Tag: SSSS.Gridman

SSSS.Gridman

SSSS.Gridman

SSSS.Gridman anime cover art
SSSS.Gridman Cover Art

Overview

SSSS.Gridman is studio Trigger’s most recent original anime, that is if you consider rebooting an old series as original. As a mecha anime, at first glance it may seem somewhat similar to the previous series they worked on, Darling in the FranXX, but let me assure you that SSSS.Gridman is much better.

Unfortunately, SSSS.Gridman didn’t get the recognition it deserved in the West and is actually rated 0.10 lower than FranXX, which just goes to show how bad the taste of the general masses is. However, I think I can explain why this is the case without simply saying that everyone has bad taste in anime.

You see, SSSS.Gridman is a super robot series which generally follows a monster of the week formula, which automatically means a lot of people are going to be turned off by it. Super robots haven’t really been popular in the West since the 90s, and monster of the week formats are generally seen as outdated.

However, despite how it looks on the surface, and in the first two episodes or so, SSSS.Gridman is actually much more than this. But again, the problem here is that you wouldn’t know this is the case if you dropped the series after only the first episode or two.

The overarching plot of the series is that Kaiju, giant monsters, suddenly appear and destroy the city, only for it to be rebuilt the next day with everyone’s memories of the attack erased. That is, everyone except our heroes, Yuuta, Rikka, and Utsumi.

These three then meet the Hyper Agent Gridman and form the Gridman Alliance to defeat the Kaiju and save the city. However, everything isn’t what it seems and it turns out that a classmate of our heroes is actually the one behind the Kaiju attacks (I wouldn’t consider that a spoiler).

And, not only is this anime actually good, it also includes a lot of references for those of you who are into that. I picked up on quite a few references to Neon Genesis Evangelion and the original Gridman series, but I guarantee there are many more I missed from a variety of other series.

Characters

This time around our protagonist is a red-haired high school student named Yuuta Hibiki. At the start of the series, Yuuta awakens to find that he has a severe case of amnesia and that he’s the only one capable of seeing the Kaiju looming over the city.

He’s also originally the only one who can both see and hear Gridman, who resides in an old computer known affectionately as Junk. For the most part, however, Yuuta is a pretty standard protagonist; he doesn’t have any memories, but he knows there’s “something” he must do.

Yuuta Hibiki from the anime SSSS.Gridman
Yuuta Hibiki

The first of Yuuta’s two companions is Rikka Takarada, the girl who Yuuta wakes up to find himself with. Rikka is one of Yuuta’s classmates, though it seems that before the events of the series the two weren’t exactly in the same social circles. That’s not to say Rikka is the “popular” girl and Yuuta is the “nerd,” but they had different friends.

Rikka’s family owns the scrap shop which is home to the aforementioned Junk, which houses Gridman. Because of this, she becomes a defacto founding member of the Gridman Alliance despite not wanting anything to do with it to begin with.

The final member of our heroic trio is Shou Utsumi, and as far as I can remember, nobody ever actually uses his first name in the series. Utsumi is Yuuta’s best friend, and is also a lover of all things super robot, so it’s no wonder that he’s the one who officially comes up with the Gridman Alliance.

Utsumi also has a crush on the next character I’ll be going over, Akane Shinjou, which is a cause of internal conflict for him. While I mentioned that Rikka and Yuuta’s relationship wasn’t that of the popular girl and nerdy boy, that’s basically the relationship between Akane and Utsumi.

Akane is the most popular girl in school, or at least in the class which also includes our three heroes. However, she secretly hates just about everyone and is actually the one creating the Kaiju which repeatedly attack the city.

Her partner in crime is an alien known as Alexis Kerib, who I won’t be discussing in this review because I don’t want to spoil too much of the series. All you need to know is that Akane designs the Kaiju and then Alexis brings them to life.

One of Akane’s Kaiju becomes a character in his own right, Anti. Anti is basically the same character as Viral from Gurren Lagann. Well, actually there are a lot of differences between the two, but I think that’s a good enough comparison. He’s essentially the anti-Gridman, hence his name being Anti.

