Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero is a Tokusatsu show produced in the United States in 1993 by Major Havoc Entertainment (later renamed Steppin Stone Entertainment) and Tsuburaya Productions with a total of 13 episodes. Following the footsteps of the Australian-produced Ultraman: Towards the Future, this was the second live-action Ultra Series produced outside Japan.
Titled Ultraman Powered for Japanese release, the show was released on home video there on December 17, 1993, and later aired on Tokyo Broadcasting System from April 8 to July 1, 1995. This was the 11th Ultra Series.
However, despite being produced in America, the show was never broadcast there. Although having impressive costume designs, the action was quite weak compared to other instalments of the Ultra Series, due to the costumes being fragile. After this series, Tsuburaya has since focused on domestic productions.
In this instalment, the members of WINR (pronounced “Winner”) respond when members of the alien Baltan race attack Earth, but the Baltans are only fended off when a gigantic alien, Ultraman Powered, joins with WINR member Kenichi Kai and gives him the power to metamorphose into Ultraman in times of danger. At the end of the first episode Ultraman declares that the Baltans were not completely defeated and that he will remain on Earth to continue the fight.
WINR and Ultraman destroy numerous other monsters, but WINR learns that the Baltans were arranging all the battles to learn Ultraman’s strengths and weaknesses. They also learn Kai’s secret identity when Ultraman is injured by Dorako and Kai sports an identical wound. In the finale the Baltans unleash their most powerful monster, Zetton. Ultraman separates from Kai and takes on Zetton, but is overwhelmed. Ultraman’s color timer is flashing more and more rapidly as he tries to blast Zetton only to have Zetton easily withstand the blasts. He then summons more energy despite the risk to fire a shot at Zetton’s ship. This causes the shot to bounce off it towards Z-ton’s back but he turns and blocks the shot. However this gives Ultraman an opening and he summons the last of his energy for one final blast that hits Zetton in the back, destroying him. Ultraman then falls over backwards as his energy is completely drained. Before he can perish completely, other members of the Ultra race, appearing as balls of light, arrive and convert Ultraman into a red ball of light so that he can return home.
Categories: Cult TV