“The Minato Family Holiday”
Not content with having his pizza cutter stolen, Aizen targets Rosso and Blu while they’re having a family picnic. He challenges them to a final exam to prove who is the better Ultraman, before summoning a furry for them to fight.
It’s tough not to feel frustrated when the show appears to be moving in ways that genuinely seem interesting, yet fails to do the plot points justice. It makes sense that Aizen is bitter about losing to Rosso and Blu, particularly because he doesn’t approve of the way they operate as Ultramen. They act unlike the Ultramen before them, which seems to grind his gears as he’s obviously some kind of inter-dimensional Ultraman otaku. I just kind of wish that there was a better way for him to show up the other two without making it about who can fight the best.
Having Rosso and Blu lose to Horoboros only for Aizen to take over and beat it himself is a fun plot point to explore despite this, though unfortunately this story beat gets strewn across two episodes thanks to some family-related fluff in the first half. It perhaps wouldn’t be so bad if the dad and sister had anything meaningful to add to the show, but so far this hasn’t been the case. There’s no excuse for it either – we have the missing mother plot that’s been abandoned for a time that’s more convenient, but why not have the picnic on the anniversary of her disappearance? Why not give us a reason to care about that, for when it comes back up again?
Importantly, there’s a woman that appears at the end of the episode looking all sorts of evil that if I was to guess, is either the mother herself or directly related to her disappearance. So why aren’t we being fed reasons to get invested in this? Even without that angle, Asahi is a sibling in this family too, and there are more interesting things that can be done with her character that don’t involve her standing around and smiling. Give us a reason to care when the inevitable happens and she becomes a monster that has to be fought.
That’s a lot of negative points, but it wasn’t all bad. As I said earlier, Aizen setting Rosso and Blu up for a fall, only to take advantage of it as Dark Orb, is a good play. Judging by the episode preview we may even see Aizen reveal his ultra-identity to the public, which will help install him as the resident Ultraman with the public on his side. Perhaps this is a bit of a power play on his part, because the work he did in engineering situations to make himself the hero is now going to pay off. Rosso and Blu suck and will likely confront Aizen and turn the public against them in the process.
All of the tools are here for a genuinely fun and interesting plot going forward, but sadly I’m not going to hold my breath in the hopes that it all comes together. There’s also a chance that all three Ultramen will team up in the future, especially if the woman at the end turns out to be evil, but I’m hoping that it doesn’t happen for a while. Let Aizen have his time in the limelight, have Rosso and Blu work on being Ultramen that don’t completely suck, and let’s have some confrontations with a bit more gravitas in the future.
- Aizen formally introducing himself every time he speaks with someone, regardless of whether he already knows them, is very good.
- That fursuit was genuinely impressive, even though for some reason it seemed harder to not see it as someone in a suit?
- Blink and you’ll miss it, but Gomess was the monster being fought at the start. If you thought it looked like Godzilla with big eyebrows, you’d be right! The original appearance of this monster in 1966 used an existing Godzilla suit, and that suit would later get reused again after its appearance in Ultra Q for the filming of the Godzilla movie Invasion of Astro-Monster.
- According to the Ultraman wiki, Horoboros is apparently the first monster to defeat an Ultraman to the point of them turning back into a human, without the use of special powers. Horoboros just did dog things to defeat Rosso and Blu. Good dog.
- Still no Dinosaur Tank.
As Euri points out, the show does seem to be leading towards Aizen doing a big reveal that leads to him being celebrated as the hero already established as Orb Black Black Black Black (OBBBB). For this to work, though, would require staggering ineptitude on the part of the media; they’d have to have repeatedly missed interactions in earlier episodes with folks on the ground, paid no notice to where the Ultramans came from and disappeared to, and perhaps most notably, not have expressed any interest in that one time our protagonists, in Ultraman form, show up to Aizen’s offices and summon OBBBB for some kind of secluded interaction. Unfortunately, the media in this show is staggeringly inept, so I expect to be disappointed, and for it to work flawlessly. At least at first.
I want that fursuit. Aizen’s hammerspace jetpack is awesome. Protags’ inexplicable hubris was punished appropriately. I just once want to see the pizza cutter used to cut a pizza.