The main plan for today had been to attend a class so I could get my ham licence. This plan derailed when I woke up feeling a bit like I'm coming down with a cold, and generally just totally over stressed and not up for dealing with life. Something tells me bad week at work + extended experiments in sleep deprivation are finally catching up with me. So after doing some math I decided to ditch the class. Licence can be obtained later. It's not like I'm going to have time or money to do anything with it any time soon, alas.
And so today's plan now revolves around curry. And research. Since that Japan trip is looming large in my mind, and I would like to get a bit more of an idea on the places that we are going -- other than just "I have been wanting to go here for so long it is really starting to annoy me that I keep going to Kyoto and STILL keep missing it." Just to make sure that after the hour long hike to, say, Kami-Daigo I do not miss the building that survived the siege of Negoro-ji. (Note to self: What the heck does Tale of Genji have to do with Kami-Daigo? More research is required...)
I am quite certain when hoshikage got me started on Mebius she had no idea the insanity she was about to create. I certainly didn't realize I was about to inherit 40 years' worth of Ultra continuity to research. I naievely went in expecting something more on par with Ultraman Tiga. Ha. No, we have no alternate universe here. We've got a series that celebrates having a long history to pull from, and isn't shy about having voices from the past wander in. And thus I have a new research subject. Which is rather like giving a cat a store full of catnip filled mice. Please excuse the drug-crazed mania.
So, research findings...
It looks like all the Ultra series -- except the most recent two, Nexus* and Max -- have run 50+ episodes. I would find that highly encouraging for Mebius, except that the trend to shorter seems to be entirely recent. I hope they decide to break the trend and go with tradition for the 40 year anniversary show. Though I suppose it all depends on the ratings.
Ratings for Ultraman shows in general tend to be fairly high. It was mentioned that most of them have ratings in the double-digits. Which is respectible, considering the target market.
(* Nexus, it was noted, had originally been targeted for an older audience, then got stuck in a little kids time slot. Part of why it was shorter has been attributed to not reaching its target audience. A Nexus movie was originally slated to be produced, but was shelved due to the low ratings for the series. That we do have a Mebius movie encourages me that the ratings are, hopefully, decent. Will do more research on the ratings when I go to Kino later today.)
I'm starting to wonder just how old Tarou (and, by association, Mebius) really is. Ultraman Tarou starts with the birth of Tarou. Not entirely sure when time-wise that happens, but it certainly shows that Tarou is younger than Original Ultraman, Zoffy, probably Seven, and at least two others. (Five Ultra brothers were present at the birth, though I'm not seeing it listed as to which five. I probably should flip over to the Japanese page, since that will probably have more information. I probably also should go eat breakfast. Though not necessarily curry, since I am hungry and I have none on hand. Yes, unlike Teppei, I have no problems having curry for breakfast. Particularly not if Mirai is making it. :)
Tarou is described as being one of the sillier of the original 'verse Ultramen. It's ironic that he appears in such a serious moment in Mebius. (Particularly since one of my initial reactions to Mebius was that it was fairly light-hearted and silly. It seems to have gotten over that for the moment...) Despite that, Tarou appears to get killed a lot. He was the Ultra that got killed by Birdon. (So, dude. Lay off your protege -- he's one up on you there.) Hm, Zoffy was also killed by Birdon. Aparently they were having a bad day. I am somewhat perplexed as to exactly why Mebius was not killed by Birdon. I guess modern medicine has progressed since the '70's?
After seeing a run-down of the cameos and some of the major events, I'm starting to think I will need to track down copies of Tarou, just because of the depth of information on the Ultra-verse and major figures that shows up in there. Also, he invites all the other previous Earth Ultras for tea. And that just needs to be seen.
Tarou is supposed to be a cousin of Seven.
I started reading up on Seven because of a comment I saw somewhere that Seven is like Mebius in that he created his own human, rather than bonding with an existing one. (Though, considering the time and all, Mebius is like Seven...) Leo does this as well.
After reading the summaries, I'm really interested in tracking down episodes of Seven. He ends up in a lot of moral quandries, with the plots not necessarily being driven by just the monster of the week. The stories try for the more mature market, and are a bit darker than those of original Ultraman. (I seem to remember the plots in original Ultraman to be pretty good. On the other hand, I was six, so what did I know?) There is more detailing on the other inhabitents of the galaxy in the Ultra-verse outside of what we see on planet Earth -- though it seems that not all goes well in that regard. Due to certain actions Seven ends up generally regarded as having committed genocide, and is known as the defender of a cruel and barbaric species. (That would be the humans -- whoops!) The Ultras stand by him, but the rest of the galaxy isn't too impressed.
Seven shows up in Ultraman Leo, but is not able to transform most of the time, due to injuries he sustained in the first episode of Leo. He kicks around in human form, given Leo helpful advise (and tactical support from the Earth monster-fighting military.) His Earth human is a construct, called Dan Moroboshi. Yes, the personal name is meant to indicate that the human doesn't really exist.
Seven uses the capule monsters Miklas, Windam and Agira. I think this might be the origin of the capsule monsters, though I need to double-check the original series to verify.
Oddly enough, that's about all I know about Seven. Must find out more. But since I'm talking about it anyway...
Leo is a bit special. He's not from the same star as the other Ultras. (I think, by association, that he is not from the Land of Light/Hikari no Kuni. That designation seems to apply only to Nebula M-78. Leo is from Nebula L-77, in the Leo zodiac. This explains why when Seven and Leo first meet, Seven doesn't know him.
I'm a bit disturbed at all the rememoving of body parts that seem to happen in the Ultra-verse. Tarou gets his head chopped off, and Leo gets completely dismembered. Hey, authors? I would be very pleased if you were to feel absolutely no compunction whatsoever to do that to Mebius. I do not need my little Genki! in bits.
I wish there was a guide to the Ultra-verse. There doesn't appear to be any in English. By the time I get finished with all my research, I'm starting to think that I may very well just write one. *ponders* It occurs to me that someone in Japan must have done this already. I must track a research treasure like that down.