[Anime] Gurren Lagann – Episode 14


TTGL

This episode takes place a month after the previous one. In the last episode, the team had successfully fought off Cytomander and had nicked one of his ships’ ‘levi-spheres’ which appear to be part of the propulsion system. In that time, Simon and Yoko have returned to Kamina’s grave and Simon pays his respects, promising to return after the war. The team has been running ragged due to the constant fighting and Yoko believes that they need to end things soon or the team (it’s possible she is also referring to the Dai-Gurren itself) will come apart. This episode is starting out with on a worrying sombre note and I’m finding myself already bracing myself for impact. Simon has really stepped into the leader’s role – even when the kids (whose names I have forgotten, sorry!) begin to worry about the team’s ability to tackle the Beastmen capital, he able to give a semi-Kamina-esque speech to cheer them back up. Apparently, this is the sixth day of the battle for Teppelin. I’m a little confused though; has it been six days since Simon and Yoko returned or did they leave in the middle of the siege? I’m going to assume that it’s the former but I don’t quite understand how the Dai-Gurren was able to stand up to Lordgenome’s army by itself for six days. I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

In Teppelin itself, Lordgenome is reminding his army of the biblical creation myth. It’s apt since Man was created on the sixth day and now six days have passed. Ok, so I don’t actually see how it’s that apt, but apparently it is because Lordgenome has declared it is. Lordgenome acknowledges that the human’s tenacity is what makes them so powerful – even after sealing them underground they continue to sprout up and resist. I feel like I’ve heard this whole talk about the power of human tenacity before (not in TTGL itself) but it still rings true. Anyway, Guame suspects that this tenacity is the power of the Spiral, which I refuse to acknowledge as a real thing without further evidence though even a sceptic like me sort of has to acknowledge the power of the Spiral symbol. I mean, the whole drilling thing, being underground, the Spiral key, Simon the Digger, even Teppelin itself is Spiral shaped. There’s definitely something up with Spirals and apparently it’s not a good thing – Lordgenome mentions that the power of the Spiral will destroy humanity.

The propaganda spreads

Anyway, back with the humans in question, they are awaiting for the repairs to finish (so how exactly is this the 6th day of battle then?) and the repairs are done just as Cytomander and his Dai-Gunten arrive. The levisphere is working fine now and the Dai-Gurren, possibly the least aerodynamically shaped aircraft ever, flies. The Dai-Gurren launches it’s own Gunmen squad, with Kiyoh and Kiyal of the Black siblings joining in, apparently the ‘avenge’ Kamina. I mean, it’s a bit late for that, right? Well, better late than never, I guess. I’m also a little bummed that Rossiu is back in Gurren instead of Yoko but oh well. Kittan acknowledges Simon’s newfound leadership ability but I myself remain far from impressed by Kittan. I mean, sure, he was fighting the Gunmen long before Simon and Kamina came along, but Simon has way more Gunmen experience than him so where exactly does he get off calling Simon an amateur anyway? It’s possible that I am reading way too much into a simple piece of banter. On the ground, Guame and his Dai-Gundo have appeared (I am never going to remember all these names) with some strong anti-air weaponry. Simon steps in a decides to take on all the air opposition and sends the cannon-fodder, er, I mean the rest of the human Gunmen down to fight Guame and his lot. The prospect of fighting an entire air force by himself pumps Simon to the point that he just takes them out in a single salvo. As unsurprised as I am that Simon is able to stomp unnamed mooks, I can’t help but be impressed by how ridiculously strong he has become. As a balance to all that overpowered nonsense, he is a least a little exhausted. Anyway, it turns out Simon’s OP-ness is actually a plot point – having used up too much power in the initial salvo, he is too weak to fight Cytomander off. Just when it appears that Simon is in trouble (the mood doesn’t really reflect that though), he gets back up from the ground in the form of human resistance fighters. Cytomander is in real trouble and just when he’s about to get serious, his Shuzack gets rammed by Dai-Gurren (somehow, he didn’t see that massive behemoth of mecha approach) and it then slams into the Dai-Gunten (the flying ship, for those of you who are as bad with names as me) and smashes it to the ground. Cytomander seems to be down and out, but there is still Guame whose Dai-Gundo survived a direct hit from a crashing Dai-Gunten.

Phrasing?

The Dai-Gundo retreats to under Teppelin and the massive ship/city/whatever it is, starts spinning. The newbie humans are utterly useless and decide the best thing to do is charge head first into the spinning tempest of death. It works exactly as well as you might think. The whole squad is about to go suicidal like a pack of lemmings but luckily, Nia is able to tell them to back down and instead dumps the responsibility of breaking the barrier on Simon who must be wondering by now why exactly he bothered pulling her out of her coffin. It is then that everyone realizes Simon is missing. I’d call them out on being bad friends, but I had totally forgotten about him too. Apparently, he is doing Simon things and digging under Dai-Gundo to bypass the tornado above. Guame slams his ship down on them but that just…forces…the…tip…ok, you get the idea. Anyway, Simon’s willpower is able to basically overpower the angular momentum of the Dai-Gundo’s spin and suddenly not only is Guame down and out, Teppelin is left unprotected by the tornado. Teppelin turns out to be a massive Gunmen and is dropping its babies everywhere.

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