In honor of our Jiras figure's recent arrival, I re-watched episode ten of Ultraman, "The Secret Dinosaur Base." It's the story of a truly mad scientist and his prize creation--a gigantic, frilled monster that bears an eerie resemblance to Toho's biggest star (and is, in fact, made up of Goji parts--see the "Toybox Treasures" post below).
Episode Ten has loads of off-kilter charm, such as the insanely crazy car the lady reporter is riding in, not to mention her nighttime fishing trip with Ito. (How come neither of them had fishing gear? Hmm.) It is also interesting to see how Loch Ness is used as a cultural touchstone in this tale. The main attraction, however, is the climactic battle between Jiras and Ultraman. It is marvelous--and in true Tsuburaya style, in includes whimsical flourishes such as a giant boulder skeet-shooting contest and Ultraman playing matador with Jiras' forcibly removed frill. Given the jaunty nature of this clash of titans, Jiras' death is handled with a surprising level of diginity--an implicit acknowledgement, perhaps, of his true identity. Episode Ten also shows what happens to Hayata immediately after activating the Beta Capsule--he is enveloped by a corkscrewing beam of light in the instant before he transforms. The original series gives little tidbits and details like that along the way, rewarding careful viewers.