Hello, and welcome back to Watch Club, folks! Once again, I’m EJ Couloucoundis, editor-in-chief of Ultraman Connection.
And once again, I’m Sarah Last, writer and content creator for Ultraman Connection! You know, now that we’re back at work with these Ultraseven episodes, I realize that there’s another part of the show that we’ve been missing, which I’m really looking forward to returning to again. Would you care to drop a hint to our readers about what we’re in for this week?
Other than the debut of the last of the three Capsule Kaiju? Lots! This episode actually reminds me of ANOTHER story about a wandering celestial body — er, sorry, strolling. This is Ultraseven Episode 31, “The Strolling Planet”, after all. Thankfully, Amagi is not the main character so disaster does not loom.
Let’s be fair, this is Ultraseven, so disaster looms in every episode, it’s just a question of whether the particular disaster of the week is focused on making Amagi’s life miserable in particular.
In this episode, things start off unassuming enough, as the Ultra Guard receives a report of an asteroid on a collision course with the Earth! Wait… what? That seems like something to be very concerned about, but Furahashi and the others don’t seem to think the extraplanetary object to be large enough to warrant an Armageddon-tier response. Still, nobody wants to take any chances, and so Amagi, Furahashi and Dan are sent out on patrol to investigate it.
I mean, after Pegassa City, isn’t a regular asteroid kind of pedestrian? And as the UG makes it up into space, they don’t SEEM to notice any threats… until they realize that that’s not just an asteroid, but an island. I wonder if they’re still traumatized by the Alien Bell?
It’s certainly a case of deja vu all over again for Amagi, especially since they crash into the planet after their jet is hit by a strange sort of electromagnetic signal. At the same time, the Ultra Guard realizes that their patrol has gone missing, and sends out a search, but to no avail. The island is nowhere to be found, and worse, the same sort of jamming signal that caused the crash now is preventing the Ultra Guard’s other jets from being launched!
It’s really crazy how fast things happen in this episode. At only five minutes or so into the episode, we already have the Ultra Guard’s forces divided and crippled, and each side of the team struggling with their own issues. Dan, Amagi and Furahashi have to work together to uncover the mysterious island’s secrets, while Captain Kiriyama, Anne and Soga search desperately for their fellow teammates, and have to guard the base now that most of their technology is unusable!
I actually have a question about what comes next. Dan, Amagi, and Furuhashi find their way into the control room for the asteroid, in truth a frontline invasion base. All the stuff here is sized perfectly for a humanoid. But the only alien we see, Rigger… isn’t that. Who else did they miss on this island?
It is interesting to think about some unnamed, still-as-of-yet-unknown alien threat behind this attack, which is still out there in this universe, and might still pose a threat to humanity or the Ultras. We never learn of their identity, but it’s clear that they mean harm to the Earth. The trio find the source of the signal that caused their ship to crash, but the moment they realize they’re in danger, the door slams shut and seals them all in the alien base.
I really enjoy seeing all three of them bounce off of each other in this scene. Previously in the episode “Escape Dimension X!”, when Amagi and Soga were stranded in a similar situation, we were able to see how their differing personalities played off of each other, as they both approached threats and dangers in different ways. This episode does something similar: Amagi gets to show off his knowledge and skills analyzing the technology around them, Furahashi tries to solve problems by literally throwing himself at them, and Dan is… well, Dan.
He’s a bit cryptic, but clearly worried and doing his best to work with his friends and teammates to not only escape the island, but protect the rest of the Earth from this threat as well. In the middle of all this, he always seems to think about the big picture, and puts his duty as a member of the Ultra Guard beyond his own personal circumstances, or even his own personal safety.
Cut to the rest of the Ultra Guard, where Soga and the Captain are trying to get to their trapped personnel in the Pointer, when they hit a force field. Luckily, the Pointer just… flies now?
Like, I know the Pointer can hover, but the thing just goes straight up into the air! Every time that car shows up it does something new. Unfortunately, not even the miracle of self-propelled flight works here, as they simply cannot pass. A quick stone’s throw confirms Kiriyama’s suspicions — an electromagnetic barrier.
Part of me was hoping we’d get to see Soga’s talent for physical comedy — yes, that is a thing — with him running into and bouncing off the barrier. Next time.
Meanwhile, our trio stuck on the asteroid base finally manages to escape, thanks to Amagi’s skills with hacking alien circuitry! Pretty impressive stuff. They need to get away to warn the rest of the Ultra Guard -- they’ve had no way to contact the base ever since they first crashed here -- and of course who’s the first one to volunteer for a suicidal mission to destroy the base behind them?
Dan, of course. But it helps when you can rely on your ability to turn into a fifty-meter tall alien with a giant indestructible blade on your head, right? Too bad for him, he quickly finds out that the same signal blocking the Ultra Guard’s technology also prevents his Ultra Eye from working. Not to mention, a giant Kaiju immediately appears to attack them! I have to assume that it’s here to protect the asteroid base from interference, but honestly the alien computer systems were doing a pretty good job of that already.
When all else fails however, and Dan can’t use his own power as Ultraseven, it’s a good thing he has the Capsule Monsters to fall back on! In this episode, pulls out one we’ve never seen before -- the monster Agira!
Poor Agira doesn’t get quite as much play as his buddies Miclas and Windam, which is a real shame. I love his design. Nothing quite as good as a sleepy fella. More than that, though, Agira is also quite a good fighter, leaping onto Rigger’s back and riding it like a bucking bronco. Now, staying on its back is much harder, but still. While I love Windam and Miclas, Agira seems to do the most damage to its respective foe of any of the capsule monsters, successfully holding off and in several moments getting the upper hand on Rigger while Dan goes and blows the asteroid’s control room. Eventually, the poor creature is overcome, but it buys valuable time, and allows Dan to get in contact with the Ultra Guard and order in a missile strike before the base can detonate. Good show, Agira!
I agree, Agira really holds its own in this fight, and I wish it got more respect alongside Miclas and Windam!
Seven quickly finishes off Rigger with a swift Slugger straight through the neck once he’s able to transform, but the danger isn’t over yet. The “Strolling Planet” is still strolling its way to the Ultra Guard’s base, set to explode soon if they can’t figure out how to destroy it. Luckily, Seven realizes that Rigger’s head is actually the control unit guiding the asteroid. He grabs the head, flies away with it, and simply waits for the explosives to detonate harmlessly in space. The day is saved, and it saves them from having to clean up the mess too!
I know that Ultraseven episodes can end quickly, but this one almost ends out of nowhere — I found myself wondering what happened after, considering the UG had to leave without Dan and were likely worried about him. How’s he going to explain showing up fine a few minutes later?
Anyway, that question aside, this was a great episode, with a relatively straightforward plot, and one of the longest kaiju-on-kaiju fights in the series. Big recommend.
Next week, we watch… genuinely, one of the strangest episodes of the series. It’s difficult to explain right now, but it’ll make more sense when we check out Ultraseven Episode 32, “The Invading Dead.”