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You have to remember what your calling is.
Gridman
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Yuta Hibiki wakes up in his classmate Rikka Takarada's room with no memories of his life up until that point. After getting him checked out and having their classmate Sho Utsumi help him out the next day, Yuta is only sure of two things. He can see a bunch of Kaiju hidden in the clouds. And someone calling himself Gridman is talking to him through an old Junk computer in Rikka's mother's junk shop, telling him that he has a mission to complete. That mission it turns out is fighting Kaiju his classmate Akane Shinjo is sending out to take revenge on people who have slighted her, with the help of her own computer-bound companion Alexis Kerib. With the help of Rikka, Sho, and a group of alleged middle school students wearing business suits, Yuta and Gridman save the city from Akane's Kaiju creations, otherwise, people get written out of history and they're the only ones to know about it.

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A collaboration between Tsuburaya Productions and Studio Trigger, SSSS.GRIDMAN is the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the original 1993 Toku TV series Denkou Choujin Gridman (which came to English speaking countries by way of Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad). The old show was about a group of three kids who had built their own computer named Junk in the dawn of the Internet age and were thrust into the fight between the Hyper Agent Gridman, protector of the Computer World, and the evil Kahn Digifer, a being who brought their classmate's digital kaiju virus creations to life to exact revenge on petty slights against him. Sounds familiar.

It is a rebootnote  that pays homage to the original toku (and its American adaptation) in many ways, and is a form of Spiritual Successor to Trigger's previous homage to the series, Denkou Choujin Gridman: boys invent great hero for the Japan Animator Expo in 2015 (also directed by the show's lead director/animator, Akira Amemiya).

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SSSS.GRIDMAN was released worldwide in October 2018. Veteran anime composer Shiro Sagisu (Neon Genesis Evangelion, Bleach) scores the show, while Masayoshi Ohishi (Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, Ultraman R/B) and Tom-H@ck together as OxT (Diamond no Ace, Overlord (2012)) and Maaya Uchida perform the theme songs.

Check its website here.


SSSS.GRIDMAN provides examples of:

  • Ambiguously Bi: Akane teases Rikka the same way she does with Yuta, Anti and Utsumi, with Rikka reacting the same way she does when Gridman informs her about Yuta's crush on her. Although there's no explicit confirmation, an LGBT poster in a dream that Akane sets up for Rikka to break her spirit hints that they swing both ways.
  • An Aesop: Take care of yourself. With the help of those around you, you have the power to save yourself from the destructive path you may be walking on. This message is even emphasized by a tweet Studio Trigger posted after the airing of the final episode.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • The show has "Gridman Voice Dramas", short audio dramas posted weekly on Tsuburaya Productions's YouTube channel, in between episodes, and each one expands upon the ending of the episodes or the characters in general. Two other students from the protagonists' school get a short web novel explaining the human side of the conflict.
    • The nameless kaiju girl's identity remains a mystery throughout the series unless you have knowledge of the original series (or if you take a look at the official website and end credits), which can allow you to infer from the hints the kaiju girl drops that she's a descendant of Anosillus, who was spared by the original Gridman and therefore in his debt. The finale makes this even more clear when Anosillus himself makes a cameo appearance.
  • Art Shift: Twice over in the final episode. First, the final battle is entirely done in traditional animation and makes use of Trigger's own distinctive animation style, in contrast to previous battles being primarily done in either CG animation carefully replicating the motions of a tokusatsu show or references to various super robot shows, primarily those animated by Masami Obari. The final shot in the series is Akane getting out of bed in the real real world, in a live action sequence, complete with the special cellphone case that Rikka bought for her and a ton of Shout Outs to other Studio Trigger projects.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: The final battle kicks off with the return of Yume No Hero- the original Gridman theme song- which also heralds the return of Gridman's original form.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Voice Drama 7.7 has Hass and Namiko look through Rikka's bag and discover a rather flashy item in it. From their dialogue, they seem to be insinuating that the item is pretty raunchy (only "boys have it", it's a kind of item you don't casually carry around with you, it made the girls see Rikka in a less than pure light), but it turns out to be a tokusatsu magazine.
