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Scarred Souls Shine like Stars.
boys reinvent great hero...again!

SSSS.DYNɅZENON note  is a 2021 Japanese anime television series and the sequel to the 2018 anime SSSS.GRIDMAN. The project is part of the shared "Gridman Universe" multimedia project established in 2018, which features projects themed after/inspired by the 1993–94 tokusatsu series Denkō Chōjin Gridman/Gridman the Hyper Agent. The series is produced by Studio TRIGGER and Tsuburaya Productions. DYNɅZENON premiered in Japan on April 2, 2021, with an English-subtitled simulcast from Funimation. It features much of the same staff that worked on its predecessor, including Akira Amamiya as director, Shiro Sagisu as music composer, and Masayoshi Oishi and Maaya Uchida performing the opening and ending themes respectively. Graphinica returns to provide CGI and compositing, along with serving as an additional co-producer on the series.

Yomogi Asanaka, an ordinary high schooler, encounters a strange man named Gauma, who claims to be a "Kaiju User". When the city is attacked by a rampaging kaiju that Gauma seemingly can't control, he summons the giant robot Dynazenon to battle it. Yomogi, his classmate Yume Minami, local NEET Koyomi Yamanaka, and Yamanaka's cousin Chise Asukagawa all end up being drawn into the fight alongside Gauma, inadvertently becoming his co-pilots. Together, they must uncover the mysteries surrounding both the Kaiju attacks and Dynazenon itself, all while the mysterious group known as the Kaiju Eugenicists begins to make its move...

On Dec. 13, 2021, Trigger announced a theatrical movie called "GRIDMAN x DYNAZENON," later changed to simply GRIDMAN UNIVERSE. It will be released on March 24, 2023, and will feature characters from both this series and its prequel. It was later announced that the series would get a Compilation Movie released in theatres on March 10, 2023.

SSSS.DYNɅZENON provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: Episode 4 ended with Chise, who had attempted to pilot Dynasoldier in Yomogi's absence, promising she would train as a backup pilot. We saw exactly one scene of her practicing before the whole plotline just got outright dropped.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Where exactly does SSSS.DYNAZENON take place?
    • While the use of New Work, Recycled Graphics and the return of Knight/Anti and Second/Anosillus leads viewers into thinking that the show takes place in the same Tsutsudjidai as SSSS.GRIDMAN, the reveal that Gauma is the same mummy from the original 1993 Gridman series and The Stinger showing Dynazenon waking up in what is clearly the Computer World, heavily implies that the entire 12 episodes were Real After All. Episode 2 of Denkou Choujin Gridman shows that Kaiju escaping into the real world is a real threat and the suspicious absence of any Computer World discussion/visuals foreshadow this idea.
    • The show could also take place in a different computer world. In episode 7, Anosillus says "Kaiju appearing in a world weakens the barrier". In episode 2 of Denkou Choujin Gridman, a barrier was used to separate different parts of the Computer World isolated in different appliances.
  • Arc Words: "There are three things that are important to keep: promises, love, and..." gets repeated multiple times throughout the series in various different contexts, specifically by Gauma. The third thing is always cut off, but by the end of the show its heavily implied to be bonds.
  • Art Shift: Episode 10's animation style and directing is noticeably different from the rest of series, featuring a more dramatic and cinematic directing. The character animation is in a much looser style, often making them either look much more serious or emotional.
    • In general, Transformation sequences are always done in 2D. Dynazenon and Knight in battle mode will often alternate between both hand-drawn animation and 3D CGI, with the 2D visuals looking more dynamic and organic than the intentionally stiff, sutimation-inspired CGI.
  • Bathtub Scene: Episode 2 features a shared one with Gauma and Yomogi, and one solo scene with Yume.
  • Beach Episode: Episode 5 has one when Chise wins tickets to Tokyo Beach Land.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Gauma takes it upon himself to help Yomogi out with whatever problems he has because the latter saved him from starvation. Yomogi isn't exactly a fan of the idea, not that Gauma notices.
  • Bittersweet Ending: True to Sizumu’s words, Gauma appears to die from his injuries due to him being a kaiju user (with Gauma outright admitting to Yomogi and Yume that he doesn’t have a lot of time left), but Dynazenon and Gridknight still win the day and defeat the Kaiju Eugenicists once and for all.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: When first airing overseas, the official English subtitles for Episode 11 translate the word "Mummy" (ミイラ Miira) as "Mirror" (ミラー Mirā) during the scene where Yomogi and Yume read a news article about an unearthed mummy that they deduce was Gauma's original form. This was eventually corrected after.
