Welcome one and all to the greatest show on earth! Well, at least for someone that is!! This is the newest installment in the series now. I dub it: Anime we Love! This is simple in idea and execution. I find a wonderful person on the interwebs and just simply interview them about their favorite anime. I feel like the culture and fandoms we see so often are just a distorted and ugly place most of the time. I’m tired of all the perverse and mean behavior. People insulting things just because, and then in turn insulting the person for having unique tastes. It’s awful and needs to stop. So, I am here to spread the love.
The 2007 anime series Gurren Lagann was a spectacle when it first arrived. And almost ten years later people still talk about how it broke many modern conceptions on how anime stories could be told. Everything from Yoko’s fine body of work, to believing in the you who believes in me, is still chatted about. Being another classic produced by Studio Gainax (known for the well revered Neon Genesis), Gurren Lagann has many large fans who love it. Today I have my good friend from the anime website Hummingbird, Star6Wars1, here to discuss why he loves Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann so much. Being a large fan myself I found it only proper to discuss this here. So are you ready? Because if you aren’t then just who the hell do you think you are reading this post right now!?
DISCLAIMER: This post contains spoilers for the anime series Gurren Lagann. If you have not seen the series and want to avoid spoilers I recommend coming back to this post afterwards. Thank you so much for your time and now on to the interview!
Do you recall when you first saw the series? Was it something you already had planned to watch or was it on a whim of sorts?:
Connor: I’m gonna go a bit back with how I first discovered what Gurren Lagann is. I discovered what Gurren Lagann was when I used to watch reviews by JesuOtaku and since then had decided that at some point I’d watch it for myself I remember there being a gap from the first time I watched the review to when I finally saw Gurren Lagann, however I don’t remember how long that gap was. All I know is that during May of 2013 and after first watching Wolf’s Rain (another anime on my favourites) I had grown a bit weary of anime and was kinda drained from it (not helped by the fact that during that time I was in a bit of rough patch emotionally for different reasons) so I decided I would finally see Gurren Lagann for the first time. Why then I don’t really remember (could have been on a whim I don’t know) but I came out of it absolutely loving it. So to get back to your question I guess it was both planned but also on a whim.
Doaki: Oh so you are very similar to me where you discovered Gurren Lagann from an outside source! I was surfing the art site deviant art from pictures of Kurama from Yu Yu Hakusho and typed in Yoko. Because he has a Yoko form so I wanted to see art of it. And then this really busty red head chick comes up in spades. I’m a horny teen and like…who is this? I search her out and find that she is from TTGL. I decide to watch it with really juvenile reasons. Next thing I know I am in for one of the most intense anime thrill rides to date. I always find it fun to see the origin of how we decide to watch a series.
Connor: Haha that is quite a unique way to discover it and I can’t say as though I discovered an anime through Deviantart so you got me there. One other thing about my discovery that I neglected to mention is that one of the big reasons I wanted to hear two tracks that I did in the review those being “Happily Ever After” and “Libera Me From Hell” its something I always forget was a motivation but it was another one to see the series.
So now for the fun part. Tell me a little bit about what makes this anime stick out so much for you. Why do you love it so much?
Connor: I have many reason as to what makes this anime stick out among any other. Firstly while it has a lot of the “dumb fun” action anime have I honestly believe that under the surface that Gurren Lagann is a lot wiser than some people give it credit for. For example as the anime goes on and sees how Simon changes and becomes an adult the anime grows with him, giving him much harder challenges, harsher realities, and may facts about life we could never have seen in the first half of the series (minus some hints of it here and there). I also think among them are how its messages are handled can be very adult and not really seen among other anime of its kind. Another thing that makes it stick out for me is I haven’t before or really since seen an anime quite like Gurren Lagann or at least as well handled. True that the over the top action anime and mecha anime are a dime a dozen but I’ve not yet encountered something to Gurren Lagann’s level of over the topness, energy, fun factor, emotional value and well everything else that makes Gurren Lagann, Gurren Lagann. That for me helped out in it standing out. The final reason I’ll mention in this question actually goes into the other part of this question why I love it so much. To me Gurren Lagann represents a great deal. It reminds me of the friends I have made and allowed me to open up about it, it’s an anime that has taught me lessons in life like you do have to be dark to be good, you can be flawed but still be something amazing, and in a way to believe in myself at a time I couldn’t. It also gave me comfort in a time I kinda needed it, but most of all it’s an anime I can laugh, cry, get energetic about, think about and just have fun with. That is what Gurren Lagann means to me and why I love it so much.
