Suburban Senshi Chat #1676 - “Sailor Q's Ultra World: Ultraman! Ultra Operation No.1!!”

“Sailor Q's Ultra World: Ultra Operation No.1!!”

Sailor Q's Ultra World!


Hidy ho everyone! Welcome to another edition of Sailor Q’s Ultra World! Today we will be looking at the first episode of the first series of Ultraman! Ultra Operation No.1!!!! (apt name don’t you think?) which aired on the 17th of July, 1966!

                After the typical title sequence and opening song, we open on two balls flying around in a studio…I mean space! These two balls muck around for a bit before we change our focus to Hayate, brave member of the Science Patrol, our brave heroes in orange, and occassionally blue. After reporting in the strange sight, Hayate makes the very wise decision to get a closer look at the two space balls. While the blue one escapes into a lake where Japanese teenagers are having a very uninteresting party, the red one slams into Hayate’s jet, causing it to crash land in a miniature set...I mean forest.  The science patrol gets the call that Hayate’s jet has crashed landed and immediately decides to do something unzipping their pants to reveal their uniform underneath which begs the question why aren’t they sweating their hair off during the previous scenes.  We cut back to the uninteresting teens and a couple of police officers who find Hayata’s body, which immediately is surrounded by a giant red beach ball/space ball/alien thing and rises into the air. Inside we are introduced to Ultraman (yay!) who explains he was chasing the terrible monster bemlar when he hit Hayata’s plane.

Only real men wear orange ties!

 He feels so bad about killing the science patrol member that he gives him a device called a beta capsule and tells him with it, Hayata will be able to transform into Ultraman to fight evil and such. Then the ball explodes. Yes, it explodes. EXPLODES. The remaining science patrol members show up and discover the remains of Hayata’s ship, now more than certain he has died. One of the teens explains to them what he saw, as does a cop, which gets some of the members interested in finding his body. CUT TO MORNING, and we are introduced to Hoshino, the kid who hangs around the team for no real reason. Is he a mascot, an orphin, or maybe they just keep him there for a laugh? NO TIME TO WASTE WITH THAT THOUGH! BEMLAR APPEARS. And he is…incredibly lame.

The Terrible Monster Bemlar!!!!

For a first episode monster, bemlar’s face is in a perpetual silly grin with it’s tongue stuck out and tiny useless appendages for arms. Terrible monster indeed. He then sinks under the water and commercial break. Back at HQ, Hayata calls Fuji, the only female member on the team and asks her to get him a submarine to kick some silly monster ass. When the other members of the team learn of this, they all mock Fuji for being the girl she is, for which she promises to emasculate them when they return to headquarters. The next part ends up being one of the most repetitive and dull of the entire episode. Hayata goes after Bemalar in the sub and fires on it, causing it to surface, which is followed by the other members using their jets to fire on it from the air, which causes it to sink under the sea. Apply, rinse and repeat. Bake in the oven for 360 degrees for an hour and serve four. Eventually bemlar actually does something and grabs Hayata’s sub with its teeth and flings it to shore. It then torches the forest with it’s one decent weapon, endangering Hayata in the process. With no opitions left, Hayata transforms into Ultraman and OMG WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIS FACE! IT’S LIKE IT’S MELTED.

A face only a Mother of Ultra could love…

 Oh ahem. I’ll get into that later. Anyway! The battle begins! For a first time battle, it’s rather straight forward, with Ultraman basically beating the shit out of the flailing beasty until such time where he can throw it defeated into the water.

Ultraman has a very strange weightlifting regiment…

 We also learn during this that Ultraman only has a short time limit to fight which is caused by Earth’s atmosphere. Anyway. The big blue space ball rises from the sea (how many times have I used the word ball in this review) and Ultraman blasts it with his all powerful Specium Ray, his strongest weapon ever, that is until later monsters that prove totally impervious to it. Oh well. We then end with everyone thinking Hayata is dead, until he shows up. He says Ultraman saved him, comic relief guy Ide makes a joke and they all go home. The End!

Sailor Q’s Thoughts

All jokes aside, the episode is extremely mediocre. The monster is not really that menacing, the plot is pretty straightforward and the effects are only ok. First time viewers might be put off by Ultraman’s looks, though these only remain in the first few episodes before the mask became more refined and streamlined. The actors themselves put in a good job for an introduction, serving to tell us who they are and their personality quarks (Muramatsu: Captain, Hayata: hero, Arashi: strongman, Ide: Comic Relief, Fuji: girl, Hoshino: annoying kid).

 It’s also interesting to note that this was NOT the first episode filmed, with the second episode actually coming in production first, but I’ll get to that next week. All in all, Ultraman’s first appearance was basic and did its job. 

What you learn from Ultraman

·         Japanese teens in the 60s put on very boring parties

·         The most terrible monster in the galaxy has very wobbly arms

·         Aliens fly around in space balls

Next week: Cicadas invaded the Earth and are cool as all hell! Ultraman Episode 2: Shoot the Invader! Till then!

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