Having just recently finished watching Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, I figured I’d share the fun with whoever happens to stumble across this. Perhaps this is the beginning of a pattern, in which I’ll be posting mini-reviews of media I consume. Who knows. Anyway, let’s get into it.
Gurren Lagann is the product of Gainax, the same studio (notably) behind Neon Genesis Evangelion, but that doesn’t really mean anything- the two are completely different, even in animation style, which took a bit of getting used to. It’s a mecha, so you’ve got plenty of robots stomping around, explosions, and post-modern themes. Most importantly, however, Gurren Lagann is loaded with silliness. To get a feel for exactly how silly, let’s just say that at times there are multiple levels of mecha-piloting-mecha recursion.
“Your drill will pierce the heavens”
See what I did there? That’s basically the point of the entire thing, and it’s the source of most of the silliness. There’s a very good reason for it all, but whenever something happens that makes no sense, it can be justified because “drills are magic”.
It’s some undisclosed alternate reality or future, where it seems all of humanity lives underground in small villages, and it’s been that way long enough that it seems like the way things have always been. Simon the Digger lives in one such village, working to expand the village, but it’s not really why he digs. He digs to find treasure. In addition to Simon, we have Kamina, a bit of a troublemaker, who wishes to escape the conservative village elder and escape to the surface, dragging Simon along, piercing the heavens to freedom. It’s a pattern that gets repeated multiple times throughout the 27-episode run: fighting for freedom.
Gurren Lagann is silly, fun, filled with explosions, and totally worth watching.
Oh, and how’s this for a tidbit? 40% of the animation budget for the entire series was spent on the last 5 episodes. The sheer insanity is.. mind-blasting.