SciFi Japan

    ULTRAMAN MAX Official Episode Guide

    Author: Brad Warner, Tsuburaya Productions Introduction by: Bob Johnson Special Thanks to James Ballard and Oki Miyano

    A SciFi JAPAN EXCLUSIVE

    After trying an entirely new approach to the Ultra series with their ambitious Ultra N Project in 2004, Tsuburaya Productions decided to go back to basics and back to the Nebula M78 universe with their follow-up series, ULTRAMAN MAX (Urutoraman Makkusu, 2005). Rather than the dark and serious style utilized for both the feature film ULTRAMAN: THE NEXT (Urutoraman) and the television series ULTRAMAN NEXUS (Urutoraman Nekusasu), TPC took a more light-hearted, bright and colorful slant with MAX. Producer Takeshi Yagi, who directed the ULTRAMAN NEXUS series, shares directing duties with Hirochika Muraishi (ULTRAMAN TIGA and GRANSAZERS), Hiroaki Tochihara (who served as Assistant Director under Shusuke Kaneko on NEN NO NATSU YASUMI/SUMMER VACATION 1999 in 1988), as well as Shusuke Kaneko himself and Japanese horror cult icon Takashi Miike. Ultra designer Hiroshi Maruyama created an Ultraman character similar in design to the classic Ultra Seven, as the series draws inspiration and even monsters from the original 1966 ULTRAMAN and ULTRA SEVEN (Urutora Sebun, 1967). Returning are such fan favorites as Red King, Gomora, Eleking, Antlar, Zetton, Pigmon, Metron Seijin and more to join the gallery of new monsters created for the series! This practice would be expanded and become a major part of the follow-up series, ULTRAMAN MEBIUS (Urutoraman Mebiusu, 2006), which features not only monsters from the entire showa Ultra series, but also brings back characters from those shows, the Ultra Brothers themselves and makes many references from ULTRA Q (Urutora Q, 1966) through ULTRAMAN 80 (Urutoraman Eitei, 1980). ULTRAMAN MAX premiered on July 2, 2005. The world is at peace and people are enjoying a quiet and serene existence, until monsters begin attacking! The UDF (United Defense Force) dispatches Team DASH (Defense Action Squad Heroes) from Base Titan in Tokyo Bay, to confront the rampaging beasts! DASH member Mizuki Koishikawa’s (played by Hitomi Hasebe) jet, Dash Bird One, crashes after it is downed by the monster Ragorath. Kaito Toma (Sota Aoyama), who is a civil service volunteer, but aspires to be a member of DASH, pulls her from the jet and takes the controls, going after the monster himself. He is loses control of the jet while in battle and is saved by a mysterious giant. Given the Max Spark, Kaito is able to change into Ultraman Max to challenge the monsters and aliens that threaten the Earth! In addition to Kaito and Mizuki, Team DASH is made up of Captain Shigeru Hishikata (Kai Shido), marksman Kenjiro Koba (Noboyuki Ogawa), science officer Sean White (Sean Nichols) and Elly (Hikari Mitsushima), the team’s android that oversees operations at Base Titan. Rounding out the cast are two actors from the original 1966 ULTRAMAN series in key roles. Susumu Kurobe, who played Hayata, the original human host for Ultraman, is now the big man in charge as UDF Chief Tomioka. Hiroko Sakurai, who not only played Fuji along side Kurobe in the original ULTRAMAN, but also starred in the first series ULTRA Q, plays the science expert, Professor Yoshinaga. Join us now for a look back as Tsuburaya Productions` Brad Warner relives the adventures of Ultraman Max and Team DASH in this exclusive Official ULTRAMAN MAX Episode Guide!

    ULTRAMAN MAX

    Produced by Chubu Nippon Broadcasting and Tsuburaya Productions in cooperation with Dentsu Executive Producer: Kazuo Tsuburaya Chief Producer: Shinichi Ooka Producers: Teakeuchi Okazaki, Takeshi Yagi, Taihei Yamanishi Cast Kaito Toma: Sota Aoyama Kenjiro Koba: Noboyuki Ogawa Mizuki Koishikawa: Hitomi Hasebe Sean White: Sean Nichols Elly: Hikari Mitsushima Shigeru Hishikata: Kai Shido Professor Yukari Yoshinaga: Hiroko Sakurai Narrator: Shiro Sano Commander Kenzo Tomioka: Susumu Kurobe

