Where are the last two months’ reviews? I’ll tell you: fuckin’ nowhere! Life is hard. Many, many things are total dogshit when it comes to life in 2020, but one of like four things that isn’t a complete, blood-shitting, teeth-grinding nightmare is being a kaiju fan! Holy shit there is so much going on and coming up! It even occasionally makes me hope that our inevitable extinction level event (be it a global ecological catastrophe, World War III, or uh tainted Moon water?) will hold off until…. maybe like 2022 or ’23 (tops).
For October I was considering doing a mini episode round-up of Ultraman Z, the current and absolutely excellent installment of the long-running Ultraman series. Buuuut October also saw the birth of a cool new kaiju art challenge, Titanotober! But it’s also been forever since I reviewed Ultraman ’66 episodes. But also also but I’ve been wanting to review Gamera vs. Guiron for like, the last year or so.
In classic Matt fashion I couldn’t figure out which one to commit to. Throw in long hours at work, maintaining inter-personal relationships (that is, largely failing at maintaining said relationships), the chores and daily duties of everyday life, plus the twin siren songs of Animal Crossing AND Super Mario 3D All-Stars and you have a Voltron of responsibilities and distractions that’s better at eradicating free time better than actual Voltron is at killing off space monsters!
So what? So this time I’m doing something a little different and dipping into a little bit of everything that’s swirling around in the kaijuverse… ESPECIALLY GODZILLA SINGULAR POINT HOLY FUCKING SHIT YOU SEEN THIS?!?!?!
If you haven’t, check it out! Then slap the “read more of Matt’s bullshit” button! If you want. You do you. Self care, etc. XOXOXOX
Holy balls it’s been over a year since I’ve done an Ultraman round-up?! Happy to say the wait is finally over! I’ve got a pair of Ultra-sodes ready and rarin’ to be recapped, reviewed and reminisced over! This time we got a smoke monster (eat your heart out Lost!) and we got a burrowing worm monster!
Whether you’re new to Ultramania or it’s just, you know, been over a year since I’ve reviewed this stuff, you can start from the beginning here or brush up on the last pair of episodes here!
The more Ultraman I see the more I dig it. And not just the original series (which I recently finished for the first time)! I’ve made some headway into the next series, Ultraseven… and I’ve watched all of Ultraman X, Ultraman Orb, Ultraman Geed, and both seasons of Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle! Plus we watched Ultraman the Next on the Kaijuly movie marathon stream, and guess what? That shit ruled too. Basically, if you enjoy Godzilla, Gamera, et al. enough to read this site and/or listen to our podcast, you GOTTA give Ultraman a shot. I am like, eternally grateful it was forced on me that one fateful G-Fest. Let’s jump into these episodes!
It’s that magical time of year: Kaijuly! Artists are churning out daily kaiju pieces (as always I’m getting a big kick out of Lisa Naffziger’s work), lucky Chicago-bound lil’ stinkers will be hitting up G-Fest this weekend, and today is fricking Ultraman Day! Monsters Conquer the World and Super Apartment Friends are joining in the monster mayhem too! Ralph and I just recorded a Monsters Conquer the World Podcast episode about Gamera vs. Jiger! That’ll be popping up in your favorite podcatcher soon! It was really, really fun watching this with someone who had no idea what they were getting into.
I can earnestly say the episode will be worth a listen for Ralph’s monster impersonations alone.
But wait, there’s even more Kaijuly coolness! Czech it:
Reviewing more Ultraman episodes after a couple months of movie reviews (especially new zillion-dollar Hollywood movies) has weirdly started to feel like coming home. One of the benefits of Ultraman being a steadily episodic TV series instead of a more disjointed film series like Godzilla or Gamera is its charming and consistent human cast. I wasn’t so sure about these orange-clad action-scientists early on, but now I tune in for them almost (almost) as much as I do for the giant monster smackdowns!
This month’s duo of episodes load us up with demons, ghosts, and blood feuds that span time and the very barrier between life and death! If you haven’t read any of my Ultraman episode reviews, you’ll probably want to start from the beginning, or maybe just refresh yourself on the most recent round of reviews. Grab your time capsule and look both ways before crossing Route 87, because it’s time to get ULTRA!
