ULTRAMAN: RISING Review – An Icon Reborn

ULTRAMAN: RISING reintroduces the world to an icon
Netflix Ultraman: Rising Review

Netflix’s Ultraman: Rising is a spectacular achievement in CGI animation and storytelling, seamlessly blending stunning visuals with profound emotional depth. Directed by Shannon Tindle and co-directed by John Aoshima, this film is a testament to the enduring legacy of the Ultraman franchise, making it both a perfect introduction for new fans and a delightful nod to longtime followers.

A Masterful Blend

Netflix Ultraman: Rising Review
Cr: Netflix © 2024

The story of Ultraman: Rising is fun and profoundly deep, maintaining a light-hearted tone even in its most dire moments. This balance is a hallmark of great storytelling, and the film achieves it with grace. The narrative, which follows Ken Sato’s reluctant return to Tokyo to take up the mantle of Ultraman while raising a 35-foot-tall, fire-breathing baby kaiju, is engaging and heartwarming. It is a tale that radiates hope and explores themes of responsibility, family, and self-discovery.

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The animation in Ultraman: Rising is groundbreaking, capturing the essence of the original manga with a beautifully digitized touch. The CGI is not just a technical marvel but an artistic triumph, bringing to life the intricate details and dynamic action sequences in a way that feels both fresh and nostalgically familiar. The art direction by Sunmin Inn and the production design by Marcos Mateu-Mestre contribute to a visually rich environment that perfectly complements the narrative.

Continuing the trend of blending, Ultraman: Rising wonderfully blends Japanese and American cultural elements, creating a film that is both globally accessible and deeply respectful of its origins. Directors Shannon Tindle and John Aoshima, along with their team of cultural consultants, ensured that the film authentically represents Japanese culture while making it relatable to international audiences. The meticulous attention to cultural details, from the architecture of Tokyo’s streets to the nuances of character interactions, adds a layer of authenticity that enriches the viewing experience. This blend of cultures not only honors the legacy of Ultraman but also enhances the film’s universal appeal, allowing it to resonate with a diverse audience.

Full of Character

Netflix Ultraman: Rising Review
Cr: Netflix © 2024

One of the film’s standout elements is the character Emi, who is a scene-stealer and a new icon for connecting with fans. Emi’s interactions and the emotional weight she carries add a layer of depth to the story that is both touching and memorable.

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The performances in Ultraman: Rising are exceptional. Christopher Sean, who voices Ken Sato/Ultraman, radiates a lifelong association with the character that breathes genuine life into Sato. His performance is compelling and radiates a quality that will likely connect him to Sato/Ultraman the way Kevin Conroy is associated with Batman or Grey DeLisle as Azula. Also, on a personal note, I’m thoroughly happy and relieved they chose to cast for genuineness, because Sean never sounds off when saying non-English words or gives off that he’s saying something he has no connection to.

In addition. the presence of iconic actors Tamlyn Tomita, Gedde Watanabe, and Keone Young brings an additional layer of legacy and gravitas to Ultraman: Rising. Tamlyn Tomita, as Emiko, embodies a loving and compassionate mother, her performance filled with warmth and strength that anchors the film’s emotional core. Gedde Watanabe’s portrayal of Professor Sato is filled with depth and regret, capturing the complexities of a father struggling to balance heroism and family. Keone Young, as Dr. Onda, brings a fierce intensity to his role, reflecting the pain and brilliance of a man driven by a quest for revenge. These seasoned performers not only bring their characters to life with incredible skill but also imbue the film with a sense of history and continuity, bridging the past and present of the Ultraman franchise.

A Complimentary Rhythm

Netflix Ultraman: Rising Review
Cr: Netflix © 2024

The music by Scot Stafford, complemented by original songs from Diplo and Oliver Tree, enhances the film’s emotional and fun beats. The score is eclectic, perfectly capturing the epic battles and intimate moments with equal finesse. It adds an additional layer of depth to the narrative, making the viewing experience even more immersive.

A Few Critiques

Netflix Ultraman: Rising Review
Cr: Netflix © 2024

If there’s one critique to be made, it’s the film’s length. At nearly two hours, Ultraman: Rising is a long film. While it doesn’t drag or lull, audiences might note its extended runtime. However, this length allows for a richer exploration of the characters and story, which ultimately benefits the film.

An Ultra Icon

Netflix Ultraman: Rising Review
Cr: Netflix © 2024

Ultraman: Rising is a fun, profound, and tremendously enjoyable film. It stands as an incredible introduction to an iconic franchise, honoring its deep history while providing a fresh and engaging story. The film’s groundbreaking CGI animation, heartfelt performances, and balanced narrative make it a must-watch for fans old and new. Despite its length, the film’s emotional and visual splendor makes carrying the weight well worth it, leaving audiences with a deeply satisfying cinematic experience.

My Ultraman: Rising review gets an


Ultraman: Rising is now streaming exclusively on Netflix!

About Ultraman: Rising

Ultraman: Rising

Premiere: June 14, 2024
Director: Shannon Tindle
Co-director: John Aoshima
Written by: Shannon Tindle and Marc Haimes
Produced by: Tom Knott and Lisa M. Poole
Original Songs by: Diplo and Oliver Tree, Alicia Creti
Cast: Christopher Sean (Ken Sato/Ultraman), Gedde Watanabe (Professor Sato), Tamlyn Tomita (Emiko), Keone Young (Dr. Onda), Julia Harriman (Ami)


With Tokyo under siege from rising monster attacks, baseball star Ken Sato returns home to take on the mantle of Ultraman. But the titanic superhero meets his match when he reluctantly adopts a 35-foot-tall, fire-breathing baby kaiju. Sato must rise above his ego to balance work and parenthood while protecting the baby from forces bent on exploiting her for their own dark plans. In partnership with Netflix, Tsuburaya Productions, and Industrial Light & Magic, Ultraman: Rising is written by Shannon Tindle and Marc Haimes, directed by Shannon Tindle, and co-directed by John Aoshima.

Are you excited for the return of Ultraman in this new narrative twist? How do you think the addition of a baby kaiju will change the dynamics of the traditional Ultraman story? Share your thoughts and let us know your favorite kaijus on Discord!

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Kevin Fenix

Professional Nerd | Amateur Human | Creative/Content Director The best way to describe Kevin Fenix is the kid you never tell what the buttons do in video games so you have a chance to win. Being 6’ 4” and Asian, he never really fit in, so he got comfortable standing out. Not only is it easy to find him in crowds, he dabbles in the culinary arts, does a little stand up and improv, and can honestly say Spider-Man is the Jesus-like influence of his life. Kevin Fenix loves dogs, movies, television, comics, comedy, and to shoot people… with video.