The Dawn Of A New Hero: Ultraman Manga Volume 1. [Review]
What if you were chosen to wield limitless power? A power that is not of this world–how would you react? How would you use it? These are the questions you will ask yourself as you read Ultraman Volume 1. Ultraman is a mecha action adventure manga with story and art by Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi. The chronicle of the ‘Ultraman’ power follows the rise and fall of old foes and new heroes, and what part they play in major intergalactic war.
Ultraman (dubbed ‘the giant of light’ by Earthlings) is an alien power not of this world. The power was once utilized to defeat an alien race called Kaiju that tried to conquer Earth during a hostile alien invasion. During the war, the Ultraman was a mysteriously suited hero who was chosen by the giants of light to hold the power they possess. Scientist Shin Hayata was the first Ultraman but has no recollection of wearing the suit. Shin begins to realize that just because he does not wear the suit, does not mean he doesn’t have the lingering power within him. Shin does not find out about the extent of his powers until he notices that his son Shinjiro starts to exhibit powers as well.
Fast forward seven years later, and Shinjiro has not only discovered his powers, but he uses them to his advantage, and his father is unaware of this. Unfortunately, this power summons unforeseen entities that are angry this power is still on Earth. What seems like a Kaiju, comes to eliminate the Ultraman power from Earth and attacks Shinjiro.
Ultraman Vol. 1 is a fun story to explore with solid, yet lazy writing. We have the typical hero’s journey tropes present, but unfortunately, this makes the story less unique and very predictable. It was very easy to see what was coming next and didn’t leave much to the imagination. Leaving me with a “been there, done that” feeling. It sets up the story well for volume 2, but there is no real anticipation on my part to read it.
The art is nicely done. The dark outlines really bring the characters out of the background to make the art and movement appear three dimensional. There is a lot of fast-paced action panels that are clearly defined, so it is visually smooth. I found myself enjoying the art a lot more than the story itself.
Overall, Ultraman vol 1 seems like a great read for adolescents 13 and under who enjoy mecha anime/manga. I wouldn’t mind reading Ultraman vol 2. but I won’t be breaking down the doors of Barnes and Nobles to retrieve a copy.