Ultraman: Rising (2024) Review: Japan’s Iconic Hero Watch Now

I approached Ultraman: Rising without any specific expectations. While I had a general understanding of Ultraman through cultural exposure, I had never delved into the numerous shows and movies that make up Japan’s most famous superhero saga. My interest in kaiju and giant robots suggested that I would enjoy it, not to mention my mom’s fondness for Ultraman from her childhood. Despite this, I had never taken the plunge—until now. Scroll at the end of the page to Watch Online free.

With Ultraman: Rising marking another reboot for the franchise, and the second one , I wondered if it would be a good starting point for newcomers and a solid film on its own. I’m pleased to say it succeeds on both counts.

Plot Overview

The movie opens with baseball star Ken Sato leaving a potential championship with the LA Dodgers to return to Japan and play for the Yomiuri Giants. However, his real reason for coming back is to inherit the Ultraman mantle from his injured father.

Balancing his new baseball career with superhero duties proves challenging, especially when a baby kaiju egg hatches in his home, compelling him to raise the creature as his own. Ken must now juggle being a superhero, a team player, and a parent, all while protecting Japan, striving for the championship, and safeguarding the baby kaiju from nefarious forces.

Film Critique

Ultraman: Rising masterfully blends superhero action with comedic elements of parenthood. The battles between Ultraman and various creatures are visually spectacular, showcasing impressive design work, inventive use of powers, and creative environmental interactions. Though most fights occur in urban settings, the filmmakers introduced considerable variety within that space, highlighting how giant creatures would navigate these environments while minimizing damage.

On the comedic front, the movie excels as a parenthood comedy. While it uses familiar tropes like tantrums and messy cleanups, the novelty of the baby being a kaiju breathes new life into these scenarios. Additionally, the baby kaiju is undeniably adorable, making her a prime candidate for plush merchandise.

Emotional Depth and Themes

Despite some rushed relationships and plot points, the film’s emotional arcs and nuanced themes shine. Ken’s evolving bond with the baby kaiju, his reconnection with his father, and even the villain’s sympathetic motivations add depth to the narrative. The film’s portrayal of kaiju is particularly noteworthy.

In contrast to many tokusatsu stories, which often depict giant monsters as mere threats to be eradicated, Ultraman: Rising presents them as complex beings with their own emotions, lives, and families. While acknowledging their potential danger, the film argues for their right to exist, offering a surprisingly thoughtful take on their treatment.

Animation and Art Style

The film adopts a stylized, semi-cartoony animation style with slightly exaggerated but not unrealistic proportions and expressive anime-style faces. This works well for the kaiju and Ultraman, though the human characters sometimes look a bit off, particularly their hair. Designed with action figure aesthetics in mind, the hair moves with realistic physics despite having a sculpted look. This minor distraction didn’t detract significantly from my enjoyment, but it’s something viewers might notice.

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As someone new to the franchise, I found Ultraman: Rising thoroughly enjoyable. It may not be perfect, but it offers fun action sequences, heartfelt emotional moments, charming characters, and plenty of laughs. It’s a delightful film for families, and if you’re looking for something fresh to watch with your kids, this movie is a great choice. Just be ready for Ultraman to become their new obsession.

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