Bemlar (ベムラー Bemurā)
FIRST APPEARS IN:
Ultraman, Episode 1:
Ultra Operation #1
– facial features not unlike Gyango
– rad triple mohawk
SKILLS AND QUIRKS:
– hanging about in a lake
– Ultraman’s first onscreen victim
– turning into a Terminator-esque ball of energy
– standard mouth-beam
– a roar stolen from Godzilla and played backwards
Bemlar (aka Bemular) may not be Ultraman’s most exciting adversary, but, in the Ultra series history books, he is perhaps the most important one. Appearing in the inaugural episode of Ultraman, Bemlar is the first giant monster to have the living snot beaten out of him by Japan’s favourite Protector of Earth and Slaughterer of Mindless Monsters.
Chasing Bemlar, who has escaped from the Monster Graveyard (a nightmare of Ultraman’s own creation), Ultraman finds himself trapped on our planet after he accidentally kills Shin Hayata and decides to merge his Ultrabod with Shin’s Humanbod in order to save him. Bemlar hides out in a lake and occasionally surfaces when bothered by the local authorities.
Like many Ultramonsters, Bemlar is not much of a threat and, in fact, mostly just wants to stay alive. His design is a great introduction to the look of the 1960s Ultra era. His body is long and goofy, his mouth wide open, his bugged out peepers walleyed and fucked. Gyango, star of my favourite Ultraman episode, seems to have stolen Bemlar’s face.
Despite his unremarkable appearance and skill set, Bemlar would make many returns to the Ultra universe, appearing as recently as 2014 in Ultraman’s 50th anniversary series, Ultraman Ginga S. A somewhat more bad-ass Bemlar also appears in the Ultra movie, Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legend The Movie (2009), and the YouTube mini-series, Ultra Zero Fight (2012). Congrats for the staying power, Bemlar!