It makes sense that it would be episodic. The first Ultraman series after such a long break, it almost had to return to the francise's roots in terms of style. To be a recapturing of where it all began. Later series can introduce variation. But for the first of the new generation of Ultramen series I think it really needed to be a reflection of the original.
My word this is a silly serious episode. Or a serious silly episode, depending.
The obake running the ramen stand amuses me greatly, and makes me think sakon76's Tales From A Ramen Stand. I would be entertained to write a prequel with Yuusuke chatting with Obiko. (Not soon. Like, well, ever. But the concept amuses me.)
Shinjou freaking out when he heard Obiko cracked me up. It's just so spaztastic. Particularly since I first encountered the actor as Kadokura in Mebius. (Well, not entirely. I did watch at least part of Tiga first. I just don't remember a lot of it. And what I watched in many regards hardly counts as Tiga anyway.) So him being a spaz in Tiga reminds me of the episode where he gets tossed by Rinko, since he's a bit of a spaz in that episode as well.
And watching the team chasing all through the town looking for Obiko was highly entertaining.
Which made the sad ending to this episode all the more poignant. Because really, this episode is about the clash between the old and the new. How the familiar is destroyed in the name of "progress". (Both real and imagined.) It's about someone not letting go of the memories. And that not letting go isn't entirely wrong -- but it does mean that one will get destroyed in the end by their inability to be flexible.
Daigo's look of regret just before transforming was priceless. And it was a nice change, seeing Tiga trying not to fight. The one hand held up in a halting or warding gesture, not a defensive pose. This time is not your standard monster fight. The monster needs to be stopped -- but there's no need to destroy it. It's reminiscent in some ways of the fight with Zoa-Muruchi, where Beeo really isn't an enemy and yet it's Mebius's job to make sure the town is not destroyed.
It intrigues me that Obiko dissolves into light along with Tiga. It reminds me a bit of, er, spoiler, in Mebius episode 49. Or the end of the Big Bad in ep. 50, for that matter. Yes, that is probably a better comparison, since in both cases an embodiment of darkness becomes light. I suppose it represents redemption. And yet to me, in this case it seems the ultimate culmination of Obiko being forced to change -- now, down to the roots of his very nature.
And in the end... Is fear really the only way to leave a mark on the world? Is there no other way to make sure that the old is not forgotten?
Interesting episode. I rather liked it.