Hikaru Raido (礼堂ヒカル Raidō Hikaru) is the main protagonist of the Ultraman Ginga series. Hikaru had the dream of being a world explorer and he traveled with his parents who were musicians on tour. However when he was 17 he had begun having visions of a great battle and he returned to his childhood home to look for answers. There he met Ultraman Taro who was a Spark Doll, who explained to him that the visions he was having were of the Dark Spark War which was caused by the dark hand and that he was the prophesied hero who would defeat this unseen enemy. Hikaru then came into the possession of the Ginga Spark and meet the Ultra Warrior, Ultraman Ginga, who he became the human host of. After the defeat of the dark hand Hikaru parted ways with Ginga eventually became a world explorer, but then later became a member of UPG and reunited with Ultraman Ginga to fight the Chibu alien Exceller.
Born and raised in a small village where his grandfather's Ginga shrine was located. Hikaru left for London with his parents who are musicians but came back to the town due to a strange vision. Prior to this, the three had settled in London and Hikaru was returning during his summer break. As a high-school student Hikaru returned home to find his grandfather's shrine had been destroyed by a sudden fire. The shrine was ultimately saved and temporarily moved into a nearby school. There he met up with his childhood friends and learned one of them had become a priestess. Later that night he returned to see the item of interest, the Ginga Spark, upon touching it he saw a vision of a great war between giants and monsters, ending with a dark figure unleashing a wave of darkness on all the combatants. It was this point he met the talking Spark Doll, Ultraman Taro who told him he may be the 'chosen one'. Hikaru treated Taro as a simple doll, picking him up rudely and trying to figure out where his voice was coming from. Insulted and not willing to put up with his childish antics, Taro teleported away. From afar, Taro's voice commanded he meet him in a nearby mountain, playing on his desire to see new things.
It was at this time that Hikaru received a strange mark on the back of his right hand, a glowing symbol that faded, it was called the Mark of Courage. Apparently this mark appears in the Legends of the Land of Light, as stated by Taro.
Later Hikaru met his friend again in the mountains where the two confronted a pair of illegal dumpers. They got away even with the town policeman after them. The pair met Taro again who explained that he believed he was able to use the Ginga Spark. A fact proven true when he used it on a Black King Doll, becoming the bodyguard monster. Suddenly he was attacked by Thunder Neo Darambia, being controlled (more likely it was controlling them) by the two illegal dumpers and a Dark Dummy Spark. Hikaru fought to protect the town and his friends but was being easily beaten. Eventually, his determination caused the mark of courage to appear on his hand and summon the Ultraman Ginga Spark Doll. Hikaru switched his form to that of the powerful Ultra and after a short fight defeated the monster. Afterwards, this helped him in many battles against humans and even some of his own friends that Darklived into kaiju and aliens (Thunder Darambia, Kemur Man, King Pandon, Ragon, etc) via Spark Dolls and Dark Dummy Sparks which were distributed by the mastermind's agents; Alien Valky, Alien Icarus, and Alien Nackle Gray. At the same time, this allows Hikaru to receive the Spark Dolls that he acquired after their defeat.
After Tomoya Ichijouji, a dark agent redeemed and assisted Hikaru/Ginga the battle against Alien Valky and Tiga Dark, Ginga spoke for the first time, commenting on Jean-Nine's revival though he didn't answer Taro's questions. In the aftermath of Hikaru/Ginga's battle with Dark Galberos, Ginga spoke again and said that every time a monster was brought back (DarkLived) into the world the forces of darkness were growing stronger and that 'his' return was nearing.
At the end of the series, the true mastermind behind the chaos, Dark Lugiel appeared after being revealed to have dominated Principal Kyoko Shirai all along. Hikaru lives into Ginga to face Dark Lugiel but before he can complete his rise, Lugiel interrupts it and kicks him into a cliff face, stunning the Ultra. As a result of not being able to reach his full height, Lugiel dominates Ginga easily and he soon runs out of power. Later, when Ultraman Taro is fighting Lugiel, he gives energy to Ginga at the cost of Taro himself taking the brunt of Lugiel's attacks. After Taro vanishes, Ginga is revived and grows back to his original size. Summoning the Ginga Spark and turning it into a trident, he takes the fight with Dark Lugiel to the moon, and after a hard struggle, he defeats him with Ginga Especially. Ginga is last seen thanking Hikaru and friends for all they have done before departing the Earth. Hikaru and his friends later celebrated over their victory.