And, that brings us to our titular character, Gridman. Gridman is a “hyper agent” who lives inside the computer, Junk, as I’ve mentioned previously. His main goal and reason for being around is simply to save the world, as is the case with most superheroes.

The fact that Gridman is his own character is also something a bit different from just about every other mecha series I’ve seen. Typically the mechas are tools used by the other characters, but in this case Gridman is his own entity and fuses with Yuuta instead of being piloted by him.

There are also four other members of the Gridman Alliance besides Yuuta, Rikka, Utsumi, and Gridman. These four are known as the Neon Genesis Junior High students and consist of Samurai Calibur, Max, Borr, and Vit. They can turn into upgrades/weapons for Gridman.

Conclusion

Before I get to my overall rating of this series and my final comments on it, it’s time to remind you that I currently have a poll running on Twitter to determine which fantasy series get the weekly, episodic review treatment for the Winter 2019 season. To vote, simply click the embedded tweet below, sign in, and select your choice.

And now that you’ve voted, let’s get on with the rest of this review. While I first thought this series was going to be a 5 or 6, I actually ended up giving it a 7/10 as the series progressed further. It really does become an entertaining show once you make it past the beginning, and every episode introduces some new twist.

Also, the fight animation of this series is a bit different from most others. It’s actually based on those old, live-action series in which guys in superhero and monster costumes fight in replica cities. Because of this, the animation may seem “wonky” at times, but I promise that it either gets better as the series progresses, or I simply stopped noticing it.

In the end, if you didn’t give SSSS.Gridman a chance or if you dropped it early on, I highly recommend completing this series. But, if you can’t be bothered to watch past episode 3, I have you covered because I reviewed each episode starting with episode 4 (I’ll have those linked at the end of this post).

So, if you watched SSSS.Gridman, what did you think of the series as a whole? Do you agree with my assertion that the series gets a lot better after the slow start? And, if you didn’t watch it, or if you dropped it, let me know why down in the comments.

If you enjoyed this review or found it helpful in any way, be sure to click the like button ❤ down below. Also, follow me on Twitter @DoubleSama to stay up to date with all of my new content, not to mention the polls which influence what content appears on my blog.

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SSSS.Gridman episode reviews:

Episode 4 Episode 5 Episode 6
Episode 7 Episode 8 Episode 9
Episode 10 Episode 11 Episode 12
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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.

If you enjoyed this review, click the like button ❤ down below and be sure to follow me on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. There will also be a poll on Twitter soon to determine some of the series which will be featured next season.

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SSSS.Gridman Episode 11

SSSS.Gridman Episode 11

Decisive Battle

SSSS.Gridman is coming to a close with just one episode left in the series, which means the climax has officially begun this week. After Akane stabs Yuuta in the stomach, he’s rushed to the hospital by Rikka’s mother because the Gridman Alliance is unable to contact an ambulance.

We later learn that all of the long distance communication in the city has been cut, which includes both phone lines and the internet. Seriously, the lack of internet connectivity is probably more dangerous than any Kaiju attack.

Once Yuuta is out of immediate danger and on the road to recovery, he still won’t wake up from his coma. Bad enough as that already is, it gets worse when a hoard of Kaiju is unleashed upon the city, with nobody there to stop them.

Now, at this point you might think that the Neon Genesis Junior High students would simply spring into action as they had done that one time Yuuta was asleep due to a Kaiju, but they claim this is impossible this time around because they’re power is directly connected to Gridman and Yuuta, who’s not merely asleep.

It’s at this point that Anti shows up at the hospital and offers to repay his debts by fighting against the Kaiju in his Gridknight form. When he leaves to do that, the Neon Genesis Junior High students realize that Yuuta may be connected to Gridman and Junk more than they once thought.

After stabbing Yuuta, Akane had knocked over and broken Junk, and this may actually be the reason Yuuta is stuck in his coma. The group then race back to the scrap shop with Rikka’s mother to fix the old computer so that Gridman can fight once again.

