Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
|Alternate title : Gurren Lagann |
Studio : GAINAX Co., Ltd.
Licenced by : Bandai Entertainment
Length : 27 Episodes
Year : 2007
Genre : Mecha - Comedy - Adventure
Simon and his "brother" Kamina live in the underground Jidah Village. While Simon spends his time digging around (something the village appreciates), Kamina has a bad reputation as a troublemaker and because of his dream of reaching the surface.
In one of his excavations Simon finds a small drill-shaped key and, further down, a "face". As he's about to show his find to Kamina the village is attacked by a giant robot called Gunmen, followed by the gunslinging girl Yoko. Together, the three of them activate the "face" that Simon found and use it to fight the threat and blast to the surface... Where their destiny and struggle await them.
With Simon's Lagann and Kamina's Gurren at their side, their lives just got a whole lot more exciting!
1) This series ranked #2 in Anime-Source's Best of 2007 poll.
Added : 2007-04-03
Synopsis by : leoxjm
Last update : 2010-05-23
Last update details : Image modified
Score : 9.16 Ranked #14 by users
Number of reviews : 44
Official #1 : Gainax's Gurren-Lagann Website (Japanese)
Official #2 : Konami's Gurren-Lagann Website (Japanese)
Official #3 : Official Gurren-Lagann Website (Japanese)
Official #4 : TV Tokyo's Gurren-Lagann Website (Japanese)
A-Source #1 : * * * Anime-Source.com In-Depth Review by Nigoki * * *
OP1 : Shoko Nakagawa - Sorairo Days
ED1 : High Voltage - Underground
ED2 : Sorairo Days - Happily Ever After (EP16)
ED3 : Afromania - Minna no Peace
2017-01-09 -- Episode(s) 2 by -__-'. BT Link
2017-01-08 -- Episode(s) 1 by -__-'. BT Link
2013-08-16 -- Episode(s) 1-27 by Encodergasm. BT Link
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Posted by : GaileOxstain
Posted on : 2014-06-15
Anime is made to entertain, but Gurren Lagann does that and something much more incredible. It motivates and inspires you to reach the heavens.
In a distant future, humans are meeking out a meager existence in underground villages across the planet. Out of tradition and fear, no one dares go above to the surface and they continue to live their lives in ignorance and darkness. Simon is just a shy and introverted kid living in one such underground village who is tasked with digging holes with his drill in order to expand the town. He would have been content to continue this existence forever, but his long-time friend and charismatic badass Kamina is not satisfied with this pathetic existence and dreams to reach the surface. Dreams which land him in the brink by the village chief. However, when a giant mecha ends up falling through the village ceiling and starts wrecking havoc, the two and greeted by a busty gun-slinging girl named Yoko trying to destroy the machine. With few other ideas on how to survive, the docile Simon leads Kamina and Yoko to a smaller robot shaped like a face which he had dug up early that day. Using a drill shaped key he had found several days earlier while digging, Simon manages to activate the tiny mecha and with Kamina leading the charge, is able to destroy the invading mecha and finally reach the surface.
However, as Simon and Kamina soon find out, the surface is a hostile place where humans are hunted and killed by the gunman mecha and their beastman pilots, with Yoko being just one such rebel fighting for survival on the surface with her village. But not content to just survive, Kamina decides to fight back by hi-jacking an enemy gunman himself and go on the offensive. Proclaming himself as leader of the sole renegade group fighting to reclaim the surface, Team Gurren, Kamina rallies Simon, Yoko, and many others along the way to join the fight and take the earth back from the beastmen and their leader the Spiral King.
If I could only describe Gurren Lagann with a single word, it would be over-the-top. But even that fails to accurately quantify the degree of awesomeness that this series has. The giant mecha battles are freaking badass and brimming with manly spirit, bringing you to a level of cathartic adrenaline that is almost unheard of in other anime titles. As you watch the high-powered action unfold, you will find yourself swallowing your pride and roaring like a man! And just when you think the mechas can't get any bigger, the fights any more over-the-top, or the levels power any stronger, the series shatters your expectations and will constantly make you shout "Holy s***!" out of pure shock and amazement time and time again.
