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Ultraman 80 (ウルトラマン80エイティ, Urutoraman Eiti) is the 9th entry in the Ultraman Series, airing from April 2, 1980, to March 25, 1981, and returning the series to its original live-action format. It was produced by Tsuburaya Productions and aired on the Tokyo Broadcasting System channel. 80 introduced the second female Ultra, Yullian, as well as the first female human form of an Ultra since Ultraman Ace, excluding the Lady in Green. Unfortunately, its ratings were not steadily high, causing the Ultraman Series to go on hiatus in its native country for sixteen years, until the franchise's revival with Ultraman Tiga.

The series can be watched on Shout TV, Tubi, and Roku.

Production[]

Concept art of Ultraman 80

The finalized concept art of Ultraman 80. Designed by Shu Yamaguchi.

In the late 1970s, as the Ultraman series regained attention among fans in Japan, there was an increasing call among industry insiders to revive a live-action version of Ultraman. The anime series The☆Ultraman, which aired in 1979, further fueled this anticipation. As expectations for higher ratings grew, Tsuburaya Productions and TBS began holding weekly meetings to discuss the feasibility of producing a new live-action series. These meetings were primarily organized by TBS. Initially, Tsuburaya Productions proposed continuing the traditional route of the previous series, but the producers at TBS believed that "the Ultraman of the 1980s should not follow the same style as past series." Yoji Hashimoto, head of TBS's film department, introduced a key question: "Why is it necessary to create a new Ultraman series now?" to assess the project's relevance.[1]

Taking into account the social conditions in Japan at the time, Tsuburaya Productions' scriptwriter Bunpei Ai presented two discussion scripts to TBS. Both stories, titled "New Ultraman," shared a common feature: the protagonist was an elementary school teacher named Akira Hojo. This character setting, being a teacher, was more relatable to children as it was closer to their daily lives. The school was to become the primary setting for the series. The scripts also introduced a premise that 'monsters are born from the evil hearts of humans, such as hatred and sorrow.'[1]

Akira was not a hero from outer space but an ordinary young man who sacrificed himself to save his students from a monster. He was then granted a new life as Ultraman by the Ultra Brothers. Therefore, as Ultraman, Akira not only needed to fight monsters but also to guide human hearts from evil to good. The scripts incorporated social issues reflecting Japan's economic growth and applied the spirit of Ultraman to the field of education. The aim was to convey messages about "the dignity of life," "the beauty of love," and "the pride of courage" to the audience, thereby creating a hero image fitting for the "new era."[1]

The second discussion script retained the basic settings from the initial story, with the only difference being a more detailed exploration of the Defense Team "UGM" featured in the story. A new character, Junichi Minamikawa, who was the same age as the protagonist Akira, was added. He was designed to be both Akira's rival and partner. At that time, there was no plan for Akira to become a UGM member, so Minamikawa's presence served as the link between the protagonist and the defense team.

Ultraman 80 1979

The initial project proposal for the Ultraman 80 series.[1]

In the winter of 1979, a new program proposal titled "Ultraman 80 (tentative name)" was created and submitted to TBS in 1980. The basic content of this proposal was almost identical to the actual series that aired. The protagonist's name was changed to Takeshi Yamato and was set as Ultraman himself from Nebula M78. Although some content was simplified, the portrayal of the protagonist's diligent spirit and the "Ultraman teacher" concept remained intact.[1]

Within this framework, by thoroughly depicting each student's story, every episode was intended to have a clear theme. The idea of "place-time commitment, lifetime commitment" applied not only to Takeshi's motto but also to other characters in the series. Takeshi, both as a teacher in his daily life and as a UGM member fighting monsters, had to work earnestly to grow. Due to the influence of the popular drama series Kinpachi-sensei at that time, the school setting was changed from an elementary school to Sakuragaoka Middle School.

Ultraman 80 1980 1

The initial promotional title for the announcement of Ultraman 80.

