SSSS.Gridman Episode 12

SSSS.Gridman Episode 12

Awakening

The final episode of SSSS.Gridman is here, and, much to my surprise, all of the loose ends were somehow tied off. I was really thinking that there was too much left to explain in the series for just one, final episode, but as usual, Trigger saved anime once again.

Before getting into this week’s episode, I want to mention that before watching this anime, I had never seen any Gridman content before. In fact, I thought this was a spiritual successor to various similar series, but it turns out it’s actually a sequel to the original Gridman series.

Knowing this, the final episode of SSSS.Gridman is even better than I would have originally thought. While I picked up on a few Neon Genesis Evangelion references throughout this series, I’m sure fans of the original Gridman series noticed a lot of references to that, including the specific Kaiju which appeared.

And, as we’ll see, this final episode includes even more references to the original series.

Hyper Agent Gridman

After Akane Shinjou is turned into a Kaiju by Alexis Kerib, she’s saved by Anti, only for him to be stabbed and left for dead by Alexis. Alexis then takes Akane into himself rather than turning her into another Kaiju, and thus gains new powers. Specifically, he gets the power of having legs.

This may seem like a small thing, but up until this point I was actually wondering how this final fight against Alexis was going to look considering he had no legs. I was worried we would just see him floating in the air, still covered by his cloak, so I’m glad Akane shared her legs with him.

To defeat Alexis’ new form, Gridman must take on his final form, which I’ll refer to as Original Gridman! That’s right, by powering up enough, Gridman can actually devolve and take on his original appearance from the old series.

Alexis Kerib vs. Gridman from the anime SSSS.Gridman
Alexis Kerib vs. Gridman

The fight between Gridman and Alexis at this point becomes very non-Gridman-like. Instead of fighting on the ground and having slow, lumbering animation, the two of them are flying through the air and having a fight which would seem more at place in a series like Dragon Ball.

That said, I wouldn’t change a thing about it because this was by far the most exciting fight in the entire series. Or, at least it was the most exciting fight until the tropes of the genre came back. Instead of actually defeating Alexis in combat, Gridman develops the power to “fix” anything, and defeats Alexis by hitting him with a beam of that.

It wouldn’t be a super robot anime if the hero didn’t develop a brand new power at the last moment to defeat the “big bad” in Deus ex Machina fashion.

Once Alexis is defeated, Gridman uses his new fixing power to fix the entire world and put it back to normal. However, as far as I could tell this doesn’t mean that anyone who died during the course of the series gets to come back to life. All it means is that the city is no longer destroyed, and that the rest of the outside world exists once again.

Gridman and the Neon Genesis Junior High students then return to their own world, the cyber city in the sky, and take an imprisoned Alexis with them. I’m still not entirely sure if Alexis actually comes from the same place as Gridman, but that’s what it would seem considering Akane could freely go there.

Also, during this final battle we learned that Alexis’ motive for doing all the things he had done was simply because he enjoys dark feelings such as those Akane harbored. While I think this is a pretty lame motive, at least we were given a motive at all in the end.

Loose Ends

After Alexis is defeated and Gridman returns to his home world, there are three loose ends which still need to be tied up: Akane, Anti, and the female Kaiju. So, let’s go through the three of them in that order.

Although I expected Akane to change sides and join the Gridman Alliance at an earlier point in the series, she still sort of did it in the end. I can’t really say that she joined the Alliance, but at the very least she stopped being their enemy and admitted that she wanted to be their friend.

However, after all she’s done to the city and its inhabitants, Akane can’t really stay there and feel good about herself, so she decides to leave. It’s implied that she returns to the heavens since she’s a god, but as I’ll discuss in the conclusion, this isn’t really the case.

So what about the fate of Anti? After being stabbed by Alexis in the first portion of the episode and left bleeding out on the ground, he doesn’t really make a reappearance until the ending of the episode when he’s shown with the female Kaiju.

It turns out that she saved Anti because he’s a Kaiju who pays his debts, and is a friend of Gridman. But what was the deal with the female Kaiju anyway? We never really got any explanation about who she was or where she came from.

However, it turns out that she’s actually from a family of Kaiju who, like Anti, pay their debts. And, in fact, she’s directly related to a similar Kaiju from the original Gridman series, which is who she was referring to when she thanked Yuuta, in episode 6, for helping her predecessor.

I was so sure that we were never actually going to learn who the female Kaiju was, and now that it’s finally been revealed, I think that may have been the best reference in all of SSSS.Gridman just because it was so prolonged. But, maybe those familiar with the original series knew who she was ever since her first appearance. If that’s you, let me know.

Conclusion

The final scene of SSSS.Gridman was simple, yet world-shattering. While the series is definitely an anime, this last scene was live-action and featured a girl waking up and sitting up in her bed. So what does this all mean?

As far as I can tell, this girl is the “real” Akane Shinjou. I didn’t notice if it’s actually her voice actress who’s depicting her in this scene, but if so, that makes it even more meta. But, she doesn’t look like Akane, so why would this be her?

You see, the entire anime portion of this series was actually all one giant dream. The real Akane didn’t like the world she lived in, and so in her dreams she fabricated a world which matched how she thought the world should be, which is why she’s considered a god.

This also means that when she disappears from the world she created after talking with Rikka, she was actually waking up and returning to the real world, not heaven. I know the whole “it was all a dream” thing is typically used as a joke, but I felt that it really worked in this case considering how Akane’s character had been developing throughout the series.

So, what did you think about this final episode of SSSS.Gridman? Did you like it as much as I did? Did you find any parts of it confusing? Did you catch more references that I may have missed? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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