SSSS.GRIDMAN (グリッドマン, Guriddoman) is a 2018 animated television series produced by Studio Trigger and Tsuburaya Productions, and animated by Trigger. It adapts elements of both the live-action series Denkou Choujin Gridman and Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad.
SSSS.Gridman was announced during Studio Trigger's panel at Anime Expo 2017, alongside Darling in the Franxx and Promare. Trigger described the show as "their anime take on the tokusatsu series", with an original storyline unrelated to the earlier live-action series. During Tokyo Comic Con 2017, more details about the show were provided, including the main staff, October 2018 premiere, Masayuki Gotou as Gridman's character designer, and voice actor Hikaru Midorikawa reprising his role as Gridman.
In March 24, 2018, the official website revealed another visual and main voice cast details. During Studio Trigger's Anime Expo 2018 panel, Trigger acknowledged the differences between the US and Japanese releases of Gridman, clarifying that SSSS.Gridman is a new show with the same concept. They emphasized that despite having an all-new story, SSSS.Gridman wasn't a reboot. Production of SSSS.Gridman took place alongside Promare; staff related stories during the panel about production details for SSSS.Gridman being worked out during Promare meetings and vice versa. A special video featuring director Akira Amemiya was shown, emphasizing the story "would focus on the youth of Japan and their relationship to technology". The world premiere of the show took place after the panel ended.
The series premiered in October 7, 2018. The series is directed by Akira Amemiya, written by Keiichi Hasegawa, and animated by Studio Trigger and Tsuburaya Productions. Masayuki Gotou designs the Gridman, and Masaru Sakamoto handles the character designs. Shirō Sagisu composes the music.The opening theme is "UNION" by OxT, and the ending theme is "youthful beautiful" by Maaya Uchida During their Anime Expo 2018 panel, Funimation announced they licensed the series for streaming on FunimationNow and an English dub. The anime was also licensed by Funimation in the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The anime is being simulcasted by Crunchyroll in those countries.
The story focuses on Yuta Hibiki, an amnesiac first-year high school student living in Tsutsujidai. He meets the Hyper Agent Gridman on an old computer, who stated that the boy has a mission he must fulfill, as he sets out to find the meaning to those words and his memory loss. The sudden appearance of Kaiju would eventually change the usual dynamics of Yuta and his classmates. Hibiki is able to merge with Gridman to fight kaiju, but after the kaiju attacks, people's memories are reset and those who killed by the attacks had their history written that they died much earlier. As the "Gridman Alliance", Hibiki and his friends now seek to stop the kaiju and uncover the truth behind the attacks, with assistance from mysterious friends of Gridman that can transform into weapons Gridman can use in combat.
Cast & Characters
- Yūya Hirose as Yuta Hibiki
- Hikaru Midorikawa as Gridman
- Sōma Saitō as Sho Utsumi
- Yume Miyamoto as Rikka Takarada
- Ryōsuke Takahashi as Samurai Calibur
- Reina Ueda as Akane Shinjo
- Tetsu Inada as Alexis Kerib
- Katsuyuki Konishi as Max
- Masaya Matsukaze as Vit
- Aoi Yūki as Borr
- Kenichi Suzumura as Anti
- Mayumi Shintani as Rikka's Mother
- Suzuko Mimori as Namiko
- Akari Kitō as Hass
- Takahashi Karin as Kaiju Girl (Anosillus II)
List of Episodes
|Episode No.||Title||Synopsis||Original Air Date|
|1||Episode 1 - Awakening||Yuta Hibiki wakes up in Rikka Takarada's home with no memory of who he is. However, he sees hallucinations of a robot named Gridman in an old computer terminal in Takarada's family store, who warns Yuta that he must "awaken" and complete his mission. The next day, Yuta meets his friend Sho Utsumi, who helps him cope with his memory loss. Intrigued by Yuta's story about Gridman, Utsumi asks Yuta to show him the terminal (which he nicknames "Junk"), and they run into Rikka along the way. Suddenly, a kaiju appears and begins attacking the city. Yuta is sucked into the terminal, and reappears as Gridman to battle the Kaiju. With help from Utsumi and Rikka, Yuta is able to defeat the kaiju, but Gridman warns them that the kaiju was only the beginning of more trouble to come. The next day, Yuta and his friends are shocked to see that their school, which was burning last night in the kaiju attack, has somehow been completely rebuilt.||October 7, 2018|
