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Monster Zero x SciFi Japan • ULTRASEVEN (1967-1968): THE TALKBACK
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ULTRASEVEN (1967-1968): THE TALKBACK

PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2019 10:56 pm
by kiryugoji04
I don't know if there was an old talkback thread for this series before but who cares - here's a new, fresh one to accompany Mill Creek's gorgeous new blu-ray release this week.

With Q I was starting to marathon it from start to finish finally but my second disc cracked and I'm still awaiting my replacement from Mill Creek. With Man, I haven't felt the need to marathon it yet, so I just watched some of my favorite episodes out of sequence as the mood struck me. For Seven, the show I was in the middle of watching when the Mill Creek license was first announced, I'm choosing to watch it slowly to savor it a little more. No more than an episode or two a night.

I often joke that, at its worst, Ultraseven is just the Ultra Hawks listlessly chasing the UFO of the week around a soundstage and is generally not very interesting. At its best, however, it immediately becomes clear why this show has the reputation it does. The best episodes of Seven are some of the best episodes of the entire franchise, sometimes even some of the best stories of the entire tokusatsu genre. I'm looking forward to revisiting the half of the series I've already seen and then finally finishing out this landmark series.

Re: ULTRASEVEN (1967-1968): THE TALKBACK

PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2019 11:16 pm
by kiryugoji04
To me, episode one of Seven has always felt, you know, functional. I think the improved subtitles for these releases really helped it play a little better this time around (like my fourth or fifth viewing by now) but while the first half is filled with compelling setup, it just still winds up being a bit of an anti-climax by the end. It does, however, introduce the capsule monster Windam, who is a precious cinnamon roll and he must be protected at all costs.

So episode one is fine but episode two is a BANGER. It has an intriguing setup and a heavy, mysterious atmosphere of dread that I love. I also somehow manage to forget the twist every time I watch this so it manages to surprise me each viewing.

The creature work here is one of Narita's more abstract - similar to his equally creepy Greenmons in Ultraman - and in general is exciting to watch. The various transformations are excellent - in particular I am a fan of the bit where a hand is shown to transform by just having pieces of green tree bark glued to the actor's own hand. It's kind of silly to think about but the technique is undeniably effective. The climactic giant battle at the train tunnel is brief but the hillside set is superbly realized.

Finally, I want to commend this episode's protrayal of Anne. After Ultraman dragged Hiroko Sakurai through the mud, it's nice to see the creators of this episode allow Anne a moment to shine. She's shown being quick-thinking and taking charge of a dangerous situation as soon as it presents itself. I know this show doesn't have a flawless track record (and neither did Q, where Sakurai's turn as Yuriko was still a surprisingly progressive character) but it's nice that Anne still gets moments where she is not simply defined as being "the girl."

Re: ULTRASEVEN (1967-1968): THE TALKBACK

PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2019 11:42 pm
by O.Supreme
What is odd however is that while One of Ultramans most iconic enemies appeared in episode 2, Episode 1 is still fondly remembered and has had callbacks and references. While Ultraseven seemingly starts ( popularitywise) with Episode 3 and Ekeking. Other than the afore mentioned Windam, there is really no reference or recollection of the first two episodes of Ultraseven in anything I've encountered. Not saying they are bad, but for possibly critical first impressions, it's a bit of a miracle the series is as fondly remembered as it is with a bit of a slow start if you will.

Re: ULTRASEVEN (1967-1968): THE TALKBACK

PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2019 1:54 am
by Dr Kain
I could talk for hours about how amazing this show is, but I'm just going to talk about how incredible the cinematography is in "The Marked Town." Not only is the lighting excellent for when Soga and Furahashi smoke the tainted cigarettes, but I love how the camera will be positioned at the bottom off the desk at times and stuff. And then, of course, there is the excellent sunset battle with the Metron. The only negative I have towards the episode is that I feel like it could have easily been a two parter as there was so much going on.

I also have to agree with the improved subtitles. Some episodes have made so much more sense to me now, such as the one with the Max ship that gets taken into outerspace.

Re: ULTRASEVEN (1967-1968): THE TALKBACK

PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:18 am
by kiryugoji04

Re: ULTRASEVEN (1967-1968): THE TALKBACK

PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 6:07 pm
by Dr Kain
So what year does Seven take place in approximately? I find it funny how Ultraman was set in 1993, yet everyone still dressed like it was the 60s. :P

Re: ULTRASEVEN (1967-1968): THE TALKBACK

PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:33 pm
by lhb412
^ It's a bit like Doctor Who: most of the earthbound Doctor Who stories of the 70s were set 10 years in the future, but as time went on they kind of forgot about that and you have this weird sliding timeline that doesn't quite add up. Similarly, Ultraman is set in 1993 but all the follow-up series that count it in continuity treat it as though it's set in the year it was released.

Wait, does the manga / anime treat it as though it happened in 1993?

Anyway, I'm very excited to be starting Ultraseven next week!

Re: ULTRASEVEN (1967-1968): THE TALKBACK

PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:51 pm
by Dr Kain

Re: ULTRASEVEN (1967-1968): THE TALKBACK

PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:29 pm
by lhb412
^ Well, of course all the early shows were fairly stand-alone and it wasn't until The Return of Ultraman that they were retconned into being a single continuity. I don't know of any other series besides the manga/anime that includes the 1966 show in a unique continuity?

