Anime Reviews

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagan

SypnosisGurren Lagann takes place in a fictional future where Earth is ruled by the Spiral King, Lordgenome, who forces mankind to live in isolated subterranean villages that have no contact with the surface world or other villages. These villages are under constant threat of earthquakes, so select villagers called diggers are relegated to expand their homes deeper underground. Simon, a meek young digger who is ostracized by his peers, finds solace in his best friend and older brother figure, an eccentric delinquent named Kamina, who allows Simon to join his gang, Team Gurren, to help him achieve his dream of visiting the surface world.

One day, Simon unearths a drill-shaped key called a Core Drill, followed by a small mecha resembling a face called a Gunman. Shortly thereafter, a giant Gunman crashes through the ceiling and begins attacking the village, followed by a girl named Yoko who attempts to repel the Gunman. Simon uses his Core Drill to activate the smaller Gunman, which Kamina names Lagann and is used to destroy the larger Gunman and break through to the surface world.
Simon and Kamina learn from Yoko that humans on the surface world are attacked each day by Gunmen piloted by beastmen, humanoid creatures who serve as Lordgenome's army. Kamina hijacks a Gunman and names it Gurren, combining it with Simon's Lagann to form the mecha Gurren Lagann, which they use to help fight off enemy Gunmen. Their actions inspire other humans to steal their own Gunmen and join Team Gurren, which is eventually renamed Team Dai-Gurren. Eventually Team Dai-Gurren captures an enemy Gunmen fortress to use as their base of operations, though Kamina dies in the process.
Simon sinks into depression following Kamina's death when he meets Nia, Lordgenome's daughter. Team Dai-Gurren is initially distrustful of her, but allows her to join when it becomes apparent that she was abandoned by her father. Nia helps Simon come to terms with Kamina's death, and he takes up the role as Team Dai-Gurren's leader, leading them to defeat Lordgenome and the beastman army.
Seven years later, mankind has prospered on the surface world with Simon and the members of Team Dai-Gurren serving as the world's government. This attracts the attention of a new threat called the Anti-Spirals, which use Nia as their messenger to announce the Moon's collision with Earth, which will wipe out all life on the planet. With guidance from Lordgenome, Team Dai-Gurren prevents the moon's collision, rescue Nia, and destroy the Anti-Spirals. This, however, causes Nia to fade away and die as her own existence is tied to that of the Anti-Spirals. Simon spends the rest of his life wandering the planet as a nameless vagrant while his comrades set out to contact other races throughout the galaxy to ensure the safety of the universe.

Origins: is a Japanese mecha anime television series animated by Gainax and co-produced by Aniplex and Konami. It ran for twenty-seven episodes on Japan's TV Tokyo between April 1, 2007 and September 30, 2007. It was directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi, written by veteran playwright Kazuki Nakashima and had been in development since the participation of the famed animator in the Abenobashi mecha themed episodes by the same studio. The anime won several awards at the Tokyo International Anime Fair[ and the Animation Kobe and Japan Media Arts Festivals.

Main Characters:

Simon: Simon is a fourteen year-old digger from Giha village. Although he is initially looked down upon because of it, Simon excels at drilling through the ground, and the drill quickly becomes his trademark symbol. One day, he finds a mysterious drill-shaped item, which is later revealed to be the "Core Drill" for a head-shaped Gunmen he also finds buried in the soil. With the help of the small Gunmen, Kamina, and Yoko, he fights off a much larger Gunmen that falls into the village. In the process of defeating the invader, they reach the surface world. Prior to the time-skip, Simon is mostly depicted as merely following Kamina's lead and often acting as a counter-balance to Kamina's impulsiveness, due to being very timid and weak. He is also shown to be somewhat jealous of Kamina's strength of character. His personality changes to be more like that of Kamina, as he acquires his own fighting spirit and determination. His Gunmen "Lagann" has the power to produce drills from seemingly nowhere, which is handy, since they're Simon's weapon of choice. He can also produce a massive drill from the bottom, a move called "Lagann Impact", to combine with Kamina's Gurren to produce "Gurren Lagann" a much more powerful Gunmen. The drill can also combine with other gunmen to control them, Simon's Lagann was able to capture the gunman Dai-Gunzan by combining with its cockpit and controlling its movements.