|2||Episode 2 - Restoration||Yuta and his friends find out that in addition to all of the damage to city being undone, nobody has any memory of the kaiju attack. However, they notice that several students are missing that nobody seems to have any memory of. They decide to investigate the mystery of the missing students when they meet a mysterious man named Samurai Calibur. Samurai Calibur "optimizes" Junk, allowing Rikka and Utsumi to see and hear Gridman. They then investigate the missing students, finding out that everybody's memories have been rewritten to believe the missing students had all died before even reaching high school. Meanwhile, it is revealed that Akane and her electronic companion Alexis are behind the kaiju attack, which she instigated to kill the missing students as revenge for ruining her lunch. She creates another kaiju to kill her homeroom teacher, who didn't apologize to her after bumping into her. Yuta fuses with Gridman to fight the Kaiju, but is outmatched, prompting Samurai Caliber to leap into Junk to transform into a sword which Gridman uses to destroy the kaiju. The next day, all the damage and everybody's memory is reset like before, but the homeroom teacher is still alive and apologizes to Yuta after accidentally bumping into him.||October 14, 2018|
|3||Episode 3 - Defeat||One week later, Akane builds a new Kaiju named Anti who is intelligent and can take a human form, built solely to destroy Gridman. Akane then activates Anti, who begins attacking the city to draw Gridman out. Yuta fuses with Gridman to battle Anti, but even with Samurai Calibur's assistance, Gridman is defeated and the day resets. Akane celebrates her victory while Rikka and Utsumi are concerned that Yuta disappeared, but are both too afraid to try and contact him to confirm it. Three strangers then arrive in the shop looking for Samurai Calibur and Gridman. They then point out the silliness of Rikka and Utsumi refusing to try to contact Yuta if they are both so concerned about his safety. Rikka works up the courage to call Yuta, and it is revealed that he, Gridman, and Samurai Calibur faked their deaths and were in hiding in hopes of ambushing Anti. Gridman then appears, drawing Anti out. One of the strangers enters Junk to become Battle Tracto Max, which combines with Gridman to form Max Gridman. Max Gridman is able to fight Anti to a draw as they both run out of energy. Afterwards, Gridman introduces Samurai Caliber and his comrades as his allies, the Neon Genesis Junior High Students. Akane meanwhile rejects Anti for his failure.||October 21, 2018|
|4||Episode 4 - Suspicion||Frustrated at Gridman continually thwarting her plans, Akane tries to figure out Gridman's identity. She suspects Yuta, but has no proof, so she attempts to talk to Rikka. However, the two are roped into a group outing with a four man internet personality group, Heisei. The group continually interrupts Akane's attempts to get information out of Rikka, and she angrily leaves, plotting to have Heisei killed. Meanwhile, Yuta finds himself concerned at the idea of Rikka going out with other boys, and comes to realize that he has a crush on her. The next day, Rikka notices that three of the Heisei members have disappeared. Realizing they have been attacked by a kaiju, Rikka attemps to warn the last member when the kaiju attacks. Gridman appears to battle it, but Anti appears as well and the battle devolves into a three way free for all. The NGJHS members attempt to transform all at once, but the strain causes Junk to crash, freezing Gridman. After Junk is restarted, they decide to stick with just one transformation, and use Max Gridman to defeat the kaiju. Anti attempts to attack Gridman but runs out of energy again. The next day, Rikka reflects on the kaiju attacks and wonders if she is the cause of their appearance, since they always seem to appear near her.||October 28, 2018|
