Cult TV

Cult TV Essentials: Ultraman 80

Ultraman 80 is a Japanese tokusatsu TV show produced by Tsuburaya Productions which aired on the Tokyo Broadcasting System channel from April 2, 1980, to March 25, 1981, lasting a total of 50 episodes. It was the ninth TV show in the Ultra Series and began a week after the conclusion of the anime series The Ultraman, bringing the franchise back to its live-action roots. It would be the last Ultraman TV series for Japanese audiences during the following sixteen years until the production of Ultraman Tiga.

Ultraman 80 comes to Earth as one of the newest members of the Ultra Space Garrison (it is revealed in Ultraman Mebius that he is the ninth Ultra Brother), in the form of science teacher Takeshi Yamato. After a five-year hiatus since the departure of Ultraman Leo (1974), monsters started reappearing again.

Yamato’s theory is that monsters are born of the energy created by negative human emotions, also known as Minus Energy. He decides to become a teacher at Sakuragaoka Junior High School in Tokyo, and serves as a science teacher, as well as the home room teacher responsible for 1st Year, E Division. He is absolutely dedicated to his students, for he is there to teach them not just about science, but also about life. Unfortunately, he has a penchant for being late, so he does things like promising his students to walk to class on his hands if he is late next time, or even promising to resign as a teacher. He even starts up a band with his students and jams on an electric guitar. His over-enthusiasm quickly wins the loyalty of his students, but often makes him an easy target for the prim Deputy Schoolmaster Kumi Nozawa. Yamato loves rice, ramen (Japanese noodle soup) and orange juice. He also loves Kyoko Aihara, the gym teacher, but loses all confidence in himself and sense of composure in her presence.

Yamato dons an orange and silver suit to moonlight at UGM (Utility Government Members), the regular Earth defence team, after school and on Sundays. He gets the job from Captain Oyama because they are both present at a park in the first episode, looking for signs of new monster activity. Oyama is happy to meet someone who believes in the re-emergence of monsters. Even his own team members had their doubts, since none of them have any combat experience like their veteran captain. At school, only Principal Kennosuke Hayashi knows of Yamato’s extracurricular activities.

80 has one of the more difficult human situations of any Ultraman. Ultraman 80 cannot be revealed to be known by humans, since his revelation will lead 80 to leave Earth. Yet, Yamato must still balance UGM and school, all the while hiding his true identity, while nursing a crush on Aihara. Though determined to teach his students about responsibility and integrity, he has to lie and break promises constantly to maintain this secret multiple personality and eventually stops working as a teacher to be a full-time UGM member.

Ultraman 80 and Hoshi returns home after the event of the final episode against monster Margodon. In the final episode, UGM destroy Margodon all by themselves. It is revealed that Captain Oyama knows the real identities of Yamato and Hoshi, and a small celebration is held to appreciate Ultraman 80’s and Hoshi’s assistance while on Earth.

 

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