Ultraman 80

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vlcsnap-2018-05-03-21h56m15s635Ultraman-Sensei – The first live-action production in nearly five years, so naturally a little creaky in some places, but a decent start to the show that really establishes the sadly short-lived concept of Yamato as a schoolteacher and having to balance that with his Earth-protecting duties. UGM, having never dealt with a monster attack (Apart from Captain Ooyama) are naturally very under-prepared and nervous. Despite it only being 5 years since the last monster attack in Japan, the students and teachers scoff at Yamato’s claims that a monster is nearby. 3.5/5

The Teacher’s Secret – A nice heartwarming episode, especially for being only the second involving Yamato trying to get a troubled student to attend school, while also trying to earn the respect of his class (Who think he’s a loser) and arrive on time. Despite all the fuss about 80 having to leave Earth if his identity is discovered, the boy believes Yamato to be 80, and even tells the class, though nobody believes him. The potential relationship between Yamato and Kyoko is teased, but like the other school elements, it will sadly be dropped. 4/5

vlcsnap-2018-05-03-21h59m12s414First-Love Monster – Another pretty solid episode involving Yamato helping his students with their problems. The concept of Minus Energy is introduced here (Though a similar concept with Yapool’s cells was seen in Ace) with the monster being fueled by the boy’s anger from a broken heart. The amusingly named (When its origin is taken into account) Hoe is one of the few 80 monsters to break free from the show, appearing most recently in Ultraman Orb. Yamato details a story about him once buying a girl he liked a musical instrument with money saved up from a part-time job. He could just be making it up, but it may also provide a small look at his early life at M-78. Yamato and Kyoko’s potential romance (That will never come to be) is teased some more. 3.5/5

vlcsnap-2018-05-03-22h00m24s835For the Love of the Sky – Another “Yamato helps troubled kid” story, though the dilemma is a lot less drastic than previous ones, with the kid simply ditching school, following an anarchist’s lifestyle. Worthwhile are the monster sequences, which apart from being fun to watch, somewhat mirror the kid and his father’s relationship and also show the importance of family. Zandrias is another one of the very few original monsters to escape 80, appearing recently in Ultraman Geed. 3.5/5

vlcsnap-2018-05-03-22h03m14s225Streets of Illusion – An offbeat, dreamlike episode with lots of bizarre visuals. One will quickly be reminded of Train in Vary Dimension with the train boarded by Yamato taking him to the Bam’s dimension. Monster Mechagiras is rather obviously an homage to Mechagodzilla (Though has Gigan’s roar, oddly enough). In addition to those, one may also be reminded of the Spongebob episode Rock Bottom when Yamato first sets foot in the unusual, eerie city after boarding the wrong train. Lots and lots of fun. Kamen Rider X‘s Yasuhiko Uchida appears as the surly cab driver. 4.5/5

The Boy from the Stars – A pretty average episode involving a student that becomes so distraught with life, he accepts he simply isn’t from Earth and waits on a UFO that keeps on appearing to take him home. Certainly a fun concept, and some good scenes come out of it, but not quite interesting enough to make it a stellar episode. The ending with 80 healing the boy is not only a bit of a cop-out but also pointless when blood was already said to have been donated. Not bad, just not too special. 3/5

vlcsnap-2018-05-03-22h05m14s837Operation Silent Tokyo – An enjoyable episode with a fun concept that is maybe a bit similar to The Choju is 10,000 Phones? with the monster feeding off of sound), but with enough new twists to differentiate from it, notably Tokyo having to go completely quiet. The scenes with silent Tokyo and the turmoil it causes are a lot fun, and its a shame they don’t last longer, though an episode with a similar concept will occur 25 years later in Ultraman Max. Early on when an incredibly loud jumbo jet is destroyed, both Tajima and Harada state they had it coming for making something so noisy. What great guys. 4/5

vlcsnap-2018-05-03-22h07m44s591The Legend Revives – Sort of forgettable, but far from unwatchable. The only real standout is a scene showcasing the monster Tabara attacking 3,000 and being fought off by an ancient Ultra. Yamato assumes that Ultra to be an ancestor of his (It is portrayed by an 80 suit obscured by light), but one can assume it to be any ancient Ultra such as Noa. A plot about students Rakugo and Fashion having to learn to control their temper and act responsibly is teased, but goes nowhere once they exit the bus. The way in which Tabara picks up people with its tongue and eats them is reminiscent of a Taro monster. Emi finally gets to join in on the fight. 3/5