    Episode 1 “Ultraman Max is Born!” Original Airdate: 7/2/2005 Director: Shusuke Kaneko FX Director: Kenji Suzuki Writer: Kengo Kaji and Yuuji Kobayashi A family is enjoying a picnic in the mountains when suddenly the gigantic monster Grangon appears! A second beast — the freezing monster Ragorath — rises from the ocean`s depths to begin it`s own assault on mankind. Team DASH, the Defense Action Squad Heroes, a high tech organization dedicated to strange and unusual challenges, goes into action. But when Team DASH’s plane is grounded by the monsters, Kaito Toma, a volunteer with a relief organization working in the area, jumps into the crashed aircraft and pilots it against Ragorath and Grangon. Ragorath attacks Kaito’s plane... it goes down! Miraculously, Kaito finds himself transported into a strange otherworldly realm where he meets a gigantic alien being. The alien tells Kaito that, because of Kaito’s bravery, he has chosen to save Kaito’s life and combine it with his own. From now on, when danger strikes, Kaito will have the power to transform himself into the mighty 40 meter (120 foot) tall superhero, Ultraman Max! Note: “Ultraman Max is Born!” is the first of several episodes directed by Shusuke Kaneko and with special effects by Kenji Suzuki. Kaneko is well known as the director of the popular 1990s Gamera trilogy, GODZILLA, MOTHRA, AND KING GHIDORAH: GIANT MONSTERS ALL-OUT ATTACK (Gojira, Mosura, Kingughidora: Daikaiju Soshingeki, 2001), and last year`s box office hits DEATH NOTE (Desu Noto, 2006) and DEATH NOTE: THE LAST NAME (Desu Noto 2, 2006). Suzuki directed the fx for GODZILLA 2000 (Gojira Ni-sen Mireniamu, 1999) and GODZILLA VS MEGAGUIRUS (Gojira tai Megagirasu: Ji Shometsu Sakusen, 2000).

    Episode 2 “The Girl Who Kept a Monster” Original Airdate: 7/9/2005 Director: Shusuke Kaneko FX Director: Kenji Suzuki Writer: Kengo Kaji and Yuuji Kobayashi On a peaceful night, Eleking — a gigantic electricity-absorbing monster — suddenly appears in the center of the city! The monster creates havoc in the town absorbing the city’s energy. Kaito, now a member of Team DASH, and the rest of the team go into action to try and destroy the beast. But Eleking vanishes mysteriously. In order to find the monster before it reappears, Team DASH creates a scanner. But, instead of leading them to the monster, the scanner leads them to an ordinary apartment in the city where a young female office worker lives. Could she have some connection to the monster? Note: Eleking first appeared in ULTRA SEVEN Episode 3 "Secret of the Lake".

    Episode 3 “Proof of a Brave Warrior” Original Airdate: 7/16/2005 Director: Hirochika Muraishi FX Director: Hirochika Muraishi Writer: Hideyuki Inoue Ultraman Max is the protector of mankind. Or is he? The world does not know whether this new alien being is friend or enemy so a team is created to investigate the alien and determine its nature. Kaito, the human form of Ultraman Max, desperately wants to prove that Max is on the side of humanity. But how? Just then the ancient flying monster Regila appears. Kaito sees his chance and tries to transform into Ultraman Max. But he find he is unable to transform! Note: Director Hirochika Muraishi`s credits include ULTRAMAN TIGA (Urutotaman Tiga, 1996) and the Toho super-hero shows GUYFERD (Shichi Sei Toushin Gaifado, 1996) and GRANSAZERS (Choseijin Guranseiza, 2003).

    Episode 4 “The Unlimited Invaders” Original Airdate: 7/23/2005 Director: Hirochika Muraishi FX Director: Hirochika Muraishi Writer: Kengo Kaji and Sotaro Hayashi Late one night alien beings appear in the city stadium. Team DASH agents Kaito and Mizuki are sent to investigate. There they encounter creatures from the planet Slan, aliens capable of traveling at unbelievably high speed. After battling the creatures, Kaito and Mizuki find themselves trapped inside a strange alien aircraft. They confront the aliens and discover the creatures from the planet Slan intend to conquer the Earth!

    Episode 5 “The Island of Monsters” Original Airdate: 7/30/2005 Director: Hiroaki Tochihara FX Director: Kenji Suzuki Writer: Kiyoto Takeuchi A weird island is discovered in the Pacific. DASH agents Kaito and Mizuki are sent to investigate. There they encounter Pigmon, a small, friendly monster. But there are other people on the island; treasure hunters who want to capture Pigmon. And there are other monsters on the island: the gigantic dinosaur-like creature Red King and the equally deadly giant monsters Salamadon and Balagular. Can even Ultraman Max protect the people from three gigantic beasts? Note: This episode`s story is loosely based on the classic ULTRAMAN Episode 8 "The Violent Monster Region". Guest star Yukijiro Hotaru is a fan-favorite actor who has appeared in the Zeiram films, the 1990s Gamera trilogy, IRON ARMOR MIKAZUKI (Tekkoki Mikazuki, 2000), the Godzilla movie GMK, THE iDol (2006), and the upcoming DEEP SEA MONSTER REIGO (Shinkaiju Reigo).

    Episode 6 “Five Seconds Until the Giant Explosion” Original Airdate: 8/6/2005 Director: Hiroaki Tochihara FX Director: Kenji Suzuki Writer: Kiyoto Takeuchi In the second part of the story that began in episode 5, Team DASH discovers that the mysterious island of monsters is moving towards Japan. If it continues it will soon crash into Japan and the force of the explosion will cause tremendous damage. The only way to prevent this is to blow up the island with a super powerful bomb. But Kaito and Mizuki are still trapped on the island. Pigmon attempts to help and also reveals a startling secret about its true identity. Can Kaito transform into Ultraman Max, defeat the monster Red King and rescue Mizuki and Pigmon before the island is blasted to pieces?

