SSSS. Gridman (Season One)

Giant mecha battle even bigger kaiju in a no holds barred city-wrecking extravaganza! Story not included…

What did you watch and why? This was a part of the Fall 2018 seasonal lineup and it promised giant robots fighting massive kaiju. How could I say no to that? It promised big fights and destruction on a city level. Also, it looked pretty slick.

What’s it about? Yuta Hibiki wakes to find himself in a strange place with a girl he doesn’t recognize. Rikka informs him that he passed out in her family’s shop and that they go to school together. When they head outside, Yuta notices giant kaiju littering the horizon.

Before long Yuta is transforming, with the help of an ancient computer in Rikka’s shop, into Gridman – a giant robot capable of battling the kaiju. More strange people appear who claim an allegiance to Gridman. Together they fight the Kaiju that seem to appear out of thin air at an alarming rate.

Following the battle, the city returns to normal overnight, the only changes are several of their classmates have been erased and no one has any memory of them. As they start to investigate these mysterious occurrences more kaiju appear.

What hooked you? After watching the first four episodes, I formulated a theory that the world in which it was happening was somehow artificial, so I felt obligated to keep watching to see if I was right. However, after eight episodes I was starting to regret the decision.

What was your favourite scene? I really enjoyed the opening music and some of the early fights. After the first couple of fights, however, it became incredible repetitive. There never really seemed to be much at stake. Sure, Gridman ‘died’ once, but really he was just stored on the server…

Each fight saw a slightly bigger and more dangerous kaiju, but each time Gridman just unleashed some new bigger and more powerful attack. Even if the city was destroyed, it was fine because it would all be back to normal the next morning, however, here’s another issue I had.

What happened to all the people that died each time? That level of destruction, there shouldn’t have been more than a handful of people left after the number of times it had happened.

What was your least favourite scene? Fixer Beam!!! Honestly, I laughed out loud at that. It’s the final battle in the final episode and Gridman is in trouble, but he realised he had the power to fix the city as well as destroy it. Long story short, he unleashed a powerful ‘fixer beam’ that heals the city and the ‘god’, but somehow blows up the villain! Given how almost every fight has involved a deus ex machina style conclusion this shouldn’t have been a surprise.

Who was your favourite character? I said early on that Rikka was the most interesting character as she had been pulled into this situation by chance. She was the reluctant hero and the only character that seemed to show any growth beyond ‘let’s smash it all up’. After her, Akane had some good moments, but not enough.

Who was your least favourite character? At the moment, I’m so disappointed with the final episode that it really is tainting the whole show, which I admittedly wasn’t in love with to start with. Part of me wants to say Gridman was my least favourite character, but I think I’m going with Borr. He was the member of the Gridman Alliance that transformed into the twin-driller tank.

Which character needs more screen time? More screen time? Please, no. The big change I would have liked to have seen would be, not revealing that Akane was the villain so soon. This series started by raising lots of interesting questions, but answered them in such a bland and blase manner that nothing really made much of an impact.

Is it similar to any other anime you’ve seen? I think the closest thing that I’ve seen would be Knights of Sidonia, although that was in space and really good. Both had giant robots and massive monsters/kaiju, both had intrigue and mysteries, but Knights of Sidonia did a much better job of raising the stakes and making the battles mean something.

Would you like another season? No. If I’m honest, I’m disappointed that I didn’t listen to my gut feeling after four episodes. I don’t understand how this is getting rated so highly. It’s fine if you do like it, I don’t have a problem with that, but maybe you could explain why? I just hope the answer isn’t nostalgia based off the original, because as much fun as that may be for new viewers it really didn’t work. At least for me, it just felt flat.

What elements of the story inspire you? If they had really explored the ideas behind the god living in the world they’d created and how little control over everyday occurrences that could have been really interesting. Admittedly, I would love to write something with kaiju and giant mecha. I have no problem with that concept, I just think they got the story pacing and plot points wrong this time.

Animercise: I watched the first eleven episodes in 2018 and just the twelfth in 2019, so not loads to report, but I am up and running. The running total is in the brackets and unsurprisingly is the same.

Episode Count: 1 (1)

Push-ups – 0 (0)

Sit-ups – 0 (0)

Squats – 10 (10)

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