vlcsnap-2018-05-03-22h10m03s293Airport Emergency – An episode, like most early 80s, that definitely has the monster plot play second fiddle to the school-related one, but more than makes up for it in enjoyability. The potential romance between Yamato and Kyoko is teased, with the students setting them up on a date. Aside from Yamato and Kyoko’s chemistry (Which manages to be the right kind of awkward), Yamato’s students (Super, Rakugo, Fashion and Professor) all really get a chance to shine. An enjoyable, occasionally romantic episode. 3.5/5

The Visitor from Space – Another serviceable but not very special episode. The characters of Alma and her mollusk-like pet Jakki are well-intended but cause nothing but trouble, including giving Super and Rakugo a magical pencil to cheat on their test (A plot that doesn’t really go anywhere), make Kyoko believe Yamato has been married the whole time, and infect an elephant with minus energy, causing it to grow giant. The one highlight includes the climax, which hearkens back to The Devil Who Dwells in a Flower (And Gamera vs. Jiger for that matter) involving 80 traveling inside the elephant monster to disinfect the poor creature. The final appearance of Mayumi Asano as Kyoko. 3/5

Gas Panic Horror – The first episode in the series to not feature any school elements, something that will soon become standard for the series (Yamato does mention having class tomorrow however). Some decent development is given to Emi and Harada, who try their hardest to amend for their mistakes made. A nice change of pace, and a pretty enjoyable episode, if nothing too spectacular. 3.5/5

vlcsnap-2018-05-03-22h12m03s951The Beautiful Transfer Student – The final school episode and a pretty decent one at that, focusing primarily on Hakase. His relationship with Millie isn’t particularly well-developed, though it is obviously just puppy love, and its more the fact that the nerdy sheltered Hakase would have the courage that counts. The monster Gora is one of the show’s more memorable even he doesn’t have a whole lot of screen time. The final appearances of Saburo Boya as Principal Hayashi, Ikuko Wada as Vice Principal Nozaki, Hiroshi Shimizu as Super, Midori Kuno as Fashion, Junichi Takeyo as Rakugo and Ikumi Ueno as Hakase (Some students do return however in Ultraman Mebius, though are played by different actors). Though the final appearance of Non-chan, Noriko Shirasaka will return later on. 3.5/5

vlcsnap-2018-05-03-22h14m24s516Formation Yamato – The first of the “UGM-only” episodes and a great start, with lots of action and tension. The captains of UGM’s American and European branches have been assassinated, putting Ooyama’s life at stake. However, instead of being murdered, Ooyama is framed for murder, putting him and UGM in quite a dilemma. Some good development for Ooyama along with Yamato and the rest of UGM, who try their best to defend him. Yamato is able to expose the identity of a few aliens via beta rays by attaching the Bright Stick to a beam gun, indicating Ultra transformation devices may work on other disguised aliens. Though UGM fully knew the truth, one must wonder though if the evidence against the scandal surrounding Ooyama would rule in an actual court. Salamandora is one of the few 80 monsters to escape the show and appear in other installments. 4/5

Teleportation! The Man from Paris – The introduction of Masaaki Daimon as Ito, a member of UGM’s French branch assigned to become chief in Japan’s, possibly due to the need for more security after the assassinations of captains in the previous episode. Though the episode puts good focus on Ito, a pretty weak affair, with Ito’s motivation for staying quiet and the monster’s reason for transporting the people going unexplained. Nothing terrible, just nothing really special apart from it being Ito’s debut. 2.5/5

vlcsnap-2018-05-03-22h18m11s983The Labratory of Doctor Demon – The introduction of Sera, UGM’s public relations manager who has returned from a six month space voyage on the Space Mammy (Either a different country’s, or there has been a six month gap between episodes). A pretty standard, but somewhat touching episode focusing on Emi tending to a baby monster. Tacky as it kind of is, it is heartwarming. The titular mad doctor’s scheme is pretty crazy and his performance is equally over the top. For the first time since the original series, the Monster Graveyard Is visited (It is difficult to make out the monsters sadly). Emi’s father Professor Jouno is introduced, played by the legendary (By this point) Kenji Sahara. 3/5

vlcsnap-2018-05-03-22h20m31s389The Mysterious Snow Art from Space – Nothing groundbreaking, but a fun episode with a unique monster (With a cool backstory). Once again, Emi is the focus (Eri Ishida was a rising star at the time), though under less pleasant circumstances. Ito is developed a bit more, showcasing his lack of trust in anything. 4/5

