The Ultraman (1979) Episode 4: The Mystery of the Red Cloud

The Ultraman (1979) Episode 4: The Mystery of the Red Cloud

It’s Monday and we’re back with another episode of THE ULTRAMAN, my favorite new old animated series based on Ultraman!

The episode begins with a quiet moment of leisure for the team as they are all relaxing. Tobe is working on machines. Hikari is playing guitar while Mutsumi paints as they chill at the lake. Harume is riding a small-scale train around his apartment, which I got a kick out of since I deal with model trains during my day job and also I’ve always loved the idea of riding a train around.

I always love the quiet moments in episodes where you get to see the characters doing their own thing. It’s a nice and easy way to build them up and flesh them out without devoting an entire episode to it. However, their respite is short-lived as they are all ordered back to base to deal with today’s emergency–a mysterious red cloud!

The team scrambles into action is the Super Maddock and heads out to investigate. Their attempts to disperse it don’t seem to have much effect but it is clear there is something out of the ordinary about the cloud. Tobe grabs a sample and heads back to base to have it analyzed while the others keep an eye on the cloud. It turns out the sample is alive and that when it is exposed to water, it turns into a monster. It’s right about then that a rain cloud appears and soaks the cloud so that it changes into a rampaging monster. Can the team and Ultraman defeat this strange and fearsome foe before it breaks the nearby dam and floods the area?

God damn right they can.

Red Smogy
Look into my eyes!

Another fine episode with an interesting premise and monster. The format allows the cloud to be much more mobile than it would be in live-action and we even get some good underwater fight scenes too. The design of the monster leaves a little to be desired as it is sort of underwhelming, however. The cloud looks like a cloud so no problem there, however the transformed version looks sort of like a Bigfoot made out of bubblegum. Not particularly frightening or impressive but I suppose the damage that it can do is more the issue and it is certainly strong enough to wreck quite a bit. They all can’t be winners and god knows that the live action series has some dubious kaiju in it.

Bubblegum Bigfoot?

The resolution of the story was a nice change of pace from Ultraman just destroying the monster and does a nice job of giving the message that even though something might be different, that doesn’t mean it is bad and there might be a good reason for it being the way it is. In this case, the rain and being solid is actually causing it pain, which I get because I’d be in pain if I looked like that too.

Solid ep and nice to see they trying out some new monsters. I also enjoyed Hikari dropping the transformation device. Always a risk with needing one of those to change and it’s an easy way to add some tension to a scene as long as it isn’t overused.

Until next time, Ultra-fans!