• Neo Ultra Q: The Complete Series (Mill Creek Entertainment) Blu-ray Review



    Released by: Mill Creek Entertainment
    Released on: August 11th, 2020.
    Director: Various
    Cast: Seiichi Tanabe, Rin Takanashi, Hiroyuki Onoue
    Year: 2013
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    Neo Ultra Q: The Complete Series – Movie Review:

    Would you let an ogre do your laundry? This important question and many more are dealt with in Neo Ultra Q, the 2013 revamp of the classic of the late sixties Tsuburaya Productions TV series, Ultra Q. There’s a very strong line of socio-political commentary evident right from the first episode wherein we see the citizens of Japan clash with one another over what should be done about a giant ogre that’s clamoring around their city. On one side, we’ve got the anti-ogre activists, upset that the monsters have taken human lives and caused destruction, and on the other side, ogre-conservationists who feel the creatures are misunderstood and should be left alone. This first episode feels surprisingly relevant almost a decade later, given the current political climate in the United States, and it’s clear very early on that this is more than just a ‘monster of the week’ series.

    There’s also quite a bit of obviously intentional humor worked into the series as well, the aforementioned episode where an ogre runs a laundromat, aptly entitled Laundry Day, is a perfect example, though there is an air of sadness to this story that makes it resonate a bit more than you will first expect it to. We won’t spoil the ending, but again, there’s really clever writing on display here. Ogres exist throughout the series, that’s the main thread connecting the twelve episodes that make up the entirety of the show, with each episode approaching their existence from a different angle. This keeps the series from getting stale, with each twenty-five-minute long episode offering something fresh to keep our attention.

    Here are the twelve episodes that make up the entirety of Neo Ultra Q:

    DISC ONE:

    Quo Vadis / Laundry Day / The Businessman Who Came From The Sky / Pandora's Cave / The Town That Doesn't Speak / The Extremely Smelly Island

    DISC TWO:

    The Iron Shell / Memories Are Crossing The Planet / The Tokyo Protocol / Falmagan And Michiru / Alogth Democracy / Hominis Dignitati

    Various issues come up throughout the run of the show – man made creations searching for the ability to experience the most human of emotions, having to deal with an ogre’s hostile aroma, the exploitation of ogres for human financial gain, the rise and fall of a character’s political aspirations, the increase in populist military actions and lots more. Atypical for monster fare as it may be, the writers make it work, though there are a few episodes that almost feel like they could and should have been a good ten to fifteen-minutes longer, just to offer a bit more character development and exposition. This can result in a few of the stories feeling rushed, but overall this material works very well.

    Neo Ultra Q: The Complete Series – Blu-ray Review:

    Neo Ultra Q: The Complete Series, which was shot for television on digital video in 2013 and it looks like it. Detail is pretty good, considering the limits of the source material, but it would be unrealistic to expect the picture quality here to rise up to the levels of more recent, bigger budgeted digitally lenses productions. Still, Mill Creek has done a fine job bringing this material to Blu-ray looking about as good as it probably can. There are some compression artifacts but colors are generally reproduced quite nicely, although the series isn’t all that colorful to start with, often times using muted color pallets. This is certainly a legitimate HD presentation even if it is on the noisy side. The AVC encoded 1080p picture, framed at 1.78.1 widescreen, shows much better detail and depth than DVD would have been able to provide.

    The only audio option offered up is a Japanese language DTS-HD 2.0 Stereo track, with removable subtitles available in English. No problems to report here, the audio is properly balanced and plenty clean, free of any audible hiss or distortion and offering decent depth to the score and some of the more aggressive sound effects used in the show.

    There are no extras on the discs themselves outside of menus offering episode selection. That said, this release does come with a slipcover as well as an insert card inside the keepcase that contains a download code for a digital HD version of the movie.

    Neo Ultra Q: The Complete Series – The Final Word:

    Mill Creek Entertainment’s Blu-ray release of Neo Ultra Q: The Complete Series offers up this quirky, entertaining reboot of a legitimate classic in nice shape. It’s devoid of any actual extras, but the content here is plenty fun and the price is more than fair – recommended.

    Click on the images below for full sized Neo Ultra Q: The Complete Series Blu-ray screen caps!



























































    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Andrew Monroe's Avatar
      Andrew Monroe -
      This sounds a lot better than I expected...but I still can't muster up much interest for really any of these modern Ultra shows. The original ULTRA Q is wonderful, very close to being my favorite of them all.