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Ultra Q • Monster Zero x SciFi Japan

Ultra Q

He's Red and Silver, as tall as a building, and kicks the butts of Giant Monsters!! He's also Japan's most enduring and favorite Superhero!! From Ultra Seven to Ultraman Orb, discuss the many incarnations of Ultraman here!! Let's not forget Zone Fighter! Kamen Rider! Gridman! The infinity of Toei Sentai Teams! For such a small island, Japan is bursting with colorful superheroes! Discuss Japanese Heroes here as well!!

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Re: Ultra Q

Postby Rody » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:59 am

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Re: Ultra Q

Postby lhb412 » Thu Nov 28, 2019 12:00 am

It may only be 25 minutes long, but Garamon Strikes Back is one of the all-time great kaiju films.

I forgot how funny the Kanegon episode is. The kids' trip to see the old priestess is hilarious.

Dang; Kanegon's Cocoon, Garamon Strikes Back, and 1/8th Project are right after one another. What a great streak of episodes!
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Re: Ultra Q

Postby klen7 » Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:39 pm

Ultra Q is a treasure chest.
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Re: Ultra Q

Postby lhb412 » Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:21 pm

I only have one disc left! I don't want it to end.
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Re: Ultra Q

Postby Rody » Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:09 pm

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Re: Ultra Q

Postby Benjamin Haines » Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:39 am

I've watched the first disc of Ultra Q (episodes 1-7) and I'm really liking this show. It's great to see Kenji Sahara in every episode along with guest actors like Jun Tazaki and Yoshibumi Tajima. The monochrome cinematography is gorgeous.

I have to say, watching this show and knowing that it was airing on Japanese television in early 1966, it's easy to see how Toho's monster movies that played in theaters became less of a draw so rapidly. Ultra Q delivers the monster movie goods and Japanese audiences suddenly didn't need to go to a theater and pay money to see it. Not only is it the same kind of monster action that the movies offered but even a lot of the same props and sound effects. Gomess is a repurposed Godzilla suit, Goro is a repurposed Kong suit and Gorgos switches between Godzilla and Kong's roars. Manda appears briefly in episode 6 as a fire-breathing dragon, looking exactly the same as in Atragon. Once Ultraman started later that year, home viewers were getting monster action in color too.
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Re: Ultra Q

Postby lhb412 » Sun Dec 15, 2019 1:00 am

^ There's also a greater variety in the types of monsters you could see in Ultra Q as opposed to in the movies. A giant flower or an enormous slug's pyshical forms may not make them practical as Godzilla opponents. There's a limit just how much they can do, but they are perfect for a 25 minute episode of Ultra Q.
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Re: Ultra Q

Postby Benjamin Haines » Wed Dec 25, 2019 1:56 pm

Terror of the Sweet Honey ends with stock footage from Rodan. I guess they just hoped that the black-and-white picture and people's lo-fi TV sets would keep viewers from noticing Rodan burning to a crisp right there in the center of the screen.

Baron Spider guest-stars Akiko Wakabayashi! Also there were suddenly two big spiders at the end, weren't there? One was in the basement while one was in the living room but only one chased them out of the house. Where did the second one come from and why didn't it appear again after that scene?
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Re: Ultra Q

Postby Dr Kain » Wed Dec 25, 2019 2:24 pm

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Re: Ultra Q

Postby tbeasley » Wed Jan 22, 2020 7:00 pm

Finished this some time ago and really loved it (guess that's not a surprise). There was something very cozy and comfy about it, what with the familiar Toho faces, recycled props and sound effects, etc. I really enjoyed watching it at night during the holidays before going to bed. The black and white photography in some episodes really aided in giving it an eerie, classic timeless feel, the special effects aging surprisingly well in places.

It was definitely something I wish I had seen growing up, I would have ate it up, and it also reminds me I really ought to get around to seeing the classic Twilight Zone and Outer Limits series for more twisted fairy tale/nightmare dream logic stories. I really got a sense of how Ultra Q had an enormous influence on kaiju/tokusatsu works over the decades as well.

"Grow Up! Little Turtle" and "Open Up!" were definitely my favorite episodes just for how odd they were. For some reason Gorgos was my favorite monster just for how simple his design was with his big dumpy head.
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Re: Ultra Q

Postby Benjamin Haines » Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:39 pm

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Re: Ultra Q

Postby The Giant Pacific Octopus » Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:43 am

Wasn't the first spider knifed to death?
"The gigantic octopus is a slimy, loathsome creature and one of Tsuburaya's best creations."


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Re: Ultra Q

Postby lhb412 » Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:13 am

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Re: Ultra Q

Postby XvGojira » Wed Feb 19, 2020 12:44 pm

I've been putting off watching the series too damn long. Hopefully my new work schedule will help with that (who knows).

I enjoyed the first disc. I really liked The Mammoth Flower, which just reminds me of Gamera 2 (which I need to watch again). The Gift from Space was cool and the snails were surprisingly frightening. John Carpenter's The Thing has made me a bit of a sucker for horror in the arctic, so Penguila is Here hit some buttons for me. Grow Up! Little Turtle was Godzilla's Revenge but on heavier drugs. None of the other episodes were bad, those were just my highlights of that disc.

