What an absolute ride! It feels like forever ago that this movie was announced following the end of Dynazenon. Even more so because the wait had to continue until the bluray came out in Japan. But the results speak for themselves. This is a beautiful movie that does a great job bringing the casts of Gridman and Dynazenon together. A movie like this ideally needs to wrap up some things the original shows couldn’t, provide enough entertainment to justify making it, and celebrate the journey that led to this moment. And I think the movie succeeded at basically all those things. It provided moments I didn’t know to ask for and a lot of things I had hoped to see in this. It’s certainly possible to say “maybe more of this or less of that would have been nice” but that’s the case with anything. This did a good job.
If you asked me after all this what my favourite entry into this Gridman anime franchise was, I’d still say it was Dynazenon. The cast of that show just really worked for me and the action was just right. They did a solid job integrating the Dynazenon cast into this movie and giving them as much to do as possible with that huge cast to juggle. But obviously the show focused entirely on them would have more time to focus on them XD. But I’m still grateful to this movie for existing. It was great to see the cast again. Chise really looks like she’s embraced her individuality in the best of ways. And it was good to see Yomogi and Yume, along with Gauma. For that alone I’d give this movie high praise.
There are just some moments that worked extremely well. I loved that scene with Yomogi and company seeing Gauma again. The farewell was so sad and they’d spent months just in Dynazenon thinking he was dead. By this point even more time must have passed so it really would be an emotional thing to see him again. I know Gauma probably has a lot on his plate working with Gridman, but I feel like he could have spared some time to visit Yomogi’s world again to let them know he…wasn’t dead.
Regardless though, the actual reunion was great. Could take or leave the awkward joke with Rikka’s mother, but her humor was always a bit awkward. Point is that moment still worked despite that. That was scene was good and the conversation they had later was also worth it. Because that friendship really did start everything in Dynazenon. Yomogi’s act of kindness got everything rolling and Gauma became such an important friend. I’m sure the whole group is able to leave with lighter hearts knowing that he’s doing ok out there. Sure, call himself Rex (since he’s merged with Dynazenon) but it’s Gauma. It’s one regret the group can leave behind.
I will get to the Gridman cast (I will), but just going to keep the Dynazenon ball rolling for now. I’m glad for little moments we got with Yomogi and Yume. Obviously, Yuta and Rikka were the main couple of the movie. They needed to get that confession out after all. But it was nice seeing a comfortable Yume and Yomogi. We saw that at the very end of Dynazenon and that continued nicely here. Yume was super relaxed in admitting she was dating Yomogi and that makes sense. I got a good laugh from Yume swooping in with the others to save Yomogi. That carry was glorious. A cute battle couple. Love how this comfortable couple helped prod Rikka/Yuta with Yume wishing them the best…before the confession had happened XD.
The best part of course was that smooth line Yomogi slipped in near the end. I was curious if his sharing a meal with family naturally including Yume would be laughed off or not. But it really worked! That embarrassed Yume face was worth the price of admission! With these two you really just need moments like that. The aftermath tells the story about how things played out. She was there right at the very end sharing that meal with Yomogi’s family.
There were some appearances I just didn’t expect. Who could have guessed that Gauma would finally meet his Princess again? I figured that ship was really well sailed. But it’s a sweet thing that they got this moment. Obviously, they went different directions again due to the various dimensional stuff going on here. But it was such an emotional thing for Gauma to see her. Fair enough that he was a bit gloomy and shocked. He’d long since accepted that being revived and using Dynazenon wasn’t something that would lead him to see her ever again. The bonds he formed with Yomogi and the others were precious and worth the journey. But he deserved that little bit of happiness.
Obviously, the main focus of the movie here was with the Gridman side of it. The movie wasn’t just called Gridman Universe…because a literal Gridman Universe was a major plot element. Though that certainly helped! This was a good epilogue for that cast. Yuta and Rikka were left in an awkward spot at the end of the show. Yuta’s memories were again cleared out and he had to start fresh. The difference being that Rikka had fallen for Yuta during that original adventure. So, in a sense they were in the same spot since he had been in love with her before all that. Apparently, they really needed a universe shattering push though since they hadn’t gone anywhere until now! Some people!