  • Book Ends: In episode 1, Gauma says he's going to help Yomogi whether the latter likes it or not. He says the same thing in the finale about joining the Final Battle, even though he's one foot in the grave.
    • In episode 2, Gauma says he doesn't want to be a bother when Yomogi's family offers him food and a place to sleep. He says the same thing in the finale about being taken to the hospital for medical attention.
  • Boy Meets Girl: The overwhelming majority of the show's screentime is spent on Yomogi and Yume's relationship, and the way it helps both of them overcome their personal issues to become better people. In the epilogue, they graduate to First-Name Basis, all but outright stating that they're dating.
  • Call-Back: The first audio drama has one of Yomogi's friends suggest a cross dressing cafe for their autumn school festival. GRIDMAN had Yuta's class do one for their festival.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Played straight with Gauma, but subverted with Yume.
    "Something Beam!" — Yume
  • Cliffhanger:
    • Episode 5 ends with Fuuma telling Yume that her older sister might have committed suicide, but it cuts to the credits before he could complete the sentence.
    • Episode 6 ends with Dynazenon's first defeat at the hands of the most powerful kaiju yet, only to be saved by the sudden arrival of Gridknight.
  • Combining Mecha: Dynazenon is composed of the inner Dyna Soldier and three auxiliary vehicles. In addition to their full combination, the vehicles each work as an individual Mecha Expansion Pack for Dyna Soldier.
  • Crossover: Like its Predecessor before it, DYNAZENON has a crossover event with the Symphogear Mobile game, XDU.
  • Dysfunction Junction: All of the main characters, except perhaps Gauma, have personal traumas that they deal with in unhealthy ways before coming together. Kaiju serving as a visual metaphor for destructive coping habits is a central tenet of the Gridman franchise, but DYNAZENON is the first to put the traumatized characters in the protagonist roles.
  • Evolving Credits: Episode 7 adds Gridknight and Anosillus the 2nd to the opening.
    • Episode 11 adds the combination sequence for Kaiser Gridknight.
  • Explosions in Space: Double subverted. Yomogi and Yume correctly point out that Banadodon could stop its explosive offense by taking it to an area with little oxygen. They reason that they can send it into space to accomplish this, and sure enough when they do launch it into the stratosphere it cannot produce any more explosions. However, when it is defeated in space, it still explodes. Voice Drama 3.3 lampshades this, as Chise is confused when the gang (sans Gauma) recounts the battle, and one of them guesses that there are just explosives inside of the kaiju itself.
  • Fastball Special: One of the largest ever seen when Dynazenon tosses Gridknight during their first team battle against a kaiju.
  • Foreshadowing: The snippets of Yomogi and Yume's lessons in the background of class scenes often pertain to the narrative in some way:
    • Episode 1 features a discussion of Asceticism,note  Stoicism,note  and Hedonism.note  These can be interpreted as Yume, Yomogi, and Koyomi's coping mechanisms for their trauma respectively.
    • Episode 2 talks about Zeno's paradox of Achilles and the tortoise, where Achilles chases the tortoise but will never catch up to it. Gauma, Yume, and Koyomi are all chasing thingsnote  that they'll never catch. The paradox also argues as its conclusion that motion is an illusion, and the Monster of the Week creates the illusion of fast movement through teleportation.
    • Episode 3 describes how an arrow is stationary at every individual point in time, and only becomes an arrow in flight when all of the instants are added together. The plot of the episode centers around the pilots coming together as a complete team for the first time.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Like the first installment, DYNAZENON has a meaning for its acronym: "Scarred Souls Shine Like Stars". Unlike the previous installment, however, it is revealed in the first episode rather than at the end.
  • Giant Robot Hands Save Lives: Subverted in episode 9, where Yomogi's attempt to catch Yume with Dyna Soldier fails due to him being too slow. Thankfully, Goldburn still saves her.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All episodes are titled in the format of "What is ___?" (___って、なに? ___ tte, Nani? in Japanese) With the blank being filled with a focal point of the episode.
  • Kidnapped by the Call: Gauma intended to pilot Dynazenon himself but apparently didn't know that it required multiple pilots, resulting in Yomogi, Yume, and a passing-by Koyomi being grabbed up by the mech to serve as co-pilots.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Gridknight’s appearance in this show spoils a major plot development in SSSS.GRIDMAN if you watch this anime first.
