Written by Jonathan Wojcik

(Image by Chrisufray)

Ultraman Nexus, from what I know, was intended to be a "grown up" Ultraman series. Darker, more graphic, more serious and more story-driven. Unfortunately, the network made an infamous decision to air it during the kid's time slot anyway, making this one of those "what the hell were they letting us watch!?" moments to a whole Japanese generation. The villain of the series, Dark Mephisto, is even the first evil Ultrabeing, and the show doesn't shy away from the horrific human death and tragedy of a world where giant monsters run rampant.

Case in point is Nosferu here, one of Mephisto's top underlings and the major antagonist of a plot that lasts at least six episodes straight. Named of course for Nosferatu, the terrifying monster drains blood through its elongated tongue, can imprison people as energy within its head, and it can completely regenerate its body from a "mouth gland" that can even independently feed on people...though I've now watched every episode that it appears in, and I've yet to find what this "mouth gland" actually looks like.

Most disturbingly of all, Nosferu's cells can infect dead bodies and reanimate them as "beast humans;" puppets with patches of Nosferu's flesh and an ability to sprout the same knife-like claws. It does not, however, have a good grasp of how humans are supposed to work...when it reanimates a mother and father it killed, it tries to force their children to eat logs of wood for dinner, a scene that's objectively ridiculous, but legitimately nightmarish.

Nosferu is a grisly, ghastly, truly diabolical Ultramonster and really, really looks the part; like a hunchbacked rat made of raw, pink meat. You can look at this veiny, pulpy design, just guess it has weird, morbid powers and not be disappointed. Am I even picking up on Freddy Kreuger inspiration? I even like the fact that another of its abilities is to just JUMP really high. I guess its rat aspect is more "kangaroo" rat, but as a bloodsucking and infectious monster, it makes me think more along the lines of a flea.