After two seemingly bad episodes, I think Ultraman Orb is finally getting back to being great again! Especially when there are only six episodes left, when one includes this episode that I am reviewing today. Episode 20 features the final member of the Planetary Invasion Syndicate, Metron Tarude taking his revenge on Juggler. However Gai comes to the rescue because of his moral code to defeat the helpless, and preserve peace on the planet from extraterrestrial threats!
Metron Tarude is in the middle of seeking his revenge on Juggler, having jumped him and acquiring Juggler’s signature sword; as Tarude attempts to strike Juggler down Gai appears to save him. Gai’s reasoning is that he will not allow aliens to disrupt the Earth’s piece even it means helping Juggler. Luckily it gives Juggler time to make an escape, and he manages to run into Naomi as she is off to work. He cuts her off from talking to the others at S.S.P. who quickly believe she’s been abducted by the U.F.O. that is being monitored by VTL. Naomi attempts to help Juggler, and finds out the truth to history with Gai. The two were once friends, rivals, and comrades that sought to push the other to their limits to excel further, but when Gai was chosen by the light Juggler lost his meaning in the universe. Thus it led to him finding a new purpose; that purpose was becoming an agent of darkness.
Naomi tries to reason with Juggler that he may still have goodness in his heart, but is interrupted by Tarude. Juggler makes a brief attempt to save her, and then she decides to return the favor as Gai arrives to defend them. The battle forces the two go big, as Gai transforms into Orb! Jetta and Shin soon arrive to the scene, continuing to believe Naomi’s in Tarude’s ship as it comes to assist him. Gai powers up to Orb Origin to destroy the ship and slay Tarude, thus bringing an end to the Planetary Invasion Syndicate. Then Juggler reveals to Naomi that this entire time he used Gai and Naomi to defeat Tarude, but didn’t foresee losing his sword in the process to which he at least thanked them for helping him reclaim the blade. Shin, Jetta, and Shibukawa arrive shortly afterwards, excited to see that she is safe as Gai joins them to return home. Later that night, Juggler laments that the darkness of the world is ready to be awoken!
This episode was seemingly better than the previous two that we received in the series, but was not entirely incredible. The episode effectively wrapped up anything to do with the Planetary Invasion Syndicate, but eluded that Metron Tarude either has a guess or knows what Juggler has planned for the earth and it is obviously something big. The only thing I found puzzling was Juggler’s motive to use Gai to defeat Tarude; did Juggler know Tarude may actually be able to get the jump on him, did he expect Tarude to have more allies, or did he just need prove to himself Gai is a sucker for heroics? That was thing that really puzzled me; it was as if Juggler was simply going for controlled chaos, or at least to possibly have his enemies kill each another.
Yet, there were a few things to come out of this episode! First off, when Naomi tends to Juggler’s wounds he finally specifically clarifies more aspects to Gai’s and his own back story, that they were once comrades that pushed each other to excel, and that when Gai was chosen by the light he fell from grace searching for his cause in the universe. However during that search he turned to the darkness for guidance; most likely due to envy, jealousy, and the typical misguided beliefs led to his own exile. That then led me to believe that Ultraman Orb could be either a role, or title given to that chosen soul, which just turned out to be Gai’s destiny. The other thing we may have learned is that there is probability Juggler is just overly possessed by evil, the darkness that is Maga Orochi as a few moments in the episode show he maybe questioning himself. If Juggler is questioning himself, and the choices he has made I could see him possibly turning good briefly just to be make a sacrifice to assist Gai in defeating Orochi, or the writers are not going to redeem Juggler at all!
Now, with the Planetary Invasion Syndicate done for I expect the final five episodes to make some attempt to conclude the entire story at hand. However from the preview for Episode 21 my expectation may easily be thrown out the widow, since it has to do with a girl that can summon Hyper Zetton Deathscythe. This means Tsuburaya may have cut Orb’s conclusion to a two part arc rather than trying to push for more, such as actual flashbacks for Gai and Juggler as well as an extensive overarching final battle! Yet, maybe there is a chance to be hopeful since the final four episodes titles have not been released to the public as of yet…
Rating: 3 out of 5