「このときめきって、なに？」 (Kono tokimeki tte, nani?)
“What Is This Thumping Heart?”
Just a few memorable one-offs from arguably the funniest anime episode of the season:
- “You have every day off!”
- (patterpatterpatterpatterpatter) “You can eat that.”
- “Something beam!”
- “I thought I was dead.”
It was also true with SSSS.Gridman, but SSSS.Dynazenon is proving to be a series with a wide gap between how it’s received in Japan and in the West. Why is this? The easiest answer is that there are simply more anime fans left in Japan who remember the era these two shows spiritually hail from, or that they’re simply too far removed from the experience of most anime fans in the west in 2021. I don’t claim to know, but I wonder if there are indeed a lot of Westerners appreciating these shows, but they aren’t the sort to make their feelings known in social media and on aggregator sites.
As to that latter point, I suppose we’ll know the answer when we see whether Adult Swim decides to add Dynazenon to its lineup on the heels of its older sibling. Truthfully it doesn’t matter that much in a practical sense, because these series are commercially viable in Japan, and it shouldn’t matter to me either because I love them regardless. Easier said than done, but I have a lot of practice loving anime that tank commercially both in Japan and the West, so this at least is a step up from that.
The sheer effortlessness of Dynazenon is really on display in an ep like this one, and it’s the true secret to why the show works. There’s no pretense, no artifice – for old-timers like me, it’s clear we’re watching the real deal where mecha anime is concerned. This episode is mostly concerned with Yomogi and Yume’s relationship, and they’ve definitely emerged as the adorkable power couple of Spring 2021. Yomogi is doing his best not to be, but he’s clearly being taken off his game by his growing feelings for Yume – the news that she’s off to “meet someone” is enough to send him into a despair spiral. He gets a push from shotacon-sempai – I don’t trust her motives and the Koyomi connection doesn’t seem coincidental, but her constant teasing actually proves helpful for once.
Yume (I suppose I already noticed that her sister’s charm was an ankh but somehow it never clicked until this week) is slowing peeling back the layers of her sister’s life, and supporting her on this quest is a good way for the romantically timid Yomogi-kun to bring the two of them closer. Next up for her (presumably next week) is a meeting with someone named Unita to watch a video of her sister at chorus practice, which I imagine will be eventful both emotionally and from a plot standpoint. Given that Yume didn’t reject Yomogi’s offer to accompany her (though she did sneeze over the reason why, I suspect she knows), I hope he tags along on that venture.
Meanwhile, Shizumu is the latest to make an approach to the heroes, enrolling as a transfer student at school. He tells Yume and Yomogi that the Eugenicists don’t create kaiju, but “want to create a world where kaiju are needed”, and that kaiju exist to free people from the bonds that restrain them from being free. That’s all pretty enigmatic stuff, but the Eugenicists are the most enigmatic part of Dynazenon so far generally. They don’t seem psychotic (apart from Onija) but what they’re doing seems pretty indefensible to me. Dynazenon is a worthy sequel in every respect but the one element from Gridman I really miss is the Assist Weapons. They were very fun and their role was easy to understand – I hope the Eugenicists grow into something similar for Dynazenon, but not so far.
We have a very cool kaiju this week – reminiscent of Gigan in fact, with the ability to make 3D objects 2D (send it to the Cestvs production, stat). And Chise finally got into the cockpit, courtesy of Yomogi’s bad cold. I was half-expecting she’d turn out to be a natural given her gaming obsession and that Yomogi would worry about being obsoleted (or be obsoleted), but no – in fact Yomogi ends up saving the day and coughing his way through the battle after Yume comes to pick him up. Her sick visit to his room was the definite highlight of the episode for me – it was incredibly sweet and authentic. And maybe a virus wasn’t all she gained from the exercise, but a partner as well…
And thus, both Gridman Universe anime had their 4th episode bring out the main dude’s feelings for the main girl into the open:
* He’s uncomfortable with the idea of her hanging out with another guy.
* Somebody pressures him with “Do you like her?” until he admits that he might.
* His attempts to make progress at the end are hampered (Yuuta’s intentions fly right over Rikka’s head; Yume’s sneeze apparently drowns out Yomogi’s intentions).
Here’s hoping that YomogiXYume has a more satisfying conclusion than YuutaXRikka did.
P.S. This episode’s Voice Drama has Yomogi visit Yume while she’s sick. If you’re interested, he’s the “video” and a translation:
Even the bookend 12.12 voice drama (exclusive to the Gridman Blurays) didn’t really give a satisfactory ending for Yuuta x Rikka. Rikka avoids Utsumi’s question on whether she truly likes Yuuta, Yuuta’s not around on account of being hospitalized due to his memory loss, and the rest was Utsumi and Rikka meeting the actual girl whom Akane modeled her inworld form on.
(Ironic, esp. hearing the JP fanbase tends to ship Yuuta x Rikka.)
I was aware of the contents of the 12.12 voice drama (which is why I’m so disappointed), but I would’ve thought that the JP fanbase would be all over RikkaXAkane.
P.S. I can kind of get why Rikka would try to avoid the subject of “how does she feel about Yuuta” (given the reveal in the penultimate episode), but I still thought it was lame. I hope that Yomogi and Yume get off better than that.
Apparently there’s a portion of the JP fanbase that’s pro-Rikka x Akane too.
Maybe that’s what they were aiming for in 12.12.
I’ve actually heard people interpret the 12.12 voice drama as showing that Rikka ships Akane with Utsumi (who, likewise, ships Rikka with Yuuta), so who can tell.
My best guess is that they left the Gridman pairings ambiguous on purpose so as to not upset anyone. I can only hope that Dynazenon will be more straightforward than that.
Funny… when I read these comments I saw references to Rikka and for a moment, thought of a long cardigan and a short skirt. But then there were references to confused and anemic romance as well as a Yuuta. And while I couldn’t recall the name of the character in Gridman, I did recall a Rikka calling out repeatedly to a Yuuta and got mentally sidetracked by the tyrant’s eye. All this got me wondering what the heck the connection was. Then some references to something mysterious, maybe on 12.12, which had me guessing that it was a date that something was released, and well — 2012 is when Chuunibyou came out and an episode aired on Dec.12 too.
There are too many coincidences in life.
Some viewers have noticed that Dynazenon’s been reusing/readapting a lot of backdrops, layouts, and settings from SSSS Gridman.
The question is what all this reusing means.
– An extreme corner-cutting measure by Trigger to save time/budget?
– Visual easter egg callbacks to SSSS Gridman for viewers to pore over?
– Buildups to possible reveals of this world’s nature and its connection to the SSSS Gridman Universe (SGU)?
Also, people on Twitter already found the BGM songs played at the not-Starbucks and the karaoke booth in this episode.
1) 23-ji no Shunrai Shojo by Kito Akari (VA for Nene from Toilet Bound Hanako-kun)
2)The Day I Knew I Needed You by MARLOE (Brisbane-based singer-songwriter)
Karaoke: No Scenario by Uchida Maaya
Yes, there’s something beyond cost-cutting happening here. Could just be Easter eggs but I suspect more.
My young g/f
I don’t really understand some of this show. What’s the body count up to now? Why is everyone so emotionless most of the time? Why aren’t they taking this more seriously with all the destruction and whatnot?
If something is destroying a city you go and don’t even ask if it’s all right to skip school or not.
They’re all depressed. They’re not really sure there’s a point. What you’re talking about is Gauma.