However, in the early episodes of the series, the basic concept of incorporating school elements was not successfully implemented. This was attributed to the broadcast time slot, the limitations of outdoor filming schedules, and the reassignment of producer Yoji Hashimoto to TBS Radio, which prompted a reassessment of the series' fundamental settings. After the first quarter, the TBS programming department informed Tsuburaya Productions that the series would revert to its traditional style. Consequently, from episode 13 onwards, the school scenes were completely eliminated, and the main cast was altered to retain only the UGM as the primary characters. Additionally, there were changes in the directing team.[2]

Due to low ratings and the failure to adapt the series' direction, Tsuburaya Productions' president, Noboru Tsuburaya, expressed dissatisfaction after the series ended and lodged a protest with TBS. This led to a confrontation between the head of the programming department at TBS and the executives at Tsuburaya Productions. As a result of the deteriorating relationships with sponsors and the broadcasting station, the Ultraman series went on a hiatus for 15 and a half years, until the production of Ultraman Tiga in 1996.

Plot[]

The ninth member of the Ultra Brothers, Ultraman 80 comes to earth under the guise of Takeshi Yamato. He becomes a schoolteacher, but in the first episode also becomes a member of UGM (Utility Government Members).

For the first thirteen episodes Takeshi must keep his identity secret from his students and balance life between his multiple commitments: defending the earth as a member of UGM and as an Ultra, and teaching students going through puberty.

This plot line, however, was dropped later in the series in favor of a more Ultraman-like story focusing on the defense team members exploring various monster-related mysteries. The school and (now grown) students, however, would make an appearance in episode 41 of Ultraman Mebius.

Later in the series Yullian, princess of Nebula M78, shows up to aid 80 in a few of his battles, culminating in a climactic battle against Plazma and Minazma. Shortly afterwards, one final Minus Energy monster appears, named Margodon. 80 and Yullian are prepared to fight it, but are found out by UGM, who insist that they should fight the monster alone. With Margodon defeated by the humans, 80 and Yullian depart for the Land of Light, confident that the planet is safe in the hands of humanity.

Characters[]

Protagonists[]

UGM[]

Sakuragaoka Middle School[]

Ultras[]

Kaiju[]

Reception[]

Ultraman 80 had average ratings due to tokusatsu not being popular during the time (in the 80's anime was having big fame due to the popularities of Mazinger, Getter Robo and Gundam franchises). 80 is considered among the least known of the Showa era Ultraman Series. In other countries, like France, due to the show being named Ultraman 80, in many promos 80 was named "Ultraman 2080". Tokuriders.com commented that the series are "a little conserved and a little new; it seems the creators had a drought of ideas, and had the imagination with the handbrake on, yet it has points of interest and valuable aspects...". The series currently has a 7.1 rating on the Internet Movie Database.

Cast[]