  • Beach Episode: Episode 5 acts as one as the kids go river rafting and we see both Akane and Rikka in their swimsuits the entire episode.
  • Bishōnen Line: Gridman himself. The Assist Weapons are each layered on top of Gridman's body, creating a bulkier design. Full Powered Gridman takes this to an extreme, appearing to be a heavily-armored robot more than a superhero. Gridman's final form is based on the design from the original series, which is much sleeker.
  • Book-Ends
    • The series as a whole starts and ends on a shot of Akane overlaid with the SSSS Gridman logo.
    • Yuta's first and last appearance involves him waking up in the Junk Shop with no memory of past events.
    • Utsumi and Rikka input commands into Junk that changes the tide of both Gridman's first and final battle.
    • The piece "BELIEVE" by Ryuichi Sugimoto can be heard at the beginning as Akane first appears being sung by a choir faintly in the background while Rikka sings it as Yuta wakes up. The last thing you hear in the anime is a piano version of said piece.
  • Breather Episode: Episode 6 seems to start out this way, with no Kaiju attack underway, while the kids of the Gridman Alliance have more or less normal lives. Rikka finds Anti and befriends him. Sho finally gets to talk to Akane and both nerd out over Kaiju. Yuta meets someone who may hold some information about his past.
    • Just kidding, it's a Wham Episode. Yuta's companion is a descendant of Anosillus, a Kaiju the original Gridman spared in Denkou Choujin Gridman, who reveals that Tsutsuji-dai is some sort of self-contained universe or simulation in which Akane Shinjo is the creator and destroyer god, with her Kaiju as her tools to remake it in her image, specifically killing people who she hates. The reason everyone fell asleep while traveling to the riverside the previous episode is because some sort of gas surrounds the town to hide the fact that there is nothing else out there. Akane, who is almost positive that Yuta is Gridman, tries to pry information out of Sho to confirm her theory, but Sho lies to her to keep Yuta's secret and to "protect" Akane from the truth, unaware that she is directly responsible for everything. She has also already ordered Anti to kill Yuta, who has only been temporarily thwarted in his actions because of Rikka's kindness. When Anti finally does find him, both Samurai Calibur and Max defend Yuta, while saying he isn't Gridman, but Yuta finally realizes that that Anti is the purple Kaiju he has constantly faced in battle, now sure of his identity because of his meeting with Anosillus the 2nd. And Alexis Kerib isn't confined to Akane's computer.
  • Big Bad: Alexis Kerib plays this along with Akane Shinjo who is the one who builds the kaiju he makes real.
  • Conspicuous CG: Gridman himself is an interesting case of this. Whenever he's in the junk computer, the framerate for his animation is higher than when entering the real world, which is more in line with the rest of the show. The Kaiju are also rendered in CGI for the most part. The original Gridman, on the other hand, is fully hand-drawn.
  • Continuity Lockout: Episode 12. The entrance, the final Gridman form, his attacks, the song that plays, the Fixer Beam - all are directly from Denkou Choujin Gridman, leaving people who haven't seen or aren't aware of the original series confused since they seem to come out of nowhere with no prior reference.
  • Conveniently Seated: Akane sits in the back next to the window. Yuta sits next to her.
  • Cut the Juice: After having Gridman and all four of the Assist Weapons freeze due to Junk not being able to handle all five at the same time in episode 4. Rikka pulls the plug on Junk to reset it and then did some Percussive Maintenance to boot it up. While Utsumi is horrified, luckily it fixes the problem without harming Gridman, Yuta, or any of the Assist Weapons.
  • Crashing Dreams: In episode 9, Yuta summoning Gridman to beat up the Kaiju-of-the-week in the dream world corresponds to the Kaiju becoming susceptible to physical damage in the waking world.
