Neo Ultra Q

Originally reviewed February 2018

q1Quo Vadis – While maybe the not the most gripping of opening episodes, one that perfectly establishes the show’s world and characters. Its clear that monsters have appeared in the past given the amount of protests towards the police’s handling of one, though it seems to be implied that a recent resurgence in appearances has begun only recently. A highlight includes Jin’s discussion with his psychiatric patient Kobayashi about coping with the loss of loved ones from a monster attack. 4/5

q2Laundry Day – A tale that’s both absurd and heartwarming at the same time, a sign of a near-perfect episode. Though at times gloomy, particularly during the scenes with the old man, there is a simmer of hope present throughout the episode, with more and more people every day said to be accustomed to living alongside a monster. The first of three episodes directed by Kiyotaka Taguchi. Shohei and Emiko feature only briefly while Jin is absent. The ending, while optimistic, can be left open to interpretation. 4.5/5

q3The Businessman Who Came From the Sky – As per usual, an oddball episode that’s at times humorous and at others depressing. The Negative energy concept desired by the Vulcanus is similar to that of Ultraman 80‘s, and makes for interesting commentary. It is a little odd how determined Emi is to save the model despite her giving an unpleasant interview, even showing no remorse for nearly driving a man to suicide if it meant saving her. 4/5

q4Pandora’s Hole – As suggested by the title, a Pandora’s Box story featuring a very untrustworthy devil-like entity (Named after the Buddhist demon Mara) promising to bring balance to the Earth if it is opened. The man tasked with the decision, a former colleague of Jin’s, is certainly sympathetic, but the more we learn about him over the course of the episode, the more we question what he did. The ending is certainly among the show’s darkest. A bit hard to follow perhaps, but a great episode nonetheless. 4/5

The Town Without Words – A very slow and quiet (As hinted by the title) episode, which could turn some people off, but still a very interesting look at emotions from a robot’s perspective and their lack of understanding. The Epignoids were shown to have been created in 1963, which could possibly justify the father in The Phantom Mother is a Monster User! being able to create an android of his deceased wife in a shed in 1974, if this show is indeed set within the same universe as the other Ultra shows. 3/5

q6The Extremely Smelly Island – Kiyotaka Taguchi’s second directed episode and another winner. Like his first, a story of a monster that does nothing but help that’s both heartwarming and depressing. Though unlike the first, this one ends on a sad note, though the last minute twist is pretty funny and reminiscent of something in the original show. While Yuki’s roams through the island, a Sunflan plant can be seen. 4.5/5

The Iron Shell – Another good episode that features a colony of gastropods that are almost immediately shunned by the public due to their appearance, despite the evidence that they help prevent Earthquakes. Some clear Xenophobia is at play here. The ending is unsurprisingly a downer, though there is a possible glimmer of hope. A decent episode that feels reminiscent of the original show. 3.5/5

q8Memories Are Crossing the Planet – Another solid, thought-provoking episode. The theme of reincarnation is present throughout, though it is never revealed whether or not the Ginour’s prophecy is true or not. An interesting tidbit is Koichi’s commitment to helping refuges in other countries while not wanting to venture to Ginour’s planet and become the latest in their long string of old-fashioned emperors. Like reincarnation, all things change, even if the outcome isn’t always good. Shohei gets a chance to shine. 4/5

q9The Tokyo Protocol – Taguchi’s third outing, and possibly his best. The Tokyo Protocol has the people working their hardest to abide by its strict guidelines, despite it often putting a hamper into their businesses, realizing the future depends on it, not dissimilar to the themes of the previous episode. However, once the Greenhouse Gas-eating creatures from space arrive, everything suddenly returns to its former glory, with nobody worrying about the possible repercussions the creatures could potentially have, as long as the stock market is high. The creatures resemble Balloonga in appearance and are similar to the titular monster from Dogora in their carbon-eating. Like Taguchi’s other two, the main cast doesn’t play an important role, though here they are absent all together. A nearly perfect episode. 5/5

falmagan.pngFalmagan and Michiru – A slow-moving episode but one that manages to bring out the emotions, especially by the end. You feel genuinley sorry for Michiru and her relationship with the trash monster Falmagan (Who bears a resemblance to Marvel’s Groot) is heartwarming. Jin is the only regular to appear. 3.5/5

q11Argos Democracy – An amazing episode putting the people of Japan in a serious dilemma – the lives of dozens of people in a building, including Emiko, a congresswoman, several children and terrorists or the Prime Minister’s. Kaiju-rights activists appear once more, though this time in the form of radical terrorists. Emiko, in an attempt at challenging the anti-Kaiju congresswoman, brings up Niruwanie, Brethren and the Purana. When attempting to reason with Argos, the lifeforce responsible for the dilemma, Jin admits the imperfections of democracy, in a rather surprising scene. The ending is a bit vague and the exact outcome isn’t revealed, but an excellent, thought-provoking episode. 5/5

q12Hominis Dignitati – Quite possibly the most unusual finale of any show, which is really saying something. Bleak and tragic though with heartwarming moments. Perhaps the reversal of the last episode which admitted the problems with democracy, whereas here the concept of freedom is valued. The ending is extremely ambiguous. An odd way to end the show, but certainly an interesting episode. 4/5