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~~DramaticHalfHour ActionSeries~~ The eighteenth installment in the long-running Ultra Series, airing from July 7, 2005 - March 25, 2006 with a total of 39 episodes plus one special comprised mainly of stock footage. Preceded by Ultraman Nexus and succeeded by Ultraman Mebius.
In the not-too distant future, monsters appear around the world and attack mankind. To combat the threat, the United Defense Federation creates the special anti-monster task force DASH (Defense Action Squad Heroes). Aiding DASH in its struggle is the alien giant Ultraman Max, who is secretly Touma Kaito, a DASH pilot.
After the darker and less kid-friendly spin on Ultraman in Ultraman Nexus, Tsuburaya Productions returned to the franchise's roots, with a new monster every week and an overall light-hearted tone. Ultraman Max is notable for several callbacks to previous Ultra Series, from reintroducing several famous Ultra Monsters and casting players from the original Ultraman to paying homage to the plots of past episodes and even referencing the first Ultra Series, Ultra Q. In contrast to the low ratings of Nexus, Max was a huge success and set the tone for future Ultra Series like Mebius.
- Alien Invasion - As per most Ultra Series, similarly to...
- Attack of the 50 Foot Whatever
- Authority Equals Asskicking - Max's superior, Ultraman Xenon, arrives in episode 13 to save Max from Zetton. While it's still Max that finishes the job (and only with his Mid-Season Upgrade given to him by Xenon), Xenon is still clearly more powerful than he is.
- Cats Are Mean: Tama, Kuro, and Mike.
- Clip Show - The special 40th episode.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Look at Professor Yoshinaga in Episode 16, after taking a ride in a DASH vessel piloted by an incapacitated Captain. Her hair is standing up and she looks giddy and absent-minded. She even leans on the wall with a huge smile on her face.
- Five-Man Band
- Lighter and Softer - Compared to the preceding series, Ultraman Nexus.
- Mid-Season Upgrade - The Max Galaxy.
- Monster of the Week - Gleefully returns to the formula after Nexus.
- Mythology Gag - This happens a lot:
- Ultraman Max looks a lot like Ultra Seven.
- Several classic monsters like Gomora, Red King, the Baltan aliens, Pigmon, Eleking, Antlar, et al. appear frequently, sometimes even in multiple episodes.
- Hayata, Fuji, and Ide as well as Dan turn up as supporting characters.
- An entire episode is centered around a monster from Ultra Q, and the show itself is established as existing in-universe.
- When Zetton appears, so does Max's superior, Ultraman Xenon, simular to Zoffy's first appearence in the original series. Only this time, Xenon arrives in time to actually fight.
- In Episode 16, Chief Tomioka raises a spoon in a typical Henshin pose.
- Not So Harmless: Tama, Kuro, and Mike from Episode 16. Shamu-Seijin.
- Only Sane Man: Elly, especially in Episode 16.
- People Puppets - Pigmon is trapped in Elly's body due to one of Shamu-Seijin's experiments.
- Ridiculously-Human Robots - Elly.
- Robot Girl - Elly again.
- Sixth Ranger - Ultraman Xenon.
- The Cameo - Ultraman Max and Ultraman Xenon appear in Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legend The Movie when Belial arrives on the Land of Light.
- The Stoic - Elly again.