SSSS.Gridman Episode 5

SSSS.Gridman Episode 5

Introduction

This week we get SSSS.Gridman’s equivalent of an obligatory beach episode. That’s right, the gang heads to the mountains for some rafting, which means it’s officially the swimsuit episode. After the post, let me know in the comments whether you’re on Team Akane or Team Rikka.

I think I have to go with Team Rikka, although Akane certainly is good in her own right. I prefer Rikka’s character design, and I think the fact that we don’t really know much about Akane yet is holding her back.

Provocation

The first half of the episode doesn’t really have much substance for me to discuss. Basically, we see Yuuta, Utsumi, Rikka, Akane, and the rest of their class on their field trip, with nothing out of the ordinary. Each of these characters continue to act in the same ways we’ve seen them act up until this point.

Yuuta is enjoying himself, but still can’t shake the feeling that something’s not quite right. However, this likely has more to do with his amnesia than him actually suspecting a Kaiju is going to appear.

Utsumi, on the other hand, is more carefree. He’s able to completely ignore the fact that a Kaiju could appear at any moment, and is just happy he has the chance to be near Akane while she’s in a swimsuit.

Rikka is staying close to her girl friends rather than hanging out with Yuuta or Utsumi, which is expected. Although she undoubtedly sees these two as friends at this point, she needs to keep up appearances when with the rest of her classmates.

Finally, Akane simply doesn’t want to be on the field trip and generally wants nothing to do with anyone there. However, she does take this time to try to get closer to Yuuta, Utsumi, and Rikka so as to learn the secret of Gridman.

We constantly see her trying to befriend Rikka and Yuuta in order to gather this information, but I think she would have a much easier time if she tried to get Utsumi to talk instead. It’s unlikely that Utsumi would say no if Akane asked to join the Gridman Alliance.

When the class stop to take a break, Akane walks off into the forest by herself and calls her best friend, Alexis (the anti-Gridman guy in her computer). She tells him to unleash her latest Kaiju, which is her largest one yet.

But before we get into the part of the episode that actually involves this new Kaiju, I want to briefly discuss the Kaiju as a whole. As of the end of this episode, it’s still unclear to our protagonists and ourselves where exactly the Kaiju “come from.”

We know that Akane molds them out of clay and then Alexis gives them life, but we don’t yet know exactly how or why he does this. But, for now let’s pretend that the how and why don’t matter. If we do that, then we might be fooled into thinking we do know where the Kaiju come from.

As I mentioned, we see that Akane creates them and Alexis brings them to life, so what more is there? Well, there’s the fact that there are giant Kaiju towering over the surrounding area which seemingly have nothing to do with those created by Akane.

So far, all of the Kaiju Akane has created have appeared separately from those which are constantly shown as silhouettes in the background. Does this mean those Kaiju are different from the ones she’s created? Or, are these simply the ones she’s created, but then put on her shelves?

The answer to this question may have been hinted at in this most recent episode. We saw Akane’s new Kaiju sculpture at the beginning of the episode, but it wasn’t brought to life until later on. However, even before it was brought to life, it was “out in the world” disguised as a mountain.

From this we can assume that as soon as Akane creates a Kaiju, it exists in the world in an inanimate form, much like those we see towering in the background. They then are only activated when Akane gives Alexis the command. If this is the case, all those background Kaiju probably are Akane’s.

The Mountain Kaiju

So now that Akane’s mountain Kaiju has been awakened, it’s up to the Gridman Alliance to take it down. The only problem is that in order to combine with Gridman, Yuuta needs to be in close proximity to the computer known as Junk.

Akane is almost 100% certain that Yuuta is the one combining with Gridman, but she doesn’t know how he does it. Remember, Akane can simply call Alexis and thereby have him bring one of her previously crafted Kaiju to life, so it’s not unreasonable for her to think Yuuta can do something similar.

She’s then disappointed when Gridman doesn’t immediately appear, and becomes more distraught and agitated the longer it takes. This begs the question, does Akane really want to defeat Gridman, or does she like seeing Gridman defeat her Kaiju?

This may not seem evident at first, but not only was Akane annoyed with the time it was taking Gridman to appear, but she was also annoyed with the destruction caused by her own Kaiju getting in her way. What would happen if her Kaiju defeated Gridman?

If Gridman were defeated by the Kaiju, would the Kaiju cease to exist or would it continue its rampage forever? If the latter is true, that would severely inconvenience Akane, but if the former is true, what would be the point of the Kaiju in the first place? This is the Kaiju dilemma.

While the fact that Yuuta isn’t near Junk is indeed part of the reason it’s taking Gridman so long to appear, the main reason it’s taking so long is because he has no way of contacting the Gridman Alliance. Yuuta, Utsumi, and Rikka all left their phones back in the lockers, which are in the direction of the Kaiju.

These lockers are also 5km uphill from their location when the Kaiju appears. Luckily, they find a payphone on the way there, but it takes all three of our protagonists to make full use of it.

Yuuta is needed to combine with Gridman once Junk arrives, Utsumi is needed to pay for the call, and Rikka is needed for the number of her family’s store. I was glad Rikka was actually needed for once, even if all she did was provide a phone number.

But, remember, all of this effort went in to just calling the Gridman Alliance. They then need to pack up Junk, transport it into the mountains via train, and meet up with Yuuta so he can combine with Gridman. A few hours probably passed between the arrival of the Kaiju and the arrival of Gridman.

When Gridman does manage to arrive, we see another new form. Last week we saw Max Gridman, and this week we’re introduced to Buster Gridman which is the combination of Gridman and Borr’s armored vehicle with rockets and drills.

Buster Gridman from the anime SSSS.Gridman
Buster Gridman

Before combining, Gridman and Borr attempt to fight the Kaiju while separated. Gridman fails to stop the Kaiju’s attacks, and Borr uses her rockets, which are filled with water at this time, to put out the many fires caused by the Kaiju.

Then, the humanoid Kaiju makes his appearance. This time around, he noticeably didn’t engage the mountain Kaiju in battle and start a free-for-all, but instead worked with it to push Gridman and Borr back. Borr then uses rockets filled with some sort of hardening adhesive to restrict the humanoid Kaiju’s movements.

At this point, Gridman and Borr combine to take down the mountain Kaiju while the humanoid Kaiju is stuck. However, since this is a mecha anime and also an anime created by Trigger, the humanoid Kaiju develops a new ability which allows it to fire rockets just like Buster Gridman.

In the end, Buster Gridman uses some giant lasers to destroy the mountain Kaiju, because why not, and pieces of the massive Kaiju land on the humanoid Kaiju, defeating him again for now. With the day saved, everyone can go back home worry-free.

The Gridman Alliance also learns that Akane made it out of the forest safely and was seen leaving on the previous train to go back home. Also, Rikka sees the humanoid Kaiju in his human form off near the forest’s edge. While she doesn’t yet know his true identity, she’ll likely be the one to figure it out.

Conclusion

What are your thoughts on this week’s obligatory swimsuit episode of SSSS.Gridman? Are you on Team Akane or Team Rikka? What do you think is the true nature of the Kaiju? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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