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Black End by Enshohma Black End by Enshohma
Here's a long overdue commission done for :iconearthbaragon: (Earth-Baragon), featuring the Kaiju (giant monster) Black End, who was the final opponent of "Ultraman Leo" from episode 51, "Goodbye, Leo! Take Off Towards the Sun" (original air date: March 28th, 1975).

However, like a lot of the 'Saucer Monsters' in the last third of this Japanese television series (called such, because most possessed a secondary saucer-shaped form for flight), Black End had a significant cameo in the previous episode 50, "The Life of Leo! The Miracle of King!" (March 21st, 1975)

And it is because of these minor character teases, is why it's such a pain in the proverbial backside to write any accurate information on the "Ultraman Leo" villains.

Seriously, even Tsuburaya Productions' own official write-ups on these guys is chuck full of equally mind numbing inaccuracies - so please forgive me if I fall into the same trap here as well.

**************

From episode 40 and onwards, "Ultraman Leo" was dominated by the alien villain named Commander Black, who despite his human appearance, was a ruthless and murderous fiend, responsible for killing almost all of the supporting cast of characters, with his monstrous agent Silver Bloom, in their first episode appearance alone. And pretty much leaving only the title hero Gen Otori (Leo's human disguise), and his Earthling friend and surrogate kid brother Tohru alive, whose parents and younger sister were also victims of Silver Bloom's attacks.

And more-or-less the two were left to fend for themselves against Commander Black and his various Flying-Saucer Life Forms (Enban Seibutsu, or 'Saucer Monsters' for short). And after many more tragedies, and equally demoralizing hardships, Gen Otori / Ultraman Leo is able to hold off Commander Black's plans for conquest, by defeating and destroying his Saucer Monsters one-by-one.

Of course, this is another case of a Tokusatsu (Japanese special effects) program's ambitions being way bigger than its actual budget, as all the Saucer Monsters were shown to be present in episode 40, hovering in orbit of the Black Star Planet. But obviously, the production crew couldn't get away with a scenario where all of them attacked at once, and logically win against Leo - even if the majority of Saucer Monsters were brought to life via puppet props.

And thus, no need to hire more monster suit actors, as Japan and the rest of the world was in the midst of an very real oil-related economic crisis at the time. Which was also same circumstances that originally halted the Godzilla film series with "Terror of Mechagodzilla" (1975), and inspiring the bleak backdrop for the influential horror flick "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" a year prior.

**************

After the death of the slimy alien assassin Bunyo (AKA Bunyo Seijin) in episode 50, Commander Black became desperate in his mission. Only one of his Saucer Monsters remained on the Black Star Planet - the horrible beast dubbed Black End. Calling forth the monster with his small palm-size crystal sphere, Commander Black sought to end Ultraman Leo once and for all.

Arriving at night, Black End was buried beneath Tokyo, and afterwards for days, the beast created horrible earthquakes that shook the city to its core. Eventually the alien demon rose from ground, and began a more direct path of destruction. Gen could not battle the monster though, for Tohru was at his side, and refused to run away during the rampage. Gen could not allow his secret to be revealed, and greatly angered by his cowardice, Commander Black called back his monster into the Earth.

Days passed before Commander Black once again summoned Black End.

With thousands of lives in peril because of the monster, Gen was forced to transform into Ultraman Leo in front of his friend Tohru, as well as several other children of whom the two had befriended in the final quarter of the series. With unrelenting power, Ultraman Leo battled Black End, and was nearly on the verge of victory, before Commander Black revealed his final ace in the hole.

Capturing Tohru, Commander Black ordered the alien superhero to stand down. If Ultraman Leo would not die at Black End’s proverbial hands, then his friend Tohru would die at the end of Commander Black’s sword.

Now many of you might play the 'Callous Geek Card' and demand Tohru to become another Jason Todd-style casualty, all for the sake of a quick win.

But as :iconearthbaragon: himself pointed out, you have to consider that Gen’s entire support team of MAC (Monster Attacking Crew), along with Tohru's family and millions of other people, have all had their lives taken away by Commander Black's evil actions. And as such, Gen was not about to let his only surviving friend in the world also get killed because of his failures.

Standing down, Ultraman Leo allowed himself to be beaten down by Black End. His color timer (a sort of Ultraman emergency life gage) began to blink; his time running out. Tohru had other plans however, and with the help of all of his school pals, they overtook the vile Commander Black, and literally beat the alien villain into mobbing submission.

A sequence that is both admittedly weak...AND freaking awesome...all at the same time!

Thoroughly beaten by the heroically violent children, the alien dictator dropped his black crystal ball, which he used to control Black End and most of the other Saucer Monsters. Ultraman Leo then snatches it up, and hurls it at Black End, making sure to charge it with his own positive energy of light. The result was an explosion that destroyed the monster forever, along with Commander Black, who quickly melts into a puddle of dead green muck.


**************

Outside some Internet videos, I've never seen the entire final episode of "Ultraman Leo", though from what little I have seen, it is a rather classy way to end a otherwise troubled series. Complete with a pretty nifty 'final boss kaiju' to boot.