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Flight to the Eerie Monster Island
– The first and only two-parter of the show, and while not bad, a little rough around the edges. Too much goes on, but usually, too little time is spent explaining or diving deeper into it, notably the monster Luvros (Who is similar in concept to Jamila and Memole) and how he got into that state, the mysterious woman Sawako and her connection with the monster Gimira and just why Gimira suddenly appears in that very place. Still, pretty entertaining with some cool action sequences (Gimira is one of the show’s more memorable monsters despite his questionable origin), a nice island setting and some development for Harada, Tajima and Ito. Not one of the stronger two-parters and one that likely needed another rewrite or two, but not a bad way to spend 50 minutes. 3.5/5

vlcsnap-2018-05-03-22h25m45s210Directive: Destroy the Planet – Another “use nukes, pay for the consequences” story similar to Super Weapon R-1, This is the Land of Ultra!/Burn on! The Six Ultra Brothers and The Rhinoceros Beetle is a Space Invader, along with elements from Dark Zone and still a very effective one at that. While Ito and UGM are clearly upset about the decision to destroy a planet with possible life on it, they don’t seem to have much else in the way of options when so little time is left (Something even Yamato can’t really argue with), with them choosing to worry about the repercussions later. Ooyama is absent from the episode, apparently in Paris discussing the approaching star. 4/5

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Your Uber driver has arrived.

Invasion!! The Army of Bloodsucking Balls – Unfortunate title aside, a pretty solid episode with a dire threat (Like the last episode). While maybe not up to par with something from Leo, the decayed state of people attacked by the titular blood-sucking balls is a pretty gruesome sight. Once again, Ooyama is absent with Ito filling the captain’s role. 4/5

Shine for Eternity! Space G-Man 85
– A pretty interesting episode with a bit of a Moby Dick-vibe to it concerning the titular space G-Man Zuckal. The concept of space G-Men that track and take down monsters is a neat one, and its a shame it has never been explored again. Zuckal’s ability to turn into a giant form that looks different from his human-sized form is reminiscent of Leo aliens (Which is only fitting considering he is played by Commander Black himself, Takeshi Obayashi). Ooyama is said to have returned from a conference about the recent destruction of towns, possibly indicating where he was last episode. Noriko Shirasaka returns to the show as UGM meteorologist Yuri, with Yamato even commenting on the similarity between her and Non-chan. 4/5

vlcsnap-2018-05-04-20h31m05s146When the Planets Align, Something Will Happen – A solid episode that further explores the concept of an underground race of humans (Which first appeared in Destroy the Surface) and the hopeful diplomatic relationship between them and the humans of the surface world (Apparently, there are about as much humans living underground as there are up top). The only real flub is the return of Gomora, which not only feels shoehorned in for fanservice (Its more than likely it was originally a new monster in his place), but also gives the monster bizarre powers including organic missiles (as if he were a Choju) and strange beams (Not unlike the “Super Gomora” of Hanuman vs. 7 Ultraman). It is stated that the heat from the underground mutated the once-peaceful creature into a monster, so perhaps that’s how the powers were obtained. UNDA officer Ishijima also doesn’t really get what he deserves in the end (at least it isn’t shown on-screen), but overall a very good, thought-provoking story. 4.5/5

vlcsnap-2018-05-04-20h33m20s010SOS!! Invasion of the Space Amoebas – A good “bottle episode” involving Yamato trapped in a small room with several tense and emotional scenes, most notably UGM’s prep talk to the trapped Yamato about them all being a family. There are a few plot holes present, mainly as to why the Space Mammy doesn’t just come to the ship Yamato is stuck on and retrieve him there, and the titular space amoebas (No relation to the 1970 Kaiju flick) are basically just Nickelodeon slime (the giant form isn’t very impressive either), but a decent little episode overall. 3.5/5

