We’re back after a brief hiatus for Halloween with another Ultraman episode-Episode 19: This is the Planet Where Ultraman Was Born – Part 1. That’s a mouthful, huh? This is the first multi-part episode we’ve gotten and it is a three parter. Let’s jump right in.
The episode opens with the Science Defense Squad chilling on the roof, as one does. The night is clear and they can see the stars pretty well and Tobe is using a pretty diesel telescope to look at them. Hikari gives a look and Ultraman tells him to adjust the position so he’s pointing at a blank spot in space. That is the direction of Ultraman’s planet, even if it can’t be seen with a telescope.
This respite is short-lived as a giant monster is attacking South Africa. The SDS team there has been defeated and the team from the USA sent in to help them is on the brink. Since the Far East branch has the Super Maddock, they are called in to help fight the creature and hopefully defeat it. The team arrives and Hikari asks to fly the Badei out to attack it, which is denied by the captain since the monster is very tough. So tough, in fact, it downs the Super Maddock with a blast of fiery breath, forcing the team to make an emergency landing.
Hikari uses that moment to jump out and “check the damage”, which means of course he’s going to turn into Ultraman. However, when he brings the star to his head to transform, Ultraman stops him. He doesn’t think he is strong enough to fight the creature. Hikari doesn’t believe him and transforms anyway and as Ultraman, they fight and defeat the monster after a pitched battle with a last-second beam attack.
But the episode isn’t done! From the corpse of the monster, a ball of light appears and transforms a nearby snake into another giant monster! It attacks Ultraman who is almost at his limit, so he tosses the monster away and runs. The SDS members watch this happen and it gives them a bit of a crisis of faith. If Ultraman can’t defeat the creature, who can?
Hikari is found later on as repairs are made on the Super Maddock. He’s pretty banged up and has to stay resting to regain his strength and that of Ultraman. Which means he is on his own when the team has to fly to the USA to go fight a new monster that showed up there, presumably the same creature but transformed. The science is dubious but lets go with it.
Ultraman has a plan to defeat the creature and it involves a giant electromagnetic telescope. Will it focus his power to greater heights? Nope. Much like ET, he’s making a phone call home to his planet for help. But in the middle of the call, the monster shows up. Can Ultraman hold the best off until help arrives? It’s a three-parter, so probably not as we’re going to get a death and resurrection in the course of it.
The being defeated and then reborn is kind of a staple in the Ultraman series, and the animated series is no exemption. I’m surprised it is so early in the series, though. We’re not even halfway through and we’re getting it. I like how Ultraman being defeated really shakes the team to their cores. It adds a bit of drama as like them, we’re used to Ultraman saving the day. But what happens when there is a foe even he can’t defeat? Not to mention how Hikari being killed along with him really doubles down on the direness of the situation.
Fortunately, the phone call worked and help arrives, if a bit too late. I’m interested in seeing more of Ultraman’s people and how they are going to save our heroes.
Until next time, Ultra fan!