Here it is, at long last. This week marked the eighth episode of Ultraman R/B and the long-awaited debut of the series primary antagonist, Ultraman Orb Dark (or, properly, Ultraman Orb Dark Noir Black Schwarz).
As has been shown up to this point, he does end up using Aizen as a human form, and as such the character lends a great deal of levity and meta humour to what is, ultimately, the darkest episode of the series so far. While the brothers are definitively on the losing end of this fight, they spend much of the encounter being chastised for failing as heroes in the sense that Aizen deems worthy of Ultramen.
Ultraman Report Cards for Each Brother
These remarks border on fourth-wall breaking, including demonstrations of proper superhero poses, and the insistence that attacking during an introduction or transformation is against the rules. “You’re too green!” he tells them repeatedly, insisting that though he is their nemesis, he believes they can be something far greater than they are. The being that inhabits Aizen is thousands of years old, and knows the potential that Ultramen can achieve, so he sees that the brothers are wasting their gifts.
Repeatedly, throughout the encounter, he brings up previous incidents and approaches them as mistakes a proper hero wouldn’t make. Every hit the brothers take, every time he outmatches them, Aizen is kind enough to pepper in bits of wisdom and advice, as if he isn’t truly their enemy, but trying to prepare them for something great. Maybe he is just holding them to the high standards of past Ultramen. We will see in the weeks to come, as this episode marks the one-third point of the total run of Ultraman R/B. Maybe some bigger threat is coming that Aizen knows about. It remains to be seen, but is sure to be interesting, at least.
All in all, this episode is the heaviest so far, but still carries a great deal of the humour seen up to this point in the series through various self-referential jokes and physical gags. All along, there’s a certain air that eventually this enemy will become an ally. Maybe we have only seen the surface layer of this new villain, who is clearly more complex than he appears at a first quick glance. Much remains to be seen, but I am excited for all there is to come.
What are your thoughts on this episode and the series as a whole up to this point? Leave a comment or reach out on social media and let’s discuss!