|5||Episode 5 - Provocation||Yuta and his class head out on a field trip into the mountains. However, Akane makes arrangements to summon a kaiju if needed. During the trip, Akane questions Yuta about his amnesia and tricks him into admitting he transforms into Gridman. She then summons a massive kaiju the size of a mountain in order to draw Gridman out. Unfortunately, since he is in the mountains, Yuta has no access to Junk and cannot transform. The NGJHS purchase Junk from Rikka's mother and carry it up the mountain to Yuta's location, allowing him to transform into Gridman. Anti also appears, but Borr combines with Gridman to form Buster Gridman. Buster Gridman completely overwhelms the kaiju with sheer firewpower, and Anti is buried under the rubble. Afterwards, Yuta and the rest of his class return home, with Max observing that all of the kaiju seem to be appearing in proximity of Yuta's class.||November 4, 2018|
|6||Episode 6 - Contact||Confident that Yuta is Gridman, Akane orders Anti to kill him. However, having not eaten anything, Anti begins to succumb to hunger when Rikka comes across him. Rikka kindly feeds and bathes him before he runs off. Akane approaches Utsumi with their mutual love for kaiju, and she attempts to extract more information out of him as Borr secretly watches. Utsumi doesn't reveal anything, much to Akane's disappointment. Yuta encounters a young girl who claims she is a kaiju and that she knows Yuta from his past. The young girl takes Yuta on a train ride outside the city, where she prevents him from falling asleep to show him nothing exists outside of the city. The girl then reveals that the city Yuta lives in is entirely constructed by Akane, who uses kaiju to continually destroy and rebuild the city without anybody's knowledge. She warns Yuta that Akane is being manipulated by an outside force, and that only he can stop it. Furthermore, even though she is a kaiju, she was not created by Akane and existed long before the city did. The girl then thanks Yuta for helping her predecessor before taking her leave. On the way home, Yuta is attacked by Anti, but is saved by Max and Samurai Calibur's intervention. They point out to Anti that if he kills Yuta, he'll never have a proper battle against Gridman, which Anti agrees with and he leaves. Yuta decides to go back to the shop to report everything to Gridman, where he finds his friends waiting for him, while Alexis silently watches Akane.||November 11, 2018|
|7||Episode 7 - Scheme||Yuta tries to tell Rikka and Utsumi what he learned, but they are skeptical of his claims due to how implausible they sound. Yuta then returns home to find Akane waiting for him. He refuses her offer to join her side, and she invites him out for dinner. As they eat, Yuta slowly comes to realize how twisted Akane is when she casually explains how she had fellow students killed for minor infractions. Alexis then arrives and introduces himself to Yuta, explaining how he is he one who allows Akane's kaiju to take physical form. Suddenly, a kaiju appears above the city, confusing Akane since she didn't create one that day. Yuta returns to the shop and transforms to fight the kaiju while Akane returns home and finds out Alexis allowed Anti to create his own kaiju to battle Gridman. Akane is infuriated at both Anti and Alexis going behind her back. Meanwhile, Vit combines with Gridman to form Sky Gridman as they take on both Anti and his kaiju. The battle takes them high into the sky where they see sky is fake, with an alien cityscape hovering above. Gridman is able to defeat Anti, but Yuta and his friends are left troubled at these new developments. Akane authorizes Alexis to "discipline" Anti, and he easily overpowers Anti and slashes his face.||November 18, 2018|
|8||Episode 8 - Confrontation||As the school prepares to host a festival, Akane approaches Yuta and his friends and taunts them, saying that she will attack the festival with her newest kaiju. Yuta and Hibiki immediately start making plans to counter Akane's kaiju, while Rikka has reservations about their plan, wondering if there's a way to peacefully convince Akane not to attack. She quickly gets into an argument with Utsumi and the both of the have a falling out. Regretful at the thing he said to Rikka, Utusumi accompanies Yuta to confront Akane, asking her why she wants to attack the festival if her enemy is Gridman, but Akane refuses to answer. Rikka also confronts Akane, but Akane reveals that she designed Rikka from the start to be her friend, therefore Rikka is incapable of hating her. Yuta finds a troubled Rikka, who says she plans to apologize to Utsumi before he can since he wouldn't be expecting her to act preemptively. This gives Yuta the idea to have Gridman appear at the festival, forcing an evacuation before Akane can summon her kaiju. They then implement their plan, deliberately reducing Gridman's size so the entire NGJHS can transform and combine with him to form Full Powered Gridman. The kaiju is defeated, and the festival continues as planned after the day resets. Yuta and his friends participate in the festival and Rikka and Utsumi make amends. Akane stays home, growing increasingly depressed over her inability to defeat Gridman while Alexis encourages her to make more kaiju.||November 25, 2018|
