TENGEN TOPPA GURREN LAGANN (天元突破グレンラガン）
Hello, my name is TheRoundChestnut, and you're probably here because you either watched the show and want to be certain on your thoughts of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, or you're unsure to watch this show.
I feel as if the other reviews for this anime were not clear as to why they liked it and were too hung up on their enthusiasm to share their thoughts.
But I am not saying I am better than the other reviews, but simply giving more to what is already given.
(Kinda like a chef explaining his own dish compared to the customer's take on it)
As I was watching this anime, I critically analyzed points, topics, and themes to talk about for this review.
Keep in mind there are no number based ratings for my reviews since numbers tend to give certain connotations and assumptions pertaining to something. (Like how 7 is a better sounding number than 6)
Also as for spoilers, I will only spoil only the first episode of this anime because it will justify what I am talking about, so if you did not watch it or forgot, then I strongly encourage you to watch the first episode before indulging in this review.
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is probably the most enthusiastic and over the top animes I have ever seen.
Ever since the first episode, this show knew where it was headed. At the beginning of episode 1, there was the opening scene of Simon in his Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann heading into a battle. In an interview with the director Imaishi Hiroyuki, he said that he thought opening scene was going to be the highest they can go in terms of climax, but in the end they went going beyond that. With its super combining with mechs, shouting super moves, and even looking at the wonderful character designs. this show proves that characters and mechs can be well designed and established.
(Not going to lie. I was too sitting on the edge of my seat on every single episode, and shouting the cool quotes shouted by the characters.)
This show knows what its doing in terms of story and character development. Simon, the main character, is the one of those wimpy and weak characters from the beginning, but is developed into one of the most over the top characters due to his relations with Kamina. He becomes aware of his drive and compassion for his fellow allies along the way. This is the part where Gurren Lagann succeeded the most during its run, is its development of its characters and their motivation to fight and live. Everyone in Simon's team unite into one, almost like a drill, which is this show's main symbolism. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5zjo573zlk)
The drill in Gurren Lagann is embodied everywhere throughout the show. Heck, actually its probably safe to say that the whole show is a drill. The story starts with Simon and Kamina underground and its their dream to get out and explore, kind of similar to how a drill is centered around one point and then expands outwards. Same with their influence on other, who join them. And same with their fighting spirit, the more spirit they have the more power, which all derives from the one point: their heart. (I don't think I need to expand on this aspect since its pretty obvious throughout the show.)
Another aspect of this show which shines is the animation and its pacing. The main scenes of this anime are fighting robots and over the top cuts of the characters fighting, but how these are implemented are done so nicely that its directly impacts its pacing of the show. The fighting scenes are quick and fast, which equates to how fighting in reality are. But when characters are talking or on their downtime, its slow and andante and allows the viewers to have breathing and relax room until the next time they fight, much like how the characters in the show are. This direct influence on mental state on the viewer is important for keeping their attention, because if this show was all nonstop mech fighting, the viewers will be tired too. This show utilizes is nonfighting scenes dedicated to character development and exposition. And not to mention its wonderful soundtrack that complements the atmosphere of the scene.
Despite being a 2006 anime, this anime even surpasses most animes in 2016. Almost everything is hand drawn, and not some crappy CG for everything (
Ajin). Probably all of the CGI were used for the backgrounds and space scenes in the later episodes, and I know for sure, CG, one way or another, takes away the fresh sense of Japanese anime, and starts becoming a digital animation. (Please leave that to Disney)
In conclusion, this show does a fantastic job in their execution of animating a mech genre with characters that actually drive the story (instead of characters being there for plot convenience), very nice and hype fighting, and lovable characters and their quotes.
Although there are minor flaws that falters this anime a little when dwelling deep into its structure and logic, it still is a fun, wacky, and over the top anime that everyone loves.
And I will rate things with a "should you watch" or "pls dont" (much like how Demolition D+ does)
And I say "YES" completely.