The year 1966 is marked as the beginning of an era that would continue as one of the most beloved eras to date. From influencing most of Japan’s media related to superheroes and also having a vast influence over the West, “Ultraman” garnered quite the fan following from the year it was released. The first-ever show was released on July 17th, 1966, and since that day, it has been climbing the charts, setting new records. The series became a huge success, and to date, reboots of the original version have attracted fans from all over the world. The new animated series that was released on Netflix in 2019 is a nod to the original, mixed with modern amenities. Although it continues with the same timeline as set in the original series, Shin Hayata is officially the first human to merge with Ultraman and has the power to defend Earth from her many animosities. The Netflix series begins with a nod to the original and features the next generation of Ultraman, which includes Shin Hayata’s son, Shinjiro Hayata, who has inherited his father’s powers.
In the new series, Shin has no memories of his time as Ultraman. While at the museum dedicated to Ultraman, he meets with the members of SSSP and gets hit by the onslaught of memories. He then finds out that he was the first Ultraman after his powers were merged when he had met with an accident. Shin, then, put on the prototype suit and defended Earth before his son, Shinjiro, took over the part at 17. Shin is a very resilient character. To save his son from fighting Bemlar, he donned the suit again at the age of 60 and fought with Bemlar. Shin has a very keen sense of duty. He would never desert his comrades when an alien storms their headquarters. In the second season, when Pedant stormed into the headquarters of SSSP and demanded Shin, Shin donned the prototype suit, which was yet to be upgraded, and left to put up a fight and surrender so that the rest of the members remained unharmed. Shin has a hero personality that wouldn’t think twice before sacrificing himself for the good of Earthlings. He is, after all, the original Ultraman.
Shin loved his son Shinjiro because he had him quite late, and he was essentially very protective of him. Every single Ultraman battle put him on the edge, even though he himself had to fight once upon a time. Shin cannot express his emotions very well, so he couldn’t express his love for Shinjiro while Shinjiro was going through a teen angst situation with his powers. Shin and Shinjiro were a close duo before Shinjiro entered his teenage years. Shin did feel a sense of disappointment at first, but then, the topic of Ultraman turned out to be their bonding topic. He was glad to have a close bond with his son once again. Shin is a doting father to Shinjiro, and it is quite obvious through his actions in both seasons.
Shinjiro, Shin’s son, inherited both the Ultraman factor as well as the responsibility from his father. Shinjiro has a bit of trouble adjusting to his powers at the beginning of the series. He has to hide his powers and desires to have a normal life. In the beginning, before the father-son duo meets Bemlar, Shinjiro finds it difficult to keep his powers in check. He goes through a mental crisis and wishes to be normal after he saves Rena from bullies. He accidentally broke the leg of one of the bullies. His friends start avoiding him after witnessing that, and he regrets his powers. Shinjiro tries desperately to fit in with his friends and hopes the powers will not cause a distraction. The fact that his friends started avoiding him because of his powers hit him hard. He could not express his feelings to his father due to the age gap between them, and also that his father had no clue how to approach him.
Shinjiro, after meeting Bemlar and witnessing his father get gravely injured and also learning that his father was an Ultraman, was colored with disbelief. He was sent away by his father, and he made up his mind to protect him back. Shinjiro then filled in his father’s shoes and started training. He had a sense of duty and responsibility that fueled his decision to become an Ultraman.
Towards the end of Season 1, after witnessing his friend’s getting gravely injured, did he really want to be an Ultraman? Shinjiro was honest about his feelings and also hesitated to kill any of the aliens he saw. He believed in second chances and capturing rather than outright killing any living being. He always made sure to save as many people as he could, if not all. This quality of his character was revered by all. He, however, did get the shock of his life when he met Dan Moroboshi and was ordered by him to kill his first alien intruder. He hesitated, and that affected the lives of some humans. By the end of season 2 as well, Shinjiro does not want to kill the aliens unless absolutely necessary. However, his powers are usually kept under control by a limiter, which Shinjiro manages to disengage whenever he has to use his full power. He uses Spacial Beam just like his father and Bemlar.
Dan Moroboshi was first introduced to Shinjiro as an agent of SSSP who was sent to help Shinjiro get used to being an Ultraman. He is a cold, no-nonsense kind of guy who hands out all the missions to Shinjiro with clear instructions to kill the aliens. He believes that emotions are not necessary and will only create a distraction in the job. He follows orders rigorously and gets annoyed when Shinjiro cannot follow an order. He is a typical Tsun Tsun character with a cold, blunt, and curt attitude towards everybody. He is utterly disgusted when he sees Shinjiro conversing with Rena and has a threatening attitude towards him, warning him of the consequences if he makes a mistake.
Shinjiro respects Moroboshi but is also afraid of him. Moroboshi does reveal that he is also an Ultraman, and he goes by the name Ultra Seven, eventually saving Shinjiro from getting his head handed to him on a silver platter by an alien. Moroboshi begrudgingly admits that he admires Shinjiro for his pure-heartedness and honest qualities. Moroboshi also does not hesitate to remove any invading alien when they wreak havoc, or a human if they challenge him. He would have killed Hokuto when he attacked him, but as a stickler for rules, he resorts to letting him go by just detaching his prosthetic arm. Dan Moroboshi is the iciest character in the series universe. He is also the only one as of yet to wield a sword. He uses the sword to cut down his enemies, and he is very proficient while using it.