|9||Episode 9 - Dream||For her next plan, Akane creates a kaiju that traps Yuta, Rikka, and Utsumi in separate dream worlds where they are friends with her. This initially seems to work at first, as Yuta, Rikka, and Utusumi have no memory of Gridman or the kaiju. Meanwhile, in the real world, Yuta, Rikka, and Utsumi are put in a deep sleep and unable to awaken. The kaiju floats above the city but is incorporeal, protecting it from harm, so the HGJHS are forced to wait. Anti is angry Gridman hasn't appeared, but he cannot harm the kaiju either. Inside the dreamworld, Yuta, Rikka, and Utsumi slowly come to realize that they are in a dream and reject Akane's offer to stay in the dreamworld. This gives Gridman the chance to attack the dreamworld version of the kaiju, making it vulnerable in the real world. The NGJHS then mobilizes and combines to form the robot Powered Zenon, swiftly defeating the kaiju on their own. Anti then angrily asks Samurai Calibur why Gridman won't fight him, and Calibur replies that Gridman won't fight a living being with a heart, even if it's a kaiju. With her plan a failure, Akane falls into a deeper depression. Yuta, Rikka, and Utsumi finally wake up, now realizing that it's their duty to help Akane wake up from her own "dream". Rikka then tells everybody else to listen to something important she must tell them.||December 2, 2018|
|10||Episode 10 - Collapse||Life goes on when there's a break in the kaiju attacks. However, when Akane's world comes crumbling down, the Gridman Alliance might need help to battle her broken heart.||December 9, 2018|
|11||Episode 11 - Decisive Battle||Disaster strikes on a morning like none other and it's hard to tell friend from foe. Akane seems to have all but given up, but Alexis has other plans in store.||December 16, 2018|
|12||Episode 12 - Awakening||It all comes down to the line as the Gridman Alliance attempts to save Akane, but do they have what it takes to battle the monster within?||December 23, 2018|
Each episode is followed up with an original Voice Drama which was uploaded to Tsuburaya Productions' YouTube channel, for the first seven episodes. From the eighth episode and onward, they were uploaded to Pony Canyon's channel instead. They generally contain dialogue that foreshadows certain things in the next episode and the overall plot.
The voice dramas were published on CDs that came with each of the 4 volumes of the SSSS.GRIDMAN Limited Edition Blu Ray/DVD box sets.
A set of character songs was produced. These were performed by the Japanese voice actors, in character as the person for whom they did the voice. The songs were released on four individual CDs, and in a compilation album, "SSSS.Gridman Best Album", which included the opening and ending themes.
The musical score was composed by Shiro Sagisu, and performed by the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra, under conductor Masamichi Amano. This was released on an Original Soundtrack album.
Notes & Trivia
- This is the first animated installment of Gridman franchise.
- While the series reused concepts of scrapped Gridman F, SSSS.Gridman drew references from Transformers and Go-Bots franchise in some aspects, particularly character designs. For instance, Yuta Hibiki's design alludes that of classic Cliffjumper, one of Cybertronians who aligned with Autobots.
- Unlike in the show's final product, the storyline of Gridman F revolved around the certain area of the futuristic Japan which stuck in 1993 aesthetics and it's up to the protagonists to solve the mystery, all while finding and capturing kaijus/Mega-Viruses along the way. 
- In addition of Transformers and Go-Bots, like other franchises produced by Studio TRIGGER, SSSS.Gridman also bears some allusions/nods from other works including another Trigger production:
- In Episode 4, Gridman Super Lightning Kick is a reference to Noirko's Super Inazuma Kick
- In Episode 5, Buster Gridman is a reference to the Buster Machines From Gunbuster and Diebuster
- Inferno Cop:
- One of the donuts resembles Hellfire Boy of Inferno Cop.
