‘Ultraman: Rising’ Cast and Crew Reflect on the New Animated Film’s Universal Storytelling

Ken Sato is a triple threat in “Ultraman: Rising” as he juggles being a baseball star, superhero and new parent. What can’t he do? Character Media sat down with Christopher Sean (Ken Sato) to see what it was like stepping into his Netflix role along with Tamlyn Tomita (Emiko) and Gedde Watanabe (Professor Sato) in the cast. Co-director and writer Shannon Tindle and co-director John Aoshima also joined the fun of these rapid-fire questions about the new animated film.

Ultraman has to quickly find the balance between protecting the residents of Tokyo and becoming a fresh father figure when a 35-foot-tall, fire-breathing baby is thrust upon him after a kaiju battle. Tindle revealed that although the concept of the story was originally inspired by “Ultraman,” it wasn’t directly connected to the franchise. “I just wanted to tell a good story – a story about somebody who had loved and respected his father and then they’d fallen away from one another and how they reconnect,” Tindle said. “And they reconnect through a character who’s considered their enemy.”

While they included fan service of the original Japanese tokusatsu, or live-action, series, they devised it as a story for broader audiences to connect with which was their biggest challenge. 

“Not only pertaining to Japanese culture, but really, specifically any culture that involves families – sons and fathers, daughters and mothers and what it means to be really connected to one another,” said Tomita. Aoshima emphasized how the heroism of parenthood is the heart of the story. This is the route they used to add a unique twist to the legacy of this multi-generational superhero. 

Sean praised how the Netflix team behind this film put their unyielding  passion into reinviting this icon and said it’s a gift to be a part of the production. “We’re excited for the next generation to enjoy it, love it as much…….as we love it,” he said. Following Sean’s appraisal of the team, Tomita noted his vast modesty and admired her costar for the novelty that he brought to the voice of Ultraman.

The cast were faced with their own predicament, when asked if they would pick between fighting 10 toddler-sized kaiju or one kaiju-sized toddler, Watanabe said he prefers a kaiju-sized toddler since it would be easier for him to focus on one. Tindle would also take on the solo toddler because it will be able to comprehend what he says as opposed to a frivolous creature. Tomita and Sean chose 10 baby kaiju with his reasoning being his trust in his ability to field-goal kick the miniature monsters and they would all still be left unscathed.

Check out the full interview above and discover how parents are the true superheroes when “Ultraman: Rising” is now on Netflix!