Ultraman R/B Episode 17

“We’re All Friends!”

PIGMON THE BEST.

Euri’s Thoughts

It’s no secret that we’re both pretty unfamiliar with Ultraman in its entirety, but it’s episodes like these that break away from the plot to have fun that I really, really enjoy. They’re a fascinating showcase of kaiju from the annals of Ultraman‘s past, and particularly for an outsider like me, it’s great to get a modern glance at them. That said, this is not our first outing with Pigmon, a very good character and top-tier most huggable kaiju, as we met them a few years back in an episode of Ultraman X.

This is our Halloween episode, and because of that we get to see some good costumes and decorations. Myself and colons had a brief discussion on why Asahi and Space Goth might be constructing a pumpkin out of card instead of carving a real one, and got to wondering whether the vegetable just isn’t that popular over there. Even here in the UK it’s not exactly a common ingredient, showing up around Halloween for kids to attack and leave outside their homes. Unfortunately Rosso and Blu don’t dress up at all, leaving it to Pigmon, Space Goth, Asahi and her two friends we briefly saw ten episodes or so ago.

We also met Dada in Ultraman X, notably showing up on the bad guys team in our beloved rugby episode. We saw his famous face-changing abilities back then too, but this time he brought a very fun device with him: the Micronizer. It’s not at all important for the plot, but I love this weapon for being so adorably retro; it looks like a Lego gun that’s been upscaled and I’m very much into that. The episode concludes with Ruebe beating the snot out of Dada and seeing him be imprisoned by Booska the mutant iguana, so all in all a pretty good episode.

We also get a short segment at the end of the episode to move back into the main plot, which I can appreciate versus pretending this episode didn’t happen. Seeing Space Goth attempt to add human emotion to her speech was also pretty good, especially when she’s letting everyone know that the planet is going to be destroyed in a few month’s time. Curiously, she does seem somewhat apologetic at the end for it, so I’m not sure she’s in allegiance with the real big-bad. That said, if her handing out power-ups was to help ready Ruebe for a big fight, it doesn’t really explain why she’d remove the space ghost from Aizen’s body, given he can help out as Ultraman Dark Orb.

Oh, and that episode preview sure doesn’t look like a return to the plot, but I guess we’ll see!

Random Observations

  • Pigmon is so good. Did I mention Pigmon is good?
  • I did a quick search to see if the character who has his car reduced in size was someone fans of the show might recognise, given how rare it is for R/B to focus on a non-main character. I didn’t find anything, but if you have any clues do let us know.
  • The origins of Booska are kind of wild? I love that this episode has a random cameo from a beloved 60s kaiju, and I’m struggling to think of what a British analogue would be. It probably involves Sooty.
  • Still no Dinosaur Tank.

colons’ Thoughts

I choose to believe that the rest of this show will continue from here with the threat laid out at the end of this episode as its central premise, and will continue to until forced otherwise.

It’s weird that they put the standard ‘previously on R/B’ intro at the start of this episode; there was, apart from the final scene, essentially nothing in it that would require knowledge of the events of the series so far. Even if you include that scene, the events of the last couple of episodes aren’t especially pressing either. Since this inbound threat is going to become the predominant story, they would have been better to do a recap of representative moments from each of the characters who would be present, and what their role in the story is. Certainly, it’d have made Space Goth’s impersonation of Prostetnic Vogon Idol Jeltz make a lot more sense, and made this episode better as a jumping-on point for people who are just into a good apocalypse narrative.

Right now, though, I don’t believe her threats about blowing the earth up are real. Perhaps this race of gas aliens would resort to that, if they deemed it necessary, but the ones we’ve met seem way more interested in making Ultramans stronger. Clearly, they have differences amongst themselves about how to achieve that, but they’ll work it out. Aizen will be back once Goth Villain allows him to be, when it is convenient for the development of the trio who will save the earth.

It’s a bummer that we’ve not met the actual villain of this show yet. It’s certainly a trope in RPGs to only introduce the big bad right before the final boss fight, but I don’t know if that’s true of Ultraman. It’s a super unsatisfying way to treat what’s supposed to be the central conflict of a narrative, and I’m getting worried it’s where we’re heading.

Gosh, though, these outfits were good.

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