I’m finally caught up on SSSS.Gridman! Need to catch up too? Check out my previous review here!
It’s festival time! While Yuta and the class prepare for their maid café, Akane prepares to destroy the festival! Rikka refuses to fight Akane, hoping they can convince her to plan her kaiju attack for another day. This puts her at odds with Sho, who declares Rikka is too emotional.
Knowing she won’t be able to get through to Team Gridman, Rikka sets off to talk to Akane directly. To say the conversation does not go according to plan would be an understatement. Akane reveals to Rikka that everyone in town was set up to love her, including Rikka. Not only that, but everyone was made by her kaiju, with Rikka specifically being made to never be able to get mad at Akane.
While this is life altering news, Rikka is more concerned by the time sensitive matter of the school festival. She meets up with Yuta and the two plan on striking first. Yuta combines with Gridman at half the normal output and heads to the festival.
Having a giant robot show up at a school function is just the right motivator to get people to evacuate, leaving fewer victims for Akane’s kaiju. Undeterred, Akane releases her kaiju, which triggers the rest of Team Gridman to spring into action. The Neon Genesis Junior High students also join the fight at half their output, allowing all five to combine into Gridman’s ultimate form. The team quickly defeats the kaiju and saves the day.
Akane uses a kaiju to trap Yuta, Rikka, and Sho in a dreamworld. In each dream, Akane begins to shape their realities around her. For Yuta, they are boyfriend and girlfriend, for Sho, they are kaiju bffs, and for Rikka, they are best friends. For the three, life seems too good to be true. Unfortunately for Akane, the three quickly realize just that. One by one, the three realize they are dreaming and shrug off Akane’s perfect world.
Luckily for the three, Gridman is there to help them wake up. He destroys the dream kaiju, which releases the kaiju in reality. Thankfully the Neon Genesis Junior High students are not impacted by the kaiju’s ability. The four quickly combine and eliminate the kaiju from this plane as well.
Rikka tells Team Gridman what Akane revealed to her: that they were all created by Akane’s kaiju. Unsurprisingly, the others aren’t as quick to accept the news as Rikka was. While Shu questions his entire family’s existence, Yuta convinces the others that they need to rescue Akane from Alexis. They head over to Akane’s house only to find the entire inside has been deleted!
Meanwhile, Akane is wandering around without a purpose. She creates the puniest looking kaiju, which Gridman easily defeats. What neither Akane nor Gridman realize though is that something is lurking beneath that kaiju. Yep, it’s a kaiju inside a kaiju. Once this new kaiju recovers from its kaiju-ception, it goes on a rampage, killing all of the background kaiju in the city.
Luckily for Gridman, Anti has decided that he’s the only one who can defeat Gridman. No longer a kaiju, Anti’s decision to defend Gridman against the enemy kaiju causes him to transform into a copy of Gridman, Gridknight. With his new power, Anti destroys the kaiju, saving the day.
Well, sort of. While the kaiju has been defeated, the battle was not handled with discretion. Team Gridman fails to notice Akane come in to Rikka’s shop. Akane witnesses Yuta transform into Gridman and back again. Once Yuta realize she’s there, he tries to tell Akane that she is being manipulated by Alexis. Akane rejects this claim by stabbing Yuta before the episode ends.
Talk about top anime betrayals. I know Akane is supposed to be the villain, but I never expected her to stab anyone. Despite the obvious homicidal overtones, Akane stabbing Yuta points more to desperation than anything else. Akane spent the entire previous episode trying to convince Yuta that they were a couple. Before that, she’s had ample opportunities to try and kill Yuta at school, or with her kaiju elsewhere. Her lack of control over her creations has caused her to have a break from reality, resulting in her trying to regain that control in any way possible. It will be interesting to see just how Team Gridman handles this attack in next week’s episode.
Speaking of Akane’s lack of control, the world doesn’t reset once the first kaiju dies. Every other kaiju death has triggered a city reset except for this one. It’s unclear why this doesn’t happen. The case can be made that the city is connected to Akane herself and her instability is causing errors with the world. We won’t know for sure though until the show confirms this.
There’s also the issue of the second kaiju. The second kaiju – the one that comes out of the wimpy kaiju – kills all of the background kaiju in the city. When these kaiju die, the fog surrounding the city lifts. The fog seems to be the only thing stopping people from realizing that there is nothing beyond the city. With the fog now gone, it’s only a matter of time before mass hysteria sets in.
The one downside to the latest episodes is one of the biggest revelations: Anti’s existence. From the beginning, Anti has always been an outlier of a kaiju. His seemingly freewill and ability to take on a human shape makes him extremely different from Akane’s other creations.
Which makes his suddenly non-kaiju status all the more confusing. How can Anti still transform into a kaiju without being a kaiju? What gave him the ability to transform into a human before? This is a really interesting plot point that could change our understanding of the SSSS.Gridman universe. I’m hopeful that the Gridman writers handle this with the tact I’ve grown to love.