    Episode 7 “The Destroyer of Stars” Original Airdate: 8/13/2005 Director: Kengo Kaji FX Director: Yuuichi Kikuchi Writer: Takehiro Ookura A strange doorway into another dimension is discovered in the mountains and Kaito and Mizuki are sent to investigate. In a cave there Mizuki meets a mysterious man who tells her that he is an alien named Kesam. He says that he arrived on Earth when the device he was using to travel from one planet to another broke down. Kesam is injured and Mizuki helps nurse him back to health. But Kesam is not what he appears to be. He wants to destroy humanity because they are ruining planet Earth. Will he remember Mizuki’s kindness or will Kesam succeed in destroying humankind? Is Ultraman Max a match for the alien’s incredible power? Note: Yuuichi Kikuchi also directed the special effects for GODZILLA AGAINST MECHAGODZILLA (Gojira x Mekagojira, 2002), ULTRAMAN: THE NEXT, and episodes of ULTRAMAN NEXUS.

    Episode 8 “Team DASH Destroyed?!” Original Airdate: 8/20/2005 Director: Kengo Kaji FX Director: Yuuichi Kikuchi Writer: Sotaro Hayashi On Agent Kaito’s birthday, the rest of Team DASH decides to have a surprise part for him. But before they can begin an urgent message comes in: a gigantic meteor is headed for Earth! DASH agents Sean and Koshinaga travel to the meteor and succeed in breaking it apart. Just when it seems the danger to planet Earth is over, they discover that a strange and fearsome creature was inside of the meteor — the insect-like giant monster Bagdalas! What’s more, the monster is about to lay its eggs. If these hatch and grow into more monsters, the Earth is doomed. Can Ultraman Max defeat the creature in time?

    Episode 9 “The Dragon’s Love” Original Airdate: 8/27/2005 Director: Futoshi Sato FX Director: Hirochika Muraishi Writer: Yuuji Kobayashi Team DASH agents Kaito and Mizuki are sent to investigate reports that a dragon has appeared in a remote mountain lake in Natsunome. While there they encounter a mysterious young girl who seems to have a connection to the Natsunome Dragon and to the ancient temple in which the dragon was said to have been imprisoned. Now developers want to destroy the temple. The mysterious girl warns Kaito that if the temple is disturbed, the Natsunome Dragon will destroy the village. When developers begin to demolish the temple, the dragon appears. Can Ultraman Max imprison the Natsunome Dragon once more before it destroys the village?

    Episode 10 “The Boys of DASH” Original Airdate: 9/3/2005 Director: Futoshi Sato FX Director: Hirochika Muraishi Writer: Yousuke Kuroda A group of school kids comes to Team DASH’s Base Titan for a field trip. Among them is Masayuki, a little boy who dreams of joining the team when he grows up. Before the field trip is over the monster Metasisas appears. Even the android girl Elly can’t predict where this monster will appear next. Each time Agents Koba and Sean try to attack Metasisas it disappears. Yet somehow Masayuki seems to know where the monster will show up next. How can the little boy know so much about the monster? And can Team DASH convince him to use his ability to help them and Ultraman Max defeat the creature?

    Episode 11 “The Prophecy of Varaji” Original Airdate: 9/10/2005 Director: Shusuke Kaneko FX Director: Shusuke Kaneko Writer: Machiya Ozaki From under the streets of the city the powerful magnetized monster Antlar suddenly emerges! When the monster is attacked with missiles it uses its magnetic force to repel the attack. Can nothing stop this menacing beast? An ancient prophecy from the long-vanished civilization of Varaji says that Antlar was once defeated by a mysterious blue stone, but that the monster would rise again in 4,000 years to demolish the civilization that destroys nature. DASH agents Mizuki and Kaito begin a frantic search for the mysterious blue stone. But just then the monster appears in the city again… Note: The monster Antlar was introduced in ULTRAMAN Episode 7 "The Blue Stone of Varaji". Gamera trilogy actress Ayako Fujitani guest stars in this episode. The begining of “The Prophecy of Varaji” shows kids playing with Bandai toys of Godzilla and Gamera as an in-joke from director Shusuke Kaneko. By prior agreement with Toho and Kadokawa, the rights for Godzilla and Gamera had only been approved for the original television broadcast, so this scene was re-edited for the Region 2 DVD release of the show.

    Episode 12 “The Supersonic Attack” Original Airdate: 9/17/2005 Director: Shusuke Kaneko FX Director: Shusuke Kaneko Writer: Jiro Kaneko In order to test a new aircraft, DASH agent Koba engages in a flight at supersonic speed. As the rest of team DASH watch the flight they listen to the music of a popular new band, The Bad Scanners. At that moment an unidentified flying object appears and attacks Koba’s aircraft! Though Koba is saved in the nick of time, the unidentified object gets away. Moments later, at the site of a Bad Scanners concert in the city, the object lands. It’s the supersonic flying monster Halen! Kaito discovers a surprising connection: the monster seems to be attracted to the music of The Bad Scanners! But Kaito discovers this just a few minutes before the Bad Scanners are set to perform a gigantic outdoor concert. Can Halen be stopped before it destroys the concert?

