「集まった意味って、なに？」 (Atsumatta imi tte, nani?)
“What’s Our Reason for Coming Together?”
No letup from SSSS.Dynazenon, which has been a marvel of consistency so far. Seven episodes, seven winners. The formula of an original series in the hands of a really good writer is a hard one to top – everything seems to fit in a way that’s almost impossible to match in an adaptation. It’s like buying a bespoke suit rather than one off the rack (Yeah, I know I’ve used that analogy before but it still fits – pun intended).
The “really good writer” part is the key, though. That’s not optional, and it’s the reason (along with the direction) Dynazenon can pack so much into an episode without it feeling rushed. There were plot advancements on all fronts here along with pretty monumental character development. Most obviously of course is the arrival of Gridknight, which means the arrival of Anti. And not just Anti either, as he’s accompanied by Anosillus II (or Anoshiras as they romanized it last time). But it’s pretty clear some time has passed, at least for them…
I don’t know about the mythology implications of Anti and Anosillus aging about ten years, but what strikes me as most likely is that these two of hopping between multiverses. Indeed Anti refers to opposition popping up like anti(heh)bodies whenever kaiju appear in a world, but it seems as if Gridknight can pass between them at will. He also notes that there are two worlds being beset by kaiju at the moment (which is apparently unusual) which implies that Gridman may be off fighting in another one. It still doesn’t clarify the exact relationship between this world and Akane of course, but it invites interesting speculation.
A ton of interesting stuff happens here, starting with what’s the first real acknowledgement of casualties as Koyomi spots Inamoto-san’s husband in the wreckage after the first kaiju battle. Given the carnage we see everyone is still astonishingly deadpan about all this compared to SSSS.Gridman, so something is still off to me. Nevertheless this is important – as is Koyomi’s decision to help the man despite his petulant resentment of him. Koyomi has bought into the notion of helping people for its own sake, and has moral lines which he won’t cross.
That makes an interesting pair with Onija scolding Mujina that “kaiju aren’t for settling grudges” – he’s one to talk. Of course he follows that up by saying they’re a tool for wiping out humanity, really putting the “Eugenicist” in Kaiju Eugenicists. There’s a serious disconnect here between these apparently non-sociopathic people’s demeanor and their stated goals (and applied actions) which Dynazenon really hasn’t confronted yet. Shizumu’s comment about “real” kaiju users not needing sleep was obviously not inserted by coincidence either.
There’s big development for the rest of the “ragtag” Dynazenon crew as well. Chise was giving off more ominous vibes this week, suggesting there’s more to her role in all this than even she probably understands. And Yomogi and Yume go deeper than we’ve seen them before. Yomogi keeps pushing to bring them closer, and she keeps pushing back – it’s frustrating to watch but feels very real (and I adore small touches like Yume’s iPhone waking up when she lifts her hand). His tearful reaction when she finally opens up to him a little seems to breach the dam at least a little – what further proof of his emotional commitment could she ask for? Yomogi really is a good kid, and this exchange suggests that there’s more angst in his own backstory than he’s shared with anyone (including the audience) so far.
It’s never in doubt that Gridknight and Dynazenon will team up, but it’s fun to watch it play out. Anti is hardly diplomatic in his approach despite Anosillus II’s chiding, and Gauma has his pride. But their goals overlap and they’re obviously going to get past that eventually. The fact is that Dynazenon was pretty much screwed without Anosillus’ “Fixer Beam” (handy), but once it gets its mojo back the pair are more than a match for the now closely-allied Mujina and Onija. With the teams in place, I think the stage is set for a more thorough exploration of just how SSSS.Dynazenon fits with the Gridman universe, which should be interesting to say the least.