Ultraman 1.3 – Charge Forth, Science Patrol!

The other two regular characters in Ultraman are Fuji and her younger brother, Hoshino. He wasn’t actually her brother in the original show, apparently. That’s an invention of the English language dub. Fuji, who’s the radio operator back at base but also takes on investigations of her own, is played by Hiroko Sakurai, and Hoshino by Akihide Tsuzawa.

The third episode of the show introduces the first Earth-born menace that our heroes face, apparently. Hoshino has read that some soldiers, probably back in Japan’s feudal days, buried a creature called Neronga in the area, and, since the opening of a power plant, it’s been converting electricity into energy and growing to gigantic size. I’m not sure that the Science Patrol really needs to immediately accept some folklore anecdote from a ten year-old as provable fact, but then again, I’m not sure that the Science Patrol really needs to let Fuji’s kid brother have the run of their base, steal Arashi’s laser-bazooka, and get into trouble all the darn time, either.

Then again, Hoshino does actually blast Neronga’s left eye out with that bazooka, which is not only pretty gruesome, but is also more successful than anything else anyone tries until Ultraman shows up.

Speaking of eyes, here’s another example of one of these neat and very weird shots that you often find in this show. It’s a simple enough composite, but it’s also miles ahead of kidvid in the United States at the time.

Our son did really well with this episode. He has a long habit of getting worried and upset when kids or elderly aunts are put in jeopardy by villains and monsters, but Hoshino’s underground investigation was really exciting for him. I envision him exploring many “caves” with giant monsters on the end in the future.

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