But what's also great about the story is that it's not just some over-scaled beat'em up plot line, it actually has a heart and soul that motivates and inspires its viewers. Team Gurren's motto spells this out quite nicely, "Kick out logic and do the impossible". Throughout the entire series the cast has to overcome and conquer impossible odds with everything stacked against them, and yet, it is by ignoring the probability of loss and putting 1,000,000% into their battles that Team Gurren manages to win again and again. And it is this singled-minded and focused train of thought that really sets it apart from other mecha series and gives the team its infectiously admirable spirit.
Best of all, not only does the series end satisfying, it's downright epic! The final battle completely throws logic out the door and displays levels of power and scale that make Super Saiyan Goku look like an ant by comparison.
The cast of Gurren Lagann is huge, and yet it still manages to give its key characters the time and character development needed to make them so memorable and powerful as characters. Simon hands down goes through the most character growth. At the series start he is a shy and pessimistic coward with no motivation of his own without Kamina to guide and motivate him. And even in spite of all the potential he possesses, Simon undergoes a period a severe depression and self-doubt when he realizes he can never live up to be the same kind of person Kamina is. But once Simon manages to find his own path, his change in character is significant and manages to steal the show with his own power and drill.
Kamina on the other hand is the epitome of manliness. His charisma and confidence is bottomless and he never runs from a fight, even when it's blatantly obvious he has no chance of winning. His larger than life persona probably would have made him a great president...provided he wasn't such a knuckle-headed idiot. Had it not been for Simon's early cowardice and leveled-head, he probably would have died a horrible death the second he reached the surface. Even so, his leadership skills are undeniable, his soul inextinguishable, and his character... unforgettable.
Up next is Yoko, the girl with a revealing wardrobe, a pair of big knockers, and an even bigger gun. She serves as the team's focused tactician given that Kamina is the type to rush in and Simon is just the type to cower and run. She offers the team a great deal of support both in battle with her keen sniper skills, and well as off the battlefield with her friendly and often blunt advice to Simon and Kamina. While it's true she serves as a fanservice icon with her bust and clothes, she still manages to be a strong and independent woman more than capable of wiping out the enemy targets when the boys slip up.
What good is powerful and badass protagonist without an equally intimidating and awesome rival? Viral, a beastman commander becomes a reoccurring adversary for Kamina and Simon throughout the series. He possesses great skills in armed combat and has more than impressive skills piloting a gunman. But what really sets him apart from other antagonists is that he doesn't rely on cheap tricks and only fights head on, choosing to fight with honor all to prove his power. He's almost like a modern samurai and on several occasions is given the chance to kill his adversaries because of his comrades dirty tricks but chooses not to in order to defend his pride as a warrior. In some ways, he's actually more manly and badass than Kamina.
There's also a colorful cast of supporting characters who have their own memorable quirks and characteristics that make them memorable. We have Leeron, an effeminate male mechanic with a fetish for machines and technology as well as an intellect on par with his peculiar personality. Then there's Kittan, a brash and violent gunman hunter who travels with his cute yet skilled younger sisters and possess a strong degree of loyalty to each other as siblings. Up next is Rossiu, a calm and objective young boy from a decrepit underground village who understands human nature quite well and holds great value in law and order.
And rounding out the group is a late addition in the form of Nia, a naive and air-headed young girl whom Simon saves from death but holds a rather shocking family history. Though Nia starts out a little weird and annoyingly ignorant about the world as a whole, she grows into a more active individual capable of making her own choices and strives for Team Gurren's goals while forming her own pride as an individual.
