SSSS.Gridman – Episode 6

“They shouldn’t be making episodes without any kaijus in them!”

This is the face of a god.

Well, yeah, though that didn’t stop this episode from being great.

SSSS.Gridman took a break last week to give us that very necessary pool episode everyone’s begging for, leaving small room for it to advance the story. That part with the characters falling asleep in the train was pretty much the only significant piece of the puzzle that got carried over from the previous episode — everything else was just PLOT… not that I’m complaining. From a storytelling perspective, however, they had to make up a reason for the characters to board the train and leave the city, as well as for Akane to confirm her suspicion on Yuta. Coming up with a pool episode does fit all these criteria, so it’s not as if last week’s episode was made solely to be a filler as it still segued quite nicely into where we are now.

There’s a lot of talking this episode than usual, and then there’s also a lot more of ‘not talking’ (those a-beat-too-long pauses in their dialogue, the camera lingering on something else etc) thrown around for good measure. I don’t remember the last time my palm started to sweat when listening to characters just having a talk. Like seriously, it did. I was biting my lips as hard as Akane was nibbling on that straw. A tense conversation is just idle chatter if they can’t make the word ‘tense’ palpable, and this episode is SSSS.Gridman‘s Exhibit A of how to do just that. I love how their encounters happened simultaneously then switches between one group of characters onto the next, all the while keeping the tension uniform all throughout. They used every cinematic trick up their sleeves to make every scene as uncomfortable as it should be, though, I don’t think it would turn out to be this great without the way the characters/voice actors talk in this natural, casual tone. Their gestures, actions too aren’t so different from how we act in real life, and it really creates a dissonance when it’s viewed through such perverse lenses.

Anyways, I guess we’re in for another one of those Trigger surprises, huh? Where the real enemy and mastermind in all of these are the aliens. Well, it isn’t even Trigger‘s idea though as this is based off the original Gridman and other tokusatsu shows. There were also reportedly a lot of references from this episode a casual like me shamefully glossed over like that little kaiju girl and the musical note on logo on her shirt, how that is connected to the guy looking for a keyboard, and to top it all off, that very guy is literally a protagonist of the original Gridman series. I don’t know if I got all of these factually accurate, but my point here is that I’m certainly missing out on a ton of things. Nevertheless,  it’s fantastic that SSSS.Gridman still manages to be extremely enjoyable even for those who are new to the genre.

Short thoughts:

  • Akane nerding with Itsumi about kaijus was kinda cute.
  • Why is Rikka visiting that park often?
  • Some nice visual puns this episode. SSSS.Gridman doesn’t shy away from cracking a joke even in a supposedly tense situation.
  • It seems like only their city is left intact, whereas anywhere else outside is just rubble. Perhaps that’s what the little kaiju girl meant when there’s nothing outside the city as Akane is only bothered with rebuilding what’s within her territory.
  • All right, the way Rikka shows concern towards Yuta but gives him the cold shoulder in moments they lock eyes is very suspect. Their relationship is honestly more clouded in mystery than all these kaiju and aliens mumbo jumbo.

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