[Anime] Gurren Lagann – Episode 13


This episode begins a couple of days after the last one and Simon is enjoying some well-earned R&R when he sees Nia’s new hairstyle and decides that he likes new butchy-looking Nia over old, classical princess Nia. Anyway, she talks to him about her role on the team and how she’s been feeling useless. That’s kind of unfortunate – I mean the position of number one hostage and bargaining chip is fairly important too but I guess there’s just no pleasing some people. Yoko gives Nia the idea that she could be a good cook – since apparently Simon has been skipping meals. I don’t know why, exactly, he would do such a thing, though apparently Yoko has officially become the team mum and therefore must oversee every little detail of all their miserable lives. In any case, the erstwhile royal princess with literally no cooking experience decides that since Yoko says that ‘eating is part of [Simon’s] job’ that she will be of most use helping Simon get fat.

As Yoko drags Simon away to eat, (adorably grumbling that he never grows up), a new problem surfaces for the team mum, I mean, manager. Rossiu is sick, apparently from overwork, which to me suggests that he just plainly isn’t man enough to keep up with Simon’s insane testosterone levels. Roy does mention that Simon and Rossiu aren’t the only ones pushing themselves too hard – Yoko has been overdoing it a bit as well. I think at this point this is more of something we have to just accept because we haven’t actually seen her doing anything particularly straining, since Simon’s depression receded. Meanwhile, Nia’s cooking is about to be put to the test when the enemy attacks – this time from the air. It is Cytomander the Swift, come to exact revenge for his dead comrades, and also to earn that sweet, sweet promotion. Honestly, at this stage, the first guy (Thymopyle or however you spell it) probably has the best record against Team Dai Gurren, you know, having taken out Kamina. Guame came close too but that was expected given that everyone was still down in the dumps after Kamina’s death and by everyone I mean Simon since he’s the only one actually capable of beating a capable enemy.

Someone just bought a ticket to Feels Central

Anyway, Simon gets ready to fight Cytomander when Yoko announces that she will be taking over for Rossiu. I won’t lie, it’s pretty awesome to see the remaining members of the original Gurren Lagann work together and it’s even better seeing Yoko and Simon back on good terms after the way the last few episodes have been going. Still, I can’t help but think that Yoko’s ‘overworking’ is going to come into play here at some point. There’s a surprisingly tender moment when he sees Kamina’s old seat and everyone, audience included, is hit by a momentary tsunami of feels. Yoko gets in with some reservation and some lingering emotions – I hope it all works out, given how these machines respond to emotions. Also, is Yoko the first human female to operate a Gunmen? It doesn’t last long though; Viral enters the fight and Simon and Yoko haven’t really got the hang of flying and air combat and soon, Yoko is falling through the air, Gurren-less and Simon is diving after her. He catches her before she hits Cytomander’s main ship but Yoko is slightly injured during her fall. Viral confronts them demanding to know what happened to Kamina – I guess he didn’t get the memo. He is furious that his opponents a woman and a child (just how much younger than Kamina is Simon anyway?) Simon breaks the news to Viral who is shocked. I guess no one actually thought Kamina could die but it is surprisingly touching that Viral cares so much. With Yoko unable to continue piloting Gurren, Simon decides to man up further and take on Viral alone, to Yoko’s surprise. The ensuing fight totally wrecks the inside of Ctyomander’s ship causing it to fall towards the sea. Cytomander is not a happy Beastman and it looks like Viral is going to be in trouble even if he can fight Simon off.

Every. Single. Time.

Yoko is watching the fight and it looks like she was being all Team Mum earlier this episode as her own way of making up for Kamina’s loss. She volunteered to fight with Simon because she didn’t think he was ready to fight alone and more likely, didn’t want him to fight alone. It’s an endearing sentiment and made more so by how readily she admits to Simon’s progress. Ctyomander, unfortunately, has had enough of this tomfoolery in his own ship’s engine room and decides to take Yoko hostage so that Viral can finish Simon. It’s a little disappointing that the girls are the hostages two episodes in a row, but at least this time there’s a conceivable reason for Yoko not being her usual competent self. Viral’s sense of honour, a legacy of his fights with Kamina, has him hesitant to fight Simon at such a disadvantage despite Cytomander’s egging. Meanwhile, all the failing engines are forgotten and Dai Gurren tries to kick Cytomander’s ship out of the air (what?). Just as Cytomander is about to kill Yoko, Dai Gurren air kicks the ship to the ground, because fuck physics and your notion of conservation of energy. Cytomander is forced to retreat and promises Viral that he will suffer for his treason.

Safe and awaiting Dai Gurren to pick them up, Yoko reveals her feelings for Kamina to Simon and Simon tells her he already knew. I’m glad he doesn’t say more like how his knowing almost literally lead to Kamina dying because no one needs that kind of baggage on them. Yoko is being treated for her minor injuries when it’s revealed that Rossiu wasn’t overworked, he was food poisoned; Nia’s a really, really bad cook. The only one who can tolerate her cooking, obviously and adorably, is Simon who eats everyone else’s share. In the Spiral King’s capital, Viral confronts him and asks why the humans are able to beat them again and again if they truly are inferior. The Beastmen are artificial lifeforms created by Lordgenome  – they need to rest every so often to regenerate their lives or they will die quickly. Viral asks why Lordgenome left in such an obvious flaw but then the episode ends.


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