Coming in pretty late with the review of the most recent episode of Ultraman Orb, cannot be helped though real life issues can easily get in the way. Now, if one is like I am and needs a pick-me up then maybe this episode is one is looking for; if it is not then go order a damn pizza or something…
The Planetary Invasion Syndicate plans to crush earth’s trust in Orb using Alien Babalu’s transformation ability to appear as Orb and destroy Japan. Meanwhile S.S.P. eats out at lunch when Babalu appears on Earth, Gai attempts to intercept it but is forced to help Jetta record the appearance to pay off his lunch bill. Babalu attempts to destroy the nearby area, but encounters a wild Telesdon who he then is forced to fight. After forcing the Telesdon to retreat, Babalu beings to lose his ability to maintain Orb’s appearance and takes on a human form, Baba Ruji however he runs into Jetta who immediately befriends him. Shortly afterwards Jetta accompanied by Gai, go to find Baba and bring him to a park to meet the kids he saved during the fight with Telesdon. From his encounter with the children and receiving gifts, Babalu begins to rethink his entire life as villainous alien and questions the morals of being good, of being a hero.
The following day, Babalu returns to the park to see the children and be a role model for them. Don Nostra becomes enraged by Babalu’s decision to become good, and has Juggler summon Cherubim to kill him. Babalu as Orb attempts to fight Cherubim, but is no match for the monster who reveals him as an alien however the kids believe in him. Due to his courage Babalu makes an attempt for a comeback, but is saved by Gai as the real Orb appears. Orb defeats the Cherubim, and Babalu seems to disappear into the wind. A day or two later while Gai and Jetta hang at the park, Gai notices a groundskeeper there who happens to be Babalu in disguise.
Episode 9 is honestly another light-hearted episode similar to Episode 8, and works to establish the morale that not all aliens are born evil which tends to be a plot found common to the Ultra series. I actually came to like this episode a lot, which honestly surprised me due to the fact it featured Jetta and attempted shed some history about his childhood, as well as his dream to be a hero which lead to him becoming a reporter for S.S.P. What I think drew me to the episode was the fact this may be the first ever in the franchise that an Ultra Imposter sought to become good, after being brought on to do the usual, which is to ruin the Ultra’s reputation with humans and Earth. For the episode to have this light-hearted, yet campy twist, I found it fresh at least within the franchise or at least towards the imposter themed aliens; especially when it the episode set forth to describe what it means to be a hero and why people need to have one or to be a hero in their own right. I often tend to find stories like this easily enjoyable, due to the various ways that Tsuburaya Productions manages to continue the trope of what it means to be a hero, and to be honest I feel that a majority of the time only the team at Tsuburaya are the best at doing so!
Now, the only thing I have come to hate about the series thus far is the fact several of the episodes lately have been nothing more than filler with only subtle moments to foreshadow future events, and hints at other possibilities. Yet, with that being said from the trailer for the next episode, things do seem to be picking up and it seems that the battle between Orb and Juggler may finally end. Hopefully episode 10 and on will bring the series back towards its plot, because I really want things to fall in place for Orb!