[Anime] Gurren Lagann – Episode 19


TTGL

So, apologies for the long break. Real life – meaning exams and job hunting – took priority for a little bit but now that all that has been settled, we’re back to the show that just won’t let Simon catch a break. So Simon has been arrested by Rossiu and riots have broken out all over Kamina City (with the plebs going so far as to tear down Kamina’s statue) and the general population is now calling for Simon’s head. According to Rossiu, Simon is no better than Lordgenome in their eyes which I want to believe is just Rossiu’s take on things because I refuse to believe that it is possible for the general population to be that retarded. At worst, Simon’s biggest fault in the last couple of episodes was fighting recklessly and endangering the city, which I agree was not the best thing, but I don’t know how you go from that to equating him with the worst dictator humanity has ever known. I mean, Lordgenome, whatever his original intentions was a proper bastard, but apparently seven years is more than enough to make the people forget. Rossiu informs Simon that he can no longer protect him – the people must have their due.

Imagine being this retarded

Simon is imprisoned until his trial and there is an interesting exchange between him and Rossiu. Fair trials are a new thing in this world since Lordgenome wasn’t the biggest fan of either and Simon notes that at first Rossiu followed God’s rules (a reference to the village Rossiu was from) and now the country’s laws and that Rossiu likes his structure and stability. Rossiu then decides that his behaviour so far has been too classy and descends even further in my eyes by delivering an ends justify the means type speech to Simon about how Kamina’s death was a good thing since it lead to a good outcome. There are far too many flaws with that reasoning apart from the obvious fact that Kamina’s death did not lead to a de facto ‘good’ outcome but rather it was Simon getting his shit together (and carrying the entire fucking team, lest we forget, including Mr. So-Redundant-He-Was-Knocked-Out-For-The-Whole-Boss-Fight here) despite Kamina’s death that lead to it. In any case, I have a problem with Rossiu spewing all this flame and blame for the simple reason that I thought that after everything they’ve been through together, this lot were at least friends, even though Simon is essentially several times better than the rest of them (except maybe Yoko) at everything. Simon is obviously furious with Rossiu but Rossiu continues his verbal smackdown and tells Simon he hasn’t grown and he’s just like Kamina was back then. I don’t know if it’s entirely true – but now that I think about it Simon and Kamina were at their best when they were rebels, fighting against the Man and oppression. That’s a simpler position to be in after all – it’s easier to point out what’s wrong than to offer valid suggestions. Rossiu leaves Simon in his cell and takes the Core Drill bit with him.

Low blows

Meanwhile, Kinon (the Black sister working with Rossiu) has not been to see Anne (Dayakka and Kiyoh’s daughter) and is complaining about how cold-hearted Rossiu has become. It’s good to see that there is some backlash against him but Dayakka notes that it’s not wise to criticize him openly anymore as riots and protests continue outside. Leeron has been doing some research and with the information Rossiu has been getting from Lordgenome, they find that there are 36 cities underground capable of withstanding a lunar impact, capable of holding 640,000 people. I think it would be interesting to see how many of the liberated humans would be willing to go back underground if their survival was at stake. I don’t see this show taking that route but as a philosophical question it still has some merit. Simon’s trial begins and Rossiu hands out a death sentence. Kittan is furious and points out several issues with the trial including Simon not being given a fair trial. Rossiu justifies this by saying that Simon needs to be found guilty or the populace will never be satisfied. Nia appears and tells him that the Anti-Spirals want absolute despair from the Spiral races and an attack commences as a massive cluster of Mugann appear in the skies above Littner (Yoko’s village) and obliterates it. The cluster moves toward Kamina city but Rossiu is hesitant to let Simon fight, stating he might use the opportunity to escape. I feel like this is really bad characterization of Rossiu here simply because I don’t think that, despite all their differences recently, Rossiu ever doubted the quality of Simon’s character. Still, I’m liking Kittan a lot more now that he’s actually willing to get shit done and back Simon up in calling Rossiu out. Simon offers Rossiu a sweeter deal – he will wear a bomb and Rossiu can detonate it if Simon attempts to escape. It’s maddening that Simon, the hero of the last war, has to be reduced to such indignity but Rossiu finally caves in. Rossiu isn’t done though – instead of making Simon wear the bomb himself, he puts it on Kinon (who seems oddly willing about the whole thing) in an attempt to keep Simon from going out in a blaze of heroic glory. I feel a big part of this scumbag move is to prevent the heroic part – sad as it is to admit, I don’t think Rossiu particularly minds Simon dying. As much as I hate him, I have to admit he knows Simon well enough to know that this particular stunt will force Simon to be more careful.

And now you’re just being an asshole

Rossiu makes an announcement to the rest of the citizens revealing his evacuation plans (which we already knew) but more importantly, revealing the existence of a Space Dai-Gurren, called the Arc Gurren, that will be capable of hauling the citizens of Kamina City into space temporarily while they wait out the lunar impact. This move wins him the approval of the masses. Simon is trying his best to keep the Mugann horde away from Kamina City but is outnumbered and can’t finish the deal until Darry and Ginny appear with Leeron’s new tech to finish the fight. Simon resumes his incarceration and hands back his Core Drill while Rossiu announces that the Gurren Lagann will be scrapped. Kittan watches all this and finally confronts Rossiu about his relationship with Kinon, who Kittan saw as the human bomb, and his cruel treatment of Simon. Rossiu avoids all his punches with laughable ease but its Kinon who steps in and delivers an Armor-piercing slap to her brother, saying he doesn’t know the first thing about Rossiu. Simon is sharing a prison cell with Viral.

The ending of this episode was rather intense and in a very good way. Kittan finally putting his foot down felt like a good thing but the way the show displayed it made it seem like he was making a mistake. Rossiu…is an interesting character I think. If you look at his actions objectively, a lot of his decisions make sense but in the world of Gurren Lagann what is sense worth, exactly? He’s alienating his friends and people like Simon for no real reason. I’m a little surprised by just how laidback about all this Leeron is – I would have thought he would have something to say about Simon’s arrest and everything that followed but maybe he’s know more than I do? Based on the way that Kinon responded to Kittan’s anger as well as the coincidence of Viral sharing a cell with Simon, I think Rossiu may have a plan in the works but all in all, I’m disappointed that none of Kittan’s punches landed because Rossiu really needed to be hit this episode.

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