Damn you, Hideaki Anno. Thanks to a viewing of Evangelion 2.22 which had all manner of Ultraman references peppered in, I found myself going for my BCI Eclipse box-set of the original series for an impromptu marathon. My Dad, who was one of the two forces that got me into it, joined me; in proper geek family fashion, we were talking trivia throughout. Things like how the second episode was the first one produced, whether or not its Jet VTOL or Beetle, and so on. In our rambling, an interesting point came up:
In the first episode, “Ultra Operation No. 1″, we’re told by the narrator that the Science Patrol’s been around for quite some time, having been based out of Paris, and that their purpose is to protect humanity from any kind of invasion or otherworldly threat. When Bemular shows up, the team doesn’t flinch and immediately goes on the attack like it’s business as usual–Nobody’s in awe that they’re witnessing a monster for the first time, Fuji doesn’t scream her head off, the Self-Defense Force isn’t even called in; They have experience and a reputation. In the world of Ultraman, you sort of take for granted that the team has the means to take on whatever threat they go up against due to training, but when you think about it, they must have been doing this sort of thing before Hayata had his accident. Bemular, the Baltans, they couldn’t have been the first.
The idea is backed by Episode 4, “Five Seconds Before The Explosion” with the appearance of Ragon. The team is able to identify Ragon on sight and speak casually about him like they’ve had experience. Sure, you could pass this off as a passing nod to Ultra Q, but why does no one bat an eye when they see Pigumon a few episodes later? Either the Paris Science Patrol had experience with Ragon or the Japanese branch had their own scuffle with the beast. Heck, maybe that particular experience is how Muramatsu got his Captain pin, by helping them out or something–See what I’m getting at here, folks?
It’d be something worth exploring, that’s for sure. For now, it’s the subject of…well..fanfiction, maybe? At least until somebody figures out the right way to pitch it as a comic to Tsuburaya.
Oh and another thing that came up? Muramatsu must have had something “special” in that pipe of his as he’s got to be the most tolerant captain ever. Think about it.
In the pages of OUSA, in what ended up being my last column, I ended up praising Kamen Rider Decade: All Riders VS Dai-Shocker based on everything I’d seen up until that point. Since Toei has gotten into the habit of basically revealing everything about the film in multiple media before its even come out, one could basically watch a month’s worth of trailers/opening theme clip shows and venture a guess from there. I did genuinely like what I saw, and from what I was hearing from my friends in Japan, it was a decent flick. So much was this joy that I took it with me when finally seeing the film for myself.
God, I’m so sorry for having faith in this.
A new year is approaching us, valiant readers, and with it the next decade of the 21st Century. As a friend of mine observed, this past one sort of sucked, what with the politics, economy, and all those other important things that I don’t talk about on this blog. That got me wondering if there was actually was anything worthwhile to come out of the first cours of the 2000′s. I originally was going to post a photo of all the movie ticket stubs I’ve been collecting these past few years. Somebody has the same idea unfortunately, albeit more organized. Lamesauce, as the kids would say.
Forced to retreat into a second plan, I found myself thinking of my music collection; I found one of my old CD cases–you know, those pouches that carried those things people listened to before the iPod–and with it, a bunch of albums and singles I completely forgot about! And there’s some pretty nice stuff in there too, so much that it got me thinking about what the most crucial albums in my life were. Nothing like The Second Album I Ever Bought (even though it’s in the title), rather I’m looking at the game-changers, the music that shaped me and my interests. It’s hard to narrow those things down so I figured I’d do the next best thing and pick the five most memorable ones and go from there. So, here for you now are these life-altering albums.
Christmas is finally upon us, ladies and gents. That time of year where you find yourself surrounded by family and material wealth, and bombarded by inches of snow and Christmas Specials on television. Chances are a bulk of these specials will be the various adaptations of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I don’t think there’s a person alive who doesn’t know the premise of this required Holiday reading/viewing by heart, as it’s one of the most remade works out there. That being said, haven’t you ever wondered why nobody out there has thought about adding more of a twist to the classic tale? There have been several “sequels” but nothing that’s ever drastically changed the outcome of the story; the overall message of this story is that of reclaiming the sense of compassion that the world’s beaten out of you…and all that jazz.
However, it was in thinking that something different should happen that the following idea popped in my head. Bear with me, and know me better man…and ladies….er…yeah:
By the end of the story, Scrooge is relieved to see that he’s finally home and everything had happened in one night. He then proceeds to get the Cratchits the prize-winning turkey to live happily ever after–you know the story, I know, but how about this? What if, instead of being scared into the holiday spirit, Scrooge had snapped and came to a different realization? See, the Ghost of Christmas Future showed him what would be if he had carried on his miserly ways. If he didn’t lift a finger to change things, his miserable death on Christmas would still come to pass. Going by this, and granted he was desperate to find a silver lining, Scrooge would now know that he will be dead around Christmas (the exact year is never specified so let’s just assume that it is *a* Christmas), and the faces and names of his enemies that would rob him blind or scoff him without a second thought. If this is indeed the case, then for the rest of his life, Ebeneezer Scrooge will go down as a nasty skinflint of a man, but he’d be a practically invincible skinflint!
Yes, every December the 25th, he’d have to face the possibility that he could snuff it, but knowing fully well that he wouldn’t go until then? He could do whatever the hell he wanted! Maybe he’d end up throwing Joe (the lead hoodlum who took in Scrooge’s stolen things) and his associates into the workhouse, maybe he’d get revenge on his fellow men of business, or maybe he’d still turn out to be a decent bloke. There’s the old saying that a man who does not fear death is the deadliest man alive–Scrooge could be that man if he’d just realized what he had in his hands. For all those who always wanted a chilling ending to this so called “Ghost Story for Christmas”, there you go!
Pretty chilling stuff, huh? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Until then, Happy Holidays!