Doaki: YES! Gurren Lagann is so much more than most people give it credit for. I think the reason it really gets me deep down is the emotional appeal it creates. I can’t think of many fictional works that inspire me with this emotion inside that anything in life is possible. Gurren Lagann takes such simple ideas and throws them out the window flying through the air and then they explode into a brand new version of what you already believed all along. Does that all make sense? Well sorta, and that is kinda what defines Gurren Lagann. Kicking logic out of the window to make things happen no matter what.
Connor: I’d have to agree the emotional appeal is incredibly high with Gurren Lagann more then most other anime. It almost has this spark to it, what I mean is that it almost ignites a passion within you that you can get excited for or emotional towards. While I have seen other anime that give the feeling none are quiet as bright as Gurren Lagann. Also pretty much what you mentioned.
The series has a fairly large cast but I assume you have a favorite of the bunch. Who is it and why are they the personal favy?
Connor: Yeah I got a favourite among the cast and that would have to be Simon the digger our main character. While most would argue against that with wonderful characters like the badass Kamina, the awesome Yoko, the ferocious Viral, and the adorable Nia I’d say that not only is Simon my favourite character in Gurren Lagann but my favourite anime character period. I love how he progresses through the anime starting out as this kinda wimpy wishy washy outcast of a kid to a man who has done and seen a lot of things but is content with who he is and all that he is done. The anime sees him go through a lot but despite everything keeps moving forward even when times are tough and all seems hopeless something I find admirable. Beyond that though I just like Simon because of his personality. That might be because I can relate to him quite a bit but I do find him as a character to be awesome to watch. I can’t say enough good about Simon he is just an amazing character overall in a sea of great characters.
Doaki: Well I won’t disagree on that choice at all! Simon is easily my top pick from the show and ranks high up in my personal favies as well. His character arc and growth are some of the most poignant in anime I’ve seen thus far and his relatability is hard not to get attached to. Life is scary to face and Simon is that fear for a chunk of the show until he uses his inspirations to overcome any and all obstacles that stand in his way.
Are there any particular scenes in the series that really exemplifies your love for it?
Connor: There are a great many scenes I could describe here because there are way too many to name here but I’ll go with two scenes I love those being “Simon’s return” from episode 11 and “Kamina’s return and final goodbye” from episode 26. With “Simon’s return” I love it because it shows the start of the man Simon was always meant to become. In the previous 3 episodes after Kamina’s death Simon has been doing pretty badly going from forcing himself to try and become Kamina as well as his realization to the fact he will never be able to become like him to having basically no one to rely on now that Kamina is dead, however during this big moment he climbs up from his despair and sadness and becomes stronger then ever before. He became who he was meant to be not Kamina’s successor but Simon the Digger his own person and by extension man. Now on to the second of my picks “Kamina’s return and final goodbye” I could have pick several little moments in this whole part like Kamina’s universe speech, to the “brothers” final chat, to Simon being “taller” than Kamina but honestly everything from Kamina reappearing to Simon leaving to go to his final confrontation with the Anti Spiral is a pure masterpiece. This scene finalizes all of what Simon has become in his journey and just seeing Kamina one last time to give Simon hope once more is just breathtaking and to be honest I did cry a bit when that scene came up again during my latest rewatch of it. Because of just every that this scene brings. I love that moment so much.
Doaki: Well damn those scenes must be something special because they are my favorites as well! I always get legitimate goosebumps from the moment Simon burst into the room to save Nia. It’s just such a great moment. If I had to mention some others I really enjoy it would be the backstory told from Kamina’s point of view with Simon digging back turned to him, the one on on crazy fight between Simon and Lord Genome, and of course the stunning beauty of the wedding at the end of the series. They all produce different intense emotions for me, and they all equally define why the show is such a success overall.
Connor: Me too with Simon saving Nia. I would have mentioned the other ones to but I already had two pretty big scenes and had to stop somewhere. Though I love those moments as well for about what you mention.
Doaki: Yeah I think for anime you love the list could go on and on on and on on and on on and on on and on on and on on and on on and on on and on on and on on and on on and on on and on on and on on and on on and on on and on on and on on and on on and on on and on on and on for scenes you enjoy!