So I popped in disc 2 last night and watched "Terror of the Sweet Honey". There was some temporary disappointed that there wasn't a giant bee, but the mole was fine. I was not expecting the bad guy to survive the explosion, so I laughed when he stumbled out in his tattered lab coat. There was a small detail to the lava effects that caught my attention. As whatever liquid they used as lava flowed, it looked as if it was still bubbling. I'm doubting they used something still boiling but it also seemed like the bubbles weren't at the same spot, so I don't think it was hidden air tubes. Although the shots never lingered too long on it so who knows. And I was super tired, so I might have been seeing details that weren't there.
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Re: Ultra Q

Postby Benjamin Haines » Wed Feb 19, 2020 10:01 pm

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Re: Ultra Q

Postby lhb412 » Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:01 pm

^ It blows my mind that they would use a material so dangerous when the effect itself isn't terribly good.

That's right! I'm coming for the lava effect from Rodan! I have never cared for it.
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Re: Ultra Q

Postby Benjamin Haines » Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:01 am

^ The lava in Rodan bubbles and burns on the screen! It's awesome. Where's your molten iron lava flowing from Rodan's volcano, Legendary?


Speaking of not terribly good, I finished disc 3 of Ultra Q with Space Directive M774 which was one of the more middling episodes so far. It started out really intriguing but it ultimately shifts to sea-based monster action that isn't very compelling. The monster Bostang could be a cool stingray kaiju if it was more than just a small prop photographed from afar.
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Re: Ultra Q

Postby lhb412 » Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:04 am

^ It bubbles, sure, but it has no texture to it so it doesn't scale well as a miniature.
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Re: Ultra Q

Postby XvGojira » Thu Feb 20, 2020 10:41 am

Watched Baron Spider last night. Poor lighthouse keepers had nothing to do with the rest of the episode. After murdering the one light house keeper, I was surprised that their pointy bearded friend wasn't killed and one of the spiders just webbed that girl for a bit and let her free. So aside from the cold open, these weren't murderous spiders just giant jerk spiders. But it was a perfect little horror tale, I'd almost like to a whole movie based on that episode's premise. Was there a reason why they didn't have/use a faucet to get water but instead used that creepy constantly dripping face? Like was there some cultural/historical significance to that? Or was it just to be creepy?
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Re: Ultra Q

Postby The Giant Pacific Octopus » Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:24 am

"The gigantic octopus is a slimy, loathsome creature and one of Tsuburaya's best creations."


STEVE RYFLE from "Japan's Favourite Mon-Star"
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Re: Ultra Q

Postby XvGojira » Mon Feb 24, 2020 8:03 pm

The Underground Super Express Goes West - a wild crazy cartoonish episode. A train with wings, two kids in a trench-coat, and an AI that turns into a hairy monster.

Balloonga - With a silly name like Balloonga, I wasn't expecting something as apocalyptic.

I Saw a Bird - There wasn't much of a story with this one but seeing the military dogpile on a bird was funny and the bird escape at the end had some great effects.

Garadama - The monster was too goofy looking to seem terrifying, even though it has bone hands.

Tokyo Ice Age - Good to see monsters return. This was a fun episode.
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Re: Ultra Q

Postby lhb412 » Mon Feb 24, 2020 8:51 pm

^ I love Garadama because it's so counterintuitive that the alien superweapon would act like a giant, awkward baby.
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Re: Ultra Q

Postby Benjamin Haines » Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:56 pm

Metamorphosis guest-stars Kozo Nomura, the lead actor from Varan, as the guy who turns giant.

Fury of the South Sea guest-stars Akira Kubo! I also love how the giant octopus finally gets a name in this episode. I will call that oversized cephalopod Sudar from now on!

I only have five episodes of Ultra Q left to watch for the first time, then I'll start watching Ultraman.
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Re: Ultra Q

Postby XvGojira » Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:53 pm

Kanegon's Cocoon - Fun and silly. Loved it. That mustache on the driver of Daddy Walrus, a thing of beauty.

Garamon Strikes Back - That was beyond solid, even if Garamon comes off more goofy than anything else (which I do love). That shot with the two Garamons attacking Tokyo was great work and it took me a moment to realize the burning Alien dude was a puppet. I just figured, with all that costume padding it was just a dude in a fire suit. Loved the truck driver in the episdoe.
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Re: Ultra Q

Postby XvGojira » Sat Feb 29, 2020 11:32 am

The 1/8 Project - Not a fan of the ending on this one but the rest of the episode is great. I love people with giant props, it never gets old. And it touches upon a still relevant (maybe even more so) societal issue of, for a lack of a better term, space. We want less traffic, so we make more lanes, but we just fill it with more cars so the traffic is the same but there's just more of it. So even shrinking down to 1/8th or size, we'll just fill all those 1/8th lanes up our 1/8th cars. Shame about the ending.

The Rainbow's Egg - Wasn't there another Dandelion squad/gang in an earlier episode? I could have sworn there was. It was a good mix of the kids and the monster with some more than decent destruction.

Edit: Don't really feel like bumping this thread every time I watch an episode, so I'm just going to edit my last few days of episodes.


Challenge from the Year 2020 - A neat set up, alien abducting people based on abilities and physical traits. Although other than appearing as Jun at the end of the episode, and maybe that bit of super-running, the alien doesn't seem to use those traits.

Undersea Humanoid Ragon - Great episode. Sure we've seen this plot before in so many stories, but it's still a fun one, and Ragon is a cool monster. Their take on a Creature from the Black Lagoon kind of thing. And Ragon acts like I do when the radio is playing anything other than music.

Space Directive M774 - Not a fan of this one. The monster wasn't much, just a giant stingray that chirped too frequently. I can decide it was funny or annoying. And the ending? Woof. They tried to pull a twist out of nowhere and it was just lame and I guess the rest of the galaxy shops at the same sandal store.

Hopefully the last disc will be more good than bad, but I've enjoyed the show so far and can't wait to get into Ultraman.
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