Tsuburaya Productions began a major push into anime last year when they co-produced an anime iteration of their famous Denkou Choujin Gridman Tokusatsu series. SSSS. Gridman was one of the most critically successful series of 2018, and though the anime reached a definite end with its 12 episode run the series will soon be making a big return in a much different way. A way that's more in touch with its live-action roots.
SSSS.Gridman announced on its official Twitter account that the series will be getting a live-action stage play adaptation in Japan for a scheduled release in Spring 2020. There are very little details about the play at the moment, unfortunately, but you can check out the announcement below.
Though live-action stage play adaptations of popular anime are becoming increasingly popular in Japan, this one is a bit serendipitous considering the roots of SSSS.Gridman. For those unfamiliar with Tsuburaya Productions' original tokusatsu series Denkou Choujin Gridman, it's a series in the "Giant Hero" subgenre that ran from 1993 to 1994.
It follows three young heroes supporting a giant hero in the "Computer World," and fans in the West will most likely recognize it more by its Western name, Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad, licensed by DiC Entertainment. It was one of the series in the new wave of children's entertainment where footage of Japanese hero shows were spliced together with new American footage into a brand new project.
SSSS.Gridman is a loose anime adaptation set in the Gridman universe. The series was directed by Akira Amemiya (Ninja Slayer), with scripts written by Keiichi Hasegawa (Zoids, Rage of Bahamut Genesis), and the new Gridman design was provided by Tsuburaya Productions' Masayuki Gotou, who has contributed designs for many of the currently running Ultraman series.
If you want to check out the anime series for yourself, SSSS.Gridman is currently complete and available to stream on both Crunchyroll and FunimationNOW. The series is officially described as such, "You're not alone. On any day, anywhere. Yuta Hibiki, a first-year high school student living in Tsutsujidai, one day wakes up to find he has lost his memories. He meets the "Hyper Agent Gridman" on his old computer, and Gridman says that Yuta has a mission he must fulfill, so Yuta sets out to find the meaning to those words and his memory loss. Yuta's friends, Sho Utsumi, Rikka Takarada, and Akane Shinjo, would always help him and spend their days with him. But, their tranquil days are suddenly and easily crushed with the appearance of kaiju."
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