Posted by SuperMario on 24 October 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, SSSS.GRIDMAN

3 episodes in, GRIDMAN certainly surprises me in more ways than one. On one level, I really appreciate the show for its visual framing. There are many shots that are pure stunning, in a way it conveys the chemistry of certain characters that even without dialogues (the dialogues in this show aren’t very useful), we can have a real sense of the characters relationship and their roles in the whole narrative. This episode opens with such framing, with Akane standing in front of Anti – her human-form pet kaiju. The distance between them, the lack of emotional attachment tell you all about their relationship. Akane sure is fearsome, in a sense she can kill her friends for the lamest excuse and the way she treats her pets. There’s just something uncanny about a person with a gifted power who doesn’t take lives very seriously. But so far I like the way GRIDMAN downplays her stubbornness. She’d be unbearable if the show makes her over the top, which is most of the case for other shows. In any case, she brings Anti to kill Gridman, and because Gridman thinks that he’s a human (that remains to be seen), he can’t fight back and gets beaten down by Anti.

On second level, the way GRIDMAN explores its characters is unconventional, but fascinating. It’s not much about the depth of the characters, but more about their own space towards the world around them. That loss, and a potential death of both Yuuta and Gridman, shake Rikka and Shou to their core. In another brilliant visual shot (above in the screencaps), these two are framed through the reflection of different mirrors facing outward. Each of them feels guilty in different ways and succumbs into their own space. Shou feels guilty for telling Rikka about the possibility of kaiju being human, Rikka does for not picking up his phone. Notes that it’s a matter of them picking the phone and call him, but Rikka is to afraid to face the result. Even the way these two sits in Rikka’s base, waiting for Yuuta all night gives the same effect. GRIDMAN has a strong grasp of using their visual direction to transfer across what it lacks in narrative.

On yet another level, there’s a strong admiration for its inspirations: the tokusatsu shows, Gridman or Transformers franchise that at times I feel that I’m the target audience and a stranger at the same time. Granted we don’t need to know about any of those to enjoy the show. I have no clue about any of those and often the times I feel like I’d embrace it more if I know better about the original sources. Such details like the arrival of the Shinseiki Junior High Squad take a wink at the original but it’s fascinating nonetheless. These guys serve as a boost-up items for Gridman, which in turns balance out the fighting field between Gridman and Akane’s kaijus. While the second episode was a revelation with the true role of Akane, the third one keeps expanding from that universe and now it seems all the pieces of the board are in place now. Surprisingly, this one turns out to be the one I’m looking forward the most this season.

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