The artistic design of Gurren Lagann, its animation, and settings as a whole are just an incredible sight to behold. The mix of charcoal and cell shading are unlike any other series I have seen to date and manage to include vivid detail without losing sense of the bigger picture. The character and gunman designs are distinctive and cleverly drawn, and the scenery alone from sun setting over the horizon while the moon rises from it, to the rocky valleys, to the overpowering city of Teppelin, all of which are enough to fill an entire folder of beautiful desktop backgrounds. Special attention also has to be given to the animation which spares no expense detailing every fight down to the last frame almost needlessly so (Not that that's a bad thing in the least).
The soundtrack of Gurren Lagann is freaking awesome and never fails to disappoint. The opening Sorairo Days is just incredible as it gets you pumped, motivated, and inspired to rip through the heavens and tear through everything that stands in your way. The endings were also notable rock numbers with the first being a roadie tune that encourages you to face your adversaries head on and the second ending is a more energetic and emotional number that keeps your hope and motivation strong.
I also have to give credit to a lot of the insert numbers that accompanied the epic battles throughout the series. From the over-the-top "To Hell with Gattai!" to the motivational rap of "Row Row, Fight the Power", you can thank the soundtrack for making the battles as awesome as they were. Although my personal favorite is Viral's theme "Nikopol" which only makes Viral even more badass with a guitar number that trumps even Linkin Park.
Let me end my review with a personal story. Several years back, I was hospitalized with an incurable disease that would impair me for the rest of my life. I was depressed and thought my life was over, but then by sheer coincidence I found Gurren Lagann streaming every week on the Sci-Fi channel's Ani-Monday block. I was sucked in by the incredible story, the charismatic characters, the over-the-top battles, the beautiful art/animation, and the killer music. Team Gurren's never say die attitude and fighting spirit in the face of impossible odds motivated me to stay strong and fight my condition. Two weeks later I was discharged and I am still in full-remission even to this day (modern medicine also helped, but that kind of thing buzz-kills the story).
But my medical struggles aside, Gurren Lagann is still and incredible series that teaches you to kick logic out, fight to the very end, and piece the heavens with your drill.
That's why I'm giving Gurren Lagann a perfect 10 Giga Drills out of 10.
JUST WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK I AM!!
Posted by : miestersean
Posted on : 2009-06-24
Too much has already been said on the Internet about fanservice in anime. No one admits to liking it outright, and I won’t say that I do either, but, honestly, fanservice isn’t all bad. My personal thought process: at first, after it suddenly (which is always the case) appears, I’m taken aback at how gratuitous this is. My next reaction is enjoying the cheap thrill I’m being spoon-fed, which lasts for about two seconds. Immediately afterwards, when the fanservice disappears, all is instantly forgotten, and my focus shifts to something more thought-provoking.
Fanservice for me is a transient, pleasant diversion, one that isn’t my first choice for entertainment, but is still not the worst way to spend some time. This series, a flashy, rapid blur of an anime, can be characterized in the same way, and it just so happens that it contains, both art- and story-wise, copious amounts of fanservice.
The art of TTGL is its most distinctive and thus talked-about feature. Packed with humongous, unique-looking mechas and detailed, expansive backdrops, you can simply stare at the visuals when you’re bored with everything else going on in an episode and still derive enjoyment. The characters are interesting but tacky and over-the-top in design, like their personalities. The action scenes, which are reminiscent of those of FLCL, are above average, being fluid and boldly-colored, but a little hard to follow at times.
What ultimately defines this anime, though, like all animes, is its plot. And what a crazy one this show has. The one constant throughout is that lots of stuff happens, usually involving drills and then, soon after, deadly explosions. The conflicts are also always of a “us versus them" feel, with a clear-cut enemy and an obvious hero. No moral dilemmas to be found here. But despite this uncreative and lowest-common-denominator story structure, the first half of the series, which also uses a cliché setup with an evil boss and his gang of mini-boss henchmen, flows decently, with occasional feel-good moments whenever the protagonist screams his guts out before utterly obliterating his enemies.
