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Ultraman R/B Episode 9 & 10 Review

In the aftermath of the debut of our first major villain for Ultraman R/B, we have been given two fantastic episodes that each highlight the different strengths of the series, from the comedy to the characters and the action.

There is a full arc in these two episodes, where we see the brothers dealing with their first real defeat in a meaningful and interesting way, as well as seeing what Aizen’s definition of a hero is. The character development is fantastic, each scene is crammed with some meta joke or callback, and all the characters play off each other incredibly well. Let’s begin with episode 9.

The setup for this episode is simple: Ultraman Rosso and Ultraman Blu have been defeated by Ultraman Orb Dark Noir Black Schwarz, and have to really come to terms with that. As many fans previously called out, the brothers and even some one-off characters make light of the name being way too long, with Katsumi even going so far as to point out that, when translated, his name is literally Ultraman Orb Dark Black Black Black, taken from English, French, and German respectively. To their credit, the brothers don’t waste all their time making jokes about a poor choice in hero names, though, instead dedicating themselves to training while at human size with mockups of the weapons and abilities they use as Ultramen.

Asahi tags along, but is unable to figure out what exactly they are doing, somehow.

Her coming along to the training session turns out to be a stroke of good luck, though, as she falls and suffers a leg injury that leads to the discovery of the Earth crystal hidden in a cave. It’s with this power that they finally manage to overcome Aizen in the rematch. Up to this point, he has been making himself known to the citizens of Ayaka by causing disasters, and then stopping them. Much of the setup to the battle happens off screen, but given the setting change after they challenge him, it’s safe to assume there was some debate about a cool hero not causing property damage, or the brothers simply asking that they protect civilians as much as possible. When they do beat him, at long last, they take the weapon Aizen has been using to transform, vowing that he will never use it again.

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Instead, we see Katsumi using it for special attacks as soon as episode 10! The brothers attempt to take a day off, a family picnic, only to be met on several occasions by Aizen or his Kaiju, even being offered high-paying jobs at Aizentech, stationed overseas and safely out of his way.


When they refuse enough times, they encounter their toughest Kaiju opponents yet, and end up being beaten after Katsumi stops a building from falling on Asahi and Ushio. They are defeated and earn a failing grade in Aizen’s second Ultraman Test, at which point he reclaims his henshin device.


After the credits roll on this episode, the preview for the next one seemingly confirms a fan theory that has been circulating for a while. If this theory proves correct, Aizen’s tests, repeated Kaiju attacks, and even becoming an Ultraman himself are all attempts to groom and train the brothers for some bigger threat that will soon loom large. The preview shows a previously-unseen woman with shining eyes, dressed in an all-black Japanese lolita dress, clearly a villain unless the show opts for more clever subversion. That remains to be seen, but I hope you all are excited as I am for what’s in store.

What did you think of these episodes of Ultraman R/B? Leave your thoughts and let’s discuss!

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Ultraman R/B Episodes 4 and 5 Review

Character development and new crystals are the order of the day in the latest two episodes of Ultraman R/B!

Episode 4

Episode 4 is a very personal one for Katsumi, the older of the Ultraman brothers. The plot centres on Katsumi’s amateur baseball team trying to win one final game for their retiring coach, who was a mentor to our hero in high school. As you would expect, shenanigans ensue and the plan goes off the rails. From interpersonal drama to Kaiju attacks, seemingly every roadblock that could come up does. Along the way, we see that the brothers are not so good at keeping their identities a secret, with Isami, at one point, even calling out his brother’s name while in Ultraman form.


Going by the size of these men when this happens, the voice must have been booming. Likely the entire city of Ayaka heard this call. By episode’s end, even the baseball coach is able to discern the identity of Ultraman Rosso, supposedly based on the hero’s pitching technique. Along with this, we finally get a full-body, day-lit shot to confirm that Makoto Aizen is, in fact, the human host of the upcoming villain Ultraman Orb Dark and the one behind the string of Kaiju attacks. What remains unclear is his motive, though it becomes a bit of a man-versus-item tsundere situation, as he is seen at the end lovingly touching his Ultra Crystal items, holding all the Kaiju at his disposal. In this episode, he uses the familiar Red King type, and even praises the crystal after his failure.


This episode also marks a milestone in being the first time that either brother obtains Ultraman crystals other than their base, even if it is a weapon upgrade rather than a form change. The new crystals allow the R/B Slugger to be upgraded and the brothers perform a new team attack with this upgraded weapon, mostly due to necessity with Katsumi’s injured shoulder. This injury, sustained early on, is smartly played as a weakness as an enemy combatant would use with an injured foe in the real world, and it does noticeably hinder Katsumi’s baseball performance.

After Aizen sets off the Red King attack, the coach himself is forced to step in and close out the baseball game as pitcher, ultimately failing as the opposing team lands a grand slam in the 9th inning. Despite a solemn promise to go out on a victory for the coach’s final game, he is not disappointed, or upset. He knows they played a good game and that that is what matters more. It’s a lesson in sportsmanship, and in perspective in life and as the coach and Katsumi leave the field together one final time, the shot is fittingly artistic in its composition.

