Planet With Review: Bringing you the most devastating clog in existence

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Souya sits down for dinner

I’m a little late on this one, but I’m determined to keep churning out reviews. This series was one that largely caught me by surprise. It follows Souya Kuroi, an amnesiac who lives together with a somewhat dysfunctional family that includes an anthropomorphic cat. While his days mostly consist of a strong desire to eat meat, he’s quickly pulled into a larger battle when a mysterious flying object approaches the city.

The heroes attack the flying object

As seven “heroes” fly out to fend off the invading ship, Souya has separate plans. Donning a mask and piloting the aforementioned cat (whom he calls Sensei), Souya instead targets those seven heroes. It’s a series that doesn’t draw a clear line between good and evil, which makes the character interactions a lot more believable in my eyes.

Cat robot attack

My favorite part about this series was watching the characters treat each other in realistic ways. When the burden of his mission becomes too much for Souya later down the line, nobody tries to force back into it. Instead, they take responsibility for the issue themselves. It’s amazing to see. As a result, I think that the series becomes a bit harder to follow in the beginning, but continually makes more sense as characters are explained.

Ginko worries for Souya

Story-wise, the series has a clear message of learning from past mistakes and showing that humanity has the capacity for love. It might be a sappy moral, but it’s simple and it works. Additionally, the series felt well-paced to me, knowing what to skip to get the important parts.

Explaining the story

When it comes to the mechs themselves, I ended up liking Souya’s cat robot a lot, but that’s mostly it. The seven heroes have their own unique forms, but I wasn’t a big fan of how bulky they seemed. And if you’re not a fan of having the main character shout out the same attack name over and over again, I might have some bad news for you. The fights themselves always felt interesting to watch as well, though they’re mostly CGI if that’s a deal breaker for you.

Shiraishi makes mysterious plans

All in all, it was a fun watch. It didn’t take itself too seriously, and the characters were particularly interesting. While I do think that the story is ultimately straightforward, I think that it also takes a while to get to that point. So, that might be my caveat for the show.

Overall Score: 9/10

SSSS.Gridman Final Episode (12): That went pretty crazy

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Is it actually Hibiki?

As far as endings go, I wasn’t super happy with how this series ended. It’s probably just a difference of style, since I would prefer a more definitive explanation and this series ended with a lot of plot points left up to interpretation. This entire series was an awkward watch for me, since it was clearly a huge reference back to its old school prequel (and I hadn’t seen it). As an outsider reading the comments of people who were fans of the original, I just felt like I was missing out on a ton of information. Oh well, I guess the show was fun enough, though.

Akane turns into a kaiju

Akane’s kaiju form was pretty cool. I suppose the form was meant to represent how she withdrew into herself, and I did like the fact that its cry was her scream.

Anti gets stabbed

I also thought it was funny that Anti ended up being the one who saved Akane when she was turned into a kaiju rather than Gridman. It really sucks to be Anti, though.

Alexis brags about his immortality

I’m a bit annoyed that the final battle between Alexis and Gridman devolved into a fairly generic discussion of immortality. I’m assuming it’s another reference back to the original, but it seems to fly in the face of the rest of the show.

Akane can't fix the atrocities she's committed in the fake world

This scene is a bit of a weird inclusion, since it seems to paint a negative picture of Akane in the end. She admits that she’s been a monster in her artificial world, but she immediately leaves after admitting it. It’s like she’s leaving the world behind after abusing it. I guess the implication is that she would atone in the real world, but it’s an awkward thing to point out in the end.

Gridman is sure Yuuta will be okay

Oh, so Yuuta’s interest in Rikka existed because of the real Yuuta’s influence. I was starting to wonder about it in the end, since the series implied that Gridman was the one who fell for Rikka.

Also, my interpretation was that Gridman chose Yuuta because he was the only one who wasn’t looking at Akane in her fake world, so he was already defying her programming. But I suppose that can only be a guess in the end.

Akane wakes up in the real world

Crap, did I just write about a show that wasn’t an anime? My blog is a failure…

Final Score: 6/10

Fun for the action, but I probably didn’t have the right prior knowledge for this show.