The second half, however, drags heavily at first. It has the feel of the beginnings of most sequel seasons of shows, where some random, overly-emotional, internal conflict bogs down the main characters. It then ratchets the stakes way up into a fight for the universe, where the entire story becomes overly complicated, dubious and, then, eventually, entirely irrelevant. There are still, however, some fairly inspiring moments of determination from the protagonist, and a happy, albeit predictable, ending.
Animes that really make you think and feel are exceptionally rare, and so, TTGL, with it superficial enjoyments and linear storyline, is a total failure. But don’t expect this series to dwell on you after it ends, because just like the crowd-pleasing elements it relies on, this series is not the product of an inspired artistic vision, but a focused corporate project.
Posted by : bryanng
Posted on : 2009-03-07
I was quite wary to watch this anime initially because I thought the concept was outrageous, some of the art looked ridiculous and the robots design were probably one of the worst I had ever seen; but at the same time, I also wanted to know what was all the hype of this anime about, why is it so well received, and so I took a chance.
The interesting about this anime is that the events in it actually spans through years, and the velocity of the events happening in the anime is of such a large scale that it would just leave you awed for most of the part. Probably, this is the most well written script I have ever seen in an anime. Although the concept may seem awkward and absurd at the beginning, they will grow on you leaving you wanting for more. Besides all the fighting, war, do the impossible, and over-the-top coolness portrayed, there are also elements of comedy, and a slice of very sorrowful but lovely romance.
Some of the characters have very weird designs and some of them are just plain lovely or cool but they are really original characters. They are loveable and sure as hell memorable not because they look weird, or hot, but because of their personality and personal growth they experience through out the series. There is some growth for almost all of the characters and they do in fact change for the better. I think it is wonderful that they managed to imbune such character and growth into each character which really gets them stuck onto your head. In terms of the robots however, the concept may seem preposterous initially, but it is how they fight, and who pilots them that makes them shine. They are not just war machines, they are a symbol.
Although the art may be very stylized and bizarre, animation (which is from GAINAX) is fantastic. The flow, the intensity, the variation, the detail, are all amazing and seemingly impeccable. It is probably one of the best in an action anime. There is just so much to see in a scene it will leave you overwhelmed and impressed for most of the time. The animation even gets better as it advances through the episodes. I recommend getting the HD version of the original anime to view it in it's full glory.
Music wise, the opening song is just awesome and brings out the theme and mood for the anime pretty well. I love the opening song. Throughout the anime, there are also some well placed insert songs which spices up the mood. Most of the BGMs' were quite nice and suitable which created the appropriate atmospheres. I didn't like the ending songs at all though.
Seriously, go and watch it already!!!
Posted by : kannagisai
Posted on : 2009-01-27
I love Gainax. They absolutely never fail to deliver. They just continue to do what they do and basically ignore all the current trends in the industry. Hell, they’ve practically set most of the trends themselves. It’s nice to see a company who correctly identifies its fan-base and makes sure to give them what they want every single time.
Alright, let’s run down the compulsory list of any standard (modern) Gainax production and see if all the components are in place.
