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Ultraman Mebius Volume 9 DVD (Episodes 33-36) 
28th-Mar-2007 12:34 am
(A little late; I haven't been feeling well so I've been writing this on and off. Some of my observations here may seem anticlimactic after watching Episode 49, but I'll write as if I have yet to see it.)

Here is this month's review of episodes from a newly released Mebius R2 DVD. As always, the picture quality of the DVD is crisp and clear. And as always, I don't do formal reviews (I have no idea who does one of those, though).

Spoilers are under the cut. No paragraph breaks within an episode because I just can't seem to break it.

I have ambivalent feelings about Episode 33. The one good thing about it, however, is that it is essentially a Teppei Episode. (Poor guy needs more love.) I usually like watching Misa-san's actress in her other roles (she seems typecasted into playing either an alien or a supernatural being), but in this case I feel any other lovely actress could have played Misa-san when all she did was looking quite fragile and enchanting Teppei. Anyway, I really like the fact that this episode relies very much on Crew GUYS knowing Mirai's Secret. I mean, the tension and Teppei's argument would flat out not work if events in this episode took place before everyone learned that Mirai is Mebius. (Teppei couldn't make his accusation in the first place if he didn't know where to direct his anger to. Although I suppose he could try shouting at Mebius (like Ryuu did a long, long time ago back in Episode 1), but it wouldn't have the same impact as shouting at Mirai.) And perhaps not as important as other events in this episode, but I just don't understand how Sakocchi knew what Teppei told his mother back at the end of Episode 14 (that GUYS and doctors both save human lives). At the end, I admit to laughing at Teppei's expense (sorry Teppei-kun) when Misa-san just walked past him as if he wasn't there, but it's rather refreshing to see him in a different hairstyle (which kinda resembles George's) for once. (And was that Mirai accidentally hitting Ryuu's shoulder or something while they were cheering/encouraging Teppei?)

Episode 34 is the most anticipated Ultraman Leo Episode. I like Leo a lot. (Have watched the first two episodes of Ultraman Leo; plan to finish the series one of these days.) I also like Alien Reflect a lot. (Sphere-shaped guy with quite a personality. Except for the bad bit at the end with his cheating. (Were the writers afraid that I would forget that Reflect was in reality a bad guy, so they had to throw in that scene?)) Mirai's training is love. (I lost count of how many of those poor wooden poles he kicked. ^^) Mirai's hot-blooded teammates pointing their weapons at Gen is not so love. (Did you two seriously believe that Leo would be afraid of your itty-bitty guns? Or you just didn't think, period.) It's probably me being Asian, but I feel that the guys (well, only Ryuu and George since Teppei and Mirai did fine) should have shown more respect toward Gen since he was much older than them (even if he ultimately turned out to be an enemy, which wasn't the case here). And I love seeing Teppei's fanboy face whenever he sees an Ultra (other than Mebius and Hikari) appearing. And maybe it was somewhat contrived the way Mirai finally learned how to make the spinning fire kick, but it was still one of Mebius's coolest attacks I'd seen in quite a while. (Leo kick was the ultimate coolness, of course.) And I simply have no adequate words to describe the utterly, supremely kickass Mebius-Leo double ultra action. Not so related to the plot, but I was quite disappointed that the double henshin scene got cut, even though it was shown in the preview for the episode.

I'm not really a fan of Hikari, but Episode 35 made me kind of like him a little bit when he really tried hard to make amends for his past wrongdoings. This episode is a direct sequel of Hikari Saga Part 3 (which I hadn't watched as often as I should, and which I felt didn't really explain much about how Hikari got the arb gear again). Arriving on earth, the alien Babalou impersonated Tsurugi and destroyed buildings so that the humans would not trust Hikari (and other ultras I suppose) anymore. That got Mirai so incensed on behalf of Hikari (which I understand), although I don't like that they showed Mirai getting angry over this matter quite a few times, but in the end he was left out of the battle. (Sorry, Mebius' brief appearance (because Ryuu told him to ^^) before the credits didn't count; they might as well leave him out of this episode altogether.) One other thing, I'm not really fond of the situation where an ultra requires a human host instead of making his human form himself, because the line sometimes gets blurred as to where the Ultra is talking (his opinion) and where the host is talking (the human's opinion). (For instance here, Serizawa started talking, and then his voice changed to that of Hikari's.) Oh, and the theme song playing toward the end is so much love (I usually have the full version of this song on repeat like for hours). Rainbow ray (instead of his usual blue ray) from the new Tsurugi was nice too.

