Had a little scare since my newly arrived R2 DVD seemed to have a little encoding error when I played it with my DVD player. But I ripped the DVD and it played fine on my computer. So either the disc itself has an error that a computer can bypass, or my DVD player is just wonky. Hopefully the latter, because I pay more for one of the Mebius DVDs than for the player.
Since I reviewed ep 38, (ETA: wrote something that doesn't quite qualify as a review for ep 39), and wrote some random stuff for ep 40 previously (with plenty of edits made over time for 40; man, I'm going to write a new post for it, hopefully after I finish taking care of hundreds of real life matters), I'm going to try something different this time.
Teppei: From the previous story, we learned from Kako-chan about the wave of space-time opening and the various aliens and monsters who came through it to, not to put a fine point on it, kill Mebius. And Ryuu-san said to us (after we left Mirai-kun with the captain) that we needed to find that opening in order to protect Mirai-kun.
Konomi: So we talked about holding the party to celebrate the Father of Ultra Festival and sent Mirai-kun shopping.
Teppei: As I remember, Mirai-kun volunteered to go, Konomi-san.
Konomi: *pouts at Teppei* Not important. He went out in either case, which was all that mattered. But he was late in coming back.
Mirai: Oh, on my way back I overheard a little boy calling his father a liar. I sat down and talked with him a bit.
Konomi: *cocks head* The children at my school have been asking for you, Mirai-kun. *leans toward Mirai* Anyway, what did you talk about with your little boy?
Mirai: Koki-kun was upset because his father didn't have the time to bring him to the festival. He thought his father might not like him. So I told him that his father loved him.
Konomi: But since his father was a grown-up, he had to spend a long period of time at his job. It didn't mean that he deliberately neglected Koki-kun. Am I right?
Konomi: I think you are very good with children, Mirai-kun.
Mirai: *looks embarrassed* You or Teppei-san would have said the same thing to koki-kun. Excuse me. *walks to the far side of the control room*
Konomi: Wait, Mirai-kun!
Teppei: *whispers* It was nightmarish, Konomi-san, what happened to Mirai-kun next.
Konomi: *puts hand over mouth* Oh, no. I didn't think.
Teppei: Jashrain completely defeated Ryuu-san, Marina-san, George-san, and Mebius.
Konomi: "Defeat"? Don't you think that is a little harsh, Teppei-san?
Teppei: If the Father of Ultra hadn't arrived when he did...
Konomi: All right.
Teppei: He revived Mebius. And although he could have defeated that space pirate guy on his own, he let Mebius fight.
Konomi: That was very considerate of him.
Mirai: Yes. Even though I had let him down. It would be what I deserved if he had forbidden me to fight.
Teppei & Konomi: Don't blame yourself. As you noted, Jashrain was sneaky and a cheat.
Mirai: Yes. Dai Tai-- I mean Father of Ultra said Mebius didn't lose because the color timer hadn't turned into gold. It wasn't a failure if Mebius didn't give up. So I must not let the doubt... ah, I know I said yes to him, but--
Teppei & Konomi: *look dazed*
Mirai: *blinks* Oh, I am boring you. Let's discuss the next story.
Teppei: *raises brows* You sure you want to? It's the story where GUYS Ocean Captain, Isana Hiroshi, learned of your true identity from the beginning, but let us squirm our way trying to cover that up. It was only at the end that he saw fit to let us know that our efforts were wasted. *shakes head* As if we weren't stressed enough trying to find a way to defeat Arigera, who apparently was another one of those monsters emerging from the wave of space-time opening.
Konomi: *sotto voce* Arigera could fly faster than our jets and was equally versatile in the ocean and sky because of his hard wings. Isn't that what you told us, Teppei-san?
Teppei: *nods* I suppose I did say something to that effect. But mostly I was nervous being around that Isana guy. You said it yourself, Konomi-san, that he seemed to have a good intuition.
Mirai: *looks sheepish* Um... I also didn't help much with my blurting out the wrong thing at the wrong time.
Teppei: Don't worry about it. Ryuu-san and Marina-san made quite a few slip-ups too. And they were supposed to know better.
Marina: What was that, Teppei-kun?
Teppei: *looks down at his workstation* Nothing. Nothing at all.
Ryuu: Hey Teppei! Quit yapping about the past we can't change and get your butt back to typing your report.
Teppei: I'm done with it. *hands Ryuu the report* And you know something, Ryuu-san? You seem to be our unofficial vice-captain.
Ryuu: What about it? You are here to work so I remind you of that. Gossip on your time off, people!
Konomi: *pouts* We're not gossiping, Ryuu-san. And while I agree that we cannot change the past, we can learn from it. Particularly about not talking so freely about Mirai-kun and Mebius in the cockpit.