  • Land, Sea, Sky: Land to Dyna Striker, Sea to Dyna Diver and Sky to Dyna Wing
  • Left the Background Music On: The beginning of Episode 2 shows the battle with Shalbandes from Yomogi's perspective. While he's getting an up and close look on all the spectacle of his first major fight, "Imperfect" plays muffled in the background, contrast to it blaring out as it should outside of Dynazenon.
  • Limited Wardrobe: The main cast very noticeably only ever wear the same outfits, except during the beach episode, but this becomes a Justified Trope when you consider the cast’s status of either being: homeless, students, or shut ins.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Played for laughs in-universe where Dynazenon's mech parts are shrunken down to hand-held sizes, disguising them to look like action figures and models. And given the fact that Takara Tomy, Bandai Namco Entertainment, Good Smile Company, and other toy companies had made figures for the Gridman series, there's bound to be fans ready to buy the actual figures of Dynazenon.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Dynazenon's Dyna Rex transformation is named as an homage to the original Dyna Dragon, which was based on Tyrannosaurus Rex.
    • Dynazenon's arcade controllers are based on Junk's joystick.
    • Access Mode is based on Gridman Size Change.
    • Gauma's backstory as a resurrected 5000-year old mummy is a Whole-Plot Reference to the original Gridman episode that began the Dyna Dragon story arc, and Dynazenon initially manifests from the same Chinese dragon statue featured in that episode. Episode 11 confirms that he's the exact same mummy, complete with footage from the original series.
    • Yume's alternative name for Dynazenon's Penetrator Gun is a reference to Voice Drama 12.12 of SSSS.GRIDMAN, where Rikka was unable to remember the name of Gridman's Fixer Beam, so she just called it "Something Beam."
    • Dyna Soldier Striker Combine's attack, Striker Storm Alpha & Beta is based on the combination attack View Storm Alpha & Beta performed by King Jet and Dyna Fighter.
    • Dyna Soldier can transform into the Dynamic Cannon for Gridknight to wield, based on Dyna Fighter's Dragonic Cannon form from the original Gridman. The way it's mounted as a Shoulder Cannon on Kaiser Gridknight is a reference to the Playmates toy of King Gridman made exclusively for Superhuman Samurai Syber Squad, which had the noncanonical ability to mount the Dragonic Cannon on its shoulder.
    • Episode 8's bus ride scene featuring Yume and Yomogi is structured in the same fashion as Akane and Rikka's bus ride in episode 8 of SSSS.GRIDMAN, and reuses the same background assets, but with polar opposite symbolismnote .
    • In episode 9 Yomogi says the Arc Words of SSSS.GRIDMAN "Something only I can do" in regards to helping Yume.
    • The two kaiju seen in this shot in Episode 10 are unused designs for Gonglee and Bujack.
  • New Work, Recycled Graphics: Multiple scenes throughout the show use edited background assets from SSSS.GRIDMAN. In some cases, such as Yume and Yomogi's bus ride in episode 8, this is used to draw a direct contrast between a scene in DYNɅZENON and its counterpart from GRIDMAN.
    • Episode 11 uses recycled footage from the original Denkou Choujin Gridman, with a heavy blur filter laid on top of it.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Despite the immense property damage caused by the kaiju, nobody is seen outright being killed in the mass destruction, nor or any fatalities reported. Really, Japan seems to treat all of the kaiju battles and their aftermath more as an inconvenience rather than a national emergency.
  • No Name Given: Yomogi's parents and grandmother, as well as Yume's parents, are never credited with names.
  • No Ontological Inertia: After Didoras and Zaiohn were killed, everything they altered using their powers was returned to normal.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: An epic-sounding choir chants "DYNAZENON!" when the titular robot is first seen in action.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Yume and Yomogi are ordinary high school students before becoming Gauma's copilots in Dynazenon.
  • Production Throwback: Episode 2 plays Ultraman R/B's opening "Hands" in a scene in Koyomi and Chise's room.
  • Reused Character Design: Some of the kaiju are designed to resemble the kaiju that appeared in SSSS.GRIDMAN, intentionally evoking the practice of suit reuse and modification in tokusatsu.
    • Greyjhom resembles Anti's kaiju form.
    • The head on Zaiohn's tail resembles that of Anonymous A.
    • Garnix is meant to be a modified Bujack, which ties in with the two kaijus' similar powers.
  • Rule of Symbolism: In the epilogue, Yomogi and Yume perform for their cosplay cafe as a mummy and a ghost princess.
  • Sentai: Unlike its predecessor, this series draws much more heavily from the Super Sentai side of tokusatsu, with our heroes being a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits who pilot a Humongous Mecha to battle an evil society trying to use kaijus to take over the world.
