The second episode within the last five episodes of Ultraman Orb is literally a coffee break, since it all pertains to finding a “mythical” and legendary café in Shinjuku. What mysteries does this establishment hold, and what makes this particular coffee so special? Find out by watching the episode on Crunchyroll, or reading the summary below…
Shibukawa and VTL begin sectioning off an area containing a crashed spaceship, where officers mention that several UFOs have begun leaving the planet. At the scene of the crash the team also discovers an alien coffee bean, meanwhile S.S.P. learn of a mysterious café, Café Black Star located in Shinjuku where the coffee is amazing, but customers lose memory of the cafés location. The team sets forth to find the place and succeed! There they discover its one masterpiece and only option, Black Coffee for 1230 yen. They question the owner briefly, overly enjoy the coffee and notice Baba Ryuji is one of his frequent customers. Owner then kicks out the team, as Gai shows up to ask about Juggler. Another customer attempts to fight Gai briefly, but then learns the owner and his partner Nova seek to leave Earth because it is a “sinking ship”. However their exit maybe a dangerous one due to high amounts of space debris.
The café owner begins to close shop as Nova attempts to pursue its dream one last time, the chance to take over the Earth. See this last chance, the owner reveals himself as Black Commander and joins with Nova to accomplish their long lost dream. Gai is forced to combat the two, whom he has come call his friends. During the battle he tries to plea with them as well as S.S.P., but is unsuccessful. Orb turns to his Origin Form which allows him to unfortunately slay Nova, while Black Commander is left to mourn his friend. Gai attempts to restore Black Commander’s faith… Days later Shibukawa appears at the office talking about a new establishment called Ramen Black Star, which shocks the team and leaves Gai hilarious.
Episode 22 is an interesting episode where I did not love it or hate it. I also do not want to call this episode filler because it foreshadows that the finale is strung together to be a trilogy. The best way to describe this particular episode is that it is the calm before the storm. The viewer would gather this from the exodus of aliens from the planet, Gai wondering if the café owner seen Juggler recently, and the idle chatter that the Earth is a dying planet. All these factors are implying to Juggler’s final plan to defeat Gai, as well as regenerating Maga Orochi.
Then as for the episode itself I did not understand what exactly made people lose their memory of Café Black Star’s location. I am unsure of if the alien coffee beans caused earthlings to forget its location, or if Black Commander was doing something that caused memory blockage. It is just a mystery left entirely unanswered, but the fact the owner in actuality was Black Commander was the biggest surprise from this episode. Now, some fans come speculate that this series exists in an alternate universe from the main Ultra-canon and that this Black Commander is supposed to be the original seen in Leo, but here was stopped very early on by Gai and retired to being a Café owner. With Nova as his partner that also a throwback to Leo, and I found it a little weird only he had to die in the duo’s final battle to take over the world. I would jokingly say that this episode was the Mice and Men of the Ultra series.
Overall the episode is pretty mellow, but as stated earlier it’s the calm before the storm and is attempting to set up the final act. Something big is coming for the series finale, to which I could only speculate it may tie in with the events of the prequel series on Amazon Prime in Japan; or could just be the depth of story, battles, and effects saved for these very episodes. All we know is that from the trailers the final duel between Gai and Juggler is the kick-off!