SSSS.Dynazenon

SSSS.Dynazenon

SSSS.Dynazenon anime series cover art
SSSS.Dynazenon

Series Overview

SSSS.Dynazenon (stylized as SSSS.DYNAZENON in Japanese) is another mecha series in the same universe as SSSS.Gridman. In fact, I’d argue that Dynazenon is much more of a mecha series than Gridman was. Gridman doesn’t even combine!

Unfortunately, I don’t think Dynazenon really did anything to bring the mecha genre back. We all know those people who automatically believe all mecha anime is bad, and maybe you’re even one of them. Dynazenon isn’t a mecha anime you’d be able to point to in order to prove them wrong.

Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly mecha anime I like, such as Neon Genesis Evangelion. However, Dynazenon is, as far as I’m concerned, a completely average anime. And, as I’ll explain more later on in this review, if you’ve seen Gridman, you’ve kind of also seen Dynazenon.

Anyway, what’s the basic plot of SSSS.Dynazenon? Some weird guy named Gauma shows up and he has a combining mech known as Dynazenon. There are four pieces of Dynazenon — a car, a plane, a submarine, and a humanoid robot. Later, a pseudo fifth piece also gets added, but that doesn’t matter right now.

Together, the pilots of Dynazenon, who were chosen simply because they happened to be nearby when Gauma showed up, fight against Kaiju and those who control them. These antagonists are known as the Kaiju Eugenicists, and their goal is to make a world of Kaiju devoid of humans.

It’s a pretty straightforward plot and the series is largely episodic in how it tells its story. Additionally, while it’s in the same universe (or multiverse?) as SSSS.Gridman, the two stories aren’t directly connected. There are two characters from Gridman in Dynazenon, but you don’t need to have seen Gridman first to watch this series.

Main Characters

Yomogi Asanaka is the protagonist of the series. As is usually the case, he’s a pretty generic male protagonist. He’s just your average “nice guy” character who follows his (boring) sense of justice and would never do anything to make someone else unhappy, even the villains.

Yume Minami is the female lead of the series and Yomogi’s love interest. She’s way more interesting than Yomogi is simply because she’s a slightly complex character with a sad backstory. Yume’s personal goal is to get to the bottom of her older sister’s mysterious death.

Gauma is the mysterious man who shows up with Dynazenon to fight against the Kaiju. I forget exactly how long ago it was stated to be, but Gauma is from far in the past — thousands of years in the past. That’s also when the Kaiju Eugenicists are from.

Chise, Koyomi, Gauma, Yomogi, and Yume from the anime series SSSS.Dynazenon
Chise, Koyomi, Gauma, Yomogi, and Yume

Koyomi Araragi Yamanaka is a NEET who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and got caught up in all of this Dynazenon and Kaiju nonsense. He could have had an interesting backstory, but it turned out to be nothing, which was extremely disappointing.

Chise Asukagawa is Koyomi’s younger cousin and also my favorite of the main characters. She constantly has to inform people that she hangs out with Koyomi because they’re cousins, and not because of anything weird. Unfortunately, Chise is sidelined for a large portion of the anime.

As far as antagonists go, there are four members of the Kaiju Eugenicists. These are Juuga, Onija, Mujina, and Shizumu. The only character who I’d say rivals Chise in any way is Mujina. She’s not a particularly interesting character but just look at her. You’ve heard of Rikka’s thighs from Gridman? Now get ready for Mujina’s thighs from Dynazenon.

Comparison to SSSS.Gridman

There were some things I liked more about Dynazenon than Gridman. For example, Dynazenon has Chise and Mujina. I also prefer Dynazenon as a mech over Gridman, which is more of a giant, humanoid robot than mech. The combining aspect of Dynazenon goes a long way.

However, after thinking about both series for a bit, I’m going to have to say Gridman is the better of the two. I probably overrated Gridman in my original review of the series, but even if I went back and lowered it, I’d still place it above Dynazenon.

The biggest shortcoming of Dynazenon, when compared to Gridman, is the overall plot. Gridman didn’t have a phenomenal plot by any means. But it was pretty good at keeping me interested in the mystery of the world and its characters. Dynazenon doesn’t do that nearly as well.

Yume poking Yomogi's side from the anime series SSSS.Dynazenon
Yume poking Yomogi’s side

Another issue I have with Dynazenon is simply that Gridman came out first. While these are different series, they’re still similar in a lot of ways. They’re similar enough that Dynazenon doesn’t feel like its own series. It’s almost an extension of Gridman despite the lack of direct connections.

If you haven’t already seen Gridman, then Dynazenon is going to feel like a much more unique anime. But considering it involves the same kinds of Kaiju as Gridman did, the big differences between the two series are the mechs involved and the plots.

I’ve already mentioned how I prefer the Dynazenon mech and the Gridman plot. But why exactly does the plot of Dynazenon fall so flat? It all comes down to the fact that the various character backstories don’t come together and conclude in a satisfying way.

Throughout the whole series, I thought Koyomi’s backstory was going to tie into the death of Yume’s sister. It was set up to do so perfectly, but then it didn’t and it made all that setup go to waste. And Chise’s whole backstory is just implied and never actually explored.

Conclusion

In the end, SSSS.Dynazenon is a 5/10 from me. I gave SSSS.Gridman a 7/10, but in retrospect, it’s probably more like a 6. Either way, Dynazenon is the worse of the two as far as I’m concerned.

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