Ultraman New Generation Stars episode 18 “ShOUT” continues following Ultraman Geed on his journey through reflection as he browses memories of strong relationships. Geed explores how a seemingly straightforward bond, like the one he has with Ultraman Zero, might run deeper than he thought, and how a seemingly complex bond, like the one he has with his father Belial, might actually be much simpler.
After having manifested his Dimensionalizer card last episode, sending his memories through time and space to a future Ultraman Zero, Geed is prompted to reminisce on the history they’ve shared. We see the Ultras’ first encounter when a battle unfolds between Geed and Darklops Zero and Ultraman Zero intervenes. Although it takes him longer than usual, Zero scares off Darklops, cursing Belial for burdening everyone with his chaos.
In a moment of skepticism, Zero notices that Geed has Belial’s eyes. Although he worries this makes Geed unreliable, Zero admirably puts aside his preconceived notions and makes enough space to see Geed’s true courage.
The admiration is not one-sided though, Geed sees Zero’s true courage burn just as bright. When Belial’s loyal alien servant, Kei Fukuide, uses a capsule to summon Galactron the Civil Judgementer, Ultraman Zero is offered a distressing ultimatum: Let Galactron kill everyone with his heat beam or take the hit yourself.
Still in his human form, Leito Igaguri shakes with fear. He knows what he must do and yet he cannot help but question if self-sacrifice is the only way. Zero speaks through Leito’s body and assures him that his faith will pay off. Seeing Leito take on Zero’s voice is a refreshing and tender reminder that we can always tap into the Ultra within us when we are facing adversity. As long as we dedicate ourselves to faith, integrity, and determination, we can assume courage in any given position.
Zero holds up his end of the bargain and ensures Leito’s wellbeing, submitting his own in the process. Leito is horrified at the loss of his companion but Ms. Laiha refuses to let him ruminate. Presenting him with the Z Riser, which has been rendered useless with Zero’s defeat, Ms. Laiha asks Leito a crucial question: “What do you want to do with the power of Ultraman?”
“I want to protect them,” Leito replies, “Is it 20,000 years too early for me to try that?” I’m sure many of us have had the thought that it might be too early or too late to save the world, but Leito embodies the zeal of knowing that it’s worth a shot no matter what.
Leito’s human desire to protect something brings on a miracle of Ultra scale. The Riser lights up, opening a channel between him and Zero once more. It was not Leito’s faith in Ultraman that saved Zero, it was his faith in love. He carries the values of Ultraman in his heart and that makes Ultraman an omnipotent force, ever revivable.
Zero returns and joins Geed in the battle against Galactron. The fight is grueling but Zero is struck with a light and channeled by Ultraman Hikari to a liminal space. Hikari offers Zero the power of the New Generation Capsules and Zero assumes the Ultraman Zero Beyond form, using all the powers of the New Generation Ultras to defeat Galactron once and for all.
In recognizing Zero’s strengths, Geed gains a deeper understanding of their relationship. Zero isn’t just an ally, he is a reliable confidante with traits that have helped both Ultras grow in capability. This realization activates Zero’s Dimensionalizer card, sending it to future Zero who fondly pokes at the fact that Geed was able to extract his data at all. Zero takes a moment, though, to acknowledge Geed’s past trials and commends him for what he’s been through.
Geed also acknowledges his own hardships. A memory rises from his unconsciousness and we see Belial engaged in combat with Riku Asakura, Geed’s human host. This doesn’t feel like a classic Ultraman stand-off, though. Belial is brutalizing Riku, and though Riku gets him back every few blows, he seems to mostly breed resentment in response.
Belial assumes his final form and declares his pursuit of the Land of Light’s destruction once more. Riku refuses to entertain this any longer, locking Belial in a hug-hold, taking a strangely compassionate tone, he conjures up a paralyzing statement: “You’ve been resurrected so many times…. Burdened with such an intense vendetta. You must be tired. It’s time to let it go.”
Belial sheds his fusion with Alien Reiblood for a shining moment of vulnerability but then, refusing to be seen for his true Ultra self, he demands Riku stop talking to him as if he understands his pain.
Unfortunately, Riku is driven to transform into Geed and defeat his father, despite having tried to connect. This isn’t the disappointment it might seem to be though. Riku recognizing and validating his father’s pain might not have been enough to save his Belial from the darkness, but it did grant Geed the closure he needed to be a better Ultra.
Geed was always burdened by his own vendetta against his father. In acknowledging his father’s pain, he acknowledges the pain he inherited and therefore forgives a part of himself. We could all do with more forgiveness.
This memory channels Ultraman Belial’s card, whose data has been inside Geed all along. Realizing the depth of their connection, despite their past, empowers Geed to stop denying the reality that he is Belial’s son and commit to walking his own path regardless of anyone’s judgment.
Ultimately Geed’s ability to acknowledge those around him, to see their deep truths and express his gratitude in some way or another, allows him to have the best perception of others regardless of their thoughts of him. Love is what frees him, as love tends to do.
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