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 Gridman the Hyper Agent 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 the 2nd
- Decisive Battle
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.
- It Is Hard to Say In the Classroom
- This Person Doesn't Go With the Flow
- My Orders Are Absolute (included in Volume 1 of the SSSS.GRIDMAN Blu-ray and DVD release)
- But the truth is
- The Natural Order of Things
- It's Not Gridman's Fault
- What Are Neon Genesis Junior High Students?
- Easily Fooled, Huh? (included in Volume 2 of the SSSS.GRIDMAN Blu-ray and DVD release)
- Let's Open Her Backpack As Punishment
- Parent and Child Argue At A School Festival
- I've Reflected On It, I've Reflected On It
- On That Day(included in Volume 3 of the SSSS.GRIDMAN Blu-ray and DVD release)
- Getting In A Tangle
- In a Town Where Kaiju Exist
- Return of Akane (included in Volume 4 of the SSSS.GRIDMAN Blu-ray and DVD release)
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.
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.
- 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.