「重なる気持ちって、なに？」 (Kasanaru kimochi tte, nani?)
“What Are These Overlapping Emotions?”
Between SSSS.Dynazenon and Godzilla S.P., I wonder if this might be the best kaiju season in anime history. If so the reason is obvious – kaiju is not especially a popular genre for anime, and never has been. Both these gems are “borrowed”, really, from other mediums. Singular Point is a pure sequel to the Toho Showa Godzilla franchise (with some modern in-betweens in the mix) and Dynazenon a canon homage to a 30 year-old TV franchise. They’re purely anime too in their own way – especially SSSS.Dynazenon – but still feel distinct from what the medium usually is.
I really only have one concern with this episode, which was yet another cracker in what’s been a fantastic run of form for SSSS.Dynazenon. It may just have been too good. Especially in the sense that it seems hard to imagine the series could come up with a better ending than what we got here. Yeah, we’re still in the middle of most of the subplots – but really, this was such an existentially satisfying place to leave the characters. Chise got her kaiju, the good guys combined into the coolest form ever, fireworks, and the main couple bonded in a very profound way. I know they can’t just end it here, but part of me wishes they could. I don’t know how they’re going to match it with the actual ending.
“Too good” is about the most flattering criticism you can make of an episode, but I think this one earned it. Not so much that happened here was surprising, but it was the satisfying way it was all delivered that made it sing. Starting with Chise, who was the focus of much of it – as expected, her “seed” (or potato, or whatever) grew into a kaiju. And yes, a dragon – a gold one in fact, which she names Goldburn (I would have gone for Isao myself). Goldburn is clearly tied into Chise’s emotions, which strikes me as a dangerous precedent despite the fact that it worked out well enough this time.
So Chise is a poor little rich girl, and her bandages are not because she cut herself but because she has tattoos. Perhaps they’re the reason she was seemingly bullied in middle school, which presumably caused her to drop out. Meanwhile Futaba Senda (Kano’s ex) shows up at school to talk with Yume. And while he offers little of substance to her investigation, it’s pretty clear there are thing he’s holding back. His “Yeah, most people would think that” reaction when Yume tearfully challenges him on why he didn’t save Kano pretty much confirms that. But on the upside, both Yomogi and Yume have seen each other ugly crying now, so the ledger is even.
Goldburn takes Chise on a bit of a magical mystery tour, shrinking and expanding stuff (including himself) and going for a flight around town. Another kaiju hits, and it’s Juuga who takes command. You almost feel bad for him, as he seems to have no defined role in the group dynamic and is obviously weaker than the others. But this kaiju does trouble Gauma and Koyomi when they’re fighting it alone. Even the arrival of Gridknight doesn’t turn the tables, but the real story here is Gauma seeing through the veneer of Yomogi and Yume’s relationship and ordering his de facto little brother to go fetch her. Clear thinking and selflessness in the heat of crisis – this was a fine moment for Gauma’s character arc.
That moment on top of the tower is tense because we don’t know just what Yume is thinking, and what she might be capable of. Chise scolds her for declaring that nothing good ever comes of fighting, especially after Yomogi arrives right in Goldburn’s wake. “You don’t know what you have” is Chise’s way of telling Yume to wake up and smell the coffee – Yomogi is a sweet kid and clearly loves her, and unless the feelings aren’t reciprocal Yume better let him know he’s not tilting at windmills. It all comes down at once here – Yume falls (but crucially doesn’t jump), Yomogi in Dynasoldier tries to catch her, fails, and Goldburn shocks everyone by doing so himself (reflecting Chise’s desire). A new page is turned…
The story flirted (sorry, Juuga) with Chise going dark side, even hinted at it – but I’m happy it turned out to be a feint. As for Yume and Yomogi, they continue to power ahead – unevenly, but with large lurches forward when they happen. Of course Yomogi dropped the ball when he misread Yume’s invitation to go to the festival alone (or was too scared to accept it), but he once more showed Yume his true feelings through his actions (for the first time since Fukai Ao, I want to break out my “tiger cub GAR” phrasing). And the look she gave him after the kaiju was defeated tells us everything we need to know about where these two are in their relationship.
Again, that ending – how could you top it? That gattai – “Super Dragon King Kaiser Gridknight” – was about as fulfilling as they get. Everyone’s literally on-board now, and seemingly unbeatable (until the top boss arrives, whoever or whatever it is). Literal fireworks for the reveal, and then Yume and Yomogi literally making fireworks together (after she dazzles him with her yukata – or is it Kano’s Yukata?). I’m sure there are big happenings in store for the final three episodes, but SSSS.Dynazenon has set an uneasily high bar for itself with this epic explosion of fanservice.