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Watch & Learn: GURREN LAGANN #22

"YOU DON'T KNOW WHO THE HELL I AM!!!"

 The most fashionable grease monkey in the history of the universe.
 The most fashionable grease monkey in the history of the universe.

Ha! I suppose my early conclusion about this show not being “toyetic” was both premature and unfounded, because the new mega-Gurren that gets formed in this episode just SCREAMS “deluxe box set.” Sorry to harp on that. All those scandalously over-priced Zord sets I begged my folks to get me for Christmas ’92 left an impression that even 18 year’s passing can’t shake off. I do think it’s amusing that a new, more powerful mecha’s created whenever Simon drills into something. There’s something profoundly… sexual about that, and I suppose it has been a long time since we had us some saucy innuendos in this show.

Perhaps it’s a sign I’m “in too deep” (that's what she said!) that my first thought upon seeing Yoko pilot a Gun Man in this episode is, “Hey… she’s never done that before!” It was, indeed, weird to see this chick-with-the-bouncy-boobs-and-the-50-cal hopping into her own armor of war. It took her long enough, right? I bet piloting one wasn't as cool as she thought it was going to be, though.

Leeron finally gets a chance to be a little introspective, here, reflecting on how spiral power might’ve awakened his own mechanical prowess. You know, I’ve never actually commented on this guy over the course of these nearly two-dozen episodes. He’s pretty much been GURREN LAGANN’s de facto source of exposition. He’s also, let’s be honest, been the de facto threat to Kamina’s brand of manliness. The voice actor in this dub's playing him as flamboyantly as he possibly can. I don’t know - - I’m not especially PC. Have any of you found his portrayal stereotypical?

I don’t remember which one of you pointed this out, but the new catch phrase for this show has definitely become, “YOU DON’T KNOW WHO THE HELL I AM!!!” They're just shrieking it. I suppose that’s a bit more assertive than “I mustn’t run away…” Although, I don’t know if either are really proper slogans for a bumper sticker. Would you use that one sentence to represent yourself to the world?

Anyway, watch this episode "That is My Last Duty" below and reach your own conclusions, then read my comments on the previous episode here.  

  

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

SamJazon Sept. 18, 2010 at 12:50 a.m.
Me and a bunch of mates had a bunch of shirts made for my birthday. On the back, it went

ON OUR BACKS
 
 AND IN OUR HEARTS
 AND IN OUR HEARTS

 
 
 
 
 

 
 
And on the front, it said "WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK I AM?!"
 
It was the manliest shirt in the world. Sadly, my mum ironed it, so the epic red of the Dai-Gurren-Dan logo faded to pink, but a few more washes and it'll be an epic white silhouette. 
 
And yes, I made that logo myself, and that was the colour of the shirt. It was awesome.
TheFreshmakeron Sept. 18, 2010 at 1:24 a.m.
Fun Fact!   
 
The voice actor for the English dub Leeron is the same guy that does the voice for the English dub Spike Spiegel.    
 
How's that for versatility?
YotaruVegetaon Sept. 18, 2010 at 5:49 a.m.
Leeron is a gay stereotype, but he also happens to be a good character, and NOT just a useless  excuse to make gay jokes. More time is spent on his worth, his knowledge and his expertise than his sexuality.
Lurkeroon Sept. 18, 2010 at 9:25 a.m.
Leeron was pretty Flamboyant in Japanese as well, so the actor is playing the part. I've met plenty of people with flamboyant voices and inflections (some weren't even gay). I dunno what I think of the stereotype. I don't really see it as a negative stereotype so it doesn't bother me too much. I only get offended when negative stereotypes are used just to make a joke or one dimensional character.
 
Also, you don't need to be a kid to know that Gurren lagann toys would be awesome!
vergiliuson Sept. 18, 2010 at 10 a.m.
I had a chance to talk with Kittan's English voice actor at a con once, and he had some funny stories to say about the voice acting for Leeron.  They kept telling him "softer, more sweetly" and after a certain number of takes started saying "it needs to be more gay.  really, really gay."
 
As for whether this portrayal is PC or not...well, I think you have to consider a few things.  First, is Leeron's flamboyantness all he's got, or is there more to him?  I think it's pretty clear that he's a character first and gay second.  The other thing is to remember that this is a Japanese character, and the Japanese imported most of whatever homophobia there is in their culture from Europe and America.  I think it would be a mistake to think that having a "camp gay" characterization is mean-spirited here.
 
And is "you don't know who the hell I am" seriously how they translated that line in the dub?  "Who the hell do you think I am?!" is way more hot-blooded.
 
Next episode is really interesting, lots of character development all around.  Oh, and in addition to exposition, Leeron has a tendency to explicitly state the series' themes in his speeches, so pay attention for that.
kashif1on Sept. 18, 2010 at 11:27 a.m.
@vergilius: the translation is "Just who the hell do you think i am" in all caps
YotaruVegetaon Sept. 18, 2010 at 11:52 a.m.
@vergilius:  So Japan had no idea of homophobia before other cultures introduced it to them? What is the source for that?
vergiliuson Sept. 18, 2010 at 5:10 p.m.
@YotaruVegeta
Well, a lot of early Japanese erotic art has same-sex couples in it, for one thing.  There's a Wikipedia article that seems pretty legit as far as I can tell that explains how homosexuality was viewed:
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_Japan
YotaruVegetaon Sept. 18, 2010 at 5:36 p.m.
@vergilius:  Parts of it have legitimate sources, but notice the parts about Western culture are missing proper citation.
Catolfon Sept. 18, 2010 at 8:29 p.m.
@thefreshmaker said:
" Fun Fact!   
 
The voice actor for the English dub  Leeron is the same guy that does the voice for the English dub  Spike Spiegel.    
 
How's that for versatility? "
Loved that little fun fact, also:
 
Mugen (Samurai Champloo)
Naraku (inuyasha)
Wolverine (Many of the Xmen cartoons)
 
You gotta love some Steven Blum. Also, many of those dairy Queen commercials XD
No_name_here staff on Sept. 19, 2010 at 12:21 a.m.
@thefreshmaker: Seriously? That is SERIOUS range.
No_name_here staff on Sept. 19, 2010 at 12:22 a.m.
@SamJaz: That's pretty clever! You ought to post a picture of yourself trolling the streets with one of those on.
sotyfan16on Sept. 19, 2010 at 11:55 a.m.
@Catolf: 
I never picked that out but now that you mention it I do recognize the voice for Mugen. 
 
@SamJaz:

That's pretty damn cool! 
 
I don't think it hurts Leeron as a character to be unspokenly gay. In the anime I watch I don't see many gay or cross-dressing men so seeing Leeron was a laugh for me since he's so smart.

Dig Deeper into Gurren Lagann

In a world driven underground by the Spiral King, young Simon discovers the giant mech Gurren Lagann alongside his older friend Kamina. Together, alongside a group of rag-tag mech pilots, Simon and Kamina fight to defend their planet and their universe.

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