Ultraman Ginga S
Two years later, Hikaru finally pursued his dream to become an adventurer. Later, while walking in a jungle, he stumbled upon a Victorium Crystal and has a vision of Shou and Ultraman Victory. Hikaru, who is nearby, then observes Arisa and Gouki evacuate everyone while attempting to shoot at Shepherdon without much success and Shou commanding Shepardon to return to the underground.
Hikaru then meets up with Shou and has some dialogue with him, but Shou states that he is different from the humans on Earth. He then spots the Ginga Spark in Hikaru's pocket and is astonished. Before he can say anything further, another Victorium Crystal is unearthed and Shou rushes to the scene. He is delayed by One Zero summoning her robot underlings, Chiburoids. One Zero then MonsLives into EX Red King to destroy Shepardon.
Shepardon, on the verge of defeat, is saved by Shou who transforms into Ultraman Victory. During the battle, the combatants scatter debris everywhere, some of which landed on the UPG members. Unable to shift the debris himself, Hikaru wishes for more power to save everyone. The Ginga Spark flashes with power, and Hikaru transforms into Ginga, saving Arisa and Gouki. He then fights EX Red King and wins, but to his surprise, Victory intercepts Ginga with the Victory Slash before the latter can collect EX Red King's Spark doll. He steals it and uses its powers to transform his right arm and attack Ginga immediately, much to Hikaru's shock. But as Ginga and Victory continue their clash, their fight to be unresolved when they run out of energy. Hikaru talks with Ginga in his mind, while Shou questions his Queen about Ginga's identity. Soon, the UPG bring Hikaru back to their HQ and decide to recruit him. At the same time, Hikaru meets his old friend, Tomoya, again.
Later, as Hikaru was sent to the city, he met Shou again but in the middle of their fight, when a debris from Eleking's rampage about to fall, he saved Shou again.
Shou transforms into Victory but soon falls victim to Eleking's electrocution attack. Hikaru transforms into Ginga to provide Victory with an opening, and Victory manages to defeat Eleking, obtaining its Spark Doll. Afterwards, Shou and Hikaru reconcile as both of them finally acknowledge each other as heroes, with Hikaru giving Shou another chocolate bar.
In the series finale, Exceller successfully revived Dark Lugiel, combining it with the UPG Live Base (mainly for their Victorium Cannon) and turning him into Vict Lugiel. Both Hikaru and Shou transformed into Ginga Strium and Victory. They used an attack plan of striking his Victorium cannon and swapped each other's during the battle but failed. Later, One Zero faked her betrayal by setting up the Earth's core to release Victorium energies. However, by the time she revealed her betrayal, Exceller had banished her. Hikaru and Shou transformed. Before another beam from Victorium Cannon could be fired, One Zero removed Shepardon's Spark Doll and quickly returned it to Shou/Victory, who UlTraned it into Shepardon Saber to destroy the Victorium Cannon. Exceller met his demise at the hands of Lugiel when he revealed himself, and to his Spark Doll state. Lugiel regained control over his body and restarted his plan to freeze all lifeforms on Earth in order to create an ultimate paradise. He easily defeated the two Ultras and turned them into stone statues. When the surviving humans regained their spirit and the Victorians gave Hikaru and Shou their necklace, they managed to revive the two Ultras and resume fighting Vict Lugiel. One Zero (who was still inside Vict Lugiel) hacked and weakened Vict Lugiel. Victory used his Sadola Scissors to slam the monster's chest, followed by an combo electric attack from his Eleking Tail and Ginga's Ginga Thunderbolt. One Zero fully weakened the monster and the duo Ultras finished off Vict Lugiel with Cosmo Miracle Especially at the cost of the android's life. Ginga bidded farewell to Hikaru and returned to space with Taro.
Ultraman Ginga S The Movie: Showdown! The 10 Ultra Warriors!
