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Gridman the Hyper Agent: The Demon King's Counterattack (電光超人グリッドマン 魔王の逆襲 Denkō Chōjin Guriddoman Maō no Gyakushū) is a series of photo novels from Shogakukan Televi-Kun, running from May to November 1994. It is a spin-off of Gridman the Hyper Agent and features the younger brothers of Gridman and Kahn Digifer, Gridman Sigma and Neo Kahn Digifer respectively.

Conception

"The toy sales for Gridman were good, but due to production problems, it was forced to end with 39 episodes. However, since I wanted to make a sequel as a matter of fact and continue Gridman's popularity, I organized a magazine project called "Gridman the Hyper Agent: The Demon King's Counterattack" with Shogakukan. The redeemed Takeshi becomes a new hero named Gridman Sigma, but this idea already existed back in Gridman. Back then, Takeshi was planned to become the evil Khan Knight before reforming into the hero of justice, Grid Knight, and becomes the protagonist of the following year. Since Gridman is a hero whose toys are armed with various parts, we couldn't have both Thunder Gridman and King Gridman side-by-side at the same time. So I proposed making two giant heroes appear."

―Kazumitsu Akamatsu, former in-charge of Gridman department in Takara.

The pamphlet which comes with the final volume of Gridman the Hyper Agent DVD. The text in the blue box is translated in the quote above.

Gridman the Hyper Agent was supposed to end with not more than 30 episodes, but due to its surprising popularity, additional succeeding episodes were to be produced. Unfortunately, only 39 episodes were produced due to production problems.

Wanting to find a way for Gridman's popularity to continue, Kazumitsu Akamatsu proposed a photo novel plan as a sequel work for Gridman. The only returning actors are Masaya Obi and Tsuyoshi Sugawara, who reprise their characters Naoto and Takeshi as photos. The former antagonist character Takeshi Todo bonds with Gridman Sigma and assisted Gridman/Naoto Sho in against Neo Kahn Digifer's army of monsters.

This plan was formulated back during the production of the original show. In the third quarter of the series, Takeshi Todo was meant to steal Gridman's data and become Khan Knight, a rival character and Kahn Digifer's servant, before redeeming himself as Grid Knight. Additionally, had the original plan taken place without the aforementioned production problems, Grid Knight would star in a sequel season. As revealed in an old magazine called Gridman the Hyper Agent 2: Great Determination! Great Monster Encyclopedia (電光超人 グリッドマン2 たいけつ!かいじゅうだいずかん Denkō Chōjin Guriddoman Ni Taiketsu! Kaijū Daizukan), Sigma is designed by Hideo Okamoto (岡本 英郎 Okamoto Hideo), known for the Mobile Suit designs in Mobile Suit ZZ Gundam.[1]

For appearing monsters, the least requirement of budget allowed the production team to create them as clay models. The models' heights were around 50 cm to 1 m. The only exception goes to Neo Metallus who was represented by a slightly altered version of its original suit and Geist Digifier, represented by a plastic model.[2]

Characters

The back of the pamphlet above. The monsters are (from left to right (horizontal), up to below):
Neo Kahn Digifer, Neo Metallus, Magma Giras, Glavas, Mad Texas, Gorgoberos, Devilight and Geist Digifier.
Below: Thunder Gridman (left) and King Gridman Sigma (right).

Heroes

  • Gridman: The titular hero, who was at the brink of defeat when Neo Kahn Digifer commences attack on the human world, before being aided by Sigma.
    • Thunder Gridman
  • Gridman Sigma: The younger brother of Gridman, who comes to aid him at the height of Neo Kahn Digifer's invasion. He bonds with Takeshi Todo.
    • King Gridman Sigma: A combination of Gridman Sigma and King Jet. Kazumitsu Akamatsu saw the photo novel as an opportunity for Thunder Gridman and King Gridman appearing at the same time.

Human Characters

  • Naoto Sho: Gridman's host.
  • Takeshi Todo: The former assistant of Kahn Digifer who had since reformed. While he was still starting to befriend Naoto, Takeshi bonds with Sigma after seeing this as a way to redeem himself from his past actions.

Assist Weapons

Villains

  • Neo Kahn Digifer (ネオカーンデジファー Neo Kān Dejifā): The younger brother of Kahn Digifer, he prepares to invade the human world in place of his late brother and brings along an army of monsters.
    • Geist Digifier (ガイストデジファー Gaisuto Dejifā): Neo Khan's final form after absorbing his deceased monsters.
  • Neo Metallus: Neo Khan's first vanguard, a variant of the old Neo Metallus with different limbs. He appears in the May issue.
  • Flame Monster Magma Giras (火炎怪獣 マグマギラス Kaen Kaijū Magumagirasu June issue): A monster which can emit 300,000 degree flames and shoot plasma bullets from its horn.
  • Deep Sea Monster Glavas (深海怪獣 グラバス Shinkai Kaijū Gurabasu July issue): An octopoda/crustacean hybrid that can spew flames, turning Tokyo Sea Bay into a sea of flame.
  • Gunman Monster Mad Texas (ガンマン怪獣 マッドテキサス Ganman Kaijū Maddo Tekisasu August issue): A western-themed dragon with jeans-like trousers on its lower waist, its weapons are a pair of guns that can decimate mountains.
  • Fortress Super Beast Gorgoberos (要塞超獣ゴルゴべロス Yōsai Chōjū Gorugoberosu September issue): A monster whose large size even surpasses average buildings. Its body is loaded with multiple cannons.
  • Demon Eye Monster Devilight (魔眼怪獣デビライト Mame Kaijū Debiraito): An eye-themed monster that revives Gilarus, Stealgun, Shinobilar and Neo Metallus as its servants.

Impact on later works

  • The 2015 anime short Gridman the Hyper Agent: boys invent great hero uses The Great Demon King's Counterattack as a reference, hence the appearance of Takeshi and Gridman Sigma. The mirage monsters that Sigma would face are Gorgoberos, Magma Giras, Glavas and Devilight.

Trivia

  • According to Kazumitsu, the Neo Kahn Digifer prop was made at Takara. His head is 15 cm and the whole suit was made from sponges and wires.[3]

References


External Links

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