We just GOTSTA have a little viewing party to celebrate! This Saturday at 2PM (Eastern) I’ll celebrate 75 likes on ye olde Tome of Faces with an Ultraseven….ty-five marathon! Drop in here: https://www.rabb.it/MonstersConquerTheWorld this Saturday if you can!
This month’s Ultraman review is still coming too, so keep an eye peeled! The last day of May is still May!
Monsters Conquer The World turns 4 tomorrow (holy shit)! To celebrate, I’m going to host a monsterrific marathon tomorrow starting at 1! Godzilla, Gamera, Ultraman, plus some oddballs and surprises! Drop in if you can!
Big marathons like this I’ll save for important anniversaries and stuff, but I definitely think there’s another Ultraseven viewing party in the not-to-distant future. Watch this space (or Twitter or Facebook or whatever) for news on that front.
Thanks for reading for the last four years! Here’s to another four… TRILLION
Watching through the classic Ultraman series continues to be a wildly entertaining ride, but one of my favorite aspects of the show has (surprisingly) been the Science Patrol.
This is because the Science Patrol are absolutely, unmistakably proto-Ghostbusters.
And Ghostbusters is still my undisputed number one favorite movie of all time.
Don’t believe me? Try and guess which team I’m describing:
They are plucky, lovable nerds that cruise around in a (potentially inappropriate for the job) vintage car decked out with their logo, wear iconic jumpsuits, utilize wacky new tech they invent on the fly, and shoot radical but insanely dangerous lightning-lasers at freaky-ass supernatural monsters in a modern setting. Said supernatural monsters include man-sized undead horrors AND skyscraper-sized demigods. Their HQ features a fireman’s pole. They have an awesomely catchy/singable theme song.
GIVE UP? THAT IS BECAUSE I DESCRIBED BOTH TEAMS MY DUDE.
If the Science Patrol are Ghostbusters, obviously Ultraman is Slimer.
Super nerd bonus round: The original storyboards for Ghostbusters had them wearing Science Patrol-style helmets with adjustable visors:
Whoa I haven’t reviewed any Ultraman episodes all year! Time to fix that with a trio of titanic tales! If you’re new here or just need a refresher, be sure to hit up the six previous installments in my review series: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
Real talk: it’s a little disquieting to see that it’s been over a year since I started reviewing the original Ultraman series and I’m barely halfway done. A lot of that is because I take plenty of breaks–I don’t want MONSTERS CONQUER THE WORLD to become an all-Ultraman all the time blog–but still, damn. Does it bug anybody, or are we all cool with my meandering pace? (For real, let me know in the comments) I was cool with it until I started crunching the numbers… maybe I’m just impatient? There’s a lot of giant monster/kaiju content out there, and I wanna review as much of it as I can!
I might change how often I review Ultraman episodes, but I do NOT plan on lessening the depth I go into for each episode: this show is too influential and too iconic for a quick skim.
Speaking of episodes, we got three winners on the docket for this month! They’re all kinda spooky-creepy too! It’s an exciting change of pace considering the last two I reviewed skewed a little lighter and goofier. The show in general feels like it’s getting more confident, telling bolder and stranger stories as it goes on. This month we get a gaslighting asshole from outer space, mind-melting fourth dimensional fuckery, and the return of Ultraman’s most sinister villains! Strap in Science Patrollers, shit’s gettin’ EERIE!
After 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.
Haruo Nakajima, the man inside the original Godzilla (and many other classic monsters like Mothra, Rodan, King Kong, and various Ultraman baddies) passed away on Monday August 7th, 2017. He was one of the best and bravest performers in film history, bringing to life one of the most iconic and beloved characters of the last century.
Nakajima was a founding figure in the genre, having played Godzilla for the first twelve consecutive films. Nakajima imbued rubber suit monsters with an impossible amount of emotion, personality, and humanity. He didn’t just endure the hellish conditions inside the kaiju suits (more often than not at risk of drowning, asphyxiation, and/or burns from pyrotechnics), he thrived, using his expertise to coach his fellow suit actors and choreograph the creature brawls that have thrilled audiences all over the world. He was The Man of a Thousand Monsters, and he’s directly responsible for some of the coolest shit to ever happen in cinema.
Fans from all over the world have stepped up and shared their favorite Nakajima stories, pictures, and tributes online, so I’ve collected some personal favorites here. Click through to check them out!