Thoughts on Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

The few of you who still check on this blog may have noticed that I haven’t been blogging or even talking about anime during this spring 2014 season. I haven’t been watching any of the new series in the season. Instead, I plan to watch some of the older “classics” that have been well received. In the last week, I watched all 27 episode of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, a mecha show from Gainax that some people describe as “epic”. Here are some random thoughts of mine after watching the series.

Contains Spoilers.

Random Thoughts:
– I think Gurren Lagann lived up to its “epic” reputation, especially at the end of the show. It’s a show that consistently got better as it went on. I wasn’t that impressed by the earlier episodes, but there were improvements to the action, the characters and the story. Gurren Lagann is all about unbreakable fighting spirit and never giving up, and it was fun seeing Simon and cohorts overcoming greater and greater odds. As the odds became greater, so did the scale of the mechas, and they grew exponentially in the latter parts of the series. Seeing galaxy-sized mecha powered by fighting spirit duking it out in the final battle for the fate of million of races in the universe was pretty awesome. Gurren Lagann was definitely one of those “hot-blooded” fighting shows.

– Poor Simon. He ends up as a wanderer after saving the human race and all Spiral races with the one of the most powerful and biggest robots the anime has ever seen. Fate wasn’t kind to Simon throughout the series. He loses his parents as a kid, sees his “big bro” Kamina dies in battle, get overthrown by second-in-command Rossiu, and then finally his girl Nia fades into nothingness just after they wed after he went all the way to another universe to save her. On the other hand, you can’t blame Simon for walking away from the spotlight after all the things he’s been through.

– The series’ eye candy Yoko also didn’t have particularly good luck either, especially when it came to men. The two guys she kissed during the series died soon after the kiss, but of course Kittan was going out to sacrifice himself.

– Kittan played second or third fiddle to Kamina and Simon, but he made the most of his heroic sacrifice and became the only character other than Simon and Kamina to use the Giga Drill Break attack. That was an awesome moment.

– Kamina’s death didn’t have that much of an effect on me, mostly because I spoiled myself and knew he was going to die. Kamina’s death’s main effect was to make Simon go into the annoying depressed phase for a few episodes. Simon was stuck in that mode for a while especially since everywhere else on the Team Dai Gurren decided to leave him alone, and we had to wait for Nia to snap him out of it.

– One of the most memorable storylines was Rossiu overthrowing Simon and taking over as leader of humanity. I understand Rossiu’s reasoning: that he will do everything necessary to ensure order and survival of humanity, but he went a little too far. Throwing Simon in jail was even acceptable, but trying to get Simon executed didn’t make much sense for the reason that only Simon can pilot the Gurren Lagann, which is by far the greatest weapon available to humanity against any enemies. And of course, Simon also was the key to defeating the Spiral King. Even though Rossiu made some bad mistakes and was easy to hate, it was good that Simon was man enough to forgive the guy.

– Overall I enjoyed watching Gurren Lagann. It’s the kind of show that I tend to like, and seeing mountain, planet and galaxy-sized mecha having hectic battles is a lot of fun. I might watch the two-part movie adaptation some time later.

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