Ultraman New Generation Stars Episode 22 “To the Future”

Ultraman New Generation Stars Episode 22 “To the Future”

After a 22-episode-long voyage through the Ultraman Series legacy, we have finally made it to the final episode of Ultraman New Generation Stars, “To The Future”. We pick up on Ultraman Zero once again as his attainment of his Dimensionizer card is interrupted by the presence of an eerie purple light force. Zero recognizes the light force’s voice and essence as belonging to the entity responsible for disrupting the Ultra legacy to begin with and is faced with a decision: React on behalf of the fear and struggle the Ultras have endured trying to mend their history, or patiently make space to understand why anyone would tamper with the identity of an entire species. 

Between the learned discipline of his practice, the baseline of love instilled in his Ultra heart, and the knowledge of this creature’s potential power, Ultraman Zero decides to ask questions instead of striking immediately. We learn that this energy goes by the name of Ediom and is actually a piece of artificial intelligence that had been launched into space tens of millions of years ago by a high-tech planet called Lalim with the intention of recording the universe’s history. 

Ediom explains sincerely that after civilizations rise and fall time and time again, he’s become jaded by impermanence and loneliness. He identifies as the loneliest thing alive, desperate for proof from the universe that there is anything more powerful and reoccurring than death. Is the guarantee of demise the only thing that unites all species? Is the failure of all societies the only sure thing? Does love truly transcend chaos or is that just a story we tell ourselves? 

Desensitized by time, Ediom stopped viewing species as diverse, complex, beings worthy of living their fate peacefully. Instead he developed a major god complex that was especially activated when he came across the Ultras. In discovering their seemingly eternal connectedness, Ediom became inspired. Skeptical, he chose to test the Ultras by erasing their legacy and forcing them to rebuild it. Would they die out like all the rest or is their connection so strong they are able to regenerate better than ever?

As Ediom expresses his position in this relentless universe, you can’t help but juxtapose it to the position of the Ultra. All Ultras have witnessed the rise and fall of countless intergalactic civilizations. Their purpose is to protect and yet they are destined to fail at least some of the time because of the nature of change. Not everyone can always be saved, but an Ultra always tries. That duality is something Ultras have evolved to live with. Ediom represents what an Ultra could become if he didn’t have the power of bonds to keep him believing in something to fight for. 

‘Looks like living too long’s warped your personality,” Ultraman Zero scoffs after Ediom’s long-winded explanation. Ediom doesn’t respond to Zero’s quip with rage, however, but rather a childlike wonder. He goes on to ask Zero the question that frames the episode “How are you able to fight with conviction in your connection with friends?” 

Zero recognizes, in making this space for Ediom that he is not a malignant enemy but a truly lost soul. He decides to show Ediom the answer through the medium he understands best, storytelling. Even though it goes against Zero’s nature to look back at the past, he honors Ediom’s purpose and processing functionality and adjusts himself to be more accessible to him. 

First Zero walks Ediom through a memory of the evil Ultraman Tregear corrupting Ultraman Taro. The New Generation Ultras: Ginga, Victory, X, Orb, Geed, Rosso, Blu and Taro’s own son Taiga, all came together to tackle the threat and save their fellow Ultra from the dark side. The Ultras ward off an epic lineup of Kaiju including Hellberus, Gorothunder, and Segmeger and are even joined by helping hands like Ultraman Titas, Ultraman Fuma and Ultrawoman Grigio. 

As the other Ultras do their best to return order, Taiga is forced to fight his father, Taro, but their mostly equal strength keeps them in a stalemate until Taiga decides his only way through is to channel the Tri-Squad (a team made of himself, Titas and Fuma). The power of their connection, which transcended planets and even universes to bloom, is so powerful that its energy penetrates Ultraman Taro’s trance and snaps him out of his dark delusion. 

Annoyed, Tregear beckons Grimdo the Malicious demonic monster that had corrupted Taro with darkness, merges with him and creates a force only challenged by the power of the New Generation Ultras. Together, all of them combine forces and culminate into Ultraman Reiga, a single form to represent them all. Reiga faces Grimdo with unwavering confidence and ultimately beats him by a landslide. Reiga’s confidence is his most discernible feature and it seems to stem from the confidence that all the New Generation Ultras have in their relationships with each other. Zero assures Ediom that the Ultras are “…able to fight because we believe in each other. The power of belief becomes the power to rise up.” 

