Watch & Learn: GURREN LAGANN #23

Topic started by No_name_here on Sept. 20, 2010. Last post by vergilius 3 years, 10 months ago.
Post by No_name_here (854 posts) See mini bio Level 11
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 They HAVE been talking about drilling to the stars this whole time, haven't they?
 They HAVE been talking about drilling to the stars this whole time, haven't they?

Mmhm… I’m definitely going to reiterate my assessment that this show’s got some strong objectivist undercurrents. Simon, the world-building creative, comes back to save the day after Rossiu, the non-creative weasel, betrays him with bureaucracy? And what does the pony tail square do as soon as he’s been proven wrong by everybody? He tries to take the ultimate coward’s way out and eat a bullet until Simon comes to save him again (even if it’s from himself, this time.) So Simon’s doubly-right and Rossiu’s doubly-wrong.  

Yeah yeah… pony tail’s guilt about sacrificing all those lives has a lot to do with it, but you can only pay attention to the results in these situations, not the in-betweens.  They do soften the blow a bit by making this a very touching scene, though. Simon’s giving Rossiu the same double-fisted pep talk he got from Kamina, but I still think his consolation about RoSsiu “doing what he wasn’t brave enough to do” was just a case of him blowing smoke up the guy’s ass to get him to calm down. 

Rossiu’s little double-entendre about learning to appreciate the weight of a single life at the end was a bit strained, sure, but it was heartfelt. It has been too long since we’ve had some awkward attempts at romantic repartee in this show. Remember, Kamina never did get to "repay Yoko in full." 

And I see we’ve finally caught up to the teaser that started this whole show.  Maybe I wasn’t thinking too critically at the time, but I never suspected that the space pirate vision was a “flash forward.” I just figure it was just an illustration of Kamina’s delusions of grandeur.  And hey… since the show’s full of homages… are they supposed to resemble Captain Harlock and his crew here or am I just crazy?

Watch this episode, “Let’s Go, The Final Battle” below, make your own conclusions and then read my comments on the previous episode here.  

  

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of    HYBRID BASTARDS!  &   UNIMAGINABLE .Order them on Amazon   here   & here .

Post by Kelleth (7,777 posts) See mini bio Level 20
Moderator
D@mn i still hate that punk.
Post by Gaff (213 posts) See mini bio Level 11
I don't know about the objectivist undercurrent. In my eyes it was a well-executed celebration of testosterone filled manliness, that insane warrior samurai spirit so typical of patriarchal societies. Come on, "Pierce the heavens"? How Freudian do you want it! Then again, I might just reading too much into it (this wine also doesn't help). 
 
Almost there, Tom.  Do the impossible, see the invisible. Raw raw, fight the power!
Post by cowdrunk (39 posts) See mini bio Level 7

LETS SEE YOU GRIT THOES TEETH!!! 
still one of my favorite lines in this show :)
Post by kashif1 (1,813 posts) See mini bio Level 13
Simon, inventing teleportation just to punch a dude in the fave
Post by zaldar (1,237 posts) See mini bio Level 15
see Ann Ryand would not have had him save them though, so it breaks down a little bit there.  Remember her Atlas shrugged.  It does celebrate the individual spirit and such yes and it is definitely anti-the crazy over the top government envisioned by Roussieau (but then again he was French so...) I was hoping when I saw that scene that it was a flash forward as it was waaay to cool.  Definitly gave up on this show to early before.  Glad you started it here again.
 
Oh if you are looking for something to do next...you should consider Haibane-Renmei for a cute no violence show but MASSIVE philosophical underpinnings...and perhaps the best anime ever made.  I found out Yoshitoshi ABe was going to be at a conference in Minnesota about four days before he was going to be there while I was teaching and made sure I got there to meet him.  Not sure if you can find it online legally but heck I would buy you these DVDs just to have you do a watch and learn on it...they are that good (and I am that desperate to have someone to talk to it about heh) 
Post by coonce (151 posts) See mini bio Level 15
Staff
great article Tom.....
Post by Count_Zero (344 posts) See mini bio Level 20
Also, as a possible alternate low-violence next, just to bring some (more) crazy, but in the vein of something completely different, I might suggest Azumanga Daioh or Pani Poni Dash.
Post by sotyfan16 (1,341 posts) See mini bio Level 20

Good stuff. Even the fist fights are cool (though that wasn't a fight but a nice punch). Rossiu is a whiner who can't handle his decisions and doesn't make the right ones, either. As you can now see, Tom, things are not so awesome and extreme that Simon can travel through time and space (his move reminds me of Goku's Instant Transmission). We are now also into the most intense and suspenseful episodes of the series. Bro, bro, fight the power!!

