5 Point Discussions – SSSS.Gridman 5: “Provocation”

by Sage Ashford

The kids go on a field trip, and Akane and Yuta get to have a heart to heart. Remember, if you like this article and 5 Point Discussions, please share it on Facebook or Twitter! It really helps. And if you’ve got any comments or questions, please hit me up @SageShinigami.

1. This secret identity thing is going to get worse every week, isn’t it? This episode, the class is heading out to the mountains on a field trip where they’ll go rafting. After traveling there, Akane takes the opportunity to speak with Yuta about his lost memories. The conversation is short, with him only saying his memory hasn’t come back at all. But at the end she asks if he’s “transforming” and he answers “sure”, and for whatever reason she takes that as confirmation he’s Gridman. It’s like coming to the right solution on a math equation but using every wrong step possible to get it–she basically “Wabbit Season. Duck Season’d” him, but I guess she’ll continue with her assumption from this episode on.

2. Once you hear the words “field trip” to any place with some water in an anime, you know the fanservice is coming.  I’m mostly neutral on it but it gets gross when it involves high school kids. Let’s be honest with ourselves: this show is a nostalgic throwback to a series that first aired when I was in first grade and Saved by the Bell was still recent. I expect it of Studio Trigger at this point, even if I absolutely don’t want it. And I know the reflex for some fans is defending it by saying “they’re going rafting”, but no one asked for those random camera angles of booty shots–they definitely didn’t improve the show. It had to be brought up, but I’m not screencapping any of it, so take this much more wholesome moment instead.

3. Convinced Yuta is in fact Gridman, Akane enacts her next surefire plan this time: a gigantic kaiju. It’s large enough to be a mountain, and it attacks in the middle of their trip. I appreciate that every episode Akane improves and comes up with new gimmicks, but this does highlight a problem with the show: Yuta can only transform when he’s in front of the Junk computer.  There’s no sneaking away for a few minutes to the nearest phone booth here–they have a long, arduous run in an attempt to get to their phones (placed in lockers before they went rafting) in the hope the Neon Genesis junior high kids can bring them the computer.

They poke a bit of fun at Generation Z here as well, as Yuta and Utsumi have to rely on a pay phone to get things done. First they forget using a public phone requires coins, but Utsumi’s one of those weirdos who carries coins everywhere. Then they start to call the cafe…except none of them know the number, since no one under the age of 40 remembers phone numbers after they plug them into their phones. At this point, Rikka (who the boys had left behind) arrives to save the day.  I pictured the Gridman Alliance helping Yuta directly fight the kaiju of the show, but somehow it’s turned into them just helping him accomplish basic tasks operating old technology teenagers should be awful at, and I’m not entirely sure the show isn’t better for it.

4. After a scene of them taking way too long to get to Junk–which the junior high students bought and brought by train to them–Yuta finally merges with Gridman. But he’s way too small to inflict any damage, so Borr transforms into his assist weapons form and combines to form Full Armor Buster. Borr might actually be the most useful Assist Weapon we’ve seen thus far–dude’s armed with all kinds of missiles, lasers, and even giant drills…though we never see them used.  Anti shows up and tries to damage them–he even works with the kaiju this week–but Borr’s armor lets Gridman shrug off the damage.  Ignoring Anti, they pile on enough missiles and laser damage to simply obliterate the mountain kaiju, solving yet another case.

Akane isn’t even annoyed this week–both Anti and the kaiju did the best they could and were obliterated, so she just leaves to work on another plan. She’s still treating Anti like crap though, even when he shows up and offers to carry her through the remnants of the burning forest.  Anti is quickly starting to be the character I feel the most sorry for–he was built by a mistress who doesn’t care about him, and seems to be capable of experiencing hatred for Gridman.  It’s a crappy experience and Akane isn’t even trying to make it better.

5. On the ride back, Max asks the question Rikka asked last week. Why are these monsters only appearing around these students? But unlike Rikka, he’s not blaming any one of them, and hopefully the pieces for who’s responsible come together soon enough.  Rikka notices Anti’s human form after the battle is over, so hopefully they start putting clues together.

SSSS.Gridman is available on Crunchyroll and Funimation.

Sage Ashford

A writer with way too many hobbies, Sage can often be found catching up on the latest anime, or reading a stack of comics between Wednesdays and Thursdays.

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