S.S.S.S. Dynazenon: Anime Review

The previous Gridman anime, from Trigger, hid the true meaning of those 4 S’s for that series until the last episode – “Special Signature to Save a Soul.” Dynazenon puts its meaning for those initials right up front – “Scarred Souls Shine like Stars.” The theme of this show is very much self-evident – this is a series about characters learning to cope with trauma and work through trauma, but also acknowledging that trauma is something that sticks around and doesn’t necessarily go away. And the show presents those themes through the framework of high school students working together to fight Kaiju.

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BNA: Brave New Animal – Anime Review

Studio Trigger’s more recent fare is interesting from a critical standpoint because it’s very clear that they are a studio that does not shy away from being political and generally attempting to be progressive. They’re also a studio who, rather than directly addressing Japanese politics, tends to address their narratives through the lens of American politics, often through the X-Men books, which means that due to their distance from American politics, they can stumble into some rakes that are otherwise avoidable, and BNA: Brave New Animal is a great example of this.

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Anime Review: S.S.S.S Gridman

These past few years have been interesting for anime and manga re-imaginings of Tokusatsu series. There’s been the Netflix Godzilla anime series of films, there was the Ultraman short that was part of the Japan Animator Expo, and there’s the Ultraman reboot manga that is also getting adapted to an anime this year (2019). And there’s S.S.S.S. Gridman, from Studio Trigger in a co-production with Tsuburaya Productions, based on the live-action Gridman: The Hyper Agent from the ’90s (released in the US as Superhuman Samurai Syber Squad).

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Anime Review: Darling in the FranXX

So one of the things I did not know until recently is that A-1 Pictures is one of the anime studios that has benefited from the exodus from former Anime industry titan GAINAX (in addition to other studios like Trigger and Khara popping up in the wake of this as well). Consequently, a lot of discussions I encountered on the lead up to the anime series Darling in the FranXX started out as a discussion of the series as a Trigger joint, before moving on to talking about it as a sort of GAINAX reunion. I’d consider that analogy not that far off. The series feels something like the Anime equivalent of the Led Zeppelin reunion concert – the band getting back together to revisit their old hits (in this analogy, the newer staffers from A-1 Pictures and Trigger would represent Jason Bonham). Continue reading “Anime Review: Darling in the FranXX”