Gridman and Gridknight

The hoard of Kaiju which appeared were summoned by Alexis Kerib, and are simply recreations of the various Kaiju which have already been defeated throughout the series. However, what makes them more dangerous this time around is that they’re all attacking the city at once.

While Gridknight is able to hold them off on his own, he isn’t actually able to defeat the many Kaiju alone. Once Junk is fixed and Yuuta awakens from his coma, Gridman and the Neon Genesis Junior High students join Gridknight in his battle against the Kaiju hoard.

Gridman and Gridknight from the anime SSSS.Gridman
Gridman and Gridknight

But, before this battle begins, we learn some interesting things about both Anti and Yuuta. Ever since his introduction into the series I’ve been saying that Anti was going to become a member of the Gridman Alliance, and in this episode it’s implied that he’s the next in line to become Gridman after Yuuta.

So, while Gridknight currently functions as Gridman’s sidekick, he will be the next Gridman, whenever the need for a new Gridman arises. This has some interesting implications, such as the idea that Gridman isn’t a single person, but rather a lineage of various Gridmen.

In an earlier episode review I suggested that the female Kaiju was actually from the future and was referring to Anti when she said that Yuuta helped her predecessor. However, I’m now thinking that she mistook Yuuta for a previous Gridman who helped her predecessor.

But, while Anti being the next Gridman is a major development, this doesn’t really have anything to do with the interesting thing we learned about Yuuta. Instead, it’s revealed that we technically haven’t met Yuuta’s character yet, which is a pretty strange development.

Instead, Gridman has been controlling Yuuta’s body this entire time, which is why Yuuta seemingly had amnesia. It’s not that he had amnesia, but it’s actually that Gridman had no memories in that body, and so it seemed as if Yuuta had no memories.

Theoretically, once the Kaiju and Alexis Kerib are defeated, Gridman will depart from Yuuta’s body and Yuuta’s mind will return to it, at which point all of his memories will be recovered. That said, I don’t think he’ll have any memories of his time as Gridman, since that technically wasn’t him.

Akane and Alexis

Meanwhile, Akane and Alexis Kerib are having a falling out. After stabbing Yuuta, Akane sees no reason to create any more Kaiju because as far as she knows, she’s defeated Gridman. Even when Alexis informs her that Anti will become the next Gridman, and when the actual Gridman reappears, she still refuses to make any new Kaiju.

Because of her refusal to create new Kaiju, Alexis goes rogue and summons the hoard of past Kaiju which Gridman and Gridknight must defeat. However, it is important to note that while Akane doesn’t want to make any new Kaiju, she doesn’t seem to care that Alexis is summoning old Kaiju as he pleases.

But, once Gridman and Gridknight begin to defeat all the previous Kaiju which Alexis has summoned, he suddenly finds himself in need of more Kaiju. Again, Akane refuses, but Alexis clarifies that he no longer needs her to create Kaiju, he needs her to become one.

Then, at the very end of the episode, Alexis transforms Akane into a Kaiju, the form of which we’ll have to wait until next week’s episode to see.

I think it’s safe to say that most people have known that Alexis has simply been using Akane up to this point, but now it would seem that we have concrete proof of this theory. Akane clearly didn’t want to become a Kaiju herself, and yet Alexis turns her into one anyway to accomplish his own, still unknown, goals.

Conclusion

So, what are your thoughts on this week’s episode of Gridman, and how do you think the series will conclude? While I thought this episode was good, it was also inevitable, and so not really anything special. I’m also not convinced everything can be wrapped up in just one more episode. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

If you enjoyed this post, then as always, click the like button ❤ down below to let me know. Also be sure to follow me on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any upcoming content. This is especially important right now as it’s both the holiday season and the end of a season, which means things are hectic.

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My review of the final episode of SSSS.Gridman is available here.

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SSSS.Gridman Episode 10

SSSS.Gridman Episode 10

Collapse

It’s time for yet another episode of crippling depressio- I mean, SSSS.Gridman! Rikka finally tells the rest of the Gridman Alliance about how the world, or at least the city, along with all its inhabitants was created by Akane Shinjou.

