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.
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.
- 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 wore by Gridman.
- 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.
- 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