vlcsnap-2018-05-04-20h32m42s035Star of the Traitorous Android – A pretty interesting, if somewhat predictable story of a race of aliens coming to Earth claiming to bring peace (And offering Earth to join an intergalactic peace union) only for there to be doubts. The aliens themselves have a mildly interesting (if random) twist (And one that justifies Yamato’s initial thoughts) and the “final monster” is something different. Most notable about the episode however is the admittance that world peace or even complete peace in any country is something that will take a lot of time and cannot be accomplished through the simple signing of a treaty. A fairy hefty subject. 3.5/5

vlcsnap-2018-05-04-20h34m39s167The Beautiful Challenger – An episode similar to For Whom Takes the Glory involving an ideological UNDA cadet hoping to rise to ranks of UGM by hiding an alien, hoping to get information out of him. The titular challenger, Jun is said to have lost her brother in a monster attack said to have occurred a year ago in 20 days (Considering Crescent’s attack in the first episode was said to have been the first monster attack in five years, nearly a year has passed since the beginning). While training with UNDA, both Ito and Emi were said to have apprehended aliens, which may mean that even if monsters stopped attacking, small-scale alien invasions may have continued (Or alternatively, they were training in a different country where attacks and invasions continued). 4/5

Shadow Samurai in the Time Tunnel – A fun concept (Yamato and Emi transported to feudal Japan) hampered by poor execution, coming off as pure filler with a bunch of concepts that go absolutely nowhere, notably the feudal Japan actually being another, afterlife-like dimension, Emi being the double of the princess (Though was the similarity between Non-chan and Yuri-chan was foreshadowing to this? Probably not.) and the Akuzone race and their plan in general. The feudal-esque setting isn’t even taken advantage of, instead opting for the cast to snoop around the Akuzone base. The ending is also a total cop-out that just feels like a way to get them out (There have been episode to end similarly, but those tended to have more valid reasons due to the situations or worlds visited not adding up). Not godawful (Few to no episodes are), but easily one of the show’s weakest thus far. The final regular appearances of Shuhei Nitta and Daisuke Muso as Tajima and Harada. Guest stars Munemaru Koda. 2/5

White Demon of Fear – A pretty standard alien invasion story that’s perfectly serviceable, but nothing really worth writing home about. The Argos alien is somewhat unique in appearance and pretty disturbing in concept (Devouring lifeforms to gain their knowledge), but isn’t really among the show’s most memorable as he probably could have been. New UGM members Ikeda and Fujimori are introduced (With Harada and Tajima being transferred over to UGM’s Australia branch), though don’t really do much. Guest stars Goro Mutsumi. 3/5

vlcsnap-2018-05-04-20h36m06s788Lullaby of the Migrating Monster – A “cutesy” episode with not a whole lot in the way of plot (Apart from the often-used trope of a creature hatching and thinking the first thing it sees to be its mother), but charming enough and with a pretty tragic ending. Perhaps a little more time should have been spent with Yamato and the newly-hatched monster to make the ending even more effective, but a serviceable episode. 3/5

Wrath of the Emperor – A “greedy businessman” story (Though in this case, he’s a police chief) that’s hardly a standout episode, but pretty humorous and enjoyable. The interaction between all of the people visiting the remote area to view the rumored monster for themselves and their reasons for doing so (Promotions and ideas for a monster novel) are all pretty funny. Yuri is actually seen out in the field analyzing the weather for the first time, though only briefly. Weirdly, the monster Kiyathy is compared to Ghostron by Ooyama and Sera (Despite him looking more like Red King), with their violent nature being compared, which is odd considering Ghostron wasn’t especially violent and opted to sleep (Though Kiyathy has similar viewpoints as well). 3/5

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Lost Friend in the Desert – A Sera-focused episode with some pretty emotional moments, even if they perhaps could have been dived into a bit deeper. Scenes with Sera and his recently-found reporter friends (Who were thought to have gone missing while on an African expedition) during childhood are seen towards the end and are very effective, though perhaps to further boost emotions, some could have been shown in the middle. Yamato uses the Bright Stick to expose the identities of disguised aliens again by attaching it to a blaster. The narration at the end seems to imply that the Zatan aliens will strike again and may be among us, but as of 2018, they have yet to return. 3.5/5