Episode 5

In this episode, we are given a glimpse of the more human side of the citizens of Ayaka, with Isami even being given something of a romantic interest in the form of an engineering student, Ninomiya Yuuha, nicknamed Icarus for her propensity to build flying machines that can be worn by humans. In truth, her experiments are dangerous and even Katsumi and Asami see it. They go so far as to convince Isami to get her to stop and give up on her dreams of achieving flight while wearing wings. I cannot argue with their logic, seeing the machine Icarus builds for herself.

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After a visit from Aizen, a bug is planted in Quattro M so he can gather information, hoping to overhear the brothers talk about being Ultramen. He is quickly foiled by Asahi, thinking the bug is a cookie (as it was disguised), and it is thrown away. It’s a slightly comedic moment as the bite sends a burst of high-pitched sound into Aizen’s earpiece, causing him to do a literal spit-take with the tea he is drinking in that moment.

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Working with this new character, Isami helps her fix her wings, and the pair discover a new Ultra Crystal, for Ultraman Tiga and a new Wind form. Aizen decides to take it for himself, and unleashes a new Kaiju on the city, leading the brothers to waste zero time in jumping into action. This time around, unlike in previous weeks, they don’t waste time hiding their secret identities from Asahi or Icarus, who are both led just out of range of where the battle will take place before the brothers transform. The new Kaiju is reminiscent of Toho fan favourite King Ghidoriah, though with only one head instead of three, combined with a large bird.


With the wind crystal in the open, Isami is the first to take its power and becomes Ultraman Blu Wind, with a deep purple colour palette and many of the same powers as the Kaiju. It’s a genius move and ultimately ends up leading to Aizen only getting more excited, and after the battle is over we see the Ultraman Orb Dark crystal for the first time. It’s a detailed, close-up shot, and for anyone curious about the odd letters on the crystals, they have been partially decoded by a Facebook user, who deciphered that the letters are simply the Ultraman language versions of whatever character is pictured on the crystal.

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Overall, Ultraman R/B continues on an upward trajectory, even if only scratching the surface of its lore up to this point. With the debut of Ultraman Orb Dark now set for episode 8, we are only a few weeks away from a massive spike in the conflict. But until then, I would love to see these characters and this world continue to grow.

What did you guys think of these episodes? Leave a comment and let’s discuss!

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Ultraman R/B Episode 1 Preview

Ahead of its impending release date, a new preview has been released for the premier episode of Ultraman R/B. The clip sets up the opening of the series, in which a kaiju attacks Akaya City, home of brothers Katsumi and Isami Minato, who will become Ultraman Rosso and Ultraman Blu in order to protect their home and their family. The brothers have a strong tag team dynamic in the action scenes that have been shown thus far, and this trend is likely to continue as the series progresses and they begin to take on bigger and badder opponents, such as series villain Ultraman Orb Dark.

Ultraman R/B has been previously confirmed to contain elements outside of the common Ultraman tropes and plot beats, with actors and producers commenting that these changes will be done in a way that is seen as a positive for the series and the franchise, as a whole. The cast and crew are enthusiastic as they wholeheartedly throw all of their talent and dedication into the production of the series, which will run for 25 episodes beginning on July 7th, 2018 in Japan. As in the past, Crunchyroll will likely pick up global distribution of the series, though this has yet to be confirmed.

Please support the official release by watching Ultraman R/B on officially-licensed streaming sites or buying the Blu-Ray set when it releases. To get in the mood, you can pre-order the Ultraman R/B Rube Gyro device from Toku Toy Store, here!

What do you think of the hype for Ultraman R/B so far? Do you have any theories about how the plot will develop? Leave a comment and let’s discuss!

Source: Tsuburaya Productions via YouTube

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Ultraman R/B Title and Release Date Confirmed

Ultraman 2018 now has a name and a release date! Via the latest image from Tsuburaya shown below, the title has been confirmed as Ultraman R/B (pronounced Rubu, read as Rube) and will feature two protagonists, now officially dubbed Ultraman Rosso (red) and Ultraman Blu (blue). The primary series antagonist, as revealed earlier, will be Ultraman Orb Dark.

All three use an Orb gimmick to obtain their power, with Rosso drawing from Ultraman Taro and Blu from Ultraman Ginga, respectively. Ultraman Orb Dark, as his name implies, will be a re-imagining of the classic hero.


This announcement comes after a busy week for Tsuburaya, with magazine scans and information about the new series coming in plentiful bursts earlier in the week to reveal the changers, gimmick items, and Ultraman Orb Dark’s existence. There is still much speculation about the plot of the show, and how it ties to existing Ultraman canon. Will Geed make a return appearance? Will the two new characters have a mentor in the form of some older Ultraman veteran? Only time will tell, but look for Ultraman Rube to premiere in Japan on July 7th, 2018. The global release will follow shortly after.

What are your thoughts on the new show? Leave a comment and let’s discuss!