Publisher: Viz Media
Publication Date: May 17, 2016
Shinjiro still has his doubts about being Ultraman. He is having difficulty accepting that Earth’s enemies must be killed without hesitation. Dan Moroboshi, who kills them without issue, decides to get the jobs done without him. When Pop Idol Rena is in danger, Shinjiro and Moroboshi have no choice but to set their differences aside and protect Rena and her audience from enemies.
After following this story for 3 volumes I thought that I was giving this re-imagining of Ultraman a fair shot. Unfortunately I realize after 3 volumes in that I’m not particularly committed to the characters or the plot. This volume picks up right where 3 left off and throws in a nice surprise – Moroboshi is the other Ultraman. Well, it’s a surprise in a sense that the story didn’t indicate who the new Ultraman was. I wasn’t particularly moved in some way simply because nothing in this series is interesting me anymore. The Pop Idol Rena story was built up in the previous issue and reaches a climax in volume 4. As a result, Shinjiro and Moroboshi team up to fight the Alien creatures who are determined to wreck havoc and kill hundreds. While it was entertaining to see two men in Ultraman suits team up as they compete with each other to be the better Ultraman, it didn’t do much to bring me back into the story. I get it – Ultraman’s purpose is to fight evil. We’ve seen that so many times before in other series involving armored suits. Give me a reason to like Shinjiro aside from his youth and good nature.
Moroboshi serves as a counterbalance to the hesitant main character. He kills bad guys without thought and presses on with his work. This makes him a bit likeable to me. I like that he isn’t on the fence and remains committed to every aspect of his job. He goes so far that he decides he needs to be Ultraman since Shinjiro just a little too young and incompetent. Moroboshi sticks with the philosophy of, “if you want it done right, do it yourself” and he lives by example.
Shinjiro is not very likable as a main character. I could see him doing well in a supporting role because he doesn’t have a strong personality like a lead should. I find myself constantly frustrated with his actions and decisions. He’s not particularly good at being a hero and barely scrapes by on his missions. This is all due to his hesitance to kill, which is a requirement for his job. It’s nice that the authors are giving him a moral compass. Shinjiro is constantly gauging when it is appropriate to end a life. I imagine if he could complete a job and save someone without death or violence, he would. That’s an admirable trait, but at least accept being Ultraman. Find a way to make it all work out for you. Instead he’s absolutely irritating.
This series has a lot going for it and I can see why some reviewers still like it. I liked the first volume and still felt positive about the second volume. My enthusiasm waned with the last volume and this one has done nothing to defend Shinjiro’s hesitance. I understand that we should sympathize for him and root for his character development, but after 4 volumes of indecision I simply don’t care if Shinjiro decides to be Ultraman. The boat has sailed. If things don’t change for Shinjiro in the next volume, I’m outta here.
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**This item was provided for review.