Ultraman 1.19 – Demons Rise Again

Here’s another episode that everybody remembers: the one with the red monster and the blue monster. The red one’s called Banila and he breathes fire, and the blue one’s called Aboras and he breathes a disintegrating foam. Our son was hugely entertained by the wrestling this time, and watched in awe with his head popping out from under a blanket.

He was also very talkative tonight, and that’s entirely his parents’ fault for setting a bad example. The opening moments see a strange capsule unearthed at a construction site, which is uncannily like the original TV version of Quatermass and the Pit, except the Science Patrol gets called in, rather than a bomb disposal squad. Between me muttering about Nigel Kneale and Marie mumbling about being more careful with rocket-shaped things dug up in cities, and making sure all the parts get found instead of just assuming the missing bit disintegrated after 900,000 years in the earth, we had him figuring that a little yammering would be okay tonight.

There’s another weird echo of another sci-fi story here, when a scientist speculates that the 900,000 year-old civilization that buried the capsule – with the monsters in liquid form – is the undersea kingdom of Mu. The fabled lost continent had features in many works of international fiction, and just three years before Ultraman was made, it was the setting for the villainous empire in the fabulous Toho film Atragon (Kaitei Gunkan), for which Eiji Tsubaraya’s company made the visual effects.

Photo credit: Ultraman Wiki

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