I’ve made it no secret that I really like Rikka but it’s dawning on me just how integral she is to the story and its primary protagonist and antagonist.
Now it’s confirmed that Rikka and Akane have a history with each other, I suppose that ED really was hinting at something after all. Granted, not much is actually revealed here though from how the girls behave, must’ve been a while since they really talked to each other. It doesn’t seem like they really drifted apart for any real reason though that actually seems believable in of itself. I certainly have my fair share of friendships where contact becomes infrequent. Rikka does look like she’d like to reconnect with Akane though, agreeing to join a group date when the latter offered to tag along as well.
Meanwhile, there’s Yuuta to consider. There’s been enough snippets that explicitly state that he and Akane are attracted to each other. And in case that wasn’t obvious to begin with, Gridman actually has Yuuta stalk her group date (not questionable at all!) because she’s afraid she’ll get taken by a different man. This episode, and the premiere for that matter, does shed light that something did happen between Yuuta and Rikka before the former got struck with amnesia. The details are of course obscure and whatever truth is, Rikka is keeping it to herself. It makes you wonder though. When Yuuta tried asking her out, was she genuinely oblivious or did she know and intentionally read things the wrong way.
Who knows, maybe Yuuta, Rikka, and Akane are all connected in some love triangle. Akane was in love with Yuuta but Yuuta ended up choosing Rikka instead. It would explain why Akane is so friendly with Yuuta in the first two episodes and why she and Rikka seemingly drifted apart from each other. The big counter to my speculation though is Akane’s investment in main plot. Right now, she suspects Yuuta of working with Gridman and she technically only went to the mixer in the hopes of getting some information from Rikka. If there is any romantic issues with Akane, she’s done a good job hiding it.
I still wonder if there’s a redemption arc in the works for Akane and I kind of see an inkling of a sign happening in this episode. Not that I’m siding with her when she tries to kill that boy band (and largely succeeds even) but I understand her motivation this time around. It’s less that they prevented her from getting info from Rikka and more that they genuinely made her feel uncomfortable and unsafe. At the very least, it’s definitely less petty than her homeroom teacher bumping into her and neglecting to apologize. If Gridman can humanize her a bit more like with this instance than maybe her turning over a new leaf might work.
The other characters seem to be on the right track as well. Last episode introduced the entire Neon Genesis Junior High roster and with time, you’re starting to see what their individual personalities are. Calibur’s awkward and stoic quirks are a lot of fun to watch and Borr (Aoi Yuuki) has potential to deliver some good snark. Max (Katsuyuki Konishi) gets the most screen time however as you see him bond with Yuuta over the latter’s apparent crush towards Rikka and act as a mouthpiece for the the audience’s own investment in that situation.
If there’s a wild card in this cast, I’d say it’s Anti. He’s still hellbent on defeating Gridman but that actually ends up being a problem for Akane as he’ll only fight Gridman. In fact, during this week’s fight, he actually goes toe to toe with the Akane’s newest Kaiju just so that he can make the kill instead. I’m liking that he’s becoming more of a free agent. I just hope he eventually cuts ties with Akane entirely. For crying out loud, his creator throws her smartphone at his face…twice. How much more abuse can this kid take?
The only issue I have with blogging about Gridman is commenting on the action. That’s always the one pitfall with critiquing tokusatsu or shows of the like. How many ways can you really say, “The action was fun!”. And believe me, the action in Gridman is fun. That jet powered kick with Max Gridman was so perfectly timed and felt so satisfying. I suppose there is still some tidbits thrown around here and there. This episode’s action scene does establish that only one Assist Weapon can be summoned as Junk’s RAM can only handle that much. I guess Gridman can’t fight on Ultra settings. A shame that we probably won’t see all four weapons be used at once anytime soon (though Rikka pulling the plug was hilarious). Then again, this will prevent Gridman from peaking too early with the action, forcing its titular mech to think carefully over what power-up best suits the situation. So long as SSSS.Gridman pulls through in both story and action, I think I have little to worry about right now.
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