It’s almost Ultraman Day, and we’re starting the countdown with the review for the premiere of Ultraman Decker, Episode One!
The story begins several years after the world was saved by Ultraman Trigger, and mankind has turned its gaze to the stars, and space. Everything seemed peaceful, until one day, when unidentified orbs called “Sphere” begin to invade Earth. Asumi Kanata, the son of a rice cracker grocer, witnessed the tragedy begin to unfold before him and vows to protect the people. When he begins to protect people he is suddenly enveloped in the light! Kanata takes on a new form, is it a new Ultraman?!
Following its predecessor, Ultraman Trigger, this also is a modern take on an earlier Ultraman, Ultraman Dyna. The first episode started a bit slow, but that’s not bad when you’re building up to something big, like a brand new enemy, like “The Sphere.” The story pacing was good about the spheres invasion and also explained why the previous GUTS SELECT members aren’t on Earth due to the Sphere’s creating barrier, cutting off the connection, or any entry or exit from the planet.
Actor Hiroki Matsumoto was a great choice for the lead role, bringing a fierce streak of determination and excitement in his first role as Asumi Kanata. No offense to the previous series protagonist, Kengo Manaka but it was nice to watch an episode without someone saying “Smile! Smile!” Even though it is just a catchphrase. But the praise wasn’t just for Matsumoto, Yuka Murayama (Ichika Kirino), and Nobunaga Daichi (Soma Ryumon) are a great team on screen in the second half of the first episode. Ichika has a strong sense of duty which will play well with Soma’s friendly rivalry with Kanata’s ability to tackle any task in his way.
There are plenty of Dyna and Trigger references in this premiere episode so far, whether its the Sphere, The TPU (Terrestrial Peaceable Union), and introducing new elements in the Ultraman Mythos such as dynamic fusion monsters, the Ultra D Flasher, and the Ultra Dimension Cards. As for the visual effects, The CG Effects have been taken up to another level, which isn’t bad since Tsuburaya Productions does a good job of blending live-action sequences. The Nursedessei and GUTS Falcon were animated beautifully, bringing in first-person viewing of certain sequences.
One thing I would like to point out is that it would seem that Decker and Kanata could hold their own in battle, which was a step up from Trigger’s first battle. The battle between Decker and the Spheresaurus. Decker was able to beat the tough-skinned monster with his Selgend Beam. It was a quick battle, but a good way to test his newfound abilities.
It would seem that Kanata is acting as Decker rather than just being along for the ride. But we do see that Decker is an entity, and is capable of communicating with him, so it could be one or the other. It’s pretty ambiguous right now. It’s off to a great start, but I’m hoping to learn more about Decker and this new adventure.
You can catch the premiere episode of Ultraman Decker on YouTube, and Ultraman Connection!
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