Friday, February 7, 2014

Gurren Lagann (2007) Review:

Gurren Lagann (2007) Review:

“The tomorrow we're trying to reach is...not a tomorrow you've decided on! ourselves...choose our tomorrow from the infinite universe! We will fight through it. We will fight through it and protect the universe! We'll show you we can do it!”

- Simone vs. The Spinal Nemesis

Gurren Lagann is a Japanese mech-based anime series about Simone The Digger and his quest to always believe in himself and improve humanity. He starts out in an underground village with his older brother Kamina, who is cocky and arrogant but always encouraging Simone. They keep drilling all day for steaks until one day a bounty hunter named Yoko breaks them out of the village in a mechanized head named Gurren…which later finds a body…Lagann!

     From there until about halfway through is the war for humanity to regain the surface. From the Beastmen. There Simone learns about an energy held by the Spiral King, the sprial power, which embodies a being fighting spirit. The show is all about believing in yourself and staying in the present.  Sort of like Star Wars in mech form. Except after defeating the Spiral King, Simone builds a giant city where the humans can live. Even though the Spiral King warns of his destruction if they try to reach the moon.
    Six years later, they build a rocket to go to the moon. This provokes an alien invasion from Anti-Spiral races! So, one of Simone’s generals, Rossiu, imprisons Simone, and has him fighting off the aliens. Soon enough however, it escalates to an interdimensional war against The Spiral Nemesis.

   From Beastmen to a final-boss type battle, this watches like a videogame, and has all the cheesy conventions of one, including calling attacks. I suppose I like more the brotherhood aspects, and the rapid rise and fall of human government like in Star Wars. Simone’s team (Dai-Gurren) gains and loses many members along the way. Some have deep characters and others are one-note. In the end, the Beastmen, including the former Spiral King Lord Genome (Ha ha!) unite to form an even greater Gurren Lagann to defeat the Spiral Nemesis.

     Only 27 episodes long, but it’s worth a watch. Sometimes people set limits for you, without realizing it. You may even begin to believe that those are your limits. But, like Kamina tells Simone: “Believe in the Kamina that believes in you!” If he believes in the most confident, part of himself, he succeeds. A little clichéd, but still good for a mech anime. Plenty of fan service, especially with Yoko, keeps the war stories a little light-hearted.
    My favorite parts were during the civil war and you really get a sense that Simone The Supreme Commander has forgotten who he is, and become scarred by war. That and the final battle is pretty amazing, but the human technology and spiritual-evolution babble becomes so heavy and changes so fast the last few episodes, about 23-26, make my head spin? How did they master teleportation so quickly? Why is a giant nude woman floating in space? (Which is explained later, thank goodness!) Overall, I’d say the series gets an average 3 of 5 stars for me! Not bad, but not outstanding in the mech genre!    

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