Ultraman Review Part 6: Episodes 14 & 15

Ultra Man - American Version OpeningAfter a couple months off it’s time to get Ultra once again! As always here are links to the previous installments if you need a refresher: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

This month’s pair of titanic tales gives us sea monster shenanigans, the subversive power of kids’ imaginations, Ultraman’s new face, the show’s most cheekily meta conversation yet, ULTRAMAN SPEAKS, and more! This show keeps getting radder and radder, so chow on a fistful of pearls, finish your chalk drawings, and click on through to get UIltra as hell, buddy.

Episode 14
Pearl Oyster Defense Order

This episode is also known as “The Pearl Defense Directive” and “The Pearl Oyster Protection Directive,” which all mean about the same thing: our heroes gotta defend some pearls!

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Here’s the twist, they’re defending the pearls from Fuji!  Just kidding… mostly.

It’s a straight forward title for a straight forward conflict, but the episode still manages to toy with the Ultraman formula™.  We kick off with Fuji and Ito enjoying some downtime in the city. It’s a fun little character moment that’s spiced up with some creative cinematography (like a shot where Fuji and Ito are framed in a mirror that shows us both sides of the conversation at once).

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And Fuji’s nose-smooshing pearl-philia!

Pearls are expensive anyway, but lately prices have shot up.  Fuji and Ito chat up the dude at the counter and find out that even though there hasn’t been any extreme weather or fuckery with the tides, pearl oysters are going missing en masse. Ito chalks it up to price gouging bullshit and sarcastically suggests a giant monster is eating all the pearls.

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“I will uppercut an actual baby if it means saving one pearl, Ito.  I will murder this fucking monster you just off-handedly made up with my bare hands and teeth. And that monsters’ entire family. Do not fuck with me.”

Fuji races back to HQ to research Ito’s joke theory, and we cut to a pair of schmucks carting a truckload of pearl oysters to their new farm. Pearl oysters have been disappearing from their old harvest sites, and it’s been happening all over the world!

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We meet the truck schmucks with another cool reflection shot. This is at least the third reflection shot in this episode! They’re super cool, so I get it.

After dispensing that handy exposition, we get funny double takes from both characters:

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Fun fact, the dude behind the wheel is actor Ben Hiura, who would go on to play Blind Swordsman Zatoichi in 2003! Plus voice work in video games like Kingdom Hearts II and Resident Evil: Revelations 2!

They’re flipping a shit because these two dildos are the first people to spot this episode’s mighty monster, Gamakujira!

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Pictured here, rolling his eyes big time? “I literally can’t even!”

Gamakujira’s name comes from the Japanese word for toad (or frog?) “gama” combined with the Japanese word for whale “kujira.”  And that’s super-duper accurate, he’s a big toadish-whaley thing!  Mixed feelings on his design and suit overall. His face is great (especially his big, glowing, silvery, pearly eyes) and has tons of personality, but it’s also got a distractingly cartoonish quality to it.  He’s got a heavy, sloppy mass to him that instantly invokes bullfrogs and other flabby amphibians, but sometimes that mass just looks like a suit that was a size or two too big for the suit actor (veteran suit actor and series stalwart Teruo Aragaki), especially when he’s in positions that make the kaiju’s skin fold over.

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He looks pretty fuckin’ dope on two legs though!

We’ll see the best and hilariously worst this creature design has to offer later in the episode (including a couple radical special abilities)! Ultimately I think it’s a solid beast, but one of those monsters that really works from certain angles and doesn’t quite cut it from others.  The suit was at least good enough to get recycled into a later episode’s kaiju, Skydon!

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Judging JUST by this screenshot I gotta give it up to Gamakujira being the cooler critter.  TIME WILL TELL!

Okay, tangent over! So our truck schmucks have met Gamakujira, let’s see how this situation resolves!

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Gamakujira pimp-slaps the truck down a hillside, sending pearls flying everywhere.  Not great, but what about the truckers?

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They are straight up fucking dead.  So, yeah, this could have gone better. Also, drool, gross.

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This’ll go on your permanent record, pal!

There’s only one team you can call to handle a monstrous, murderous pearl pilferer! The Ghostbusters the other Ghostbusters the other other Ghostbusters The X-Files The Bureau Underground Science Patrol!

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Introduced in this episode with an interesting (almost voyeuristic?) wide shot from the other side of their HQ.

This is an episode that jumps right to the Science Patrol knowing the kaiju’s name and MO, which I’m cool with, but I’d love if they gave us a little insight into whatever source they have on this stuff. Their global monster database or whatever they use.

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What if it was the eyeball book from Hocus Pocus?  That’d be sick. That’s right, not EVERY spooky book reference has to be the Necronomicon or Tobin’s Spirit Guide!

Ultimately I’m A-OK with them knowing a few factoids about the monster going into the fight, because in those cases the big mystery to solve ends up being “how do we stop this thing” rather than “what is this thing?” I think that’s a more exciting mystery to solve, especially when you only have >25 minutes to establish and solve said mystery. Speaking of mysteries, here’s the answer to “how does a ginormous frog-whale eat enough tiny-ass pearls to sustain itself?!”

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Prehensile suction-hose burple tongue!

Look at how his eyes “roll back” in that second picture.  Dude is really enjoying himself eating pearls.  Not for long though! The Science Patrollers come screaming in with their jet and explosively cock-block his orgasmic feeding frenzy!

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🤘🤘🤘 ROCK ‘N ROLL!! 🤘🤘🤘

Things are already looking good for the SPers! Gamakujira is fucking off into the ocean…

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But before our heroes can start making plans for happy hour, Gamakujira reminds us how he got the “kujira” part of his name!

Getting hosed mid-flight with a high-power geyser of water fucks up things bad enough to force an emergency landing… on a rocky islet only a couple hundred yards away from the rampaging monster that they’re currently beefing with.  So you know, not ideal.  It IS good for us giggling little shits though, because it leads to some fun tension, some arty establishing shots, and a CRAZY-cool composite shot:

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DirectorAkio Jissôji is fucking bringing it non-stop.  Really glad to see he worked on a bunch more Ultraman episodes, and not at all surprised that one of my all-time faves (My Home is Earth) is his handiwork.

Night falls and the SPs huddle around a campfire until they can make their next move.  It’s all very dramatic looking, and even gets a little creepy when they hear Gamakujira’s guts churning in the middle of the night.  Arashi compares it to cows chewing their cud, which instantly made my brain start brewing up a farmboy backstory for Arashi.

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Dude is good with/loves guns, sports a crew cut, and knows stuff about cows.  He’s some good whiskey and a stetson away from being an actual cowboy. Silverhawks has since proved it’s dope to have an incongruously country-fried character in your sci-fi super team.

Fuji eventually flips a shit and starts literally begging for Gamakujira to save her a pearl.  Ito tries to get her to chill and, you know, not ask favors of the dangerous aberration of nature they have to destroy.  Fuji reels around and intensely tells Ito “You do not understand a woman’s emotions!” It’s a funny moment, but it’s pretty fuckin’ weird too.

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“Oh, did you think Matt was humorously putting words in my mouth earlier, Ito? I SWEAR TO GOD I WOULD UPPERCUT A BABY FOR ONE PEARL. WEARING BRASS KNUCKLES. RIGHT INTO THE PIT FROM MOTHER FUCKING MORTAL KOMBAT SO HELP ME”

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Gamakujira swims off the next morning, and our heroes take to the skies to tail him.  It’s a little strange: they were stranded on the island because three coils were burned out by “heat rays” Gamakujira emits (?? this is never mentioned again??) and Fuji was radioing to HQ for help… now everything’s fine the next day? I thought this was maybe just some weirdness created in the English dub, but the subtitled Japanese version has the some narrative hiccup.  Maybe we just don’t see reinforcements arrive and help get them up and running again?