I'll admit that I was very, very disappointed with Episode 36 the first time I watched it. (Possibly because it aired after a two week break and I might have unrealistic expectations after quite a long wait.) But I've quite changed my mind since then. It still is not my favorite episode, but it is quite interesting, in the way it deals with yet more aliens who are neither good nor evil. The Psycho Kino aliens seem to be trouble makers. I'm not clear why they came to make trouble on Earth. (Their planet was destroyed, if I understand correctly.) As Kako explained, it seems they came from a wave of time and space; something which will get referred to again in future episodes (along with the aliens or whatnot who come through it to finish off Mebius). I'm not sure why she claimed to be Mirai's little sister either. Mirai and his teammates speculated, but didn't seem to agree on one single thing. Anyway, she used her power on Toriyama and made him suspicious. Mirai, as usual, was naive in thinking that he could make Kako stop using her power by reprimanding her. (And, as usual, I like that innocent outlook of his.) As usual, like he did for virtually all of his darling underlings, the Captain had Good Advice for Mirai. (As a side note to Mirai-kun, I think the rules on earth are not so unique. Wherever you choose to live probably has the same or similar set of rules. You know, sort of adapt and follow the natives. Don't do anything they don't do, like don't display your supernatural power in public on earth, even though the unfortunate recipient of your power fully deserves it. ^^)

DVD Extras:

The interview with Shin Ishikawa (Serizawa's actor) was okay, I guess. (Can't make out the background of where he was seated.) They showed quite a few behind the scenes stuff related to his character (for examples, Tsurugi scenes, and the scene at beginning of Episode 6 where he fought with the Bogal woman). At one point, he shared his opinion (or perhaps Serizawa's opinion) on Ryuu and Mirai which I would dearly love to understand.

"Catch the Mebius" Part 9 was quite good. This time they seemed to interview the guy responsible for various monster scenes. There was the way the monster in Thirty-two was supposedly blown up (quite disillusioned me, in fact). There was also a scene with Kelbeam and Astra Dragon (Episode 20 I believe).

Last, I love the extra on Kako. It consists of an interview with her actress and a behind the scene of when GUYS held an outdoor barbecue for her. (If I'm not mistaken, Mirai picked on George* at least two times during that barbecue segment. ^^;) It is scary somehow that Kako-chan's actress smiled widely virtually all the time during the interview segment since it was so out of her character. And the weather was apparently quite warm at the time of the shooting because the guys (at least) all took off their GUYS jackets.


EDITED in much later (as in three years later): *Once he (secretly?) switched George's drink. And the other time he seemed to suggest that Marina pulled George's ear for the scene she took George away from Kako. (She originally slapped George on the shoulder for that scene.)
Mirai
Comments 
(Deleted comment)
28th-Mar-2007 06:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you for your comment. :)

Oh yeah, totally forgot about Mirai's reaction to a new food. (Since Episode 2, I'm amazed at how much the writing of this series stays consistant.)

Um, Ryuu and George still point their guns at Gen after Leo throughly beated up Mebius (I think because he *did* beat up Mebius).
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
29th-Mar-2007 08:04 am (UTC)
The subject of the hosted Ultras is fascinating, I'll agree. The issue I have with it is when it confuses the heck out of me. From little I've seen, there is no real consistency in the way the Ultra series writers treat this issue. Sometimes the human is in control, sometimes it is the Ultra, sometimes it is just not clear who is in control, and the show(s) don't usually bother to tell the audience the reason for any of these. As you note, the Mebius movie is guilty of this inconsistency, but it is by no means the only one.

The only mental dialogues I ever see remotely addressing this issue take place in Ultraman Cosmos. (I haven't watched much of the older series, so don't know if they ever try to address the issue.) But even in Cosmos, where it is very clear that the host and the Ultra are separate beings, with different opinions/beliefs/ideals, sometimes the series just acts as if only the host matters.

I've read that Tiga, Dyna, and Gaia are referred to as human Ultras. (They have humans as hosts, but there are really no Ultras without the humans.) I mean, for each of these series, the Ultra doesn't seem to exist as a separate being. I have no problem here, for essentially in this case they are treated almost like the Ultras who make their own forms, only without the aliens trying to learn/to adapt angle since the hosts are truly humans (although with special abilities to turn into Ultras, of course).

Sorry that this is somewhat long and not really about Mebius. Thanks for an interesting discussion, though.
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