SSSS.Dynazenon #01 — Sad Teenagers in Rain

April 2nd, 2021


More teenagers. More angst. More melancholy!

There's two high school club things airing later today, plus Back Arrow, but I've got a 4 hour drive to the middle of nowhere that I want to get moving on in a couple hours that will likely push at least one to two off.


Long time visitors here will remember that I wasn't exactly thrilled with Gridman's second half, in particular, its demand that we all empathize with a remorseless serial killer because she was generically sad, primarily about being stopped from mass murdering all the sentient beings around her that she thought were just her toys. That was enough to override pretty much all of my other memories of the early part of the show. Looking back at my old notes, I suspect it was just a weak day and I was feeling generous, because as I was starting to jot things down and check back, this post was looking suspiciously similar to the first episode post before. Probably a poor reflection on my own writing and critical analysis more than anything.

Which is to say that the direction is very similar, especially on the audio side. It's very quiet and exceedinly maudlin except for the one disturbingly deeply voiced teenager who is the font through which all the Gridman/kaijuu nonsense spouts, mostly running around yelling at people that they're secretly various things to fuel online forum debate. Well, quiet right up until the robot appears, the opera kicks in, and starts screaming "DYNAZENON!" At that point, every character with a unique design to that point aside from the particularly poorly dressed fanservice girl teleports into it and does the "ZOMG WHAT IS HAPPENING" and they fight a heretofore unseen random monster for about 15 seconds before a second theme song and transformation sequence kicks in, and then he wins the battle through a still with speedlines and blasting off into space Team Rocket style.

I definitely feel like they're phoning it in pretty severely on the action front, but I'm also not sure that's actually different from the previous Gridman. They've definitely glommed onto the idea that what people really loved about the last go round was that it had sad teenagers, and I can't say they're exactly wrong, though I don't agree with the thought. The seemingly lead boy is even more melancholic. The lead girl is even more closed off, outright calls herself damaged to remove all subtlety whatsoever, and more explicitly has some kind of troubled family. One dude's a shut-in. One girl has no idea how to dress herself. Troubled teenager HQ here. No serial killer though, which I feel like was a necessary spice to all the boring, melancholic teenagers bumming around in between being screamed at by a lunatic. At least unless they want us to sympathize with them and it turns to poison in my mouth.

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