Ultraman Blazar ep 14 Review: SKaRDing The Line

After the last special recap episode themed around Emi, we get another episode that explore more Emi’s subplot. Out of the recent Ultras, Blazar feels the most “serious” with the heavy involvement of the military – and not just ordinary force but also more “under the hood” faction as well. Aside from Blazar’s monke business, SKaRD now has to face not only the risk of disband but also the possibility of a political assassination. Chief Retsu did a pretty astounding job playing the “supposed” antagonist for this arc. He doesn’t seems outright secretly protective of SKaRD and Emi in particular, but we can all see it through this episode’s events.

This episode’s enemy show up quite early, and Deltandal is a pretty unique monster. It was thought to originated from space but turns out it’s actually from Earth. Deltandal really is just a plot device to further the secret plot of the GGF. Emi – in her investigation – has discovered the “wave” that Chief Retsu mentioned in ep 12. And it seems that certain Kaiju’s attacks are already anticipated by the GGF – like they knew they were coming. And we get another big player name: Yu Dobashi. And Blazar really knocked it out of the park with this character. He looks like a harmless oji-san, but his background and demeanor is enough to frighten even the most steadfast character in the series – which is Emi. And the way he “walked off” with his young team in the gym just oozes style and intimidation. The characterization in Blazar has been spot-on, even side char received great attention to their personality details.

Gento has been quite passive in the last few eps, but now we’re starting to understand the reason and see more of his character. Surprisingly, the flashback we’ve been seeing of him and Blazar was actually old man Yu’s rescue mission when something had gone wrong in an “experiment”. Furthermore, it was revealed that Emi’s father was caught up in the incident and went missing also. The plot threads are starting to get woven together. Gento, Chief Retsu, Yu Dobashi, Emi and her father are all caught up in a bigger and more sinister plot. Who knows? Maybe even Blazar himself is involved somehow.

The aerial fight in this episode unfortunately got the DCU treatment – very low lighting and fast moving cuts. However the special effects such as the missiles and the chainguns on Earth Garron’s hands were very well done. They look like a proper military vehicle engaging in combat rather than other Ultra’s super cheesy jets. Due to budget constraints, they did what they could and Deltandal is basically a throwaway Kaiju for other plot development anyway, so it’s not an entirely deal-breaker. Although its design is actually very cool and the abilities of this Kaiju is very impressive.

Blazar almost had no involvement in this episode aside from the battle, feels like he’s intentionally staying quiet to observe the threads unfolded with Emi and Gento.

This episode is a perfect tone change from the last special ep. Blazar is heading to a more serious story-telling style and less “toy-spammy” like previous series. This was said to not sit very well with Bandai – who makes the toys for the show. But fans are favoring Blazar over many other recent series due to how “no-nonsense” and “straightforwardness” it has. Of course, there are many comedic moment but they feel very natural and not forced. Obviously we don’t have laugh tracks but if Blazar was made in the West, they absolutely will add it and ruin the thing. So I’m glad we don’t have that here. Hopefully Director Taguchi will keep up this pace and we’ll get an amazing Ultra series this year.

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