Viral has appeared to take back his helmet (?) and for once the tone is serious and the atmosphere intense. Well, at least until Viral asks why everyone is naked. The fight begins after everyone is fully clothed and Viral reveals that he’s from the Beastman capital, ruled by the Spiral King, the only civilization to exist on the surface. Gurren Lagann gets the upper hand for a while until the appearance of the mobile fortress that everyone had been looking for in the last few episodes, called Dai-Gunzan. It has incredible firepower and I can’t help but feel even in a series like this that Kamina & co are in a fair bit of trouble. Dai Gunzan is piloted by one of the Spiral King’s four generals and the consensus is that this fight is a bit much even for the likes of Kamina but of course that just means he’s going in 110%. This is the first time that Kamina has received negativity from so many sides at once and it’s a bit weird especially after the madcap humour of the last episode how serious this one feels.
Thankfully, Kamina’s manliness causes the Gunmen to regenerate itself and they’re back at full strength again. Somehow I think that Kamina might be a source of infinite energy in this world. Kamina and Simon go for a full frontal attack on Dai Gunzman while it deploys Gunmen to deal with the rest of the team. They are helpless without Yoko’s rifle (which I believe she lost in the bathhouse last episode?) which is a nice bit of continuity from the last episode. They are rescued by Kittan (the Black brother) and some of Yoko’s village friends. Still, it’s looking like Kamina and Simon have far too much on their plate and they get pretty much manhandled by Dai Gunzan until Kittan intervenes. Yoko begs Kamina to back off and Simon does too and there’s an odd grimness to the way they are asking him to back off – it’s normal for Simon to be chicken but he’s not even really scared here, he knows that they’re hopeless outclassed right now and he’s trying to convince Kamina to get out while he can. It turns out Kamina knows that as well, but he points out that if they run, they’re just sitting ducks for the Dai Gunzan’s superior firepower and range. Simon decides to take over the main fighting role, showing some serious character development from the scared little boy at the start of the series. It’s touching how Kamina shows utter faith in him even when it looks like he blundered. It turns out that Simon knows that structural weakness of the ground below them and caves it under the Gunzan, defeating it. Well, that turned out better than expected.
Kamina’s allies all have Gunmen of their own, putting team Gurren Lagann at a total of seven or eight Gunmen! Even if these newbies don’t have Simon and Kamina’s skill, they have a much better chance now, or so it would seem, though honestly I still don’t see them having a shot against a Dai-Gunzan class Gunmen at this point. Kamina rallies the team, telling them that they’ll steal Dai-Gunzan from the Beastmen the next day, a plan that Yoko is sceptical of, but she trusts Simon to pull it off. Yoko tells Kamina that she’s realized that even though he doesn’t show it, there is usually a method to his so-called madness but the events of this afternoon were different – he dived in without a plan and almost paid the price for it. I myself haven’t noticed this method to Kamina’s madness, but then again before this episode there’s never been a sense that they could actually be beaten by their foes, most of whom seemed like cannon fodder. This episode was different in that now that they’ve started introducing end-game antagonists, the stakes are only going to get higher which means Simon and Kamina are going to have to get their shit together.
The episode ends with a volcano going off and the threat of another fight starting soon.