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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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!