I am a huge fan of Studio Trigger so I couldn’t wait for SSSS.Gridman to premiere! Tell me your thoughts on the episode in the comments!
SSSS.Gridman tells the story of Yuta Hibiki. Well, it would if Yuta Hibiki knew who he was. He wakes up in the garage of Rikka Takarada, who found him in front of her house. As he begins exploring the shop that Rikka and her mother run, he stumbles upon an old computer. He is surprised when the computer comes to life and a robot named Gridman begins talking to him. When Rikka suggests that they head to the hospital to get his head checked out, he realizes that only he can see Gridman.
After leaving the hospital, Yuta sees a kaiju, something that once again, only he can see. Rikka quickly guides Yuta to his home. In the morning Yuta finds his friend Sho Utsumi there to pick him up. After explaining what he saw yesterday, Sho immediately fanboys over meeting Gridman. After school the pair head to Rikka’s shop, and once again Yuta finds himself talking to Gridman. Just as before, only he can see Gridman, but this time his explanation is interrupted by a kaiju attack. The trio head out onto the street to see the kaiju obliterate their school. Yuta heads back into the shop and is sucked into the computer to become one with Gridman.
Back on the streets, Gridman emerges in the flesh as a giant mecha. Yuta and Gridman begin battling the kaiju, but seem to be outmatched in strength. Back at Rikka’s shop, Rikka and Sho realize they can communicate with Yuta by typing on the computer. They relay that the kaiju’s weak spot is under his neck. Yuta, surprised to receive this information, makes quick work of the kaiju, decapitating it before blowing up its body.
Once the battle is over Yuta is transported back to the shop to find Sho and Rikka waiting for him. Needing time to reflect on the fact that their school is destroyed and all their friends are probably dead, the trio decide to talk in the morning. The all arrive it school to find that not only are their classmates there, but the school is completely unscathed! Something mysterious is certainly at works.
There are things I really like and dislike about this episode of SSS.Gridman. I really like the world Studio Trigger is developing, and can’t wait to see more Yuta/Gridman action. The mysterious villain who is creating all the kaiju also holds some promise to be a cool character. I like how the show feels almost like FLCL in its animation colors and character dispositions.
What I really and truly dislike is Yuta’s voice actor. Thanks to Funimation this first episode was a simul-dub, something I usually enjoy. However, Yuta’s voice actor is just so bland. His delivery style is all over the place and really took me out of the experience. Thankfully I can just watch future episodes subbed, but it really left a bad taste in my mouth.
Another thing that needs some work is the pacing. This first episode felt like it didn’t know what to do with the time it had. Scenes felt unnecessarily stretched out. Given that this is the first episode, I’ll cut the show some slack here. Overall, SSSS.Gridman has a lot of promise and I look forward to future episodes.
New episodes of SSSS.Gridman stream Sundays on Crunchyroll and VRV platforms.