ULTRASEVEN X episodes 10-12:
Like I always thought, the government in SEVEN X's world is hiding something. (It seems way too sugary in its dealing with the citizens.) Of course, it needs a convenient scapegoat, and who is better than Elea, someone who disappears and is on the run like a fugitive?
Looking through this, Jin seems rather naive. I almost cannot believe he is the one who gets close to the mystery of the whole Aqua Project thing.
I confess, I don't recognize the guest stars in episode 10, but perhaps I should? All I can offer in my defense is it has been two years since I last saw an episode of UM NEXUS, and not even the one with the characters those actors portrayed.
Seriously? I've always wondered if those monitor things have eyes that can see. In fact, I've thought it's through one of those that the bad guys monitor Jin's movements. Turned out I'm not quite correct, since a monitor seems to project rather than take in, until the time in episode 10, where Jin and Elea were escaping together, apparently.
So there are apparent back-stabbings and side changing all in the course of one episode. I'm kind of confused by K, actually. Or perhaps I shouldn't be, since he was also distrustful of that agent from episode 7.
Elea speaking like a stereotypical alien amused me far too much. Mostly because it's just not something I can ever picture her doing. But, ironically, her doing so totally confirmed to me that she was in fact human. (And I think her actress did a fine job in that scene.)
I like the parallel world idea. It's keeping with the whole mystery of the world in this series. Besides, the subject has always fascinated me. I mean, I've often wondered if there is another me out there somewhere I don't know about.
And I totally didn't see this coming at all, that Seven X is in fact Seven himself. So, okay, I take back what I said, about this world not needing an Ultraman. In fact, Seven saved this world.
On a related note, Jin being human is fine; I was rather convinced he was one (as opposed to being an alien) for a few episodes before this was revealed anyway. Elea being his girlfriend makes a weird sort of sense. I mean, I thought they would get together, after all. I just didn't suspect they were already together to begin with. (Though, there was that comment from the female bartender in episode 6 that suggest about Jin and Elea being a couple, but sadly I put it down more as circumstantial happenings led her to draw that conclusion.)
The whole subject on Jin's consciousness, that his memories of the past are wiped clean in exchange for that, fascinated me, I suppose, because I haven't seen the subject dealt with before in quite that way. Now, I haven't watched other SEVEN OVAs, so maybe the same subject--of Seven (not other Ultras) laying dormant and only called on by the host to fight when needed, while the host controlling the movements and not Seven himself-- had come up before. In any case, it is a good explanation for Jin's lack of memory. In fact, it is a much tidier explanation than what I tried to come up with.
(I was under the mistaken impression that Jin's memory was specifically tied to his past, mostly because the ultimate bad guys seemed to me like people from Jin's past. But, instead, the series revealed that it practically didn't matter who Jin was as a person (though he should basically be a good person, of course); as long as he was Elea's boyfriend, he got to be a hero.
...And if I'm permitted to be a little snide? I think it's kind of manipulative the way Elea just arbitrarily decided to accept Seven's deal for Jin. Yes, I am fully aware that Jin would die otherwise, but I still think of Seven's interference (because of Elea) as forcing Jin's hand somewhat. I mean, most other Ultra hosts get to decide for themselves whether they want the job, even though it doesn't look like they have any choice (those Ultras like to show up when the humans are dying or already dead, after all, not that I really feel the need to complain before). This all goes back to me disliking things that take away or limit a character's free will.)
You know, I really thought K and S would die together. It's a testament of how much I don't regard this show, despite having a giant alien in costume, as a kid's show.
The cameo by Dan and Anne was nice. And wow, even though I saw his picture (with Konomi, what?) on the TV-Nihon webpage beforehand, I only thought it was because Dan is the original Seven, and not at all suspected that he would make an actual appearance in SEVEN X.
And I think I need to retract a complaint I made in one of the earlier posts, about me being bothered by Elea being secretive. Looking back, I think they did right in not concentrating on Elea (or Jin, to some extent) too much during most of the course of the series. Because there is really not that much hidden. Given too much clue, the whole thing would be guessed beforehand, and what would we do for the mystery in the final episodes? The flip side of this is that we are left with filler episodes for most of the series. Still, they are for the most part social commentaries so I don't mind all that much. I just don't like the sense of disconnection I feel when the events from one episode don't really follow from the previous one. Seriously, apart from the first episode and the finale, the episodes can just be aired in practically any order without anyone getting confused.
While I'll admit that ULTRASEVEN X is not for everyone, and that it could be very slow moving at times, I think overall it is a good series. Anyway, I would encourage you to check it out if you haven't and if you are the least bit curious. It is similar to UM NEXUS in some way (shadowy organization, truth distortion, frequent night time scenes, etc.), and yet it does its own thing in some other way. One such thing is there is no fighting vehicles and/or aircraft. Personally, given the tone of the series, this lack doesn't bother me at all, but I thought I'd mention it just the same.