Perhaps I’ve been focusing my attention on the wrong villain. In my defense, it’s really easy to take Anti for granted. Compared to Akane’s unpredictable and unstable personality, Anti’s singular obsession in besting Gridman is a very static characterization. But when I really think about it, he seems way more likely to switches than Akane. The latter has done nothing but abuse or ignore Anti and the amount of mercy (or kindness in Rikka’s case) our heroes have bestowed on him was bound to have an effect.
Lo and behold, this episode is his time to shine. Akane throws out yet another monster to lay waste to the town and it proves to put Gridman in a pinch, even at full power. It’s a really creepy monster too; its erratic behavior complimented by some incredibly fluid animation provided by Trigger’s animators. Naturally, this is where Anti comes in who vows that only he has the right to defeat Gridman and thus will protect him from any other threat. How tsundere of him to do. His subsequent transformation into GridKnight, a complete copy of Gridman, is even sillier though I’m okay with it because it does oddly feel like the natural step to take with Anti’s arc. Plus, Anti’s darker color scheme combined with Gridman’s build looks spectacular.
It’s crazy to say considering how little time is left but I really can’t figure out what is in store for Akane. There’s plenty of scenes in this episode where Akane looks all depressed and at a loss over what to do next but this all feels like a misguided attempt at eliciting sympathy. I pity her now that I’m aware that she just wants to be loved by others but it’s hard to truly feel sorry for her when she’s done very little to prove that there is any iota of good left in her. Sure, she dreams of seeing the people she killed come back to life but it comes across as her being afraid of such a possibility rather than regretting over the things she’s done.
And then you have that ending. Now, that was surprising to sit through, especially after watching a giant monster go tsundere and become a giant robot. I’m sure Akane is being manipulated by Alexis in the broad sense but come on, stabbing Yuuta is entirely of her own doing. She finally sees how Gridman works (given that her and Rikka’s houses are nearby to each other, you’d think that happen sooner) so naturally, she takes matters into her own hands. She even goes as far as to entirely ignore Yuuta’s attempt in making her listen to reason. It’s important to stress the fact that she uses her own knife to do the dirty deed. No giant monsters; just a normal murder weapon and that image really does sink in how amoral this girl can be. Maybe you can still spin this off into a redemption arc but with two episodes left, some serious ingenuity is going to be needed.
Is Yuta actually dead? It does actually feel 50-50 after Episode 3 already made his death a possibility. You definitely need your tokusatsu protagonist alive, especially for the last two episodes. How he’ll survive though, I don’t know. Who knows; maybe everyone will just take him to the hospital. It sounds too simple but to be fair, it wouldn’t be the most absurd thing to happen in this show.
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