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SSSS.Gridman – 01

「覚・醒」 (Kaku.Sei)
“Awakening”

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.

October 7, 2018 at 11:04 pm
49 comments »
  • October 8, 2018 at 12:21 amzztop

    Gridman’s head writer also did the screenplays for several live tokusatsu shows – Ultraman Dyna, Ultraman Nexus and Kamen Rider Ghost.
    https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/people.php?id=8724

    • October 8, 2018 at 8:38 amshakerite

      https://randomc.net/image/SSSS%20Gridman/SSSS%20Gridman%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2025.jpg
      I appreciate how the monster moves like a guy in a suit.

      • October 8, 2018 at 8:49 amJamieB

        I also hadn’t been reading the thread very closely and didn’t see that was the the divisive point of conversation until now.

      • October 8, 2018 at 9:25 amFordy

        Those kind of jump cuts wouldn’t even need any character animation. Just to have the characters in different positions after the cuts.
        It’s like I’m talking to aliens, this is basic shit that you see everywhere.

    • October 8, 2018 at 9:07 amTeflon Don

      If this doesn’t end up Demonbane tier, it will be a flop.

    • October 8, 2018 at 9:22 amVale Till I Die

      Ultraman and tokukatsu as a whole which off the top of my head went back to at least the 60′s.

    • October 8, 2018 at 4:00 pmDude

      I’m a Kamen Rider fan and Ghost is one of the weaker shows. I’m worried.

  • October 8, 2018 at 12:45 amzztop

    • October 8, 2018 at 9:01 amDonnyrovers90

      Is this the anime that he Inferno Cop/Ninja Slayer director is directing? The first episode was awesome.

  • October 8, 2018 at 4:25 amhoshi

    I’m not particularly taken into the how the mecha fits into this universe so far. But apart from that this first episode was fairly well executed. There were many strange quirks throughout the episode. Like the very long still-frame shot at the very beginning that makes you wonder if your video is frozen. The back and forth between Yuta and Rikka with jumps to different poses where the background is slightly offset each time. The long silence after they ball squashes Yuta’s lunch. It all helped build an atmosphere that strongly suggested something is off which fits in well with Yuta’s memory loss and I suppose, the eventual revelation of the mech and kaiju.

    • October 8, 2018 at 8:05 amPosh Josh

      People keep using that word. Not all Toku is mecha.

  • October 8, 2018 at 5:07 amAngelus

    I came to this show earnestly trying to dislike it because tokusatsu isn’t my thing at all, but it’s so dripping with classic Gainax vibes infused with Trigger manic style that in the end I just couldn’t resist.

    • October 8, 2018 at 8:14 amFaustus

      This is the next day, you dumb ass kids. In this moment his friend and the girl didn’t knew that the show had fucking anime restoration magic. The point is that the blue haired boy didn’t even give a shit about the potential millions of victims and was only euphoric about the robot. Man, you shouldn’t watch tokusatsu shows if you’re gonna get mad about stuff like that

      • October 8, 2018 at 8:24 amAngelus

        Man, maybe you shouldn’t use the reply function if you’re not gonna click on “cancel reply” when you ought to :)

      • October 8, 2018 at 8:33 amGFC4EVA

        @Faustus
        His stodgy movement is meant to be a throwback to a guy wearing a big dumb suit. While that alone doesn’t justify it, if there really was a giant kaiju thing, its movement would surely be lumbering like that, so it seems to fit.

      • October 8, 2018 at 8:41 amCal_BCFC

        @GFC4EVA, An anime based on a tokuatsu TV show deliberately imitating the effects used in a tokuatsu TV show isn’t justified? I don’t understand.

      • October 8, 2018 at 8:47 amLordMegson

        I liked it myself, I just think the nostalgia factor alone doesn’t automatially make it good.

      • October 8, 2018 at 8:53 amDonnyOsmond

        https://randomc.net/image/SSSS%20Gridman/SSSS%20Gridman%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2007.jpg

        Is Rikka like Aqua, and wears no pantsu, because? Based.

