Back again for the next installment of my watch of the THE ULTRAMAN with Episode 2: The Secret of the Shining Pendant!
It’s Mutsumi Hoshikawa’s birthday! Or close to it, and Harume in particular wants to get her the perfect gift, so he has Hiroki Tobe make her a special pendant. Unfortunately, any plans for a celebration get scuttled by tornados appearing at power plants all over and destroying them. Is it just a strange weather phenomenon or is this a strange new creature?
Spoiler: It’s a monster named Spiral.
Hikari (Ultraman) and Mutsumi are sent to investigate but Harume locks Hikari in his room so he can try to score some time with the beautiful science officer. This turns out to be a bad move as he ends up crashing and she ends up getting captured by the tornado, which are certainly words I never thought I would type. It’s up to Hikari and the others to rescue her and find a way to defeat the beast that can even deflect Ultraman’s strongest attacks.
As if they had read my previous review and how I marveled over the four monster brawl in it, here we have another creature that would be very hard to pull off with practical effects–a living tornado. Ok, it’s not actually a tornado but a monster that lives inside and generates it. It can even make tornado arms to swat at pesky fighters that are trying to stop it. It’s a good use of the medium and it ends up being a fun fight. The design of the monster creating the tornadoes is neat too, basically a heart with tentacles on it but it can also turn into goop and engulf Ultraman, making it a formidable foe.
It might just be because I’m reading Gray Lensman, but I’m getting a bit of a Lensman vibe off of Hikari and Mutsumi, who feel like Kimball Kinnison and Clarissa MacDougal, even down to her red hair. Plus you have the star that Hikari uses to transform that feels sort of lens-like.
Anyway, we get to see a new power for Ultraman in this one, a beam he shoots out of the aforementioned star. I also like how the flying looks so much better in animation. I feel like I can forgive so much in the live action shows, but the flying pose always annoyed me for how goofy it looks. They really make it look more natural here and I can appreciate that. I do wish they would animate Ultraman growing to giant size more like the live-action does but the shots of Ultraman’s head growing into view outside of the cockpits of the fighter in this ep were cool.
I’m still not a fan of Harume and Tobe yet, as they are basically just comic relief at this point and could stand to be a bit more serious and less goofy. Still better than a kid though so I’ll just grin and bear it.
Until next time!