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Denkō Chōjin Gridman (電光超人グリッドマン, "Electric Superhuman Gridman") is a Japanese Tokusatsu "Giant Hero" series by Tsuburaya Productions, the producers of Ultraman. The show ran from 1993 to 1994. It was adapted Power Rangers-style by DiC Entertainment into Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad. This would be Tsuburaya's last non-Ultra superhero production until Bio Planet Woo. Most of Gridman's production crew would later worked on Ultraman Tiga.
Shot on live video, Gridman was the first Tsuburaya series to use D-2 digital video for its special effects scenes, allowing for smoother slow-motion photography. Tsuburaya, having switched to digital techniques since then, would continue to use D-2 for all future productions.
Tropes featured include:
- Adjective Noun Fred: The title.
- AI Is a Crapshoot: Khan Digifer's goal is to Kill All Humans.
- Big Bad: Dark Lord Kahn Digifer
- Critical Annoyance: If the light on Gridman's head starts to blink, Gridman must finish the fight quickly or Naoto and Gridman will die in the Computer World.
- Expy: Gridman and God Zenon resemble Ultraman and Convoy (Optimus Prime) respectively. Given that the show was a co-production between Tsuburaya and Takara, this was not coincidental.
- Humongous Mecha: God Zenon and Dyna Dragon, which were formed by combining different vehicles and could also transform into armor wore by Gridman.
- Everything Is Online: Done a lot better than it's American counterpart, since only things that are reasonably online are, such as phone networks and hospital computers.
- Meaningful Name: Junk, since it's a computer made of, well, junk!
- Technology Marches On: Windows 95 and other 32-bit operating systems were barely in development by the time this came out(The general premise is similar to Mega Man Battle Network), and no one could have predicted what the Internet looks like now. Needless to say, this show doesn't age well in hindsight.
- Transformation Trinket: The Axcepter