Flying Seed of a Monster – A pretty run-of-the-mill episode without much really going for it, but nothing offensive. The plot is somewhat similar to Mother’s Wish – A Mid-Winter Cherry Blossom Blizzard with a girl wanting her bed-stricken mother to see flowers from the hospital, only here instead of a mural, its an alien flower. The scene in which Yamato convinces Ito not to destroy the flower really could have been one of the show’s best moments, with him trying to tell him that not all lifeforms from space are malicious, but instead he mostly just focuses on not wanting to hurt the girl’s feelings. Its still an alright scene, but could have been so much stronger. The ending is nice, if a bit schmaltzy. Perfectly serviceable, but not really one of the stronger ones. 3/5

vlcsnap-2018-05-04-20h39m33s395Ship on the Sea of Darkness – A loose remake of Pursue the Undersea Base, but with enough twists to make it standout (And be a superior episode). There are also some elements of Farewell Taro! The Mother of Ultra!, namely a boy being angry at Yamato and UGM for not saving his sea captain father from certain doom when he promised to. Instead of faceless aliens controlling the amalgamation of sunken ships, its an Earth-made super computer, and its reasoning for Frankensteining all of the ships is a little silly but works. A pretty cool episode all together. 4/5

vlcsnap-2018-05-04-20h41m02s594The Boy-Made Monster – The first episode in a while to deal with a monster created from minus energy, though instead of anger or hatred, its fear. The titular monster-maker Kenichi is among the better guest-kids in the show, having to undergo an incredibly risky surgery, but trying his best to remain optimistic about it, even when knowing the consequences. The homemade monster (Which is made from all sorts of stuff ranging from a lighter to Jumbo Machinder arm) having all of the powers Kenichi said it had when brought to life is a little outlandish, but I guess that’s just how minus energy works. There’s an additional twist at the end showing it wasn’t just minus energy controlling the monster, but its barely touched upon. Guest stars Shoji Nakayama. 4/5

vlcsnap-2018-05-04-20h41m56s418I Caught a Weird Fish! – A lighthearted affair that’s essentially a fish-version of Gorgo. UGM hardly features during the first half, instead focusing on young competitive fishers. Maybe not the most exciting concept, but the children are all likable enough to make it work. When the mamma fish arrives, UGM uses a giant worm (Possibly the first monster that’s simply a giant animal since Ultra Q) on a hook to lure it, in something reminiscent of a ZAT plan. The whole thing in general feels like it could be a Taro episode. A fun romp. 3.5/5

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I mean, who wouldn’t trust these guys?

The 99th Year Dragon Festival – A “vacation” episode of sorts for Yamato and Ikeda, with them mostly stumbling into the plot by chance. A pretty enjoyable affair with a very interesting monster with an unusual twist (The child-of-week Mitsuo certainly plays a big part, to say the least). Yamato is seen wearing a shirt with the Playboy bunny on it, which is rather amusing given he’s one of the more righteous hosts. 3.5/5

Let’s Go! Stag Beetle Wintering Team – Might be good if you like stag beetles, but a pretty lackluster episode overall. The strange, illusion-creating mist that plagues Japan and mutates the beetle had potential to be interesting, but doesn’t really go anywhere and feels all the more unnecessary when its states the anger of the boy is fueling the monster, something Minus Energy tends to do. Why not just have that be the reason for the bug’s growth? Inoffensive, but pretty forgettable. I am still waiting on Antlar vs. Nokogirin vs. Satan Beetle vs. Kuwaganda though. 2.5/5

vlcsnap-2018-05-04-20h44m50s539Alien Baltan’s Fearful Zoo Operation – The much-hyped return of Baltan, which haven’t been seen in live action form since 1972 (Though did appear in animated form in The ☆ Ultraman in 1979). A pretty fun episode overall, but a very odd return for the race, almost feeling like they were added in at the last minute. His plot is among the least inspired in all of the franchise (Wanting 80 to display at a zoo as an inferior life form for other Baltans to laugh at, not dissimilar to the plot of Space Jam with aliens wanting Michael Jordan for children to beat at basketball games for a theme park). UGM being so willing to let the boy (Who was actually Baltan in disguise) into their base and control room is also pretty weird considering the amount of precaution typically displayed when letting strangers in, but its possible he was able to slip through their state-of-the-art X-Rays seen in Lost Friend in the Desert similarly to the Zatans. 3/5

vlcsnap-2018-05-04-20h45m25s890The Voice of the Father of Ultra – As suggested by the title, the return of the Father of Ultra, in what is the only appearance by a past Ultra in the show (Though a character related to Seven will show up), though it is pretty brief and their contact isn’t even direct. Aside from that, not an especially noteworthy episode, though not without merit. UGM barely features, instead focusing on a troubled boy coping with the loss of his father to a monster, something nobody believes. You do feel for him, and featured are some more reprehensible bullies that like others seen, never pay for what they do. Yamato and the boy Futoshi only cross paths once during the entire episode. Despite the rather heavy-handed nature of the episode, the climax is among the goofiest in the show. 3.5/5

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ULTRAMAN 80 was canceled after it was discovered Tsuburaya was using child labor.