  • Dark Reprise: In episode 6, we are treated to a melancholy piano version of "Yume no Hero", the original show's iconic theme song. As it plays from the headphones of the direct successor to a kaiju from the old tokusatsu show, this is rather significant.
  • Darker and Edgier: Both Denkou Choujin Gridman and Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad were aimed at children with only a few dark moments sprinkled throughout. SSSS.GRIDMAN, however, is aimed at those who grew up watching the shows with a more serious storyline. That said, the show never loses its sense of wonder and justice.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The reason for the Kaiju attacks. Akane has Alexis Kerib turn her clay creations into kaiju to exact revenge for those who slighted her earlier in the day, just like Takeshi Todo in the original Gridman series. She has Ghoulghilas kill Tonkawa and others in the entire volleyball club in her class because of an accident that day giving Yuta a special hot dog, and then she wants Devadadan to kill her homeroom teacher for bumping into her in the hallway and not apologizing for it. Her reaction and the camera's Fish-Eye Lens focus on her are identical to Takeshi's in the original series.
  • Dream Sequence: The Kaiju in episode 9 puts the human members of the Gridman Alliance into a deep sleep, during which they each dream of themselves interacting with Akane in some way.
  • Escapism: The entire point of the show's setting, created by Akane so she wouldn't have to face reality. A world where she's perfect and beloved by all, rather than a flawed human being among so many. The problem is that it's a simulation, and not something she controls every aspect of... so when something starts going off the rails from the script of her ideal life, that's when the kaiju come in.
  • Everything Is Online: Unlike the original in 1993, at least it makes sense that everything is online now that everyone has smartphones and plenty of new devices have wi-fi capabilities. However, in SSSS.GRIDMAN the monsters attack the real world. Both live actions counterparts almost tapped into the real life when Bamora (in SSSS, the monster is Sybo and brain-switched with Malcolm) try to escape to real world only for Gridman to stop it. The series is later shown to entirely take place in some kind of virtual simulation, which is why Gridman now seems to be fighting in reality. Specifically, they're in the Computer World in some fashion, confirmed once they find the ceiling in the sky covered in Tron Lines like in the 90s series' Computer World fights.
  • Evolving Credits: Every few episodes, the opening changes slightly.
    • Starting from episode 2, the Neon Genesis group, their forms, and the opening's ending sequence are included.
    • Anosilius the 2nd appears just before the chorus episode 4 onwards.
    • Gridknight replaces the Neon Genesis group in their part after the chorus, and the dropped utility knife is bloodied after episode 10.
  • Expository Theme Tune: A somewhat more subtle example than most, but every line in the opening theme turns out to directly describe the plot and themes of the show as it goes on.
  • Fog of Doom: The Kaiju of episode 4 uses fog to hide from detection as it kills the members of Arcadia.
  • Footsie Under the Table: Akane does this to Anti in Episode 3. Having No Social Skills, it doesn't register on his mind at all.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Some to Episode 11's reveal of the current Yuta actually being Gridman:
      • The opening juxtaposes Yuta's determined glare with the rising of Gridman before the credits begin.
      • In the 5.55 drama, Gridman and Yuta both respond to the name Gridman, although in context the latter used it as a pseudonym for a restaurant order.
      • Another audio drama (10.10) has Yuta not recognize light novels. It's not totally strange to be unfamiliar to literary genres, but every boy his age would be familiar to some extent. However, it makes sense if Gridman isn't familiar.
      • Episode 9 features Gridman primarily on reflective surfaces whenever Yuta is in proximity to such an object.
    • Episode 9's conversations about escapism and living in a dream where you get everything you want reference Akane using the whole city as her personal escapist fantasy.
  • Funny Background Event: The girl who may or may not be a transplanted Akko in episode 5 can be seen trying to confess her feelings to a boy in the background in multiple frames. That last panel indicates that she was successful.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The SSSS of the show's title is shown to be an in-universe acronym in the final episode, which stands for Special Signature to Save a Soul.
