Can Ultraman triumph over the banning of his book by the Home Ministry? Based on his epic battles with numerous kaiju and seijin, maybe he should leave his specium ray at home and hire a lawyer.
Who would’ve ever guessed that Ultraman could one day face the wrath of the Malaysian Home Affairs Ministry, which last week banned a locally published title in the Ultraman comic book series for using the word 'Allah' in an religiously insensitive manner.
While everyone’s beloved childhood hero has won wrestling battles with numerous kaiju (literally means ‘strange creature’ in Japanese) and seijin (meaning alien) since he first appeared on Japanese TV in 1966, we have no qualms that Ultraman – or one of his many siblings and relatives in the convoluted Ultra universe – will emerge from this unexpected bout a bit shaken but ultimately unscathed.
Below we take a light-hearted look at some of Ultraman’s most epic monster enemies throughout his 45 years of existence.
Alien Empera (aka Enpera Seijin)
The main antagonist of Ultraman Mebius (originally aired from 2006 to 2007) is also known as the Lord of Darkness, and considered to be the Darth Vader of the Ultraman series. The Emperor, along with its creation, the Armoured Darkness, were among the most powerful foes in the Ultraman series. The Emperor was never physically seen in the series, but commanded an army of monsters that wreaked Armageddon-level havoc across the Land of Light – the home of the Ultras.
Measuring at 738m and weighing more than 600,000 tonnes, Giga Khimaira is no ordinary kaiju. That’s what you get when you combine the souls of five King Monsters. Let’s not forget that this monstrosity easily swatted away three Ultras (Tiga, Dyna and Gaia) before finally being defeated by all eight Ultra brothers. Size does matter!
An oldie but a goodie. The classic monster in the Ultraman series; being the first creature to battle the first Ultraman (who forms a bond with human character Shin Hayata) in episode one. It may only be 50m in height, but Bemlar definitely put up a fight and after an intense duel, Ultraman vanquished the Godzilla-lookalike with his trademark specium ray.
So, what do you think is comparable to Satan and Legion? Introducing Yapool, an ancient creature from another dimension – aren’t they all? Somehow, this evil entity keeps returning to trouble the Ultras, appearing to Ultraman Taro, Mebius and Ace. Being a minion of Alien Empera, Yapool attempts to resurrect his master in “Ultraman Mebius: Ghost Rebirth”, but was eventually destroyed after getting shot by Ace’s Metallium Ray.
Imagine a pinecone with razor sharp spikes – that’s Tyrant for you. Born from the combined spirits of several kaijus, Tyrant left Neptune for Earth and remarkably took down five Ultras on Nepture, Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter and Mars respectively. Too bad its fall had such an anti-climactic feel when it was swiftly defeated by Ultraman Taro on Earth.
C.O.V is the first opponent of Ultraman Gaia and it stands for Cosmic Organism Vanguard. Standing at 77m, it can fire missile-strength energy blasts from his forehead. C.O.V is also equipped with strong blades for hands. These blades can be used as a lethal weapon, slashing anything around him.
Imitation Ultraman (Alien Zarab)
From the planet Zarab comes this seijin skilled in the art of mimicry, able to transform itself into Imitation Ultraman. Its name is actually the word ‘brother’ pronounced backwards, as Zarab claims himself to be an elderly brother to the humanity. The Alien Zarab holograph created by Mephilas constantly sucked in breath through its mouth hole, the only incarnation of Zarab known to do this.