News Stay At Home With ULTRAMAN| Ultra Science Fiction Hour on YouTube

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Kai "the spy", May 1, 2020.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, I finished Ultraseven on ShoutFactory and have watched the first two episodes of The Return of Ultraman, which apparently is misnamed because it's actually the retroactively named Ultraman Jack rather than the original guy. I wish I'd realized before episode 2 that the first two episodes are both directed by none other than Ishiro Honda. They seem to be going in a more character-driven direction in this series, with the protagonist having more of a learning curve about being Ultraman, and with what looks like an ongoing arc involving Go's civilian friends back at the auto garage. Interesting that they did this series with Ultraman's host being a race car driver, since this was from the same year as Kamen Rider, with Takeshi Hongo being a motorcycle racer.

    I'm also glad they've shifted back to a focus on kaiju rather than alien invasions. It got kind of ridiculous how many different alien species were all trying to conquer Earth in U7 -- and why so many of them randomly had giant monsters working for them or could randomly turn giant themselves. At least Return offers an excuse for why so many monster attacks are underway at once, even if it's a flimsy excuse about some kind of global upheaval releasing them or waking them from their underground slumber.
     
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  2. Kai "the spy"

    Kai "the spy" Admiral Admiral

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    This week's installment of the 55th Anniversary Campaign sees another first episode, this time that of "Ultraman Max":
     
  3. Kai "the spy"

    Kai "the spy" Admiral Admiral

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    Today, Tsuburaya does not only present us with episode #11 of "Ultraman Cosmos", ...


    ... but also with a six minute Ultimate Trailer for "Ultraman Trigger":
     
  4. Kai "the spy"

    Kai "the spy" Admiral Admiral

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    And once again, two uploads today. First, as was expected, episode #33 of "Gridmand":


    And then, from the Ultra Heroes Expo, a live stage show featuring Ultraman Z's first encounter with Ultraman Geed (with optional English subtitles provided):
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Five episodes into The Return of Ultraman, I just realized why Captain Kato seemed familiar to me. Nobuo Tsukamoto would go on to play Tani, the mentor character to Skyrider and Super-1 in the Kamen Rider franchise. Which means both of the recurring Showa-era Rider mentors were former Ultraman captains, since the mentor from the first five Kamen Rider series, Tobei Tachibana, was played by Akiji Kobayashi, the captain from the original Ultraman. I wonder if that was intentional.
     
  6. Samurai8472

    Samurai8472 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's also going to be 25 episodes. That seems really short for such a large cast
     
  7. Kai "the spy"

    Kai "the spy" Admiral Admiral

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    Episode #24 of "Ultraman Chronicle Z: Heroes' Odyssey" presents Ultraman Zero's first battle with Belial, and the re-awakening of the Dark Giants from "Ultraman Tiga" (preparing the audience for "Ultraman Trigger"):
     
  8. Kai "the spy"

    Kai "the spy" Admiral Admiral

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    Here's the re-uploaded episode #20 of "Ultraman Z", featuring classic Ultra Q artificial lifeform M1:
     
  9. Kai "the spy"

    Kai "the spy" Admiral Admiral

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    A Super Express train vanishes, and an important scientist with it, in episode #3 of "Mirrorman":
     
  10. Kai "the spy"

    Kai "the spy" Admiral Admiral

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    EYES wants to protect a kaiju with only a one day lifespan from the JSDF, in episode #12 of "Ultraman Cosmos":
     
  11. Kai "the spy"

    Kai "the spy" Admiral Admiral

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    The 55th Anniversary Campaign seems to be all about First Episodes by now. This week, it's one very dear to my heart, as episode #1 of "Ultraman Mebius" was the first I got to watch completely, instead of just in 1min> clips on the mid-00s internet:
     
  12. Kai "the spy"

    Kai "the spy" Admiral Admiral

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    Episode #13 of "Ultraman Cosmos" is the first part of the first two-part episode of the series:
     
  13. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Just finished Ultraman Ace. It was watchable and usually pretty decent, but after the original premise of two hosts for Ace is over (with Episode 28, when they write the female host off with about the level of effort as Poochie on the Simpsons) the show goes rapidly downhill. There are very few standout episodes after episode 28. There are a few cameos from older Ultramen, but some are so small its ridiculous (there is an episode where Zoffy is named in the title, but shows up for maybe 30 seconds). The focus on kid focused episodes also gets bad. Not quite Zyuranger bad, but more then the original Ultraman. They even had the first "6th Ultra Brother", a little turd named Dan who luckily they dropped after about 12 episodes.

