"Did you claim this man's life, Ripia? No, on this planet, they call you "Ultraman"."
Ultraman (ウルトラマン Urutoraman) was the titular character of the 2022 film Shin Ultraman, serving as a reinterpretation of the similarly named character from the 1966 TV series. While his real name is Ripia (リピアー Ripiā), he had since adopted the name given to him by mankind.
The term "Ultraman" is shortened from the full codename Giant Humanoid Lifeform Ultraman (Provisional) (巨大人型生物ウルトラマン（仮称） Kyodai Hito-gata Seibutsu Urutoraman (Kashō)) assigned by the SSSP. Although he is also considered as an "Extraterrestrial" (外星人 Gaiseijin) by the group, Ultraman was not designated by numbering, unlike Zarab and Mefilas, who took on the numbers 2 and 0.
His real name, Ripia, comes from Lippia, a genus of flowering plants named after a French naturalist and botanist, Augustus Lippi. In the flower language (Hanakotoba), Lippia means bond, honesty and understanding.
In the movie, the only person to call Ultraman by his true name was Zōffy, but has since switched to the former, accepting that his brethren had adopted a new name on Earth.
- Main article: Ultraman (Shin Ultraman)/Gallery#Behind the scenes
The first concept art was made in October 3, 2018 by Hideaki Anno, using Ultraman's first suit actor Bin Furuya as a base for the body frame. Wanting the Ultraman's design to live up to Tohl Narita's vision, Anno sought permission from Narita's son, Kairi, to use the 1983 painting Incarnation of Truth, Justice, and Beauty (真実と正義と美の化身 Shinjitsu to Seigi to Bi no Keshin) as a reference.
The final design of Ultraman took various design cues harkening back to its original draft, such as:
- The mask produced by modeler Akira Sasaki, supervised by Narita.
- The body frame being based on Bin Furuya's figure (according to Khara's official Twitter site, only the legs from the original draft made it to the final).
- The lack of a Color Timer, dorsal fin and peepholes in the eyes per Tohl Narita's original intention.
In addition, the design also seemingly takes elements from suits used in the 1966 series, such as the C-type suit's facial features and the B-type suit's slightly pointed feet. The red lines on the body and legs were also made to be more angular than those typically seen in other appearances.
The finalized design was first publicly unveiled in late 2019, at Tsuburaya Convention (Tsubucon). In addition to its modeled figurine (both in white and colored versions), a CGI photo was unveiled as a reference scale of Ultraman to his surroundings. In November 2020, a statue of Ultraman was placed in Sukugawa, Fukushima, the birthplace of Eiji Tsuburaya, in the Sukagawa Tokusatsu Archives Center.
The Spacium Beam used in the movie was animated by Sadao Iizuka, who had worked on the original Ultraman's Spacium Beam, and others. The motion capture used for Ultraman's Spacium Beam was performed by Hideaki Anno.
For Ultraman's flying motion, the prop for the flying models from 1966 and the one from Ultraman Jack (1971) were 3D scanned as a basis for his CG motion. This even includes a model where he fired Spacium Beam while flying against Zetton. For his iconic rising motion, the doll props of Zoffy in Ultraman Mebius episode 51 and an alternate Ultraman from Great Decisive Battle! The Super 8 Ultra Brothers were 3D scanned for the CGI's basis. The finalized rising scene however lacks the original's left leg bending downward.
In the trailer, Ultraman's first arrival on Earth (more specifically in against Neronga) was portrayed in his usual figure to hide the movie using an all-silver model and the face's "wrinkled" appearances that resembles the 1966 Ultraman's Type A suit. For this, the film uses a silver spray-painted figurine of Ultraman as a basis.
- Height: 60 m
- Weight: 2,900 t (weight is estimated through his footprint)
- Home World: Star of Light (光の星 Hikari no Hoshi)
- Maximum Flight Speed: 12,000 km/h (travel sphere)
- Weakness: Ultraman's time on Earth is limited to three minutes. Once he is approaching said limit, the coloration on his body turns from red to green.
Ultraman transforms into his true form from Shinji Kaminaga, a human that he bonded and impersonated as. "Shinji" does this through the Beta Capsule, wherein he presses the button. During the transformation, Ultraman's translucent red fist surfaces and grabs "Shinji", and rises from human size to his true height as a flash of red light accompanies the transformation.
- Travel Sphere: Ultraman can turn himself into a red sphere of light as a means of travel from outer space.
- Flight: Ultraman is capable of performing an anti-gravity flight by outstretching both of his hands forward.
- Life Force Sharing: Ultraman is able to share his life force with the body of a human, but by doing so, the human he bonded with is put under a comatose state. Should Ultraman sacrifice his entire life to the human in question, then a full resurrection can be achieved.
- Human Disguise: Ultraman is capable of disguising himself as a human, more specifically the one he bonded to, Shinji Kaminaga.
- Electricity Immunity: Ultraman's body has a natural immunity against electrical attacks, as he is able to effortlessly shrugs Neronga's attack with no ill effect.
- Spacium Beam (スペシウム光線 Supeshiumu Kōsen): Ultraman fires a destructive beam of light when he puts his hands in a cross. According to Extraterrestrial #2 Zarab, the Spacium Beam is consist of an energy substance known as Spacium 133 (スペシウム133 Supeshiumu Ichi San San).
- During his first arrival on Earth (more specifically in against Neronga), Ultraman perform Spacium Beam by first lifting his right arm vertically, followed by his body charging Spacium 133 energy and finally swinging his left arm to the "+" pose.
- Ultra Slash (ウルトラスラッシュ Urutora Surasshu): Like his original counterpart, Ultraman can form a buzzsaw-like energy disc in his hand and toss it at foes, slicing through monsters with ease. He can also use a giant sized version of the Ultra Slash that splits into many smaller discs upon being thrown.
- Ultra V Barrier: By crossing his arms, Ultraman can block a stream of energy beam fired against him.
- Rotation: In a similar manner to his original counterpart's High Spin, Ultraman can spin at high speed in an effort to deflect incoming projectiles, as demonstrated when he used it to shield himself from Zetton's Close-in Weapon System gunfire, though the effect appears to lessen over time, as Ultraman was eventually struck by the projectiles after using the technique for a sustained period.
- Rebound Beam (リバウンド光線 Ribaundo Kōsen): Similar to the original counterpart's Ultra Barrier, Ultraman can generate a transparent, rectangular shield in the air to protect himself from attacks.
- Beta Capsule (ベーターカプセル Bētā Kapuseru): The transformation item for Ultraman to revert to his true form. It also act as a size enlargement device due to the Beta System (ベーターシステム Bētā Shisutemu), hence thanks to modifications provided by SSSP, Ultraman presses it to become larger again and generating a massive black hole to bring down Zetton with him.
Shin Ultra Fight
- During the Ultraman Series' cross-promotion with the smartphone game Puzzles and Dragons, the silver-colored form that Ultraman appeared from the movie is referred to as Accretion Period (降着時 Kōchaku-ji).
- According to SSSP member Akihisa Taki, the after-effect of firing Spacium Beam and destroying Neronga in the process releases high ion concentration that turns into plasma once the particles exposed to air.