Are there any particular episodes in the series that stand out to you as being very important to your love for it?
Connor: There are five episodes that make Gurren Lagann all the more special to me. The first of these episodes being episode 8, mainly because this is the episode where Gurren Lagann went from being a over the top action and kinda silly to what Gurren Lagann would become. This episode set up how the rest of the anime would play out and change everything. Next would be Episode 11 basically for the reason I mentioned in the previous question so I won’t repeat myself here. Third on the roster is episode 15 the last episode of the first half mainly for how action packed and hopeful it is with a looming message sprinkled in. Next is Episode 26 again like episode 11, I mentioned this one in the previous question though there are also little moments in it that are also just amazing and rather heartbreaking making for one of the best episodes of the series. Finally we got episode 27 the final episode. It is everything that Gurren Lagann is packed in one episode. Over the top, exciting, heartwarming, heartbreaking, and an epic finale to Gurren Lagann as a whole.
Doaki: All great picks on your part for sure! I can’t disagree with episode 26 because it’s one of my all time favorite anime episodes. It is one that will bring tears to many with how it really gets you an inside look through the minds of this cast you have gotten to know over the past 25 episodes. You get everything from longing impossible dreams to a true farewell between two brothers. It’s touching in more ways than one and makes me so happy to view.
Music always plays a large part of a show. It’s rarely an exception. What musical tracks were your favorite and why?
Connor: I should go on record in saying that Gurren Lagann has probably my favourite OST and Opening in anime (I love the opening for its absolute hype to the point that sometimes while listening to it I cry) however there are two tracks that go above all the others those being “Libera Me From Hell” and “With your xxx…”. With Libera Me from Hell I love it because while it has the hype and excitement that many other tracks in the anime have this one has a more somber tone along with it making it a perfect match with the final 3 episodes when it is played. As for With your xxx… I love it because it is by far the most emotional, quiet and different track from all the others in the bombastic and loud OST. Also it being the last piece of music used in the series helps it out by a lot.
Doaki: I don’t really want to add much because you again hit me with a case of similar tastes. So I will just put some music below for people to enjoy.
If you had to say one reason that is the definite reason you would recommend this show to someone, what would it be?
Connor: I could state many many reasons to see it and I have through out this thing but I think more then anything else is that Gurren Lagann is an experience that most other anime can’t hold a candle towards. It gives so much reason to see it that I feel I’d do an injustice by not mentioning all it has to offer like wonderful characters, an amazing story, great themes, awesome music and overall just an amazing time to behold.
Doaki: Yeah I would say I think TTGL is a show that emulates everything that makes anime so worth watching. Vivid visuals, grand spectacles, meaningful characters, inspiring emotional quotes, symbolism, and altogether just good old fashioned fun. Fun is the best reason to enjoy anything to me and Gurren Lagann is often the epitome of this feeling.
Connor: I’d have to agree with you there though more then just fun I think Gurren Lagann is passionate. Be it about its story, visuals, grand moments, meaningful characters, and emotional quotes everything about Gurren Lagann screams passion and dedication hell just look at the end credits of episode 16 which is showing the prototype things to what Gurren Lagann became for more proof of that. It is a very passionate project something I can highly respect.
Give me you best inspiring Kamina-esque quote!
Connor: Gurren Lagann is the anime that shall break to the surface and pierce through the heavens and beyond (yeah I’m not good at these)
Doaki: Well….sure it wasn’t great but let us be honest it is easier said than done! Kamina quotes are just that great afterall. So lets do our best to destroy that concept of quotes and just say what the heart feels! Because damn if the heart doesn’t know what you really are, what does!
Describe Gurren Lagann to someone who hasn’t seen it in 10 words or less!
Connor: It is one of the most heartfelt anime period.
That is it folks! Thank you so much Connor for your contribution. This could not have been done without you! So, there isn’t much I want to say in regards to closing this article. I just want everyone who has seen Gurren Lagann and those who haven’t to see why someone could love it so much. Why do you love your favorite anime? It’s a great question that people don’t take the time to ask. Why would that be so important? I think it is good to step back and appreciate what you love and why you love it. Enough of this world of criticism and judgement! I want a place where we all sit down and learn to love why someone else loves their favorite anime. Spread the love ❤ ! That is all my friends.
Until next time, See you around my little wanderers!