Black End is one of those Japanese rubber suit monsters that's portrayed with the face protruding from the actor's chest, waist, or even lower regions. Often done in an attempt to make the creature's design less human like. And in all honesty, this method largely never works for me personally, as either the monster's execution is too off-putting and silly to take seriously, like the oil-drinking Takkong from "The Return of Ultraman". Or it becomes a costume trick so overused untill a point of apathy, such as the majority of monsters from "Ultraman Tiga" (one of my least favorite entries into the whole Ultra Series, by-the-way).

It also doesn't help that many times, camera men film such 'faced-waist' characters in a very poor manner. Like literally filming where the suit actor's actual head is located, as opposed to focusing on the creature designs' own fake head.

However, when the 'faced-waist' method does work, it REALLY works. And although Black End isn't as well executed as say Anoshiras, from "Gridman" (AKA Manfu from "Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad"), it is still an accomplished creature suit for the time. Especially since the three negatives mentioned above are all craftily dealt with, which includes proper camera work that properly focuses on Black End's prop face.

All these combined makes the aesthetics of Black End's design all the more pleasing. And as such, I am very happy that Earth-Baragon gave me the opportunity to render this guy as a full-fledged illustration.

Related Links and Illustrations

Fan Wiki Page On Black End: [link]

Black End In Condensed Action: [link]

One of Black End's fellow Saucer Monsters (and arguably the most popular of which), Nova:



**************

Big thanks to :iconhawanja: for the LiveTrace assistance.
And an even bigger thanks to :iconearthbaragon: for being so patient with me here.

NEXT WEEK'S UPLOAD: Let the Brandon Tenold bumper art begin!
Add a Comment:
 
:iconmaxvision92:
maxvision92 Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Before today, I'd never thought I'd see a noticeable connecting between Ultraman and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. At least, not without using Bacon Logic.
Reply
:iconultrakoichi:
ultrakoichi Featured By Owner May 23, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Good shit! It's an evil ladybird monster! 
Reply
:iconspacezillazon:
spacezillazon Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
interesting kaiju well colored,detailed
Reply
:iconenshohma:
Enshohma Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconspacezillazon:
spacezillazon Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
yw
Reply
:iconwyote:
Wyote Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013
Man, he looks nasty.
Reply
:iconenshohma:
Enshohma Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
How so, exactly?
Reply
:iconwyote:
Wyote Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2013
If I was a few hundred feet tall, I wouldn't want to face that, all those spikes, be it the big ones or all the little ones on the tail that looks like it can be swung around.
Reply
:iconenshohma:
Enshohma Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Now I see what you mean.

Fighting Black End, even if your were his size, would be like wrestling a mad bull bare naked, and on a field of hot coals - hideous body damage will inflected by Black End will happen!
Reply
:iconwyote:
Wyote Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013
Yep.
Reply
:iconmanaista:
manaista Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Really eye catching style!!
Reply
:iconenshohma:
Enshohma Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconmanaista:
manaista Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You are very much welcome :D
Reply
:icongroudan383:
Groudan383 Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
WOW, I REALLY love the colors of this piece!! Your REALLY amazing with colors! They always come out so clean and vibrant! :)
Reply
:iconenshohma:
Enshohma Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks so much, though to be honest I had a hard time getting the coloring and Black End details right...and in the end, I still screwed up with one of the main horns. :(
Reply
:icongroudan383:
Groudan383 Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
No problem dude! The colors really came out amazingly. Dont beat yourself up over something really small. I didnt notice anything wrong with this piece.

Oh yeah, and Happy Belated Birthday :)
Reply
:iconenshohma:
Enshohma Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Why thank you so much here! And I hope to do more obscure Ultra Monsters in the future as well (know anyone willing to assist me in LiveTrace?).
Reply
:icongroudan383:
Groudan383 Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
No problem! Whats LiveTrace?
Reply
:iconbigjohnnycool:
BigJohnnyCool Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013
Funny thing, I typed that article on Black End in Ultra wiki before the power-hungry, hypocritical admins booted me from the site for being too good.

I'm surprised and a bit disappointed that Black End (along with Jumbo King) didn't have much of an impact as a final monster for a show, (granted Alien Valkie wasn't up to snuff either but DID return in Mebius) but it's most likely for the reason you said on Leo's troubled success.
Reply
:iconenshohma:
Enshohma Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
So sorry for not replying to this earlier, but I get the sad feeling that fan Wiki really don't like level-head, prolonged articles.

I'd be tempted to do some myself, but the rewards are limited, if not non-existent, like all the work I did on Wikipedia's "Ultra Seven" monster profiles long ago.

