Meh, pretty underwhelmed with the second episode. Only suspected how it was going play out by the time it was already obvious. By then this plot point didn't work for me as it was probably originally intended to.
I guess I just don't like a damsel-in-distress plot. Doesn't help that I think her actor's performance is not all that believable.
Hikaru is really a careless protagonist. I lose count of how many times he drops the Ginga Spark (in front of other people, no less) already.
So, at Ultraman Taro's request, they are going to keep it (Ginga Spark and its ability) from the other two friends. (Taro gives a credible reason for it -- dark force is moving and there are enemies lurking where they might not know about. But in light of what I've said back in April, I still hope the two friends are going learn about Hikaru's newfound power eventually.) Yet the rival already knows (and seems to be planning something decidedly not benefiting our protag and friends).
Speaking of the rival, I'm not liking how the actor portray the character. Either he can't act, or is told to be as unbelievably flat as possible.
Gee, two out of five so far. (And even Hikaru has a few moments which seem 'off' to me in this episode.) I hope they get better in later episodes, or, if not, I learn to not find them too distracting.
And I wish they tone it down with the human scenes holding the sparks inside the monsters/ultra. Or show only the bad guy side. I don't want to see Hikaru there every time getting excited at unlocking yet another one of Ultraman Ginga's (admittedly awesome**) abilities. (I think I might scream if I hear his 'sugei' again*.) It kind of ruins whatever mystery Ginga the character is supposed to have. (I mean, I think I might understand why they do it that way, but other Ultra series keep such scenes to a very bare minimum. And usually not when the Ultras are winning.) If he had to be spazzy about his literally out of the world experience, he could just tell it later to Misuzu, the way he does at the end of this episode.
*(I guess I'm a bit old-fashioned and like my Ultras to be somewhat mysterious. It's rather jarring when the outside is looking completely serious and then cutting to the inside to see this kid shouting 'awesome, awesome**' as if he isn't the one wielding the power himself. It sounds more like he's playing a (video) game and not fighting for real.
(**So I'm a hypocrite, since I can say it but I don't want him to say it.)
But with that said, I'm not begrudging Hikaru's personality. In fact, I rather like how easy-going he is (and he often is (imho) funny (with his comments, not so much with actions), when he is without his constant 'sugei'). He reminds me of some other similar characters that I like, one of whom is Asuka from Ultraman Dyna. (And another one, whom I think might be closer to Hikaru in term of personality, is Kotaro, the human host of Ultraman Taro. Which is rather ironic since poor Taro keeps getting the short end of the stick in Ultraman Ginga instead of being the one who brings in the funny on purpose, imho...))
Speaking of which, I hope they phase out his need to first transform into a monster eventually. (Tough luck to me. The show apparently made new suits for monsters. They probably want to use those more than once.) However, this time he seems better at managing the monster's power, so at least that's an improvement over the previous episode.
Thinking about it more, I'll admit that I probably like the two-step transformation better if it always works exactly the way it does in the first episode (since it might be that the Ginga doll can't be manifested in the real world or something). Instead, this time I can't feel the desperation Hikaru had when first transforming into Ginga. I guess I probably would be fine with it (needing no desperation to transform) if they hadn't made Hikaru's first transformation hinge on desperation (since the subsequent ones will feel like, well, he doesn't need to fight so hard to be able to become Ginga, so what's so special about him (why is he the chosen one and not someone else)?) I think the show should treat him like any other Ultra host, who simply use their items to transform (without having their tests of courage explicitly shown on screen). (I (and the viewers) would assume that they are sufficiently courageous enough to become Ultras.) Oh well, I don't think I can explain very well what I mean here in this wall of text...
The biker's dark heart sucks big time. He chases people because it's fun -- he seems to get a strange thrill out of seeing their frightened reactions while trying to run away. Good of Hikaru to let him know in no uncertain term that he is "the worst". I was stupid to think there might be something more (like her family wronged him in the past or something?).
Well, admittedly the two illegal garbage dumping guys from episode one don't have any deep characterization either, but somehow I don't find them so bad, probably because they don't actively go around frightening defenseless people (before getting the dark dummy spark at any rate). Speaking of those two, I like the beginning scene in the shrine where Hotsuma made them repent what they did. ^^;;
ETA: It is totally amazing how much a night's sleep changed my outlook. Why I thought anything with a vinyl figure talking could ever be taken seriously is beyond me. ^^;;;;; Consider my "serious" complaints on this episode (and the rest) instantly non-valid from now on.