SSSS.Gridman Episode 4

SSSS.Gridman Episode 4

Introduction

Last week there was a Twitter poll to decide which of four anime would be receiving the weekly, episodic review treatment, and in the end there was a tie between My Sister, My Writer, and SSSS.Gridman. To resolve this tie, I used the good, old-fashioned method of flipping a coin, and SSSS.Gridman won!

So, since we’re starting from episode 4, let’s go through a quick recap of the series so far before getting into this week’s episode.

High school student, Yuuta Hibiki, lost all of his memories (as one does) and then meets a super-powered robot, Gridman, living inside of an old computer. By being transported into the computer, Yuuta can then combine with Gridman and together they fight the Kaiju terrorizing the city.

The Kaiju are giant monsters (think Godzilla), and their true purpose as well as where they come from is unknown. What we do know is that one of Yuuta’s classmates, Akane Shinjou, is the designer of these Kaiju, and she has an anti-Gridman-like ally.

Two of Yuuta’s other classmates, Rikka Takarada and Shou Utsumi, along with four older people whose names I won’t get into right now, Yuuta, and Gridman, make up the Gridman Alliance. They’re goal is to rid the city of the Kaiju which have been devastating it.

Each of the four older people I mentioned have the ability to be transported into the computer like Yuuta, but instead of fusing with Gridman, they become powerful weapons for Gridman to use. For instance, Samurai Calibur turns into a giant sword.

Finally, anyone who gets killed by a Kaiju is erased from recent history, and appears as if they have been dead for years. After each Kaiju attack, the city is magically fixed, and most of the civilians are none the wiser; only the Gridman Alliance and their foes remember the battle.

Suspicion

Now that you’ve had a crash course in SSSS.Gridman, it’s time to get into episode 4, titled “Suspicion.” As the title implies, this episode primarily focused on suspicion, but from two different angles.

On one hand we have Akane who’s trying to figure out Yuuta’s relation to Gridman, and on the other hand we have Yuuta who’s trying to figure out whether or not Rikka is interested in someone else. In the middle, we also have Rikka who seems to be getting caught up in everything.

The episode starts off with Akane attempting to get closer to Rikka so that she can learn Yuuta’s secrets through her. From this initial interaction, we learn that Akane and Rikka used to be friends, or at least friendlier with each other. This may have something to do with Akane’s backstory later on.

But, while Akane is successful in getting Rikka to talk to her, she’s unsuccessful in getting any information about Yuuta from her. Later on, Rikka’s friends invite her to go on a group date with some college students, and Akane tags along as well in hopes of asking Rikka more about Yuuta.

However, every time Akane attempts to ask Rikka about Yuuta, she’s interrupted by one or another of the college boys attempting to talk to her or Rikka. Frustrated that nobody will leave the two of them alone, Akane leaves the group date early.

Meanwhile, Yuuta, Shou, and the rest of the Gridman Alliance have been stalking the girls on their group date because Yuuta is interested in Rikka and Shou is interested in Akane. Once Akane leaves, however, Shou and the Gridman Alliance add-ons abandon the mission, and leave Yuuta alone.

After the date concludes, we see Akane back in her room, crafting a new type of Kaiju with the specific goal of killing the four college boys who kept getting in her way during the date. The next day, Rikka notices that her friends only remember one of the four boys, and she realizes a Kaiju must have attacked the other three.

A New Kaiju Appears

Everything up until this point in the episode was fairly standard, but here’s where we begin to get new and potentially interesting developments. Normally, Gridman and his allies are able to sense the appearance of Kaiju, but that’s not the case this time around.

Instead, only Calibur realizes a new Kaiju may be nearby, and it’s not exactly clear why this is. I think that rather than sensing this new Kaiju, Calibur was simply following Rikka (for what reason I couldn’t say), and just happened to be nearby when she and the college boy were attacked.

So, we already know that Akane can create Kaiju with any appearance she wants, and she can give them specific instructions such as to kill a certain person or people. However, the ability for this new Kaiju to not be sensed by the Gridman Alliance implies that Akane can do even more.