Although nobody wants to believe it, it soon becomes clear to them all that this is a very real possibility. However, what about all of their memories of the outside world? Are they all manufactured as well? And, if this is the case, when exactly did their memories stop and their “life” begin?

For now, it seems to be implied that the world “began” with the appearance of Yuuta. Yuuta has no recollection of anything before he awoke with amnesia, and the Kaiju weren’t noticed by anyone else until this point as well. This points towards a reality in which everything anyone remembers before Yuuta’s appearance is actually just an artificial memory.

But does that mean those memories should be disregarded? Do all those years-worth of memories suddenly mean nothing? All the friendships created through these memories are real, so doesn’t that make those memories worth something in the end?

And, on the other end of the spectrum, when will this “life” end? If everything and everyone can be created or revised in an instant, can’t everything and everyone be erased in an instant? This is exactly what Utsumi begins to worry about upon hearing the “truth” of the world.

All’s Right with The World

After not meeting up with the rest of the Gridman Alliance or showing up in school for a few days, Utsumi reappears and acts as if nothing has happened. He deflects questions about his whereabouts by saying that he was studying for the upcoming exams, but when we see his notes this doesn’t appear to be the case.

The fact that the entire world as he knows it could suddenly disappear at the whim of a teenage girl (not Haruhi Suzumiya) has clearly shaken his resolve. Does anything he does really matter in such a world?

To answer this question, it’s time to get philosophical.

Let’s say we live in this world and we learn that our existence can be terminated at any given time. Would we do anything differently than we normally do? Some of you may like to believe you would, but the truth of the matter is that you wouldn’t.

This is because whether your existence is “real” or not and whether it can end suddenly or not, it’s still the same world you’ve always been in. Utsumi actually brings up a good counter-point to his own feeling of dread when he says, “there’s no knowing when a Kaiju will show, but our test dates are set in stone.”

What this really means is that something bad can happen at any point, and yet you still have to go about your life as if nothing ever will.

A Neon Genesis Evangelion reference in the anime SSSS.Gridman
Neon Genesis Evangelion Reference

God’s in Her Heaven

Last week we began to see the breakdown of Akane, and this week we continued to see her inner struggle play out. Fey Griffith commented on last week’s post to mention that the dream timelines we saw following our three heroes weren’t actually how Akane wishes the world would be, but how she believes it should be.

While this may not seem like much of a distinction at first glance, it does clear up some of the confusion I had regarding the conflicting Yuuta and Utsumi timelines.

Some of the creators have specified that the dreams are what Akane thinks relationships are like. Therefore, they have little to do with what Akane herself wants, but more to do with what she thinks others want and how she thinks relationships are meant to be.

Boys are meant to be in love with her and date her, while girls are meant to love her and be her friend. That’s how she thinks relationships are meant to be and so she tries to make their (Yuuta, Utsumi, and Rikka’s) dreams reflect this. So, I don’t think Akane has feelings for Yuuta, but instead she thinks he has feelings for her. – Fey Griffith

However, while this makes sense to me, I still feel like Akane has romantic feelings for Yuuta based on other evidence throughout the series so far such as how she acts around him when the two of them are alone. Also, he’s the protagonist, so it’s only natural for girls to like him.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand, these dreams were the first sign that while all might be right with the world if God is in her heaven, all is not right in the world when she’s walking among us. And, this episode, we see Akane wandering the destroyed streets of the city wondering just where she went wrong when creating her utopia.

I’d also like to point out that the floating, alien city may be a physical representation of “heaven.” I’m still sure it has something to do with the origins of both Alexis Kerib and Gridman, but we also see that Akane retreats there to create her Kaiju. While in previous episodes her curtains were shut, this time around they’re open just enough for us to see the city outside.

Gridknight

I told you so. Or at least that’s what I’d like to be able to say here, but it seems that we’ll have to wait yet another week before Anti “officially” joins the Gridman Alliance. But, I think at this point there aren’t likely to be any naysayers anymore.

After Akane’s despair physically manifests in the form of a new, super-powerful Kaiju, Anti comes to Gridman’s rescue (once again I might add). However, this time around he isn’t starting a three-way fight, he’s actually protecting Gridman so that he can live to fight another day.