  • Gainax Ending: For those not familiar with the original Gridman series, the finale of the anime can catch them off guard when The Stinger shows a brief live action segment of the real Akane waking up in the real world.
  • GIS Syndrome: The credits have real world locations as the backdrop for Akane and Rikka's school days. As episode 12 shows, there is a reason for this.
  • Humongous Mecha: Like the original, the new Gridman has access to several Assist Weapon programs, one is a sword that looks very similar the original series' Gridman Sword, the others are mechas that look very similar to the components of the original God Zenon and by extension, to Thunder Gridman and King Gridman. Three heads that look very similar to those aforementioned mechas are also shown in the key visual.
  • I Choose to Stay: Anti decides to stay in Akane's creation/the computer world, leaving it defended by a hero. Anosillus the 2nd and her predecessor keep him company.
  • Identical Stranger: In voice drama 12.12, Rikka and Sho meet a girl who looks strikingly like Akane, clothes and all, but with none of her interests, they speculate that she was a model for Akane's body.
  • Identity Amnesia: The series starts with Yuta Hibiki waking up from a blackout in Rikka Takarada's place with no memory of his past or who any of his friends are.
  • "I Know You Are in There Somewhere" Fight: The finale is one big one for Akane. The Gridman Alliance throw everything they have at fighting Akane's kaiju form, Alexis, and Akane's psyche in an attempt to rescue her and show that, despite her flaws and all the things she's done, there are still people who genuinely care about her nd want to help her get better.
  • Illness Blanket: Parodied. Hass always wears a blanket and a surgical mask, but according to Rikka, this is only for kicks and she's actually fine.
  • Karmic Transformation: Alexis turns Akane into a Kaiju in Episode 11.
  • Le Film Artistique: The first two-thirds of the premiere tick many of the boxes: inexplicably long static shots, no background music, weird visuals only the protagonist can see (which he immediately brushes off like he's in a dream), odd camera angles that make everyday things look alien, and jump cuts in an otherwise-normal dialogue scene. Then the orchestra starts blaring at the fifteen-minute mark, and it becomes a mecha series.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Episode 6 features Akane ranting at length about how there should never be an episode without a kaiju fight in these kinds of shows, because after all that's what everyone's here for. Naturally, Gridman doesn't show up this episode, and the only kaiju fight that happens is with Anti's human form.
  • Local Hangout: To Rikka's annoyance, it's her family's shop/cafe as that's where Junk is held. Lampshaded when Rikka’s mother asks the Neon Genesis Junior High Schoolers if they have jobs or somewhere to be besides her shop.
  • Lost in Translation:
    • Crunchyroll and Funimation have taken to translating the name of the Assist Weapon Hyper Agents as "Neon Genesis Junior High Students". The original Japanese 新世紀中学生 does use the same kanji as the title of Neon Genesis Evangelion, but it is more likely a reference to the premiere episode of the original Gridman which was titled "The Birth of a New Century Hero!" (新世紀ヒーロー誕生!).
    • In the finale, Alexis Kerib refers to Rikka and the rest of the city as Repli-Compoids; Compoids are the denizens of the Computer World, further cementing the series in the continuity of the original Gridman show. The "Compoid" part got lost in the official subtitle translations on Crunchyroll, leaving English-speaking viewers in the dark with regards to this Shout-Out and simply using "replicas".
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The Kaiju in episode 9 traps the Gridman Alliance in dreams that have Akane as the main focus, i.e. Yuta's dream had Akane take the place of Rikka and became his girlfriend. Thankfully, Gridman goes to the dream plane and fights the kaiju which allows the Alliance to realize they are in a dream and willfully break free of it. Makes sense that Gridman can enter the dream plane if one considers that the opening theme song of the original Denkou Choujin Gridman was "Yume no Hero"note  and he did something similar in the original show.