SSSS.Gridman Episode 11: Gridman awakens

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Akane stabs Yuuta

As we lead up to the final episode, I guess it’s time for some big reveals. That being said, I didn’t really care for the reveal in this episode. I’m much more interested in why Yuuta himself is important, so casually popping in the fact that the Yuuta we’ve known so far is actually Gridman seems like it doesn’t add much.

The phones are no longer working

I know it’s a relatively minor thing, but I do like the idea that the city is starting to fall apart now that Akane has destroyed the helper kaiju. We get to see a few flashes of this when Rikka visits the school as well.

Some familiar kaiju appear

With Akane out of commission, it was nice to see some of the past kaiju show up again to terrorize the city.

Anti confronts the group

I felt like this scene could have looked further into what Anti had become now that he wasn’t a kaiju. I mean, seeing him banter with the main cast isn’t bad, since it shows that certain parts of him haven’t changed. I guess I’m just missing the point.

Shou finds out that Yuuta is actually Gridman

Once again, this scene just seemed a bit strange to me. It makes sense for Shou to be upset after seeing Yuuta stabbed in front of him. Given that he’s just found out that Yuuta wasn’t even in control when it happened, he’s right to question Gridman. I just don’t see what we gain from it. Gridman just goes off and does his thing anyway.

Rikka's mom sees everything

I’m still curious to know why Yuuta’s so important to everything. It might be that he has a previous relationship with Akane that made him more difficult for her to suspect as Gridman. Given that the other Neon Genesis folks acknowledge Gridman as Yuuta, it seems like Gridman’s amnesia was intentional. The simple explanation is that Gridman needed to wipe his memory so he could convince Akane that he was actually Yuuta, but I’m hoping for a bit more than that.

Gridknight Calibur appears

The Gridknight and Gridman team battle was definitely cool, though.

Akane becomes the final kaiju

Wow, Alexis. Way to ruin the mood.

SSSS.Gridman Episode 10: A new knight is born

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How babies are made

As we get closer to the conclusion, this series has been getting a lot more interesting. I have my reservations about Anti’s arc as a whole, but the arrival of Gridknight in this episode was great. The fight scenes themselves were also nice, an added perk of the extended battle. The cliffhanger at the end was quite the surprise, but it could lead to some intriguing reveals if handled correctly.

The heroes start doubting their memories

This conversation about the reliability of the main characters’ memories is nice and all, but it felt a bit shallow. I like how the conversation flows from the previous episode, since the episode ended with Rikka saying she wants to tell the group something. We pick up right from that point, but I would have liked some more speculation.

Gridman remembers arriving in this world

This comment from Gridman makes me wonder if Yuuta’s going to end up being another secret part of Gridman. It would certainly give him a way out of the stab wound from the end of the episode.

Rampaging kaiju

It’s later revealed that this kaiju is a representation of Akane’s heart, so I like the fact that it sounds like it’s wailing throughout the fight.

Talking about the true nature of kaiju

Well, I certainly appreciate the expansion on the comment about Anti from the previous episode. He’s come a long way, and it’s quite a nice development that he’s a kaiju with a heart. I just have a hard time linking his past experiences, especially the ones with Rikka and Akane, shaped him.

The kaiju goes insane

I’m sure there’s something to the way this kaiju changes. It starts out weak and crying out, but this stronger form that breaks out is probably a hint at the ending of the episode.

Gridnight appears

This transformation was pretty cool. I’m still not clear on whether it’s supposed to be Anti’s true form or just another copy. The commentary from the Neon Genesis Squad seemed to indicate that Gridknight wasn’t a copy of Gridman, so it seems to be former as far as I can tell.

Akane figures everything out

Part of me wants to think there’s more to this scene. My initial impression was that Akane discovers that Yuuta himself isn’t Gridman, so she no longer needs him, but that doesn’t feel good enough as an explanation.

SSSS.Gridman Episode 9: Everything is a lie

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Random kaiju hanging around

This week’s episode was surprisingly intriguing. Sure, it was a pretty standard dream sequence, but it seemed ask some interesting questions while revealing more about Akane and the main characters. The episode did a good job of showing Akane’s desperation, and I’m really curious to see where it goes. Additionally, it was small, but it seemed like Anti’s role in the show had evolved a bit in this episode.

