Posted by SuperMario on 17 October 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, SSSS.GRIDMAN

Me blogging a Trigger show? Well, I’ll be damned myself but life does take some strange turn. Not that I’m a Trigger naysayer but if I’ll be honest, Trigger shows tend to rub me in a wrong way. The studio is seen as the successor of Gainax for one thing, and the overhyped reactions from anime fandom regarding their shows certainly don’t help. I always find their outputs full of cliche with one-note characters, along with expressive animation. So my point is that after being extremely down with Darling in the FranXX, another original anime that takes inspiration from Power Ranger-style Tokusatsu show didn’t interest me at all. But GRIDMAN caught me completely off guard. The most prominent thing about it so far, and that’s what makes it different from the rest of the pack, is that it’s very offbeat – to the point it’s risk sacrificing the audience’s involvement. For me though, it works in the service of the story and it makes the ride wholly unexpected and rewarding.

It starts with Yuta waking up with an amnesia. It’s a well-worn trope to the bone but here, amusingly every single character treats it like no big deal. This sense of a lucid dream where you can’t tell apart what is dream and true is further added up by many strange events that function almost like a dream: its kaiju monsters standing in the middle of the city, but no one but Yuta sees it or the school is back to normal after the big destruction the day before. What I’m impressed the most so far in GRIDMAN is the commanding direction. Many beats sometimes stay for almost too long, but until much later should we know how these scenes are integral to the narrative. Take the scene happened early in episode 1 where Akane (the blue hair girl) offers Yuta a bread roll that is immediately swept away by the random ball for example. GRIDMAN literally pauses on the scene for few seconds, creating a deadpan affect. Until episode 2 should we learn that the single moment IS the reason for the kaiju outbreak and the disappearance of the girls in second episode. That also explains some weird shot placements to those girls earlier.

Similarly, the dialogues are offbeat as hell, but they all complement to the tone of GRIDMAN. at one point, Yuta’s friend Utsumi says, “the situation hasn’t sunk in yet”, everything happened so far function with the same sentiment. This works in both good and bad ways. On the positive side, the air of mystery is still there and we get a clear sense that everything is more than what it seems. Moreover, GRIDMAN nails it at the deadpan tones that occasionally gives me a chuckle or tow. The appearance of Samurai Calibur for example, or how we eventually learn that he’s the grand soce sword for Gridman is hilarious. On the other hand, I could see why the audience can’t feel personally resonate to it. It’s decided so. But what it lacks in term of realistic dialogue or plot, it makes uo by the strong visual presentation. They communicate more by glances rather than words. By Rikka’s look we can clearly see her affection to Yuta, although the show smartly doesn’t play it up so far. A single image of Akane’s room with piles of trash and glass cupboard of kaiju monsters inform you more than enough about her character. In a sense, the first 2 episodes of GRIDMAN can be seen as an anti-Trigger, it’s understated in tone and storytelling and instead relies on visual to enrich its world and characters. If GRIDMAN can maintains its tone it could very well be the surprise hit of the season.

And did I mention the general plot of GRIDMAN? In an essence, it’s a battle between a mecha Gridman piloted by Yuta and Kaiju monsters created by Akane. As simple as that. The trick here is the unconventional way it tells the story.

2 Responses

  1. Avatar Amagi says:

    I already mentioned it in the chat but some little things are really hinting at upcoming plot parts or twists I can’t really guess yet. See Akane’s house here for example which was missing in episode 1, but is there in the neighbourhood of Rikka’s shophouse in episode 2:
    http://i.imgur.com/Khk2pxD.jpg

    What’s weird here is that the mains didn’t notice any change, so their post-reset memories probably aren’t as correct as they seem to be. Add that to Yuta’s memory loss and you can be sure the series is up to something.

    • SuperMario SuperMario says:

      Damn it, I didn’t catch that at all. Thanks Amagi. If that is the case that akane’s house is literally next door (girl’s next door?), it explains why Yuta passed out in front of Rikka’s house.

      I watched the first episode again yesterday and I’m totally impressed of how many scenes become much clearer/ make a whole lot sense when we have the knowledge of the second episode.

Leave a Reply

Star Crossed Anime Blog

7 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Chihayafuru S3 – 07 [The Storm Blasts]

I’ve positively loved the last five episodes of Chihayafuru’s third season, so I don’t derive any pleasure from saying that I kind of hated this one. “The Storm Blasts,” in my eyes, makes an unwise narrative choice to achieve a convenient result, and creates a minefield of non-credibility for the show going forward. Though it’s […]

Psycho-Pass 3 – 04 [Political Strife in the Colosseum]

Sibyl isn’t everything but episode four has me nearly convinced with its balance of investigation, action, and social commentary that it is on par with the first season of Psycho-Pass. Wrapping up this case answers the case’s immediate questions like what makes Komina tick, but only more questions crop up like who is the First […]

Vinland Saga – 18 [Out of the Cradle]

Ah it’s good to be back after a weeks break, as Vinland Saga gives us another fantastic episode. This week sees Thorfinn fight for Askeladd’s life. Meanwhile Canute kills the boy so that the man may live. Lot’s to talk about, so let’s dive in! Starting off, I have to comment on how Vinland Saga […]

Fire Force 17 – Black and White, and Grey

Oh Fire Force.  Every episode it seems you do 5 things right…and three things wrong.  Every single one is on the verge of greatness, but very few cross over.  Let’s take a look!