  • Monster of the Week: Like its predecessor, Kaiju are created to attack, sending Gridman to take them out.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: In the original show, the Fixer Beam repaired whatever damage the kaijus inflicted to the computer world and was done at least once an episode. Here the technique is saved for the final episode and is what allows Gridman to defeat Alexis Kerib once and for all.
  • Mythology Gag: So many that there's a page all about it.
  • No Endor Holocaust: At the start of episode 2 the Gridman Alliance believe that this is the case for the Kaiju attacks, since all the physical destruction has disappeared overnight. This impression of theirs is completely dispelled once they actually get to school and find out that several of their classmates, who would have been at the epicenter of the previous day's attack, have been wiped from existence.
  • Opening Shout-Out: The last shot of the show is Akane doing the same neck-craning-up-to-the-sky motion Gridman does in the opening.
  • Playing Sick: Downplayed; Hass wears a white mask over her mouth that would indicate she's sick, but she still attends school and Rikka notes she's just wearing it for fun.
  • Power Limiter: Gridman himself. As it turns out, his new design is actually an outer shell that covers his original 1993 suit. Once released he gets all his old abilities back, including the Fixer Beam which was needed to save the day.
  • Reboot: Of Denkou Choujin Gridman. The title's "SSSS" even pays homage to the American version of Gridman, Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad.
  • Reconstruction: Of Gridman as a whole, as even amid the more mature storyline, Gridman is represented as a symbol hope and justice seeking to pull Akane out of Alexis' dark grasp. In essence, the show aims to highlight why we loved tokusatsu growing up, as the action symbolizes us overcoming barriers both external and within.
  • Reset Button:
    • After every fight between Gridman and a Kaiju, any destruction to the city is seemingly completely reversed and no one has any memory of what happened except for those directly involved with Gridman (Yuta, Sho, Rikka, the Assist Weapon guys) or the Kaiju (Akane, Anti, and Alexis Kerib). Episode 6 reveals it's the job of the illusory Venora loitering in the background to apply this trope. Episodes 11 and 12 show that destroying these Venora also destroys the Reset Button.
    • Gridman's Fixer Beam. Not only does it completely restore the entire city to its former glory, but its highly implied that it also brings back everyone who had died in the Kaiju attacks.
  • Restraining Bolt: In a meta sense, Junk is this. In episode 4, all four Assist Weapons tried to join Gridman in battle but Junk doesn't currently have the processing power to handle all five and it causes all of them to freeze. It is circumvented by lowering their output (becoming smaller).
  • Ret Gone: Those who die as a result of a Kaiju attack are essentially erased from recent history.
    • After Akane's first Kaiju attack kills off the girls' volleyball club, the Gridman Alliance finds out that Tonkawa, Tokiko, and the others were retconned to have died some years before.
    • Only Yamato remains alive after the fourth episode's attack, turning the Arcadia webcast he did with his three other friends into a one-man show.
  • Running Gag: Kaiju stink. Akane smelling Anti's scarf, Rikka smelling Anti, and Yuta smelling Anosillus the 2nd, all have the same reaction: "It stinks".
    • Borr keeps kicking Utsumi in the shin until the final episode where Utsumi is able to dodge it. Rikka gets in her own kicks when Borr isn't available.
  • School Festival: Episode 8 revolves around the school preparing for one, Akane wanting to destroy it and the Gridman Alliance trying to convince her not to but in the end have to fight the kaiju.
  • Shipper on Deck: Rikka's friends jokingly tease her about her new closeness with Yuta and Gridman and Max openly support the couple.
  • Ship Tease: Yuta/Rikka gets the most teasing during the series, but Rikka's feelings aren't entirely revealed even at the end. When Utsumi straight up asks her how she feels about Yuta, she almost gives an answer, but brushes it aside as quickly as possible once someone else captures her attention. Utsumi/Akane gets some teasing as well.