Ryuu: Fine. Go away and yap. Be back in 20 minutes sharp, or you won't like the consequence.
Marina: Hey. Teppei-kun is totally right about the vice-captain thing.
Ryuu: Quiet! I'm not in the mood for a fight.
Marina: You so are, but I'm not going to oblige you.
Ryuu: *speaks in very low voice under breath* Where the hell is George anyway? Heck the guy normally annoys me, but at least he can take this pesky female off my hand.
Marina: George is off and I so envy him for that.
Konomi: Did you know that Isana-san was training with Araiso-san before he joined GUYS Ocean? He went to take some kind of test without telling Araiso-san. I gather that Araiso-san was ... displeased with him for doing the test behind his back. One day, Isana-san simply left and it seems to me that they haven't kept much in touch since, which is kind of sad.
Teppei: I'd never heard about any of those things. They weren't written down in a GUYS operation manual. How did *you* find out about them?
Konomi: Don't look so suspicious. By chance I saw their disagreement when Isana-san was here last, so Araiso-san told me all about their shared history. He didn't seem any more upset at Isana-san, though, if he even was in the first place.
Teppei: Why did you go down there? Wait, don't answer. It wasn't important to the story. Let's just hope Isana-san keep his mouth shut about "the secret."
Mirai: I believe he will. He had many chances to expose me but didn't do so.
Teppei: *sighs* Being blindly optimistic is sometime a good thing I suppose.
Konomi: Don't be mean to Mirai-kun, Teppei-san.
Teppei: Okay. The next story starts with our lunch lady, Hinode Sayuri, getting hit by a car because she was trying to save a boy directly in the path of that car. The boy seemed to be fine. Not so Hinode-san. She apparently lost her life, much to the sadness of her family.
Konomi: Presumably, that was when Alien Serpent possessed her, so she could live again.
Mirai: Their merging appeared to be similar to the way I've heard Jack nii-- Ultraman Jack merged with his human host, who was also very courageous, helping a young boy like Hinode-san did.
Konomi: How cowardly of Alien Serpent, pretending to be on a good side in order to deceive Hinode-san.
Teppei: Yeah, he and his so-called comrades were cowards. No need to worry, Konomi-san. Hinode-san caught on soon enough that she was being used.
Mirai: *smiles innocently* Not before she served you lots of tomato, Teppei-san.
Teppei: As I remember, she made me eat tomato before Serpent possessed her. And you are not the one to talk when she also changed your meal. Not that you seemed to complain about the amount of rice she gave you. But yeah, you do have a point about the food. Hinode-san didn't put any salt in all our food as a result of the possession since according to her Serpent couldn't tolerate salt.
Konomi: And you deduced that since they are slug-like creatures, they need lots of water, thus salt is their weakness. *wistful* Hinode-san must have liked you guys, though. She hadn't done anything differently with my meal.
Teppei: Haven't you listened to what I just said?
Konomi: *sticks out tongue* I mean apart from having no salt in our meals.
Mirai: Ah... Teppei-san, Konomi-san. We don't have much time left.
Teppei: Right. Alien Serpent, in Hinode-san's body, infiltrated GUYS main space. When we confronted them, he and his "comrades" threatened to destroy GUYS.
Konomi: You noticed the baton on the floor was a dimensional gateway so Captain Sakomizu told George-san to shoot at it.
Mirai: Then Hinode-san regained control of her body and fought with the rest of Alien Serpent who had come out of the baton. *smiles* Hinode-san was sure amazing for a human.
Teppei: But she wasn't exactly a human, was she? I know what you mean, though. She is amazing, even without any superpower. Serpent had underestimated her strong tie with her family.
Konomi: And, coward that these aliens were, they fled and reformed outside of Phoenix Nest. The Giant Alien Serpent was about to crush all of us in the base when Mirai-kun saved us all.
Mirai: *blushes* Ah... that was nothing. It was Hinode-san who did most of the fighting in this story.
Teppei: Mirai-kun? Just say thanks.
Teppei: I'm sure we had largely neglected to mention how grateful we were to you. But, for me at least, you have become real and not simply just a mythical superhero from a distant star we humans worship.
Konomi: I also feel that way. Mirai-kun is our friend.
Mirai: *looks sheepish* Thank you, Teppei-san, Konomi-san.
Konomi: You're welcome. Shall we discuss the next story?
Teppei: Sure, Konomi-san. However, part of this story deals with Mirai-kun's day off. So, let's hear it, Mirai-kun.
