SSSS.GRIDMAN Ep. 4: Swing and a miss

And they say guys miss out on obvious hints. Well, we ain’t the only ones! 

— So Akane strongly suspects that Yuta is her enemy, but she isn’t 100% sure. As a result, she begins her investigation by approaching Rikka, which honestly isn’t a bad place to start.

— What’s surprising is that these two used to be friends, but they had slowly drifted apart over the years. I’m just thinking that the best way to understand Akane might actually be through Rikka.

— After all, Akane’s kinda weird. She seems harmless enough on the surface, but up close, you’ll quickly realize she doesn’t really do a good job of hiding her negative tendencies. She angers easily, and her friendliness always has a certain fake sheen to it. Here, we see Akane get rather pushy after Rikka attempts to brush off a question about her friendship with Yuta. The former eventually claims that she’s just kidding, but if I was Rikka, I’d begin to wonder what Akane was trying to get at.

— When Rikka gets to school, her friends immediately invite her to go hang out with a few college boys on Saturday. A nosy Akane quickly invites herself, and since she’s the popular girl, no one has an issue with this. Welp.

— Later that day, Rikka l seems to be in a really good mood, which doesn’t go unnoticed by the rest of the Gridman Alliance. The boys freak out when they hear about the group date, but it sounds like Rikka is only going in order to hang out with Akane. Ah, if only she knew that her former friend was a murderous psychopath.

— Still, I find it funny that Yuta is so concerned about his friend meeting up with a bunch of college boys. Does he have feelings for Rikka already? When did that happen? He still hasn’t recovered his memories, but he’s already got a crush on her? I mean, sure, he was worried about her in last week’s episode, but I didn’t know that meant that he liked her.

— Meanwhile, Sho is more hung up on Akane. Like Rikka, he’s in for a real shocker.

Even Gridman is giving Yuta tips on his love life.

— So of course, Yuta and Sho decide to stalk the girls, ’cause that’s what you do in fiction. When your love interest hangs out with a member of the opposite sex, you gotta follow them!

— Then again, if we wanna talk shady, we have a bunch of college guys trying to pick up high school girls. They’re not even like first years in college. They’re all 21.

— I’m more interested in that program on TV. Hell, it’s probably a reference to something I’m not familiar with.

Again, Akane asks Rikka about Yuta. As you can tell, she’s super subtle. She might want to look into becoming a detective when she grows up.

— Throughout the group date, Akane repeatedly tries to talk about Yuta, but the college boys keep interrupting her. Look at Akane’s eyes. She looks like she’s about to snap. Those boys better watch out, because she might sic her kaiju on them.

— Plus, maybe our villainess should consider using her charms on Sho. He’d probably spill all sorts of information to a pretty face.

— No longer able to deal with all the rudeness, Akane ditches the group date. In the elevator, the girl bitterly mashes one of the buttons as she curses under her breath. Someone’s going to die.

— Meanwhile, Yuta continues to stalk Rikka, and he freaks out even further when he sees her having a friendly chat with a guy! Do nerds really think that this is how social interactions work? If a girl even talks to a guy, then that means that they’re going to fall in love? RIP platonic friendships.

— Unfortunately for our hero, Sho no longer has anything to worry about since Akane has already gone home. These kids, man. To be fair, it’s pretty daunting to confess to your crush at that age.

— At the end of the night, we see Anti standing outside Akane’s home like a lost puppy waiting for its master. Unfortunately, she has nothing but disdain for her own creation. I’d like to think it’s her fault that Anti failed in battle, but you can’t reason with crazies.

— And sure enough, she actually has a job for Anti after her anger subsides. The kid, however, refuses on the grounds that he only cares about taking out Gridman, but let’s see if he can keep refusing Akane as the series continues.

— Elsewhere, a forlorn Yuta is distraught over the fact that he lost sight of Rikka and her group. Dude, c’mon. If you’re that worried, just call her up again. After what happened last week, she’d probably answer.

— Crazy anime girls and box cutters… name a more iconic duo.

— Max shows up out of nowhere to lend an ear to the hero. The kid suddenly brings up that weird interaction he had with Rikka back in the very first episode. Y’know, now that I think about it, maybe he had confessed to her right before losing his memories. This would probably explain her response. Also, his crush on her wouldn’t be coming out left field. It would make sense for Rikka to play dumb after the fact. She doesn’t appear to have any feelings for him at the time or eve now. But the OP has already kinda spoiled the outcome of this pairing for us, so… yeah. It’s probably going to be one of those last episode things where our hero finally recovers his memories, so he goes and confesses to the girl he loves one more time. And by then, she’ll probably have developed feelings for him.

