We are up to The Ultraman Episode 23: Supersonic War Breaks Out!
We open with explosions! First a jet airliner is sliced in twain by a speedy shape. Then the carnage continues when some oil tanks are destroyed and set to fire by the same shape. The Far East Zone air force tries to intercept it but it is too fast for them to catch outside of a blurry photograph. Is it a hangliding bigfoot? No, but that would be cool.
Back at the Science Defense Squad base, the team is trying to figure out what the shape is. The captain figures that it might be a monster but they don’t have any way to be sure without engaging it directly. So they’ve enlisted the help of the top pilot from the Far East Zone, a man named Aoki, who was the same one who took the picture. Hikari knows him from the academy where they were friends. However, when Aoki shows up, he snubs Hikari and introduces himself to everyone else instead. I can’t blame him for that since Mutsumi was standing right there, but still, it was kind of rude.
The captain tells them the plan. Tobe is helping to build a jet that can get up to Mach 5 to help them catch the monster, since the creature flies at speeds of that or higher. Mutsumi and Marume are to research the monster and find out all they can about it. Meanwhile, the computers have been upgraded so they can detect the high speed object on radar and also to analyze it. To lure the creature in, they’ve repainted some oil tanks to make them nice and shiny, since the beast seems attracted to that kind of stuff.
Once again, the captain was right and the creature shows up, and Hikari and Aoki take off on the new jet, with the former operating the weapons and the latter as the pilot. They catch up to the monster, but Aoki is pushing the jet too hard and it is starting to break apart under the strain. Instead of firing the missile, Hikari hits the throttle, slowing them down so they both don’t die in pursuit of the monster, missing their chance to hit it.
On the ground, the captain doesn’t have time for their shenanigans and switches their roles for the next time and tells them they need to work as a team to fight the monster, like the SDS does. We find out the reason Aoki has been so chilly towards Hikari, too. It turns out he thought he deserved to be on the space station instead of Hikari since he was the top of the class. Drama!
This time they will deploy from under the Super Maddock since there’s no sure-fire way to get the creature to attack a place so they need to be able to go get him. Tobe creates a super rocket for them to use with a booster on it to make the missile go faster so the jet doesn’t have to. Why he can make only one, I have no idea. Probably so the episode can end on time.
The creature shows up once more, this time slicing the fuck out of some buildings. I think this might actually be the most carnage we’ve seen in the show thus far. Usually people escape in life boats and the like when monsters attack but here they are shown flying away as the monster bursts through the walls like a supersonic Kool-Aid Man. The team springs into action and Hikari and Aoki launch to intercept. Will they be able to stop the creature’s high-speed rampage? Will they ever be friends again? Will Aoki need to get surgery to remove the stick from his ass? Maybe!
This was a fun episode. I like it when a monster shows up that they can’t deal with easily, even if it is basically cribbing from Rodan pretty heavily. Plus you get some good drama dealing with someone from Hikari’s past even though Hikari doesn’t really seem to be as into the rivalry as Aoki does.
The monster design when you finally see it is pretty cool too. It’s like a manta ray crossed with Brak from Space Ghost. And maybe Satan. It also turns out that the monster had family that is dead in the Andes too, so that’s the reason for its rampage. I can’t imagine a whole colony of those things. That would be messed up. I like it when they think outside the box with the creatures though and this one is definitely up there in cool factor. When you say “Hey, I wouldn’t mind a toy of that,” you know it is a good design.
Also, Ultraman basically drills through the monster to kill it. That might be the most violent he’s been to a monster! Which isn’t unusual considering how Ultraman and Ultraseven used to absolutely savage the kaiju they fought.
See you next time for the next installment, Ultra Fans!