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Gurren Lagann

On 11/18/2019 at 01:16 AM by daftman

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I think I've mentioned on here before that my desire to watch anime greatly outpaces my ability to do so. But, over the last few months, I did slooooowly watch through Gurren Lagann. I went into it knowing almost nothing about it, to wit, it is a well-loved mecha anime, and I expected it to be a monster/adventure of the week kind of show with zany characters. Well, it quickly gave me zany characters but not long after that the story had a definite arc and endpoint in mind.

Gurren Lagann Poster

Humanity lives underground. Anyone who ventures up is quickly slaughtered by the beastmen—humanoid monsters—and their giant mecha, called gunmen. But when Simon, the best digger in his village, and Kamina, perhaps the most outlandishly charismatic person ever, try digging to the surface, they accidentally bring a giant beastman gunman crashing down into their village. All looks lost until a girl from the surface, Yoko, swings in to repel the gunman. That doesn't go so well but Simon is able to activate a miniature gunman he discovered while digging and together they destroy the large enemy and break through to the surface. From there Kamina rallies all who will listen to rise up against the lord of the beastmen, the Spiral King.

Yoko Littner And the story really goes some places. There are funny parts and sad moments—it does not pull its punches—and a lot of over-the-top fighting. I appreciated the fact that the story knew its goal and never dragged things out. And in true Japanese fashion, things get existential at the end! But it was good stuff. The characters really go a long way in making the anime as a whole memorable. Speaking of which —SIDEBAR—Yoko Littner: Best Boobs in Anime? I would never presume to try and definitively answer that question because, honestly, has there ever been a more contested race? But the creators of this show definitely know what they're working with and are not afraid to use them. Yoko is a great character, though, so that helps a lot.

On the whole I would definitely give Gurren Lagann a recommendation. It's a fun show that knows where it is going and doesn't get sidetracked on the way there, and there are a bunch of neat characters along for the ride.




11/18/2019 at 10:06 PM

Seems there is a lot of good anime out there. I'm just too busy gaming.


11/19/2019 at 10:31 PM

That's why it took so long to get through it. I had to fit it into little chunks of time here and there. Gaming is still my favorite!

Matt Snee Staff Writer

11/19/2019 at 10:44 AM

I never got into anime too much. I remember though when I lived in San Francisco in the late nineties, I went to an anime store in Japantown. There were lots of Gundam type toys, and shelf after shelf after shelf of video tapes. Those were the days. 


11/19/2019 at 10:56 PM

It was so hard to watch when I was a kid! Dragon Ball Z was on network television for a little while but once it moved to Cartoon Network I rarely saw even that (we never had cable growing up). Tapes and later DVDs were prohibitively expensive. Now there are hundreds of hours of anime available to me on streaming services and I don't have time to watch them. Life is cruel like that.

Cary Woodham

11/19/2019 at 09:22 PM

I'd like to watch more anime, but it's pretty low on the priority list so I never get to it.  About a year ago I did watch the first season of an anime called Space Battleship Yamato 2199.  It's a remake of an old anime I used to watch as a kid called Star Blazers.

Only thing I know about Gurren Lagann is that Kirby: Planet Robobot may have been inspired by it.

A few of my brothers like to watch an anime called Hero Academy or something like that.  

Last year I was watching an anime movie with some of my brothers.  I forget what it was called, but it was about futuristic racing.  My brother was trying to describe it to me and his wife, and told us it was like Wacky Races.  So I asked "Where's Penelope PItstop?"  Just then, on the screen a typical pink haired bouncy anime girl popped up, so we said that was Penelope Pitstop.  Now every time I watch an anime, I have to find a "Penelope Pitstop."  I'm guessing that Yoko lady would be the Pitstop of Gurren Lagann?


11/20/2019 at 12:11 AM

You know...I think I've only seen Wacky Races once or twice, probably on a huge cartoon collection tape from back in the day. Certainly not something I watched regularly. I've heard of that Yamato show. I'd watch that.

Cary Woodham

11/20/2019 at 09:19 PM

Wacky Races is one of my favorite Hanna Barbera cartoon shows.  I've loved it ever since I was a little kid.

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