We are past the clip-show now, which means the end draws even closer. However, in this new episode we are going to get a look at Zena’s past, or at least learn of it. That is because his former protege, Alien Shadow Kuruto will appear. Yet, is he friend, or foe? Find out by watching the episode, or reading the summary/ review below. Also, Alien Shadow Kuruto may look familiar because he is Hiroki Suzuki better known as Jan/ Geki Red!
Riku decides to show Moa the Nebula Base, where there he and Laiha reveal Pega’s existence to her. In addition, to discovering Pega used to live with her and Riku in their youth, as well as some her dates with Riku were outings with Pega. Once discovering that Riku, and Laiha are truly roommates Moa treats them all to lunch. However, as they all lunch and discuss AIB, Moa brings up how Alien Shadow Zena has been acting weird. Zero mysterious appears and interjects that since Zena is an Alien Shadow, a former invader, he should not be trusted. Moa returns to the base to discover Zena is away on a mission, but another Alien Shadow, Kuruto has been assigned to be her partner. Kuruto stands out due to being to emote, unlike Zena. Moa and Kuruto proceed to tour the city while discussing Earth customs. During her tour with Kuruto, Moa wonders if Zero was being biased about Zena.
They soon run into Riku and Laiha who are shopping, which leads to them briefly mocking Moa. They joke how they assumed Kuruto was Moa’s boyfriend, before she is flustered and rushes off. Riku then explains to Laiha how his catch phrase originated from Moa. Meanwhile, Moa and Kuruto in counter an alien fugitive. After arresting the alien, Moa discusses with Kuruto his difference from Zena, but how she really respects him. Yet, unbeknownst to Moa, she does not know Zena has been captured. However, the following it becomes more apparent that Kuruto has disposed of Zena when he steals a device from AIB. This device allows Kuruto the ability to summon Space-Time Destruction God, Zegan! Yet, luckily enough Zena managed to get free and return to confront his former protégé, Kuruto. In their confrontation, Zena explains to Moa that Kuroto’s ability to express is the true method for Space Guerillas.
Kuruto escapes to join with Zegan to power-up the kaiju, and better control it. Riku appears as Ultraman Geed, and begins to battle Zegan. Early in the fight Zegan has the upper hand, before Ultraman Zero arrives to assist him. However, Laiha shouts out Riku’s name fearing he was injured, and alerts Zena of his identity. The battle eventually becomes even worse when Geed and Zero discover why Zegan is called the Space-Time Destruction God; Zegan can blast rays that can send its target into another dimension. Riku turns into Ultraman Geed Magificent to attempt to best Zegan, but as the Big Bustaway collides with Zegan’s attack the two strengthen one another to create an ever-growing wormhole. Zero goes Beyond to use his energy to split the waves since the anomaly created will not permit Riku to cease his attack. Zero is successful in stopping the rays, and manages to send Zegan away with its own attack. Yet, as the wormhole closes it sucks Moa inside, with Zena helpless to save her!
Episode 14 is an okay episode, and very enjoyable. However, I think this episode relies too much on comedic banter, and its excellent action sequences. The overall story is bare except that it is meant to explain how Zena, is not like other Alien Shadows seen before. In addition, the episode is to lead towards revealing how Moa discovered AIB. Also, this episode and its sequel are meant to strengthen the relationship between Moa, and Riku. Currently I think that these episodes will not hold much precedence towards the finale, aside from strengthen the bonds between characters. Yet, I could be wrong and that this battle with Kuruto and Zegan will inadvertently be the catalyst for Belial’s upcoming attacks, and debut of the Royal Mega Master form. This would be in a similar fashion to how Galactron’s episodes lead directly towards Gai/ Ultraman Orb regaining the Orbcalibur.
Now, the episode focuses on Alien Zena, but the story did not require him to be present for the entire duration. It worked towards foreshadowing the reveal on why Zena is the way he is his for the next episode; that was accomplished through Moa’s belief that Zena is good, her seeking to overcome his doubts of her, and her dream of having earthlings live alongside aliens peacefully. What makes this even better is that it helps to further Moa’s development, too. In addition, the episode is built around Zena’s former student, Kuruto, seeking glory and settling some unknown score. Yet, the build up towards Kuruto being revealed as Zena’s final student is weak, as it is very abrupt. However, the only excuse behind this scenario is that Zena is not open with Moa, which would explain how Kuruto almost gets away with everything.
Hiroki Suzuki as Alien Shadow Kuruto is quite a wonderful casting choice. As an actor Hiroki Suzuki is a great enthusiastic and comedic individual, which one could see even when he was Jan/ Geki Red. However, I am known for not being a huge fan of Jan, or the other two main Gekirangers. Yet, I did like Hiroki due to his on-screen ability to be entertaining, and overly joyous expressions! Now, Hiroki managed to perfectly capture an individual prefect at espionage, since no one that is seen to interact with Kuruto found Kuruto as suspicious. Personally, I felt as if there should have been more time focusing on him, such as more interactions with not just Moa, but the other characters. I also thought that Kuruto’s fight with Zena was too short; it could have gone on longer and alongside the fight between Geed and Zegan. Hopefully, the next episode features Hiroki Suzuki more than what was presented here.
Overall “Shadow of Shadows” is a good episode. I think people will love the comedic moments, and enjoy Moa’s issues trying to understand Zena. However, some may see that episode goes by too fast, where it seems just a little disjointed. Then again, several modern Ultra series tend to have this vibe about them; it has become apparent since Ultraman Ginga. Never the less, that is just an issue of the times it seems, and we cannot change that. Yet, the next episode should close off this story, and open the doors for Ultraman Belial’s return!