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There are a couple other interesting differences between the Japanese and English language version: the JP version doesn’t have Arashi’s cow-cud analogy,  which I think is a missed opportunity. The explanation was helpful for me understanding what the fuck Gamakujira was doing AND it fuels my new bullshit Arashi-cowboy head canon.  The JP version also frames Fuji’s freak out as “please don’t take something beautiful like pearls away from the world,” instead of “just give me one before you turn them into poop!”

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I like JP Fuji’s response better and I think it’s truer to her character, but given how intense her performance is in parts of this episode I get why the US version made it more personal.

We got dudes in the main jet, plus Hayata’s cruising in the little flying wing style jet from the first episode! TAG TEAM BABY

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🤘🤘🤘 ROCK ‘N ROLL!! 🤘🤘🤘

They expertly divebomb the shit out of Gamakujira, dodge his deadly blowholery, then they nail him with Jaws-style tracking floaties!

The floaties help them bombard the submerged monster, but they blow up after a few bombings, forcing our heroes to get even more creative.

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I’m no physicist but… that seems super duper impossible.  Good thing it’s cool as fuck! It also kinda looks like a smiley face! 🙂

The SPs scoop up Gamakujira in their physics-defying plane-net and fry the crap out of him!  Surprise, it’s an electrified metal net!

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Using the (empty?) Gamakujira suit to portray the actual enscoopment looks great!

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The super stiff prop standing up in the net… looks way less convincing, but it’s also fucking hilarious, so maybe it’s a wash?

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ZAP ZAP MOTHER FUCKER!

It’s a crazy, exciting concept that reminds me of the military’s plan to stop Godzilla with electrified metal nets in Mothra vs. Godzilla. Despite standing rigidly still in the net as it screams through the sky and gets millions of volts of electricity through his body, Gamakujira does not care for this at all. He gets to thrashin’, so Hayata does his Launchpad McQuack thing and gets to crashin’!

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Though to be fair….

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Gamakujira doesn’t land any more gracefully.

With Hayata down and Gamakujira free (horribly, horribly free!), he crashes a sexy beach party to steal the ladies’… goin’-to-the-beach pearls?  The 60s!

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These gals cruise around in a fucking sick car, BTW.

The Science Patrollers split up to find Hayata and get this whole frog-whale issue under control.  Guess what, they have another wacky plan complete with specialized tech up their sleeves, and spoiler alert: there’s another one after this!  First up are pearl bombs:

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Which are exactly what they sound like.

They make a delightful clattering noise when they hit and bounce off the rocky shore, and of course Gamakujira can’t resist delicious food falling from the sky.

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This is a parable kids! Don’t eat sky-food, even if it’s raining pizza! There’s a higher-than-normal chance that it’s bombs.

But even blowing up his insides doesn’t finish off Gammy-2-Jammy. He’s pretty gangster for a schlubby pearl-eating frog-whale!  Fuji finds Hayata, he tells her not to worry about him and to go call in an emergency request for HQ to deliver a “small jet engine.”  Jet engine jamboree is PLAN F by my count, which is bonkers.  You’ll recall that plans A-E did not involve Ultraman in any way, and he only intervenes in the middle of Plan F!

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Did you have to take a half day for a dentist appointment or something?

Jokes aside, I like when they play around the show’s formula, and this is no exception. The Science Patrollers really get a chance to shine, rolling out all kinds of fanciful gadgets and imaginative plans.  It gives you an idea of what pre-Ultraman Science Patrolling might have been like, which I dig. So what’s Hayata’s big rocket plan?

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1. Bring in the little jet via normal jet.

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Makes sense so far.

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2. Launch the jet!…

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…into Gammy-K’s fanny?…

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3. PROFIT! LAUNCH HIS CANDY ASS INTO THE IONOSPHERE! 🤘🤘🤘 ROCK ‘N ROLL!! 🤘🤘🤘

The concept is cuckoo-bananas on its own, but its’ even funnier because they re-purpose the wacky, super stiff prop from earlier.  And let’s be real, this should have been enough.  Gamakujira’s not some bad-ass heavy hitter like Red King or Zetton, nor is he a cunning strategist like Baltan: he’s just some dipshit that galumphed out of the ocean one day and started eating pearls!  That said… I respect the hell out of his gumption! Hayata finally turns into Ultraman to seal the deal and make sure that Gamakujira fucks off forever.

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It’s a nice and dramatic transformation sequence…

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And it’s our introduction to Ultraman version B!  No more weird lumpy faced version A!… A’s homemade-ness had a certain charm to it (and seemed more organic!), but this is absolutely a sharper look.

So after everything they’ve thrown at Gamakujira, what final touch is Ultraman here to provide? Maybe nuke the beast out of the sky with his hand laser?  Steer the creature to a remote location where he can’t cause trouble?  Chuck him into space? Nah fuck all that, MACH 7 INCENDIARY HEADBUTT GOOOOOO!

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WHOOO!  FINALLYIt’s a satisfyingly comical defeat of a kaiju that just didn’t know when to quit… but I still got just the tiniest bit sad when I processed it all as the episode wound down.  Gamakujira wasn’t evil, just hungry.  It was a big destructive animal (and did kill at least two innocent people), but it was doing what it had to to keep from starving to death.  The Science Patrol’s ingenious strategies and exotic tools kind of seem like pointless torture if you think about it this way: Gamakujira got shot, bombed, electrocuted, and fed bombs before the terrified aquatic animal got a booster rocket shoved up his ass and flew halfway to the goddamn moon… mixed feelings here.

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“Good-night, sweet prince; And flights of a rectally-mounted jet turbine and a giant silver alien explode thee to thy rest.”

That weird twinge of sympathy aside, this is a fun, if sloppy episode.  Gamakujira tanking the Science Patrol’s progressively more ridiculous attacks steadily ramps up the excitement until we reach the dizzying heights of the ludicrous finale: the smartly-paced spectacle outshines any storytelling or visual stumbles. The episode ends with Fuji going on a shopping spree with Ito now that the price of pearls has stabilized. Bumping off Gamakujira is the big victory, but getting Fuji’s ravenous lust for pearls under control is just as much of a relief.

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Episode 15
The Space Ray of Terror

This episode’s also known as “Terrifying Cosmic Rays,” and I’d argue both titles are pretty misleading.  There are rays from space, but they never create terror.

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They’re more like space rays of inconvenience and anxiety.

The episode kicks off with a Japan-only scene of kids admiring drawings “they” did of their favorite monsters.

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Neronga!

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Red King!

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Kanegon! (from Ultra Q and not Ultraman, but it’s all good!)

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….Beethoven?

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These drawings are way too good to be done by actual children. Drawings by talented adults but done in marker/crayon to simulate a child made it is one of my favorite fakey bullshit showbiz things.

That plain-looking white monster in the middle is one child’s creation, Gavadon.  The other kids fucking hate it for no discernible reason.

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I mean it’s a little wiener-y I guess, but… calm down guys.

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“Maybe try drawing an established Ultra monster or an amazingly detailed portrait of a classic composer next time, dumbfuck!”

