Anime Vice News

Watch & Learn: GURREN LAGANN #24

I realize now... I'm in too deep.

 The existence of this head-in-a-jar is the least fantastic thing about this episode.
 The existence of this head-in-a-jar is the least fantastic thing about this episode.

Every show I’ve watched for this column has a definitive moment when I realize I’m “in too deep.” I’ve probably reached that point a long time ago for GURREN LAGANN, but this was the first time I actually stepped back and became cognizant of just how strange this show is. You can point to them entering this pocket dimension and encountering a planet-sized Nia whose naughty bits are conveniently phased out by pixelated noise… but I’d say it’s Lord Genome who deserves recognition as the greatest measure of weirdness. It’s not strictly because he’s a reanimated head in pickle jar. Rather, it’s because that such a bizarre element is treated so matter-of-factly. Oh yeah, there just happens to be our old enemy’s disembodied head, here. No big deal.

I’ve commented before about how easily every victory’s comes to Team Dai-Gurren. Hell, as many of you have pointed out, Simon invented teleportation on-the-fly, simply as a way to punch somebody more effectively.  So I suppose it’s fitting that the (presumably) final bad guys would actually be ringers whose tactic is to lull these knuckleheads into a false sense of security before turning it up and taking them out. It’s sort-of like when you play against a pool shark who’s having a bad day, losing again and again, and he suddenly decides to make the next game be  for big money.

While there’s all sorts of heroic rescues and noble, tragic last stands, the rampant deaths in this episode really harp on how few members of this team were ever adequately introduced. Sure, I can recognize the look of most of them, but I can only really name less than half. They’ve gotten a lot of screen time, sure, but a lot of that’s for naught if they were never properly establihed.

Anyway, this is a thrilling, epic space battle. One you step back and say, “Wow,” about (before you consider how deep you’re in.) Though, on a potentially-obscure note, did the trio of suddenly-appearing mega missiles remind anybody else of the dogfight levels in STARFOX 64, or could I... oh no... could I be "in too deep" with that 14-year-old cartridge game?

Anyway, watch this episode "We will Never Forget, This Minute and Second" below, decide for yourself 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 .
SamJazon Sept. 23, 2010 at 12:56 a.m.
We're just getting warmed up. You've still got three episodes and two movies left to go through.
sotyfan16on Sept. 23, 2010 at 1:09 a.m.

Really, I found this episode to remind of the ending in Armageddon as you've come to know at least a bit of the characters who heroically (and seemingly tragically) gave up their lives to save friends. It was this ep that brought the show a bit more close to home for me. Don't forget that Lord Genome's head powers the ship's computer and therefore is able to provide valuable infomation about the Anti-Spirals. However, it's now going to take more than sheer epic brawn to get through this interstellar hell. 

You are closing in on the end though Tom so do you plan to start up something new or continue with FMA: Brotherhood?

Lurkeroon Sept. 23, 2010 at 6:40 a.m.
To be fair, Tom, once you've watched a bunch of anime it's harder for any show to stand out as strange. They're all strange in their own way.
@sotyfan16: There's still a good amount of Bebop episodes left. I suggest going for Trigun like I originally voted for. There's a lot of discussion that can come from Trigun rather than shows like Bebop where you simply watch and enjoy. That's my opinion tho.
djqjon Sept. 23, 2010 at 7:41 a.m.

Watch & Learn has shown a new light on these animes for me I guess having seen so many it becomes so jarring to see some one put some retrospective thought put into some of my favorites. 

Have you thought of watching any Miyazaki films for Watch & Learn?

Also "Do a barrel roll."

kashif1on Sept. 23, 2010 at 12:23 p.m.
I felt so annoyed with my self for not knowing those names.  Oh and this show will keep one upping itself
cowdrunkon Sept. 23, 2010 at 2:21 p.m.

if you thought this was over the top just wait untill you see the crazy stuff in the last couple episodes :p
vergiliuson Sept. 23, 2010 at 3:49 p.m.
For me, the "in too deep" moment was when Simon and Viral punched a hole in spacetime, and nobody so much as blinked.
Also, wasn't it the initial teleportation thing a team effort between Kiyal and Simon?  Or am I misremembering?
sotyfan16on Sept. 23, 2010 at 11:09 p.m.
The same can be said about FMA: Brotherhood, however. I'm ready for something new or different. Like, after the Beginner's Guide to Code Geass or Black Lagoon would be great!
No_name_here staff on Sept. 26, 2010 at 10:49 p.m.
@sotyfan16: It might be FM:A for an interim. I did tell everybody I'd get back to the show eventually, but I'm still kind of lukewarm to the show and the prospect of watching 45 episodes online isn't that appealing. The problem is that I'd probably have to stop at some point, and the question is... when? But I'll give it another shot, since everybody insists it gets so much better around episode #18. It might be this week.... 
No_name_here staff on Sept. 26, 2010 at 10:51 p.m.
@djqj: Kelleth brought up watching a lot of Miyazaki movies. I'd definitely like to.  It depends on how soon I can get a box set.
No_name_here staff on Sept. 26, 2010 at 10:52 p.m.
@vergilius: Yeah... matter-of-fact teleportation invention is definitely crazy non-chalence.
vergiliuson Sept. 27, 2010 at 1:25 a.m.
@Tom_Pinchuk:  No, it was even before that, before they had hijacked the moon.  When they are fighting the pair of large faceless anti-spirals, one red and one blue.  Simon and Viral are in Gurren Lagann, and the rest of the crew is in the ship that has just escaped the surface.  Simon punches one of the enemies so hard that a rip in spacetime opens and swallows up the enemy in question.  Someone says something like "what just happeend?" and Leeron explains that Simon punched a hole in spacetime.  Of course.
And they never mention it again.
Although I guess the whole teleportation thing could be seen as an offshoot of this...

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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