It’s hump day and time for The Ultraman Episode 15: Ultraman and Hikari (sitting in a tree). No, it’s not a romantic comedy but instead an examination of being the unknown host to a legend like Ultraman.
Hikari is training, keeping his body in fighting shape while the rest of the team is relaxing and watching footage from previous episodes of Ultraman kicking ass and taking names. Everyone is happy that Ultraman is on their side.Marume has a bone to pick with Hikari since the latter always seems to be running away or missing the big fight with all of the monsters that they face. Even calls him swine! How rude.
This leads Hikari to start to question himself and whether he has anything to offer the team since he is missing the fights. This self-doubt comes at a bad time because a space caterpillar has appeared by one of the labs and completely melts a dude with its acid spray.
The team goes to investigate and Hikari finds he has seen the egg the caterpillar came from before. In fact, it was on the space station he was on before joining the Science Defense Squad. An asteroid swarm hit the station and one of the eggs was along for the ride and hatched while Hikari was stuck in a vacuum with limited air in his helmet.
Marume of course doesn’t believe him because he’s in full-on dick mode but the team has other things to worry about as the caterpillar attacks the city. It’s gotten a lot bigger, probably thanks to the x-rays and radiation that it was being bombarded with in the egg. Fighters are scrambled by their guns don’t seem to be doing much. Hikari lands to turn into Ultraman, which earns more spite from Marume. But doubt grips Hikari and he can’t decided what to do, leading to the gas tanks the caterpillar was attacking exploding and Marume getting injured. Fortunately, the monster seemed to have perished in the fire.
Hikari heads back and sees Marume is injured but well enough to scold him. Mutsumi sees finds Hikari moping by himself and gets him to tell the rest of the story on the station but before he can begin, they see the charred shell of the monster open up and a new, Mothra-like monster come out. It’s Goglan! Well technically all of the forms of the creature are Goglan but I forgot until now so there.
The SDS jumps into action but the monster is fast, much faster than the Super Maddock. Hikari takes out a fighter to attack but is downed quickly by the superior maneuverability of the foe and is injured. Can he recover enough to turn into Ultraman? More importantly, will he want to?
I really liked this episode. I haven’t seen too many that address where the host goes when Ultraman shows up. Most of the time the fighters they are in get downed or the rest of the team is waylaid. In The Ultraman, Hikari lands or runs off right in front of everyone so it has to raise some questions. I enjoyed the struggle Hikari has between trying to do something himself and always relying on Ultraman. Is he just Ultraman or is he more? It’s a surprisingly thought-provoking episode where I usually just care about how the monsters look.
I give Goglan a ‘B’ in design. It’s basically Mothra’s weirder brother and I don’t mean Battra. Pretty effective though and seeing him dissolve a person in the first five minutes was pretty unexpected.
Definitely a fun episode and one of my favorites so far. Marume can go to hell though. Check it out.
See you next time, Ultra Fans!