Hikaru as Ginga was captured and crucified by Yapool on Satellite Golgotha of Planet Guar. Ultraman Ace tried to rescue him from Ace Killer but was soon overwhelmed when he realized that Ace Killer had become Victory Killer. Ultraman Victory appeared and with the help from Shepardon, destroyed Victory Killer and Lunaticks. Ginga and Ace's energies were replenished by Shepardon before it returned to being a Spark Doll. Soon, the three Ultras joined the Leo brothers against Yapool and his Choju Battalion. As Ginga and Victory fused into Ginga Victory again, they managed to kill Yapool but were too late to stop his plan, having now revived Juda Spectre. Juda created Super Grand King Spectre to attack the Ultras and broke the former's fusion, forcing Victory to fight Juda alone while Hikaru/Ginga joined the Space Garrison and finished Grand King. With Juda died, the stolen Victorium Core and Hikaru/Ginga and Shou/Victory returned to Earth, where Hikari congratulated them for their bravery before returning to space.
After Shou (Ultraman Victory) and Arisa were brought to Ultraman X's universe by Mold Spectre, Hikaru transformed into Ginga and chased after the two. On the way he ran into the vicious Guar Army and destroyed most of their fleet. Upon arrival, Ginga joined X and Victory in battle against Mold. The three Ultras combined their powers and destroyed the space menace.
Hikaru and Shou gathered with Xio and introduced themselves. Then Hikaru and Shou talked to Daichi Ozora about the bond between mankind and kaiju. Suddenly a Mecha Gomora appeared near the base and interuped their conversation. Hikaru and Shou were just about to transform, but Gina Spectre and an Alien Shaplay appeared. The pairs began to battle, as Mecha Gomora battled Cyber Gomora. Shou shot a King Joe bullet at Gina but killed Alien Shaplay instead.
Gina swore vengence and fused with her brothers to form Guar Spectre. The three Ultra Hosts transformed once again and began to battle the new threat. After the battle Hikaru, Shou, and Arisa thanked Xio and headed for their universe through Ultraman X's dimensional portal.
When Ginga feels that Hikaru needs him the Ginga Spark doll emerges from the Ginga Spark. Hikaru then grabs it, and places it on the Spark causing the face to appear and a voice to declare "Ultra Live: Ultraman Ginga". In the transformation scene. Hikaru's body is enveloped by light which forms twins galaxies in an X formation. Ginga rises out of this spinning. Ginga then lands, often kicking up a circle of dirt.
Hikaru summons Ginga's Spark Doll, then waves his arms in a circular fashion before placing Ginga's doll on the Ginga Spark. The face on the Spark is revealed and Hikaru shouts "Ginga!" to complete the transformation.
Powers and Weapons
- Ginga Spark: Using the Ginga Spark and the Ginga Spark Doll, Hikaru can transform into Ultraman Ginga. Hikaru can only transform when the Mark of Courage is made to shine, thereby summoning Ginga's Spark Doll from the Ginga Spark.
- UltraLive: Hikaru can use any of the other Spark dolls to become the monster, alien or Ultra they embody via the Ginga Spark.
- Telepathy: While using a Spark Doll, Hikaru can communicate telepathically or at least project his voice even in forms that normally do not allow for complex speech such as a monster.
- Spark Doll Sight: While he is Lived with a Spark Doll, he can look into other Lived Dolls and see who is within them. However, he could not see into Jean-Killer due to his nature as a robot being piloted nor Tiga Dark who did not have a user.
- Training: Like most UPG members, Hikaru is also well trained in combat.
- Strium Brace: A bracer that is transformed from Ultraman Taro. It enables Hikaru to make Ginga assume Strium Mode and both him and Hikaru can use the first six Ultra Brothers' powers.
- Ultra Fusion Brace: Hikaru has the Ultra Fusion Brace which is the successor of the Strium Brace.
- Ultra Touch: Hikaru turns the Fusion Brace, reach out to Shou and scan the Victory Lancer to became Ginga Victory. Hikaru can use all the Heisei Ultra's powers.
