Episode Thirteen: THE MAN FROM V3 **1/2
Dubbed title: SPACE ACE REUNION
Captain Kurata, aboard the V3 space station, reports that they are under attack from an enemy ship. Kurata manages to escape during the skirmish, although the chase leads the aliens to Earth. Agents Amagi and Furuhashi intervene, but are shot down and captured by the aliens. Low on fuel to exit the Earth's atmosphere, the aliens create duplicates of the two men and order them to return to home base and steal the fuel from the Ultra Hawks.
Plot wise, there's not much going on here in ULTRASEVEN's 13th show. Still, it's one of the most action packed of the series, and that will be enough for many viewers. It's yet another script that features aliens resorting to creating doubles of Earthmen to use as vassals for their plans. Of course, this plot device never works since one of Dan's abilities is clairvoyance.
There's also no concrete plan laid out by the aliens. While it's refreshing for a detour away from the typical 'Invasion of Earth' storyline (episode six brilliantly detoured from the norm), the aliens are simply attempting to re-fuel to escape the Earth. Why they attacked the V3 space station is unknown. Without a purpose, the use of these aliens serves as simply to have an antagonistic threat to build around an appearance by Ultraseven.
There's also a weak attempt at pathos in making the connection between Capt. Kiriyama and Capt. Kurata when the Ultra Guard commander learns of his friends alleged death in space. More successful is a rift that occurs between the two friends over how to barter the exchange of the two Ultra Guard captives. This is familiar territory to American programmers such as the original STAR TREK and also the original BATTLESTAR GALACTICA.
This episode also features the longest monster battle up to this point, which will please kids and grown up kaiju fans. Ultraseven is also visually seen going giant as opposed to Dan applying the Ultra Eye, then cutting to an enormous Seven. The Iros Seijin is a curious looking critter, which is kind of redundant when it comes to Japanese Tokusatsu shows. It has no legs and when its odd looking arms are outstretched, it resembles a fang-toothed butterfly. There are two battles going on during the finale -- the monster fight and an aerial fight between the Ultra Guards forces and the UFO.
All in all, it's not a bad show and action fanatics will surely enjoy this one. The series was about to debut the first of three two part episodes.
WEAPONS: Ultra Hawk #1 #2 and #3, Station Hawk (Space Station V3 ship)
To be continued in Episode Fourteen: INVASION FROM OUTER SPACE PART 1!!!