Written by Jonathan Wojcik

We haven't talked a lot about Ultras themselves yet, but they're technically just as much "monsters" as anything else we've seen here. In fact, there was a time when their kind were more human-like and more biological, until they needed to replace their dying sun with an artificial power source, the Plasma Spark. They didn't foresee that its unnatural energy would physically transform them, and USUALLY that kind of sentence ends with something like "...into shrieking abominations of twisted flesh" or "into decomposing horrors neither living nor dead" or at least "into dead people."

These guys really lucked out when their unpredictable, aberrant mutation turned out to be "into dazzling silver giants with superpowers." Ever since the Plasma Spark enhanced them, the Ultras have primarily used that power to protect the universe from evil...but we did already mention at least one villainous example, and there's another, more recent character who quickly became Tsubaray's definitive "bad boy" Ultra.

Even named after a demon prince of hell, Belial was once one of the greatest of all Ultra Warriors. Unfortunately, this increasingly went to his head, and his enormous ego simply couldn't take it when his own best friend was promoted ahead of him.

Seeking to grow stronger by any means necessary, Belial turned to the Plasma Spark that created his very species and keeps his very world alive. His attempt to take the spark, however, only burned him horribly as he was quickly apprehended and exiled from his home.

Belial wound up on a barren, rocky planet alone until he met an alien being called Rayblood, who had the ability to corrupt other beings with his own DNA, and this is why Belial now looks so much more radical than a regular Ultra.

Attempting together to destroy the Ultras for good, Rayblood was eventually destroyed just thoroughly enough that his corruptive DNA spread across the galaxy (which does, in fact, result in a bunch of messed-up monsters, whoops!) while Belial was sealed in a specially made prison so massive that it became the Ultra People's moon, because nothing makes a night stroll more romantic than looking up and knowing there's a genocidal maniac forever trapped in a rock and thinking about how much he hates you.

So, yeah, the Ultras are a sci-fi flavored Heavenly Kingdom and of course they've even got their own Lucifer, who like the regular Lucifer also looks a thousand times gnarlier than those other nerds and their dorky chrome faces. Could ANY of the other Ultras pull off a Todd Mcfarlane's Spawn cape like this? Hell no! Black and red will always beat silver and red, giant knife claws will always beat no claws, a murderous smile will always beat no smile and Venom McSpiderman eyes will always beat...well, actually I love the big yellow egg eyes of regular Ultras, but Belial's eyes are PRETTY cool. More wasp-like. His mouth even actually opens! He also has a sharper head-fin and hunches over more, intended by his designer to evoke a bit of anthropomorphic shark!

Belial takes on numerous other forms including some fusions with other monsters and a powered up mode called Belial Atrocious, but we're just going to look at Belyudra. It's long been canon that every single monster ever defeated by an Ultra ends up in a netherworld known only as The Monster Graveyard, so of course Belial tries to raise an army of dead kaiju, and of course things escalate to Belial merging with every defeated kaiju in the history of the franchise to build one absurdly colossal demon with Belial sticking out of its forehead. Belyudra can fire eye beams from all of its hundreds and hundreds of exposed eyes and every monster in the mass can still unleash its own trademark powers.

Even if these reviews have been your only familiarity with Ultraman, you should already be seeing some familiar faces here! Belyudra was performed mostly by CG in its movie appearance, but this amazing prop was built for certain shots as well.

Somewhere, by the way, is a canonical list of where every single monster is located on Belyudra even if isn't visible on Belyudra's surface, which is why over a thousand Ultramonsters have this exact same "trivia" entry on the fan wiki:

Attention-Deficit fool that I am, I've now read this entire piece of trivia so many times, forgetting what it's going to be every time, by now I'm pretty sure I've been reciting variations on it in my sleep instead of snoring. I think my heart now beats in rhythm to its cadence. Just put it on my tombstone already.

But seriously, Belyudra is as delightfully ominous and over-the-top as Belial himself, and it's even more delightful that in 2020's Ultraman Z, Belial has somehow or other become an egotistical, melodramatic talking sword wielded by the series hero. And yes, there's banter. If you watch nothing else of Ultraman, give the 17th episode of this series a try; at the time of this upload, the official licensed youtube uploads every episode for free, with English subtitles!