I Am the Monster – Essentially a remake of Kanegon’s Cocoon and pretty funny like that episode but lacking in any sort of commentary or cautionary lesson, unless the plight of being a monster counts. Tetsuo does gain some sympathy once he realizes being a monster isn’t all fun and games, but lacks the immediate kind Kaneda had when turned into Kanegon, despite him being greedy and Tetsuo simply being poor at baseball. The dilemma Tetsuo’s parents are put through is shown, which really adds more sympathy to the whole matter. The ending is another homage to The Devil that Dwells in the Flower. 3.5/5

vlcsnap-2018-05-04-20h47m39s713The Mountain Sumo Boy – Not knee-slappingly hysterical, but a pretty amusing episode with a simplistic, but entertaining plot. The titular Sumo Boy’s actor isn’t stellar, but the character is pretty funny (And given the specifics of him, its forgivable that the actor isn’t the greatest) and the scenes with him squaring off against people and 80 are fun. Ooyama and Ito are familiar with the Sumo Boy’s history. The scene in which the bandits exploiting sumo boy hold a knife to Emi and later tie her up may serve as foreshadowing for things to come…The first episode to feature “Ganbare Ultraman” as the theme song. Not as strong as the first theme, but still a good song. 3.5/5

Did You See the Zero Monster Bird? – An alright episode, if nothing special that sort of warns about the dangers of obsessions, but nevertheless encourages one to indulge in what they love, in moderation, of course. The premise of a monster swallowing a remote-controlled Zero and being controlled because of it is pretty silly and makes hardly any sense, but is pretty fun. But is the RC Zero suddenly being sucked away really big enough for Yamato and Ito to investigate without them knowing how or why it happened? Slow day at UGM, I guess. Guest stars Hiroko Sakurai. 3/5

vlcsnap-2018-05-04-20h49m10s732Wow! Kanon-Sama is Strong! – Another perfectly serviceable, but not too-special episode. The two bumbling robbers attempting the dig out the buried gold supposedly housed beneath the statue of Kanon have a few funny moments, but feel pretty similar to the two bumbling bandits seen just two episodes ago in The Mountain Sumo Boy. Probably the most notable (Or notably weird) aspect of the episode is the young boy’s fixation with idol Mariko Kurata, often wishing to marry her to the Kanon statue. Kurata appears in person in the end. 3/5

vlcsnap-2018-05-04-21h07m14s584The Female Warrior of Ultra – The introduction of M-78 princess Yullian, who assumes the mantel of Ryoko Hoshi. Though two Ultras protecting the Earth together isn’t new, this is the first time the two remain together and both disguise themselves as humans. The Galagas, led by Emperor Galtan were said to have attempted to invade M-78, only to be drawn off, with Galtan losing his son. It can be assumed that out of revenge for his son, he wants to kill 80 given that he could be viewed as the Ultras’ current “poster child”. The exit for a character (I won’t spoil it here, but don’t watch the “next time” preview from the last episode) is well-handled, but borders on being unnecessarily cruel, at least from this show’s perspective. One must wonder how Junko from The Beautiful Challenger would take Hoshi becoming a UGM member despite having no real experience. 4/5

vlcsnap-2018-05-04-20h50m56s867Fierce Fight! 80 vs. Ultraseven – The return of Seven – or is it? A pretty typical episode with a very unique (And probably cost-effective) idea for a foe, with it being a minus energy-fueled Seven doll turned giant. UGM’s shock at Seven doing such deeds is a highlight, especially when taken into account most members probably grew up during Seven’s time on Earth. The episode itself is good, if hardly stellar, with the bikers’ doings and motivation hardly being explored, but the unique foe (And reaction from characters) makes up for it. 4/5