The kid who drew Gavadon… I’ll dub him Gavadon Gary (I didn’t catch the kiddos’ names and IMDB doesn’t have much helpful info) heads to his favorite local hangout, the nearby industrial pipe camp yards.

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Not a snarky exaggeration, just a fascinated observation.

Being a kid in mid-60s urban Japan seems borderline dystopian in the coolest ways.  I’m part of one of the last generations of Americans that widely had a (partially) free-range childhood, but in the suburbs that just meant running over to a friends house and playing “guns” in their backyard until the streetlights came on.  I point out this cultural snapshot because it’s super interesting and cool to me, but I might stop calling it out every time I see it.

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Gavadon Gary gets a pipe to himself and starts drawing a bigger picture of his Original Character Do Not Steal. GG’s friends roll up and one of them snatches GG’s crayon and draws a longer tail on Gavadon to make him “more vicious.” The kids all bail shortly after to avoid the wrath of the pipe yard’s grumpy old owner.  THEN COSMIC RADIATION BLASTS THE DRAWING A NANOSECOND AFTER THEY’RE GONE

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The space rays sound a little bit like King Ghidorah’s cackling!

The Science Patrol gets a call from the Space Ray Lab about it, and the kids get a space ray day off school (I thought we had it good in Michigan with snow days!)! Of course the kiddos make a beeline for their beloved pipeyard, but when they check on their Gavadon drawing, it’s gone!

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Because it’s valmorphanized into a full-size, living, breathing kaiju!

In his first stage, Gavadon is the strange, squeaking, grunting spongy mass you see above.  His color and texture reminds me of the foam that carpet padding is made of, and his big empty eye sockets weird me out.  He kind of bounce-crawls along until a familiarly bad-ass jet screams out of the stratosphere:

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I think I already used up all my “ROCK ‘N ROLL!!!!!”s for this month, so uh.. WHHOOOOO!!!!

The SPs bomb the piss out of Gavadon, and Ito theorizes that Gavvy’s tail is a weak spot based on the monster’s body language.  He’s (sort of) right!

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I love the construction site miniature sets, especially these scale-reinforcing bulldozers in the foreground.

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BA-BLAM!

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Setting this in a construction site is a genius way to get a few urban props (streets, scattered buildings, etc.) in the scene without having to build an entire mini-city.

It’s a clever nod to the other kid tacking a longer tail onto Gavadon and it’s a cool misdirect for the SPs! Gavadon keeps on trucking, and the Science Patrol and JSDF are not fucking around:

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Gavvy comes to a stop as the sun starts to set, puzzling Science Patrollers and the military alike.  The SPs are strategically staked out around the creature’s perimeter and can’t help but be a little pissed at a kaiju that has the gall to grab a power nap mid-battle.  The whole scene is the type of weird, wacky fun that makes me love kaiju fiction, and there are a couple really beautiful shots that capture the surreal fantasy of giant monster stories:

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This floods my brain with a really unique, potent mix of positive emotion chemicals.  No other genre has moments quite like this.

Gavadon gets up and running (squeak-waddling) once again, hobbles down the street for a sec, then fades out of reality, and blinks back into existence in the night sky as a star.

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I know I just got done gushing about the awe and wonder that kaiju stories are uniquely well-suited at conveying, but this is a bunch more of that.  It’s almost like the happy, upbeat opposite of Lovecraftian cosmic horror.  We’re dealing with weird, reality-bending forces that are beyond human comprehension, but instead of being horrific and insanity-inducing, they’re charming and heartwarming.

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On a semi-related note, I have VERY mixed feelings about Cthulhu being turned into a Garfield/Ziggy-style logo used to sell t-shirts and coffee cups.

The Science Patrollers are naturally super-duper baffled by this whole encounter and are happy to receive some very helpful intel shortly after.  We (and they!) find out that similar incidents occurred in Washington DC, New York City, and Mumbai (Bombay at the time the episode was aired).  It’s fun to have the monster action centered in the show’s homeland, but I really love little efforts like this to make certain threats and plotlines global.  According to the technobabble the SPers receive, the storm of space rays that have been hitting the Earth contain unusual “light factions.”  These “light factions” have a strange reaction with our usual sunlight that turn “2D objects into solids.” It’s some seriously wacky psuedo-science, but considering the premise of the episode is “a drawing comes to life” it’s as grounded as it needs to be.

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“Our sources say it’s either ‘light factions‘ combining with sunlight, or a wizard did it.”

The SPs deduce that Gavadon might be a kid’s drawing come to life (really makes you wonder what the hell went down in DC, NYC, and Mumbai [God help them if it was an “American Vandal” type situation]), and speak of the devil (🤘🤘🤘) we cut to the kids congratulating Gavadon Gary on his creation coming to life and wreaking the mildest version of havoc. GG gives them credit too and they all agree to help design Gavadon 2.0.

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The owner chases the kiddos off, giving us a glimpse of the dope new Gavadon before his big debut the next day.  Back at Science Patrol HQ, Ito sparks one of the most meta conversations they’ve had on the show. Ito posits that if the thing just wants to sleep all day, why bother it?  If anything, attacking it will just provoke it to attack and cause way more damage.  Mura is not into this idea, but Arashi back-handedly supports it: “Couldn’t Ito, just this once, be right?”

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Ito couldn’t retort because he had to be rushed to the burn ward.

The Science Patrollers are in an odd situation here: they’ve never had to deal with such a peaceful, pacifist monster before. Of course being a kids’ superhero show they’re not going to really deep dive into the ethics of monster fighting and the true nature of good and evil, but I like that they at least bring it up. There’s an interesting follow-up conversation they have later that I’ll dig into a little more. Right now though, GAVADON LIVES!

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It’s a simple but awesome effect that still gets used (or at least did up through the 80s: 1, 2)

The drawing coming to three dimensional life delights the (ballsy, insane?) children and scares the shit out of the (reasonable, sane?) old fart that owns the pipe yard.  When the kids sing “We made a monster” in a ring-around-the-rosie around the terrified old man it does feel like a horror story for a second.

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KIds that love monsters are super relatable of course, but this just seems kind of cruel.

Gavadon coming to throbbing, unnatural life is accompanied by an eerie thumping heartbeat that sounds a lot like the sound effect they used for Frankenstein’s heart in Frankenstein Conquers the World! With a dimetrodon sail, huge white humanoid teeth, diamond shaped protrusions down his back, and a big bony ridge on his face, Gavadon 2.0 looks fucking radical… but just like last time all he wants to do is sleep around town 😉

Gavvy’s eyelids are articulated well and suit actor Aragaki (two episodes in a row!) gives the suit a nice “breathing” motion when he sleeps.  Gavadon’s pretty cool, but even as a snoozer he ends up causing trouble: nearby residents either evacuate or lock themselves inside their homes (understandably) which makes the surrounding city (and the industries within) grind to a complete halt.  Even doing nothing at all Gavadon’s a menace, making this the rare Ultraman episode that really brings Ishiro Honda’s famous quote to mind:

 Monsters are born too tall, too strong, too heavy, that is their tragedy

Mura almost seems relieved that they have no choice but to engage Gavadon in combat, but Ito has another smart-assy solution.  Since their working theory is that Gavadon is spawned from a drawing, why not just go erase the drawing before sunlight and uh “light factions” can hit it in the morning?  This time Arashi gets heated and shoots it down, his argument basically amounting to “Well that would be a shitty way to win,” which is a hilariously meta answer that doesn’t make a ton of sense in-universe.  Mura at least points out that it’s a good idea but ultimately decides “we’ll do it the usual way we always have.”

