Wooderon’s Favourite Anime of 2021 – #3: SSSS.Dynazenon

I’m so happy to be done writing lists for a while. I’ve only got my number one to polish up as a I finish this. This blag has been all consuming throughout the past two months. A little bit of a break to catch up on other things would be nice. Like to actually watch some anime again for example.

You might notice that I’m doing this one a bit later this year. Well, part of the reason for that is the damn way anime season run. The past couple of years I wrote one of these lists, I ended up feeling weird about putting shows on from the Autumn season when they were only half over.

So this time, I decided to at least wait for that last Autumn season to be finally over so I had a better sense of my feelings on those shows. That, plus I ended up really packing my schedule full at the back end of the year and decided to watch a lot of shows right at the end.

Here we are, top three, baybee:

#3: SSSS.Dynazenon

Originally aired 2nd April to 18th June | 12 Episodes | Sequel series to SSSS.Gridman from Tsuburaya Productions | Kaiju, Mecha, Slice of Life, Action

The second entry in the “shared Gridman Universe”, SSSS.Dynazenon is as much a love letter to shows like Voltron and what we know in the west as Power Rangers as Gridman was to Ultraman. And like the Gridman series that preceeded it, Dynazenon is a series that has more going on under the surface than you might expect from simply watching the Opening. 

Which I adore by the way, have you seen it? 

I could tell you this is a series about a bunch of “Kaiju Eugenicists” traveling forward in time, one of them deciding to turn traitor and collect a bunch of kids to pilot one of several giant robots that combine to some kind of Megatron… No, I can’t call it that. Let’s call it a Voltzord instead. 

So yeah, each episode has the kids coming together, piloting their giant robot and fighting off one of the giant CGI Kaiju that is attacking the city being controlled by one of the four Eugenicists. But that’s not what the series is about. 

At its core, its more of a slice of life about bunch of dysfunctional kids who each have things about their lives that make them unhappy. Throughout the course of the series, with the support of one another and the confidence build by saving a city from fighting in a giant robot every other day, they get their lives back onto track in a direction they want. 

There’s this whole layer absurdity to the whole thing when it comes to the kids and how they prioritize their problems. Like most teenagers, they’re moody, unemotive and generally underreact to everything. These kids take this to a hilarious extreme, never seemingly perturbed by the life and death battles they find themselves in, but moping around because they don’t like their new step-dad. 

It’s the juxtaposition between these four characters and how realistic they behave, and the eugenicists, who act way more like the over the top anime characters you’d expect from a show of this type. It’s really funny, but also means that the personal stories about them hit harder because they’re acting and behaving on a different level than the characters who have visited their world from the outside. 

Even the villains, at times begin to take a turn and a liking the main characters. Seemingly like they might want to live in this calmer, more simple time.  

This certainly isn’t the end of this series though. There are certainly more stories to tell in the Shared Gridman universe. And while Dynazenon didn’t have quite the same impact on me that the first Gridman series did, it was still pretty great for a lot of the same reasons. Two shows I highly recommend. 


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