Saving the world again

THE EPIC battle between the forces of good and evil returns to our shores with Ultraman Live in Genting 2016 – Revenge of Baltan.

For the second time, the iconic ­Japanese superheroes arrive to save ­Malaysia as the country comes under attack by a force that rivals the Ultramen themselves.

It was indeed a sight to behold as some of the most beloved characters from the Ultraman TV series’ 50-year run appeared on stage at the Genting International Showroom during a recent media preview.

A ­narrator explained that a ‘great evil’ had arisen and was ­threatening to enslave the ­country.

After this ominous warning, the mighty Ultramen ­appeared onstage – the one and only ­Ultraman, the mighty Ultra Seven, his son Ultraman Zero, the ­ancient Ultraman Tiga, and new heroes Ultraman Ginga S, Ultraman Victory, and Ultraman X – to the cheers from the crowd.

Even before the spotlights shone on them, their eyes and chest-based colour timers glowed brightly in the shadows.

Their foes for the night were the Dark Heroes, a team of evil alternate versions of the Ultramen, comprising Chaos Ultraman Calamity, ­Ultraman Geist, Darklops Zero, Zero ­Darkness, Dark Zagi, and Evil Tiga.

Punches, kicks, and throws were delivered from both sides. The battle spilled over from the stage into the stands, delighting the crowd, as the action came so close that one could almost touch the fearsome opponents locked in mortal combat.

Eventually, the Ultramen realised that they could not defeat the Dark Heroes alone. They ­announced that they would enlist the help of the audience.

They then produced two giant Ultra Balloons and threw them to the crowd, beginning a fun-filled training session between the audience and Ultramen X, Ginga, Victory, and Tiga.

There was much laughter as people bounced the Ultra­ ­Balloons around the hall as fast as they could.

This was not the only ­interaction between the stars and the audience, as ­later Ultraman himself, ­wearing the Ultra Mantle, appeared ­alongside X.

This time, a dozen more ­giant balloons were bounced around the hall while the two ­Ultramen walked among the crowd, ­greeting everyone there.

For die-hard fans, it was certainly a dream come true to be able to shake hands with the heroes of their childhood.

Ultraman X also taught the audience how to use the Specium Ray, the iconic Ultraman ­finishing move, thus completing all the skills needed to help the Ultramen defeat the Dark Heroes during the show’s climactic finale.

To help prepare for the fight, Zero went on a search for his former trainer, Ultraman Leo. Also making an appearance to aid the heroes were Father of Ultra, the commander of the Space ­Garrison where the Ultras ­monitor the universe, and his wife, Mother of Ultra.

In the meantime, Seven had discovered the mastermind ­behind the Dark Heroes.

As the fight reached its ultimate conclusion, the ­audience was finally able to lend a hand, calling out the name of their favourite Ultraman, and crossing their hands at the wrist to fire their Specium Ray.

The show was brilliantly simple, yet full of surprises. Using just projectors and a screen, some pyrotechnics and a few high-flying stunts, the fine folk behind Ultraman Live were able to translate a fantastic TV show into a stage event.

It was an action-packed and masterfully choreographed spectacle, complete with finishing moves and exploding villains.

Parents were able to reminisce about their favourite childhood heroes, while children cheered for the new generation of Ultramen.

The show itself has two parts. Part one is currently showing from now to Dec 6, while the second part, which will see the return of an Ultraman arch villain, will be staged from Dec 7 to Jan 2.

Shows will be held twice daily at 4pm and 8pm. For more, visit the Resort World Genting website (www.rwgenting.com/shows/events/Ultraman_Overview/).