Anime Vice News

REVIEW: Gurren Lagann the Manga

Thinking about buying the manga? Dismissing it out of hand? Read this before you decide.


 Gurren Lagann Manga v3
 Gurren Lagann Manga v3

Vital Statistics

Title: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
Format: Manga
Story: GAINAX
Manga: Kotaro Mori
Original Publisher: MediaWorks

Release Info

Release Date: 12/02/09 (volume 3)
US Publisher: Bandai Entertainment Inc.
Translator: Shoko Ono
Length: 186-200 pages per volume
MSRP: $10.99 per volume 
 
Disclosure: This review is based on review copies courtesy of the publisher.

The Story

Okay, I probably don't need to tell you guys the story of Gurren Lagann anymore, so I'll keep this part blissfully short: set in a world where most humans live underground, young Simon is buddies with a slightly older guy named Kamina who is obsessed with breaking through to the surface. One day their underground home is invaded by a giant mech and a busty young woman mid-battle, and Kamina and Simon take their chance to move to the surface-- which is under the control of the Beastmen, who attempt to slaughter any attempts by humans to settle on the surface.

The Review

 Gurren Lagann Manga v1
 Gurren Lagann Manga v1
You guys may remember that I reviewed the first volume of this manga and didn't find myself too impressed; it was mostly just a retelling of the same story, with the plot tightened up to move a bit faster.

Having now read volumes 2 and 3 though, I'm revising my opinion: if you're someone who just kinda liked Gurren Lagann, you should still probably skip the manga...but if you're an obsessive Gurren Lagann fan, it's worth your money. Especially if you start from volume two (although volume one isn't terrible by any stretch).

 Gurren Lagann Manga v2
 Gurren Lagann Manga v2
There's JUST enough expansion on certain plot points-- for example, Rossiu and Kinon connect earlier to foreshadow their eventual relationship --to feel like you're getting added flavor, not just rehash. You've also got Mori-sensei's hilarious 4koma comic strips between chapters that, at least for me, provided a lot of laughs. Maybe not ten bucks' worth, but they were pretty amusing. There are also a few other little touches-- like the scenario when Rossiu makes Yoko cover herself up with a cloak, in the manga version the cloak has cat ears.

Finally, it really starts to come across in volume three that Mori is a fantastic artist. While it's really hard to compare to the anime in terms of the over-the-top action, he does a fantastic job at rendering some scenes, particularly the ending of the Gurren-dan's battle with Thymilph.

So there you go: if you're more of a manga person but want to know the fuss about Gurren Lagann, the manga will get you through, and if you're desperate for more Gurren Lagann content-- you know, the kind of desperate that gets you flying across the country to see the second movie --you'll enjoy the new tweaks.

But half-hearted Gurren-dan members need not apply.
JJOR64on Dec. 3, 2009 at 4:45 p.m.
Stupid question time!
 
So what came first, the manga or the anime?  My guess is the anime, but I'm not to sure since I haven't seen/read it yet.
Sigueon Dec. 3, 2009 at 5:30 p.m.
Anime came first.
Arjunaon Dec. 3, 2009 at 5:31 p.m.
@JJOR64: The anime 
 
Once, I bought a copy of the manga form of Ghost in the Shell 2.  It turned out to be still shots of the movie with the speech and onomatopoeias crammed in.  I hence learned to be wary about buying manga forms of animes.  These Gurren Lagann mangas appear to have original art though.
CapeBarneson Dec. 3, 2009 at 5:37 p.m.
For me, the manga gets more interesting around chapter 22 (which is after vol. 4). So some people may want to wait until then.
JJOR64on Dec. 3, 2009 at 5:54 p.m.
@Arjuna: Kk.  That's what I thought.
Baku_Senseion Dec. 3, 2009 at 7:54 p.m.
This manga will pierce the heavens!
Arjunaon Dec. 3, 2009 at 9:20 p.m.
@Baku_Sensei said:
" This manga will pierce the heavens! "
Don't believe in this manga!  Believe in Gia, who believes in you!
John_Martoneon Dec. 3, 2009 at 11:08 p.m.
@Arjuna: Usually those get called something like "Ani-Manga." I used to run into Japanese ones all the time, but now I only see them every so often. Not that I mind much; I was never that interested in them.
FoxxFireArt moderator on Dec. 4, 2009 at 12:30 a.m.
Nice review. It's quite the open secret that I'm a strong proponent of more front page reviews, and you certainly delivered here. You relayed the important information and described what you are getting for the purchase. A balance of the pros and cons. I really like that you explained who this would be worth the price to.
 