  • Sick Episode: Episode 4 has Yomogi get sick and bedridden making him initially unavailable to pilot Dynasoldier. After the team gets in a desperate situation, they have to get the still sick Yomogi to take back control of Dynasoldier from Chise. At the end of the episode Yume gets Yomogi's cold since she had to pick him up.
  • Smash Cut: Used in Episode 5 when one of Kano's old classmates is about to go into the rumor that Kano's accident was actually suicide. Before he even finishes his sentence, the episode abruptly cuts to the ED.
  • Spoiler Opening: The opening foreshadows virtually every major plot point, each main character's personal trauma, Goldburn's appearance, and even shows the final kaiju transforming into its ultimate form, albeit so zoomed-in that it's impossible to tell what it is until the end.
  • Spontaneous Choreography: While at first only Gauma is capable of acting suitably hammy in the cockpit, Yume and Yomogi start getting into it in Episode 2, and the whole team begins pulling it off by Episode 3. The voice dramas lampshade this.
    Yomogi: We just happened to go up there while fighting in the Dyna Rex and yelling, "Battle, Go!"
  • Stealth Sequel: Like its predecessor series, DYNɅZENON dances around whether or not it's a direct sequel for the first half of its run, instead focusing on similar themes and cinematic parallels. Much like the end of episode 6 of SSSS.Gridman with the original Gridman series, episode 6 of DYNɅZENON features the return of a surprise character who establishes that the show is a direct continuation of its predecessor.
  • The Stinger: Episode 12 ends with Dyna Rex waking up in the Computer World while being watched by Knight and 2nd.
  • Theme-and-Variations Soundtrack: Disregarding the OP/ED and an appearance by Anti's Image Song from SSSS.GRIDMAN, the show's soundtrack effectively only has two pieces of music on it: a song called "All This Time", and a march used as Dynazenon's theme. Both get reused, recycled and remixed in all kinds of ways to make up the series's musical background.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: "Imperfect" blares proudly as Dynazenon finishes off its first major opponent in Episode 1. While fanfare does play in subsequent battles, they don't usually use the opening theme.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Played with. In Episode 5, Sizumu uses the episode's Kaiju to prevent the team from combining into Dynazenon. Only after Yomogi and Koyomi manage to combine themselves and stop the Kaiju from attacking does the Dynazenon combination sequence play out in full.
  • Trauma Button: In Episode 5, seeing a park-goer topple into the drink, similar to the sight of her sister's corpse floating in water, sets off Yume's.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Averted. Unlike in SSSS.GRIDMAN, where the populace was brainwashed not to notice the effects of kaiju attacks, the kaiju attacks in DYNɅZENON cause lasting infrastructure damage and societal impacts such as delaying school, while kaiju that have yet to strike are often found by passers-by and become major sources of buzz on social media. By episode 7, people are questioning whether the capital should be moved away from Tokyo because of all the monster attacks. Yomogi's friends lampshade this trope in episode 3, teasing Yomogi for his weirdly blase attitude as places keep getting destroyed.
  • Villains Out Shopping: A big part of Episode 5. While they're at the water park ostensibly because of a nearby Kaiju, the Kaiju Eugenecists actually spend time at the park, with a chunk of the episode following Sizumu hanging out with the Dynazenon crew.
    • Happens again in episode 8 where the Kaiju Eugenecists spend almost the entire episode goofing off at a sports complex and then go to the movies. They were not the cause of the Monster of the Week going berserk nor do they try to control it using Instance Domination. Yomogi does.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: While GRIDMAN had elements of this trope, DYNAZENON displays it more blatantly, as they treat piloting Dynazenon as more of a duty they have to accomplish and even have to factor in practice with their normal schedules. At times, they deliberately make the choice to fight in lieu of school.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 8. Yomogi can use Instance Domination.
  • Wham Line: At the end of Episode 5, Yume meets with Fuuma, the vice-president of the club her older sister Kano was a part of, in order to learn more about her before her accident. And she gets a little more information than she bargained for...
    Fuuma: About that...
    Yomogi: What is it?
    Fuuma: It's hard to say in front of her little sister.
    Yume: Don't worry about it. It's been five years.
    Fuuma: I see.
    Yume: If you know something, please say.
    Fuuma: It's just a rumor I heard back then, but...
    Yume: Yeah?
    Fuuma: It wasn't an accident, but suici—(Smash Cut to the ending theme)
  • Wham Shot: The end of Episode 6 has Gridknight appear out of the blue.

"Dyna...zenon? Heh...that's a pretty good name!"