    Episode 13 “The Daughter of Zetton” Original Airdate: 9/24/2005 Director: Takeshi Yagi FX Director: Kenji Suzuki Writer: Shozo Uehara One day a strange young girl confronts Yoshinaga, the Team DASH’ scientist. “I am the daughter of the alien Zetton,” she says, “and I bring a message. Zetton will destroy Earth’s protector, Ultraman Max.” But a gigantic protective shield has placed over the Earth, so Team DASH believes no alien force can get through. Yet somehow, the young girl breaks through Team DASH’s defenses and appears in Base Titan, the team’s headquarters. Now armed with super strength, the girl takes on the entire team and all of their weapons. Just when it seems Team DASH may win the fight, the alien monster Zetton appears! Kaito transforms into Ultraman Max and battles the beast. But the battle goes on too long and Ultraman Max uses up all his energy. At that moment another Ultraman appears. Who is this new warrior from space? Note: The original Ultraman was defeated by Zetton in the final episode of ULTRAMAN, Episode 39 "Farewell, Ultraman". “The Daughter of Zetton” introduces a new Ultra hero, Ultraman Xenon. Director Takeshi Yagi also worked on the previous Ultraman series, ULTRAMAN NEXUS.

    Episode 14 “I Love King Joe” Original Airdate: 10/1/2005 Director: Takeshi Yagi FX Director: Kenji Suzuki Writer: Shozo Uehara Four mysterious objects fall from the sky. Team DASH goes into action to destroy the objects before they reach the city. But before they can take action, the objects explode and spell out the words “King Joe.” Can this be the work of the alien Zetton? Kaito goes to look for Natsumi, the girl who had warned Team DASH about Zetton. But Natsumi is now free of Zetton’s influence and is just and ordinary young woman working as a school teacher. Kaito suspects Zetton may be still influencing Natsumi so he follows her. It is then he discovers that a remote controlled robot has been developed and is playing with the children at the school where Natsumi works. The robot’s name is King Joe! Shortly thereafter, the alien Zetton reappears and takes control of Natsumi once more. She gives the robot King Joe the order to, “Kill Kaito!” Note: King Joe first appeared in ULTRA SEVEN Episode 14 "The Ultra Garrison Goes West". The robot was named after Tetsuo Kinjo, an influential writer and production manager on the early Ultra series.

    Episode 15 “Miracle of the Third Planet” Original Airdate: 10/8/2005 Director: Takashi Miike FX Director: Takashi Miike Writer: Machiru Nakamura A strange gigantic white object falls to Earth. Though the object looks harmless Team DASH decides not to take any chances after battling so many weird creatures. They attempt to burn the object, but instead it turns into a strange fire-breathing monster. When Team DASH fires missiles at the creature, it fires missiles back. The android Elly determines that the monster — called If — will respond to any attack with exactly the same attack. When If begins threatening the city Ultraman Max battles it but the monster even absorbs Ultraman Max’s attack and responds with exactly the same strength. Ultraman Max is forced to stop fighting. Meanwhile If begins to destroy the world with all the power of Ultraman Max! Just when it seems nothing can stop the monster a little girl approaches the sleeping creature. But what can one little girl do to stop an all-powerful monster? Note: “Miracle of the Third Planet” is the first of two MAX episodes directed by the internationally renowned Takashi Miike. The prolific and sometimes controversial filmmaker`s many credits include AUDITION (Odishon, 1999), ICHI THE KILLER (Koroshiya 1, 2001), HAPPINESS OF THE KATAKURIS (Katakuri-ke no Kofuku, 2001), GOZU (Gokudo Kyofu Dai Gekijo: Gozu, 2003), ONE MISSED CALL (Chakushin Ari, 2003), ZEBRAMAN (Zeburaman, 2004), IZO (2004), THE GREAT YOKAI WAR (Yokai Daisenso, 2005), and "Imprint", the banned episode of Showtime’s MASTERS OF HORROR (2006).

    Episode 16 “Who Am I?” Original Airdate: 10/15/2005 Director: Takashi Miike FX Director: Takashi Miike Writer: Machiru Nakamura Team DASH investigates the strange cases of unexplained memory loss all over the city. They find the effect is spreading from an area where three meteors landed a week earlier. But while the team is conducting the investigation they find their own memories becoming worse until they cannot even recall each other’s names. Only Team DASH’s android member Elly remains unaffected. Suddenly three strange creatures appear... the Space Monster Cats Flopsy, Mopsy and Blackie. But Kaito cannot remember how to transform into Ultraman Max! And when he does finally remember how to transform, even as Ultraman Max he cannot remember how to fight! Can Elly save the day and teach Max how to fight again? Note: In Japan, the three mutated housecats are called Tama, Mike, and Kuro. Tama and Kuro are very typical Japanese names for cats, and Mike (pronounced "Mih-kay") is a play on director Takashi Miike`s name. When “Who Am I?” was screened at festivals in the United States and Canada, the monsters were renamed Flopsy, Mopsy and Blackie so the joke would carry over for English speaking audiences.

    Episode 17 “Beauty on Ice” Original Airdate: 10/22/2005 Director: Hideaki Murakami FX Director: Yuuichi Kikuchi Writer: Jiro Kaneko A beautiful girl is discovered in the ice of Antarctica. She has been frozen there in perfect condition for 10,000 years! The block of ice containing the girl is sent to Base Titan for investigation. All of the members of Team DASH are captivated by the incredible beauty of the girl. Agent Koba is especially affected. All at once a monster appears at the bottom of the sea. It is the same beast that Team DASH discovered near Antarctica, the deep sea monster Elargar. Team DASH goes into action. But as he is about to attack the monster, Agent Koba suddenly sees the face of the girl in the ice. She is crying, and Koba finds he cannot continue the attack. What is the connection between Elargar and the girl?