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“Pffft, what next Ito?  Some kind of Monster Island?! Maybe a maximum-security prison for kaiju?!”

It’s a goofy cop-out and I wish they would have went farther in one direction or the other.  Either a more substantial reason why they can’t just go erase the drawing (maybe in light of kids constantly trespassing the old man’s locked the place down?, maybe it’d take too long to find the ONE drawing?), or an even more blatant lampshade hanging (“erasing the drawing would be so boring! Everybody knows monster fights are more fun!”).  But like before, I’m glad they address it. Speaking of addressing things, the kids go give the Gavadon drawing a night-time pep talk to be more exciting the next day!

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“If it wasn’t for us you wouldn’t be here!” The kids must have picked up some pro-level guilt-tripping from their parents.

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So we come up on the next day, with a newly-inspired Gavadon ready to wreak havoc!  To shake the heavens to their very foundations! To turn our insignificant civilization upside down and–

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–catch up on sleep.

It’s a great gag.  Gavadon either doesn’t comprehend human speech (extremely likely but not particularly comical) or understood the kids’ spiel just fine but gives absolutely zero shits (less likely but way funnier).  Gavvy, napping or no, keeps turning up in and near urban areas, so the JSDF and Science Patrol are on his ass pretty quickly. Tanks are already blowing the bejeezus out of Gavadon when the Science Patrollers notice a bunch of dumbshit kids that are practically in the crossfire.

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Everybody rushes down the reservoir to get the kids the fuck out of there, gifting us a funny dub line delivery and an extended pratfall from Hayata:

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Direct quote: “What’s the matter with you?!”

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Implied: “WHARGABARGLLALKAJR:KALRA”

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It’s barely two notches less ridiculous than the fall in Hot Rod.

Hayata is fucking over it and wastes no time Ultraing out.

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The remaining SPs round up the protesting kids and get them to safety while Ultraman gets bizzay.  After last episode’s delightfully wacky airborne non-fight, it’s good to see Ultraman really tangle with a kaiju again.  The fight itself is over pretty quick and isn’t anything we haven’t seen before, but it’s like a mini greatest hits reel of some of the best, most iconic kaiju combat super-moves . The kids screaming for Ultraman to fuck off is also a really unique wrinkle in an otherwise familiar and short battle. Ultraman gets right down to business with a mighty tail grab ‘n pull:

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This segues fluidly into a BIG OL’ TAILSPIN

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Which naturally leads to Gavadon getting launched face-first into a nearby hillside.  It’s awesome to us, but the Gavadon-loving kids are apoplectic.  As a fellow monster lover, I’m inclined to agree with them, but how are they not at all jazzed to see Ultra-fucking-man? Do kids in this universe think Ultraman is uncool?

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What are these kids, me before I started actually watching Ultraman?

The kids scream for Ultraman to not hurt Gavadon… and he doesn’t get the message right away:

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BLAMMO!

In rapid succession we got:

  1. Tailspin
  2. Big throw
  3. Judo slam

Those are three of my all-time favorite monster wrestling stock moves, so getting ’em all back to back is a treat. But there’s one more big move before the fight wraps!
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Ultraman looks about ready to Undertaker/Mankind Hell in a Cell Gavadon, but he finally hears the kids freaking out and understands their cries for mercy.

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Gavadon’s not a bad dude, but he’s too outrageous and disruptive to peacefully coexist with us on Earth.  Ultraman/Hayata mulls this over, and comes up with the closest thing to a compromise he can.  Not a hilariously violent, over the top execution for Gavadon (like usual), but a removal from our world all together. Still rocking that impressive-ass overhead press, Ultraman blasts off into deep space with Gavadon in tow, leaving nothing for the Earthlings to do but  watch in quiet awe.

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Oh and sadness.  Lots of sadness.

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Gavadon Gary and his friends get together that night, but instead of grab-assing at the pipeyard, they continue their sadness near the reservoir where Gavadon got air-lifted to Heaven.

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They miss their weird gigantic pet, but God’s Ultraman’s voice booms down to them from the night sky:Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 5.11.35 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-27 at 5.11.48 PM

DON’T CRY CHILDREN. YOU CAN SEE GAVADON ONCE A YEAR ON THIS NIGHT AMONG THE STARS IN THE SKY.

Ultraman sounds a little like Kang and Kodos, but his intentions are pure.  The kids get one last glimpse of Gavadon before he disappears like the non-holiday, kaiju version of Frosty the Snowman:

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Aw he’s smiling, that’s really sweet!

It’s a gently bittersweet note to end on, so we get one final scene that’s more of a cheeky “THE END??!?” ending. The narrator lets us know that the world’s greatest minds are getting a handle on the weird “light factions” and space radiation that were at the heart of this crazy monster adventure, but those rays could still be active! We’ll still have to keep an eye on the monsters that kids draw, and these kids have been bizzay:

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The dolly shot for this was crazy shaky, BTW.

So that’s it!  Like I said, there were definitely Space Rays, but I it’s a legit misnomer to call them “terrifying,” especially since Gavadon’s the tamest monster we’ve encountered on the show (other than sweet prince Pygmon).  Akio Jissôji directed this episode as well, and like the last episode we get some gorgeous cinematography and effective emotional beats in a story that’s a little sloppy.  Sloppy is definitely a price I’m willing to pay for super imaginative action, beautiful visuals, and fun characterization.

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Gavadon and Bemular feuding behind the scenes! Classic diva bullshit!

Gavadon, like Gamakujira, got repurposed into another later Ultra monster, ZAMBOLAR

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The monstrous personification of zambonis This kick-ass looking critter! He also kind of reminds me of Skydon, which I didn’t realize until just now. Weird!

That’s it for this month! I had more planned, but the month of Octoween is a notoriously full one for me, plus I ended up having a lot to say about these two episodes.  I know at this rate it’s gonna take me a while to finish reviewing Ultraman, but I’ve been having a lot of fun taking a super-duper deep dive on every episode.  It’s such a seminal show for the entire genre (and hell, Japanese sci-fi at large) that it just feels right. Thanks for reading and have an ULTRA Halloween!

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24 thoughts on “Ultraman Review Part 6: Episodes 14 & 15

  1. I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but they do use the rocket strategy again on another monster down the road, and let’s just say that your “rocket up the ass” quip might just be a little bit more than hyperbole. Still enjoying the ride, my dude. I know Gamakujira sure didn’t… yeowza. Also I didn’t know how to bring this up naturally, so I’m just gonna blurt it out here. Some guy did some really cool redesigns on classic Ultraman characters for these statues he was building, and for some odd he reason he did Gamakujira, Strange, but it looks cool so whatever. http://www.amiami.com/top/detail/detail?gcode=FIGURE-011933.

    • Oooh, I love that series of statues! I saw ’em before I started really digging into Ultraman, so they’re even cooler now that I’ve spent some time with the subject matter. That Gamakujira’s a beaut! Like you said, a weird choice, but a killer redesign nonetheless. There is something oddly appealing about Gamakujira… I mentioned his big expressive cartoon face in the review, but I think his fun, dumpy bulldog posture is part of it as well.

      I am simultaneously overjoyed and horrified that the Science Patrol will shoot another booster rocket up some poor creature’s butthole. This is the best show in the universe.

