This recap contains spoilers for the SSSS.DYNAZENON finale, “What Was I Entrusted With?”

“What Was I Entrusted With?” is SSSS.DYNAZENON‘s last episode. It’s the one that feels, simultaneously, most and least like the Saturday morning cartoons the show’s action setpieces have sought to emulate in the past. All of the action is here, but the subtle, thoughtful edge is quite unlike much of that medium. “What Was I Entrusted With?” puts its action in the front half of the episode, the reverse of how most of SSSS.DYNAZENON has played out. Even that is complicated here. Combat and conversation are not so much intertwined as they are fused. It’s The Dyna Soldiers vs. The Kaiju Eugenicists, in not just a physical battle but an ideological one as well.

Stars

The final battle that takes up the first half of the episode is a visual spectacle. Describing it in text does it no justice at all. It’s explosive in every sense of the word, and wonderfully over-the-top. There are some half-dozen different configurations that The Dynazenon, Gridknight, and Goldburn take on here. All of them are great. If one were watching SSSS.DYNAZENON for the visual element alone, they’d be well satisfied here.

On a deeper level, as the Dynazenon and Sizumu and the other KE’s fight, the series hashes out its core themes. Starting with the very fact that the other KE’s and Sizumu “combine”, and end up being a mirror of the Dynazenon itself. “What Was I Entrusted With?” also makes it very clear that Sizumu literally is the kaiju they’re fighting. And this ends up mattering, because SSSS.DYNAZENON is not the sort of show to leave loose ends on the table accidentally.

Sizumu "eating" the other KE's (SSSS.DYNAZENON season 2 episode 12)

Scars

Yomogi possibly being a latent kaiju user has been alluded to several times over the course of SSSS.DYNAZENON‘s run. Here, that comes to a head. Sizumu and the Dynazenon fight to a standstill, and it’s only Yomogi’s latent powers that save the day here. He’s able to “instance dominate” Sizumu’s kaiju form just long enough in order to beat it. Yomogi and Sizumu, who uniquely among the KE’s was not talking to the Dyna Soldiers while they fought, have an entire conversation in these few seconds. Though we only actually hear it at the very end of the episode.

the deactivated Dyna Rex (SSSS.DYNAZENON season 2 episode 12)

With the final kaiju defeated, the Dynazenon begins to go inert. The Dyna Rex in particular turns a stone gray color, and begins to fall apart. Gauma, his strength already sapped even before the fight began, passes away. Yomogi and Yume are left with S-shaped scars on their hands, alluding back to the first episode.

Beyond The Rosy Bridge

SSSS.DYNAZENON‘s final minutes are quiet. There’s a funeral for Gauma, a school festival, and the departure of Knight, Anosillus, and Goldburn, who must move on to their next mission in another world. Speaking personally, I don’t cry easily at art, but this got me close to doing so. Chise’s desperate run to say goodbye to Goldburn as he leaves is probably what hit me the hardest. There’s really something special about the friendship between a girl and her giant golden dragon.

Chise bidding Goldburn goodbye (SSSS.DYNAZENON season 2 episode 12)

In DYNAZENON, as in life, there are no easy endings. Chise is heartbroken. But, like the rest of the Dyna Soldiers, she must move on. (She seems more cheerful, or at least dealing with things better, when she shows up again at the end of the episode.)

SSSS.DYNAZENON

Yomogi and Sizumu’s conversation takes up the final part of “What Was I Entrusted With?”. Yomogi does not actually refute Sizumu’s claim that the power he wields offers the ultimate freedom. (One he’s made before.) Or even his more extreme claim that “you people” (that is, humans) lose their freedom, and eventually themselves, without ever realizing it. Instead, Yomogi offers that the bonds he’s made with his friends, including the other Dyna Soldiers and the now-late Gauma, are eternal. He does not even say that they necessarily make the pain that Sizumu alludes to worth it. That particular connection is left for us, the audience, to draw, or not, on our own.

Yomogi behind bars (SSSS.DYNAZENON season 2 episode 12)

And so, “What Was I Entrusted With?” and SSSS.DYNAZENON alike end. The final shot of the series depicts Knight and Anosillus back in the “computer world” that is their home, and the grayed Dynazenon slowly coming back to life. Left out of Funimation’s print of the episode, but present in the broadcast version, is a title card that promises a third entry in the Gridman Universe to come. Something with the quite fascinating title of GRIDMAN x DYNAZENON.

It’s fitting, in a way. The stories of our lives never end on simple, clean notes. Neither, it seems, does SSSS.DYNAZENON.

Catch up with our SSSS.DYNAZENON recaps here and stream it on Funimation here.

SSSS.DYNAZENON Season Premiere Recap: (S02E01) What Is a Kaiju User?

 

 

Jane Auman
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