1. Outlandish story that somehow ends up very serious….. Check.
2. Crazy/Frantic animation style….. Check.
3. Fan-Service….. Check.
4. Ridiculous Characters….. Check.
5. Reluctant Boy/Hero protagonist with initial self-doubt, possessing the potential to be stupidly powerful….. Check.
O.K. Everything’s in place, now, on to the story. Where do I begin with this one? There are so many amazing moments and nearly each episode is well-done and necessary – very little filler. The story has a surprising amount of depth, and the pace at which you are given the answers to the many mysteries is extremely well-executed. I love the fact that they didn’t wait until the last few episodes to spring the entire heart of the plot on the viewer as is so common these days. It’s just not entertaining to have to trudge through countless episodes which have nothing to offer so you can finally get to the bottom of it all. Good job Gainax for sparing us from the norm! Taking a look at the animation we see that it is pretty standard Gainax stuff -- that is to say, not outstanding by any means. Anyone familiar with FLCL, Mahormatic, or The Melody of Oblivion will instantly recognize the similarities and style which has become the trademark of Gainax. The highlight of this series, in my opinion of course, is the creation of perhaps the ABSOLUTELY BEST male lead (not quite) in the history of anime. Kamina is Simon’s friend and mentor and the driving force behind the entire show. He lasts for only about one-third of the series but his impact on all who knew him (and the entire race in this case) is unsurpassed. His drive, rebellious attitude, and general lack of common sense in light of completely hopeless and overwhelming situations are amazing. He’s brilliant. The rest of the cast are good fun as well. Simon, the main character, is not a total wimp and is very likeable throughout the story as are all the folks who join the group as the series progresses. I’m sure most people who watch this will have a different favorite character. That’s pretty rare these days.
I can really go on, chapter and verse, about this show. It’s hard not to ramble endlessly about how good it is. If you are a Gainax fan, comedy fan, drama fan, well, pretty much a fan of any genre you will like this series. Support the industry and buy this. You won’t regret the purchase and will definitely watch it many times over.
Posted by : Scamp
Posted on : 2009-01-12
For many, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann was a glorious return to the good old days of mecha where men were real men, women were real women and small furry creatures who could inexplicably pilot a giant robot despite the fact they had no arms were real small furry creatures who could inexplicably pilot a giant robot despite the fact they had no arms. For me however, TTGL was my first mecha anime so I had a slightly different view of the series. And, despite being a bit silly, it passed with flying colours and quickly became one of my favorite anime.
What TTGL really is is a 300 episode series compressed into a 26 episode bananza. Surprisingly this does have some drawbacks. The very minor characters are so ridiculously inconsequential that their use in the show is pretty much negligible (woah Scamp, too many big words). But mainly this hyper-compression leads to positive results. If one episode makes your jaw drop, you can almost be guaranteed that the next episode will lower your jaw even further. Every episode pushes this show deeper and larger. Robots get bigger, villains get stronger and explosions get louder. Every episode the epic scale gets cranked up a few notches, actually almost too much so. By the time the last few episodes came along I my body couldn’t take any more epicness so the last few went by in a bit of a blur.
The main cast are just superb. You will not find a more inspirational character than Kamina and Simon’s growth is probably the highlight of the entire series. The side characters a great bunch too. You are destined to hate Rossiu, fawn over Nia and praise the undying coolness of Viral. Yet even though you can pigeon-hole every character, they are also a surprisingly complex bunch, Viral in particular was great to watch, although Kamina steals the spotlight whenever he’s on stage.
But TTGL is very silly. Everything is as over-the-top as you can imagine. Gamnen avoid logical physics like the plague and robots run on a rather bizarre form of energy known as ’spirit’ or ‘manliness’. If you try to take this show seriously you will not enjoy it properly. It’s not designed to be taken seriously, so don’t.
TTGL is fun. Huge fun. Everything about it, from Kaminas inspirational speeches to the fantastic soundtrack (ROW ROW FIGHT TEH POWAH), everything is made so you can leap out of your chair and roar the Gurren Brigade forward, punching drilling above their weight. It may all be a bit silly but by god is it a fun ride.
Posted by : ErwinRommel
Posted on : 2008-11-10
There is an American proverb that fits this show: DRILL BABY DRILL!! Galaxies can shatter like glass and be thrown like ninja stars. We have a chicken for an air force general and a scorpion as a navy admiral. Our protagonist dresses like he got out of an eighties glam rock concert. With all these ridiculous characters, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann somehow made it work. Its highly addictive and over-the-top action makes this unrestrained anime very entertaining. Just make sure to check your logical mind at the door before you watch this anime. This show is mind-numbingly absurd.