Yuuta wakes up with amnesia again

When the episode opened, I thought the series might be repeating itself by giving Yuuta amnesia again. However, this setup ended up being interesting. I liked how the episode mirrored previous scenes. In the first episode, Yuuta looks up at the sky to see a stone kaiju, but he looks up in this episode to see a clear sky. At the same time, the billboard is used to show Gridman and telegraph the fact that this is a fake world.

Akane convinces Yuuta that they are dating

I’m very curious about the fact that Akane places herself in Rikka’s role in Yuuta’s dream and states that she’s dating Yuuta. Is it meant to suggest that Rikka was dating Yuuta before he forgot everything? Rikka makes a comment about Yuuta’s amnesia being a cruel joke in the first episode, so it wouldn’t be a surprise.

Rikka meets Alexis

I wasn’t really able to get a good read on Rikka’s dream. I’ve seen the theory that Akane takes Rikka’s role in the “real world” as the popular kid while Rikka plays the part of a shy Akane, and I think it’s a cool idea.

The team convinces Anti to fight the kaiju to bring out Gridman

I thought it was hilarious to see the team convince Anti to attack the kaiju in order to make Gridman appear.

Yuuta figures out that he's in a dream

Honestly, I was expecting Yuuta to break everyone out, so I was happy to see each of the main characters independently rejecting the dream. This episode also made me finally feel like I understood why Shou is there. If we assume that Akane truly created this world, then he makes sense as the representation of someone who shares her interests. His disbelief in Akane’s own interest in kaiju probably reflects her personal belief that no one understands her hobby.

Combine to form a new mech

These guys can combine even without Gridman? That’s actually awesome.

Anti gets rejected yet again

I’m not sure I fully understood this line. Is this just because Anti had a meal with them before? I’m not sure I get when Anti transitioned to “a being with a heart”.

Gridman lays out the mission

It’s cool that the series seems to have a purpose. Is this line about “waking Akane up” meant to suggest that the world the characters are living in is the dream? I like that idea as a takeaway from this dream episode.

SSSS.Gridman Episode 8: Master plan

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Rikka is annoyed with the school festival

I’m conflicted about this episode. I thought that the conversation between Rikka and Akane was really interesting, but the argument between Shou and Rikka seemed dumb. Shou is kind of a weak character in my mind. He doesn’t seem to contribute anything except hype in most cases, and he ended up coming off worse in this episode. I’m still curious to see how Akane’s story will end up going, since it looks like she’s close to hitting the point of desperation.

The school reacts to Calibur

Did the episode ever address this point? I think this scene was some sort of subtle suggestion, and I’m curious what it is. In previous scenes, Calibur is generally not noticed by normal people, and we suddenly get a shift at the school. Is it because people are becoming more aware or Gridman? Or is it because Akane truly is a representation of this world, and she’s slowly learning more about the Gridman Alliance?

Akane reveals her evil plan

I honestly appreciate the moral dilemma this episode introduces by simply having Akane tell the main characters what she’s planning. It’s a simple scene, and it makes them honestly question how they should approach her as an enemy. I would have hoped that the main characters would have more of a discussion about it, but I’m okay with the fact that it at least gives them pause.

Utsumi questions Rikka's resolve

This line from Shou was kind of infuriating. In the last episode, didn’t he intentionally keep Akane’s interest in kaijus a secret when it was relevant? That certainly sounds like an emotional decision based on his crush on Akane. To make matters worse, it was a wasted scene, since Akane reveals herself to everyone in this episode.

Rikka tries to talk Akane out of attacking the school

This scene might be the most intriguing one in the episode. I’m not even sure I have a good handle on what it means. On its surface, Akane makes it sound like she has been in control of Rikka the whole time. My personal interpretation is that Akane’s actions to recreate the city have resulted in a Rikka who was her friend, since a Rikka who wasn’t her friend would have been killed off in a reset. Still, the scene certainly begs the question of how much control Akane actually has over the world.

Full-powered Gridman arrives

Nice, putting all of the pieces together to create a full-powered Gridman was really cool. I think the idea of making Gridman smaller so the computer can handle all of the access codes at once is hilarious and oddly reasonable.

