2200https://i.ur.com/HSTcBfD.png Scarred Souls Shine like Stars Ive been wondering what SSSS stood for. Along with this being the biggest reveal in the franchise I really enjoyed Dynazenon even more so than I did with Gridman due to a combination of its directing powerful and engaging characters and more succinctly how the show despite the giant robot action set pieces monster of the week formula mystery and mysticism of the plot was incredibly human. 2200https://i.ur.com/cQAo8tB.png Scarred characters One of the most engaging parts of the show was how tightly the characters lives were weaved together. Dynazenon has 5 main characters Yomogi Yume Koyomi Chise and Gauma. With only 1 cour at its disposable along with a varied side cast it seems quite difficult at first to develop everyone while making a strong and purposeful dynamic but Dynazenon finds a way. Where other shows might slowly introduce their main cast episodically building them individually Dynazenon takes another approach. True to the nature of giant robots that require multiple pilots Dynazenon introduces all of its characters in the first episode wasting no time in meandering making us wonder when the team will assemble. This dynamic of having the cast be up front and directly available to us is exactly how the show carries forth. This is an ensemble with each member of the cast serving as a different piece of their giant Kaiju blasting robot Dynazenon. But what makes these parts shine even further is their individual problems development and characterization that we manage to receive in a tight package filled with symbolism visual framing and directing and powerful emotional payoffs. Each of the characters have a different type of trauma that the show puts at the forefront. 2200https://i.ur.com/MtGPDve.jpg Souls themes Yumes problems dealing with her deceased sister is the first strong thematic hook that looks into the themes of trauma and moving forward from the past. As we see her desperately struggling to find answers and reconcile with the person she lost and the regrets she holds Yomogi finds his way entangled and entranced joining in her troubles and being a guiding light. Although Yomogi does have parental issues due to the changes in his family life and that aspect isnt explored or fleshed out nearly as much as I would have liked he himself was still great to have along. Being the catalyst of how the entire plot started in the first place and also being someone whos strong and ready to help his friends he surprisingly served as a nice balance to Yumes extremely darker issues. In all of his normality having a character like Yomogi who is as regular as he comes can help us follow Yume with a lighter tone grounding the issues that are presented making them digestible. Koyomi and Chise follow along as well but their problems are interspersed between the main hook of Yume and although they dont necessarily intersect do have strong parallels among themselves. Koyomi is locked behind his past leaving him shutin within his home with no prospects of a future but this is unlocked through a chance encounter over the course of the show revealing a certain person who has plagued his thoughts throughout his early adult life. Chise likewise is also locked behind her past. Again although Chise isnt as fleshed out as Koyomi just having her around and be a lighter contrast to him was a reliable way for the show to present their inner complications. By the end of the show almost every character went through major changes in the problems they were dealing with and it felt very organic. The entire show is spent between the gears of these characters jumping from Yomogi to Yume then to Koyomi and Chise spinning with the dripping oil that was Gauma the last of our main characters. Gauma like Chise and Yomogi wasnt the strongest character in terms of having a complicated development or arc but due to how he was written and how enjoyable it was for him to be on screen that energy was contagious and easily found through my experience. Even if certain pieces of the system are rusted as a whole they all functioned beautifully in tandem reinforcing the ensembles strength. 2200https://i.ur.com/Hve0QcU.png Shine Mecha Although I spent a long time building upon the characters and the drama that the show definitely puts at the forefront Dynazenon of course at its brightest is also about giant robots fighting stupidly larger monsters. Its inevitable that this part of the show is also very vital and admittedly at times felt less bright than the character drama. It wasnt so much that the fights looked bad the CG used was just the right amount and giant robots fighting giant monsters comes with a certain chorographical constraint but often times the vehicle to move episodes forward were exactly that needing to insert a giant robot to fulfill the formula. Less often did the show make me feel tense since Dynazenon was just Dynazenon a super hyped robot who can tear apart any futile attempt by the villains and as it powered up in more bombastic and stupidly exciting ways the less threatening the monsters were. At a certain point it felt very rout and mechanical whenever a monster appeared and although there is good reason for these fights to happen considering villains dont often take vacations they were sizably less interesting when juxtaposed with the amazingly well done characters. Did the formula however shift and were there moments where the fights served to have more than just stupidly awesome fight scenes? Yes. But those moments for me were fewer than I would have liked. Its easily the most ridiculous part of the show how they destroy the city every other day and although they do address that in a few episodes where the characters actually react to mass residential destruction it still at the end of the day is a part of the genre that will always be silly. 2200https://i.ur.com/08vyUJA.png Stars Conclusion I loved SSSS. Gridman. I loved SSSS. Dynazenon and Im excited to see what else Trigger can whip up for this franchise. Dynazenon was an amazing show with great characters that meshed together engaging and grounded themes that are explored through those characters and of course the patented action spectacles that this genre is known for but at its core the insistence of Dynazenon to stay grounded within its human elements is what elevated the show for me. There were so many moving parts that all fit to make this show special but regardless of how I thought of the writing the directing the structure at the end of the day it was incredibly fun and thats really all that matters.