    Episode 18 “The Bright World” Original Airdate: 10/29/2005 Director: Hideaki Murakami FX Director: Yuuichi Kikuchi Writer: Takurou Fukuda One peaceful night a second sun appears in the sky. With no more nighttime, the people of the city are in confusion. When Elly, Team DASH’s android member, investigates she finds it isn’t a new sun but a gigantic mirror in orbit around the Earth. Someone is using this mirror to reflect the sun’s light on Japan. But who? And why? A strange man appears at Team DASH’s Base Titan. He says he is an alien from planet Shama. He hands over a business card and very politely states that he is here to take over the world. When Team DASH refuses, the alien shows his true form — he is a gigantic monster! Ultraman Max appears but he discovers the alien’s body is an illusion. He cannot even touch it. Yet the alien can do damage to the city. How can Ultraman Max and Team DASH ever hope to win against such an enemy?

    Episode 19 “The Man from Beyond the Door” Original Airdate: 11/5/2005 Director: Hirochika Muraishi FX Director: Hirochika Muraishi Writer: Sotaro Hayashi Due to frequent natural disasters, a number of ancient ruins are unearthed. Among them is an ancient carving which seems to show Ultraman Max fighting a strange monster. Yet the carving is thousands of years old. Did Ultraman Max come to Earth in those days? Another of the ancient artifacts seems to be a kind of puzzle. When the puzzle spontaneously reassembles, a weird door appears. From beyond the door comes the bizarre alien creature Tara. After the creature fights with Kaito and Mizuki it retreats beyond the door. But it takes Agent Mizuki with him. She soon discovers she is in another world with three suns in the sky... a world ruled by the monstrous Gilfas. Can Kaito transform himself into Ultraman Max in time to save Mizuki? Note: Actor Koji Moritsugi (best known as Ultra Seven`s alter ego, Dan Moroboshi) guest stars in ULTRAMAN MAX Episodes 19 and 20.

    Episode 20 “The Drifting Monster” Original Airdate: 11/12/2005 Director: Hirochika Muraishi FX Director: Hirochika Muraishi Writer: Ai Oota Fluctuations in the sun’s energy cause a strange monster to appear. This new bizarre creature is named Clouds because it simply floats above the city, sound asleep. For the time being, the monster isn’t a threat so Team DASH decides to try to remove the monster before it wakes up. The sleeping monster begins to drift with the winds causing panic in the city. But as Team DASH moves Clouds it begins to get heavier and fall to Earth. Elly discovers that the monster will float when it is asleep, but if it wakes up it will get heavy and fall to the ground. The word goes around the city that all the people must be silent to avoid awakening the monster. But can a whole city be that quiet? If Clouds awakens, will Ultraman Max be able to save the city?

    Episode 21 “Challenge From Beneath the Earth” Original Airdate: 11/19/2005 Director: Hiroaki Tochihara FX Director: Kenji Suzuki Writer: Takagi Noboru Gomorasaurus, a dinosaur that was thought never to have lived in Japan, is found in Nagano Prefecture. A journalist on the scene theorizes that the remains may have been smuggled into the country twenty years ago by a dangerous organization. In fact, the head of that organization was the journalist’s father. Soon a series of mysterious earthquakes occurs and Team DASH decides to go underground to investigate. They discover the journalist’s father has an underground laboratory where he has been conducting experiments aimed at making the dinosaur — now known as Gomora — more violent and destructive. They return to the surface but, just then, the monster Gomora rises from the ground ready to rip and destroy! Note: Gomora first appeared in ULTRAMAN Episode 26 "The Imperial Monster".

    Episode 22 “The Butterfly’s Dream” Original Airdate: 11/26/2005 Director: Akio Jissoji FX Director: Yuuichi Kikuchi Writer: Yuuji Kobayashi This may be the strangest episode in all of Ultraman’s four-decade history! Agent Kaito, the Team DASH member who transforms into Ultraman Max, discovers that his entire existence may be the fantasy of a writer for a TV series called ULTRAMAN MAX! The writer finds himself having nightmares in which he becomes Agent Kaito. In the dreams, Kaito meets a strange woman who says she is a creator of monsters. She asks Kaito to help her design the most fearsome monster Ultraman Max has ever faced. Together they create a terrifying creature called Madeus. When Madeus attacks the city Ultraman Max must battle a monster he himself has created to be powerful enough to destroy him. Note: It`s no wonder that “The Butterfly’s Dream” was directed by Akio Jissoji, the man responsible for some of the weirdest and most popular episodes of the original ULTRAMAN and ULTRA SEVEN. In addition to his work on Tsuburaya`s OPERATION: MYSTERY (Kaiki Daisakusen, 1968), ULTRA Q THE MOVIE: LEGEND FROM THE STARS (Urutora Kyu Za Mubi Hoshi no Densetsu, 1990), ULTRAMAN TIGA, ULTRAMAN DYNA (Urutoraman Daina, 1997), THE ULTRA Q CLUB (Urutora Kyu Club, 2004), and ULTRA Q: DARK FANTASY (Urutora Kyu: Dakku Fuantaji, 2004), Jissoji directed several acclaimed arthouse films such as THIS TRANSIENT LIFE (Mujo, 1970), MANDARA (1971), and UTAMARO’S WORLD (Utamaro Yume to Shiriseba, 1977).