      • Agreed. However, and I may be jumping the gun buy a mile here, if you really want to get into the Ultraman series, and I mean HARDCORE, make good friends with anime torrenting sites *achoo*kissasian*achoo* and badly subtitled Malaysian import DVD’s, because that’s sadly the only way you’re going to be able to watch a lot of them, and even then good luck for some like Ultraman Dyna and Ultraman Zearth. Crunchyroll has a handfull of shows on there and if you have Direct TV, the channel TOKU has been airing episodes of Ultraman Neos, Ultraman Nexus, and even English dubbed episodes of Ultraman Max. If you’re looking for a buy list, then look for Ultra Q and Ultraseven by Shout! Factory, and a while ago, ai bought some Cantonese imports of The Return of Ultraman and Ultraman Ace. I’ve only been able to find these particular DVDs on Ebay. They’re a bit sketchy, but they have English subs, so whatever. Some of the episodes on my DVDs don’t work though, so if you run into that problem, just fill in what you can with episodes uploaded on YouTube by GORIZARD TV and fight clips.

        Whew… that was a mouthfull. Sorry about the text assault. Please don’t let me put you off the series with that little nerdgasm there. Just enjoy this masterpiece of televised media, episode by episode, and you can make the decision later. (Just forewarning though, watching them in chronological order is highly recommended)

      • Dude, THANK YOU. This is a handy resource.

        The Ultra Q and Ultra Seven Shout Factory DVD sets are gonna end up in my collection sooner or later (probably sooner, I don’t want the price to skyrocket on me like Daimajin did).

        I watched all of Ultraman X on Crunchy Roll and LOVED it, and I’m also working my way through Ultraman Orb. It’s cool too, but I like X better so far. Point being, I knew how to watch the first few shows and the most recent few shows, but was really scratching my head about all the stuff in the middle. Thanks for the tips! It’s like a whole semi-secret world of content to parse out, which can be daunting.

  2. No problem, man! Always glad to help out

    Y’know what, here’s a few more tips for the road

    Hannah Barbera made a feature length Ultraman movie in 1984(?) And it is surprisingly better than you’d expect. You can find the entire movie on YouTube.

    There was an anime in 1979. As far as I know, there is no feasable way to get an English version of the entire show in ANY form. However, I can recommend you to two films, both featuring 4 retrofitted episodes of the anime, presented as movies. The first one, The Adventures of Ultraman, contain the last 4 episodes of the series, and Ultraman II: The Adventure Continues contains the first 4 episodes. No idea why they decided to do it like that. The strangest part is, aside from the second movie apparently being a sequel to the first (according to the title) and them sharing the same source material, the movies are completely unrelated. The second Ultraman movie was uploaded to YouTube in four parts, according to the original episodes’ run time. I’m not sure if there is a way to easily get your hands on The Adventures of Ultraman, unless you’ve got yourself some dough and a VCR sitting around somewhere.

    Let’s see… what else? Oh yes! The Australian-made and American-made shows “Ultraman: Towards The Future” & “Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero” (Both known in Japan as Ultraman Great and Ultraman Powered respectively) were both uploaded in their entirety on YouTube by GORIZARD TV. During Ultraman’s downtime between the 80s and 90s, other countries wanted to take a crack at the silver giant. One was aired in the country it was made in, becoming a minor success…aaaand the other was not… that one being ours (assuming you’re American). I’m not sure how much truth there is to this, but I believe the reason why it wasn’t released here was because there were decisions made during the show’s production that were made by people who didn’t take the show seriously at all and were deliberately trying to mock the franchise (i.e making the buildings out of cardboard, etc). Tsuburaya and co. We’re shocked by this and as punishment kept the show from airing over here. All in all though, the shows don’t live up to their Japanese counterparts, as the combat in each show was very slow and bulky, but they each have their charm (hearing Ultraman with an Aussie accent will never not be wierd to me)

    One more thing, before I forget. Don’t bother trying to find Ultraman Tiga on DVD. To make a long story short, Ultraman Tiga was aired over here in 2001 on the FoxBox, and FUNimation teamed up with 4Kids to release the entirety of Ultraman Tiga unedited and undubbed in 4 volumes. The problem though, is that not only are these DVDs WAAAAY out of print, but at the time of writing this, volume 3 seems to have become complete vaporware. I’m serious, go to eBay, go to Amazon, I guarantee you will not find it; and the ones that you do find will demand outrageous prices. Just play it safe and get it off of KissAsian. It shouldn’t be considered pirating if it’s literally the only way you can watch it, damn it!

    Well, I think that’s it. You should be golden. Like I said before, don’t worry about it too much. Just keep enjoying the show. Until next time… ultraman_spoon_meme_by_v1ewt1ful

      • It has everything to do with 4Kids’ tampering with the show. Literally the only reason why they decided to adapt it was to explain a joke made on Kirby: Right Back At Ya.

        The whole show (that being the 4Kids version) was a gigantic mess. They only dubbed about a dozen episodes, out of order no less, and added a lot of unnecessary bullshit to make it more suitable for little kids. Some of the cursing and more dark and/or scary parts were edited out. Names, dialouge and some of the characters personalities were altered to fit a more American ideal and to add unnecessary “””””””””humor”””””””””; Ultraman’s “transformation rise” was cut out (which pissed me off as a kid) and replaced with a much longer, more flashy transformation sequence, and some of the monster roars were “enhanced” and ALL of the music was changed, but since the sound mixing was shit, the music overlaped the other sound effects quite a bit.

        It wasn’t even that popular over here, which is strange considering the Power Rangers craze at the time, and half the reason why they cancelled it was because the writers couldn’t decide whether or not to directly adapt the show or to make it a parody. As you can probably tell, I’m not the biggest fan of the 4Kids version. Granted, the show was the thing that opened my eyes to a much bigger world of Ultraman outside the original show, but it did way more harm then it did good. It made a lot of people who watched it at a young age have a very negative outlook on Ultraman and tokusatsu in general (just watch RebelTaxi’s video to see what I mean) which is just very unfortunate.

        The only good thing I can really say about it was that the new theme song, while not at all better than the orignal, was pretty catchy, if not drenched in a whole bunch of hot, milky, American Cheese.

        P.S: I don’t want to make this too long and it’s kind of unrelated, but if it’s alright with you, I can give you my recommended order for how you should probably continue on watching the rest of the series? I know I said before that chronological order is the way to go, but there may be some material down the road that you might overlook and seriously miss out as a result. So just, y’know, holla’ back if you’re interested.

      • The way toku gets treated in the west is endlessly weird to me: Tiga getting chopped up like this is one of what feels like millions of examples of pointless fuckery.

        Gimme that recommended viewing list man! I’m already off the rails by watching OG Ultraman, X, and Orb all kind of concurrently but I’m still curious!

    • “Ultraman Powered/ Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero” did not air in America because it was so shitty that no network wanted to take it (I can remember this being a problem back when it was happening in 1994-ish). Of course, Tsuburaya wanted it to air and be successful here. But the behind the scenes people who made it were so inept, that they just didn’t make it worth a damn. If Tsuburaya really wanted to punish them, they wouldn’t have released it in Japan where it wasn’t a total failure. No, when Tsuburaya gets pissed at you, they make you go away. Just try to find a copy of Chaiyo’s “The Six Ultra Brothers vs. the Monster Army” in Japan now.

      The American crew started out using refrigerator boxes for buildings at first and Tsuburaya was so appalled, they sent Koichi Takano to keep their asses in line and make proper miniatures.