At least I have the pages of this site to flew my knowledge, and may need your help in the future for particular Ultra Monsters:

Margodon - [link]
Iros Alien - [link]
Angoras - [link]
Bizaamo - [link]
Gudis - [link]
Gubira - [link]
Majaba - [link]
Nova - [link]
Wyaan - [link]

A lot of these pages could sue some work, especially in the screen capture / scanned image category.
Reply
:iconearthbaragon:
earthbaragon Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I had to re-watch the ep and give Enshohma my brief synopsis, So some of this I wrote, but Enshohma really did a well job at putting all the info here and there and made it a lot simpler to understand from my really rough draft of it. :P A lot of the monsters in the showa era of Ultraman really did not have much of an impact, other than Z-Ton and Pandon. Even stuff like the mammoth in 80. While I understand why the Ultra's never fought it, the monster itself was still a bit of a disappoint. It shows up and freezes a city. Basically what Peguila does :)
Reply
:iconearthbaragon:
earthbaragon Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Like I said, this looks better than I ever thought it would and that is a lot with the over year waiting :P But I am Gandhi with patience haha. Now if you want to talk about the whole "head in the crotch" monster design, there is a bird in Megaloman that is like that. And that is an instance when it reaaaaally does not work. One monster I thought it worked real well with though was Kendoros. I admit, the camera thing you pointed out does happen with him alot, but that is mainly cause those metal flower blades of his are on top of his dome.

I know it is such a small thing on this piece but man that tail looks awesome :)
Reply
:iconenshohma:
Enshohma Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Kendoros...wasn't he that green, Brussels sprout shaped alien beast from "Ultraman Leo"?

Thanks so much, and I'm even more happy that you're happy with the final execution of this long overdue commission.
Reply
:iconearthbaragon:
earthbaragon Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes he was. Had metal helicopter like blades on top of his dome where the "sprout" would be. I think he was a revamped Takong suit, but if he was they really did fix all the problems that the original Takong had :)
Reply
:iconenshohma:
Enshohma Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I don't mind the idea behind Takong, but he's still kind of an overrated creation, and Kendoros diffidently does the 'face where the sun don't shine' conceit way better.
Reply
:iconcosmic-brainfart:
Cosmic-Brainfart Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013  Professional General Artist
That is one awesome kaiju! Wish he'd come and destroy my bosses house.
Reply
:iconenshohma:
Enshohma Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
That's the American dream in a nut shell my friend!

Seriously though, most bossed do suck, and I wish you the best in this sad regard.
Reply
:iconmonsterkingofkarmen:
MonsterKingOfKarmen Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
GJ
Reply
:iconenshohma:
Enshohma Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks, however the original file has just been replaced by the finished Black End illustration.
Reply
:iconmonsterkingofkarmen:
MonsterKingOfKarmen Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Ah, ok.
Reply
:icondrzock:
DrZock Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013
This is so weird! I just stumbled onto Brandon's awesome videos just a few weeks ago by pure chance! Whodathunkit that one of my favorite artists and fellow kaijuu fanatic would be doing bumper art for him!
Man, Hedorah looks PERFECT in your style!
And I'm proud to say that my ultraknowledge is growing. I was able to recognize Black End right away!
Reply
:iconenshohma:
Enshohma Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
As you may know, Black End will be my next completed illustration, and as such best save this file before it gets replaced. The week after that, I plan to finish up Brandon's commission, or alternatively some colored sketches, either with him or other Oc's of mine.
Reply
:icondrzock:
DrZock Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013
Ooh, okay. I'll do just that. Thanks for the heads up.
Reply
:iconenshohma:
Enshohma Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
The original file has just been replaced by the Black End one, by-the-way.
Reply
:icondrzock:
DrZock Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013
So I see. Thanks for the heads up!
Reply
:iconearthbaragon:
earthbaragon Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Everyone should know who Black End is :P He is only the greatest final villain in Ultra history! Well.........maybe I am exaggerating a bit but he is still in the top five that is for sure.
Reply
:icondrzock:
DrZock Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013
True. But I'm fairly new to the Ultra universe, so I'm kinda surprised that a neophyte like recognized him, especially without his trademark red and black colorscheme. :P
Reply
:iconkoopberg:
Koopberg Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013
Mei-Fang and Titanosaurus? I'd like to see what he'd do with her...
Reply
:iconearthbaragon:
earthbaragon Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
As I have said before they all look amazing. I really hope that eventual the old Hedorah will get completed. It is such a solid drawing and inking on it. Really gives that bulbous blob look really nice. The Black End though looks the best :P But then again I am probably a bit in the favoritism in that one haha.
Reply
:iconenshohma:
Enshohma Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
As it should, since it is your comission after all. And to be honest, I'm digging Black End a little more than my Hedorah piece. Next Friday will hopefully see this one done.
Reply
:iconearthbaragon:
earthbaragon Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha maybe so on that :) No rush though. I commend you for setting the 1 week goal. I could never do that. Hell, I'm lucky if I can get one in 3 weeks. Though I have been almost averaging 1 piece every 2 weeks in the last 2 months so maybe. The amount of shade work you do though, that must be time consuming as all kinds of heck. Now I think I am going to cry cause I just realized I am going to be 30 next week. Oh man lol.....god.
Reply
:iconnayzor:
Nayzor Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013
Your Pumpkin Rapper looks good. I always thought it strange he only had one eye.
Reply
:iconenshohma:
Enshohma Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks, and I think the one eye gives this otherwise silly creation some much need menace or creepiness.
Reply
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