    Episode 23 “The Return of Youth” Original Airdate: 12/03/2005 Director: Hiroaki Tochihara FX Director: Kenji Suzuki Writer: Yuuji Kobayashi Kaito travels with Chief Tomioka to the Team DASH’s Base Poseidon in the South Pacific. There, Tomioka is reunited with his old friend Professor Dateh with whom he had once served. Before their happy reunion can get underway, the underwater monster Flaigular appears. The monster’s sudden appearance is due to mankind’s destruction of the environment. Feeling responsible for the monster’s appearance, the professor pilots a new aircraft he has developed to try and stop its attack. But can the professor successfully complete his mission in spite of his advanced age? Note: Professor Dateh is played by Masanari Nihei, who is best known as Science Patrol member Ito (Ide) in the original ULTRAMAN. Nihei also starred in Tsuburaya`s MIGHTY JACK (Maitei Jyakku, 1968) and had supporting or cameo roles in several films, including GORATH (Yosei Gorasu, 1962) and ULTRAMAN ZEARTH (Urutoraman Zeasu, 1996).

    Episode 24 “The Untargeted City” Original Airdate: 12/10/2005 Director: Akio Jissoji FX Director: Yuuichi Kikuchi Writer: Yuuji Kobayashi In a certain city unexplainable occurrences happen one after another. Ordinary citizens suddenly turn violent. Afterwards they lose consciousness and have no memory of what they did. When DASH starts to investigate, they find that something very similar happened in the same town twenty years earlier. In that case, people who smoked cigarettes had suddenly turned violent. Is there a connection between the two cases? DASH discovers that, this time, the incidents seem to be connected with the use of portable telephones. While on the case, Agent Kaito follows a strange man dressed in black. Just as he is about to catch him, a portable telephone left on the road rings out. When Kaito picks up the telephone he receives a very strange message. Have the aliens from Planet Metron returned for their revenge? Note: This episode is a sequel to ULTRA SEVEN Episode 8 "The Targeted Town", which introduced Metron and was also directed by Akio Jissoji.

    Episode 25 “A Friend from Afar” Original Airdate: 12/17/2005 Director: Takeshi Yagi FX Director: Kenji Suzuki Writer: Ai Oota One day an alien comes to visit a gentle natured little boy named Kakeru. Keef, this creature from Planet Nerilu, is a friendly and peace loving creature. Because his planet is dying, the alien is traveling the galaxy looking for a new home for his people. But when he returned to Nerilu, he discovered that his race has already vanished. Upon discovering life on planet Earth, Keef was happy at first but then he discovered that the Earth people regard aliens as their enemies. Kakeru takes the alien to a park on a Sunday afternoon to show him the goodness of people. Meanwhile Team DASH goes to investigate the alien’s space ship when they discover its location. They meet the alien and bring him to their base. When the alien meets Agent Kaito, he immediately recognizes that Kaito is actually Ultraman Max. The alien has a strange request for Kaito. Just then the menacing alien monster Godley appears in the city!

    Episode 26 “Elly’s Christmas” Original Airdate: 12/24/2005 Director: Takeshi Yagi FX Director: Kenji Suzuki Writer: Ai Oota It’s Christmas season and even the members of Team DASH are getting into the spirit of the season. Agents Sean and Koba take the team’s android member Elly out to see the lights. It is her first time away from Base Titan and the colored lights of the town seem very mysterious to her. Koba and Sean notice they’ve forgotten something at a shop and run back to get it leaving Elly by herself. Just at that moment a strange cry is heard throughout the town. A second later a weird but strangely beautiful creature named Unijin appears. When Elly looks at the creature it’s as if she’s received a tremendous jolt of electricity and she collapses. Can the team help their friend?

    Episode 27 “Stolen! The Max Spark” Original Airdate: 12/31/2005 Director: Takeshi Yagi FX Director: Takeshi Yagi Writer: Chiaki Konaka When the police are called on a routine noise complaint they discover a man passed out in his apartment. In his aquarium they discover a strange creature. When Team DASH investigates, they find that the creature is the larval form of the monster Eleking. The larva emits an electrical signal and when Team DASH tunes their equipment to that frequency, they discover that there are many Eleking larvae all over the city. If they should all develop into monsters it would be the greatest disaster they have ever faced. Even Ultraman Max could not defeat an army of Eleking monsters! Agents Kaito and Mizuki trace one of the signals to a certain house where they encounter aliens from the planet Pitt. The aliens plan to use the Eleking monsters to take over the world!

    Episode 28 “Invasion of Evil” Original Airdate: 1/7/2006 Director: Hirochika Muraishi FX Director: Hirochika Muraishi Writer: Sotaro Hayashi Long ago, a far off planet in the Milky Way galaxy was destroyed by the monster Ruganogar. Just one of the planet’s natives, Lilka, managed to escape the destruction in a specially constructed capsule. The monster Ruganogar set off through the blackness of space in pursuit of that capsule. Now, many years later, Lilika is living on Earth as an ordinary human girl. During the New Year’s holiday, Agent Kaito takes a much-needed rest and meets Lilika. Lilika confesses her true identity to Kaito. She also tells him that the monster that destroyed her entire planet is now headed to Earth to do the same! Note: Ruganogar is based on the winning entry in Chubu Nippon Broadcasting`s "Design Your Own Monster" contest.