      • Ah, cool! Thanks for the info! I think I like this more than what I thought it was. The idea of the show not being aired over here not as a result of malice, but because the creators of the show were so bad at their jobs, that Tsuburaya had to send in damage control, is way more funny to me!

  3. Well hot diggity damn then, here we go! I’m gonna try to make this as concise as possible. Also I;m gonna give special cases their own paragraphs so I can explain how to obtain them or get out a little more info.

    Alrighty, let’s do this. Seriously though, get ready, because this is going to be epic.

    Showa Era: Ultra Q, Ultraman

    There was a show that came out after the original Ultraman called “Captain Ultra” to serve as filler in between Ultraman and Ultraseven. I have no idea where to find it or what it’s about and it really isn’t that necessary to watch at all, but it IS technically part of the Ultra series, so I may as well mention it; but don’t make it your life’s goal to locate find and watch every single episode or anything like that.

    Ultraseven

    Ultra Fight: This was, once again, made to fill in time until the next until the next Ultra show. It has the same eerie atmosphere as Redman; in fact, it’s essentially the same show, but with Ultraseven. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CH6EE4E6lrs&list=PLJ3gSdebMob_SDZmpHsFw-clwskLq5czr)

    The Return of Ultraman

    Hayabusa Vacuum Commercials: These are a series of commercials that played in between episode of The Return of Ultraman. It stars a female Ultra(?) named Falcon. It’s not exactly important, like AT ALL, to Ultra lore or anything, but I just want to cover all bases, y’know? You could wait and watch it after The Return of Ultraman to make it feel genuine, but if you want to just get it out of the way right now, here’s a link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtNdk80fZ-I

    Mirrorman: You’re gonna start seeing a lot of shows crop up on here that might seem completely unrelated, but don’t worry, they’ll all make sense in the end. I’m not going to give away any info on HOW they’re connected to the Ultra series either (other than the fact that they’re made by the same company), I’ll just let you find that out for yourself ;). Last time I checked, I could’ve sworn that a site called Hi No Tori Fansubs had some of the episodes on it. I’ll talk more about them when they’re actually useful. I guess in the meantime, here’s a link to the only episode I could find with subs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfKA-od09NA&t=70s. See if you can also find some concurrent monster fighting clips that might appear as a result of watching this.

    Redman: I know that you’ve seen these before since I read your blog about it, but I think giving it another watch would be nice since Matt Frank (all bow your heads) is about to make a comic series about Redman, officially authorized by Tsuburaya. So, you know… https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/wolfenstein/images/e/ee/Wolfpsyched2.png/revision/latest?cb=20150401111818

    Also here’s a link to a nice healthy batch of episodes, since Tsuburaya took most of them off of their channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlszSKHVryw&list=PLNy5JyGlIdodk_5WZENNnQMIFXgrG7MOD

    Ultraman Ace

    Fireman: Same deal as Mirrorman, except now Hi No Tori Fansubs is gonna help you out this time. They have about 10 episodes subbed and unfortunately you have to make an account on their site in order to download them. It’s not a malicious site at all, so you should have no trouble. Just hit the link on their front page that says “Downloads” and the rest should be easy to follow from there.

    Jumborg Ace: Same deal as Mirrorman and Fireman. No downloads for this guy, unfortunately, so here’s a link to montage of fights, along with his theme song (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4WT-WbHPVk), a link to a video about his partner Jumborg 9, along with HIS theme song (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRiKOwyd95I), and a link to a fight between Jumborg Ace and a monster called Dump Kong, because I’m an immature little shit (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1ADTEtL3is)

    Jumborg Ace & The Giant: A movie made by Chaiyo about Jumborg Ace. You can watch it if you want, I guess (I’m pretty sure this is some souped up, George Lucas Special Edition version of the movie since I’m seeing a lot of cheap After Effects shots in this, but…. eh: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAOAO8fMDKw

    Ultraman Taro

    Mirror Fight: This is sort of like a Mirrorman version of “Ultra Fight”… buuuuut I can’t seem to find any clips of it whatsoever, so…. um…. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-QpJQURLek)

    Ultraman Leo: I’m starting to notice that I’m making more special paragraphs than I initially anticipated; but seriously though, if there are any kids in the room, wait until they leave. This show has an unfortunate habit of throwing extremely fucked up visuals at you without warning. Yes… worse than Redman. In fact there’s a particular fight in Ultraman Ace that you should watch out for, as well. I’m not gonna say what happens, but it involves this guy (http://ultra.wikia.com/wiki/Doragory) doing something like this (https://68.media.tumblr.com/b76797e8b891ff1dab291c0ac1c6c528/tumblr_o54j8nSyVz1tjydheo1_500.gif) to another monster. Except possibly more gory.

    Hanuman and The 6 Ultra Brothers: Yeah, I’m sure you’ve heard about this one. I’m gonna link you yo the movie on YouTube just in case you want to watch it. Also it’s the Japanese version of the movie because fuck Chaiyo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDrn2hUl-_M

    The Ultraman (Ultraman Jonias): Here’s something special for yer ass. Not only am I going to link the playlist for the movie I was talking about last time (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MD-7lzSGsZ0&list=PLDNYT27FdGhGxVdRACKWHTEwQfGImAZif) but also a link to an awesome fight that you won’t find in either movie, involving classic Ultra monsters (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZzf0YHc7q8) as well as one where he fights Baltan, which unfortunately doesn’t have sound, but it does have the awesome theme song playing in the background (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJzBjCe1rlk) and finally a LIVE ACTION fight scene filmed for an Ultraman movie from the 80’s which I would probably put a link to, but as far as I know it’s just thinly veiled clip show, so fuck it. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYz2I2g2jz0)

    Ultraman 80

    Andro Melos: Again this may seem a little random, but it’s worth it as not only does it have a whole bunch of Ultra monsters in it, but believe it or not, it’s actually the show that begins the story arc of the what the fuck this guy’s (http://ultra.wikia.com/wiki/Mold#Original) deal was in Ultraman X, since I know you’ve seen that. Andro Melos is actually the start of his story, along with his other siblings Gina, and his more important brother, Juda, Which we’ll definitely talk about more down the road. Hi No Tori Fansubs once again only has 10 episodes so far, but just check back occasionally for any updates.

    Ultraman Zoffy The Movie: Technically this is just another clip show movie, but it has some redeeming qualities, like the theme song
    (Full Version: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5kcrva
    Movie Verison: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IH_3sJO00zM), and this amazing scene where a wrestling announcer goes full WWE on an OG Ultraman fight (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXXMjFbvhpk)

    Ultraman Story: Just barely escapes the label of clip show. The canonicity of this film needs to be called into question, but you should still watch as it’s a legitimately charming coming-of-age story about our good friend Ultraman Taro and it continues Juda’s arc through the series.

