The Ultraman (1979) Episode 7: Problems for Pig

The Ultraman (1979) Episode 7: Problems for Pig

Back again with the continuing saga of THE ULTRAMAN. In today’s episode, we are dealing with a character who hasn’t gotten the spotlight yet–the adorable robot known as Pig! Ok, so adorable might be a stretch but Pigmon has been a mainstay of the Ultraman series and are friendly to humans, though most of them aren’t robots.

After a planet hurtles towards Earth and then suddenly explodes, it sends electromagnetic waves out that cause havoc on Earth. They also awaken a monster deep underground that starts to make its way towards the surface. It seems that Pig is having issues related to the electromagnetic waves too, as he’s hearing sounds in his head that makes him think that danger is near. However, when a search of the area he indicated turns up nothing, some of the team thinks that Pig is having a glitch–including Pig himself.

Enter Robot 101, a new member of the Science Defense Squad sent to train under Pig. Robot 101 looks more like a traditional robot in the METROPOLIS or C-3PO style. In other words, more humanoid. The robot isn’t affected by the glitch that Pig is experiencing so Pig figures that Robot 101 can be his replacement and goes off to the Robot Factory to be repaired. However, the glitches keep happening and when the monster finally appears, it seems that Pig might have been operating like normal after all!

We’re told a lot of information the team isn’t in this episode that keep us ahead of them. The reason Pig is having issues is because he has a warning circuit that is picking up the monster. For some reason he just didn’t know what it was. We are also told the monster is a space monster that ate a computer on a satellite and now has the computer for a brain, which is why Pig can detect it. This knowledge makes Pig’s plight extra sad as to try and fix himself he keeps ramming his head against the wall as eventually it makes the noise go away.

The monster design is pretty sweet. It sort of reminds me of a cross between Twintail and the monster from THE STRANGENESS. It walks on four stumpy little legs and in theory it could be carried out with practical effects but it is much smoother in animation. The computer stuck in its mouth is a little weird but not every design element can be a winner. Love the name though. Compugon? It’s perfect for him.

“Let me love you!”

This episode was a little heavier on the story centered around Pig’s plight than action, but when we get to the fight, they pull out all the stops and it’s a pretty good throwdown. Ultraman gets to kick right through the thing’s back, so you know it is a savage beatdown. Somehow the monster “survives” after he star beams the computer out of its body through the giant hole Ultraman made in it but I like to think our hero just dropped the carcass off in the monster graveyard in they sky. Yes, this is a thing. It rules.

Anyhow, I liked it and it was nice to see Pig get a chance to shine.

Until next time, Ultra fans!