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 .