Kamina retells his exploits from the previous episode as Simon quietly reflect – rather indicative of their characters, isn’t it? Yoko asks how Kamina is handling the news of his father’s death and Simon tries, but fails to explain Kamina’s feelings. I do sort of get where Simon is coming from, but I’m not convinced that Simon is in a position to speak for Kamina like that. Yoko invites Kamina to join her on a ‘hunt’ (wink-wink nudge-nudge) but Kamina asks Simon along, an idea Yoko is less than enthusiastic about. Nice self-cock block there, Kamina, though Yoko manages to squeeze in some time with him anyway while Simon looks on dejectedly. At least I think he’s dejected, but I don’t really know where this whole romance sub-plot is going anyway. Kamina wanders off on his own looking for more game and finds a duck with two arrows in it – his and another’s. A being named Viral introduces himself as member of the Human Eradication Forces and tries to kill Kamina though it’s not clear whether he is doing so because he is the leader of the Human Eradication Forces or because he thinks Kamina stole his duck. This is another one of those moments where you realize exactly how fun this series is.
The fight commences and obviously, Kamina will not run despite being out of bullets. Viral seems to have the upper hand but Kamina manages to land a solid hit of his own. Simon and Yoko come to the rescue but Viral escapes, dodging Yoko’s shot from more a few miles away. We will obviously not bother with the question of how distances and physics work in this universe. Viral gets into his own Gunmen and a bigger fight commences. Simon, as usual, is scared and hesitant while Kamina, as usual, rushes forward. Viral still has the upper hand against both Simon and Kamina but retreats when the sun begins to set.
Back at the village, Simon pleads with Kamina to return back to their own village, saying, not unjustly, that they are in way over their heads. Kamina, of course, is unhappy that Simon evaded Viral’s attack and no longer wants to fight but insists that they rest up for the confrontation the next day. Yoko asks Kamina to let her pilot Lagann, dismissive of Simon’s capabilities as a fighter. She actually lays into Simon’s flaws pretty thoroughly – calling him a boy with no right to be on a battlefield and while it sounds pretty harsh, it’s hard to disagree. Simon is in no way cut out for the battlefield and of course, while that could just mean that he lacks training, Yoko is definitely right in saying that they do not have the luxury of giving him chance after chance. However, Kamina sticks up for his disappointing little bro once again, saying that he believes in Simon because he (Kamina) believes in himself. It’s a surprisingly touching statement though it’s said in a light-hearted way.
Kamina and Simon await Viral’s return the next day. He compliments them on not running away and the fight begins. The fight goes badly right from the start, with Viral barely breaking a sweat. Simon, yet again, freaks out and asks Kamina to withdraw but Yoko drops some real wisdom on him and asks him to look at the example Kamina is trying to set and repeats what Kamina said to her the previous night. This touches Simon, who begins to power up. He arrives on the battlefield just in time to save Kamina who’s pretty badly beat up. He…shoves Lagann into Gurren’s head saying that they have ‘combined’ while I’m trying hard not die of laughter. Of course, the rest of the village, Yoko included, are neither impressed nor surprised. At first it seems like it did nothing, but somehow they really do end up combined, blocking a lethal attack from Viral. Having combined, they have the power to fight Viral more evenly but Viral realizes he has lost his edge and retreats. Simon notes the damage and suggests that they do the same. There’s a lot I like about this show, but Kamina and Simon’s chemistry is definitely one of them. I realize a lot of my pictures in these posts are about Kamina, but he just says the damnedest of things so here, have another one.
Back at the village, Yoko apologizes to Simon for the things she said earlier. Leeroy finds out where the enemy headquarters are and Kamina says goodbye to his father. Simon and Kamina say their goodbyes at the village too – they’re heading out to destroy the headquarters. Leeroy decides to accompany them as well, stating that he believes that they can make a difference. Yoko clearly wants to go too, but doesn’t say anything until the chief tells her she can go, after which she happily departs with the rest of Team Gurren Lagann.