Mirai: It wasn't very interesting. Oh, there was this young lady* with a few of her friends. They seemed to be taking advantage of her friendship by asking her to pay money for what they bought. I said that they shouldn't treat their friend that way, but they said among themselves that it wasn't my business and walked away from me. I met the same young lady later without her friends around and she apologized for her behavior. So she acknowledged that her relationship with those friends was not right, but I don't really understand the reason she was still with them.
Konomi: Oh, my. I'm sorry, Mirai-kun. While I agree that she should stay away from her fake friends, it isn't always that easy.
Teppei: What Konomi-san said. Human beings are social animals, Mirai-kun. For that girl, it was probably better to be with selfish friends than to be alone.
Mirai: The shop keeper who overheard my conversation with the young ladies said the same thing as both of you just did. But I still think this is all pretty confusing.
Konomi: We can talk more about this subject later if you like, Mirai-kun. Right, Teppei-san?
Teppei: Yes, Konomi-san. *turns to Mirai* Now tell us what you did before we found you unconscious in that tunnel.
Mirai: I heard a distressed cry from some distance so I headed toward that direction and ended up in the tunnel. The alien with flower head was there, about to enslave a lady so I tackled him. We struggled and he found a chance to spray that poisonous perfume at me, pushed me against the wall, then ran away. I hit him with a blast shot** at his leg, slowing him down, but he escaped. After that, I knew no more until I woke up in the infirmary.
Teppei: So you injured this flower alien. Apparently it could heal itself.
Mirai: Yes. And he had somehow gained the trust of the young lady I met. At that point, I would have preferred that she return to her friends. At least they wouldn't ask her to forfeit her life.
Teppei: *mutters* Don't be too sure about that.
Konomi: Anyway, we have a happy ending to this story. All the people who were victims of the flower alien were saved.
Mirai: They were reluctant at first to return to their former lives, but the young lady persuaded them.
Ryuu: Reluctant, ha! Stupid people. If I were there alone I would leave them still tied up dreaming of their empty paradise.***
Ryuu: *taps at watch* Time is up, people. Get your collective lazy butts back to direction room. NOW.
Teppei: So we don't get to discuss Ultraman 80?
Ryuu: You can do that next month. Now MOVE, before I'm forced to do something drastic. *cracks knuckles*
Disclaimer & Note: Mirai, Teppei, Konomi, Marina, and Ryuu don't belong to me. Blame me if the words I put in their mouths (or the irrelevant stage directions) don't match something they normally say (or do). I'm not 100% certain on Sayuri's last name, but I hope I'm right (will definitely make a correction if I'm mistaken). (Feel free to tear this mess apart if you have the time and inclination. ^_^')
This exercise made me see these few not so great (to me) episodes in almost a new light. Well, I do love 38, which is super awesome, and while 40 isn't quite on the level of 38, I discover new things about it after almost every viewing.
*In the actual episode, Mirai refers to Naoko as 'anoko' which I think should normally mean 'that girl' or 'that kid' but, to me, either 'that girl' or 'that kid' sounds condescending coming from him (especially when Naoko's actress, Riisa Naka, is only a few years younger than Rasshii), and I just don't like that.
**I don't have a name for that attack so I just (have Mirai) called it blast shot. Ha, here is a superhero who can't memorize the name of one of his own power because I can't find the relevant information. (I combed the English Wiki, Japanese Wiki and HICBC site, but they all seem to talk about his power when transformed only. Although I was probably wrong and simply overlooked the information.)
***In truth, I don't even think Ryuu ever heard the victims complain at all, and I doubt he would even care very much if he did. (More likely he would just yell at them to stop being idiots.) I just keep him grumpy because he has been so throughout this particular review.
I'm not quite sure why they were discussing Ultra Father at the beginning of 37. Teppei was up there in front of the room displaying the stat on the Ultra Papa (and gushing about how awesome his (Ultra Papa)'s power was). Either Marina or George said something about him coming to visit again and that people were holding party honoring his power. Ryuu wanted to participate in the Father of Ultra advent festival (it's written in English that way on the poster in Koki-kun's room), and was disappointed that they had to work instead, until the captain gave them a 'go ahead' for the party, and Marina and George were teasing Ryuu for being so happy about it.
Teppei was the only one sensible enough to wonder what they were going to do if a monster shows up during their merry making pastime. The captain's answer? It was important for them to be prepared at all time. (Sakomizu-san? Except for letting your darling underlings take a time off, it didn't seem like you were particularly brilliant in this episode. ::shakes head::) Konomi was just wanting cakes and presents. (Hey, I think she wanted them in the Mebius movie too. That reminds me, did Mirai ever get around to buying presents for his teammates? Seems like a 'no' to me though, seeing that he had much bigger concerns on his mind then. Not to mention that he botched the shopping this time around too.)
