Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hero Profile: Ultraman Tiga

Ultraman Tiga (9/8/96 - 8/30/97)
Tiga is the first Ultraman with multiple combat modes and non-red colors. Because of Tiga's popularity, he had more exposure on TV and movies than any other Heisei Ultraman. Ultraman Tiga was dubbed in English by 4Kids Entertainment and broadcast in the United States as part of the Fox Box programming block, the third Ultra Series to air in the United States. Set in the years 2007-2010 (2049 in the U.S. dub), giant monsters and conquering aliens start to appear, as was foretold by an apocalyptic prophecy. Facing the threat, the TPC (Terrestrial Peaceable Consortium) is created and its branch, GUTS (Global Unlimited Task Squad). Through a holographic message in a capsule found by researchers, the GUTS gets knowledge about a golden pyramid built by an ancient civilization.

At the site, three statues of a race of giants who defended early human civilization on Earth about 30,000,000 years ago from Super-Ancient Monsters and other forces of darkness are found, but two of them are destroyed by the monsters Golza and Melba. The third statue gains life from the spiritual energy of officer Daigo, descendant of the ancient race. Daigo and the remaining statue merge into a single being, made of light. Shortly after defeating the two monsters, Daigo is revealed by the hologram of the prophecy that 30 million years in the past, a great evil that not even the giants could stop, destroyed the ancient civilization. The same evil reappears in the finale of the series, the Ruler of Darkness Ghatanothoa, and his servants, Gijera and Zoigar.

Ghatanothoa defeats Ultraman Tiga with ease, withstanding the Delcalium Light Stream and a modified version of the Zepellion Ray, both Tiga's finishes, and turns him back into a statue, but the light of humanity is able to turn him into Glitter Tiga, giving him the power to defeat Ghatanothoa and save the Earth. Daigo was no longer able to become Tiga. It is ultimately revealed that Tiga's energy now remains in the heart of all those who believe in Tiga, inner-strength and justice. Given the right conditions such as times of despair, the sparks will gather and Tiga statue will be revitalized. In the movie "The Final Odyssey", set in two years after Tiga's final battle, Daigo was approached by a mysterious woman who possessed a dark version of the Spark Lens. It is then revealed that more than 30,000,000 years ago, Tiga was originally evil in nature, part of a group of four that dominated Earth. The group consisted of Dark Tiga, the woman in gold with telepathic abilities, an evil Ultraman in red with superhuman strength and another in purple with superhuman speed.

One day, Tiga fell in love with a local human, and decided to convert from darkness to protect her from harm. Being the the weakest of the four, Tiga quickly became a target of the group. However, unbeknownst to the group, the original "talentless" Dark Tiga possessed the ability to absorb powers from fallen enemies. As he eliminated each of the three dark members, he absorbed their powers which explains new Tiga's color patterns (purple, red and gold lined with his original silver). Convinced by his ability to convert the last known Spark Lens to good, Daigo accepts the gift and becomes Tiga again once again, survives his inner struggles and vanishes the darkness within.

Keigo Masaki/Evil Tiga
A world class top scientist. He is also a descendant of the ancient race, like Daigo, and bears similar DNA. He found another Ultraman statue in Kumamoto, similar to the ones that Tiga was imprisoned as. Masaki feels he has just as much right as Daigo to inherit the light and transcend his humanity to become god-like but the only thing he lacks is a transformation item, like Daigo's Spark Lens, to allow him to transform into the Ultraman. To prepare himself for what he feels is his birthright, Masaki has trained his body to be strong and powerful, and physically worthy of being an Ultraman. Masaki feels Daigo does not deserve the monopoly he has on the light, so Masaki beats an exhausted Daigo, who just defeated Geoshark, and thus acquires the transformation item he lacks.

A dog leads Daigo to Masaki's base in a cavern, but Daigo is unable to talk Masaki out of it. Masaki places the stolen Spark Lens in a converter, which is protected by an electric barrier, changing his body into light particle and merging with the Ultraman statue. However he lacks the heart and has greedy and selfish intention, thus corrupting the new giant of light into a giant of darkness, Evil Tiga, and causing him to start rampaging into the city. Ultimately, Daigo able to recover the Spark Lens as he forces himself to endure the electricity and is able to break through by force of will to the Spark Lens. After a bitter fight, Tiga gains the upper hand and wounds Evil Tiga enough that he can fire his Zepellion Beam, vaporizing his corrupted counterpart.

While sharing most of Tiga's powers, Evil Tiga also shared his weakness of only being able to remain on Earth for a certain period of time. Its unknown if Evil Tiga can switch forms like Tiga can, due to the short period of time in which he appeared. While Evil Tiga was destroyed, Keigo survived and was captured by authorities. In the end of the series, Keigo returned to help GUTS revive Ultraman Tiga after his defeat at Gatanozoa's hands, in order to redem his misdeeds. While GUTS kept Gatanozoa busy, Keigo went down in a submarine and used a beam of light in an attempt to revive the hero and while Gatanozoa stopped him, Keigo's attempt revived Daigo deep inside the statue, allowing him to see the children of the world call out to him and use their light to revive Tiga as Glitter Tiga.

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