Cult TV

Cult TV Essentials: Ultraman Max

Ultraman Max was an Ultraman TV series which started airing on 7 July 2005, and produced by Tsuburaya Productions and Chubu-Nippon Broadcasting Co., Ltd.

The show tried to return to the true formula of new monsters every week and being a fast paced show like previous series with the exception of Ultraman Nexus.

The show is full of homages to past series by having three of the original cast members from the first Ultraman series (and one original cast member from Ultra Seven) being featured in an episode, updated versions of classic monsters like Red King, Eleking and Pigmon among others.

One unusual episode (#29) revolves around the filming of the 1964 program Ultra Q which was the predecessor to the first Ultraman show in 1966. Two actors from that show appear as themselves.

Although certain monsters from the previous Ultra Series appear here in this series, the characters do not actually recognize them. This series does not have any direct continuity to any of the other Ultra Series (except episode 24: “The Untargeted Town” which seems to be a sequel to the Ultra Seven series episode 8: “The Targeted Town”).

Just like his predecessors, Ultraman Max is from Nebula M78 and is supported by DASH (Defense Action Squad Heroes), a branch of the UDF (United Defense Federation). His human host’s name is Touma Kaito. Ultraman Max is based on Ultra Seven and has two main weapons at his disposal, the Maxium Cannon fired from his left hand and the Maxium Sword which is a hand held boomerang cutter.

Another Ultraman known as Ultraman Xenon, or Janos, appears for the first time in episode 13, and again briefly in episode 39. While Ultraman Xenon is summoning a new weapon from the sky to use against Zetton, he is attacked by Zetton and the weapon attaches itself to Max’s right wrist. Ultraman Max then uses the new weapon known as the Max Galaxy to destroy Zetton.

Team DASH is stationed in a harbour and their base is called the Base Titan. They have a main airplane called the Dash Mother which releases two other small planes known as Dash Bird 1 and 2. A third plane called the Dash Bird 3 appears in episode 23.

Team DASH also has an android operator, who learns a bit about human behavior in some episodes. Her name is Elly and she has a small ball shaped robot called Koko which makes a high pitched sound to respond to queries.

This series was also unique as it was the first time a gaijin (foreigner) was an official member of the Ultraman team. The character’s name is Sean White (played by actor Sean Nichols who is famous in Japan for being on the popular children’s program Eigo de Asobo—Let’s Have Fun with English).

After the broadcast of Ultraman Max, an eight minute special was released on DVD. This special was a five minute clip show giving a review of Ultraman Max’s back story and primary attacks up until Ultraman Xenon gives him the Max Galaxy. After the clip show, the monster Red King attacks Max with Zetton shortly joining in. The special ends with Max defeating both of them.

Categories: Cult TV

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