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.