Akane is depressed

I’m sure this will end well.

SSSS.Gridman Episode 6: That was a surprising amount of information

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People standing around next to a river

I don’t really have a problem with going through an episode without Gridman, but is it wrong of me to say that some of the revelations in this episode were kind of boring? I might have unrealistic expectations, but I was looking forward to the moment when the main characters figure out that Akane’s the one behind the kaiju attacks. Having a random character appear definitely deepens mystery in the series, but having her tell Yuuta about Akane is pretty disappointing. Still, I don’t mind waiting to see where things go, since I like this idea that the city might be a lie.

Yuuta wondering if Akane is on to him

I got excited when I saw this scene, but it seemed to show that Yuuta was putting the pieces together. He was starting to suspect that Akane still had memories before the resets. I mentioned an earlier hint from Akane which he could have picked up on as well, so I wanted to see him figure it out.

Rikka gives a sandwich to Anti

We might be okay since the episode ends with Yuuta finding out who Anti is, but I got a bit worried watching this scene. It almost seemed like Anti existed just to force a love triangle with Rikka.

Rikka notices how Anti smells

I tend to focus on the little things, so I’d say my favorite part of the episode was the mirroring between Anti and the mystery kaiju. I don’t have a guess about what it’s supposed to mean yet, but I thought it was cool that Rikka and Hibiki both take their respective kaijus to the same place, eat the same food, and have the same “it stinks” reaction.

Yuuta talks to a kaiju on a train

I liked how the episode tried to build this mystery about the city itself, starting with the kaiju’s suggestion that nothing exists outside of the city. Although the kaiju later states flatly that the city is created by Akane, I do respect how the mystery is built up to that point.

Akane talks with Shou

Akane’s conversation with Shou makes me wonder if she’d be more normal if she could have met someone like Shou earlier. Is that what it was getting at?

Girl talking in front of a screen

These animations were pretty hilarious. I was surprised to hear that Akane was the one repairing the world. I had been led to believe that it was Gridman doing it. There’s always the possibility of a crazy reveal…maybe Akane’s behind Gridman too? Anyway, I’m not a big fan of just having a character appear to tell Yuuta everything. Even if it gives us information about the setting, it doesn’t feel very satisfying to me to learn it like that. I think it’s because the information felt like a guarded secret before, and it was simply given away.

Akane with the mastermind standing behind her

This…really isn’t that surprising. It’s almost too obvious, if I had to comment on it.

Kaiju talking about herself

Is this statement meant to suggest that the battle between the Gridman Alliance and Akane is actually just a representation of a larger battle between two ancient kaiju? Depending on how things play out, that could be interesting.

SSSS.Gridman Episode 5: The drills had to show up sometime

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Not too much forward plot progress, but this episode was still entertaining. The episode seemed to be setting up a bunch of smaller plot points, so it’s hard to judge without knowing where they’re going. But hey…I don’t mind seeing a new Gridman form, and I think it could be interesting if Akane starts focusing on more on Yuuta.

I can’t really speculate too much off of a vague blur, but this flashback from Yuuta looked interesting. I sure hope it’s not one of those weird cases where Yuuta is actually the bad guy who injured Gridman or something. That would be an awkward reason to give them both amnesia.

Ah, the classic stealth question. Akane had her suspicions from the start, so this doesn’t seem too far-fetched to me. What did bother me, though, was the cell phone she was hiding in her…wait, let’s not get off-topic. I know it’s nitpicking, but she clearly fell into the river earlier in the episode, so how is her phone working?

Seriously, what is it with this show and the random pauses? I thought my computer had frozen or something. I guess the first episode wasn’t a fluke. A pause for comedic effect is fine, but this pause just lasted way too long.

It’s a very small development, but it’s nice to see that Rikka is starting to feel like part of the team. Last week’s episode had Rikka actively contributing to the fight, and this week’s episode seemed to show that she really does want to help.

Also, I thought it was pretty funny that Rikka constantly runs out of breath after they spent an entire segment making fun of how pudgy Shou was.

