ARTIFICIAL LIFE FORM BIZAAMO
Written by Jonathan Wojcik
It's the THIRTEENTH of Halloween month, and that means I should present an extra-dreadful one; the kind of monster I might have otherwise saved for the final week of the feature.
Bizaamo initially arrives on Earth as nothing but a small, pinkish blob of slimy flesh that lands in the South Pole, but the moment the specimen is discovered and brought indoors for study, an entire research team is stricken with severe poisoning from the enormous amounts of oxygen produced by the organism.
As it thaws, the alien organism immediately slithers some of its matter into a nearby computer, revealing its ability to interface with electronic systems and immediately understand human language. It explains that it was artificially created by the inhabitants of Planet Bizaamo to purify their polluted atmosphere, producing fresh oxygen as it takes in foreign chemicals from the atmosphere, but it also mentions that the planet was destroyed, and that it has "insufficient data" to divulge why.
While it initially seems peaceful and the humans openly offer to co-exist, Bizaamo is already interested in nothing more than feeding and growing, requiring only electricity to multiply its form. To learn more about the research station's power source, the being disturbingly manipulates the on-site computer network to recreate the voice and image of the first human it ever encountered - also the first one to offer it protection and help - but over time, the false image strangely continues to look wetter and sicklier, like someone drowned in freezing water. This little detail alone is one of the most atmospherically skin-crawling concepts I think a kaiju series has ever presented.
The organism indeed multiplies at an alarming rate once it has access to a direct electricity source, and if it wasn't already quite obvious, there can be no further doubt what became of its creators and its homeworld.
Fun fact: the first global extinction event in Earth's history, 2.5 billion years ago, ocurred when a photosynthetic bacterium thrived so readily and released so much oxygen that an entire planetary biome of anaerobic microorganisms collapsed, in what palaeobiologists refer to as the Oxygen Catastrophe or even Oxygen Holocaust.
As you surely guessed, Bizaamo's blob-form merges into a more solid kaiju-like form once accosted by Ultraman, and it's a mighty interesting beast. The lower body is more or less a pair of goopy humanoid legs, but the arms of the costume are segmented tentacles lined with weedy fronds of blue-black tissue and ending in tiny, red pincers, while the "head" is a third tentacle ending in a strange, furry antenna. The creature's cross shaped mouth dominates the entire "chest" area, packed with a dense cluster of wicked little teeth! The whole thing is kind of like a slimy, walking starfish, basically. Magnificent!
As an amorphous, artificial creature that exterminated its creators - and subsequently wound up in Antarctica - Bizaamo is actually a pretty clear homage to the Shoggoths from the Cthulhu Mythos, and isn't even the only or most overt reference to the setting in this particular Ultra series. In fact, series writer Hideyuki Kawakami expands further on this in an entire original novel, Ultraman Tiga: The White Fox Forest, where it is also revealed that Bizaamo's creators actively sent samples of the creature to countless other worlds before they ever caught the danger.
Everything about this one is grim and frightening, and perhaps the most frightening part of all are the good intentions under which the monster was born. Even now, it isn't motivated by any desire for sustenance, freedom or a life of its own; it still cares only about fulfilling its original directive to "purify" planets as effectively as it possibly can. It just happens to be terribly, TERRIBLY good at what it does. It considers anything other than pure, clean oxygen to be a "pollutant," so it's only a job well done if it can scrub an entire planet of every single thing that, say, takes in oxygen only to exhale carbon dioxide.