[Anime] Gurren Lagann – Episode 8


TTGL

The volcanoes are going off and poor Simon’s under a lot of pressure because the operation today relies on him. He thinks of Yoko and almost tells her something important (I wonder what?) but she interrupts (on purpose?) and talks about the volcanoes and magma because apparently that stuff is interesting. Well, it is interesting but read the mood, dammit. Simon compares the volcanoes to Kamina – both burn under the surface until they can’t contain it anymore. I don’t think that’s a particularly good comparison though; Kamina doesn’t actually contain anything, he just explodes straight away. Apparently, Kamina himself disagrees with me, so what do I know?

Yoko is getting ready for the fight and goes to check up on Kamina. They have a nice touching moment where Kamina asks Yoko to watch his back. They kiss and talk a little more. It’s a strong moment for Kamina and for once he isn’t being his usual blustering brash self and Yoko is pretty sweet here too. Unfortunately, Simon sees the whole thing and is heartbroken, aww. I hope this doesn’t turn into weird drama down the line, especially with a big fight on its way, but who am I kidding?

Kamina address his ‘team’ and honestly I don’t really care for any of them. I feel like a barely know them and right now my attention is surprisingly on this whole Simon-Yoko potential drama. Simon and Kamina reminisce a little as their ragtag army deploys about how they started out at the bottom and now they here (shoutout to drizzy Drake) and Yoko tries to get in on the bromance but is sadly turned away. It’s no biggie though since we get Kamina’s catchphrase: ‘Who the hell do you think I am?!’ It should be noted that Simon has to remind himself to focus. Damn, I really hope Simon doesn’t fuck up because of drama…

One last time, with feeling

The battle begins and seems to go according to plan. The team distracts the forces protecting Dai-Gunzen and Simon is able to latch onto the head. Simon is having a hard time controlling the Dai-Gunzen and Rossiu wonders if it’s because of his mental state. God damn it, Simon get your shit together. I will be so incredibly pissed if he messes this up because of feels. In any case, Simon loses it more and more to the point that Kamina turns up to sock him in the face to snap him out of it. He doesn’t seem to realize why exactly Simon is upset, but it seems to work and Simon gets the Dai-Gunzen back under full control. Kamina returns to Gurren but is viciously attacked by the previous commander of Dai-Gunzen (whose name I forgot) and Viral. Kamina tries to fight back, but they are able to finish him off, or at least that’s what it looks like. The systems show that Kamina is down – no life signs from Gurren and…wait…Kamina can’t actually die right? Simon certainly thinks he has though and absolutely loses it – the Dai-Gunzen reacts to his anger and the earth around them reacts to the Dai-Gunzen and suddenly Simon is OP. Kamina is in a bad state, almost dead from the looks of it and bleeding heavily.

All the feels. Yes, all of them

Simon snaps out of his rage when Kamina launches a fist at him and Simon is overjoyed to see him alive – as am I. I think this might be the closest that Kamina or Simon have ever come to actually being in danger. Before, they would just Testosterone-steroid stomp everyone, but this seems like a legitimate fight. Simon and Kamina, having successfully conquered the Dai-Gunzen decide to go old school and use their aforementioned Testosterone steroids to beat the remaining Gunmen as Gurren Lagann. Kamina says his goodbyes and succumbs to his wounds. Talk about a mood whiplash.

I…don’t know what to make of this. For a while, I was sure that Kamina would somehow pull through but when reality hits, it hits hard. I’ll wait for the next episode before sending Kamina off though, because I don’t really want to think that he’s dead.  If he is though, I think this was probably the best way to send him off – he died the way he lived, kicking ass and taking names. I guess it’s not really Simon’s fault that Kamina died, I mean, it was a dangerous operation from the get go and there was no guarantee that it would turn out even nearly as well as it did – yet, seeing how easily they defeated the enemies making me wonder if this was even worth it in the end. Simon is the main character after all (though you could be forgiven for thinking that it was Kamina) and with Kamina in the picture there was no way that he was ever going to get his chance to shine but damn, that doesn’t mean that Kamina had to die for it, right? Still, this is pretty classic storytelling – it creates a tragic event for Simon to pivot character development around and well, I’ll pass judgement on whether or not it works based on future episodes. It might either be an excellent move or a terrible mistake, only time will tell.

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