Denkō Chōjin Gridman (電光超人グリッドマン, "Electric Superhuman Gridman") is a Japanese tokusatsu "Giant Hero" series by Tsuburaya Productions, the producers of Ultraman. The show ran from 1993 to 1994. It was adapted Power Rangers-style by DiC Entertainment into Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad. This would be Tsuburaya's last non-Ultra superhero production for more than a decade until Bio Planet WoO in 2006. Most of Gridman's production crew later worked on Ultraman Tiga.Shot on live video, Gridman was the first Tsuburaya series to use D-2 digital video for its special effects scenes, allowing for smoother slow-motion photography. Tsuburaya, having switched to digital techniques since then, would continue to use D-2 for all future productions.After 11 years of inactivity from the property, a new animated short starring Gridman was made by Studio Trigger for the Japan Animator Expo, released on January 16, 2015. Two years later, at anime expo 2017, Trigger and Tsuburaya announced that an animated reboot titled Superhuman Samurai Syber Squad Gridman is currently under development.
Denkō Chōjin Gridman provides examples of the following tropes:
- Adjective Noun Fred: The title.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Khan Digifer's goal is to Kill All Humans.
- And the Adventure Continues: The Studio Trigger short ends with Takeshi transforming into Gridman Sigma to battle a new threat in the real world.
- Big Bad: Dark Lord Kahn Digifer
- By the Power of Grayskull!: ACCESS FLASH!
- Critical Annoyance: If the light on Gridman's head starts to blink, Gridman must finish the fight quickly or Naoto and Gridman will die in the Computer World.
- Everything Is Online: Done a lot better than its American counterpart, since only things that are reasonably online are, such as phone networks and hospital computers. Nothing like wind-up cooking timers that should have nothing electronic at all. However, affected items behaving as they literally can't such as flying through the air is the same or worse.
- Expy: Gridman and God Zenon resemble Ultraman and Convoy (Optimus Prime) respectively. Given that the show was a co-production between Tsuburaya and Takara, this was not coincidental.
- Heel–Face Turn: Takeshi after being freed from Kahn Digifer's control. This would have continued in a possible sequel where he would have become the protagonist Gridman Sigma. Gridman Sigma gets his day in the Studio Trigger short.
- Hour of Power: Like the Ultramen, Gridman has a three-minute time limit. For them it's Earth's conditions limiting how long they can stay powered; here the danger is that the Junk computer that Gridman and his helper programs reside in can only take so much.
- Humongous Mecha: God Zenon and Dyna Dragon, which were formed by combining different vehicles and could also transform into armor worn by Gridman.
- Meaningful Name: Junk, since it's a computer made of, well, junk!
- Spiritual Successor: It's an Ultraman series in all but name. Most of its crew would go on to create Ultraman Tiga.
- Transformation Trinket: The Axcepter