During a visit on the Easter Island, some of its megalithic statues begin to attack the visitors, which leave the island taking off with their airplane, but the statues shoot it down causing a tragedy. The Space Dragon quickly launches from Omaezaki to investigate on the fact. When it arrives on the island the statues rise again and attack the spaceship: Prof. Daimonji organizes the defence and the megaliths are defeated, later revealing a mechanical structure inside them which could belong to a technologically advanced civilization like the Zela one. While on a recognition mission with the Buzzler, Peat and Midori are encircled by a group of Black Birds when they continue their inspection of the island on foot. Peat, with the aid of Fan Li, succeeds to escape from the ambush, but Midori gets captured and Darius decides to sacrifice her to the black monster Oronzer. Sanshiro and the others react to avoid that the ritual be completed, but Peat is hit by a stone which immobilizes him. Sanshiro rushes to help him, but both are captured by the Black Birds before they can go back to the Space Dragon. Oronzer attacks the spaceship, which is piloted by Sakon, and makes it fall underwater without getting damaged by any of its weapons. Simulating a loss of fuel, Prof. Daimonji convinces the Four Generals to withdraw the monster, but Sanshiro and Peat are still hostages and their execution is scheduled the next day. The Space Dragon appears just when the firing squad is already in position to receive the firing order: once free, Sanshiro launches the Gaiking and together with the Space Dragon, now under Peat’s command, faces and destroys Oronzer. Now, the Four Generals can only kill the troops of the Black Horror Army which try to escape from the Easter Island.
Between The Lines
This is the first time that the Space Dragon is piloted by anyone but Peat. It’s now up to Sakon to lead the spaceship into action, while Peat is held captive together with Sanshiro on the Easter Island. The second precedent created in this episode is when Prof. Daimonji gains time tricking the Four Generals with the simulation of a breakdown to the Space Dragon, giving the Black Horror Army the illusion to assist to a slow agony of the spaceship on the bottom of the sea. Before, the difficulty situations of the Space Dragon had been faced resorting to the volution protection or surrendering to avoid irreparable damages to the ship (see episode 13 “The red scorpion barks in the desert”).
The worsening of the conditions of Zela and the subsequent intentional acceleration imposed by Darius for the conquest of the Earth are the main reasons for the greater effort requested to the black monsters (to attack the Earth) and to the Space Dragon (to defend it), all this pro the level of action in the episodes located in the middle of the series, among which this one is a valid example thanks to the special fighting verve of the black monster Oronzer.
Photo Gallery (all images © 1976 Toei Animation Co., Ltd.)
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