Friday, March 29, 2019

Best Boy: Anti from SSSS.Gridman


He may be a kaiju...but he pays his debts!

Like real people, characters tend to change throughout the course of a story. Most characters, especially protagonists, learn a lesson and become a better person before the end of the story. They go through a character arc. What I really like from stories is when that character arc is dramatic. 

I'm referring to characters who start out as upstanding and respectable citizens and eventually end up a deplorable and sinister villain. Or characters who are introduced as violent unrelenting monsters and evolve into powerful and inspirational heroes. In the case of SSSS.Gridman, Anti is the latter.

When Anti is introduced in episode 3 of SSSS.Gridman, he appears to be an angry and hungry middle school student but turns out to be a rampaging and simple-minded kaiju. Anti makes it clear that he is not human and this his sole purpose is to defeat and destroy Gridman. And as the series progresses, Anti continues to challenge Gridman, even if it means getting in the way of other kaiju who are on the brink of defeating the hyper agent.

Failing to fulfill his purpose, he cast aside by his creator. But even through the abuse and hunger, Anti remains obsessed with defeating Gridman. The only thing on his mind besides Gridman is his creator: Akane. He always runs back to her, ready to serve.

Anti was created only to hate, but he cares about Akane. It is those feelings of loyalty and love that make it evident that Anti is more than just a destructive kaiju. He knows better than even the series' main heroes that Akane needs to be saved, even though he doesn't realize it from the beginning.

Anti's internal change is reflected through his outward appearance. When he is discarded as a useless kaiju, his face is scarred. When he accepts that he is more than a kaiju, Anti becomes Gridknight. And at the end of the series, his eyes show that he's become just as much of a hero as Gridman.

I consider Anti to be one of the best characters of SSSS.Gridman and worthy of the title of Best Boy. Not just because of his transformation from a berserk kaiju to a chivalrous knight, but because he also has an awesome design as both a kaiju and Gridknight. 

If you haven't watched SSSS.Gridman, Anti is one reason why you should check it out. If you have seen SSSS.Gridman, let me know what you think about Anti and tell me about your favorite character.

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