Impressions on Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Where’s My Reasonable Curbing?

You’ve already seen Nomad’s piece on the matter, so let me try and tackle it from a different angle. Expect spoilers and incoherent ramblings. :3

Best TTGL parody picture ever. :P

After watching all 27 episodes, I can say that Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann was a fun watch, but it won’t necessarily be a memorable show for me as a whole. It had it’s great moments, but overall the show felt like it was lacking something to me after the timeskip. We were left on a high point after the battle with Lord Genome, and I never felt that GAINAX could really sufficiently build on that point. Everything after it was nicely put together despite the many questions I had watching it (like what exactly happened during that timeskip, and more about what Lord Genome’s history was like for starters), and how things occurred the last couple of episodes were great. But it wasn’t as awesome for me as pre-timeskip was, and I think it was because GAINAX played it safe.

Maybe I became jaded, but I wanted more from GAINAX after the epic battle for the surface that defined the first half of the series. I thought for the first 15 episodes that there was a nice variation on things I’ve seen or heard of before, as well as a whole new way of looking at things. Seeing things like seeing how Kamina dies (with the amazing Giga Drill Breaker’s unveiling) and how it was done, Simon’s awakening, and the fight with Lord Genome were epic for me because I hadn’t seen things done quite like that before, especially the latter. How often does one see a man by himself (with flaming hair) take on a kid and his mecha and hold his own, knowing that he was fighting to keep humanity under the ground? It was a fresh, tongue-in-cheek series of episodes that had me desiring more of kicking reason to the curb.

And there were more original moments like that for me post-timeskip: space as an ocean, the alternate realities (why would Simon want to stay as he was with a Kamina that lacked the bravado and guts the original had, for example), fighting the Will in the primordial sea. There were pretty epic moments in that second half as well, like Kittan’s passing (again with the Giga Drill Breaker; I love that move), seeing Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann emerge from stuff which universes were made of, Rossiu taking a pretty powerful punch like a man, Boota going over 9000, Kamina “coming back”, lol quantum dividing, and so on.

If only the games were that epic.

But while you could say it was epic, it wasn’t as over-the-top as we got from before the timeskip, and I missed that. Part of that could be attributed to the loss of Kamina early on, though it’s not a big part. He contained a controlled insanity inside of him, you could say, which influenced the Gurren-dan in ways that no-one was really ever able to master. Simon grew to such a through the series, but he was more controlled than anything else. But it makes sense, since Simon realized that he couldn’t be Kamina. With Kamina’s death, while his mottos and views were taken up by the team, you lost much of his insanity that came with them. And with that loss of insanity, to me a lot of possibilities (in terms of doing the impossible) were lost with it. They don’t go necessarily hand in hand, but I’d like to think that being random and off the wall opens things up if people believe in that.

Another part of that tempering of going past the impossible occurred as things progressed through the series. Many things were predictable with little spin placed on them, and while things became epic in scale and the things that Gurren-Lagann could do became bigger and better, everything seemed… logical. As others have noted, Simon’s story was like a spiral in terms of what he became involved in, what became placed on his shoulders, what Spiral beings could do when placed to the edge. And because it was like that, in one way or another, you could see how things would play out, and the impact was lost for me. I like when stuff leaves me guessing and wondering what will happen next, so things like seeing Arc Gurren-Lagann punch the Mugan out of space-time as they knew it wasn’t as exciting as it should have been to me, since you could see that occuring. I just thought, “Yeah. And? What next?” And a lot of that is on me; I wanted to see a Giga Drill Breaker on a massive scale at least once in the final battle, kinda like a Goldion Crusher sort of thing. So sue me. : P

But as it seems more stories are yet to be told in the Spiral universe of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, this won’t be the end of my forays into this show. Who the hell do you think I am? I’m not that stupid/pathetic. :3


You can tell how awesome he is by the outlines and shadows.

20 Responses to “Impressions on Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Where’s My Reasonable Curbing?”

  1. 1 Dark Navi February 29, 2008 at 6:20 am


    but simon as aquaman? ;D;…

    • 2 Hauro May 9, 2010 at 6:07 pm

      About the image, Simon is drawed less epic than aquaman.

      This is Mermaid-Man from Sponge Bob Squarepants Show, and Viral as (forget the assistant name in english).

      Anyway. If Mermaid-man had 1/360 of Simon’s Manliness and Epicness, Sponge Bob Square Pants would be a Nice Cartoon.

      LOL…. Yoshi is Lagann xD

      Perfect Image! I see one of this parodys on another site, I’ll post it here when I find it again.

  2. 3 Beck September 10, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    I thought the final battle was amazingly epic while still a bit tongue-in-cheek (what with the solar system tossing and all). The last rush was insane, though. Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann collides with Grand Zamboa, Chouginga Gurren-Lagann flew out of its abdomen to be stopped by Anti-Spiral tentacles, then Arc-Gurren-Lagann launches out of the previous Gunmen’s mouth only to be stopped by another attack and have Gurren-Lagann launch out of its own mouth, and everything ends with Gurren ripping Lagann off of its body and chucking it towards the Anti-Spiral after which Lagann manages to land the finishing blow.
    Also, Simon seemed to have become much more laid back after the time skip. He only fought because it was necessary. So it’s not too surprising what he did in the end. Then again, I suppose a realistic ending isn’t fitting for such an over the top series.

  3. 4 thehangerbay November 4, 2008 at 9:57 am

    All the shouting in the last episode made up for any lack in impact. 😀

  4. 5 _____>Best December 22, 2008 at 7:03 am

    GURREN LAGANN > YOU!!!!!!! That’s all I have to say 😛

  5. 6 Toxic-Flame October 26, 2009 at 8:47 am

    I really think, if they were to continue the series in a second season or something, they would use Gimmy and Darry as the new main characters. Thats what I think anyway… :\

  6. 7 J March 9, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    ya the series wasent as good once kamina died 😦

  7. 8 Raptor Jebus April 20, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    I mean, I just finished watching it myself and I’d have to say that I was obsessed with it before I finished it, and felt somewhat indifferent afterwards.
    The series itself didn’t drag on those crucial fights like most anime (*cough*DBZ*cough*) but gave you enough build-up to feel like “OH SH-!!” when Kamina and/or Simon pulled off a finishing move, but after a while, you sorta knew when it was coming. The sheer scale on which the battles were fought were mind-blowing in themselves in the series, considering the protagonist’s progression from living underground to fighting on the surface, to fighting in space, to teleporting through space and time, to fighting in a robot bigger than tens of galaxies combined, and yet it left me wanting something more.
    When Simon and Nia were finally married, it was sorta expected that she’d disappear, but when Simon passed his rank to Rossiu and the core drill to Gimmy, it felt like the series was over, but anticlimactically, in a sense I guess. I just find it hard to believe that you can just save the universe and then give up everything on the spot and be a hermit for the next 20 years, but that’s Gainax for you.

    Anyone else feel that as epic as it was, it was missing something?

  8. 9 JBlue May 6, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    TTGL was so epic, I almost didn’t want to watch the Season 2 premiere of Mobile Suit Gundam 00

  9. 10 csboy1123 January 22, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    i got more of a, spiral “sage” feeling from the ending, as though Simone was content with watching humanity travel down the path he’d lain. and on the note of Kamina, even though he was the “leader” he was really just a physical manifestation of what Simone suppressed. together they where 1 person, Simone; logic, reason and fear. Kamina; bravado, inspiration, ballsy. they balance each-other out

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