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"This is the story of us, siblings. Starting out as Ultraman."
—The series' tagline
Ultraman R/B (pronounced as "ruebe") is a 2018 tokusatsu series created by Tsuburaya Productions and the 30th entry in the Ultra Series, as well as the final entry of the Heisei generation of Ultra heroes due to Emperor Akihito (Emperor Heisei) stepping down as the incumbent Emperor of Japan to be replaced by his son, Prince Naruhito.
In a notable difference from previous series, rather than a single Ultra as the main protagonist (with the occasional Second Ultra who shows up later), it focuses on a pair of Ultra brothers, Ultraman Rosso and Ultraman Blu, and their human hosts Katsumi Minato and Isami Minato. Katsumi and Isami are two brothers (with Katsumi being the elder one) who live with their younger sister and their father who runs a specialty store. One day, during the sudden appearance of a giant monster, the brothers find the R/B Gyro, which grants Katsumi and Isami the power to become Ultraman Rosso and Blu respectively. Using the power of R/B Crystals that allow them to transform and change forms based on the elements and previous Ultra heroes, the brothers face their emotions with allies and enemies, grow up and confront powerful enemies, and realize the importance of those bonds that they take for granted.
Tropes applying to the series
- Colorful Theme Naming: Rosso and Blu are named for the Italian words for red and blue.
- Foil: Both Katsumi and Isami contrast each other as is to their respective Ultra alter-egos.
- Elemental Powers: The Ultramen have different forms based on the four classical elements: Flame, Aqua, Wind, and Ground.
- Ultraman Taro's R/B crystal embodies fire.
- Ultraman Ginga's R/B crystal has the element of water.
- Ultraman Tiga's R/B crystal embodies wind.
- Ultraman Victory's R/B crystal represents the element of earth.
- Color-Coded Elements: They're also color-coded. Flame Form being red, Aqua Form being blue, Wind Form being violet, and Ground Form being gold.
- Knight of Cerebus:
- Saki Mitsurugi. Unlike the usually flamboyant and Large Ham Aizen/Cereza, there is nothing funny about her. She is the most serious of all characters and her appearance in episode 12 helps bring the entire plot to a Wham! Episode. It comes into full circle when her tragic backstory is revealed near the series' endgame.
- Ultraman Tregear in the movie, who also returns as the Big Bad in the succeeding season.
- Missing Mom: The Minato siblings loses their mother Mio 8 years before the series begins. Her disappearances leads to Katsumi quitting his dream as a baseball player to support his dad's business, Isami to study in a college and follow her footsteps while Asahi took over the role in housekeeping.
- Mythology Gag:
- The start of the opening theme is an inversion of Ultraman Orb: Whereas the latter started with an image of Orb Origin at the burned Rusalka zooming out to show the Earth and finally outer space before the show's logo, R/B has the meteorite of Grugeobone flying from space as it crash landed, zooming in the scene on Earth to what would become Ayaka City.
- This story is about the main character being Ultraman whose loss of a parent lays a huge impact to their lives. Sounds close to Shin Asuka, with Katsumi's passion for baseball fits the former as well.
- Isami on the other hand pursuing science to follow his mom is not unlike Daichi Ozora.
- Victory's R/B crystal granting the two Ultras their Ground form brings to mind the Victorians being a race of subterranean humans.
- Sibling Team: In an interesting aspect of the series; instead one Ultra as a protagonist, Rosso and Blu are brothers working together. While not the first Ultra to have a brother help them (Ace and Taro were adopted brothers and Leo had his brother Astra), this is the first time they share billing as protagonists rather than just sporadic appearances.
- Spiritual Successor: To Ultraman Gaia, as Ultraman Orb serving as this to Ultraman Tiga and Ultraman Geed to Ultraman Dyna, respectively. Due to its focus on two Ultras, as well as ditching the transformation gimmick from the previous series (Gaia ditched the Type Change gimmick present in Tiga and Dyna, and R/B ditches the idea of fusing powers used by 2 different Ultras that Orb and Geed featured). It even debuts in the year that Gaia turns 20!
- Transformation Trinket: The R/B Gyro, which both brothers use to transform, along with the R/B Crystals. Orb Dark uses the Orb Ring Neo.