Seiji Hokuto, a survivor of the plane crash 12 years ago in the present timeline, has had a very disturbed childhood. He lost all his limbs and had to use prosthetics. He lost his family and was saved by Bemlar, and his prosthetics were provided by Yapool, a former alien scientist of the Star Cluster Alliance. Hokuto was brought up by both Bemlar and Yapool. Hokuto was supposed to die in that plane crash before he was saved by Bemlar. Hokuto then manipulated records to attend the same high school as Shinjiro. His plan was to mimic Ultraman after befriending Shinjiro, and he wanted to be a part of the team for the sole reason of getting revenge on Ace Killer. The alien Ace Killer was the one responsible for the plane crash. However, Hokuto however, on being denied entry to the team, went on to defeat Ace Killer by himself. Later, he donned the suit of Ultraman Ace and became the third member of the Ultramen group. Hokuto’s frustrations and his dependency on his prosthetic limbs to defend himself put a new perspective on the character. He wishes for a world where peaceful aliens would be able to roam around without the disguise of a human. He wishes for peace, yet he does not shy away from a challenge. He challenges Shinjiro to a duel after learning that Shinjiro never wished to be an Ultraman.
After getting defeated by Moroboshi, he has to rethink his decisions and his pride in his prosthetic arms to always save him. However, Hokuto does understand the meaning of friendship when Shinjiro and Moroboshi arrive at the set-up that was targeted at Hokuto to save him. Hokuto gets severely injured while trying to protect them as well and gets carted off for recuperation. However, he comes back to save Shinjiro while he was imprisoned in the spaceship in Season 2. He listens to Shinjiro and gives off an air of camaraderie and respect for his Senpai. He follows Shinjiro’s instructions and helps him transfer the spirits of the humans in the spirit realm back to Earth with the help of another alien, Maya. Despite his shortcomings, Hokuto is a genius, and it shows. Without the help of anybody, he deduced Shinjiro’s circumstances and went on to talk to him. He stealthily entered the spaceship to save Shinjiro and figured out a way to send him back. Before fighting Ace Killer, he patiently waited to see if it was a trap before Moroboshi and Shinjiro appeared to save him.
Yapool got carted off by Jack at the end of Season 1 while Hokuto was recuperating. Jack works as an informant as well as a double agent for the SSSP. He hangs around and stays with the alien community. He wrestles in the alien city and lives, seemingly, as a wrestler. This really sheds some insight into the fact that Jack has brute strength. He uses it to keep Pedant’s minion busy while Kotaro heads to destroy the nuclear sphere powering the Golden Fortress in Season 2.
Jack has a mysterious personality where he does not get involved directly while being responsible for letting an alien roam free to test the other ultra men’s skills, but does hang around the corner and observe them. He is set to have connections in the West as well and does not just depend on Japan’s intel. He does join the group in the second season and is a dependable ally on the battlefield. He is known as Ultraman Jack after he unofficially received a suit from Yapool. He worked independently before Higashi came along. He does not divulge his secrets, and even though he looks to be all brawn and has no brain, Jack’s character is not to be underestimated at all. He works impeccably as a team with Moroboshi and Higashi while defeating Pedant. Jack usually sports a calm, laid-back personality and is always quick to crack a joke to diffuse a situation if need be. His main weapon is his brute strength.
Kotaro Higashi arrives at the beginning of Season 2. He is an honest journalist who is investigating the reasons behind the disappearance of a crowd of people in New York and then in Japan. He involves his girlfriend, Izumi, in the investigation when they are the only people left as survivors. Kotaro is a straightforward character who will stop at nothing to pursue the truth. He also survives from an acute case of hero complex and sacrificing oneself to save others without considering other options. He charges headfast without a proper plan. That usually puts him in danger, but due to his pure and honest nature, he does get out of the situation. He eavesdropped on the conversation between the Wadoran Aliens and Pedant and got his girlfriend into trouble. But the failure of transmitting him and the guilt of being responsible for Izumi’s death unlocked his hidden powers, making him capable of wielding fire.
To control his newfound power, Jack helps him with a suit made by Yapool and seals him in it to control the fire and keep him from self-destructing. After that, Kotaro worked together with Moroboshi and Jack to defeat the Golden Fortress, while Shin, Shinjiro, and Bemlar eradicated Pedant. However, while disengaging the nuclear sphere, Kotaro chooses to self-destruct to destroy the sphere. This is because his normal fire powers were not even making a scratch on the sphere. Bemlar took pity on him and saved his soul, eventually sending him back to be a part of the team. Kotaro became the fifth person in the team, using the name Ultraman Taro to distinguish himself from the others. He became a strong ally to the other brothers.
The ending of Season 2 served as a reunion for the five Ultramen and Shin. With different characteristics, it is easy to distinguish the five characters. The interaction between them defined the morale of Teamwork. They compliment each other and make up for the quality the other may not have.