We are up to The Ultraman Episode 25: The Devil Flower, which is also the last ep on this disc. Progress! Sorry for the brief hiatus. I was nursing an injury so I couldn’t watch while working out as usual.
This episode opens in the desert somewhere in the Africa Zone. It looks like it could be Morocco but they don’t really say. Everyone is going about their business when a strange yellow sand storm hits out of nowhere! Those caught in it start to choke and gag, as one does, but then they also start suffering fits of hysteria.
Back at the Science Defense Squad HQ, reports of the strange storm leaving behind empty villages are coming in. They’ve found one body and the man is grey and desiccated and apparently died from a fit. The rest they can’t find at all. Nobody can figure out what is responsible for it. The captain mentions stories about a secret harem in the desert which Marume is all about looking for. Mutsumi wonders if it is the Devil Flower from ancient times.
Gee, I wonder what it could be?
The team scrambles and heads out to the desert to look for clues. At the towns, they don’t find much of interest at all. No radiation. No people. No signs of life except for a dog that Marume barks at, as one does. But the captain does realize the towns all form a circle around a central point, so they get into the Super Maddock and fly towards it to investigate.
On the way, they see a man wandering in the desert. Is it Mad Max after being banished from Bartertown? No, it is one of the villagers who is pretty grey around the gills and falls over upon seeing the jet. They land to see if they can help. After they approach, the man reaches out and Hikari notices green fluid dripping from his fingertips. He’s a zombie! Ok, not really, but Hikari knows it isn’t good, whatever it is, so he warns they away. The man grabs Mutsumi’s ankle since she wasn’t fast enough and gets fluid all over it. Hikari rubs it off with a rag, saving her. But a sandstorm is approaching and the wind picks up, blowing the rag with the fluid on it right onto Hikari’s mouth! He enters a trance and heads into the sandstorm. The others try to follow but are forced to turn back to the ship.
While they wait for the sandstorm to die down, Tobe analyzes the fluid so they know what they are up against. The most he can deduce is that it is blood that was turned green by some sort of pollen that is found in the sand. That makes Mutsumi’s theory about the Devil Flower seem pretty spot on. Never doubt Mutsumi’s monster knowledge, fools!
Meanwhile, Hikari wakes up in a cave, trying to fight off the effects of the pollen and hallucinations. He’s semi-successful as he stumbles through into a giant cavern. The missing people from the town (those who didn’t die on the walk in, anyway) are all here, looking like they are having the time of their lives. They’re so into their dreams that they don’t notice the giant flower that is eating them one by one.
Hikari does, however, and tries to turn into Ultraman but drops the Ultrastar so he can’t change! Will he find it in time to fight it? Will the rest of the team find him and help? You know it!
Decent episode even though you can figure out the mystery pretty early on. It’s nice to have Hikari being the one needing saving too for a change. In fact, one of the things this series does well is having Ultraman need help from the SDS during fights, which keeps him from being this omnipotent being that nothing can defeat. I do love that Mutsumi basically blurts out what the monster is pretty early as she is wont to do and ends up being right. They should always listen to her.
We do have to talk about the monster design, though. The flower part of it? Fine. But when the creature emerges as a giant monster, it’s sort of a mess. It’s kind of like Biollante mixed with a displacer beast mixed with a hag and doesn’t quite work. I guess because of the mention of the harem it’s supposed to have feminine qualities like long hair? It’s not great but it does give us a great scene of Ultraman pulling an Ant-Man and shrinking down to punch it in the eye like a damn champ. Though the narrator says he did it to conserve energy but the last time he got small it used up energy faster? I need some consistency, damnit!
That’s all I got for this one. See you next time for the next installment, Ultra Fans!