Spark Dolls in Possession
As foretold by Ultraman Taro, Hikaru is the "chosen one", he collects Spark Dolls either by defeating any Kaiju/Alien recently released by Alien Valky/Alien Icarus/Alien Nackle (at the same time preventing the dolls from falling into the wrong hands again) or picking up the ones that are scattered around town. However, Hikaru loses all of these collections after Dark Lugiel's defeat in response to the end of the Dark Spark's curse.
- Ultraman Ginga: Inside the Ginga Spark.
- Ultraman Taro: Failed, assumed due to his consciousness being intact. His curse is broken in the final episode, but reverts to being a spark doll after Ginga beats Dark Lugiel before departing Earth.
- Ultraman Tiga: Achieved after defeating the Ultra himself, at the same time purifying him of the darkness. Also used by Kenta once.
- Ultraman: Acquired after defeating Misuzu's father. Also used by Chigusa once.
- Ultraseven: Acquired after defeating Misuzu's father. Used again by Seiichiro.
- Black King: Acquired after detecting it via Ginga Spark.
- Thunder Darambia: Acquired after defeating the monster itself.
- King Pandon: Acquired after defeating the monster itself.
- Ragon: Acquired after defeating the monster itself.
- Doragory: Received from Kenta.
- Eleking: Acquired after defeating the monster itself.
- Seagoras: Acquired after defeating Tyrant.
- Hanzagiran: Acquired after defeating Tyrant.
- Red King: Acquired after defeating Tyrant. Gave it to Misuzu Isurugi
- King Crab: Acquired after defeating Tyrant.
- Bemstar: Acquired after defeating Tyrant.
- Barabba: Acquired after defeating Tyrant.
- Dark Galberos: Acquired after defeating the monster itself.
- Zaragas: Acquired after defeating the monster itself with the help of Misuzu, as Red King
- Antlar: Acquired after the fight between Ultraman Dark and Ultraseven Dark (the one who actually defeated Antlar).
- Super Grand King: Acquired after defeating the monster itself.
- Kemur Man: Acquired after defeating the alien itself.
- Alien Valky: Acquired after defeating the alien itself along with Tiga.
- Alien Icarus: Acquired after defeating Tyrant.
- Alien Nackle: Acquired after beating Super Grand King.
Ultraman Ginga S
- Ultraman Ginga: In the Ginga Spark.
- Ultraman Taro: Acquired as Strium Brace.
- EX Red King: Acquired after defeating the monster itself. Later stolen by Shou. Later borrowed from him to fight against Five King.
- King Joe Custom: Acquired after defeating the robot itself. Gave it to Shou and later borrowed from him to fight against Five King.
- Sadola: Acquired after defeating the monster itself. Gave it to Shou.
- Eleking: Borrowed from Shou to fight against Five King.
- Hyper Zetton: Acquired after defeating the monster itself. Gave it to Shou.
Super Hero Generations
Hikaru appeared in the crossover game Super Hero Generations as Ultraman Ginga. In this universe, the Ultramen, Kaiju and Seijin can assume the size of normal humans. This universe is a crossover including Mobile Suit Gundam and Kamen Rider characters.
Behind the scenes
- Hikaru is the first main character of an Ultra series who is not consistently merged with his Ultra.
- In an earlier plan, Ultraman Ginga and his entire series were meant to be in the same universe as Ultraman Gaia, celebrating the series' 15 anniversary. Hikaru Raido was also meant to be a student of a college that Gamu Takayama/Ultraman Gaia lectured, basing on the 2011-2012 Toei Tokusatsu series, Kamen Rider Fourze. This however fell through, although the Fourze element was incorporated instead, such as Hikaru's age being a high school student.
- Hikaru is the third Ultra host not to be a member of a monster fighting force, the first being Shunichi Maki and Run, but in the second season he becomes part of one.
- Hikaru/Ultraman Ginga was chosen by Koichi Sakamoto to be the leader of the New Generation Heroes in Ultra Galaxy Fight: New Generation Heroes. Sakamoto initially considered Gai Kurenai/Ultraman Orb instead, but felt like it wouldn't match his character. Hikaru was then elected because of his similarities to protagonists of other shonen anime.