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Episode 1 Review
Japanese Title: SSSS.GRIDMAN
You’re not alone. Always and forever.
‘Gridman the Hyper Agent’ was a Japanese TV series that aired from 1993. Despite computers in regular households were not common at that time, this series took in elements of the internet and computer viruses and gained popularity through its futuristic appeal. A new anime adaptation ‘SSSS. Gridman’ will air in Autumn 2018! The animation will be handled by Studio TRIGGER and directed by Akira Amemiya, who presented the ‘Gridman the Hyper Agent boys invent great hero’ at the Japan Animator Expo in 2015. The future of the ‘Gridman’ world will become a reality in 2018, and revived in the animation world.
In general, tokusatsu and anime don’t mix well together. Tokusatsu has always been about live-action and men in spandex fighting other men in monster costumes, while anime made use of its relative liberty to portray anything it wanted. There were a few attempts in making a decent tokusatsu anime, mainly GARO and Android Kikaider, but they remained separate entities for good reasons. 25 years after Tsuburaya Productions aired their tokusatsu hero Denkou Choujin Gridman, Studio Trigger reboots it in an anime! I couldn’t be more excited. I grew up in the 90s so the American version of the series was part of my childhood and we all feel a bit more enthusiastic with rekindled approaches to stories from our childhood, don’t we?
That said, SSSS. Gridman (whose title pays homage to the American version as well) was much better than I expected. They could have played the hero card and make this into a children show, but instead, they took the realistic approach and imagined what would have happened if Kaiju monsters appeared in the world as it is today. Everything, from the settings to the reactions of the characters (with a few exceptions) remind of a live-action drama that tried to stay as realistic as possible. The animation is fluid and the battles were exciting to watch. If you like tokusatsu then you shouldn’t miss this series.