Kamina: Kamina is a young man from Giha Village who dreams of leaving the village and go to the surface, which he saw as a child. He is very passionate about his goals, expressing his wishes through energetic speeches which seem to affect all those who hear them. Kamina believes that with his manliness and honor, he can do anything he feels like, saying such quotes as "Go beyond the impossible and kick reason to the curb!" and "Who the hell do you think I am?!". The leader of the "Team Gurren " he convinces Simon to aid him in his plan to drill through the roof of the village and get to the world above, but the plan fails and he is imprisoned. After defeating an invading Gunmen, he leaves the village with Simon and Yoko in the cockpit of a tiny but powerful Gunmen Simon unearths and Kamina names "Lagann". He is extremely impulsive, and sometimes acts with little regard for his life. His plans are rarely well thought-out, often relying solely on brute strength and determination to win, but for some strange reason or another, they seem to work most of the time; in this way he is an ideal and classical counterpart to Simon in the first arc. It is revealed that Kamina's impulsive confidence is mostly a show to give Simon the courage to act, telling his "Bro" (they aren't actually brothers, but share such a close relationship that he insists they call each other such) "Don't believe in the you who believes in me. Don't believe in the me who believes in you. Believe in the you who believes in yourself." whenever he cannot seem to go on anymore. Kamina never lives to see his dream of freeing the human race come to fruition as he is killed in battle during the seizure of the giant Gunman, Dai-Gunzan.

Yoko Littner: Yoko Littner is a young girl from Giha's neighboring village of Littner. She had been tracking the Gunmen, which subsequently crashed through the surface and into Giha. She wields an extensive arsenal of weapons and has substantial experience fighting the enemy. She uses her outstanding soldiering skills and wise counsel to advance the war of liberation. She wears short shorts and a bikini top: as she states in episode five, she avoids clothing which restricts her movement in combat situations. In early episodes, it is shown that she has feelings for Kamina. Due to her looks, several characters are instantly attracted to her including Simon and Kamina. She loves children and has a dream to become an elementary school teacher.

Nia Teppelin: Nia is a mysterious young girl found by Simon sleeping in a capsule in the middle of a dump site. She has had no prior contact with humans except her father. She is by nature very curious, polite, pure, and innocent, due in part her sheltered childhood in a peaceful environment away from all the battles occurring in the outside world and her only recently-attained sentience. During her travels with the Dai-Gurren Brigade, she discovers the harsh realities of the world. She develops a very close relationship with Simon throughout the story. The two fall in love, Simon proposing to her immediately after the time-skip, before discovering she is an agent for the Anti-Spirals and is being forced by another personality (Messenger Nia) to fight against Simon, ultimately fighting against her other self and regaining control of her body.

My Thoughts:
At first, I wanted to stat away from GL because I wasn't into Mecha that much. But, since I wanted to watch the show because of Nia's character design, it always was an interest. When I was on, I noticed that Dancing Queen had tons of Yoko figures. So, since I finished Spice and Wolf, I needed a new anime to watch, and so I watched GL. At first, I wasn't so impressed until Yoko showed up. I became hooked to the show, watching it whenever I could. When Nia showed up half way, I fell in love. She automatically joined the high ranks of my favorite anime characters (Rider, Kureha, Dead Master, STR, Mizore, and now Nia).

So lets get to the point system. Even before I was watching the show, I had Sorairo Days downloaded for about 2 years. I loved it. One of the best anime openings I've watched so far. When it comes to the actual artwork of the opening, I didn't mind it, but it wasn't anything special. For the openings, I give Gurren Lagann a 10/10.
Now onto the artwork. Besides the horrible tragedy that was episode 4, the artwork for GL is amazing, especially character design. Nia's hair is epic, as well as her eyes. Some of the characters weren't as memorable though. They should have had more unique designs for some of the important characters like Rossiu, who's design bored me. Artwork gets 9/10.

Now lets talk story line. Loved it, cried at the end. End of topic because I'll give too many spoilers in this. Story line gets 10/10.

Characters. Some of them are amazing, some I hated. I found Kamina annoying a lot of the times, and I found Yoko too harsh during the time Nia joined Team Dai-Gurren. Nia is obviously my favourite. She's hot, cute, happy-go-lucky, etc. Characters get a 9/10.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I was sad to finish it, but I was also glad that I did. Once the part where I cried came (since Nia is my favourite character), I wanted the show to end, but there was a few minutes left, so I had to suck it up and watch it. I loved the series, and I've yet to watch the movies, so once I can start downloading again I'll watch the movies. Final mark is 38/40 which is 95%, the same as Spice and Wolf.
Oh yeah, a lot of stuff came from Wikipedia, so thanks.

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