SSSS. GRIDMAN Episode 3 Review: Defeat

Let's not lie, the real winner this week are the Superhuman Samurai references. That and Calibur jumping through a window.

This SSSS. GRIDMAN review contains spoilers.


The morality of killing humans. A defeat so early on in the series. Despair! Friendship! Cellphones! Also the most overt Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad reference yet! Yeah, you heard it right. Not only was the new armament/supporting character/junior high schooler (wat?) named Tracto (a direct reference to a Superhuman Samurai vehicle) but one of its attacks was named TANKER Cannon. Yeah, you heard that right. The name of its attack was the name of the guy who piloted Tracto in Superhuman Samurai. (Explaining this to my friend who has no knowledge of either old school Gridman or Superhuman Samurai was a trip, let me tell you what.)

I can only hope next week Borr unleashes a SYDNEY attack. 

Anyway, with those obscure references (and half the readership) out of the way, let’s get to the meat of the episode. Again Akane draws the most interest. She doesn’t just create Kaiju, she can seemingly create human like creatures that grow into Kaiju! What the hell is this girl? Did she get powers from Alexis? Did she create Alexis? Is SHE a Kaiju?

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More questions are piling up. They’re all interesting so far but I’ve been burned by series that delights in mysteries but never bother to gave any real answers. Hopefully SSSS. Gridman doesn’t play it too close to the chest for long. Thankfully the main plot is more grounded in our main cast, specifically Rikka and Utsumi. When Yuta is seemingly defeated in battle we get to see their horror and fear their friend will be wiped from everyone’s memories.

I love that being forgotten is seen as the ultimate horror in this series. Dying would of course be terrible but to simply be forgotten, as if you never existed? That’s a pain Rikka especially can’t handle, since she avoided picking up Yuta’s call earlier. It makes me wonder why Akane’s Kaiju make people forget others. Is it because she was forgotten at some point? Is she creating people to “balance the scales” of the ones she wiped from existence? Or maybe she’s just out of her mind! I don’t know! 

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Yuta losing so early on in this series was surprising (although with the episode title it really shouldn’t have been) but it does speak to the ideas of last week. Yuta is very concerned with human life and the idea the Kaiju are human terrifies him, as it should. It’s resolved fairly easily by just asking the Kaiju if it’s something more but at least the topic was raised. This isn’t just a slap, punch, and giant arm attack series (although the action is damn impressive), there’s a humanity to these fights that give these amazing visuals weight.

Yuta’s death and/or disappearance was emotionally dealt with perfectly although I wish there had been a bit more explanation of where the hell he and Gridman had actually gone. Maybe they’re saving that for next week. It was both heartwarming and hilarious the ultimate solution was for Rikka to just call Yuta to bring him back. “Phones are linked to lives.” Yep, THE KIDS LOVE OF PHONES KEPT YUTA ALIVE. Now shut up, mom, I’m texting my friends! 

As we get to spend more time with this cast of characters the more I’m slowly starting to like them. It’s not love yet, but seeing Calibur just bust through the window at school with Yuta and Utsumi in tow? That’s the kind of thing that makes me smile and warm to them all. It’s high energy, hilarious, and takes advantage of the kind of zaniness only anime can do. As much as the series is so far one of those “crying in the rain and talk about feelings” shows, we do need these lighter moments to make the sad ones land.

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Also, Anti really wants food and honestly that’s super relatable. Just give the kid some food, Akane! Don’t dump it on their head!

Shamus Kelley is a pop culture/television writer and official Power Rangers expert. Follow him on Twitter! Read more articles by him here!


3.5 out of 5