Posted by SuperMario on 29 October 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, SSSS.GRIDMAN

Before discussing this week’s episode, I feel the need to mention the weekly voice drama (thanks a bunch for bringing it to my attention, Animosh) of GRIDMAN that provides more context and dare I say, more personality to the cast. As much as I like the current style of GRIDMAN, its strength is purely on the adept direction by Akira Amemiya and its solid visual craft where the dialogues are hardly relevant. As a result, by making these characters having an actual communication, it adds up a whole lot and helps explaining many of the loose threads in the anime. For example, listening to the audio drama, we learn that Rikka and Yuuta definitely had something going before the amnesia, that “ball game rally before summer” sounds like a perfect setting for a date if you ask me. These voice drama, along with the content of this week 4, also marks a shift in GRIDMAN’s perspective and now I come to suspect that Rikka is a crucial character that hold the emotional core in this anime. I mean, the voice drama of episode 4 (4.4) raises a red flag about Rikka’s life threat and based from what happened this week, I have very goods reason to believe that would be the case.

The main key to that plot thread lies in the relationship between Akane and Rikka. Granted, the main reason why Rikka approaches our girl in this episode is purely to confirm whether Yuuta is Gridman or not (and she fails miserably on that, but boy, did she try); but there’s hints about their already gone established friendship, and slowly Rikka comes to the realization that all the incidents happen around her. That might just be her hormone’s actin’ up (that everything revolves around her), but I come to suspect the core reason for Akane becoming a psychopath has something to do with her and Rikka. Talking about the Queen of Cruelty Akane (opps, lame references to another show I’m blogging), this week she decides to kills the V-bloggers boys because they keep pestering her (could it be a warming message for all the Youtubers out there?), and the way GRIDMAN displays her, by extreme dutch-angle shot, by her still acting nice but can’t hold back anymore when she’s alone, tells you pretty how unstable her feeling is. She isn’t merely killing people for fun, she kills them in the manner of farmers cropping up weeds.

As for our battle this week, things get even more crowded with the appearance of a new insectoid kaiju. This Kaiju succeeded on killing 3 of the boys, and on the verge of defeat our Gridman… until Anti interferes given he wanted to be the one who defeat Gridman. It’s interesting to note that Anti pretty much acts according to his principle, so he’s no longer an Akane’s puppet (the way Akane constantly throws her phone is amusing, too). On the other side of the battle, the Neon Genesis members, and Gridman himself, are freeze as soon as all of them entering the Junk (it’s overloaded – speaking about old machine, huh?). Their solution? Unplug the machine and load it up again (this sure brings back memories, but it’s also the fastest way to destroy your computer’s memory). Rikka’s quick decision sure brings a smile to my face. The Neon Genesis squad so far is a delight, they don’t harbor too much deep but they bounce off each other well, especially Samurai Calibur whose deadpan delivery goes well with the show’s emphasis on visual. I’m still down to see the other two members’ real power in the next few episodes.

Episode 4 also spends a healthy amount of time developing the high school romantic saga that involves a group date, a stalking and many more. Most prominent of all is the pair Yuuta and Rikka, as the last few episodes we see more of their chemistry from Rikka’s point of view, so it comes as a bit abrupt that in this episode we see Yuuta already fallen head over heels over Rikka (well, abrupt to me anyways). Yuuta still remains the most boring character out of this cast, but it’s fun and a bit cute to see how both him and Rikka are too dense to make any progress. Like how Max points out, it’s painful to see them trying to talk to each other. The offbeat tone still works wonder here. I very much enjoy the snarky comment from Yukka’s friends Namiko and Hass “who speaks like that these days?”, or Akane’s squid train pass card, which might or might not be relevant in the future. There’s still a lot to admire about GRIDMAN, even to the non-fan of its TOkusatsu homage and Gridman franchise like myself.

4 Responses

  1. Avatar Animosh says:

    You’re welcome! Interesting observations about Rikka and Akane. I hadn’t paid as much attention to it as I should have, but given the prominence of their relationship in both the OP (which seemingly ends with Rikka and Akane holding hands) and the ED (which is entirely about their friendship), it definitely makes sense that it’s at the show’s heart.

    About the ball game thing: my impression was that they weren’t on a date or anything, but simply had a chance encounter when they went back to their classroom during the break, and then ended up talking. Something clearly happened then, which I’m sure the series will address at some point or other, but it seems like they weren’t close before then. Of course, it’s also possible Rikka was just lying, but still…

    • SuperMario SuperMario says:

      I Intent to use the ED as prt of my argument but totally forgot about it when writing it up. Granted, it’s just pure speculation for now and GRIDMAN remains one of those shows where it’s best to just take it as it comes.

      You’re right on the second one. I don’t think Rikka was lying (my girl is incapable of lyingggg), and I suppose at that chance encounter Yuuta said something that resonate deeply to Rikka (hope it wasn’t “I love you” nonsense). One thigg for sure is that I’ll keep an eye (ear?) on the voice drama every week now.

  2. Avatar bnk says:

    It’s “TOkusatsu” not “TONkusatsu”

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