    One thing I also noticed is that the Ace costume got very rough in the middle of the show. I thought that they made multiple copies of a suit, but if they did for Ace I'd have hated to see the condition of the other suits. Sure, some of the returning Ultras had kind of shabby suits, but they were returning characters and I get why the show didn't spend money on new suits for them, but Ace was the title character. It wasn't a big deal or anything, but it was noticeable.

    The supporting cast wasn't anything to write home about. The dual host concept was cool, but neither Hokuto nor Minami were that interesting (and Hokuto could frequently be an asshole, like when he physically assaulted a female civilian just because she was yelling at him). The rest of the TAC team was really just nothing. You had the Captain, the fat guy, the obnoxious guy, the (other) woman , and the filler guy. Nothing particularly memorable, and their uniform helmets looked pretty stupid.

    Overall I didn't hate this show, but there isn't much to love, either. The first 28 episodes kind of make their own decent show, but after that you don't get much (even the last episode is pretty lame, with Ace's reason for leaving Earth being stupid).

    While I'm also watching Mega Monster Battle Season 1 (after finishing Ultraman R/B), my next Showa series is going to be Return of Ultraman, followed by Ultraman Taro (and eventually Leo when I get the Bluray, and hopefully more after that as Millcreek keeps releasing shows).
     
  14. Kai "the spy"

    Kai "the spy" Admiral Admiral

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    In episode #34 of "Gridman", Kahn Digifer sends a warrior from the past into the present:

    The warrior monk Benkei is an actual historic figure.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Meanwhile, I'm still finding Return of Ultraman fairly enjoyable. But it's interesting that instead of having a trigger device like most Ultras, Go's transformation into Ultraman (Jack) is more like Dr. Banner to the Hulk, seemingly involuntary and triggered by extreme stress, fear, or physical danger. It occurs to me that that would've made more sense for Ultraseven -- if he spontaneously reverted to his natural Ultra form under sufficient stress or danger. Although then they couldn't have done so many "I can't transform because the alien invaders of the week stole my Ultra Eye yet again" episodes. Which, come to think of it, wouldn't have been such a bad thing.

    By the way, Akiji Kobayashi was in the 2-parter in episodes 13-14, playing a ship captain traumatized by a kaiju attack. So that means both of the Ultraman captains who would later play Kamen Rider mentors were in the same 2-parter, although they had no scenes together. Coincidentally, the 2-parter aired around the same time that Kamen Rider (in which Kobayashi was then co-starring) wrote out its original lead actor due to injury and introduced his replacement.
     
  16. Kai "the spy"

    Kai "the spy" Admiral Admiral

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    The 25th and final episode of "Ultraman Chronicle Z: Heroes' Odyssey" concludes Tiga's confrontation with the Dark Giants from the movie "Ultraman Tiga: The Final Odyssey":


    And in episode #21 of "Ultraman Z", the controversial D4 weapon is introduced to the STORAGE team:
     
  17. Kai "the spy"

    Kai "the spy" Admiral Admiral

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    In episode #4 of "Mirrorman", an agent of the alien invaders falls victim to a hit-and-run:
     
  18. Kai "the spy"

    Kai "the spy" Admiral Admiral

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    Episode #14 of "Ultraman Cosmos" presents the conclusion of the first two-part story of the show:
     
  19. Kai "the spy"

    Kai "the spy" Admiral Admiral

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    This week (and presumably, next week as well), the 55th Anniversary Campaign moves away from the first episodes to present episode #39 of "UltraSeven", part one of "The Seven Assassination Plan":
     
  20. Kai "the spy"

    Kai "the spy" Admiral Admiral

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    Episode #15 of "Ultraman Cosmos" goes underwater:



    There's also another global live-stream event for "Ultraman Day" on July 10: