9 Mar 2013

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

Out of the many wacky shows I've seen, TTGL is probably the craziest. With humanity starting out in underground mud huts and developing to the stage they can punch planets in interstellar space robots. It's a strange anime, that starts out silly and just gets out of control. Simon is a young digger, drilling to expand into new territory. One day, he comes across a small drill, buried in the dirt. Little does he know, that it is much more than that.

As you can see, it does look pretty epic.

When Simon and Kamina try to break out of the earth to see the stars, the other humans force them to stay in the ground. They fear the outside world, and prefer to stay in the safety of the underground. When beastmen strike, it's up to Simon, Kamina and Yoko to save their society and explore the world above. It's a shame the world above is filled with angry beastmen piloting giant mecha.

The art and graphics are fairly acceptable, except for the notorious episode 4 (when you see it you will know). However, I did notice some lazy animation techniques. Overall the visuals are passable. You get to see all the usual anime facial expressions and the only thing that stands out from the norm is the mechs. As for the music, it was more of a theme than a soundtrack. New songs are added into the mix throughout the show, but the main epic track stays the same and it never fails to pump you up.

Kamina, my favorite character. Everyone's favorite character.

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is about beating the odds, and steadfast determination in the face of the impossible. It should actually inspire you. The entire cast develops and breaks barriers as the story progresses. It's easy to find yourself cheering the characters on as they explore a world they couldn't have even imagined.

Everything in TTGL is just way over the top. It's cheesy, it's lame, and yet you will still find yourself captivated. From the gigantic sunglasses to robots that can grow and combine, it's ridiculous from the beginning- surprisingly in a good way.  Despite this, it still tries admirably to cover moral dilemmas and debates throughout the show. Simon is faced with hard decisions as the leader and his friends always have high expectations of him.

Simon and Kamina use this robot to take on the beastmen.

I really enjoyed this anime. I was a little annoyed at some of the plot decisions but nonetheless it's a fantastic program that any audience can enjoy. It's not just about fighting in combining robots and beating the impossible. It's about the emotional development of humanity whilst they survive and explore a new world.

One of my favorite parts of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is the time skip. After the initial arc you get to see all of the characters grown up for another final battle. It's really interesting to see how the story continues on after their great victory.

I don't really like Simon, he's too cowardly. That changes, but too late.

If you're looking for an anime to watch and you haven't seen this adventure yet, get on it now. This is a staple part of your anime diet, none optional! It's wacky, entertaining, and if you don't take it too seriously you will enjoy it. Besides, the mecha fights are actually quite entertaining to watch.

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