  • Shout-Out: From other Studio Trigger and Tsuburaya Productions creations to Transformers of all things, all detailed on the ShoutOut page.
  • Small Role, Big Impact:
    • Sakiru Tonkawa dies in the first episode, has barely any lines, and has no significant connection to any of the main characters. Her murder is called back to very frequently throughout the rest of the show as a symbol of Akane's petty cruelty and why she has to be stopped.
    • Anosillus the 2nd only shows up for an episode, but manages to complete turn the series on its head by revealing to Yuta that the world he resides is merely a construct created by Akane, who is essentially its God.
    • This trope ultimately goes to Sho Utsumi. Near the end of the series, he becomes frustrated with the fact that he has no abilities to transform into Gridman of has useful ties to Akane and was unable to do anything useful to help. Yuta and Rikka remind him that he did do something useful: he brought everyone together to fight Akane's kaiju.
  • Stealth Sequel: Implied in episode 6, when the descendant of Anosillus from the original Gridman series appears to tell Yuta the truth about Tsutsuji-dai. Eventually confirmed in the finale. Gridman fuses with the Neon Genesis team and Anti, freeing himself from his current form and changing back to his original design. Akane is revealed to be a human who had entered the Computer World of the original series and may have played some part in wiping out most of it. At the end of the series, Akane returns to the human world, Gridman to the Hyper World, and the Computer World is restored as a copy of ours, fully functioning as a true world. We also see the original Anosillus watching over his descendant and Anti whose eye has healed and turned blue.
  • The Stinger: At the end of the series, Akane's real self wakes up in her bedroom.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: To be fair they do also beat the crap out of him, but Alexis is ultimately defeated not by violence, but by the cast convincing Akane that others can accept her even with all of her flaws, cutting his main source of negative emotions.
  • Temporary Online Content: The Voice Dramas were posted weekly on Pony Canyon's YouTube account, but generally stay on until the next episode airs. Eventually they all got out on the DVD sets.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Gridman gets not one, but two instances of this in the final battle. The first is "Yume no Hero", the original Gridman theme song to kick off the fight with Alexis Kerib. The second is "UNION", the theme song to the current series, which starts once Gridman activates his Fixer Beam which leads to Alexis' defeat.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Set in Nerima Ward, Tokyo. Episode 6 reveals that either because of Akane's actions or something before her, this is the universe. Episode 7 further shows that it isn't a universe, but somewhere in the Computer World of the original series.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: People tend to treat Yuta's memory loss as a personality quirk rather than something serious. Most people in the show treat everything out of the ordinary as this trope, in fact, with characters becoming more aware of the strangeness of the world around them as they break out of Akane's predetermined roles for them.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • In the finale, Gridman's Fixer Beam completely restores Akane's cyber world. However, it is left unclear whether the people Akane killed were brought back or not. That said, with the sounds of what seems to be the volleyball club, it's at least implied that those who died did return.
    • For someone who had most of their consciousness gone and their body possessed by a digital superhero, the Yuta we know hasn't had much elaboration after he comes back to his senses. At least in the audio dramas this is addressed: He's out of school and in the hospital so medics can check up on his amnesia, and is otherwise fine.
  • Wham Line: Akane is the focal point of at least 2 of these as the show progresses.
    • First is the one she drops one on Rikka in episode 8.
    Akane: Don't you wanna get along with a god? No matter what I do, you'll never be able to hate me. I made sure you were set up that way... You were made to be my friend when you were made by my kaiju.
    • Second is the one Alexis drops on HER in episode 11.
    Alexis: I think you misunderstand me. I'm fine with you becoming a Kaiju yourself. Instance... Abreaction!
  • Where It All Began: The final battle happens in the outskirts of the the city: the Computer World.
  • Wrap Around: The train leading out of the city works this way. Once Yuta's aware of it, the train signs change to show Tsutsuji-dai as the location and only destination.
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