  • Takeshi Yamato/Ultraman 80 (voice) (矢的 猛 / ウルトラマン80 (声), Yamato Takeshi/Urutoraman 80 (koe)): Hatsunori Hasegawa]] (長谷川 初範, Hasegawa Hatsunori)
  • Kazuki Oyama (オオヤマ 一樹, Ōyama Kazuki): Jin Nakayama (中山 仁, Nakayama Jin)
  • Emi Jono (城野 エミ, Jōno Emi)/Android Emi Jono: Eri Ishida (石田 えり, Ishida eri)
  • Hiroshi Tajima (タジマ 浩, Tajima Hiroshi): Shuhei Nitta (新田 修平, Nitta Shūhei)
  • Junkichi Ito (イトウ 順吉, Itō Junkichi): Masaaki Daimon (大門 正明, Daimon Masaaki)
  • Tokihiko Harada (ハラダ 時彦, Harada Tokihiko): Daisuke Muso (無双 大介, Musō Daisuke)
  • Shinhachiro Fujimori (フジモリ 新八郎, Fujimori Shinhachirō): Masashi Furuta (古田 正志, Furuta Masashi)
  • Ryoko Hoshi/Yullian (星 涼子/ユリアン, Hoshi Ryōko/Yurian, Voice): Sayoko Hagiwara (萩原 佐代子, Hagiwara Sayoko)
  • Noboru Ikeda (イケダ 登, Ikeda Noboru): Tatsuya Okamoto (岡本 達哉, Okamoto Tatsuya)
  • Teruo Sera (セラ 照夫, Sera Teruo): Akihiko Sugisaki (杉崎 昭彦, Sugisaki Akihiko)
  • Non Yamaguchi (山口 ノン, Yamaguchi Non, 1-12)/Yuriko Kosaka (小坂 ユリ子, Kosaka Yuriko, 21-50): Noriko Shirasaka (白坂 紀子, Shirasaka Noriko)
  • Kennosuke Hayashi (林 憲之助, Hayashi Ken'nosuke, 1-12): Saburo Boya (坊屋 三郎, Bōya Saburō)
  • Kumi Nozaki (野崎 クミ, Nozaki Kumi, 1-12): Ikuko Wada (和田 幾子, Wada Ikuko)
  • Kyoko Aihara (相原 京子, Aihara Kyōko, 1-12): Mayumi Asano (浅野 真弓, Asano Mayumi)
  • Hakase (ハカセ, 1-12): Ikumi Ueno (上野 郁巳, Ueno Ikumi)
  • Rakugoo (落語, 1-12): Junichi Kitai (鍛代 順一, Kitai Junichi)
  • Super (スーパー, Sūpā, 1-12): Hirotomo Shimizu (清水 浩智, Shimizu Hirotomo)
  • Fashion (ファッション, Fasshon, 1-12): Midori Kuno (久野 みどり, Kuno Midori)
  • Narrator (ナレーター, Narētā): Yusaku Yara (屋良 有作, Yara Yūsaku), Shiro Suzuki (鈴木 史朗, Suzuki Shirō, 1-13)

Suit Actors[]

  • Ultraman 80 (ウルトラマン80, Urutoraman Eiti):
    • Junichi Akasaka (赤坂 順一, Akasaka Jun'ichi, 1-8, & 27-28)
    • Koichi Nara (奈良 光一, Nara Kōichi, 9-10, 12 & 29-50)
    • Yoshitake Iwaizumi (岩泉 芳武, Iwaizumi Yoshitake, 11)
    • Hiroshi Fukuda (福田 浩, Fukuda Hiroshi, 12-26)
  • Yullian (ユリアン, Yurian): Maki Kiyota (清田 真妃, Kiyota Maki)

Music[]

Opening Theme
Ending Theme
  • "Let's Go UGM" by TALIZMAN
  • "Chikyu-jin Dayo" by TALIZMANA CD featuring the OST of the show was released.

Cancelled American Adaptation[]

In 1987, William Winckler of Winckler Productions reveals that he had plans to localize the series with Adam West in a starring role.[3] While little is known about this adaptation, a pilot episode was made featuring a format comparable to the way the 1972 anime "Scientific Ninja Team Gatchaman" was adapted in the United States as "Battle of the Planets". The whereabouts of this pilot is unknown.

Home Media[]

  • In 1989, the series was released on LD (Laser Disc) as 13 separate volumes (with 4 episodes for the first 12 and 2 for the final) by Hummingbird.
  • In 1999, the series was released on DVD as 12 separate volumes (with 5 episodes for the 1st and 2nd volumes and 4 episodes for the remaining 10) by Bandai Visual. Unlike the broadcast version, this release utilizes a mono-like audio caused by the poor audio transfer, while some of the sound effects were altered from the broadcast versions. As a result, subsequent DVD releases of the show also suffers from same audio quality as the 1999 DVDs.
  • On June 25, 2010 and September 24, 2010, the entire series was released as two separate Memorial Box DVDs by Bandai Visual to commemorate its 30th anniversary.
  • On December 25, 2013, the entire series was released as a complete DVD-BOX set by Bandai Visual.
  • On July 22, 2016, the first episode is the only episode released for the "Ultraman Blu-ray Select Series" Blu-ray. This also marks the first time an episode of Ultraman 80 is remastered for the Blu-ray.
  • Since the 2010s, the DVDs where released in Malaysia by the DVD manufacturer Speedy/Aquos Sharp. Volumes 2-4 can be bought on eBay while vol. 1 has been seen but not seen for purchase. The DVDs contain english subtitles.
  • In 2024, to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the series, the complete collection will be released by Tsuburaya Productions in a single Blu-ray box set. This set will include all digitally remastered high-definition episodes and new bonus features, with some episodes featuring new 5.1ch surround sound. It will be released on March 19, 2025.[4]

