Review of the cartoon “Ultraman: Rising” / Ultraman: RisingMovie Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

On June 14, the animated superhero kaiju film Ultraman: The Rise was released on the Netflix streaming service. It became the 44th full-length project within the Ultraman media franchise created by the Japanese company Tsuburaya Productions. In the review below we’ll tell you whether this film is worth watching, even if you passed by the previous 43 and don’t have the slightest idea what kind of superhero he is and where he came from.

Pros:

A fairly entertaining superhero story about the difficulties of parenthood and kaiju; high-quality animation; well-developed characters; The cartoon is suitable for viewing by both children and adults;

Minuses:

not a critical drop in the pace of the narrative; because of this, the latter seems somewhat drawn out; certain plot conventions; in terms of emotionality, the film does not reach the best representatives of modern animation, such as, for example, “How to Train Your Dragon”;

Ultraman: Rising

Genre Animation, superhero action, kaiju film
Directed by Shannon Tindle
The roles were voiced by Christopher Sean, Gadde Watanabe, Tamlyn Tomita, Keion Young, Julia Harriman, Lee Shorten
Netflix premiere
Year of manufacture 2024
IMDb website

Talented baseball player Ken Sato returns from Los Angeles to his native Tokyo, where he plans to become the leader of the local team. Ken is trying to combine building a successful sports career with superhero activities that he doesn’t really like. The fact is that he, like his father, has the ability to transform into Ultraman – a metal giant, which repels the kaiju who are attacking the city.

After a fight with one of the monsters, Ultraman gets a strange ball, which actually turns out to be a huge kaiju egg, from which a hatchling is hatched. Since he is being hunted by the Counter-Kaiju Forces, led by the unshakable commander-in-chief Dr. Onda, the main character decides to take the baby with him. But Ken could not imagine that this decision would not only attract the attention of a powerful enemy, but also turn his already difficult life upside down. The history of the Ultraman media franchise dates back to 1966, when the Japanese company Tsuburaya Productions released a series called Ultra Q. Since then, the Ultra Series has gained wild popularity not only in Japan, but also abroad. The product combined superheroics and the kaiju genre, and, along with the same Godzilla, quickly conquered the market. It’s not hard to guess that over all these years, a bunch of different films, TV series, comics, video games, TV shows, etc. have been released dedicated to the adventures of Ultraman. What can we say about billions in earnings from merch?

Don’t worry: even if this is the first time you’ve heard about this hero, this will not interfere with your comfortable viewing of “The Ascension,” because the cartoon is a self-sufficient story that everyone can understand, glorifying family values.

When you first watch it, you might think that Ultraman: The Rise is an animated version of Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim. But the showdown between giants quickly fades away and gives way to a sweet story about the difficulties of parenthood. Ken Sato feels anger towards his father, because he was mostly busy fighting kaiju than his own son. And when he ends up with a monster baby in his own home, he discovers first-hand how challenging fatherhood is.

The plot here is as simple as three kopecks, but the characters, within the framework of the cartoon, are, of course, written well.

From the beginning of the story to its climax, the main character manages to go through a thorny path and receive a noticeable evolution of character. And the villain, who looks suspiciously like an elderly version of Albert Wesker from another franchise with Japanese roots – Resident Evil, has a motivation that we understand. Such a seemingly simple and necessary attribute of an antagonist could not be boasted by, for example, some superhero blockbusters from Marvel.

Somewhere towards its equator, history begins to noticeably sag. Still, wiping the baby’s snot and all the difficulties of caring for it, although a routine familiar to every young parent, is not the most exciting content for a superhero action. However, this subsidence is clearly not critical, because you hardly want to switch your attention to something else while watching. And the final battle looks great: here you have a nod to Mechagodzilla, and your own variation of “Jaeger” from the aforementioned “Pacific Rim,” and a battle on the water in rainy weather somewhere from the same place. There can be no complaints about the quality of animation. It is interestingly stylized here (the hair of the characters especially attracts attention), bright, and sometimes even refers to anime. That is, the technical performance in “Ultramenn” is at the highest level, and this is not surprising, because the famous special effects studio Industrial Light & Magic worked on this aspect.

Director Shannon Tindle, whose track record includes working on the script for the cartoon “Kubo and the Legend of the Samurai,” had a fairly successful feature-length debut. Obviously, not without certain rough edges, but overall the film is capable of captivating both carefree children and their parents. After all, they know very well that everyday, sleepless care for babies is a real superhero.

Conclusion:

“Ultraman: The Rise” can be a good family entertainment for parents and their kids. After all, everyone in the plot will find something relevant and interesting for themselves.

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