke in a dark room on a metal table. Wearing a patient's gown he found himself with Sara who confirmed that his previous battle was not a dream. Maki confronted her on her callous use of him as bait. Sara refused to admit any wrongdoing, saying that Udo (the One's host) predicted another person would suffer a similar fate to him and that the two would be enemies. When asked about her intentions Sara stated that she would not kill Maki, unlike Udo he did not become a monster and was in control of himself, saving her from the One's attack to her surprise. She stated that 'the Next' was for the moment not their enemy. Maki refused to help, refusing to be a 'useful monster'.
Maki got dressed and looking at a picture of his family he remembered the first time his son was sick and he had to run through the rain to hospital. His wife was in the waiting lounge and said the Tsugumu was alright but said that their son needed Maki to be around, stating the boy kept calling for his father even when unconscious. Sara returned, asking if Maki had reached his decision. She called him by his former rank and said that he was special, having been selected by some power to wield the power of the Next. Maki rejected her accusation, stating that he was not a soldier anymore, only a nobody having resigned for his family. Sara declared the situation critical and turned on the TV, from the cover up story on the news it was clear he was in Shinjuku. Maki, knowing the monster was near his family, had no choice but agree to help them. As the two were leaving with an armed escort, Maki was bewildered by images flooding into his head, images of his son being taken into an ambulance. Maki's parental instincts kicked in, coupled with his superhuman strength he stole a jeep, throwing the driver into the bushes and took off before the army could stop him. Maki made his way to the hospital thanks to his friend from the air force and went inside with his wife. Their son had thankfully collapsed only out of emotional fatigue, waking up Tsugumu told his father to follow his dream and that he would be unhappy if he didn't because of him.
Completed Transformation and Final Battle
After seeing his family and promising Tsugumu to take him flying with him, Maki went with Sara into the Shinjuku's sewer system. Maki questioned if Udo may also have retained his mind, but Sara disagreed, stating that though unscientific, clearly the two were affected by different lights, one good, one evil. When they found Udo unharmed and human, Udo questioned Sara, clearly lost and confused as to what had happened to him. But not wanting to repeat another mistake Sara shoots Udo five times but this only reveals that the One was toying with them and tries to kill them. Maki then faces him and they both transform into Ultraman the Next and Beast the One.
After Ultraman gains the upper hand Beast summons the sewer rats to his aid and absorbs them and evolves into a more gigantic and terrifying form. The One then advents to the city above and immediately begins to attack. Ultraman then leaves the sewers after rescuing Sara and then proceeds to stop a building from crushing a mother and child. While rushing over to the rescue Ultraman evolved into Junis, while the mother and daughter were escorted to safety by a soldier. The One attack Maki from behind, starting the next round of their fight.
Maki and the One proceeded to fight across Shinjuku in hand-to-hand combat, with Maki having the upper hand but the beast did more than just keep up. Eventually Maki was thrown into the national park where he dodged several fireballs. At the last dodge he leaped into the air and made a discovery that his pilot's soul enjoyed, he found that he could fly. Surprised and amazed, after dodging another fireball Maki couldn't help but float up into the air and marvel at this discovery.
The One then proceeded to summon perhaps every crow in the city, using them to form wings for itself to take off after Maki. The two began a dog fight in the air which ended when the One began to attack the city below. Maki took to stopping the attacks using his own body, leaving him tired and open for a direct attack. Maki began to fall, but within his mind he began to converse with Ultraman, learning that his death most likely meant the death of Ultraman and all the people that he would've protected as there would be nothing to stop the One. As his thoughts turned to his family and their future, Maki gained new strength as he finished his merger with the Next and the two rose up again.
Ultraman counter attacked, pummeling the One but was caught by its tail and held as it tried to drain his power. It was then that Eagle fighter jets arrived, led by Kurashima. With the monster distracted, Maki freed himself then sliced off the One's wings, freeing the crows and leaving it to plummet to the Earth. Maki landed after it had slammed into the ground and with Ultraman's knowledge he charged his finishing beam. Upon firing he finished off the One once and for all, and he returned to his human form.
For the last time he met Ultraman, who thanked him for his efforts. Ultraman granted his one wish, to be able to take his son flying, by reviving his life force.
A month later Maki is finally able to keep his promise to his son and take him for a flight in his tour plane.
Due to the destruction of Lethe thanks to Komon, Maki finally regained his memories as a Deunamist as he saw the final battle between Ultraman Nexus/Komon and Dark Zagi.
Willpower: Unlike most Ultra Hosts and the future Deunamists, Shunichi did not use any manner of device to transform. His transformation was similar to Hideki Go and the Ultra Force, it was engaged by pure will although it is questionable whether he chose to start his first transformation. His transformation started with his eyes glowing red and a red light appearing in his chest which creates lines that spread all over his body in the same pattern as the Next when he mentally contacts Maki. His body shines and is switched with the form of the Next. In his first, unintentional transformation he glowed blue, but later when he transformed at his volition he shined red.
Powers and Weapons
- Super Strength: As the first Deunamist Maki is much stronger than a normal person having torn down a steel door barehanded. This power was inherited by all later Dunamists.
- Durability: Maki survived his plane crash without a single injury and being swatted into a wall by the 10 m tall The One with enough force to make a crater and yet still had the strength to fight until his time limit was reached. This power was inherited by all later Deunamists.
- Energy Projection: When Maki blew the lid off his bunker there was a pulse of red light and then Maki walked up the stairs implying he did not physically touch it. This power may have evolved into the Blast Shot used by later Dunamists but is not demonstrated by him again.
- ESP: Maki was able to see the One's actions from his point of view of an event in the past, sense the One's presence and perceive faraway events in real time. This ability was demonstrated by the second and third Deunamists although the third already had psychic abilities. His ability to sense space beasts evolved into a function of the Evolthruster, while his overall ESP was inherited by later Deunamists.
- Piloting skills: Maki was a trained and most likely skilled fighter pilot.
"Papa, thanks for keeping our promise."
"But... It wasn't only me... Papa had help to keep the promise."
"What? Who else?"
"A friend of mine who went back to the sky."
"The silver meteor that I dreamed about."
- ―Tsugumu and Sunichi Maki, ULTRAMAN.
- Unlike other Ultra Hosts, including the Dunamists, Maki controlled his Ultra form with no assistance from Next, meaning he had to learn all his abilities as he went along until he completed his merger during his last fight. This also meant he experienced the three minute rule but only because the unfinished merger caused his body pain after battling for extended periods of time.
- Maki is the first Ultra host outside of Jack Shindo from the Australian Ultraman Great seen talking directly to his Ultra after their merger.
- Shunichi Maki is a parallel of Shin Hayata, in the same way Beast the One is a reimagining of Bemular. He was the first Dunamist and flew into Ultraman's red sphere while flying a plane.
- Maki is the only known Deunamist to be revived. Riko Saido was later revived but she was the host to Dark Faust and possibly undead.
- Maki's glowing eyes when his Ultra powers were surging up is a trait not seen in any of the following Deunamists but Dark Zagi's host's eyes glowed in the exact same manner when he used his powers with a certain amount of effort and when he transformed. The difference was his transformation also had markings on his face that were similar to the ones on his Ultra body.