Post by SamJaz (11,819 posts) See mini bio Level 19
@kashif1 said:
" Simon, inventing teleportation just to punch a dude in the face "
This.
 
Seriously now. My thoughts on what you said.
Kamina never had delusions of Grandeur. His skill was making himself look bigger than he actually was. He knew, ever since they got trapped in that tunnel, that he was a little man who couldn't do anything but make himself look big.
That's why he dedicated his life to making people realise just how big Simon's back was. How he would never give in, never give up, never back down, and he would just keep on spinning that little drill of his until he did what he had to do. 

Ever watched Never Back Down? Great film if you ignore the romantic subplot and any scene involving the main guy's mother.
Post by vergilius (147 posts) See mini bio Level 13
@SamJaz I've noticed the same thing on repeated viewings--that the voice actor's portray of Kamina's bravado conceals a deep humility, that Kamina sees himself playing the role he needs to play rather than as the star of the show.  I wonder how much of that is me reading what I know about Kamina and Simon's history into the performance.
 
I'd again say that rather than Objectivist, this work is probably just vaguely libertarian, with a strong strain of individualistic humanism.  I mentioned a while back that the series can be read as an indictment of Malthus and his modern disciples (see: the Discovery Channel bomber).  This starts to become obvious when we realize that Lordgenome was engaging in population control "for our own good," and we've arrived at the part of the series where it gets more overt.
 
I was actually okay with how they handled Rossiu's suicide attempt.  They had spent so much time building him up as the bad guy that any act of contrition short of that probably wouldn't have gotten the job done.  Also, the rescue served as an example of the kind of "Gurren Physics" that Leron outlined--"love controls the universe."  <3
 
Things are starting to come together, thematically.  We have a world changeable by individual effort but not collectivist coercion, where masculinity is celebrated, with the spiral symbol serving as a centerpiece and encompassing ideas of fertility (DNA, "love," phallic symbology) and human-driven progress.  Splicing the two themes we get something akin to "evolution," but I think we have to be careful of reading to much into any possible Darwinist agenda.  Maybe "directed change driven by the individualistic human capacity for greatness" would be a better description.
 
So long as we're all recommending shows, I feel like the "negative space" outlined by Evangelion, Gurren Lagann, and Death Note is...Code Geass.  I imagine you're probably tired of mech shows, though, so maybe put it on the back burner.  Essentially, replace Shinji Ikari with Light Yagami, make him morally ambiguous instead of insanely evil, and you get Code Geass.  TTGL and Code Geass also complement each other as rebuttals to Eva's themes and treatment of the genre.
 
Point being, there would be a lot to talk about.
 
That said, maybe it's time to pick up FMA: Brotherhood again?
Post by zaldar (1,237 posts) See mini bio Level 15

Hmm....see I do think we have to be careful not to have to large of a population that we destroy the planet we are on, so that part of the show I can understand.  Also we are not all powerful I mean love doesn't control the universie if anything does it seems to be hate (juat look at American politics...) but more likely I think nothing does.  The universie simply is and doesn't care about us one way or the other. 
 
I also get annoyed when people say this is somehow a response to eva.  Eva was ALSO really about human potential that was what Shinji realized in the last episode (which is the only proper ending to the show the movies are shit), even with all the crap around life is worth living and rather than destroying humanity he created the overmind, and the next level of human evolution was realized. 
 
