The Ultraman (1979) Episode 3: Sound of the Flute in the Setting Sun 

The Ultraman (1979) Episode 3: Sound of the Flute in the Setting Sun 

Greetings, and welcome to my continuing coverage of my watch of THE ULTRAMAN.

We jump right into the action in this one, with a crocodile looking monster attacking the city. The army is using missiles on it but they’re not doing a damn thing. Fortunately, Harume is there with a bazooka as he knows that the way to kill it is to shoot it from extremely close range. Does it make sense? No! But it works and the monster falls, nearly crushing him in the process. During cleanup, they notice a scientist is in charge and ask why. It is because the monster is somehow still alive! The scientist says that they hope they got all of the parts because even a small piece can grow to become a new monster. Harume is shocked to hear that his actions may have caused this and it really upsets him and he obsesses over it.

The scientist was right and a small piece did survive and grew into a smaller, cuter version of the monster that is found by a boy named Takashi (who plays a mean weed whistle). He takes it home but overhears a police officer mentioning they are on the lookout for strange animals so he does what any responsible kid does and sneaks it in and hides it from his parents.

Meanwhile, Harume is very upset that he might be responsible for another monster attacking because they never found any missing parts so goes on the hunt. In his investigation he learns about Takashi and his strange new pet and finds he has to convince the boy that the creature he’s raising is a monster that can destroy them all.

I think I jinxed myself with being happy that the episodes haven’t featured a kid so far, because episode three has one as the main focus. It also has two of my least favorite tropes in the series–a monster that regenerates from a small part and a kid who finds a strange animal and doesn’t believe it is gonna be a giant monster. Both of these have been in Ultraman episodes in the past and I think both were used in an episode of Ultraman Jack where they destroy a monster but a kid finds the piece and it becomes part of his wall. No I’m not making that up. It’s episode 24 of Ultraman Returns “Horror! Mansion Monster’s Birth”.

On the bright side, it fleshes out Harume’s character and gives him some depth by showing his bravery in going in alone to solo the first monster and then how his guilt and concern eats at him later. He also gets to deliver a talk about how having a pet is a responsibility and if you can’t do the right thing by them, then you don’t deserve them. Is this directed at people who get alligators as pets? Considering the design of the monster, it very well could be!

Please don’t flush me down the toilet!

Not my favorite of the episodes so far due to the two tropes I mentioned above and the fact we get another multi-monster fight though these come out of nowhere but I suppose they were grown from other missing parts. The monster design is too similar to the Seagra for my liking but it’s not the worst.

It does however have one of the cruelest moments I’ve seen in an Ultra series episode. After finding out that salt water destroys the creatures, Ultraman stars chucking them into the ocean. The last one is the pet of the kid, which we know because he gets distracted by the whistle the kid plays. Ultraman takes this opportunity to fly the monster up into the sky and hurl him into the water and then disintegrate the creature with a beam weapon for good measure. Ouch.

Until next time!