vlcsnap-2018-05-04-20h52m35s577The Endlessly Challenging Soul of the Baltan Alien – The second appearance of a Baltan in the series, and somehow an even odder appearance than the first. Though the first’s plan to capture 80 and put him in a zoo was silly, at least he was working in the name of the Baltans. This one messes with children and their fascination with UFOs. Its pretty clear that the Baltans are not a hive-mind as implied by their first appearance, as this guy is acting all on his own. The scene in which Yamato defends a kid’s obsession with UFOs, comparing it religion (Some may find it absurd, but you should respect their beliefs) is nice and would never fly on an American children’s program. The final fight is a ton of fun and calls back to Science Patrol to Outer Space. Enjoyable, if you can look past Baltan being little more than a petty troublemaker. 3/5

vlcsnap-2018-05-04-20h56m52s333The Unforeseen Revival of Red King – The final “throwback” episode and a pretty fun one, though like all of the others, a pretty standard fare if not for the return of a classic monster. Red King appears only in the last few minutes, wished for by a boy (Eleking and Woo are also suggested), though in fairness, Red King was hardly an origin-heavy beast in his past appearances. There’s a minor lesson present about bringing advanced or unknown things (The genie in the case of the children and a healing gun brought from M-78 by Hoshi) into unfamiliar territories and abusing their powers that’s not bad, but a little underdeveloped. 3.5/5

vlcsnap-2018-05-04-20h58m08s705The Evil Glove – Be Careful What You Throw Out! – An incredibly goofy concept that’s played pretty straight, though the scenes featuring the titular glove are still pretty silly and the climax features 80 showcasing probably his most absurd ability. An issue with the episode is the cause of the glove’s mutation not being minus energy, but a cluster of UV rays (Which according to Hoshi, were responsible for the destruction of the planet Blayard in the Orion Constellation 20,000 years ago), which Yuri spends a lot of time explaining. Like in Let’s Go! Stag Beetle Wintering Team, why they took the time to come up with a new explanation when the concept of minus energy has been well established is unknown. 3/5

The Speed Runner from Death Mountain – Despite the presence of a “Marathon Kid”, not a Tokusatsu-version of Marathon Man, but rather a retread of  The Mountain Sumo Boy (Which wasn’t even 10 episodes ago), and a poor one at that. The plot is as stated, a repeat of Sumo Boy’s with greedy businessmen wanting to exploit a god (Ooyama and Ito are also familiar with him). Not really funny and the titular Marathon Boy is rather annoying, and also causes some widespread destruction during one of his tantrums. There’s a subplot about a burned-out young marathon runner on the competition’s side with his mother in the hospital, but it hardly goes anywhere. A pretty bad one. 2/5

vlcsnap-2018-05-04-21h02m14s77780’s Greatest Peril! Transform! Lady Ultraman – At long last, Yullian reveals her Ultra-self, something that either should have happened sooner or continued on for a few episodes. The reason for her not transforming and directly participating in the fights (Therefore risking her life) is apparently due to 80 wanting her to become the next defender of Earth if something were to happen to him. Fujimori states that the possible appearance of 14 monsters will make for the first mass-panic monster attack in Japan. Though there have never been that many to attack at once, it being the FIRST mass-panic seems a bit weird. Hoshi gives an interesting speech to Yamato about lying and when it may be necessary, such as them concealing their identities. The main kid of the week, who is told a mild lie by Yamato to avoid panic is somewhat irritating, often getting in the way of things. Sera’s dancing to his homemade radio about makes up for it though. 3.5/5

vlcsnap-2018-05-04-21h04m23s295Ah! The Giraffes and Elephants Have Turned to Ice!! – The finale and final episode of the Showa series (Ignoring small-scale or non-canon shows like Andro Melos or Ultraman Kids), and in a sense, a fitting closure, with UGM essentially saying that they must no longer rely on Ultraman to protect them. Though the idea of attack teams becoming disillusioned with Ultraman handling all of the hard work has been seen, them refusing any form of help is certainly interesting, albeit maybe a bit questionable considering there have been instances where Ultraman was truly their only hope. But after 15 years, it is time to move on, and indeed, they did with this being the last major show until 1996 (Though far from the last show set within the Showa continuity). The final scene of the episode attempts to bring back all of the UGM cast members, and it is quite awesome, even if integration of a certain character is…odd. A very unconventional finale, but a fitting closure and true end of an era. 4/5

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