I'm sure there are novels and manga in Japan that spin off the various continuities.

Re: ULTRASEVEN (1967-1968): THE TALKBACK

PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 2:09 am
by Dr Kain

Re: ULTRASEVEN (1967-1968): THE TALKBACK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 4:04 pm
by sentaison

Re: ULTRASEVEN (1967-1968): THE TALKBACK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:33 pm
by Dr Kain
That doesn't make any sense because the SSSP does not exist with the Ultra Guard and there is no Ultra Guard in Leo.

Re: ULTRASEVEN (1967-1968): THE TALKBACK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:12 pm
by O.Supreme
Keep in mind there was zero, zip, nada, interconnectivity between any of these shows until Return of Ultraman when in one episode Hayata & Dan (Ultraman & Seven) make a brief cameo to save Jack. From then On, things are slowly retconned. This is most obvious when you watch Mebius as the GUYS team has a database of all the previous special teams missions and monster data. It wasn't meant to be in the early days, but now it's acceptable Canon that all showa series and Mebius are set in the same universe. Dyna, Cosmos, and most notably Zero have shown the ability to traverse different universes, thus the possibility of crossovers.

Re: ULTRASEVEN (1967-1968): THE TALKBACK

PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2019 1:40 am
by Dr Kain
Well we know all of them can travel the multiverse since everyone was involved in the fight with Belial during the Crisis Impact.

As for Seven and Man showing up to help Jack, again, they can travel across the dimensions, so of course they can. Either way, it's confusing as all hell and doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but I get what you are saying.

Re: ULTRASEVEN (1967-1968): THE TALKBACK

PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:58 pm
by O.Supreme
Almost done, just watched the episode with the Evil Robot Seven. Things are starting to get sloppy though. Agira isn't seen again after getting kicked off a cliff. Not recalled, and I don't think that would have killed him.... I know Windam was killed by the Guts Aliens, and we can assume Miclas froze to death After Gandar defeated him since he was not recalled either. Dan needs to take better care of his capsule monsters... :lol:

Also the Blu Ray shows how beat up the Seven suit is getting in later episodes. I wonder how many they had total, but probably could have spring for another.

Re: ULTRASEVEN (1967-1968): THE TALKBACK

PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 2:55 am
by Dr Kain
I actually feel the Seven suit being worn out fits with how the character progresses after the Pole drained his energy. As you probably noticed, he hasn't been as strong in the episodes following that one, with his forehead light blinking quite often.

Re: ULTRASEVEN (1967-1968): THE TALKBACK

PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:15 am
by lhb412
Really digging the show on the new format. If I remember correctly, Shout Factory's transfers of these early episodes were especially poor.

The HD transfer is much better then the one for Ultraman. HD can be unforgiving, however; in the episode I'm watching right now it's obvious that poor Anne's entire face has broken out and is being covered with makeup!

Re: ULTRASEVEN (1967-1968): THE TALKBACK

PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:36 pm
by lhb412
Jesus, I forgot how real things get in the Gyeron episode. That final part of the fight where Ultraseven has given up any attempts at disciplined martial arts and it's just fighting savagely to survive while bits of the monster's highly radioactive body is shedding all over the place and polluting the beautiful valley.

It gives the Jamilla episode a run for its money!

Re: ULTRASEVEN (1967-1968): THE TALKBACK

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:51 am
by lhb412
Even in his human form Dan retains the alien superpower to notice obvious things that everyone else should notice.

Re: ULTRASEVEN (1967-1968): THE TALKBACK

PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:33 am
by lhb412
Just finished the series, and, as with Ultraman, I wasn't quite ready to let it go and ended up watching the finale a second time!

This is my second viewing of the series after initially watching it when Shout Factory released their DVD set a couple years ago. I loved the series a lot more this time, partially because of the improved presentation. I recalled being annoyed that so many of the alien plots were so similar, making the series more repetitive, but watching it again that didn't really bother me. In fact, I think it really only holds true for the earlier episodes and once the series really gets going they were good at differentiating the threats in each story.

Re: ULTRASEVEN (1967-1968): THE TALKBACK

PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:07 pm
by Dai
I'm halfway through the Ultraseven blu-rays, and this is an amazing upgrade over Shout's DVDs. What's most impressive is how polished many of the effects look, even in HD. When shows are expecting to be seen on a blurry little CRT, and broadcast deadlines are looming, directors are tempted to cut corners, but many of the optical and wirework shots look even more impressive than the work Tsuburaya's team had done on the mid-60s Godzilla movies. In the first episode, we have a complex geometric pattern rotoscoped flawlessly over the Pointer as it moves. In the King Joe episodes, flames are composited onto the shades worn by the gaijin agent, and I think the same story has a shot where Seven's beam is reflected in the water. In fact, every beam effect feels way ahead of its time; I don't think anything really beat them until Star Wars a decade later, and even then you just have simple straight lines compared to the complex energy patterns we see from the Ultra Guard's weapons. Then you have the Ultrahawk, which pulls all kinds of crazy stunts in the air, but you almost never see any wires. It makes me wonder if some wire removal was done more recently, but I can't tell. Can anyone comment on that from older releases of the show?