38 is so much love, but it isn't perfect. The way the writers have Konomi approach the head repairman seemed somewhat contrived. (why would she be walking around that part of the base in the first place?) I realize they needed a way to show Araiso and Isana's shared past and out of all Crew GUYS members, Konomi is probably the only one to be curious enough and has enough time on her hand to do a little snooping. I still think they could have done better, but since Isana's past, while shed some light on his character, isn't exactly crucial to the storyline, having Araiso simply tell Konomi about their history is probably the most practical way to handle it. This is more of a nitpick on my part anyway.
And I'm quite sure that someone as sharp as Isana must know who Sakomizu really is (doesn't matter if he was told or figured it out on his own).
I must have read too many posts from fanficrants because I'm totally convinced that the invincible mama from 39 is a Mary Sue. Granted she isn't young, but she looks great for her age. And she has superpower, which isn't taken away from her after her ordeal with Serpent is over. She's actually better off after his possession of her. Practically everyone likes her. The poor regulars don't get to do much at all here because she hogs all the spotlights. And, if nothing else, the scene at the very end seals the Sue-ishness of her character.
I don't dislike characters who are beautiful, good at what they do, never or rarely put a foot wrong, etc. just because they possess those enviable qualities. But usually these characters are there at the expense of other main characters, and that is what I take issues with. Though, to be honest, I don't dislike Sayuri. More like I'm indifferent to her.
Irrelevant, but who on the kitchen staff is George's fan? I noticed his poster (at least I think it's his) on the door in the kitchen. Seems like he also signed it.
Sort of note to self: Did the plant person from 40, Solichyulan (me and my messed up katakana; I think his name was derived from the word "solitude"), really notice that he was being followed? Or he just said that to get even and then proceeded to take his little revenge. (Okay, it is probably more to hinder Mirai than a real revenge; the guy seems to be similar to a new age type who recruits people for a cause and then brainwashes them to his particular way of thinking, while shoves aside those in his way.)
And those girls' eye sights must be failing or something if they run away from a guy with Mirai's looks. I'm quite sure that beautiful people are allowed to be weird, to a certain extent anyway.
DVD Extras (longish because I took notes and didn't want to throw most away):
First, there is the interview with Misaki's actress, Saaya Ishikawa. She looks kind of different here, less serious and seems somewhat younger. She is sitting outside of base (rare, she is like only the second or third person in the main cast to be interviewed outside), although I don't recognize the place. No comment on most of the interview, except that at one point she is mimicking Konomi, saying, "Mikulas, Ganbatte!" (I personally think she's rather terrible at it, however. Or at least she can't quite manage to put her arms up the way Konomi does.)
Second, there is Catch the Mebius 10. I really like this segment. They interview this guy whose job description I'm not 100% certain on, but I'm guessing he works with lighting for various scenes. For example, the night scene from episode 40, when Naoko dresses up the plant guy's wound. Or Mirai and Plant's struggle in the tunnel from the same episode. As for ep 39, there is a night scene where Alien Serpent (using Sayuri's body) contacts the others. However, my most favorite scene is Sayuri standing on a flat cart as she moves toward the main system area of GUYS. (I always assumed that Sayuri was on some sort of electrical sliding platform in that scene, because she seemed to glide along instead of walking, and I'm happy to see that I was mostly right. It wasn't that great an observation, I know, but I'm usually very clueless about how filming works.) Only one thing is wrong with this segment; it includes a small segment from ep 47. :( The spoilers are not really bad though, and most people who haven't yet seen 47 might not recognize them as such at all.
And last, there is the invincible mama segment. The only thing I like from this segment is the extended scene of the aforementioned gliding Sayuri. Really, here is the chance to show how she lifts that car (I'm clueless as to its exact kind) at the end (digital work, no doubt, but I'm interested anyway), and instead they just waste it on her taking all the clothes out of the laundry basket, practically throwing those clothes at the poor helper guy trying to hold them all. Also there is the stunt work when she fights with the army of Serpent guys. Quite a few takes until she managed to throw two of those Serpent guys in order for them to land correctly onto the waiting mattresses. (I might have cared more if it were one of the main cast doing the stunt/fighting thing. But seriously, this is just a standard toku stuff.) And there is the interview with her actress, Jun Miho. Would be more interesting if I know what she's talking about I'm sure.
I'm quite disappointed that there is no interview with Kohei Murakami (Isana's actor). It's probably unreasonable of me to expect such a thing when there are plenty of extras already, but I just couldn't help wondering if he was busy or something.
Whew! I'm done.