Santa Claus Has a Pair of Horns: An Ultraman Series Christmas Story

Santa Claus Has a Pair of Horns: An Ultraman Series Christmas Story

The holiday season is upon us, and people all around the world, young and old, are celebrating one holiday or another — and in some cases, are simply celebrating being together as the year approaches its end. These warm feelings have been part of winter for the Ultraman Series for decades, and believe it or not, Christmas itself has become a core element of the greater series lore, thanks to the absolutely ridiculous fact that Santa Claus is an Ultraman.

This utterly bonkers fact was introduced to fans by 1972’s Ultraman Ace, in Episode 38, “Resurrection! Father of Ultra”. For those who haven’t gotten a chance to watch this great show, Ultraman Ace pits Seiji Hokuto and Yuko Minami, a pair of heroic youths, and TAC (Terrible-Monster Attacking Crew) against the unending hordes of the devilish Yapool. To save Earth from Yapool’s Terrible-Monster creations, Seiji and Yuko “Ultra-Touch” to become the dual hosts for the heroic Ultraman Ace, Yapool’s greatest nemesis! When Yuko returns to the moon (long story), Seiji continues to fight with Ace alone.

“Resurrection! Father of Ultra” fittingly takes place in the Christmas season, with Seiji and his friends rushing around buying gifts for the children’s home Seiji often helps out at, and enjoying the atmosphere with the children. This enrages a Namahage, a Japanese Yōkai typically associated with the New Years season — traditions dictated that these beings were the ones that visited houses in the old days, and rather than leaving gifts, were instead entertained by those they visited. The comparatively-new love and celebration of Christmas among the people of Japan has upset them, and those lost in anger and despair often find their way to Yapool.

Recruiting the Namahage to his cause of terror, Yapool places them in command of a new Terrible-Monster, the flash-emitting Snowgiran. Hiding in a snowman (a fittingly Ace thing to do), Snowgiran begins using its power to blind people, starting with the teacher at the children’s home. It’s odd to say, but Yapool has a habit of starting his devilish shenanigans about 20 feet from Seiji Hokuto at any given time.

At the same time, curiously, Santa Claus himself hops down the chimney to deliver gifts for the kids! Seiji, suspicious, (We’re not kidding when we say that he always seems to be right next to Yapool perverting a fun and delightful thing into an awful monster of some sort or another) demands to know who this supposed “Santa” is, and though the now-blind teacher vouches for him, Seiji remains unconvinced of this Claus’s good nature.

He doesn’t get a chance to remain suspicious, however, as Snowgiran grows to giant size and begins attacking the city with gales of freezing cold and impossible blizzards! TAC is dispatched to take care of this chilling choju, but the snow the creature spews out is so thick and blinding that it completely wipes out their visibility, forcing them to eject! Seiji continues the fight as he parachutes down, transforming into Ace to battle the Terrible-Monster on foot as the Namahage cheers on its monstrous servant.

Unfortunately, the natural weakness of the Ultras to cold, mixed with the disorienting powers of Snowgiran, proves to be too much for Ace as he fights on, and he collapses, Snowgiran moving on to tear apart the city. All seems lost, but the mysterious Santa steps forward to help stop the Terrible-Monster and save everyone. Could he be… the real Santa?


He’s also Father of Ultra.


Though TAC doesn’t believe it at first — they were under the impression that Father of Ultra perished the last time he fought on Earth, against Alien Hipporit — it’s hard to deny that the Supreme Commander of the Intergalactic Defense Force has returned, after he grows to giant size, revives Ace, and then joins the fray himself, slaying the Namahage with a single beam! With Snowgiran’s master gone, the Terrible-Monster attempts to escape, a rare moment of cowardice for the soulless creatures of Yapool, but Ace isn’t about to let him get away, beating it down before finishing it off with a Metallium Beam!

With the crisis over, our Father Christmas of Ultra returns to the children’s home to give out gifts to all the good boys and girls there. He also has a gift for TAC — an incredible present, that neither TAC nor the viewers ever expected to see again. As Santa summons his sleigh from the roof of the children’s home, who should be on it but Yuko Minami, Seiji’s partner and former host for Ace? Using her powers from the Moon, Yuko is able to heal the eyes of everyone blinded by Snowgiran, in a final Christmas miracle. Their jobs done, Father of Ultra and Yuko wave fondly to their friends and loved ones on Earth, before returning to the stars — but surely, Father of Ultra will return every holiday season, with a festive hat on his head and a “Ho ho ho!” for good children around the world.

This episode began a chain of Christmas episodes for the Ultraman Series, and even over 30 years later in Ultraman Mebius, children send their Christmas wishes to Father of Ultra every year. Come back next week when we take a look at another Christmas adventure in the Ultraman series, and have a happy holiday season!