I have no idea what to make of the Anti and Akane alliance in this episode. Honestly, I thought the scene was going to go a different way. With the delayed arrival of Gridman, Akane was forced to experience some of the consequences of her actions, which may have given her a better sense of what she was inflicting on others. But that never went anywhere.

I know the fight isn’t the important part of the episode, but these fights still seem absurdly easy for Gridman.

So…what’s the significance of the scarf? Is it just meant to show that Akane continues to reject Anti?

SSSS.Gridman Episode 4: Turning it off and on again

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This episode didn’t feel like it progressed the story all too much, but I definitely thought that the humor in the episode made it entertaining nonetheless. Sure, we get that bit about Yuuta’s feelings for Rikka, but it largely depends on how much they continue to stall it with misunderstandings. I’m curious where this is all going.

I think it’s interesting that Rikka seems to act as a link to the real world in this series. While we certainly see Yuuta and Shou in school, they’re generally interacting with each other. Whenever we get a pure scene to show the state of the town in the outside world, it’s pretty much just Rikka on screen. Also, I’m curious to see how her friendship with Akane will come up as the story progresses.

Akane’s been a decent antagonist so far. While her thoughts clearly deviate from the norm, she’s surprisingly consistent as a person. She strongly believes that she should be treated a certain way and lashes out when someone acts against that perception. I’m personally pretty curious about the detached reactions she has towards causing death. It could be a fundamental part of her, or it could maybe be a product of the fact that deaths happen in the past.

Anti’s a bit lost in this episode, but he’s shaping up to be a promising third party in these fights. His one-track obsession with Gridman is actually not that different from Akane’s own behavior, and he doesn’t seem to care about Akane’s interests when they conflict with his own goals.

Well, I’m definitely curious what Yuuta could have said to Rikka before losing his memories. What kind of relationship did they have?

That’s some solid IT work there, Rikka. I guess I can’t call her useless anymore. I really liked the comedy around Gridman’s powers in this episode. It’s hilarious that the only thing stopping everyone from jumping into the fight is the hardware.

I would have liked to see a different Gridman form since all of the characters joined at once, but I have to admit that this shot is great.

It was nice to see that Yuuta actually admits his feelings early, but the response he got felt pretty bad.

SSSS.Gridman Episode 3: Yuuta’s greatest weakness

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This show’s more fun that I expected from my first impression. I personally think that Yuuta’s moral dilemma ends up being pretty shallow, but the action in this episode was really great. I have a lot of fond memories of Power Rangers, and this show does a great job of stirring those up. I’m still pretty curious about Anti and how he relates to the other kaiju, but I suppose he’s being set up as a second recurring villain in this series.

Honestly, this could have been a pretty interesting question, but it ends up feeling like a throwaway concept for just this episode alone. There’s still the possibility that the idea could grow, given how the episode ended. If Anti really has been abandoned by Akane, I assume he’ll eventually develop a relationship with Rikka, which may force Yuuta to make the tough determination of whether he considers Anti to be more human than kaiju. Although, it’s probably more likely that Anti just becomes an ally.

This episode felt like it was teasing a lot with Yuuta’s disappearance. First off, can Gridman actually be defeated or does he just go on standby when things get dicey? And more importantly, the fact that Rikka and Shou try to go back to Yuuta’s apartment suggests that they had the same theory, which is that Yuuta’s amnesia comes from a previous loss as Gridman. I wonder if that’s going to go somewhere.

While making Anti a kaiju kind of dodges the “kaiju are really humans” question, it does bring up the question of what Anti really is. Is he just the first kaiju Akane has created who is self-aware? That certainly seems like the simplest explanation.

The introduction of these characters really excited me. More Gridman forms!

This battle ended up being fairly simple, but I can’t really get that mad since I remember the same sort of thing from Power Rangers. Still, a fight that’s more than competing energy blasts would be great.

I was going to get on Akane’s case for her weird exposition cheering during the first fight between Anti and Gridman. She specifically mentions that Anti can copy his opponent’s abilities, but that never becomes super relevant since he just uses his speed to gain the advantage. But if Anti’s going to be a recurring enemy, I guess it’s not a big deal since he’ll have more opportunities to use his powers.

Come again?