tokusatsu

Colors and Cinematography in SSSS.Dynazenon

ssss.dynazenon opening sequence cold open anime episode 1 dynazenon backpacks

The opening shot of SSSS.Dynazenon is purposefully reminiscent of its predecessor, SSSS.Gridman. Anyone who has watched Gridman immediately will recognize the sequence of shots. This time, these snapshots begin with a nod to students’ various backpacks, which were used to define and color-coordinate characters by their tokusatsu archetypes (or defy them) in Gridman.

With that visual language brought over from Gridman, Dynazenon and director Akira Amemiya and staff are moving beyond an homage to kaiju and tokusatsu series past and looping in their own universe and visual language established in Gridman.

(major spoilers for SSSS.Gridman)

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[Three] Akane Shinjou wakes up — SSSS.Gridman

Building castles in the sky is a forte of mine. From a very young age, I immersed myself in books, reading everything I could get my hands on from local library recommendations to my mother’s romance novels (which I really shouldn’t have been reading at that age and definitely didn’t understand until I was much older). In junior high school I found anime through Sailor Moon and never looked back. This coming April I will have been blogging about anime here at Atelier Emily for six years. Anime obviously means a lot to me.

It was all too easy to become lost in the media I consumed. Walking down the street with a pair of headphones, I could suddenly imagine myself figure-skating an olympic-winning routine. At night, I could re-read one of the many books stashed underneath my pillow and imagine myself as someone who wasn’t cold, awkward, and ugly. Instead, I was gregarious, beautiful, and warm.

Sometimes, you have to wake up.

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We are who our backpacks say we are (or not) — the SSSS.Gridman trio and color-coded archetypes

Initially, it seems like a fairly innocuous shot of backpacks. Yet, in the world of SSSS.Gridman — which uses a variety of pillow shots to create a stifling summer atmosphere in contrast with its kaiju and robot fights — these stills are not only creating a mood but can also tell us a bit about the characters involved. In this case, these three backpacks belong to the series’ main trio: Yuuta Hibiki, Rikka Takarada, and Shou Utsumi. The colors also auspiciously match up with traditional tokusatsu (or really, Super Sentai) color coding.

Studio Trigger and Tsuburaya Productions’ SSSS.Gridman isn’t the first more recent superhero series to riff on what came before — in this specific case, tokusatsu series and Gridman the Hyper Agent. Depending on how SSSS.Gridman progresses, Gatchaman Crowds‘ use of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman as a building block for what it had to say could be an apt comparison. Even the “SSSS” in the title is a reference to Tsuburaya Productions’ own 1994 English-language adaptation of Gridman the Hyper Agent, called Superhuman Samurai Syber Squad.

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