Ultraman New Generation Stars Episode 7, “The Ship that Carried Bonds! Operation Dragon” continues the recollection of Ultraman Trigger’s memories as he attempts to activate the Dimensionizer, focusing on his bond with a cherished ally he knew only for a short while: Ultraman Ribut!
In a shocking display, this bond is so clear and powerful that it immediately charges the Dimensionizer, producing the legacy of Ribut himself: one especially important to the Land of Light, as Ribut is currently missing. Allowing fond memories to flow through him, Trigger reminisces about the short time he spent with the Galaxy Rescue Force member, and the strength he gained from their bond.
Continuing on New Generation Stars’s thesis of legacy, this episode focuses on a thin, but deep element of that greater topic — that being the deep impressions that can be left by people who are in our lives for but a moment. Ribut entered Kengo Manaka’s life for no more than a day or so, during one of the worst crises to ever befall humanity, but the lessons that he imparted during their short time together produced enough memories to last a lifetime — and power the Dimensionizer, something that took poor Ultraman Z ages to do!
Unfortunately, it is a sad fact that the closest bonds tend to come about as a result of great crisis, and it’s hard to imagine a greater crisis than the one that brought Trigger and Ribut together: the invasion of the Ultimate Life Forms known as the Absolutians. (Interesting note: this is the first time that Absolutians appeared outside of the Ultra Galaxy Fight series and in a mainstream Ultraman TV series episode! You can catch up on Ultra Galaxy Fight in the Exclusive Video section right here on Ultraman Connection! Registration is free!)
Overwhelming and driving away the Dark Giants that had been menacing the Earth since Trigger was reborn in Kengo Manaka, Absolute Tartarus and Absolute Diavolo had designs to take the Eternity Core sleeping within the Earth for the benefit of their homeland, the Kingdom… and they would destroy anything or anyone that interfered.
Against a foe like the Absolutians, Trigger required every ounce of power within him; unfortunately, while he had plenty to spare thanks to his Glitter Trigger Eternity power bequeathed by his contact with the Eternity Core, he could not control the form’s raging energy. Thankfully, Ribut, who had been pursuing the Absolutians across space and time, knew how to help Kengo through this difficult trial: with the power of dance, of course!
Such a solution may sound a bit silly initially, but Kengo, choosing to place his faith in Ribut, was more than rewarded, as the dance allowed him to get in sync with not only Ribut, but his close ally in GUTS-Select, Yuna Shizuma, and both were able to clear their thoughts of the worries that came with their incredible powers. Having stripped away the artifice of “having to be Ultraman,” Ribut used a little “tough love” to knock Kengo out so that Yuna, the reincarnation of Trigger’s ancient ally Yuzare, could guide him through accepting and controlling the powers of the Eternity Core.
Many people have close relationships that have lasted for years or even decades, seeing each other every day; Kengo and Yuna were one such relationship. It is a sad fact, however, that familiarity can sometimes breed a distance of its own. After all, the more you think you know something — or someone — the more you stop looking for new, dynamic things in one another. Sometimes, a new person entering your life can be just what is needed to bring old friends even closer together. Sometimes, it’s what is needed to bring out elements you didn’t even know were part of you.
Within Kengo’s unconscious mind, he was forced to confront a metaphorical representation of his other half, Ultraman Trigger, who forced him to in turn confront his own self. “Why do you fight?” Trigger asked. “What is your dream?” For Kengo, who had been ignoring his own humanity in order to fight as Ultraman, it was a question he couldn’t even acknowledge until Yuna’s soul communed with his as well. “My dream… is to make everybody smile!”
In many ways, dreams are an essential part of legacies: They are the guiding stars that we follow as we forge our own stories with words and deeds. Kengo’s kindhearted wish for joy in others is a defining part of his personality as a human, and as Ultraman. It is what he is best remembered for, and the choices he made following that dream are his legacy.
That legacy is shared with Yuna, their friend Akito Hijiri, and all of GUTS-Select, who fought the Absolutians with their sophisticated Nursedessei battleship and its new dragon mode while Kengo was finding himself and coming to accept his role and power. It was not just Trigger that slayed Absolute Diavolo, nor just Ribut or the Nursedessei. It was the three mighty powers coming together that felled the sadistic golden giant. And though the Absolutians are capable of reviving themselves using the mysterious Absolute Heart, this defeat remains with them: a bitter legacy of their own.
Ribut took his leave after the Absolutians retreated — his role was to pursue and defeat them once and for all — and has not been seen since. Despite that, he has left an inexorable bond between himself and Trigger, and exists as a key element of Trigger’s story; perhaps this is why Trigger is able to transcribe his own legacy using the Dimensionizer as his recollection comes to an end.
Next week, the story of the New Generation will take an interesting turn as Ultraman Zero comes face to face with the mysterious entity that stripped away the legacy of the Land of Light. We’ll see you then, when Ultraman New Generation Stars episode 8, “Enemy Contact!” airs. Until then, keep forcing your own legacy!