SSSS.Gridman (Fall 2018) – Amidst the Confusion

“SSSS.Gridman” came along with so many popular shows and brought its Trigger’s style back with more waifu war. But, not the goddamn trope like “Nisekoi” or any your favorite waifu’s season. Although the community isn’t expecting too much with this show, I think I know the reason. Is this just about Rikka’s thigh or more than that? What about Akane, are they also very concerned about the character? And that’s how this anime appeared after 25 years since the original came in 1993.

Trigger and Tsuburaya Productions have collaborated to produce this gorgeous reboot of “SSSS.Gridman”. Combining an essence from tokusatsu, took inspiration from “Transformers”, with the kinds of similar stories to “The Truman Show” and “They Live”. Think of a battle of robots in a world that’s under the control by one person. Think about how Kaiju has lived with us but only realized many years have passed.

The show comes with a slow and predictable plot. No actual story in there or in-depth character. There is no motivation for the protagonist and antagonists. However, I want to talk more about the complexity that’s in Akane Shinjou, the antagonist, later. She is the one who stole my attention a lot when talking about developed characters with real motivation.

Seemingly, “SSSS.Gridman” is a combination of various genres. You can call it such as school, a slice of life (a little bit), fanservice for a few, science fiction, and mecha. But, as these people don’t really recognize the world they live in, are in the shade of a creature from another world, they never know. They only live as normal, unaware that one by one they disappear from their lives and memories. But, they are still acting normally. That’s how this show caught my attention when I saw it from a different perspective. Not about the giant mecha action between Kaiju and robots, which is great and cool. Yet, it’s because of how the story keeps me in the first place.

As Yuuta Hibiki is the lead character in this show, it doesn’t really add anything. He just woke up in a state of amnesia, forgetting everything, his friends, his parents, and etc. However, we don’t have anything to come with himself. From the beginning to the end, he was just dragged down by the situation as if to say: I have something important than this which is saving the world. If you interpret the word further, maybe you got this: I’m the main character in this show so just give me a lot of screens, idiot!

Instead, Yuuta is a pilot from Gridman. Gridman is a mecha giant robot, will always defeat the Kaiju which is causing some chaos. Yes, the show focuses a lot on this Yuuta and also the interesting battle between the mecha giant robot against the monster. The fact that this show is also very, very popular, it’s because of Rikka, maybe? Just like Yuuta, she also just dragged on with no motive or any action. She is just aware of Rikka’s driven character, more like an alter ego when it reveals whether the world they live in is still alive or dead.

Rikka fights between her feeling to Akane and tried to reconnect with Akane because she was the one who understood Akane the best. Akane is her close friends, created this Kaiju just to get rid of the things she hates including people and has fun. The show really sticks with it and follows this antagonist so the protagonist acts quickly as possible. While Rikka understood what the world Akane really wanted, it was actually very simple. This is why my attention focused more on Akane than the protagonist. She was stuck by revenge and anger in herself, feel isolated, in deep space, and try to play God.

The dynamic between Rikka and Akane is more like a reconnection, not only acts as a second plot but plays an important role in the story. The shows put a lot of their attention in great yet cool animation in these actions. It takes the atmosphere but sometimes, they have balanced it very well. There is a sense of claustrophobic for these characters who have known the real world. Regardless of which, they don’t seem panic but just calm down. They just filled with misery. The soundtrack is great, the opening and ending themes are great as well. The conflict, I mean, the dynamic is there and the character designs borrow a lot to “Transformers” especially the final change from Akane.

“SSSS.Gridman” is just a really good show with plenty of great action but not too deep when we talk about characters. The show borrows a lot of culture in it, especially Japan itself such as tokusatsu, one of them. The fact that the show is popular for other reasons is really amazing. Yet, the show is nice, enjoyable, and if you want to find a giant mecha robot fight against Kaiju, this is for you.

3 out of 5 stars.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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