Yes, Anti’s goal is still to destroy Gridman, at least on the surface, but it seems that he’s now accepted that without Gridman he has no purpose. So, to that end, he needs Gridman to continue to fight so that he too has a reason to be alive.

And, speaking of being alive, it’s revealed that while Kaiju aren’t actually living beings, Anti is. He wasn’t always this way, but through constant contact with humans, he’s actually developed a heart of his own and is now more human than Kaiju.

That’s great and all for Anti I suppose, but does this actually have anything to do with the rest of the story so far? Possibly, yes. Remember the female Kaiju who thanked Yuuta for saving her predecessor? She was very human-like as well, so perhaps she’s from the future and Anti is the predecessor who she was talking about.

After writing that sentence, it seems like a long-shot, but let’s be honest, that wouldn’t be the craziest thing Trigger has ever done.

Oh, and also Anti’s Kaiju form now resembles Gridman, but he’s called Gridknight. I should have mentioned that sooner considering it’s the name of this section, but honestly for now the exact implications of this aren’t entirely known. Hopefully we’ll get some answers soon, because there aren’t many episodes left.

Conclusion

So what are your thoughts on this week’s episode of SSSS.Gridman? What do you think will be the final fate of both Anti and Akane? As I mentioned, I still think they’re both going to come over to the side of justice, but tell me your thoughts in the comments.

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to let me know by clicking the like button ❤ down below. Also follow me on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content or various updates regarding the site.

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As a final note, my review of the next episode of SSSS.Gridman is scheduled for next Thursday rather than next Wednesday.

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SSSS.Gridman Episode 9

SSSS.Gridman Episode 9

Dream

Akane Shinjo’s perfect world is falling apart. Not only do the “friends” she created struggle to fight against her in the “real” world, but they even dismiss her friendship in her dreams. This episode chronicles Akane’s spiral downwards to her eventual defeat by the hands of those she wants to be closest to.

But, if you’ve been paying attention to my past SSSS.Gridman episode reviews, then you should be able to see how my predictions are continuing to come true. Anti continues to be pushed towards the Gridman Alliance and Akane shows us her true intent and motive.

This episode includes four different “timelines” as far as we’re concerned. One is the true timeline, and the other three are all dream timelines created by Akane which follow a different one of our heroes. So to make this post efficient, let’s take a look at them in that order.

Akane Shinjo and Alexis Kerib from the anime SSSS.Gridman
Akane Shinjo and Alexis Kerib

The true timeline is essentially the real world, although how “real” it actually is is up for debate. In this timeline, Akane has created a new type of Kaiju which doesn’t interact with matter. But, although it isn’t damaging the city, it has a power which placed our three heroes in a deep sleep.

This means that although there’s technically a Kaiju attack, Gridman isn’t appearing to defeat it because Yuuta isn’t awake to combine with him. And, because Gridman isn’t appearing, that means Anti isn’t able to defeat him.

Due to the circumstances he finds himself in, Anti decides to attempt to defeat the Kaiju so that Gridman will appear, but is unable to deal any damage to it because of its special abilities. After seeing Anti struggle, the Neon Genesis Junior High students decide to take matters into their own hands and defeat the Kaiju by combining with themselves without Gridman.

Unfortunately for Anti, although the Kaiju keeping Yuuta asleep is now defeated, there’s no longer a need for Gridman to appear anyway because the threat is gone. But, what’s really important about this timeline is that it shows how Anti is continuously becoming more willing to work with the Gridman Alliance, despite their conflicting motives.

I still stand by my early prediction that he’s going to officially join them at some point.

Yuuta

In Yuuta’s timeline we see a sort of remake of episode one, although this time Rikka is replaced with Akane. I’ve argued in the past that Akane is actually jealous of Rikka’s relationship with Yuuta, and this timeline only serves to reinforce that theory.

Not only does Akane insert herself into this timeline in place of Rikka, but she also tells Yuuta that the two of them are dating. If you recall, my original reasoning for Akane being jealous of Rikka was that she actually liked Yuuta, but then learned that Yuuta likes Rikka instead.

