“A World Without Tomorrow” and “Good People and Bad People”
We sleep through episode 18, then watch as D.R.L.N. sends the bad robot to go fight the Ultramen.
I may have spent more time looking into why we got ‘A World Without Tomorrow’ instead of, like, anything relevant to pushing the plot along. Don’t get me wrong, these side episodes are sometimes the best that Ultraman has to offer (see that Ultraman X rugby episode we like to talk about) but we’re hot off the heels of the Halloween special. It might be because of Culture Day in Japan, but that’s a bit of a guess on my part as there doesn’t appear to be any kind of acknowledgement. At any rate, this episode isn’t that great, but it does have a few good moments.
Perhaps my favourite thing about Ultraman as a whole is when they dig deep into the Ultra-vaults and pull out a bizarre and obscure monster to use. We saw that with Booska last episode (although admittedly, that plays more so for Western fans because from what I can tell, Booska is pretty well-known in Japan) and we see it again briefly here with Alien Chibu, who appears as a hologram and bosses the other aliens around. The other two aren’t quite as obscure, at least according to my pretty biased barometer of whether I know them or not given I’ve not seen much Ultraman in general. We saw Alien Zarab back in Ultraman X, and Alien Mefilas is one I’ve at least seen in passing.
The episode itself is pretty bland. It’s an interesting concept for sure, but honestly I think it’d be more interesting to see some regular news coverage of Earth from the aliens, rather than see them attempt to spice it up. Seeing Papa Minato in the leading role for the episode was good to see, but ultimately didn’t really pay off. His story was incredibly cliché, arguably deliberately so, but it didn’t really add anything to the episode one way or the other. The most fascinating part of the episode was not the bomb plot, but rather the cool, old flip clock they used for the countdown. I guess my biggest problem with the episode is that it didn’t lean into anything – it didn’t fully commit to being serious or being silly.
‘Good People and Bad People’ is a return to the main plot after two weeks of absence (for Japan, anyway!) but even then, failed to move the needle until the very last conversation in the episode. Goth Alien wanting to save Asahi is believable at this point, so having her temporarily team up with Ruebe isn’t really that outlandish. The interesting part of the episode, D.R.L.N. getting hacked somehow, is left completely unanswered. It’s not clear whether this is just an excuse for the show to dump garbage-tier monster King Joe on us again, or whether there’s plot reasons for it happening.
My best guess would be that Aizen is back, but going for Asahi to spite her is only something he’d do if he was really paying attention. The more obvious answer is that it’s to lure out the Ultramen, but even that’s kinda questionable when King Joe didn’t really do much damage to the country, and seems very much designed to murder people inside itself? Put it this way, if Aizen is behind that, and counted on Goth Alien to get in there and save her, then fair play to him. I just don’t see it, especially as there was no trap for her inside Joe. So going back to the earlier point, who hacked D.R.L.N., and does the show actually mean for it to be a plot point anyway?
We do learn right at the end that the Ultraman morphers actually belonged to Goth Alien’s brothers, so I guess we’ll finally get confirmation on who she is and where she came from in the next episode or two. Hopefully we’ll see Asahi’s origin story too?
- I miss Aizen.
- King Joe sucks and always has sucked. I realise that this isn’t going to be a popular opinion among Ultraman fans but I just can’t stand the thing.
- Dinosaur Tank though. Now there‘s an evergreen design. But still no Dinosaur Tank.
This series has completely destroyed my trust in its flags about what is worth paying attention to and not worth paying attention to. They made two episodes in a row that were completely inconsequential, and at the same time they were at least as novel as any of the alternating bad episodes we’ve seen so far. We’re being trained to treat any plot that involves the impending destruction of earth as a flag indicating that the current arc is a joke, which seems pretty irresponsible given where it seems this show is going.
- I am extremely into putting Ultraman toys in shock mounts
- Papa Minato has a very good hat with a very good badge
- The robot should have dabbed