    Ultraman USA: The Adventure Begins: This is the Hannah Barbera movie I was talking about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX4hBcyKz0Q

    Ultraman Towards The Future (Ultraman Great): The Ultra from down under. Fun Fact, this was supposed to have a second season that never came to be, which would have introduced the Ultra Brothers into the mix: Link to the original intro (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIfNXp8xcow) Link to the Japanese intro (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKp9YndfOHU) Link to the entire series (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWXS8iQDpuY&index=1&list=PLP5nuIl8bvOyw6gtqpy-svMoGmPqZnTMV)

    Ultraman The Ultimate Hero (Ultraman Powered): The American retelling of the original series: Link to Japanese intro (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65qkPu47W0I) Link to entire series (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-0NPDlNH7Y&list=PLP5nuIl8bvOyMgbxLXpzEM2-IeSbwo9Co)

    Ultraman Neos: Technically this came out in 2001, but it was actually supposed to come out in 1995 after the previous couple of mentioned series’, to kick the original Japanese line of shows back in gear, but it was dropped in favor of Ultraman Tiga. You can see a preview for the show here, along with appearances from our the gaijin Ultras, implying some canonical connection between the two worlds (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJ-yC8twp6I)

    Heisei Era: Ultraman Zearth 1 & 2: These two masterpieces are Ultraman parody movies made by Tsuburaya to celebrate Ultraman’s 30th anniversary. There are two dvd copies of the movies on Ebay boasting an English dub, which from what I’ve seen, I HIGHLY recommend! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjUBuiIG_oU)

    Ebay listings: Ultraman Zearth (https://www.ebay.com/itm/DVD-Ultraman-Zearth-1st-Story-ENGLISH-DUB-BONUS-DVD-FREE-SHIPPING/281322346079?hash=item41801e565f:g:K4UAAMXQDnpTX0PM)

    Ultraman Zearth 2 (https://www.ebay.com/itm/DVD-ULTRAMAN-ZEARTH-2-English-SUB-Free-Shipping/151309010877?epid=858943727&hash=item233ab847bd:g:RtMAAOxyaURTfb5b)

    Ultraman Tiga

    Ultraman Tiga: The Final Odyssey: This came out in 2000, but takes place 2 years after the ending of Ultraman Tiga and it connects the dots between Tiga and Dyna. Speaking of which…

    Ultraman Dyna: The sequel series to Ultraman Tiga. Get ready for a whole bunch of reboots after this. I really wish I could recommend you to the entire series, but unfortunately, the only people who seem to be working on subbing it is Hi No Tori Fansubs, which only have 8 episode up so far. Just download the episodes of their site, watch this clip since it seems to be a popular fight from the show (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68Cd-MhJ9gs) and read up on this guy since he’s apparently important for later (http://ultra.wikia.com/wiki/Hanejiro)

    Ultraman Tiga & Ultraman Dyna: Warriors of the Star of Light: I haven’t seen the entire series and the Ultraman Wiki doesn’t really specify where this is supposed to fit into the timeline, so just watch it after you’re done with Ultraman Dyna

    Ultraman Dyna: The Return of Hanejiro: The Ultraman Wiki says that this movie takes place in between episodes 47 & 48 of Dyna, but since we don’t have those available to us at this time, just watch it after the last movie.

    Ultraman Tiga Gaiden: Revival of the Ancient Giant, Ultraman Gaia

    Ultraman Gaia: The Battle In Hyperspace: This movie takes place either during or after episode 42 of Ultraman Gaia, but the movie really has no bearing on the plot of the show, so just watch it afterwards.

    Ultraman Gaia: Gaia Again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFR7fkO3iFE

    Ultraman Nice: This guy made his mark in commercials that were aired during re-runs of Ultraman Tiga in 1999. He’s usually paired with Zearth as he’s one of the only other intentionally goofy Ultras: Part 1 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9fQ2YtXpBA) Part 2 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdZ8XZmW9fk)

    Ultraman Cosmos: The First Contact

    Ultraman Cosmos (series): This one is on KissAsian, as for a lot of others on this extremely long list, but it’s missing episodes 50, 52, 54, 56, & 58 for some odd reason. So to fill in the gaps, I shall link you to some very poorly dubbed versions of those episodes that are on YouTube (I apologize in advance): Episode 50 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpu2MyLm3hE) Episode 52 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3yfyOvNhxc) Episode 54 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQHvVU45ed0) Episode 56 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEPJCiRJ9BA) Episode 58 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVjfKNAkM4U)

    Ultraman Cosmos 2: The Blue Planet, Ultraman Cosmos vs Ultraman Justice: The Final Battle

    Ultra Q: Dark Fantasy: Unlike Cosmos, I can’t seem to find a way to find the missing episodes for this one.

    ULTRAMAN (Ultraman The Next), Ultraman Nexus, Ultraman Max,

    Ultraman Mebius: One final return to the original series’ timeline since Ultraman 80.

    Ultraman Mebius & The Ultra Brothers: This one you kind of HAVE to watch in between the series, or else there’ll be things that won’t make sense afterwards. Try to watch this one in between episodes 23 and 24.

    Ultraman Mebius Gaiden: Hikari Saga, Ultraman Mebius Gaiden: Armored Darkness,

    Superior 8 Ultra Brothers: A sequel to Ultraman Mebius & The Ultra Brothers

    Ultraseven X: This show came out right after Mebius, but I wanted to get the bulk of Mebius’ story out of the way before we just into this gigantic tonal shift of a show. This is the first Ultra show made specifically for adults. So get ready for some nice toku style swearing and bloodshed.

    Ultra Galaxy: Mega Monster Battle: This show is especially unique as Ultraman isn’t even in it! Well, at least not until the very end. However it is canon and the Ultra Galaxy series plays a HUGE role in the series’ near future.

    Ultraman Mebius Gaiden; Ghost Reverse: OK, I know I said I was done with Mebius, but this acts as a prequel to the next series, so give this a watch before jumping into…

    Ultra Galaxy: Mega Monster Battle Never Ending Odyssey (NEO)

    Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legends The Movie: If you’re planning on watching the, currently, most recent Ultraman Geed, then you better give this film and the upcoming films and Gaiden shorts a watch since they play a big part in that show’s story. Also apparently there’s a cliffhanger from the last episode of Ultraman Dyna that’s resolved in this movie. Quite random.

    Ultra Galaxy Legend Gaiden: Ultraman Zero vs Darklops Zero: This is officially the last entry in the Ultra Galaxy line of shows and movies, as from now on, the main Ultraverse is strictly going to be dealing with Zero and Belial.

    Ultraman Zero The Movie: The Revenge of Belial: This where all of that time dicking around with those other Non-Ultra shows pays off (except Andro Melos. Watching that is it’s own reward.)

    Ultraman Zero Gaiden: Killer The Beatstar

    Ultraman Saga: This is the final film in the Ultraman Zero trilogy, as well as the final piece of media to be set in the Tiga/Dyna timeline, chronologically and otherwise.

    Ultra Zero Fight

    Neo Ultra Q: Apparently the channel TOKU had been going buck wild with the Ultraman content, as I didn’t even know until making this list that they aired this show on their channel. Give it a watch, if you can.

    Ok, we’re on the homestretch. On to the Modern Era: Ultraman Ginga

    Ultraman Ginga: Theater Special: To be honest, watching this is kind of pointless since it’s packaged in with the actual show as just a regular episode. The only reason to see this version, if you’re so inclined, is for a few more minutes of monster action.

    Ultraman Ginga S, Ultra Fight Victory

    Ultraman GInga S The Movie: Showdown! The 10 Ultra Warriors (ain’t that a mouthful?): There was an English dubbed version of this movie released a while back in limited theaters, along with Ultraman X: The Movie: Here Comes Our Ultraman!. I’ve heard very scarce info on the DVD releases of these movies, so for now watch the subbed version on KissAsian.

    Ultraman X

    Ultraman X The Movie: Here Comes Our Ultraman: Again, it’s on the same boat as the Ginga S movie. Except this time, all we can do is wait. 😦

    Ultraman Orb

    Ultraman Orb: THE ORIGIN SAGA: I heard here was an English sub version coming to Amazon Prime. That was a while ago though, and I haven’t heard anything since. Only time will tell I suppose.