My Hero Academia – 67/68 [Fighting Fate/Let’s Go, Gutsy Red Riot]

We’re here with a double header for My Hero Academia, with one pretty important episode…and one filler.  Let’s go!

Dr.STONE – 19/20 [To Modernity/The Age of Energy]

Hello all, to this double feature of Dr.STONE, as this lazy bones plays catch up. Apologies for missing last week, but a combination of factors made getting the post up in time… difficult. Enough excuses though, onto the episodes! Starting off, since I missed two episodes, let’s talk about the production for a second. As […]

Hoshiai no Sora – 06

I’ll say this for Hoshiai no Sora – the tennis scenes look good. Characters are shown positioning themselves, swinging, and following through with remarkable consistency. The shortcuts that once plagued Baby Steps and Prince of Tennis rarely appear during this series, and that’s worth celebrating. There were even a few serves in this episode that […]

State of the Season – Fall 2019

Welcome to the second official State of the Season! I’m your host, Amun, and joining us are the esteemed Wooper, Mario, and Lenlo! For Fall of 2019, the anime community awaited more sequels than Star Wars – surprisingly, some first-season hidden gems lurk among these established franchises. In this State of the Season, we’ll take […]

Neon Genesis Evangelion – 2 [An Unfamiliar Ceiling/The Beast] – Throwback Thursday

Hello all and welcome to week 2 of Neon Genesis Evangelion! I know a lot has been going on lately, what with the site scare, but don’t worry. A lot of work is going on in the back and we have plans. In the meantime, how about we just jump into this week’s episode of […]

Latest Reviews

Mononoke Anime Review – 75/100

I have reviewed a lot of odd shows recently. From Paranoia Agent to Serial Experiments Lain, they each had their own… je ne sais quoi, their own unique flavor. Keeping with that trend is Mononoke, a sort of Horror Anthology reminiscent of Tales From the Crypt or a Stephen King short stories collection. Though where […]

Mix: Meisei Story Review – 75/100

Mix is, by my count, the eighth Mitsuru Adachi work to be adapted to animation. I’ve only seen one of the other seven, so it may not be my place to say this, but Mix probably ranks around the middle of those eight. Its main cast is complex, but the non-baseball players among them slip […]

DanMachi2 Anime Review – 40/100

“Is it Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon” burst onto the anime scene as something of a B-tier cult classic.  2015 saw Season 1 massively outperform expectations  – ignoring the occasionally shoddy animation – to bring excitement and mostly fan service (and the cosplayer favorite: the Hestia ribbon).  Now, four years later, the […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba Anime Review – 80/100

It’s hard to find a more ubiquitous genre in anime than Shounen. Maybe romance/moe-blobs, but it’s a close race. With series like One Piece and until recently Naruto, being a constant presence each season/year. Often this makes it difficult for newer series to break into the anime market in a meaningful way. With the recent […]

Youjo Senki Movie Review – 85/100

Outside of a very few exceptions, I have come to despise the isekai genre with its predominantly self-inserted overpowered male protagonists, massive harems, fan-service bait and overused fantasy settings. Youjo Senki is none of those things and it has gained a very special place in my heart where it features the combined arms of a […]

Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel – II Lost Butterfly Anime Review – 91/100

Long time no see and strap in cause this is going to be a long one. I will preface this review with the assumption that you have seen the first movie of this trilogy and this movie as well as the assumption that whomever is reading this knows what a command spell is. So basically […]

Serial Experiments Lain Anime Review – 78/100

Serial Experiments Lain is weird. It is a series unlike any other, wholly unique in anime, both modern and historical. Every aspect of it, from presentation to narrative, is best described as an experience. It is because of this that I believe Lain is a must watch, if only to experience a piece of anime […]

Penguin Highway (2018) Movie Review – 89/100

You’re walking along in your neighborhood, going about your daily routine. It’s a fine morning. The sun is shining brightly. But suddenly, you see something strange. You squint your eyes; even rub them, to make sure it isn’t a mirage before exclaiming with excitement, “Oh, look. It’s a bird. No, it’s a plane! No no. […]

One Punch Man Season 2 Anime Review – 34/100

Often at the start of one of these reviews, I will wax philosophical about a series. Attempting to slowly draw you, the reader, in to whatever topic or anime I am discussing in that review. This time, none of that. This time, I have to come out and say from the beginning, that One Punch […]