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.