Ultraman: Rising

Ultraman: Rising, my first Ultraman

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Ultraman: Rising is the latest story about the alien superhero Ultraman. In this latest adventure, new Ultraman, Ken Sato (Christopher Sean) is trying to balance his life with the mantle he has reluctantly taken up. He’s struggling to be the best baseball player as well as the best superhero, but his heart is not in the game. He battles Kaiju, dodges the KDF and is trying to bring success to his new baseball team.

Then one night while battling a powerful Kaiju he happens across a Kaiju egg, which then hatches and immediately imprints on him. And so the legendary hero Ultraman becomes a father. What follows is a thrilling family adventure.

I’m doing the best I can

Ultraman: Rising is my first foray into the almost six-decade-long legacy of this Japanese legend and I have to say I am charmed. Having no prior experience with Ultraman it was fascinating learning about Ken and his family. Watching Ultraman battle the many Kaiju was quite the experience. The animation style in this film was brilliant, in particular when the film goes full balls to the wall. It’s also accompanied by an electric score, full of energy. It’s a neon delight and I loved every time Ken went into that titanic ring against a Kaiju.

Now the main part of Ultraman: Rising, the raising of a baby Kaiju threw me for a loop, but I was in the mood for something fun and that’s exactly what this film is. The young Kaiju named Mina is adorable, her funny and wild nature compliments Ken’s at-times combative nature. This all exemplifies the other best element, the family drama. Watching Ken try and understand why his father chose to be Ultraman over being a father and a husband is well fleshed out and does bring a few tears to the eyes.

My one gripe is that at times it feels too child-friendly, I’d have liked more edge to it. However, much like his Kaiju cousin Godzilla, Ultraman can juggle multiple themes and genres. I enjoyed this film so much, I am now looking into the stacked catalogue of Ultraman stories.

With stellar animation, an electric score and a wholesome story, Ultraman: Rising is a lot of fun and it will entertain the whole family. As someone who has just entered the electric and bonkers world that Ultraman lives in, I’m excited to learn more about him.

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