Perhaps Akane can give the Kaiju specific abilities such as this one, or perhaps this is simply a plot hole. Either way, we’ll have to see a bit more of the series before we can come to a definitive conclusion about this, if a conclusion is even possible to come to.

After rescuing Rikka and the college boy from the Kaiju, Calibur calls the rest of the Gridman Alliance and informs them of their new adversary. Upon hearing that Rikka’s okay, Yuuto suits up with Gridman to take on the monster.

But, Gridman’s fight against this new form of Kaiju is interrupted when the previous Kaiju, which hides in plain sight, posing as a student, suddenly appears and joins the brawl. Unexpectedly, however, the two Kaiju don’t seem to be working together, and instead a three-way fight ensues.

The Kaiju which has a human form is fighting against the new Kaiju because it believes that defeating Gridman is the reason it was born. Because of this belief, it refuses to kill anyone else that isn’t Gridman, which is why the new Kaiju was made in the first place.

At this point in the series I’m predicting this humanoid Kaiju is going to become the Viral of this series. For those who don’t know, Viral is a character from Gurren Lagann who was originally an antagonist, but allies with the humans once a greater threat appears.

Back to the battle at hand, despite it technically being a free-for-all, Gridman requires help if he’s to defeat two Kaiju at once. Instead of Calibur going to help him alone, all four of the older Gridman Alliance members jump into the computer together.

At this point, I was really expecting some super combining action, but instead the computer freezes because since it’s old, its processors can’t handle all of them at once. After Rikka resets the computer by unplugging it, only one of the Gridman Alliance members joins the fight, Max.

While Calibur takes the form of a giant sword when transported through the computer, Max takes the form of an armored vehicle with canons. When combined with Gridman, he becomes a pair of super-powerful arms, and creates Max Gridman!

Max Gridman from the anime SSSS.Gridman
Max Gridman

Through the power of Max Gridman, and probably friendship, Yuuta is able to defeat the two Kaiju, although the humanoid one reverts back to its human form instead of being destroyed. The fact that it lives to fight another day (yet again) reinforces my earlier prediction.

The falling out between the humanoid Kaiju and its creator, Akane, also doesn’t seem to have been resolved at the end of this episode, which further strengthens my prediction that it will later become an ally of Gridman. But will Akane eventually turn to the side of justice as well?

It wouldn’t be a DoubleSama post if I didn’t mention Monogatari, so let me do just that. Akane’s character reminds me a lot of Nadeko. Just as Nadeko hated that everyone thought she was cute, Akane seems to despise that everyone views her as the most beautiful girl around.

Because of this, I’m more inclined to believe that Akane is more misunderstood than purely evil. It’s possible that if the Gridman Alliance accepts her for who she is, that she’ll actually join their side, and her mentor will become the main antagonist.

However, this brings up the issue of all the countless people who died due to the Kaiju she created. Would our protagonists forget those deaths ever occurred, or will we perhaps learn that Akane was being manipulated? Only time will tell.

At the end of the episode, Yuuta attempts to ask Rikka on a date, only to be misunderstood by Rikka thinking he meant that he wanted to go out to eat with the entire Gridman Alliance. Better luck next time, Yuuta.

Speaking of Yuuta and Rikka’s relationship, I think it should have been obvious from episode 1 that they’re going to end up together in some capacity. We may never be told explicitly that they’re dating in the end, but I doubt even Trigger would throw in a plot twist to mess up their relationship.

Conclusion

So what did you think of this episode of SSSS.Gridman? Also, what did you think of this first episodic review of SSSS.Gridman? Let me know your thoughts in the comments, as well as your predictions for the future of this series.

Also, while this is going live on a Thursday, my future weekly reviews of SSSS.Gridman will typically go live on Wednesdays unless otherwise stated. Where would this be stated? Well, I’m glad you asked. Follow me on Twitter @DoubleSama to keep up to date with new posts and other notifications.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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