Streaming[]

  • Ultraman 80 is available streaming with English subtitles on Crunchyroll.
  • TOKU premieres the series in the United States on March 27, 2017 and was finalized on April 28, 2017.[5]

Gallery[]

Trivia[]

  • This is the first (non-anime) entry in the Ultraman Series to have an ending theme.
  • This is the first Ultraman Series since Ultraseven to not have episode arcs.
  • This is the first Ultraman Series to be broadcast in France, on M6 in 1988. Although it is the second Ultraman Series to be dubbed in French, the first one being Ultraman, broadcast in Quebec on ORTF in 1967.[6]
    • Ultraman 80 has been broadcast on M6 in 1988 and rebroadcast on TF1 (Club Dorothé) in 1991 with a different opening. The series has been partially broadcast on M6 but also partially rebroadcast on TF1, although all the episodes were fully dubbed.[7]

External Links[]

References[]

Productions
Showa Series Ultra Q | Ultraman | Ultraseven | Return of Ultraman | Ultraman Ace | Ultraman Taro | Ultraman Leo | Ultraman 80
Heisei Series Ultraman Tiga | Ultraman Dyna | Ultraman Gaia | Ultraman Cosmos | Ultra Q: Dark Fantasy | Ultraman Nexus | Ultraman Max | Ultraman Mebius | Ultraseven X | Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle | Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle: Never Ending Odyssey | Neo Ultra Q | Ultraman Ginga | Ultraman Ginga S | Ultraman X | Ultraman Orb | Ultraman Geed | Ultraman R/B
Reiwa Series Ultraman Taiga | Ultraman Z | Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga | Ultraman Decker | Ultraman Blazar | Ultraman Arc
Outside of Japan Ultraman: The Adventure Begins | Ultraman: Towards the Future | Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero | Ultraman: Rising
Original Video and TV Special Ultra Fight | Ultraman vs. Kamen Rider | Ultra Super Fight | Ultraman Nice | Heisei Ultraseven | Ultraman Neos | Ultraman: Super Fighter Legend | Ultra Idemitsujin | Ultra Zone
Showa Movies Ultraman: Monster Movie Feature | Ultraman, Ultraseven: Great Violent Monster Fight | The 6 Ultra Brothers vs. The Monster Army | Ultraman (1979) | Ultraman: Great Monster Decisive Battle | Return of Ultraman: MAT Arrow 1 Takeoff Order | Ultraman ZOFFY: Ultra Warriors vs. the Giant Monster Army | Ultraman Story
Heisei Movies Ultra Q The Movie | Revive! Ultraman | Ultraman Zearth | Ultraman Zearth 2 | Ultraman Tiga & Ultraman Dyna | Ultraman Tiga, Ultraman Dyna, & Ultraman Gaia | Ultraman Tiga: The Final Odyssey | Ultraman Cosmos: The First Contact | Ultraman Cosmos 2 | New Century Ultraman Legend | Ultraman Cosmos vs. Ultraman Justice | New Century 2003 Ultraman Legend | ULTRAMAN (2004) | Ultraman Mebius & the Ultra Brothers | Super 8 Ultra Brothers | Mega Monster Battle Ultra Galaxy: The Movie | Ultraman Zero: The Revenge of Belial | Ultraman Saga | Ultraman Ginga Theater Special | Ultraman Ginga Theater Special: Battle Royale | Ultraman Ginga S The Movie | Ultraman X The Movie | Ultraman Orb The Movie | Ultraman Geed The Movie | Ultraman R/B The Movie
Reiwa Movies Ultraman Taiga The Movie | Ultraman Trigger: Episode Z | Shin Ultraman | Ultraman Decker Finale | Ultraman Blazar The Movie