Oh and Code Geass is just crazy...I mean Light's plans are understandable and should resonably work compared to the crap he pulls..
Post by vergilius (147 posts) See mini bio Level 13
@zaldar:  There was nothing uplifting or celebratory to me about the final episodes of Eva.  The whole series is about how the distance and barriers between people lead to dysfunction and sadness.  Shinji's "realization" is that he never really knew anyone, he only knew his perceptions of them, and as such whatever feelings he chooses to have are just as valid as any others.  He absolves himself of responsibility for anything--his actions, his personal happiness, etc.  It's not that Shinji accepts life, warts and all--he just decides to just pretend there aren't any warts.  Then, in an incredible display of Ben Tre logic, Gendo "solves" the problem by destroying individuality as such.  At this, I can only facepalm.  Eva isn't about human potential, it's about human impotence.
 
I don't think the show expects us to believe that the real world works like TTGL's universe--it's very clearly a fantasy, but then we have to ask ourselves, why this fantasy?  Why these themes?
 
Finally, I could go on at length about "overpopulation," but I think it ought to suffice to say that Paul Erlich thought we'd all be dead by now, and yet here we are.  Humanity and its relationship with nature are more resilient than the fear-mongers would have you believe.  People have been predicting the end of the world in some manner or another for millennia, for that matter.  And consider also what is hiding in this kind of thinking.  The notion of overpopulation implies a hard cap on carrying capacity, when carrying capacity changes every day for technological and economic reasons.  And if we have a hard cap, then the matter devolves into a debate about which of us to kill and/or sterilize and how.  "Overpopulation" is eugenics in another guise.
Post by zaldar (1,237 posts) See mini bio Level 15
@vergilius:   Hmm well I have to disagree on all most everypoint.  Have you played Sid Meirs Alpha Centauri?  I've always seen the end of Eva as like transcending in that game.  You don't end individuality you just merge into something greater than individuality.  I would say that shinji does accept life warts and all but yes we don't ever really know anyone just our perceptions and we control those...I mean that's reality.  But by controling our perceptions that is about human potential the potential to transcend our individuality and become something greater.  I could go on here but that would derail this thread...I need to rewatch eva and do my own watch and learn I suppose but to many other new things I want to watch.  
 
As for overpopulation.  I am an environmentalist.  Global warming is real, and we are killing species all the time.  We are not the rulers of the planet but simply citizens of it.  Yes we can make the earth support more of us but at a cost that is often to high.  Look at the expanding deserts around the world, the worsening natural disasters, species extinction.  These are the costs, and they are quickly getting to high.  Now certainly we can not and should not get rid of technology, I am not a Luddite though I do like me some Tolkein, but we have to be smarter about how we use it.  Just because we can do something doesn't mean we should.
Post by vergilius (147 posts) See mini bio Level 13
@zaldar I wasn't condemning environmentalism generally, just those who see humans as some kind of disease the earth has.
 
Regarding Eva...the problem isn't "oh shit all I can rely on are my senses," it's taking that next step to "I guess that means other people are only as real as my imaginary friends from kindergarten."  Humanity is not a collection of helpless solipsists in need of a Borg overmind to solve our problems.  Individuality is not something to be transcended, but something to be celebrated.
 
Well, it's probably too late at night for me to be doing philosophy, so...I'm done, I suppose.
Post by fei0x (5 posts) See mini bio Level 9
unnn... i don't see how you guys can watch that dubbed >.<
Post by No_name_here (854 posts) See mini bio Level 11
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@coonce: Thanks, killer!
Post by No_name_here (854 posts) See mini bio Level 11
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@Count_Zero: Are those shows on any online streaming services?
Post by No_name_here (854 posts) See mini bio Level 11
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@vergilius: Everybody's recommending CODE GEASS to me. Would it happened to be streamed anywhere online? I think I'll be giving FMA next week.
Post by Count_Zero (344 posts) See mini bio Level 20
@Tom_Pinchuk: Paniponi Dash is streaming on Funimation.com, Azumanga Daioh is streaming through the Anime Network's Youtube Account, though I believe they're rentals. 
 
Pani Poni Dash is a little better on DVD though, as the DVD release I saw had some on-screen pop-up translator notes, to explain some of the more in passing references, like on the chalkboard (for example, they sporadically reference Space Runaway Ideon), and a running voice actor joke in the Japanese dub which could not be carried over to the English dub for budgetary reasons.
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