Anime review: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

Status: watched 4 episodes (out of 26)

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

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Synopsis
There’s this kid named Simon who lives in a strange world. No, not that Simon. This Simon lives in an underground village threatened by constant earthquakes which means he has to dig new tunnels all day so that his fellow villagers can escape or move their homes. One day, Simon finds a magical drill bit that turns out to be the key to a sort of super deformed robot. Things get weirder when a giant robot comes crashing into his village from the outside world, along with a scantily clad girl named Yoko. So Simon – in his robot “Lagann” – his older and more confident friend Kamina, and the hot Yoko do battle with the huge invader.

Eventually, Simon and Kamina discover that the reason all humans live underground is because they were driven there a long time ago by a race of creatures called “beastmen” who pilot giant robots known as Gunman. Kamina captures one of these and makes it his own, calling it “Gurren”. By accident, they discover that if their two robots combine, they become the super powerful “Gurren-Lagann” (pictured above) and they head off to find the home of the Beastmen and liberate humanity from its mole rat existence.

Reactions

Yes, this show is as freaky as it sounds. It has a very FLCL feel to it (and I LOVED FLCL) where a lot is left unexplained and the writers are obviously having a good time messing with giant robot and anime stereotypes. Plus, the animation dances across the screen like paint flowing through water, and is so full of saturated colours that the show feels like old Mazinger episodes on acid.

But unlike FLCL, there is a much bigger story to tell, with more characters and more backstory. So far, I think I’m starting to glimpse the underlying plot, but there’s still a lot of questions to answer and I can already guess that those answers will be as bizarre as this show. Then again, 26 episodes is a long way to go just parodying old mecha shows.

Regardless, this is the best new anime I’ve seen this season.

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2 comments so far

  1. Pedro the Otaku on

    I have just finished this series and it was a fun, emotional, and wild ride. To react to my own concern about parodying old mecha shows for too long, GL actually finds a powerful story within its own pastiche and reaches incredible highs. Absolutely one of my favourites.

    Plus, if you get a chance, the BSS subs of the last few episodes include joke subs that are HILARIOUS.

  2. Jonathan on

    This was an incredible series… Gainax always does great work. Keeping you guessing until the end. The Gurren Lagann awesome battle scenes! I also love how everything switches up after the defeat of Lord Genome. A true Mecha classic up there with Gaiking, Gradizer, Getta Robo, etc… Great sound track too.


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