Spin-Offs Andro Melos | Ultraman Zearth: Parody Chapter | Revival of the Ancient Giant | The Return of Hanejiro | Gaia Again | Ultra Q Kaiju Legend | Ultraman Kaiju Legend | Hikari Saga | Armored Darkness | Ghost Rebirth | Ultraman Zero vs. Darklops Zero | Q - Door to Another Dimension | Killer the Beatstar | Ultra Zero Fight | Ultra Fight Victory | Ultraman Orb THE ORIGIN SAGA | Ultra Fight Orb | New Generation Heroes | The Absolute Conspiracy | Sevenger Fight | The Struggle of Special Section 3 | The Destined Crossroad | Continued Ultra Fight | Shin Ultra Fight | Return of Special Section 3 | Ultraman Regulos | Ultraman Regulos: First Mission | Ultraseven IF Story | SKaRD Break Room
Rebroadcast Shows Ultraman Retsuden | New Ultraman Retsuden | Ultraman Zero: The Chronicle | Ultraman Orb: The Chronicle | Ultraman New Generation Chronicle | Ultraman Chronicle: ZERO & GEED | Ultraman Chronicle Z: Heroes' Odyssey | Ultraman Chronicle D | Ultraman New Generation Stars
Informational Ultraman The Prime | ULTRAMAN ARCHIVES | Ultra Science Fantasy Hour | Ultra Fight Club | UlSummer Information Station | Ultra Information Center | Professor Teruaki's "Blazar Kaiju Academy" | Super Power! Ultra Encyclopedia! | Ultra Construction Tour | THE ORIGIN OF ULTRAMAN | Ultraman 4K Discovery
Docudramas Fly in the Sea Breeze! Ultraman | The Men Who Made Ultraman | My Beloved Ultraseven | The Man Who Wanted to be Ultraman | The Kaiju Club | The Two Ultramen
Other Series and Movies Kaiju Booska | Captain Ultra | Mighty Jack | Fight! Mighty Jack | Operation: Mystery | Chibira-kun | Mirrorman | Redman | Triple Fighter | Emergency Directive 10-4·10-10 | Iron King | Horror Theater Unbalance | Fireman | Jumborg Ace | Mirror Fight | Jumborg Ace & Giant | Mars Men | Army of the Apes | Pro-Wres no Hoshi Azteckaiser | The Last Dinosaur | Dinosaur Expedition Born Free | Dinosaur Great War Izenborg | Star Wolf | Dinosaur Squadron Koseidon | Anime-chan | Gridman the Hyper Agent | Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad | Moon Spiral | Cyber Beauties Telomere | Booska! Booska!! | Otasuke Girl | Mysterious Incident Special Investigation Team SRI | Mirrorman REFLEX | Bio Planet WoO | Operation: Mystery - Second File | Mirror Fight 2012 | Operation: Mystery - Mystery File | Gridknight Fight
Anime The☆Ultraman | Ultraman Kids | Ultraman Graffiti: Wild! Ultra Country | Ultraman: Super Fighter Legend | Ultra Nyan | Ultra Nyan 2: The Great Happy Operation | Ultraman M78 Theater Love & Peace | Gridman the Hyper Agent: boys invent great hero | The・Ultraman: Jackal vs. Ultraman | Kaiju Sakaba Kanpai! | Kaiju Girls | SSSS.GRIDMAN | ULTRAMAN (2019) | Kaiju Step Wandabada | SSSS.DYNAZENON | KAIJU DECODE | GRIDMAN UNIVERSE
Outlaw Content Space Warriors 2000 | Project Ultraman | Ultraman The Animation | Ultraman: A Little Journey on Earth | Fun... English with Ultraman | Young Ultraman | Ultraman Big Transformation | Sinic Q | Red Jade | Dragon Force: So Long Ultraman | Dragon Force: Rise of Ultraman
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