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Ultraman Tiga Volume 2:
Fugitive from Beyond
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Box Front
Japanese Title: Urutoraman Teiga (“Ultraman Tiga”)
Original Release Year: 1996
Running Time: 13 episodes, approximately 24 minutes each

DVD Released By: 4Kids Home Video / FUNimation Productions
Video: Fullscreen
Audio: Japanese 2.0
Extras: GUTS vehicle gallery (with videos), monster gallery (with videos), music video, printed episode synopses, coming attractions
Subtitles: English
Closed Captions: None
Region: 1
Format: NTSC
Chapters: 4 per episode
Packaging: Two discs in a keepcase
MSRP: $29.95
UPC #: 704400068126
Catalog #: FN-06812
Status: Available.  It also fits nicely in the Ultraman Tiga Special Collector’s Edition Starter Box.


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The Film: The Earth continues to be plagued by monster attacks and alien invasions.  When GUTS (the Global Unlimited Task Squad) is outgunned, and giant monsters threaten to wreak havoc, Officer Daigo calls upon the power of Ultraman Tiga to defend the planet!  This second volume contains episodes 14 - 26 of Ultraman Tiga, on two discs:

Disc 1:

Ep. 14 - “Fugitive from Beyond”:  While investigating a meteorite, GUTS meets Rushia, a pretty fugitive alien.  She and a companion are being pursued by a monster.  It turns out the monster is an alien hunter, and Rushia is its prey in a sick and deadly trophy hunt.  When the hunter transforms into a giant, it has a bizarre serpentine neck that separates from its body.

Ep. 15 - “Phantom Speed”:  A new solar-energy conversion system gives rise to another Gazoto monster (from episode 6).  Gazoto destroys a passenger flight before descending to Earth.  Mayumi’s boyfriend, a pro racer, was on that flight!  When Mayumi is caught in the monster’s path, her boyfriend’s spirit mysteriously returns to help GUTS combat the monster.  Daigo suffers a broken arm early in this episode, which affects Ultraman’s fighting technique for several more.

Ep. 16 - “Return of the Demon”:  Thieves break into a shrine on Sakuna Mountain and steal a statue and a sword.  The figure depicted by the statue, and the owner of the sword, is a legendary samurai who devoted his life to destroying monsters.  The removal of these artifacts releases Sakuna Oni, an ancient demon defeated by the samurai.  When the
yokai-like creature’s severed body parts come back together, Ultraman Tiga has to take up where the samurai left off!  This is an interesting episode, bringing elements of Japanese mythology into the Ultraman universe.

Ep. 17 - “The Battle Between Red and Blue”:  A nocturnal blue alien comes to Earth to abduct people to serve as soldiers.  His red counterpart tries to stop him, but the red alien is only strong in daylight!  A kindly old woman takes the red alien in, as GUTS sets a trap for the blue one.

Ep. 18 - “Golza Strikes Back!”:  One of Ultraman’s first opponents, Golza (from episode 1), returns!  While investigating mysterious volcanic activity, GUTS discovers the monster resting underground.  They use a new weapon to draw Golza above ground, where Tiga can battle it.  However, Golza has been drawing power from the magma, and he’s a lot stronger than before!

Ep. 19 - “GUTS into Space Part I”:  TCP is building the Artdessei, a mobile command center.  It’s powered by Maxima-Overdrive, an engine that runs on light.  Strange robots begin appearing in the city, and a huge,
ID4-like alien ship begins attacking Earth!  What is the connection between these invaders and the Maxima-Overdrive?  The liner notes describe the robots as being similar to the ones in Miyazaki’s Castle in the Sky.  They are also reminiscent of Ray Harryhausen's work.

Ep. 20 - “GUTS into Space Part II”:  Can it be?  Ultraman defeated?  It looks that way.  GUTS launches the Artdessei to battle the aliens.  Can Daigo bring Ultraman back to help his teammates?  Agent Yazumi finally gets to leave TPC HQ in this episode.

Disc 2:

Ep. 21 - “Deban’s Turn!”:  A monster mysteriously appears and disappears at various locations, causing madness in the people nearby.  The only thing tying the locations together is the presence of a troupe of children’s stage performers.  What connection is there between the monster and the troupe’s newest member, the strange Deban?

Ep. 22 - “The Coming of the Cloud”:  After a meteorite crash, a mountain village is engulfed in a strange mist.  When Daigo and Horii investigate, they become separated, and are unable to communicate with GUTS HQ.  The mist conceals strange parasitic creatures, and the villagers have become zombies!  This episode is inspired by Stephen King’s novella
The Mist (which is referenced in the dialogue), and the classic British monster movie The Crawling Eye (which is also about a cloud-covered mountain inhabited by eyeball-like alien creatures).

Ep. 23 - “World of the Dinosaurs”:  Ancient reptilian beings unearth and unleash the Weaponizers, giant cyborg dinosaurs, in a bid to reclaim “their” planet.  If the two Weaponizers combine their power, they can wipe out all life on Earth!  The Weaponizers are pretty cool looking.  Their roars are very reminiscent of
Rodan and Heisei King Ghidorah.

