The First Appearance of the Ultra Brothers

The First Appearance of the Ultra Brothers

Ultraman is often perceived by humanity as a solo hero — a popular loner, if you will. However, in truth, the Land of Light has a vast support system tree made up of bonds that back up Ultra Heroes at all times, despite their often-seemingly solitary battles. The Ultra Brothers are the coalition of Ultras that best represent these integral alliances, working together to protect Earth. 

Before the Ultra Brothers ever appear on screen as the actual organized group they are now known as, they are first mentioned by Alien Bat, the merciless invader from the finale of Return of Ultraman, “The 5 Ultra Pledges”. With Jiro and Rumiko, Goh Hideki’s close friends, held hostage, and Zetton II ready to strike, Goh is lured onto the scene to assess the madness before transforming into Ultraman. It is then when Alien Bat threatens to commence the Ultraman Annihilation Project which includes “slaughtering the traitor Ultra Brothers.”

Taking place in 1971, only 6 years after the original Ultraman series, Alien Bat’s declaration of intent to murder these “Ultra Brothers” was the first ever reference to various other Ultras as some sort of unified group

This ties a very important thread through the stories spanning from the original 1966 series till Return of Ultraman, now canonized through this show unifying the timeline. These Ultras, as of Return, are canonically linked and capable of protecting not only humans and earth from harm, but also one another. Through Alien Bat’s few cruel words, we learn plenty about the logic system of Ultras and how they are connected. 

The episode, and season, ends with Ultraman Jack returning to the Land of Light to rejoice with his brothers after the defeat of Alien Bat and Zetton, setting up anticipation for the introduction of the Ultra Brothers as a unit in Ultraman Ace, which aired the following year. 

In Ultraman Ace episode 1 “Shine! The Five Ultra Brothers,” the Ultra Brothers make their first appearance on screen as a group. The group is comprised of the previous four Ultras to have been active on Earth in the preceding series: Zoffy, Ultraman, Ultraseven, Ultraman Jack, and these four introduce Ultraman Ace before sending him to the planet each of them has protected for at least some time. 

It only makes sense that the Ultra Brothers would debut as a team in the premiere of Ace considering the uniqueness of Ace’s host relationship. 

When the maniacal war-weapon Terrible-Monster, Verokron, is sent to earth by the devilish Yapool, a baker delivering bread to orphans and a nurse aiding sick children are given a second chance at life amidst a borderline apocalyptic situation. The two honorable civilians give their lives to save those around them and are rewarded by the Ultra Brothers for their valor and integrity, much like Goh Hideki before them. Both the baker, Seiji Hokuto, and the nurse, Yuko Minami are given access to the Ultra Rings, allowing them to both transform into Ultraman Ace together. 

This is the first time two hosts have ever been able to merge into one Ultra, let alone a man and a woman. The concepts of equal strength and potential balanced with varying capabilities and a transcendent level of unity are precisely the values that bond the Ultra Brothers. Seiji and Yuko hold those same values with grace, making their season the most sensible for the grand introduction of the Ultra Brothers assemblage. 

The roster of the Ultra Brothers has expanded over the years as more Ultras from the Land of Light have come to Earth to protect it, including Ultraman Taro, Ultraman Leo, Astra, Ultraman 80, Ultraman Mebius and Ultraman Hikari. They are known to look out for one another when in need, and all share a deep sense of respect despite leaving the fight primarily to the Ultra protecting Earth at that given time for the most part. 

The introduction of the Ultra Brothers as a concept is essential in understanding the dynamics of Ultras and how their bonds with one another parallel mortal bonds. Their relationship might even serve as explanation for what draws Ultras to protecting humanity so much in the first place. Familial trust knows no one species, nor must it be confined to mortality, for true love is eternal.