Monday, May 17, 2010

Ultraman Tiga (4Kids English Dub)

Spoiler Level: Low

The last thing I have on my "Japanese Monster Movies" VHS tapes is 11 episodes of Ultraman Tiga. This series was made in 1996 and then run on Fox on Saturday mornings in 2002. While copying them, I've watched about 4 or 5 episodes that I didn't see when I was first recording them.

It's the usual Ultraman story-- a human hero from a high-tech organization gets bonded to Ultraman, who he calls in to fight the monsters. (Don't let the picture confuse you, there's only one Ultraman in this story-- he just has three modes. Blue/purple is advanced speed, red is advanced strength, and purple & red is a combination of the two.)

This dub is a strange breed. It tries to provide a serious action story while at the same time getting silly with dialogue. (For example, "Don't get yourself so upset. You're making your face break out in pimples." "Can we pop them?!?") But it's not flat-out slapstick like Dynaman; when the action scenes start, it's down to business. It's not consistent; some episodes the dialogue is just ridiculous for all the exposition scenes, and other episodes had very little silly dialogue at all. So you really just need to go into it with the attitude that this is a dub that's not going to take itself too seriously.

The show itself has a good story. There's a lot of model shots, which I liked, but a lot of 90's computer effects for flying shots, which I don't like. The monster designs are fantastic, and Ultraman's attacks are a great combination of new and classic. So all in all it's a fun serious that gives me a few bonus laughs, and was worth saving before I get rid of the VHS tapes. There's also a faithfully translated subtitled version that's been released on DVD in the US. I may check it out someday, but for now I'm content with having seen these episodes.

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