I’d say they did a good job with that confession at the end of the movie. Yuta finally got going and made his move. I’m sure Rikka (who I admit probably could have confessed herself) knew this was coming for a while now and had simply been waiting for Yuta to be ready. But even if she was fully prepared for it there was a sensible level of embarrassment to be had in that moment. Both characters just overjoyed that this finally done. They could just enjoy the moment and look ahead to the future.
I kind of like that this whole mess was basically Gridman’s fault. His guilt over the time he took away from Yuta led to everything getting out of hand. It wasn’t his intention of course. His negative thoughts were taken advantage of and the result was what we saw here. But the results were a huge mess. At least it did lead to an ending where Gridman and Yuta talked things out and his guit was eased. The future is a bit brighter anyways with Yuta openly welcoming Gridman to ask for help when needed and that he’s ask for it if needed. A good friendship is enough to build on going forward.
Of course, another consequence was a bit of existential crisis for Yomogi. Having his reality kind of be created in this way leads to some necessary soul searching. The same kind of soul searching the Gridman cast had to work their way through. At least Yomogi handled it as well as could be expected. I guess one good thing from Dynazenon is that there was plenty of opportunity for weird things to become more acceptable XD.
Back to Yomogi for a second though. I did enjoy them taking advantage of his potential as a kaiju user. That was one situation where the power was super needed! Too bad he wasn’t quite so used to it that he could outright power up the kaiju he used into something even more massive and powerful. But just being able to use that thing to buy some time was huge. I’m sure it’s a power he talked about with Yume and never wanted to use again if possible. The last thing Yomogi wants is to step further into that type of existence and move away from being a (relatively) normal human that can be with Yume. Good power to use in a pinch of course.
I do want to give the battles some attention here. Because they were fantastic. They paced things out as well as they could to let the human drama have its place. But when the time to fight arrived…they nailed it! It was a good move at times to use that lower angle to let the combatants truly feel huge. You get the world view of how people in that kind of crazy setting would be looking up at titans clashing.
It makes me happy that they managed to give the various fighters some time to shine. Not easily done with all the characters! Whether the focus was on Gridman, Dynazenon, Gridknight, etc, the show let them be the stars of that moment. The attacks were over the top and I loved trying to keep up with everything happening on screen. I’m impressed that they even managed a good amount of focus for Akane basically piloting Alexis XD. Sure, that can happen! On a side note, I will say it was nice to see Akane doing good in the real world. She seems to have really moved forward.
This is related to the battles, but I give them praise for handling the music so well. There were new songs in this thing and those were good. But they really let both the battle music for Gridman and Dynazenon both shine in the moments that were appropriate for them! The music even felt like it was celebrating this crazy ride! Music really can take great moments to another level and that is absolutely the case in this movie.
If there’s one weak element to the movie is that the villain…was just kind of there. Of course, that was the price they had to pay for the twists of Gridman being at fault for all this. It’s hard to have big moments like a second Gridknight show up to backstab Gridman while also developing an obvious main antagonist the whole time. I was getting a bit worried both that the villain was going to lose too quickly (he was getting beat up quite often) and that the Dynazenon cast wouldn’t get their “battle go” moment since they hadn’t fought as a team to that point in the movie. But we got all that so I was still pretty happy. If the villain isn’t going to be all that interesting at least have him make the main cast shine instead.
This movie was a ride. There’s probably a lot that I completely forgot to talk about. Could easily spend even more time on things like potential meta commentary about the shows (with how often people kept saying Akane’s role in the play was unrealistic). But I think my point is mostly made here. This movie was a crazy ride and a long one. 2 hours was a good amount of time for the story they wanted to tell. I would have been fine making this thing a whole series, but this worked.
No idea what future/if any there is for the Gridman and Dynazenon casts going forward in anime. If this is the end then I’d say they made a strong landing. Fans of one or both shows should have gotten more than enough out of this movie to walk away smiling. Good job by everyone involved to make use of the characters they had available. And I’m happy I got a chance to talk about this. I appreciate anyone who made it this far!
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