      • October 8, 2018 at 9:02 amscunnymadandy

        Blame her long sweater that partially cover her skirt. And no, she actually wears panties deep inside unlike the dumb goddess, and the show itself isn’t ecchi.

      • October 8, 2018 at 10:00 amweasl

        Please.. Take your meds.

  • October 8, 2018 at 5:11 amwillis drummond

    Ah, so volleyball-girl is playing with the ball in class. Akane gets binged by the volleyball, smooshing her gifted sandwich. Viral (er, whomever that guy is) takes offense, so he builds a kaiju to hurl molten volleyballs back at volleyball-girl. Wonder if she’s dead now, or is reset, or what have you.

    Also I like the Win95 pipes screensaver, on the nape of the beheaded kaiju. This is really subtle, so I explain it: I remember seeing on Super-Robot-Red-Baron, the characters opened up a robot or something, and there was all this really lo-tech electronics (like a telephone handset cord, you know, the coiled cord). Impressive to a 5-year old but kind of comical otherwise. So here, they do the same thing, but their lo-tech is Win95. :) How many viewers were alive in 1995?

    • October 8, 2018 at 8:00 amderbysaddler

      The direction was very odd. There’s basically no BGM for most of it and it feels kind of creepy at points but I don’t think it’s supposed to be creepy. (That one scene where the girl smashes the special dog with the volleyball for example, it’s a fucking full 20 seconds of nothing happening. Lots of panning and still shots

      That said, as for the show’s content itself, it wasn’t particularly bad or good. It was just okay. Perfectly serviceable, some cool action shots, definitely got the feel of a tokusatsu fight animated. The idea for this had to have been someone at Trigger’s passion project because anime toku just isn’t a thing these days.

      Reminder that Akane killed volleyball for ruining her special DOGU.

  • October 8, 2018 at 7:55 amSmugBoy

    https://randomc.net/image/SSSS%20Gridman/SSSS%20Gridman%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2007.jpg

    First episode much more interesting than I expected.
    The first part has an unsettling vibe to it and an atmospheric direction that come as a real surprise from Amemiya, that so far has been basically only Imaishi Jr. stilistically, and that will probably be more clear after the following episodes.
    The CGI was okay but what was really good was how the handdrawn bits were integrated and used for the most flashy moments. One of the best usages of 2D/3D blend I’ve seen.
    Yuuta being paired with Rikka and Glasses being interested in Akane already deconfirms any descent into love triangle melodrama, and I think any hints at either being the one making the kaiju is a red herring.

  • October 8, 2018 at 8:10 amSouthStandRover

    • October 8, 2018 at 8:16 amDan Phillips

      Well, I think it’s pretty obvious that Rikka is pregnant with Yuta’s son.

    • October 8, 2018 at 8:19 amshaker4life

      I got to watch the first two episodes of Gridman. The first episode is great and filled with tokusatsu elements. However, even if you’re not a tokusatsu fan and only somewhat enjoyed episode 1, please check episode 2. Episode 2 is even better and will appeal to you even if you don’t like tokusatsu!

    • October 8, 2018 at 12:56 pmsixseven

      I think that she might have been having sex with Yuta before he lost his memory.

      • October 8, 2018 at 4:02 pmDude

        It was so good he lost his memories?

  • October 8, 2018 at 8:22 amsosbrigade1991

    I really loved all the down to earth stuff. The little details of background characters talking and hanging out in the classroom and stuff of that nature made it all feel very alive. Like a real living breathing world, but the mecha stuff just felt SO out of place. I am very interested in where this series will go, but I’m hoping they can mesh the two genres a bit better.

    • October 8, 2018 at 8:13 pmBROOKLYN otaku

      THIS^^^! Was feeling all that build up too, as another poster mentioned it had GAINAX vibes througout.

