[Anime] Gurren Lagann – Episode 1


TTGLSo, this is going to my first anime series and I’m doing this series first mainly because it came highly recommended to me by a friend. At this point, I’m not entirely if I want to do the whole summary-post thing that I do for current TV shows and re-reads because I’ve found that it makes the whole process feel very artificial for me and I’m not sure how much it contributes to anyone reading it.

That aside, I’m actually quite looking forward to this series – it was advertised to me as being a ‘reconstruction of the mecha genre’ which, in all honesty, I don’t really understand, but am intrigued enough to investigate. I guess, I don’t really have any expectations from the show one way or another. I’ve been told that it’s funny, over-the-top and very entertaining but I’ve taken all of that with a pinch of salt since that opinion was most certainly biased. This series doesn’t look too long so I’ll see how this whole anime thing works out for me on this blog and if I find it easy to write about it per episode I’ll do that. I don’t foresee having a lot to say on a per episode basis in any event.

So, now that that’s out of the way, on to episode 1! Let’s start with first impressions – I think if I had to describe the series in a single expression, it would be ‘wacky and over-the-top’. This was just the first episode but it feels like the show would be a light-hearted romp and while that’s all well and good, I’m not so sure what I think about watching another twenty odd episodes of an animated version of a Michael Bay movie. I’m fairly confident they’ll switch things up in a few episodes time. In the meanwhile though, we get to meet our three main characters. First, we have Kamina, the man’s man. His manliness seem to defy the laws of physics as quite literally makes pigs fly in an attempt to break out of the enclosed little village he was born in. He seems to be the rebel in the village – the one guy that won’t just bend over and follow the rules. It also seems to make him a bit of a delinquent in the eyes of the village chief. He has a positively adorable soft spot for Simon and seems like an upstanding, honourable man (though extremely reckless) all things considered. He seems to be living his father’s dream of exploring the surface world.

Reject common sense to make the impossible possible – Kamina in a nutsheel

Then we have Simon, who will probably become the story’s central protagonist. Why do I say that? Because he seems weak and cowardly but is essentially good-natured at heart. He looks up to Kamina as a brother even though the two are not blood related. He is the village’s best digger though the rest of society seems to look down on his for it. Despite generally being meek and mild-mannered it seems like he has a strong will of his own even if it doesn’t show up too often – he doesn’t cave when the chief asks him to apologize or risk not being given dinner and he even breaks Kamina out of ‘jail’. He seems to have undergone some earthquake related trauma as a child.

Lastly, we have Yoko, who seems like a bit of a mystery at the moment. She arrives just as the ‘Gunmen’ (which what I assume they were calling it) breaks into Simon and Kamina’s underground village and has a massive sniper rifle that she uses to fight. She is from the village next door, though Simon and Kamina don’t understand the concept of a village being next door. She seems energetic and spunky and hopefully can match Kamina sass-for-sass. Unsurprisingly, is also the primary source of fanservice.

Speaking of fanservice, I know a lot of anime-fans despise it (despite fanservice heavy shows being extremely popular (a bit hypocritically, I might add)) but I don’t really have a problem with it on a show as ridiculous and larger-than-life as TTGL (and I mean that in the best way). I actually really liked this episode as an introduction – it gave us enough of an exposition into the world without getting drawn out and droning on and we also got to see the basic character traits of Kamina and Simon (Yoko was barely in this episode). It’s also really refreshing to see a show that doesn’t give a crap about being plausible or realistic either in terms of characters or story. It’s boisterous and loud and I love it. Also, Kamina is hilarious and a lot of fun to watch – can’t wait for episode 2!

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