Series Recommendation: SSSS.DYNAZENON

Trigger, Trigger, Trigger. The studio that surprised us time and time again with its unique concept. With SSSS.Gridman, they managed to continued the legacy of the Hyper Agent quite nicely by expanding on the existing story. And upon realizing the potential of it, Akira Amemiya has decided that they will also make another series for the missing final piece in the Gridman’s world: Dyna Dragon. And that’s why how we get SSSS.DYNAZENON in 2021, a series that is just as fun as other Trigger’s nonsensical yet entertaining works.

Dynazenon follow a team of five people with the power to summon giant vehicles to fight against you-know-what (Kaijuu of course). We got Yomogi – a diligent teenager, Yume – a “weird” schoolmate of Yomogi, Koyomi – a NEET adult, Chise – Koyomi’s middle school cousin, and finally – the one that started it all: Gauma – a mysterious man that brought them all together. Aside from the giant problems that threaten their city, they have to deal with their own personal issues as well. But they are not alone, as in this world, there are three things that you must remember: promises, love and…

+ Plot: It’s much more “diverse” than Gridman in terms of character development. Everyone in Dynazenon carry a different “baggage”, even the villains. 12 episodes to develop all of them is quite a tall order, hence the ones that got the most development was the 2 main-main characters: Yomogi and Yume. Yes, even Gauma didn’t get a ton since he’s based on an existing character in the franchise already. Overall, everyone’s way of dealing with their issues show through the way they fight the Kaijuus, same with the villains. Their intentions are actually quite one-dimensional. They are a gang of four so they didn’t get the same development Akane had in Gridman, which is a shame. Either way, the story of Dynazenon has that Trigger’s eccentricity mixed in with some mundane daily lives element that got REALLY REALLY dark and intriguing at times which setup quite an interesting tonal difference.

+ Animation: If you’ve seen SSSS.Gridman, you’ve seen SSSS.Dynazenon. Graphinica keeping the quality as consistent as ever. Dynazenon units are more mechanical than Gridman (who is more organic by nature) so the movement of Dynazenon might feel more clunky but it makes sense. The choreograph was pretty good and the lighting effects are really nice. It does feel like a car’s headlights instead of just your usual camera’s lens flare. And even the 2D is also pretty nice. There are some shots that look pretty funky though lol.

+ Mecha Design: Dyna Dragon…ahem…Dynazenon is basically Dyna Dragon but with extra steps. Basically taking anime Gridman’s philosophy and change the type of vehicle. The individual components look decent, with some unique units like Dyna Striker – which is an F1 racecar, and Dyna Wing is basically a mech backpack that doubles as a F-117 bomber. The combined form of Dynazenon is really reminiscent of a Super Sentai gattai (which the designer worked on). It’s bulky, packed with gimmicks from head-to-toe, and it’s got a busy looking upgrade form too. That ticks all the boxes. The Kaijuu design is a bit weirder than Gridman (and they are weirder too) but hey, it’s not a problem if a Kaijuu looks like weird blobs with weird limbs.

+ Music: OxT return with a banger opening. Though to be honest, it got a VERY similar vibes with Union. They are both upbeat and energetic though “Imperfect”‘s lyrics hit closer to home for me. The battle OSTs are all very good. The “All this ….” remixes are really really cool. It’s like dance music but not too obnoxious like dubstep, and just enough to fit in a variety of situation. When the track comes on, you know the ass-kicking is coming.

Overall, SSSS.DYNAZENON is a great successor to SSSS.Gridman. While just relevant enough to be categorized as a “sequel” thanks to some surprising return characters, the series can stand on its own very well without the need to rely on its predecessor. You don’t need to watch Gridman to watch Dynazenon, but watching Gridman first is recommended so you don’t spoil yourself on some other details. Overall, Dynazenon is a pretty good series with awesome fights and some pretty nice characters. The only weak point it has might be the villains, but hey, they gotta deliver on the main cast, and they did so very well. Tsuburaya and Trigger has also announced the NEXT series in line: Gridman x Dynazenon. So look forward to that!