Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Review & Characters - Row! Row! Fight The Power!


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Row! Row! Fight The Power!

  • Episodes : 27
  • Genre : Action, Comedy, Mecha, Sci-Fi
  • Airing Date :April 1, 2007 – September 30, 2007
  • Producers : Gainax, TV Tokyo, Aniplex

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Preview / Plot (No Spoilers)

Humanity has been driven underground. The population is only a fraction of what it once was and it is divided into various underground villages. They have no idea how long humanity has lived beneath the earth and they are clueless about the existence of life outside of their secluded village. The saddest part is that they no longer believe that there is a surface. At least that’s the case with Simon and Kamina’s Giha Village.

The two of them have been struggling to break out of their tunnel-oriented society. After several deterrents, their latest plan seems like it may actually work. In the midst of their attempt, a large mecha crashes through the village’s ceiling. It is followed by a mysterious woman who is attempting to subdue the robotic suit. These intruders and the collapse of their ceiling (physically and metaphorically) are just the beginning of a whole new world that Simon and Kamina will experience.

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Who does Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann cater to?

This show excels on many levels. It fulfills the needs of people looking for action. Of course, the battles revolve around mechas (Gunmen), so there’s plenty of variety there to satiate viewers who are into that. Besides those specific niches, Gurren Lagann also delivers a great story. So, anyone looking to experience adventure, emotional highs and lows, and follow an interesting cast will not be disappointed.

What's so appealing about this piece of work.

Gurren Lagann is a mecha show like no other. You see many different types of Gunmen (mecha) and a few of them evolve or transform into extremely powerful machines. However, the story never takes a back seat to the action. It’s rare to find an anime that has a beautiful narrative, tight pacing, and excellent character development while balancing giant robots that fight on an inter-galactic scale.

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Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Main Characters List

Simon

gurren lagann simon

Voice Actor :Takayuki Sugou/Tetsuya Kakihara

He starts out as a boy with low-confidence who only gets through the day by relying on his best friend and blocking out the world while he focuses on drilling through the dark tunnels. His world is turned upside down when he finally breaks free of his home beneath the surface. His journey and trials instill a fire in him that could change the world.

He discovers that he has a unique gift. He can pilot Lagann, a Gunman capable of combining with others to create an even more powerful mecha. He uses this ability to fight alongside his friends. Together, they revolt against the tyranny of the Spiral King and his followers.

Kamina

gurren lagann kamina

Voice Actor :Katsuyuki Konishi

This man is the heart and soul of the entire series. From his introduction, he is shown as having an undying will and unfaltering faith in Simon. His primary goal was to reach the surface and reunite with his father. That motivation pushed him and Simon to escape the confines of their underground existence.

Once he experienced the freedom of being out in the open he decided that he would do whatever it took to allow the rest of humanity to live on the Earth’s surface. His beliefs put him in direct opposition to the Gunmen and their leader, the Spiral King. Together with Simon, they pilot Gurren Lagann and fight to bring about a new age of freedom for humanity.

Yoko Littner

gurren lagann yoko

Voice Actor :Marina Inoue

Yoko is a stubborn woman who stumbles into Simon and Kamina’s underground village. Immediately, she butts heads with Kamina. Without any real plan, the three of them combine forces to take on the Gunmen. She uses her rifle to overpower the weaker mechas. But, as their journey progresses she plays a more supportive role to Gurren Lagann. Her rational nature and strategies create opportunities for her very inexperienced and naïve brothers in arms.

In her travels she grows accustomed to and fond of the two young men. She establishes a deep connection with them and begins to believe in their near limitless potential. In a short amount of time she sees a very real possibility that all humans could return to the surface. As the ray of hope enters her heart she starts to develop romantic feelings for one of them.


Contains Spoilers

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Review

First off, I want to mention that I’m a little disappointed in the Internet. I’ve seen this anime mentioned about a handful of times. Out of those times, it was usually mentioned with obscure anime suggestions to try out. That is definitely a crying shame.

This show was amazing. This show can stand toe to toe with most Gundam series, even the ones that span a couple of seasons. There may only be 1 or 2 other shows that have taken me on such an epic adventure in 27 episodes or less. Though the show was released eight years ago, it still stands the test of time. The show received massive critical acclaim. Also, people that have seen the show praise it highly, but it seems that a relatively small amount of people have actually watched it.

Lately, most of the shows I’ve been enjoying have been the ones that do a good job of portraying character growth. Simon literally started out as a sniveling pipsqueak and slowly matured into the fearless leader of Team Dai-Gurren. It felt inspiring to see him go through the transformation step by step. It was by no means a linear process. It was arduous, but he needed to go through all of those struggles in order to become the savior of the universe.

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Along with Simon’s growth, Kamina’s lasting impact was the other major highlight of the show. I can’t recall another anime where a character’s death left such a lasting effect on the surrounding cast. He had such a commanding presence when he was alive. But, after his sacrifice his spirit could still be felt. His philosophy and passion were internalized by the remainder of the rebellion.

Gurren Lagann’s pacing also blew me away. This series had absolutely no filler. Every episode pushed the story along or introduced new characters that would expand the main characters’ world. Not just that, important enemies were encountered and dealt with relatively quickly. That being the case you’d think that the show would feel a bit chaotic, especially since they included a time skip about half way through. Nope. None of the story arcs or character interactions felt forced or rushed.

1. Kamina’s Sacrifice

gurren lagann Kamina dies

Throughout the series we had been developing a relationship with Simon and Kamina. As much as they grew in strength and determination, we grew in attachment and wanted to see them achieve their ultimate victory. However, that was not meant to be. At least not how we would have hoped.

In a battle against one of the Spiral King’s generals, Thymilph, Kamina laid down his life to secure a victory for the rebels. This was a huge blow to Simon. He had lost the closest thing he had to a brother. The other rebels had lost their charismatic leader and co-pilot of the Gurren Lagann. The viewers were also shocked. It meant that no one was truly safe from the dangers of war.

2. Simon Defeats The Spiral King

gurren lagann Spiral King vs Simon

After Kamina’s death it took some time before Simon could return to the battlefield. He needed to reevaluate who he was and what he was fighting for. Eventually, he grew from that painful loss and faced the Spiral King.

Taking Kamina’s words to heart, Simon became the kind of man who believed in himself and never even considered the notion of defeat. He used that unyielding will to empower Gurren Lagann to new levels of strength and defeat the tyrant.

3. Team Dai-Gurren’s Speech

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The most important moments of the series all involve Kamina. Even if he’s not there physically, the others feel his presence in spirit. The final battle against the Anti-Spiral was no different.

Against a seemingly omnipotent being, Team Dai-Gurren stated their belief for a better future. Everything they had endured and all of Kamina’s speeches culminated in an unwavering statement from his fellow rebels. Their heartfelt speech was the preamble to their transformation into the most powerful version of Gurren Lagann of the entire series. With it, they overcame the greatest threat in the universe.


This anime did everything it wanted to do and pulled it off in a short amount of time. I really can’t say enough good things about this series. Everyone should check it out or re-watch it if it has been awhile since your last viewing.

It’s possible that I live in my own bubble and that prevented me from seeing countless people recommend this anime. What do you guys think of this show? Am I giving it too much praise? Was the series over-hyped? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Javier Garcia

Writer

Author: Javier Garcia

Hey guys! I'm a huge fan of anime and video games. I used to be a competitive fighting game player (search my name in YouTube). So, I guess it was natural for me to make my way over here to Japan. I teach English, write anime articles, and put together videos when I have time. I hope you enjoy the content we've created for you here at Honey's Anime!

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