One thing I keep noticing. The reviews lack of any kind of scoring system. I know they are cliche, but they do help with the concept of a review.
theswedishphishon Dec. 4, 2009 at 12:46 a.m.
@FoxxFireArt: I personally find that reviews without scores seem to be better.  Without scores you are eliminating the "catagorization" of the product and, frankly, some people actually decide their purchases based on said score.  "Oh, it got a three.  Forget that."  I also find that reviews without scores (since they are basically just reccomendations) get more to the point faster: either you should get it or you shouldn't and thus eliminating all the bs in-between.
Arjunaon Dec. 4, 2009 at 3:28 a.m.
@FoxxFireArt said:
" The reviews lack of any kind of scoring system. I know they are cliche, but they do help with the concept of a review. "
@theswedishphish said:
" @FoxxFireArt: I personally find that reviews without scores seem to be better.  Without scores you are eliminating the "catagorization" of the product and, frankly, some people actually decide their purchases based on said score.  "Oh, it got a three.  Forget that."  I also find that reviews without scores (since they are basically just reccomendations) get more to the point faster: either you should get it or you shouldn't and thus eliminating all the bs in-between. "
A problem I also have with scoring systems is that there is no method to them.  What constitutes a star?  Like those websites that give numbered reviews like, "8.7"...  How in the heck do you come up with a number like that?  Even if there is a method to these rating-systems I've never seen it explained to the reader so, since the reader doesn't know what it means, it is meaningless to the intended audience. 
 
I suppose they're good as vague generalizations on how the reviewer feels, but if the reader really want to know he/she's going to have to actually read the review.
CapeBarneson Dec. 5, 2009 at 10:13 a.m.
Just waiting for volume three to ship to my house. Then I wait for vol 4 (english) and vol 5 (JP).

Dig Deeper into Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

This action-packed mech drama takes "over the top" to a whole new level.

Edit/View the Wiki
Hit the Forums (2 Posts)
Add/View Images (13 Images)
Watch Some Videos (1 Video)
Pokemon Black and White Looks Delicious in Motion

First video of a Pokemon battle in Black and White.

Comment & Win: One Piece Vol. 52, 53

Time for a giveaway folks! Now, act civil, we don't want anyone to get hurt in the mad rush to win.

Beginner's Guide to FLCL

Gainax's madcap, surrealist anime, broken down for new viewers.

Ballz Deep

Steve gets intimately close to Dragon Ball Z, for science!

Top 3 Awful Anime Dubs

Grit your teeth and get your ear plugs ready cause this week we're taking on the three most amazingly bad dubs of all time!

FAIRY TAIL Series 2 Episode #1 -- Special Review

Why is this a #1 episode, exactly...?

BLACK BULLET #1 -- Special Review

Stereotypical anime that's at least aware of its stereotypes.

JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE #4 Presents... Anti-Vampire Kung-Fu!

Episode #4 -- Watch & Learn. At last, somebody did it.

Spring 2014 Anime Simulcast Guide -- AV MOD Material

What shows are coming in, fresh off the stream, this season?

Anime Caption Contest! -- 4/15/14 -- AV MOD MATERIAL

I may not remember where this .GIF came from, but I bet you Vicers can come up with some good captions for it...

THE COMICS ARTIST & HIS ASSISTANTS #1 -- Special Review

Clean, harmless sexual harassment, right?

BLEACH Ch. 576 Review -- AV MOD Material

How does Kenpachi compare to my old football coach? One clue, it's not the hair.

HUNTER X HUNTER #86 + 90 is Just the Worst Filler Ever

#86 + 90 -- Watch & Learn. Let's all take a break, now...!

Anime Caption Contest! -- 4/15/14 -- AV MOD MATERIAL

I may not remember where this .GIF came from, but I bet you Vicers can come up with some good captions for it...

HUNTER X HUNTER #86 + 90 is Just the Worst Filler Ever

#86 + 90 -- Watch & Learn. Let's all take a break, now...!

FAIRY TAIL Series 2 Episode #1 -- Special Review

Why is this a #1 episode, exactly...?

BLACK BULLET #1 -- Special Review

Stereotypical anime that's at least aware of its stereotypes.

Spring 2014 Anime Simulcast Guide -- AV MOD Material

What shows are coming in, fresh off the stream, this season?

JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE #4 Presents... Anti-Vampire Kung-Fu!

Episode #4 -- Watch & Learn. At last, somebody did it.

THE COMICS ARTIST & HIS ASSISTANTS #1 -- Special Review

Clean, harmless sexual harassment, right?

JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE #5 -- Watch & Learn

Dio's already returned?! Nobody's wasting time here...

Mandatory Network

Submissions can take several hours to be approved.

Save ChangesCancel