    Episode 29 “Why Do Monsters Appear?” Original Airdate: 1/14/2006 Director: Hirochika Muraishi FX Director: Hirochika Muraishi Writer: Chiaki Konaka Professor Yoshinaga of Team DASH appears on a television talk show where she must answer the question, “Why do so many monsters appear?” Just as the program gets underway, the giant monster Geronga appears in the heart of the city! But this monster isn’t so new...40 years ago it came once before during the filming of another television program. One of the actors from that show remembers the creature. Perhaps he holds the answer to how Geronga can be stopped! Note: This episode reunites actress Hiroko Sakurai with her former ULTRA Q co-stars Kenji Sahara and Yasuhiko Saijo. Geronga is based on the transparent monster Neronga from ULTRAMAN Episode 3 "Science Patrol, Move Out!".

    Episode 30 “With Bravery in Your Heart!” Original Airdate: 1/21/2006 Director: Toshiyuki Takano FX Director: Toshiyuki Takano Writer: Chiaki Konaka The dead body of a monster is discovered in the mountains. The corpse appears to be identical to the monster Grangon, which appeared at the same time as the monster Ragorath. Tooth marks in the dead monster indicate that it was attacked by another creature. When Team DASH investigates, they find that the tooth marks seem to be those of another monster of the same species as Ragorath. Agent Sean devises a weapon he thinks can destroy Ragorath. But when they find the monster it isn’t the same as the former Ragorath; it has evolved into a new monster they call Ragorath Evo. Sean works to upgrade his weapon, but can he complete it before Ragorath Evo strikes again? Note: The monster from the first episode of ULTRAMAN MAX returns in a new and more powerful form.

    Episode 31 “Burn! Planet Earth! Burn!” Original Airdate: 1/28/2006 Director: Kengo Kaji FX Director: Kazuki Nakashima Writer: Kazuki Nakashima The burning monster Moetarangah appears in the heart of the city and Team DASH immediately flies into action to combat the beast in their fighter aircraft, the DASH Bird. But during the attack, the monster projects a bright light from its body. The DASH Bird is caught in the monster’s light beam and crashes. The team survives the crash. But they have been affected by the monster’s strange light beam. Their bodies seem to burn with heat and light and their eyes seem almost on fire. The team starts another attack on Moetarangah, but this time their actions are wild and uncoordinated. Even the residents of the city are affected by the monster’s light beam. They too take up weapons and try to attack the beast. Just then, Ultraman Max appears! But Ultraman Max’s alter ego, Agent Kaito was also affected by the monster’s light beam so Ultraman Max’s battle is rash and uncoordinated. Though he attacks with fierce speed, he cannot defeat the monster. Suddenly, Ultraman Max’s Power Timer begins to blink. Though he should be able to fight for three minutes, his power has been depleted in just eighteen seconds. How can he defeat the monster Moetarangah in so short a time?

    Episode 32 “Elly Must Be Destroyed!” Original Airdate: 2/4/2006 Director: Kengo Kaji FX Director: Toshiyuki Takano Writer: Takehiro Ookura Someone or some thing has taken control of Team DASH’s android member, Elly. Under their control she escapes in the DASH Alpha. Whoever has taken control of Elly uses the knowledge in her electronic brain to paralyze all of the computer systems in Team DASH’s headquarters, Base Titan. Agent Koba immediately takes off in pursuit of Elly. When Koba finally finds Elly, he encounters Kelus, an alien being with a sinister plan. Kelus plans to destroy all of the UDF bases on Earth! In order to complete his plan, Kelus has turned the android Elly into a missile launching device. In order to save UDF, the order is given: Elly must be destroyed!

    Episode 33 “Welcome to Earth (Part One)” Original Airdate: 2/11/2006 Director: Toshihiro Iijima FX Director: Yuuichi Kikuchi Writer: Toshihiro Iijima A strange shell-like object is found. In it is a small alien creature that looks something like a lobster. The alien says, “I am a child from the planet Baltan. I have come to Earth to warn you that Dark Baltan is planning to invade the Earth.” The alien creature then changes its form into that of a young girl. The team gives her the nickname “Tiny.” The girl has the power to manipulate gravity. Soon strange events begin to take place and Team DASH investigates. But before they can complete their investigation, the gigantic monster Dark Baltan appears! Ultraman Max tries to destroy the monster but Dark Baltan’s power is so great it defeats even Ultraman Max! Will Planet Earth be taken over by Dark Baltan? Note: In 1966, Toshihiro Iijima wrote and directed the first two Baltan stories, ULTRAMAN Episode 2 "Blast the Invaders" and Episode 16 "The Science Patrol in Space". Guest star Ryu Manatsu starred in ULTRAMAN LEO as Leo`s alter ego, Gen Otori.

    Episode 34 “Welcome to Earth (Part Two)” Original Airdate: 2/18/2006 Director: Toshihiro Iijima FX Director: Yuuichi Kikuchi Writer: Toshihiro Iijima Ultraman Max is unable to defeat the tremendous power of the alien monster Dark Baltan! Laughing in triumph, Dark Baltan disappears. Team DASH consults with Tiny, the young girl who warned them of the coming invasion by Dark Baltan. She tells them that there may be a way to defeat Dark Baltan but it will not be easy. Meanwhile, Team DASH’s android member Elly catches a strange signal coming from outer space. Dark Baltan is coming back! Soon Ultraman Max will have to fight the monster again. Can the young girl’s plan be put into effect in time? Or will Ultraman Max be defeated forever by Dark Baltan? Note: Guest star Sandayu Dokumamushi starred as Science Patrol member Arashi in ULTRAMAN and as Ultra Garrison member Furuhashi in ULTRA SEVEN.

