Ultraman: New Generation Stars episode 14 “A Girl Who Fights” picks up right where we left off last week with Katsumi and Isami Minato in their Ultra forms, Ultraman Rosso and Ultraman Blu as they try to channel memories of their younger sister, Asahi, to empower the Dimensionizer once again. The episode lives up to its name, exploring the complexities of sibling relationships, gender roles, and the growing pains that we all experience when dynamics shift in our lives. 

While it’s implied that Asahi is also an Ultra, given that she has a Dimension Card of her own, Katsumi and Isami don’t initially mention it and only refer to her by her human identity. Instead, they superficially recall her happy-go-lucky nature and struggle to conjure up a memory of Asahi that captures her depth enough to generate a response from the Dimensionalizer. 

It becomes clear that their psychic energy isn’t strong enough to signal coordinates to the Ultras of the future and Katsumi makes the fair judgment that Asahi should’ve been trusted with a Dimensionizer herself. Isami, however, takes his shortcomings personally, claiming that the Ultras from the future are going to judge him for not caring enough about his sister if he doesn’t succeed. 

Instead of actualizing Asahi as a capable equal, Isami feels the need to prove his role as an older brother. Katsumi is naturally too exhausted to argue Isami’s logic and humors him by delving into a series of memories involving Asahi, starting with the time the two followed their sister to a Halloween party hosted by Dada, Pigmon, and Saki Mitsurugi, AKA the immortal Grigio. 

Saki is already resentful of Katsumi and Isami as she feels they don’t live up to the names of their predecessors, her late brothers Blu and Rosso, and that resentment is furthered when the two crash her party in the name of protecting their sister. After the brothers offend Saki, Dada goes into attack mode to ward off the Ultras. Katsumi and Isami join forces and turn into Ultraman Ruebe but before they could do any long-term damage, an especially adorable Kaiju makes an epic appearance. 

Booska, the Pleasant Monster, takes a power stance upon entry with his buck teeth gleaming and his googly eyes glittering. He proceeds to scold Dada for being prejudiced to the Ultras and zaps him with a shrink ray. Katsumi and Isami recall the memory fondly before realizing they completely lost track of tracing Asahi’s memory again. 

Katsumi finally acknowledges that Asahi is “a proud Ultrawoman now” and the brothers try to focus on the circumstances of her gaining her UItraman powers. They start by recalling the time the two of them joined their father in spying on Asahi while she talked to a boy. They all rudely interrupt her interaction, claiming that she’s too young to be flirting, but they’re intercepted by the arrival of Bemstar the Great Space Monster and Gan Q the Strange Monster. The Minato brothers transform into Blu and Rosso but are floored when Asahi’s presumed love interest, Riku Asakura, turns into Ultraman Geed.  

Geed stops the two from shooting their light beams and annihilating the monsters when he realizes his good friend, Alien Pegassa Pega, is somehow trapped inside of Gan Q. The three rescue him and defeat the Kaiju but realize the battle isn’t over as this attack was deliberate and planned by none other than the merciless evil Ultraman Tregear. In real time Katsumi and Isasmi realize that once again, they’ve gotten carried away focusing on everyone in the memory but their sister. 

They try one last time to center on Asahi’s first transformation, recalling the time Tregear turned Katsumi’s friend Toi into Snake Darkness, a monstrous kaiju weapon. Katsumi, Isami and Riku all transform to fight Tregear, only for Asahi to transform right alongside with them — and her transformation is astounding. 

The sweet, benign Asahi, through the power of “a girl’s happiness” evolves into Grigio Regina, the Hyper Armored Bone Monster, an inheritance from Saki Mitsurugi. Despite her new hardcore build, her brothers tell her to go home because she’s a girl, implying her gender makes her incompetent to stand by their side, even when she’s in the form of a Kaiju whose bones are literally made of gunmetal. 

As much as the Minato brothers care for their sister, they continuously stand in her way of experiencing life firsthand. They didn’t trust her to be safe with the aliens at the Halloween party because of their own projections, they hijacked her budding friendship with Riku out of fear she was growing up too fast, and they underestimated her ability to work in a team with them because of her gender. Although they had the best intentions, Katsumi and Isami fell into the common trap of infantilizing their sister and reinforcing harmful gender roles. 

It makes sense that Katsumi and Isami would worry about losing an important woman in their lives, especially having lost their mother in their youth, but projecting that fear onto Asahi and conflating incompetence with gender is something they must unlearn. Asahi helps them realize this when she rightfully reinforces her individuality, declaring that “gender has nothing to do with wanting to protect someone” and proceeds to rise from a beacon of light, transformed. Through the combined forces of Asahi’s passion and independence, as well as her deep bond with Saki, Ultrawoman Grigio is born. 

Ultrawoman Grigio unites with her brothers who, amazed by her self-possession, realize their mistakes. As their sibling relationship evolves, their souls bond and they become Ultraman Gruebe, finally demolishing Tregear with the Gruebe Vortech Buster, but not before he admits that the power of familial bonds is what bested him.  

While Tregear makes a great point (a broken clock is right twice a day) I believe he is only half right. The love the Minato siblings share is beautiful and powerful, but the greater power is in Katsumi and Isami’s ability to see the world from their sisters’ perspective despite having preconceived notions. Asahi spoke her truth and her brothers listened and ultimately, it’s the safety in communication, boundary setting, and open mindedness that allowed for the three to connect on a deeper level than ever before. They always loved each other, love comes naturally, but truly seeing each other takes effort. When that effort is made, the reward is infinite. 

Katsumi and Isami recognize the name Asahi has made for herself as Ultrawoman Grigio, having recently defeated the Ultra Dark Killer, saving her brothers and the galaxy, and defending Ayaka City from Kaiju in their absence. Moved by reflecting on her successful journey, Katsumi finally breaks into tears, summoning her Dimension Card. It becomes evident that remembering isn’t enough, allowing ourselves to be moved by our memories is what brings us to the core of things. 

It’s a complicated thing to watch someone we once protected grow up to protect us. It can be melancholy to watch dynamics shift. It can change our sense of self-importance or our comfortable perceptions of the people around us. Sometimes it seems easier to try and control someone else’s life than admit we don’t have much control of this world at all. But, if we allow ourselves to look at our feelings and check our intentions before acting, we might find ourselves with access to an even stronger power than control, the power of connection. 

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