      And then it all turned TO RUBBISH when the SH!T CGI STARTED.

      and YES I Understand that ths monsters plodding movements and rubber suit like battle was INTENTIONAL. But the quality still looked like TRASH. Yall cant refute this!

      sadly prob not even giveing this the 3 ep rule

  • October 8, 2018 at 8:25 amSalopTillIDie

    https://randomc.net/image/SSSS%20Gridman/SSSS%20Gridman%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2006.jpg

    It’s an artistic choice because their conversation is going rapid fire but it looks jank as fuck so I wouldn’t blame someone for thinking it was shit quality

    • October 8, 2018 at 8:30 amSaddlerMatt

      It works better together with the audio. Its like a fast forward thing where they skip part of the discussion to show it was long and unimportant.

      • October 8, 2018 at 8:57 ammaybee

        No, it’s because they storyboarded the dialogue to only be animated from that angle, which was a stupid decision because that’s boring to look at for 30 seconds so they compensated by using jumpcuts so the weird shit is supposed to distract you from the fact that they fucked up.

      • October 8, 2018 at 9:05 amshotshy

        The timing of the scene is completely incongruous with what you’re suggesting. Also, the fact that several shots were animated further disproves your insane claims.

    • October 8, 2018 at 8:45 amNightmare

      I think that they made it look terrible on purpose and that it was a great artistic choice.

  • October 8, 2018 at 9:11 amvalefan16

    https://randomc.net/image/SSSS%20Gridman/SSSS%20Gridman%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2032.jpg
    At first I thought the cars flying could be excused, but not this.
    Is this a join project with someone else? This can’t be trigger.

    • October 8, 2018 at 9:19 amTrev_GFC

      Graphinica is doing the CGI in the show, but it’s no more a joint production than any other anime with outsourced CGI (that is to say, almost all of them).

      • October 8, 2018 at 9:31 amfblockrob

        -people bitching about the CG
        -they don’t know it was used to make the movements more similar to actual tokusatsu villains
        -they didn’t see Shin Gojira (to which SSSS.Grindman paid homage more than once in this first episode), directed by Anno, with a weird puppet-like monster, still considered by critics (and by me) a great film
        -they don’t get the awesome atmosphere the show managed to build in just one episode, calling it boring
        truly the pleb filter of the season.

    • October 8, 2018 at 9:27 amparchpea

      Is this a join project with someone else?

      Yes, with the studio behind that Juuni Taisen series from last year.

  • October 8, 2018 at 9:29 amArkwright

    I get some Ultraman flashbacks. I missed this good old shounen kind of tokusatsu.

  • October 8, 2018 at 9:52 amSou

    I enjoyed seeing the jump cuts during Rikka and Yuta’s conversation. It’s something that pops up in Ultraman and Kamen Rider at times. (those shows have some wonderful direction and I think this was trying to mimic some of those choices)

  • October 8, 2018 at 10:00 amweasl

    I pulled this off crunchyroll on a whim and wow! The Gainax feels are so strong with this one I was hooked.

  • October 8, 2018 at 10:04 amstarss

    Yeah so far I’m not impressed. Maybe I would be more invested in the pilot if I had been familiar with past Gridman shows.

  • October 8, 2018 at 11:49 amKurik

    I don’t know. I am gonna give this one my usual 3 episodes to see if its worth watching or not. I was put off by Yuuta and the other guy’s blasé attitude or lack of empathy towards the wanton destruction and obvious loss of probably 100 or thousands of lives. Only the girl Rikka kinda brought it home that she was concerned for her friends when the school was hit. No concern for parents/anyone else. Weird. The next bit that tends to get me is idiocy. You see a giant kaiju and your first instint is to run ‘towards’ it? Which person – kid or otherwise – does that? Anyways…two more episodes. We will see.

    • October 8, 2018 at 4:17 pmTendou

      This is a common thing in tokusatsu. The heroes run into danger before they have their powers, showing their desire to help those around them.

  • October 8, 2018 at 12:08 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    For those old enough…

    S uperhuman
    S amurai
    S yber
    S aquad

    Gridman / Servo.

    The nostalgia…

  • October 8, 2018 at 6:24 pmJen

    I dont know, this seems so generic and boring…. there isnt really anything interesting here

  • October 9, 2018 at 12:36 ampeep

    The voice actress of the blue haired girl is really bad.

  • October 9, 2018 at 8:04 amhaseo0408

    Well, this certainly was interesting! Let the insanity begin!.

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