Ep. 24 - “Monster Search Squad into Action!”:  Horii and Daigo are sent to investigate acidic atmospheric conditions that are destroying trees and buildings.  They are sidetracked and humiliated by a group of mischievous youngsters.  The kids later claim to have heard a monster, but the troublemakers are not taken seriously.  Of course, there
is a monster; an acid-spraying creature with tentacles.  The kids in this episode are awesome.  They get the best of Horii at every turn!

Ep. 25 - “The Devil’s Judgment”:  When a glorious angel appears in the sky above the city, people respond with cult-like religious fervor.  However, this angel of light is really a creature of darkness!  It’s the avatar of the Kilaliens (from episode 3), who have returned to take control of the Earth.  If the Kilaliens open the gateway to their world, the planet will be plunged into darkness.  In order to stop them, Ultraman will have to face a Kilalien warrior who also has three combat modes.  This episode gives some background information on Captain Iruma, and introduces her son.

Ep. 26 - “Jungle of the Rainbow Monsters”:  A mysterious rainbow marks the entrance to an alternate dimension.  While searching for a missing family, GUTS encounters a towering horned monster.  Silvergon dispatches another monster (Gagi from episode 10) in dominant fashion before turning its attention to GUTS and Tiga.  With his brute strength and armored hide, Silvergon is Tiga’s toughest opponent to date!  He even resists Tiga’s finishing move.  (The simpleminded beast also tries to imitate Tiga’s moves, and throws little tantrums when they don’t work, to hilarious effect.)  This is a great, action-packed episode.

Ultraman Tiga is an exciting, well-made show.  The special effects are very well done, and the main characters are memorable and well developed.  Over the course of these episodes, the viewer comes to identify with the members of GUTS, and appreciates the camaraderie between the teammates.  There are some great monsters featured in this batch of episodes, such as the Japanese demon Sakuna Oni, the prehistoric Weaponizers, and the kaiju powerhouse Silvergon.  This great show continues to impress!  Grade:  A

Video: Ultraman Tiga is presented in its original fullscreen format.  The picture is mostly sharp and clear.  There are some grainy scenes, mostly composite FX shots.  This seems to be less noticeable than on Volume 1, however.  Color reproduction is excellent, which serves the show well.  All of the bright rays and explosions look great.  Grade:  B+

Audio: The audio is consistent with Volume 1.  The horrendous English dub has been discarded in favor of the original Japanese, presented in 2.0 stereo.  Everything sounds very good.  The dialogue, music, and sound effects come through loud and clear.  Grade:  A

Extras / Menus: Featured in this volume is a gallery of GUTS vehicles.  It includes 13 screens of still pictures.  7 of these screens also have the option to play a video clip describing that particular vehicle.  (The 1-minute videos were originally produced to air with the show on Fox Box.)  Mech fans are sure to enjoy this section.

A carryover from
Volume 1 is the Monsters Gallery.  Disappointingly, this one only covers 3 monsters:  Gazoto II, Golza II, and Sakuna Oni.  Each creature gets two pages of text information; there is also a video clip on Sakuna Oni.  Next up is a music video.  The techno / rap tune is catchy enough, but at just under 1 minute, it seems like only half a song.

Coming Attractions are also accessible from the main menu.  Running back-to-back for about 3 minutes are promos for: 
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yu-Yu Hakusho, Dragonball GT, Tenchi Muyo! GXP, and the Z-Store online anime shop.

There are also promos for
Ultraman Tiga Volume 3:  GUTS Headquarters Under Attack, the Fox Box Saturday morning line-up (since renamed 4Kids TV), Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that play automatically when the discs first start up.  Fortunately, they can be skipped through.  The Ultraman-related extras are identical on both discs; some of the TV / video promos vary by episode / volume from disc to disc.  All of the menus are still images with different music themes from the Fox Box version of Ultraman Tiga in the background.  Since the dub isn’t included, this is a great way to make use of the catchy U.S. music.

The DVD insert also has synopses of all 13 episodes.  They go beyond the plot-only synopses printed for
Volume 1.  They also give some background information about the filming of the episodes, and homages to elements of previous Ultra series.  The inclusion of 4 chapter stops per episode is appreciated.  (Some TV collections simply make each episode a single chapter.)  All of the promo clips don’t really add any value to the set.  The Ultraman-related extras, while somewhat less extensive than Volume 1, are welcome additions (especially for younger viewers).  Grade:  B-

Final Analysis: Another great collection of Ultraman Tiga on DVD!  There are a few differences between these discs and Volume 1.  (The opening and closing theme songs are now subtitled in Japanese, the Monsters Gallery includes text information, the names of returning monsters are sometimes spelled differently in the subtitles, each episode consists of 4 chapters instead of 6, and the printed episode synopses give behind-the-scenes information.)  These Ultraman Tiga DVDs are very well done, and they deserve our support.  Very highly recommended for all kaiju and tokusatsu fans!  Final Grade:  A
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