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It's Gabora!


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ULTRAMAN :
OPERATION LIGHTNING - 2 Slimes
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 9 July 2008

Capsule Review:    

Japan is battered by a Category Five Typhoon as the Science Patrol watches. Hayata and the others do not sally forth in their rocket planes to rescue people; they sit safe and sound in their control room and monitor the instruments. Every so often one of them makes a remark along the lines of, "Wow, it's really windy outside."

As the storm rages, we see a camp of Young Japanese Mountaineers (they're like the Boy Scouts, but they climb things). The troop leader tells the youngsters that they are all fraidy cats for being worried about a little wind and rain. They are taking shelter from a Typhoon inside of a rickety shack with a tin roof! Of course they should be worried. They should be looking for big trees to tie themselves to, just in case the shack blows away.

"Okay boys, let's see who can tie a double figure eight loop under pressure. Tetsuo, you try. Well, what do you know - he blew away. Kaneda, your turn..."

After the storm has passed, crews working to repair a road are scared out of their hardhats by a monster that erupts from the ground. They call the creature Gabora, but it looks like a huge bulette. This is one of my favorite Ultraman monsters. Well, until Gabora changes. Later on they reveal that the armored plates around the head peel back (like some sort of huge sunflower) to reveal a ho-hum, regular old monster face. Gabora starts doing what all monsters do. It tromps around, roaring and generally frightening people. It also subsists by eating radioactive materials. When Gabora starts making a beeline for a town with a supply of nuclear materials, the Science Patrol is called in to stop it.

The Science Patrol successfully diverts the monster from the cache of uranium, but then discovers that Gabora's new path will take it right though the Young Japanese Mountaineers' bivouac. To save the Kenny encampment, Hayata lures Gabora away using the old carrot on a stick routine. Except, there is no carrot, just a cylinder full of uranium. Nor is there is a stick. Hayata is in a helicopter, with the yummy uranium attached by a pair of cables.

Finally growing tired of chasing food that can outrun it, Gabora unfolds his neck petals and starts shooting beams of energy at the helicopter. In human form Hayata is not infallible. He makes a mistake and the helicopter crashes. Shortly after that, Ultraman appears and beats the fission out of Gabora.


Things I Learned From This Show:  

Green Dot There is such a thing as "Food Grade Uranium 235."
Green Dot Always make sure you have a copilot or a multi-tool; or, even better, a copilot with a multi-tool.
Green Dot The best binoculars are made in Japan.
Green Dot One reason not to evolve petal-shaped growths around your neck is the propensity of some people to play "She loves me, she loves me not."

Stuff To Watch For:  

Green Dot 5 mins - You should draw straws, then eat the loser. I dare you to. I double dog dare you!
Green Dot 11 mins - All of the politicians who spoke out against the propane tank program, saying it was pork barrel funding, are worried about the next election.
Green Dot 17 mins - How is it that everyone knows the monster's name?

Buy It Now Online:  

Buy it from Amazon.com   (United States)

Buy it from Movies Unlimited   (United States)

Buy it from Amazon.ca   (Canada)

Buy it from Amazon.co.uk   (United Kingdom)


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Comments:Write CommentPages: [1] 2
Re: Ultraman: Operation Lightning
Reply #1. Posted on July 10, 2008, 01:58:54 AM by James W. Fry
Dude! You shot right past the best part of this episode! It is strongly believed by some troubled souls that "Gabora" was in fact Godzilla making an uncredited guest appearance on the show. Sure, he's wearing a disguise, likely to divert the paparazzi and/or avoid legal trouble with his studio. But look carefully at "Gabora" after Ultraman has divested him of those sissy-ass petals and tell me he doesn't look a little--- familiar.
Okay, this is, not unlike the infamous "Two different endings shot for "King Kong vs. Godzilla", almost certainly the stuff of stupid-ass rumor. But I remember how excited I was when I discovered as a kid that it wasn't  just me and my friends who thought the resemblance between Gabo and Godz too strong to be coincidence.

Gawd, I'm old.........



Re: Ultraman: Operation Lightning
Reply #2. Posted on July 10, 2008, 05:39:36 AM by Andrew
Dude! You shot right past the best part of this episode! It is strongly believed by some troubled souls that "Gabora" was in fact Godzilla making an uncredited guest appearance on the show. Sure, he's wearing a disguise, likely to divert the paparazzi and/or avoid legal trouble with his studio. But look carefully at "Gabora" after Ultraman has divested him of those sissy-ass petals and tell me he doesn't look a little--- familiar.

Unfortunately, this is not the same episode you remember.  In the episode called "The Mysterious Dinosaur Base" Ultraman fights Godzilla (he is named something else), and the Godzilla suit did have flower petals around its neck.  Well, until Ultraman played "he loves me, he loves me not" with the monster.
Re: Ultraman: Operation Lightning
Reply #3. Posted on July 10, 2008, 09:38:11 AM by Jack
Love that video clip - if I was an armadillo and somebody stuck a plastic cone over my head, I'd smash a miniature village too  Smile
Re: Ultraman: Operation Lightning
Reply #4. Posted on July 14, 2008, 08:59:45 PM by Eva02soul
I loved the Akira reference in the review, although slightly dissapointed that there was no "TETSUOOOOOO!" Shout...
Re: Ultraman: Operation Lightning
Reply #5. Posted on July 15, 2008, 09:53:44 AM by Kevin Wickart
I suspect that Kaiju Lore is a required subject in Japanese schools; that's why everyone knows the names of long-hidden monsters on sight. I suppose it's possible that everyone is supplied with a set of cards similar to the aircraft ID cards that were distributed during World War II--just match the silhouette to the monster!
Re: Ultraman: Operation Lightning
Reply #6. Posted on July 15, 2008, 11:43:16 AM by Andrew
I suppose it's possible that everyone is supplied with a set of cards similar to the aircraft ID cards that were distributed during World War II--just match the silhouette to the monster!

That is an incredibly cool thought.  If they ever made a deck of "monster silhouette identification cards" I would buy them.
Re: Ultraman: Operation Lightning
Reply #7. Posted on July 15, 2008, 02:31:18 PM by Flangepart
I suppose it's possible that everyone is supplied with a set of cards similar to the aircraft ID cards that were distributed during World War II--just match the silhouette to the monster!

That is an incredibly cool thought.  If they ever made a deck of "monster silhouette identification cards" I would buy them.
Thumbup Yo! I buy that for a dollar!

Ever think the Japanese are so slender cause of all the fleeing they do? Running in terror just sheds those pounds!...er, Kilograms...
Re: Ultraman: Operation Lightning
Reply #8. Posted on July 30, 2008, 10:19:40 PM by Rocky Garner
His head reminds me of the heads of the monsters in <i>Tremors</i>.
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