Hard-Boiled River (ハードボイルドリバー Hādo Boirudo Ribā) is the eighteenth episode of Ultraman Orb.
Shibukawa Ittetsu hasn't been doing too well with his daughter because of work, so the SSP and his daughter decide to secretly follow him around during work hours to check on what he's been doing recently.
The episode begins with Shibukawa's self documentation of his daily life and problems with his daughter. With the latter part in concern, he seeks the help of SSP and the group talked to his daughter Tetsuko (who changed her name to "Katherine" to further sever her ties with her father) to spy on his daily life. She initially refused as Shibukawa had once embarrassed her in front of a man she likes, a street jewellery seller Takahiro but agreed later on after Gai is forcefully dragged into this mess by Jetta (due to the latter suspecting Shibukawa as Ultraman Orb).
While spying on Shibukawa, Tetsuko gets irritated when her father turns his attention on random women. From her experiences as a child, she always seen Shibukawa as a busy father who has no time for her despite being regarded as a hero by others. Gai gives her a lecture that she would someday see an inner light of a warrior in her own father. During that time, Naomi interrupts them. As the party went hiding, they saw Shibukawa and the jewellery seller Takahiro in a feud. Out of frustration, Tetsuko meddled within the two and lashed at her father until Takahiro reveals his true colors: his main intention is to get the Slimtonium stone and absorb the wearers' energies to his mother stone. He also revealed that he gave out the 'magical' jewelry to women who wanted to slim down, and the stones did so by slowly draining their life energy.
He reveals himself as an Alien Shaplay, scaring Tetsuko and absorbed her energies through the Slimtonium necklace she wore. His plan is to turn humanity into a living farm and harvest their energies to empower his Bemular. Leaving Tetsuko in SSP's care, Shibukawa prepares to fight Shaplay out of revenge and Gai arrives in time to transform into Ultraman Orb. Both fought against their respective enemies in an intense battle. Jetta films the battle but is shocked to discover that Shibukawa and Orb are not the same person. With one bullet left for his revolver, Shibukawa is almost defeated by Shaplay until Tetsuko encourages his father after seeing what he is capable of and the former resumes fighting while Orb utilizes Orb Origin. Spotting nearby flammable canisters, he devises a plan to delay Shaplay for him to get close enough to decimate the alien while Orb defeats Bemular with Orb Flame Calibur.
After the event, it was revealed that Shibukawa already knew of what Shaplay planned all along and tried to retrieve the Slimtonium necklaces he gave to his victims. Tetsuko and Shibukawa get into another fight but this time their relationship wasn't estranged as before. SSP took their leave, while Gai wonders who is "Tetsuko" (he only remembered the woman by her ideal name Katherine). At night, Shaplay was revealed to have survived the explosion and swore vengeance but was quickly slain by Juggler, who has a new look.
Gai's Ultra Hero Special Study
- Gai: Ultra Hero Special Study. Here's today's hero!
- Orb Ring: Ultraman Agul!
- Gai: The blue giant born from the sea, Ultraman Agul! A trustworthy warrior who fights alongside Gaia. And today's monster is...
- Orb Ring: Bemular!
- Gai: The Space Monster Bemular, a devilish monster that disrupts peace throughout the universe. The Alien Shaplay summoned a horned, powered-up Bemular. Be sure to watch next time!
- Gai Kurenai (クレナイ・ガイ Kurenai Gai): Hideo Ishiguro (石黒 英雄 Ishiguro Hideo)
- Naomi Yumeno (夢野 ナオミ Yumeno Naomi): Miyabi Matsuura (松浦 雅 Matsuura Miyabi)
- Jetta Hayami (早見 ジェッタ Hayami Jyetta): Naoto Takahashi (髙橋 直人 Takahashi Naoto)
- Shin Matsudo (松戸 シン Matsudo Shin): Hiroaki Nerio (ねりお 弘晃 Nerio Hiroaki)
- Jugglus Juggler (ジャグラスジャグラー Jagurasu Jagurā): Takaya Aoyagi (青柳 尊哉 Aoyagi Takaya)
- Ittetsu Shibukawa (渋川 一徹 Shibukawa Ittetsu): Shingo Yanagisawa (柳沢 慎吾 Yanagisawa Shingo)
- Tetsuko Shibukawa (渋川 テツコ Shibukawa Tetsuko): Chika Arakawa (荒川 ちか Arakawa Chika)
- Takahiro (タカヒロ ): Takuya Inoue (井上 拓哉 Inoue Takuya)
- Maid: Rina Asaishi (浅石 莉奈 Asaishi Rina)
- College student: Kaede Inaba (稲葉 楓 Inaba Kaede)
- House wife: Wakako Takata (高田 和加子 Takata Wakako)
- Woman: Mai Tanimoto (谷本 麻衣 Tanimoto Mai)
- Alien Shaplay Katarohi (Voice): Shota Yamamoto (山本祥太 Yamamoto Shōta)
- Ultraman Orb (ウルトラマンオーブ Urutoraman Ōbu): Hideyoshi Iwata (岩田 栄慶 Iwata Hideyoshi)
- Alien Shaplay Katarohi (シャプレー星人 カタロヒ Shapurē Seijin Katarohi): Daisuke Terai (寺井 大介 Terai Daisuke)
- Bemular (Empowered) (ベムラー（強化） Bemurā Kyōka): Kazunori Yokoo (横尾 和則 Yokoo Kazunori)
- Ultraman Orb
- Spacium Zeperion
- Orb Origin
- This episode is a tribute to Ultraseven episode 19, The Human Farm.
- How Shibukawa defeated Alien Shaplay is based on Kotaro Higashi's final battle with Alien Valky, luring their alien enemies to flammable substances to defeat them in one shot.
- However, Shaplay managed to escape; probably due to the explosion being smaller since Valky burned in an oil refinery instead of an explosion caused by ruptured oil canisters.