June 21, 2006

ULTRAMAN MEBIUS (2006) New series, new movie


A TV Ultraman deliberately played for laughs

(Note, when you're Googling for this, it's also spelt Mobius or Moebius.)

Only seen a couple of episodes of this so far - the first DVD of 4 episodes has been released in Japan (pictured above) - but this series looks like a lot of fun, almost at Ultraman's expense. The series (like the Ultraman Zearth specials) doubles as a send up of the giant hero genre, with plenty of contemporary in-jokes. Looks like the tongue-in-cheek tone of Ultraman Max has encouraged the producers to proceed to an all-out comedy.

Ultraman Mebius is sent to help Earth by his Ultra-Father (who overdramatically likes swishing his cape around). Earth's space defence squad are a bunch of impossible active young people (including a motorbike racer and a footballer). Two of the GUYS have slightly exaggerated ridiculously high hairstyles (like the recent Young Kindaichis).

As a giant monster invades, the GUYS rush to the rescue to evacuate a city of people, children and bunny rabbits. Their boss is informed of the emergency (while he's out playing golf) but he fails to reach headquarters because his car breaks down.

Meanwhile, as Ultraman leaps into action, the crowds all start taking his picture on their camera phones. After a destructive fight with the monster, most of the city is completely smashed down - "You've failed, everything's destroyed, Ultraman!"

Even the modelwork has been made to look silly - the models are slightly too small and intended not to fool anyone. The missiles look more like fireworks.

In Japan, this Summer's Ultraman movie will feature Mebius, but whether it will stay quite as silly remains to be seen. It's the 40th Anniversary of the birth of Ultraman, so there's going to be homage a-plenty. Here's the advance flyer...

Mark H

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