    Episode 35 “Adam and Eve of Nebula M32” Original Airdate: 2/25/2006 Director: Shusuke Kaneko FX Director: Kenji Suzuki Writer: Keisuke Fujikawa A star within Nebula M32 ends its life. Shortly thereafter, the satellite-based telescope Guardian spots a flying object coming from that star towards Earth. Team DASH goes to investigate and discovers the object to be a gigantic creature that appears to be asleep. Team DASH’s android member Elly determines that the creature is sending some kind of signal. She interprets the signal and discovers that the creature is called Hophop and that it has escaped from a dying star and seeks a new place to live and to raise its young. Team DASH goes into action to try to find the creature’s young. Meanwhile, some children have discovered the young space creatures. But they fear that if Team DASH finds the space creatures, they will destroy them, so the children hide the alien beasts. When the gigantic creature Hophop finds its young are missing, it goes in search of them, causing much chaos and destruction. Will the children give up the young space creatures before the entire city is demolished?

    Episode 36 “The Extra Dimensional World” Original Airdate: 3/4/2006 Director: Shusuke Kaneko FX Director: Kenji Suzuki Writer: Takurou Fukuda A professor who is an expert in the study of other dimensions sets up a machine in Base Titan in order to detect invasions from other dimensions. The professor begins an experiment to test the machine. Shortly after the machine is set up, the small, friendly monster Pigmon appears in Base Titan. When Kaito sees Pigmon he understands that Pigmon is warning them that the vicious monster Red King is coming. According to Pigmon, Red King now exists in another dimension and someone is calling the monster into our world. Fearing that the new machine is the cause, Team DASH attempts to halt the experiment. But they discover that the professor is actually an alien from the planet Shama who has created the machine in order to bring back the monster Red King! When Red King attacks the city it’s up to Ultraman Max to try and defeat him!

    Episode 37 “The Constellation Thief” Original Airdate: 3/11/2006 Director: Takeshi Yagi FX Director: Kenji Suzuki Writer: Yuuji Kobayashi DASH Agents Mizuki and Kaito are looking at the stars. Mizuki has been fascinated by the stars ever since a strange experience happened in her childhood. As they watch, Kaito notices something strange. The stars seem to be forming themselves into a new constellation in the shape of a monster. When Mizuki sees the monster, she is shocked. When she was a child she received a book called The Constellation Thief from a stranger. The same monster was pictured in that book! The monster attacks and Team DASH goes into action. But during the attack, the monster suddenly vanishes. When Mizuki goes to the place where the monster disappeared, she finds a planetarium. There she meets the same man who gave her the book. He tells her that he is from the planet Saton and he has been on Earth since ancient times. He tells her the story of the monster, which he calls Kepulus. The old man tells Mizuki something shocking. Could it be that Mizuki herself is an alien?

    Episode 38 “Overture to Earth’s Destruction” Original Airdate: 3/18/2006 Director: Takeshi Yagi FX Director: Takeshi Yagi Writer: Chiaki Konaka The gigantic mechanical monster Scout Basark appears. Agent Kaito transforms into Ultraman Max. But before he transforms, Kaito finds himself facing Ultraman Max who tells him that it is nearing the time when he must return to Nebula M78. Kaito is shocked. From now on, humanity must protect planet Earth on its own. Ultraman Max battles the monster and seems to defeat it. Soon, though, strange statues begin to appear all over the city. The statues are actually robots. They speak saying, “People of Earth, unless you cease all activities which harm this planet within 30 hours, we, the Delos will destroy all DASH bases.” According to professor Yoshinaga, Delos is the name of an ancient race that is said to live underground. When the DASH bases begin being attacked from underground, it seems that the warning is true!

    Episode 39 “Seize the Future!” Original Airdate: 3/25/2006 Director: Takeshi Yagi FX Director: Takeshi Yagi Writer: Chiaki Konaka The Delos race, creatures who live deep under the surface of the Earth, have destroyed Team DASH’s bases all over the world. They have erected towers that they are using the change the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere in order to reverse the damage caused by human beings. Though Mizuki and Kaito have gone to the Delos city to negotiate, and have been able to convince them to stop their attacks, their mechanical warrior Giga Basark cannot be stopped. What is more, Giga Basark has already analyzed Ultraman Max and knows all of the hero’s weaknesses. Still, Ultraman Max transforms and engages the monster in a fearsome battle. But the monster is too powerful even for Ultraman Max. Without Ultraman Max can humanity be saved? Can Team DASH revive Ultraman Max?

    Episode 40 “Final Special: Towards the Future” Original Airdate: 4/1/2006 Director: Takeshi Yagi Writer: Yuuji Kobayashi Peace has been restored to the Earth. Kaito departs to study the galaxy on a mission that will take 30 years to complete. When he returns, he reminisces about his days fighting as Ultraman Max. Note: In this special episode, we get to relive all of Ultraman Max’s greatest battles through exciting clips from the entire series.

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