    Ultraman Orb The Movie: Lend Me The Power of Bonds!: Currently no way of watching the movie. Add that to the “sit and be patient” list.

    And FINNNNAAALLLYYY, we’re at the end of our list with the currently ongoing Ultraman Geed!

    Holy shit, this was singlehandedly the longest, yet nerdiest thing I have ever written. I feel like there is now way to read all of THAT ^ and not be at least a little intimidated by it. This literally took me a whole day to write. I really should have abandoned the whole “special paragraph” thing a long time ago, but I was in too deep at that point. Anyway, I hope this isn’t the last we hear from your Ultraman review series, as a result of text wall. I assure you that the journey is far more valuable then the destination with this series. Just don’t worry about it too much, and have a nice day. Seriously, please do, I have to work in a bakery all by myself tommorrow. I need to know SOMEONE is having a good time out there. Have a good night, and happy trails on your journey, should you choose to embark on it

    P.S: Any show or movie that I didn’t give a link to is either on Crunchyroll, KissAsian, Hi No Tori Fansubs, mentioned already on how to obtain it in a previous comment or I just assumed you knew how to get a hold of it yourself.

    • Also, sorry about some of the shoddy links and grammar. It’s currently 2:20 AM where I am and I was too tired to go back and proofread everything. Hopefully it isn’t too much of a problem.

      Oh, I forgot to finish the description of Juda’s arc. He appears again in Ultra Fight Victory, and his siblings conclude his story in Ultraman X.

      OK, NOW I’m done.

      • This is the Sistine Chapel of Ultraman viewing guides. Thanks a billion my man! I’ll be returning to this A LOT–the descriptor paragraphs and video links are a huge boon in navigating this insane, multi-decade franchise.

        Other thoughts:

        Dump Kong is my spirit animal, though maybe just the name since he looks like a cool robot and not, you know, the King Kong of dumps.

        I’ve seen Doragory’s gruesome demise and it simultaneously makes me very excited and a little leery about diving into Ultraman Leo. The slasher/horror fan side of me is interested in the insane monster gore, the kaiju/monster fan side of me will be very very saddened by said monster gore.

  4. Er, hold on a second here… Beat Takeshi played Zatoichi in the 2003 film.

    Wait, hold on again… was the Beethoven drawing actually there or did you edit that into the image???

    How do you feel about the psychic children’s drawings of Godzilla in “Godzilla vs. Biollante”?

    Yeah, yeah, Honda’s quote about the tragedy of monsters is great and all, but I really like his thoughts about his Trans Am’s radio.

    Ultraman is an absolute DICK in the Gavadon episode. There is no earthly excuse for the treatment he gives Gavadon. Being a giant monster is not a crime, Ultra Seijin!

    In a later episode, you will get to see what became of Gavadon… and all the other Ultra monsters.

    That’s not Bemular Gavadon’s feuding with. That’s dipshit monster(TM) Gyango!

    • Those are unaltered screenshots, so yeah, for some reason there is an incredibly detailed Beethoven portrait among the kids’ monster drawings. I… couldn’t figure that out. Is one of the kids an insane artistic prodigy? Who considers Beethoven to be a contemporary of Red King? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      The psychic kids’ drawings in Biollante are awesome because that’s such a fun moment and I think they did a better job of mixing in pictures that could be believably drawn by actual children.

      Aw fuck, Gyango’s stupid shit-eating grin shoulda been a dead giveaway! Still fun to see that dumb asshole again, and it’s thematically appropriate that the two imagination-themed monsters would beef with each other!

      It’s legit fucked up that Gavadon got killed for sleeping while being a kaiju. Just airlift him someplace remote! I liked the idea that just his presence was disruptive enough to be a problem, but he didn’t need to fucking DIE for it.

      I have it on good authority that there’s a Raiders of the Lost Ark-style super secret vault under Toho that has Honda’s Trans Am perfectly preserved (Journey still in the tape deck) with Tsuburaya’s spellbook buckled into the passenger seat. Some security guards say the spellbook is warm to the touch and has a heartbeat, others say that sometimes the car stereo will randomly turn on and blast Separate Ways at full volume in Japanese. The last few guards disappeared mysteriously.

  5. Hey there. So, I’m not sure about how Word Press or how any blog works for that matter, but I Ieft a comment on your page that has a message above it that says “Your comment is awaiting moderation”. I don’t know what that means. Does that mean no one can see it? Is there some sort of “blog bot” that moniters any sort of comment that it might find problematic? I don’t know. Aside from the length, I don’t think I said anything offensive. Do you have any control on what’s going on with all of that?

      • Awesome sauce! https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSzws69oKYKESpeEGUlhOFLbq5t8I2nczdq6XGlc6DuoTipufA16w

        So glad to hear that you like the list! Ultraman is pretty much been my bread and butter for as long as I can remember. Aside from the original show, which is pretty much my childhood, I think my second favorite show is Ultraman Mebius. I know I said Tiga was my introduction to a bigger world of Ultraman, but it wasn’t until I started using the internet myself that I found out about the franchise as a whole. Ultraman Mebius was the most recent show when I first started studying up about it, and what a perfect show to get back into the series with, because little did I know at the time, Ultraman Mebius was pretty much the last traditional Ultraman show ever, even to this day. It just feels like something ripped straight from the old days and it gave me so much nostalgia for when I used to watch the original Ultraman as a kid. Since it was the 40th anniversary of Ultraman at the time, one of the show’s purposes was to wrap up pretty much every loose end left by all the shows from the original series. One thing you’ll notice from watching the seventies and eighties Ultraman shows, is that some of the final episodes (i.e Ultraman Taro, Ultraman 80) don’t really feel like final episodes at all. Since Ultraman was so popular during that time period, they weren’t really concerned about making a proper conclusion the some of the shows and we’re more concerned with just hurrying up and moving on to the next show. Ultraman mebius pretty Ultraman Mebius takes it upon itself to give these classic shows proper conclusions and since so much time has passed since the shows aired on TV, even to someone who hasn’t seen the majority of the series at the time, gave me a strange sense of noatalgia, because you can just tell that the people who were making these episodes we’re big fans of the show when they were kids. It’s even better watching the show again after I watced all of the original series for the first, because now the episodes hold more actual emotional weight.

    • It won’t let me reply to your comment about Mebius and growing up with the franchise, so I’m replying here.

      It’s always super interesting to hear from long-time franchise fans, and in a way I’ll always be a little jealous of folks that got to watch one Ultra series or another (or several!) as a kid. Due to a bunch of different factors (mostly Ultraman being out of vogue in the US in the late 80s/early 90s), outside of a couple toy commercials (I assume tying in with US broadcasts of the Aussie show?) Ultraman was never on my radar as a kid.

      Even as an adult kaiju fan it took me FOREVER to give it a try because of my weird bias toward it: my first impression was that it was a superhero show first and a kaiju show second, so I reasoned (in hindsight, NONSENSICALLY) that it wouldn’t be as exciting as a monster-led film or show. I’ll forever and ever be thankful for the G-Fest showing of “The Little Hero” that opened my eyes to a huge, thriving branch of kaiju fiction that I couldn’t afford to ignore any longer!

      Even now there doesn’t seem to be a shitload of Ultra fans in the West, so it’s always exciting to meet one! Thanks again for reading and for the awesome comments!

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