— Yuta finally admits to Max that he does like Rikka. Well, now he just has to admit it to her… possibly for the second time.

— Welp, Akane works fast. It looks like the college boys are getting murdered already. I also love how this guy hears his friend frantically screaming on the phone and he’s just all like, “That was odd.” You guys are terrible friends. Oh well, he’s the next to die anyway.

— Similarly, Rikka’s mom doesn’t seem the least bothered that a dude with a mask likes to hang around her junk shop.

— The next day, Rikka departs once more to meet up with her friends. Yuta can act all suspicious if he wants, but he’s not going to get anywhere without being direct.

— Looks like there’s only one member of Arcadia left. But again, whenever bad things happen, history gets rewritten, so Rikka’s friends act as though the group has only ever been a one-man band.

— Back at the junk shop, Gridman reveals that he also has no memories of his past. At this point, it’s hard not to see Gridman as an extension of Yuta.

— Since Rikka is so worried, she first checks up on Akane. After seeing that the psycho girl is okay, Rikka then goes and meets up with the last remaining member of Arcadia. The guy will probably think she’s interested in him when she just wants to make sure he doesn’t die. Just another silly misunderstanding!

— All of a sudden, a heavy mist rolls in, so we know that a kaiju is about to attack. But do none of the characters see the mist? Can the guy not notice? Can Rikka also not notice despite being a member of the Gridman Alliance?

— Sure enough, the guy is attacked by… tentacles?

Luckily, Calibur is quick to act. Did he follow Rikka to make sure that she was safe? ‘Cause we later see Gridman say that even he couldn’t sense the impending kaiju attack. Ah well.

— Finally, Gridman and Yuta show up in time to fight the kaiju. But this also alerts Anti to their presence, so our heroes quickly find themselves in a 2 vs 1 battle.

— Kinda. Unfortunately, Akane’s latest creation and Anti don’t exactly have the best teamwork. Or any teamwork for that matter.

— The entire group of weirdos, a.k.a. the Neon Genesis Junior High Students, want to lend Yuta and Gridman a hand. So with their powers combined, we get… we get a false alarm. Gridman can’t merge with his weapons, because the computer froze. The damn computer froze.

— What is this? CSI?! Rikka proceeds to fix the problem by unplugging the computer and plugging it back in!

— Apparently, the computer is not yet strong enough to handle all four weapons merging with Gridman. Sounds like we need to build a new PC. Too bad all the good video cards are currently jacked up in price thanks to miners. So for now, our hero’s just going to go to battle with Max. Like every previous battle, however, victory comes easy. SSSS.GRIDMAN has yet to show us a nail-biter of a fight, and I’m kinda hungry for one.

— In the aftermath, Yuta attributes the victory to Rikka’s quick thinking. Ohhhh, putting on the moves, I see.

— He then asks her how the group date had gone. When he hears that she didn’t have any fun, he’s emboldened to ask her out. Unfortunately for Yuta, Rikka assumes that he wants to hang out with everyone as a group. Be that as it may, I’m pleasantly surprised that our hero could even work up the courage to ask the girl out in the first place. It’s only the fourth episode, so he’s got plenty of time to work out the kinks.

— Is Yuta the best recent Trigger male protagonist thus far? Look, he’s nothing special, but he might just win by default. ‘Cause if you think about it, DARLING in the FRANXX‘s Hiro was pretty much useless after the fifteenth episode. On the other hand, I don’t even wanna talk about Jurai from When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace. Yuta’s only real competition is, uh, Ninja Slayer.

— Meanwhile, Akane continues to take her anger out on Anti. That college guy also hilariously tries to call her up. But even though Akane is pissed at all these Ls that Gridman keeps handing her, she remains upbeat and excited for the future. She really relishes this challenge. Since she’s a bit of a psychopath, she’s probably also one of those bored psychopaths.

— Right before the credits roll, we see Rikka worry that everything is happening because of her. In the first episode, some of her friends died. In the third episode, the kaiju kinda attacked near her. Finally, in this episode, three guys that she just met yesterday are now dead. It’s only natural for her to fear that she might have something to do with all these attacks. She doesn’t — at least not directly — but she doesn’t know that.

— Now that we’ve already gotten a third of the series under our belt, I hope that our heroes start being a little more proactive. If Akane is trying to figure out Gridman’s true identity, then I think Yuta and his friends should start trying to figure out where all these kaiju are coming from. In the meantime, however, they act like they’re just keen to live out their daily high school lives, only stopping once in a while to fight the obligatory battle against the kaiju-of-the-week. As the body count continues to pile up, I hope that the Gridman Alliance starts to take its job a little more seriously.

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