Well folks, here it is. Quite possibly one of the most infamous episodes of any tokusatsu series. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the story behind this episode, August Ragone summarized it quite well in his booklet for the Ultraseven DVD set. The plot of this episode involves an alien race which, at the time, was labeled an “atom bomb survivor alien.” To make matters worse, these same aliens then plan on using similar weapons here on Earth, and are portrayed in a very, very creepy manner. Of course, in 1967, plenty of victims of the atomic bombs dropped in only 20 years prior were still around, and while Tsuburaya went on to rename the Spell a “Vampire Alien,” the negative press surrounding this episode led it to be banned from any further airings. No home video release, not even the upcoming Blu-ray release, includes this episode. It’s essentially shoved under the table by the company for understandable reasons. However, it was broadcast in the United States on at least two occasions. The first was during the Hawaiian broadcast of the series in the mid 1970’s, and the second time was on TNT in the early 1990’s, when Cinar developed an edited dub of the series. The video source appears to be taken from a recording of the TNT broadcast. The audio itself is likely taken from a fan recording of the original broadcast, as such practices were common in the day.
Which leads to a few things to keep in mind:
1. No, we are NOT doing the rest of Ultraseven. The entire series is legally available on R1 DVD, with English subs. I highly recommend purchasing the series, as it is not only one of my favorite tokusatsu series, but also one of the most influential entries in the genre, having impacted countless tokusatsu and anime series alongside the original Ultraman (including the works of a little known director named Hideaki Anno). We’re simply doing this episode considering that there is unlikely to ever be a proper, subtitled release of it in the forseeable future.
2. This is the best video quality out there. Since there’s no other known copy to exist, we used what we could. The audio is muffled near the end and the opening to the episode is missing (along with, possibly, some other bits, it’s hard to tell) but until the day a high quality release of the episode is made available, you have to make due.
That said, this is a really impressive, and downright terrifying, episode which really shows what made Seven such a smash hit that is remembered to this day. The directing is great, the acting is good, the action is frantic, you’ve got a really good episode here.
So sit back and enjoy a little piece of history!
Champstice: the only things I’ve got to say is:
There is an iso floating around on ADC that includes a copy of episode 12. As mentioned before though, because the episode is banned/hasn’t been re-aired/included on dvd/bluray, the copy is like a bootleg. I haven’t downloaded it myself, so I’ve no idea how much an improvement it’d be over the video we’re using visually. If the audio fared better we’ll probably go back over this if someone encodes it. Nevermind, the audio is dub only. Nevermind again, there is japanese audio, but it’s the same audio this release has :V.
2. This is probably the longest post we’ve written so far.
3. Yeah thats about it. Enjoy!