- In episode 7, the second ending theme of Inferno Cop cam be heard from Rikka's headphones.
- Kill la Kill:
- In episode 4, Max asks Yuta "Have you lost your way?", is an indirect nod to Before My Body Is Dry, a song from one of Trigger's earlier projects, Kill La Kill.
- Little Witch Academia:
- In Episode 1, one of items sold by Rikka's mother resembles Akko's Alcor plush toy.
- One of Yuta's classmates who made her cameo debut in episode 2 greatly resembles Atsuko "Akko" Kagari, the main protagonist of Little Witch Academia except that she lacked Akko's signature ponytail.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion:
- A not subtle allusion, but the episode opens with the view of a ceiling, a particular shot that is very well known to Neon Genesis Evangelion fans.
- The name of Gridman's Assist Weapons' covert group, Neon Genesis Junior High, is a (rather obvious) reference to Neon Genesis Evangelion.
- The elevator scene, which had Akane rapidly pressing the "close" button is seen as a throwback to the same scene with Asuka and Rei.
- The phone booth Yuta, Sho, and Rikka used in Episode 5 share same design with one that Shinji used in the first episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion.
- Space Patrol Luluco:
- The design of Alexis Kerib takes the cue of Over Justice.
- Ultra Series:
- Akane introduced herself to Yuta whilst doing a pose referencing Alien Baltan.
- The convinient store that Rikka and Yuta bought their bagels is named 721 (Seven Two One) referencing Ultraseven 21 (Ultraseven Two One).
- Sakiru Tonkawa's pouch shares the same model as the keychain that becomes Kazuki Komon's lucky charm from Ultraman Nexus, becoming a bad omen in the franchise where it foreshadows her demise at hands of Akane's Ghoulghilas.
- Akane's shelves contains vinyl figures of various kaijus from the Ultra Series, including:
- Psycho Baltan
- Powered Baltan
- Powered Dada
- Powered Red King
- Powered Gomora
- Powered Pestar
- Powered Zetton
- Powered Jamilla
- Powered Chandora
- Powered Gabora
- Powered Dorako
- Zogu (angel form)
- In episode 3, there is a doodle of Yamatarenase in Akane's notebook. Akane was later seen toying with a vinyl figure of Sasahiler in front of her computer.
- In episode 4, while the Gridman Alliance and Neon Genesis Junior high are peeping on Rikka and Akane, they hide in a pastry shop that played the ending theme song of Ultraman R/B, Yume Hiko.
- In the same episode, Akane used the image of Alien Reguran as her profile picture, which the college students mistook for Alien Baltan with one of them imitating Alien Baltan's infamous laugh, even though Alien Reguran doesn't look like Alien Baltan.
- Sakiru Tonkawa has a pouch that has the same design as Komon's charm.
- In Episode 6, the action figures of Zaigorg and a Xio Space Musketty was used by Sho to entertain his relatives.
- The Uchusen magazine Sho read in the same episode has on its cover Techtor Gear Zero, Hunter Knight Tsurugi and Andro Melos. Ultra Super Fight is also on the cover, in plain text.
- Utsumi and Akane later discussing about a kaiju called Red King and how it doesn't actually look red in color, except for certain variants.
- The scene where Gridman appears and stands atop a building, and then comes down with a flying kick is a recreation of a similar move performed in the Dangaioh series.
- Gridman holding and pointing the Gridman Calibur towards the left area of the screen is a homage to the Masami Obari sword pose that is performed in various mecha-genre anime.
- Gridman's Grid Calibur End is delivered in the same way as Fighbird's Flame Sword Charge Up from The Brave Fighter of Sun Fighbird.
- Wooser makes a cameo as a mascot on a bus Rikka and Akane on board in.
- At the karaoke place, the video playing on the screen is the visual for the karaoke version of Die Hollen Polezei from Inferno Cop, which in turn is a reference to Ultraman.