[Anime] Gurren Lagann – Episode 4

TTGLSimon and Kamina ‘practice’ combining though Kamina insists on doing it outside their respective mechas. Simon is understandably confused but does it anyway when Kamina starts rumbling about ‘manly transformations’ and begins chucking rocks at Simon. Yoko has more or less given up trying to make sense of them and who can blame her. Leeroy thinks that this Gunmen they have is special but before he can elaborate fully, Kamina blows up his computer with a stray boulder. Why Simon hasn’t given up and just combined by this stage is beyond me given how conflict averse he is. Some cloaked figure find them (before lunch) and launch an attack on Gurren. The cloaked figures rush to ‘save’ Simon from Kamina before unveiling themselves and revealing that they are human. Simon, who was ‘rescused’ by three cute girls, finds himself in Kamina’s shadow once again (aww) as the girls abandon him and flock to Kamina. Can’t wait to see what Yoko has to say about this.

The women are sisters – Kiyoh, Kinon and Kiyal and the man is their brother, Kittan and they are Beastmen hunters. The group meet Yoko and Leeroy and somehow the four women are tasked with finding lunch for the group because apparently, and I quote, “hungry men are useless”. Based on personal experience, I find it hard to disagree. Back at the camp, Kittan reveals that their group is chasing a Gunmen with 16 faces which Simon and Kamina can’t believe. Apparently though, it’s fairly common to see 16 faced Gunmen. I’m going to go ahead and guess that the 16 faced Gunmen is either fake, or simply made from powering up 16 times in a row, which now that I say it, does seem pretty damn scary. Meanwhile, the girl return with lunch but it turns out that their lunch is actually a family of Beastmen who scatter and head for their Gunmen. Seriously, I don’t actually know what I just saw, but all I know is that Kamina is literally useless when hungry and now his lunch ran away from him. Kittan goes after them, on what looks like a mix between a German Shepherd and a bison. Unsurprisingly enough, they are outmatched by the Gunmen. Kamina decides to help as well while Simon is again hesistant. Yoko tries to help but the bullets bounce off apparently. It’s hard to determine who’s worse these days – Yoko or Simon. I know this is a common way to show character growth; by keeping Yoko as capable as she was but making the enemies tougher and by proxy showing Simon and Kamina’s growth in handling them, but damn doesn’t Yoko deserve a chance to grow too?

Kittan rescues Kamina who gets attacked before even getting into Gurren. Simon tries to combine with Kamina but the latter refuses to let him until he does the whole ritual with the performance, which instantly tells me that the Beastmen they are facing are little more than Mooks. However, the Beastmen do combine to form the 16 faced Gunmen Kittan mentioned earlier. I’m going to take back what I said earlier about sixteen faces seems overpowered. Now that I see, it looks distinctly underwhelming though to be fair to me, I was imagining sixteen Gunmen like Viral’s combining, which is actually extremely scary. Simon tries to combine again, but Kamina refuses, swatting him away spouting that manly transformation crap again. Seriously I don’t get what Kamina is trying to accomplish here but it’s revealed in a moment – as it turns out, he wants Simon to get ‘pumped’ like he did in all those previous fights that he wasn’t useless in. Couldn’t you have just said that, Kamina? Miraculously, Simon gets the idea and tries to combine more sincerely but keeps getting blocked by the combine Gunmen until Yoko sets up a smokescreen with her sharpshooting. I guess she’s a support sniper now? Ugh, I want Yoko to pilot a Gunmen too, dammit. As it turns out, Simon thinks that Kamina’s boulder ‘training’ was not Kamina being childish but a way to teach Simon how to dodge attacks better. Kamina denies this but either way, they finally combine. However, they can’t win because, wait for it, they still haven’t had lunch. The respective robots literally power down because two teenage boys can’t outlast a simple food craving, wow. When things seem lost, and I assert, things should have been lost by now, Boota detaches his tail and gives it to Simon and Kamina to eat. Not only is that utterly ridiculous, it’s only kind of macabre but anyway, apparently a few grams of raw meat are all it takes to put Team Gurren Lagann back in action. They defeat the 16 faced Gunmen easily but later part way with the Siblings, which is a shame because they seemed like a fun bunch.


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