Ultraman Blazar Episode 21 Review “Battle in the Sky”

Ultraman Blazar Episode 21 Review “Battle in the Sky”

Hello and welcome, Ultraman Connection readers! Hard to believe that we’re almost to the end of this year, and to the end of Ultraman Blazar already! But while things are cooling off outside for many of you, the show is heating up with only about a half-dozen episode left! Events seem to be building up to something big, with Kaiju attacks ramping up around the world, and increasing pressure being put onto the SKaRD team. 

Last week I joked about the upper brass of the GGF getting creative with their punishments against SKaRD. The team is still stuck doing PSA skits for children, but this episode seems to offer them a chance to prove their real skills, and hopefully break their streak of bad luck. 

Ultraman Blazar isn’t the only one who gets sweet new weapons to use in the battle against Kaiju threats in the second half of the show. The Earth Garon gets to test a new upgrade – the Mod.3. This set of jet engines and wings is purported to allow it to reach Mach 9, the same speed shown off by the Kaiju Deltandal back in episode 14. 

At the time, the Earth Garon and its pilots just couldn’t match that speed. Now it seems that SKaRD’s engineers have figured out a way to adapt Deltandal’s own abilities to make the “Uranus Drive”, an engine that would give the same boost to the Earth Garon. And it works! Unfortunately, Yasunobu Bando can’t handle the physical strain of piloting at those tremendous G-forces, and the team is forced to abort the test.

Sadly, it seems like the GGF’s leaders give up on Yasunobu after seeing his one mistake. It’s a shame that the team’s superiors always seem to put such ridiculously high expectations of perfection on them, and punish them so severely after any perceived mistake or shortcoming. In fact, these petty punishments and bureaucratic blockades make it harder for the team to live up to their expectations in the first place! 

I never thought I’d say this, but I actually miss Chief of Staff Haruno. At least he didn’t tell Captain Gento who to send out on missions! The GGF grounds Yasunobu, and forbids him from piloting and from combat until they get the appropriate paperwork to reinstate him. 

Let’s be honest, the show would be over by the time that paperwork makes it through all the red tape. 

Time is something the team is very short on, especially when a new Kaiju appears after a GGF weapons test over the ocean. Okay, it’s technically a Kaiju we’ve seen already, but the Deltandal in this episode – dubbed “Deltandal B” – is unbelievably massive. 

Boy, it seems like we’ve been getting a lot of oversized Kaiju lately. First it was Brood Gebalga, then the giant Zugugan in the previous episode, and now a version of Deltandal which is six times larger than the last! I’m very worried if that trend is going to keep escalating into the finale episodes of Blazar. 

Even though the Earth Garon Mod. 3 has the capability of matching Deltandal B’s speed, Anri is the only one cleared to pilot it, and she doesn’t have Yasunobu’s sharpshooting talent to hit its weak spots. So what’s the team to do now? Openly disobey orders and get smacked with even more punishments for insubordination? Gento joked about his neck being too tough for the chopping block, but can they really risk him – or any of the other team members – being officially kicked off the team? 

This conflict against the shortsighted, even cruel orders from their superiors in the GGF is honestly the more central challenge of this episode. Taking down a bomber jet Kaiju which can fly at Mach 9 is a cakewalk in comparison. 

As an aside, Deltandal – both the original version in episode 14, and now with Deltandal B – reminds me a lot of the Kaiju Arigera from Ultraman Mebius. Both are Kaiju with distinctive jet fighter designs, and built for blindingly fast speed. In contrast to this episode however, episode 38 of Mebius, where Arigera was introduced, focused on the cooperation between the various GUYS teams. The show’s main characters, who formed the GUYS Japan division, teamed up with GUYS Ocean and other characters in order to develop a plan to take down the amphibious creature.

In many other Ultraman series, it’s quite common to see conflict between the defense team and more militaristic factions. However, the outright hostility between SKaRD and the actual leadership of the GGF is something I can’t recall seeing in any other Ultraman show. Ultraman: Towards The Future (also known as Ultraman Great)  is probably the closest I can think of. There was almost constant tension and hostility between the UMA – the show’s Australian defense team – and the military, but the two were treated as parallel and unaffiliated organizations. The SKaRD team, in contrast, is under direct command of the GGF.

SKaRD is left in an impossible position after being given these impossible orders under that command. Do they send Anri up to face Deltandal B, in a seemingly suicidal solo mission? Do they stand down and allow the Kaiju to attack their base unopposed? 

Thankfully, Captain Gento is no stranger to playing along with the GGF’s bureaucratic red tape, and quickly thinks of a workaround. They’re still technically following orders if Yasunobu only flies along with Anri, and doesn’t actually control the piloting systems or the weapons, right? With no time to waste, he deploys both of them to the Earth Garon, to stop Deltandal B’s bombing run. 

They make quite a team – of three, if you count Earthy. (I certainly do!) Their chase against Deltandal B is the spectacular “Battle in the Sky” which gives the episode its name, but it also takes them out further, into the edge of space!  

Even after delivering a critical shot through Deltandal B, things almost seemed to be over for Anri and Yasunobu inside the Earth Garon. I have to say, watching a Kaiju the size of an aircraft carrier jetting straight towards you at several thousand miles per hour is a heart-clenching experience, even for the audience. Thankfully, Blazar was there to provide an assist, and together they defeated the massive Kaiju with an appropriately massive fireball finisher.

And they’re back on Earth just in time to rehearse for another skit performance! 

The end of this episode provided a happy, decisive victory for our main characters, but there are a lot of questions hanging around to spoil the celebratory mood. What is the true purpose of the electromagnetic weapon that the GGF is testing? Why are more Kaiju appearing, with increasingly stronger forms? Is there yet another true “Third Wave” of Space Kaiju we have yet to encounter? The SKaRD team seems to be growing stronger through their experience and cooperation together, but will it be enough to stand up to these future threats, or even to stand up against the GGF’s bureaucratic opposition? 

We’ll just have to wait until next time to find out! Until then, stay tuned right here to Ultraman Connection for more!