Additional thoughts on Gurren Lagaan ending

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagaan

Rewatching it for the second time somehow makes the tears come easier, mostly when you get some of the more subtle hints that are easily missed in the frenetic pace of the episode buildup and climax.

I especially noticed that in the middle of the final battle, Nia flashed for a moment, noticed by Simon, and he suddenly comes a realization of the fate to befall Nia when he wins, making him hesitate a moment. However, Nia calms him down and instead tells him to follow his path. Ah, it’s this subtle foreshadowing that really makes a big impact on the emotional enjoyment of the show, especially when you rewatch it again and notice all this slight hints.

Also, Simon’s decision to not use the Spiral power to revive Nia and the rest of the Gurren Lagaan when suggested by Gimmy was a very nice touch by the production team, possibly as a way to subtly criticize other studios who might build up emotional impact by killing characters, but waste it all on a cop-out at the end. Simon rightly says that reviving the dead will eventually hinder the ones who follow after, and I can’t help getting flashes of a certain other mecha show that was popular recently.

Other, lesser studios *coughsunrisecough* might actually take the cop-out way of reviving everyone, at this point in the show, but I’m glad the Gainax team didn’t do so and aren’t the people to do so either. Definitely, Gainax people are really worthy of the respect I afford them, as mad as some of their mindsets are at times.

And finally, on towards the epilogue, roughly 20 to 30 years later, I say 30 because of how much the cast has aged (Intriguingly, except for Leeron, he must be researching youth creams on the side), a comment by Myssa Rei on my earlier post, on the saying of how true heroes will never know true happiness, really touched a nerve in me.

Truly, many Gainax’s protagonists are embodiments of this, in some way or another, and it is perhaps this overarching theme that they infuse in to their works that really brings me to utterly respect them as storytellers. It is a very true thing in real life as well, and I find that it’s characters that embody such are the ones that I truly find memorable, a lot more than ones that achieve some form of happiness in the end, mainly for the catharsis they evoke in me.

In the end, I’m glad I kept my faith in the GAINAX team throughout the run of Gurren Lagaan. There were many a times I felt like forgetting about this series, but inevitably, I’m thankful I didn’t act on those impulses. It has turned out to be a real sleeper hit, as put by Jason, and I’ve really enjoyed myself watching the show immensely when I felt my loyalty to the show rewarded back in return. Definitely one of the most notable shows of 2007, and I’m definitely proud to say that the show is worth mentioning with other Gainax gems such as the Top wo Nerae series and Evangelion.

P.S. BTW, why is everyone saying Simon looks like Kamina during the wedding shots? I seriously don’t see the resemblance. Perhaps it’s because I’m not really a great fan of Kamina himself, even though I acknowledge the impact he has had on the whole cast of Gurren Lagaan.

8 Comments

  1. Shirukii Said,

    October 1, 2007 @ 9:25 pm

    >> As a way to subtly criticize other studios who might build up emotional impact by killing characters, but waste it all on a cop-out at the end

    Oh Sunrise, how I hate you so much for doing that to Mai HiME. That will forever remain in my mind as one of the worst endings ever.

    As for Simon looking like Kamina during the wedding, I say the resemblance is there, but only if you’re looking for it. During my first watch I didn’t really notice it, but when it was pointed it out, I couldn’t unsee it.

    Overall it was a decent way to end the series, a little different from the tone that was carried throughout the series (Kick reason to the curb, do the impossible, etc) But at least it wasn’t an LOL, GAINAX ending, so I’ll count my blessings.

  2. bj0rN Said,

    October 2, 2007 @ 3:34 am

    Gainax seems to have never failed us. Gurren Lagann is a superb series. In fact, I rewatched it again and teared more manly tears. Definately earned itself a name to be worthy in the future.

  3. Xellos-_^ Said,

    October 2, 2007 @ 7:28 am

    >>I can’t help getting flashes of a certain other mecha show that was popular recently.
    >>Oh Sunrise, how I hate you so much for doing that to Mai HiME. That will forever remain in my mind as one of the worst endings ever.

    My-Hime was the first aniem that came to mind when i read that. I don’t think it was the worst but would have been more powerful if they let the dead rest in peace.

  4. DrmChsr0 Said,

    October 2, 2007 @ 8:38 am

    Oh Simon, you look too GAR for my taste.

    Also nid moar nekkid mole rat.

  5. jaalin Said,

    October 2, 2007 @ 9:52 am

    viral didn’t get older cuz hes a beastman, right? what’s the over under on leeron being one too?

    you touched on a critical point with this line: “Other, lesser studios *coughsunrisecough* might actually take the cop-out way of reviving everyone…”

    indeed, GL had many, many chances to turn into the train wreck that continues to manifest in sunrise shows, for reasons exactly like the cop-out you mentioned. but they didn’t, knowing that doing so would cheapen their show – instead of stooping down to instant gratification, they stayed true and went for lasting appeal. ultimately i believe this is one of the primary reasons GL turned out to be so “GOOD” rather than just plain “ENTERTAINING,” a hallmark of the sunrise equation. unfortunately, too many people are unable to distinguish between the two… you know, shows such as code geass, school days… kanon…

    whoops, it slipped out…

  6. Zen Said,

    October 3, 2007 @ 5:57 am

    Does anyone notice that Simon’s left eye has spirals in it? As a result is he seeing things other people can’t?

  7. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    October 3, 2007 @ 1:27 pm

    Probably not. Those spirals are probably the mark of someone becoming a Spiral Warrior. As we see, only people like Lord Genome and him have the spirals in their eyes.

  8. siberian Said,

    November 12, 2007 @ 1:42 am

    i wanna see the GL-2 with Yoko and Viral main charakters…

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