In the exhausting aftermath of a whirlwind anime opening weekend I have to be honest: SSSS.Gridman really left me at a loss for words. I’m sure most people didn’t know what to fully expect heading into this one, what between the tokusatsu origins and Trigger’s lingering divisiveness due to Franxx, but the results so far? Oh yeah, no one definitely saw this coming.
If the synopsis alone wasn’t enough of an idea, Gridman’s opener does a fair job of showcasing the insanity we can expect going forward. Our main guy Hibiki Yuuta (Hirose Yuuya) wakes up without any memories, he gets some timely assistance from a spunky cutie pie named Takarada Rikka (Miyamoto Yume), and winds up talking to the
voice of God some robot/mecha thing called Gridman inside an old computer. Except the voice is real, Gridman actually exists, and Yuuta has some fate involving battling kaiju on the streets of Japan inside his new mecha alter ego. Did we also mention the complete reset of the devastated parts of town after the battle is over and how no one seemingly cares too much about a big rubbery lizard-thing randomly throwing fireballs at buildings? Yeah, it’s all crazy in here. Needless to say though Gridman does a fine job of emulating its sources of inspiration, with the kaiju looks and Ultraman references hearkening back well to some of the TV stuff I’m sure a few of us have some fond memories of. It’s the sort of thing which definitely won’t appeal to everyone, but for those that do, it’s got the look (even if 3D CGI) and material down pat.
Story-wise though is where Gridman can likely get interesting. Besides the usual chaos of first episode lack of character information (because action sequences), the show has quite a few mysteries already under its hood. Why did Yuuta lose his memories? Why can only he see Gridman (at least until fighting kaiju)? What’s the importance of the quirky Shinjou Akane going to be? Couple this with one guy clearly involved in the ridiculous shenanigans and our apparent enemy who looks too much like Luluco’s Over Justice Director-General for his own good and we have some seriously funky plotlines to work through. Given the origins of Gridman and its setup it’s fairly clear a lot of the answers (and inevitable Trigger-esque reveals) will be just as crazy as the likes of people swallowing computers and random monsters in the sky this episode, but if the show can keep up the feel generated so far without going too overboard in the process (read: off the rails), it’s likely to be one entertaining ride.
After all with kaiju facing off against big talking people-infused robotic heroes, it’s going to be hard not being entertaining.