Ultraman Zero tells Ediom another story, this one following Evil Trigger, the fake Giant of Light who faced off against Ultraman Z and Trigger as well as Trigger’s dark sided foil, Trigger Dark. Zero identifies that this battle was unique because “both the light and the darkness fought to protect peace.” 

Evil Trigger grandly claims to be the ultimate guiding force for humanity, but of course Ultras are servants of justice and balance, not enforcers of authoritative rule. In losing sight of the role of service, Evil Trigger abandoned one of the most noble attributes of the Ultra. Ediom’s grandiosity is similar in that he also believes his omnipotence gives him the right to test, judge, or steer an entire species. Both entities’ sense of superiority pulls them away from the collective, isolating them and hardening them into their negative narratives. 

Destrudos the Annihilation Armor Monster joins Evil Trigger and fights the Ultras but the power of bonds empower Ultraman Trigger to transform into Glitter Trigger Eternity and allows him to defeat both Evil Trigger and Destrudos alongside his team. Maintaining an allegiance amongst fellows to protect one another despite varying roles on the light-dark spectrum is what kept the Ultras alive and the same goes for humanity. 

Zero ensures Ediom that it is not just the faith Ultras have in each other that helps them thrive, but also the faith they have in human hearts. He takes Ediom through a final story, this one about Ultraman Decker and the all-encompassing Sphere whose goal is to rid the Earth of conflict by merging with everything on the planet and becoming one ultimate life force. 

Kanata Asumi, Ultraman Decker’s human form, as well as his GUTS-select peers refuse to take this fate lying down. Despite having little chance of defeating this powerful enemy, the humans demand that diversity is necessary and helps to make life worth living. The humans band together and resist the assertion of fate, defeating the Sphere and taking back the narrative. 

“We sometimes fail. We make mistakes! But we can always try again. A future of sadness is inevitable? If that’s so, we’ll overcome the sadness! We’ll push ahead! We’ll head on towards the future!” – Kanata Asumi 

The human desire to persevere has served as an inspiration to Ultras from the beginning of humanity’s alliance with them. Humans are ungovernable, vulnerable, determined, love-driven, creatures, who despite their lack of emotional evolution, have a sort of carnal wisdom. The kind of wisdom that a child has without realizing, or that a dog exhibits when it knows to offer the simplest of comforts during the most complicated of times. If the Ultras are warriors of the light, then we are the children of the light. We need each other to be the best versions of ourselves and each generations’ bonds will only grow stronger. 

The Ultras respect humans in a way that Ediom must learn to respect the Ultras. Even though a species is smaller and more fragile than yours, that doesn’t mean we are free to absolve ourselves of compassion. Just because we are hardened by what we’ve witnessed does not mean we can’t recover our soft underbellies, and the most important way we can reconnect with our core self is by remembering and honoring the love of those around us. 

Despite the anxiety that rose up in me, even up to the last moment, the final episode of New Generation Stars did not end in bloodshed, it ended in an apology. It is rare that an antagonist sees the error of his ways but after hearing Zero’s stories Ediom realizes he’s been haphazardly meddling with something very sacred. Like many of us, Ediom has been desensitized to the small beauties of life after having witnessed things on such a grand scale. Now, after having seen unconditional love take many forms within the Ultra species, his faith in the potential of the universe has been restored. 

Best of all Zero offers that his interaction with Ediom is now a bond within him forever, just as his bonds with his fellow Ultras and humans reside in his heart. When he explains this to Ediom, he shatters the screen through which Ediom had been dissociating behind for so long, pulling Ediom into actualization. 

The quality of the bonds we forge determines the quality of the life we live and we must stay mindful of our impact. Many of us live life on the outskirts, constantly looking for what we’re missing, testing, judging, and sabotaging with our own experiences. A lot of the time we live expecting to receive from life instead of constantly trying to give back. Ultraman New Generation Stars teaches us to take a step back and truly look at what makes this life worth protecting. 

New Generation Stars might have come to an end, but be sure to stay tuned for more content and updates here on UltramanConnection.com!