Throughout this whole timeline, Yuuta is getting flashbacks of Gridman and has the feeling that something isn’t right. However, it isn’t until he sees the Tonkawa family grave (Tonkawa was Akane’s first victim) that he remembers everything that happened.

I have to say, I really like how Tonkawa wasn’t just a throwaway character to start of the story as I thought she was going to be. The fact that she’s actually been brought up multiple times and seems to be an important source of motivation for our heroes is pretty cool.

I’m interested to see if she and the rest of the people killed by the Kaiju are revived at the end of the series, or if they’re actually gone for good.

Utsumi

Utsumi’s timeline is quite different from Yuuta’s, and even Rikka’s which I’ll talk about next. Although Yuuta’s timeline focuses on him, it’s really about Akane. Instead of Yuuta’s timeline being what he wishes the world was like, it’s depicted as Akane wishes it was like.

However, Utsumi’s timeline seems to not only focus on him, but also seems to be depicting the world as he wishes it was, instead of how Akane wishes it was. That said, the argument can be made for the opposite being true as well.

Utsumi has been in love with Akane since the beginning of the series, and this timeline plays to that side of him. In an earlier episode, Utsumi and Akane go on what’s essentially a date which ends when he refuses to answer her questions about Yuuta. This timeline, however, is a version of that date that doesn’t end prematurely.

The two have fun buying mecha manga and merchandise together, and in the end Akane invites Utsumi over to her house to watch some of the series she has. Up until this point, I would say that this timeline depicts Akane’s wish for Utsumi to be her friend since they have common interests.

However, Akane then uses the old, “by the way, my parents aren’t home and you can stay over for the night” line, and this is when I felt that something didn’t add up. Akane likes Yuuta, so I don’t think she would say this in her ideal version of the world, but in Utsumi’s ideal version of the world, this makes sense since he likes her.

Perhaps I’m reading too much into it, but this Utsumi timeline doesn’t really line up with the Yuuta or Rikka timelines in that regard.

In the end, Akane inviting Utsumi over to her house is what caused him to realize that something wasn’t right. He realizes that too many good things were happening between him and Akane in a row, and that all of this wouldn’t really happen so quickly.

Rikka

The final timeline, and the one which reveals the least new information, follows Rikka. Rikka is already aware of Akane’s creation and manipulation of the people of the city, and so nothing we see in her timeline is a big reveal. Instead, we just see Akane attempting to be Rikka’s friend as she’s done in the past.

However, while this isn’t anything revolutionary, this version of the world is almost like an in-between of the Yuuta and Utsumi timelines. Yuuta’s timeline was all about what Akane wants, and Utsumi’s timeline was all about what he wants, but Rikka’s timeline is a mix of what both she and Akane want.

Both girls want to be friends, so in that respect their goals are aligned. That said, Rikka knows about Akane’s manipulation of the people in the city, including herself, and because of this knowledge, she is unwilling to accept Akane’s friendship in its current form.

In that regard, this timeline is an Akane-centric one just like the Yuuta timeline, because although both girls want the same thing, only Akane’s version of how to reach that end goal is being depicted.

Conclusion

In the end, all three of these dream timelines show that Akane wants to have close relationships with our protagonists, and other than the fact that she’s currently their enemy, our protagonists don’t really have an issue with Akane. In fact, Utsumi even says that if they had originally met under different circumstances, they could have been close friends.

This then connects to the end of the episode when all three of our heroes wake up from their dreams. Together, they decide that although they’re now awake, they have one more friend who needs their help waking up, and this is Akane.

What I’m assuming they mean by this is that they need to wake Akane up to the fact that she doesn’t need to recreate the world to make people be her friends. Instead, people already want to be her friends, and all she has to do is accept them.

And with that, what did you think about this week’s episode of SSSS.Gridman? Personally, I thought it was a good episode, albeit one which was formatted significantly differently from any we’ve seen before. Let me know your thoughts in the comments or over on our Discord server.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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