Cult TV

Cult TV Essentials: Ultraman Tiga

Ultraman Tiga is a Japanese tokusatsu TV show and is the 11th show in the Ultra Series. Produced by Tsuburaya Productions, Ultraman Tiga was aired at 6:00pm and aired between September 7, 1996 to August 30, 1997, with a total of 52 episodes with 5 movies (3 being crossovers, 2 being direct sequel to the series as well as a comic book series.)

After a franchise hiatus of over 15 years, set in a universe different from all previous series and updated with a new look and feel. Tiga is the first Ultraman with multiple combat modes and non-red colors. It was one of the popular entries in the Ultra Series. Because of Tiga’s popularity, he had more exposure on TV and movies than any other Heisei Ultraman. Ultraman Tiga was also dubbed in English by 4Kids Entertainment and broadcast in the United States as part of the Fox Box programming block on Fox Broadcasting Company affiliates, making it the fourth Ultra Series to air in the United States after Ultraman, Ultra Seven and Ultraman: Towards the Future.

Set in the alternate timeline of the years 2007-2010 (2049 in the U.S. dub), giant monsters and conquering aliens start to appear, as was foretold by an apocalyptic prophecy about an uncontrollable chaos over the Earth. Facing the threat, the TPC (Terrestrial Peaceable Consortium) is created, such as its branch, GUTS (Global Unlimited Task Squad). Through a holographic message in a capsule found by researchers, the GUTS gets knowledge about a golden pyramid built by an ancient civilization. At the site, three statues of a race of giants who defended early human civilization on Earth about 30,000,000 years ago from Super-Ancient Monsters and other forces of darkness are found, but two of them are destroyed by the monsters Golza and Melba. The third one gains life from the spiritual energy of officer Daigo, descendant of the ancient race. Daigo and the remaining statue merge into a single being, made of light. Shortly after defeating the two monsters, Daigo is revealed by the hologram of the prophecy that 30 million years in the past, a great evil that not even the giants could stop, destroyed the ancient civilization. The same evil reappears in the finale of the series, the Ruler of Darkness Ghatanothoa, and his servants, Gijera and Zoigar. Ghatanothoa defeats Ultraman Tiga with ease, withstanding the Delcalium Light Stream and a modified version of the Zepellion Ray, both Tiga’s finishes, and turns him back into a statue, but the light of humanity is able to turn him into Glitter Tiga, giving him the power to defeat Ghatanothoa and save the Earth.

In episode 49, the original Ultraman helps to defeat monster Yanakahgi. As mentioned earlier, Tiga is from an entirely different timeline than the original Ultra series, so a lot of plot contortions are made in order to bring together this dream team, to honour the 30th anniversary of the original Ultraman.

However, Tiga’s victory came at a cost. Daigo was no longer able to become Tiga after the Spark Lens disintegrated into dust after his final battle. It is ultimately revealed that Tiga, although no longer bound to Daigo, its energy now remains in the heart of all those who believe in Tiga, inner-strength and justice. Given the right conditions such as times of despair, the sparks will gather and Tiga statue will be revitalized.

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