I very much enjoyed the first eight music videos that comprised Gurren Lagann Parallel Works, where members of the cast of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann were thrust into alternate worlds, or at other periods in their lives besides that of the specific timeline the series was based in. At the same time, you don’t need to have any knowledge about the show at all to enjoy them as well. So I was pretty damn ecstatic about hearing that there were seven more episodes to come this year, and checked them out when I heard that they came out. As with the first set, I enjoyed all of the videos, animated by different animators associated with GAINAX, and focusing on different genres as well. But as luck would have it, the first video of Parallel Works 2, “The Sense of Wonder” blew me away, and remained my favorite of them all:
Animated by Akemi Hayashi, the cast is moved into a more fantastical world, where Lagann is relegated to a toy, and Nia acts as an entertainer and is kept by Lord Genome. What remains the same are things like the relationships between Kamina and Simon/Yoko, the burgeoning love between Simon and Nia, and the caste system with Lord Genome at the apparent head of it all (hah hah!). And the music, with vocals by Ai Ujita (singer for BlueBlue/I’s Cube), is fantastical, solemn but hopeful, and helps narrarate the story as well as spoken word probably could. “The Sense of Wonder” tells a lot in it’s 5 minutes and leaves a lot unsaid and known, but for me, it was just beautiful.