The best part of this show is that it took everything that made Dragonball Z such a classic and raised it by having a power level that can warp space and time. The story is excruciatingly simple, yet this simplicity breeds some amusingly dumb moments. For instance, in one episode the giant mecha is not equipped to cross the sea. What is the solution to this dilemma? Build a giant oar and give flippers to the machine...reminds me of that riddle about putting elephants into the fridge. If our protagonist Simon can't figure out how to beat an enemy, then the solution is always to find some large ship and stick his drill in it (Yes, the story has many sexual innuendos). Now this power level reading relative to the size of ship Simon makes love to next is already not a standard fare in action anime but what I found more interesting in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is the jump in time after episode 8. I enjoy seeing the show willing to experiment with the cast of characters. The shounen action genre is finally willing to turn a mild and meek hero into a total jerk.
It's a real shame that the anime didn't attempt to push the envelope further by changing a majority of the characters instead of just three. Rossiu becomes a scheming politician and the way he solidified his power is quite ingenious for a shounen anime. Kinon is another I found to be a wonder. I have never seen a girl willing to become a suicide bomber for her love so realistically portrayed. The third is Simon himself. Although I've seen better in other genres but within the shounen action anime genre his change from a meek boy to a cosmic hero is quite impressive. A rule of thumb for Simon is that the more outlandish his clothing is, the more heroic he becomes.
From an unhealthy attachment to drills to a group of characters that the word eccentric is an understatement for, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann managed to be a wonderful anime. It doesn't take itself seriously and the characters get the freedom in choosing dumb solutions that result in unpredictable and very funny situations.
Highly recommended, 9/10
Posted by : solidsnakex
Posted on : 2008-08-07
To start off with this anime, it actually bored me to a certain extent with the 1st episode (no offense to any TTGL fans) that I actually dropped it and waited half a year or more when I really had nothing nice to watch to pick it up again, after some recommendations from peers and reviews. Well I guess I should have regret my decision earlier. This anime is bombastic as it continues right to the end.
Well the plot is your very typical shounen type, with action, mechas, hot babes and more action. It kinda reminds me of Dragonball as it progresses.
The characters have their own unique designs just like One Piece, so it may actually turned people off when watching the 1st episode just like One Piece did for me, but fret not, because the hot bods of their ladies are worth it. However, their character development is great in this short 26 episodes, as certain events occur and they influence how some of their characters mature later. Animation is moderate for me but gets better as the anime continues. Not exactly the best mechas designs I've seen as compared to Gundam 00 and Eva, the actions are kinda massive and exaggerating but still looks cool to me.
Well I gotta say they have quite some hip-hop music, that really makes you go chanting "Row Row fight the power!!"(I hope I got it right) after watching. The opening themes are nice especially 'happily ever after'. Not forgetting the seiyuus as they really did a great job in this anime, bringing the characters and their emotions out real well.
Go watch it if you have not!! Don't repeat my mistake, it's a great and worthwhile anime that makes you crave for more!! I'm not giving a full score due to the 1st episode spoiling the fun for me.
Posted by : DaLoneWolf
Posted on : 2008-07-18
This show was interesting and didn't bore me, but it didn't WOW me either... Reading all these reviews that say how great this anime was, I was kind of expecting more out of it.
Plot - 8/10
It's basically a Good Guys vs. Bad Guys theme, although the bad guys don't really seem all that awful b/c they have their own reasons for fighting.
Characters - 8/10
I really disliked Simon and Kamina, and when I say really dislike, I mean I hated them. Simon was basically the weak kid turned buff. Kamina was the loud, obnoxious guy. The only characters I actually liked were Yoko, Viral, and Nia. It really pissed me off when during the last section of this anime Yoko turned from a main character into a side character.
Animation - 7/10
The animation style seriously looks like a grade schoolers work. Well maybe its not that bad but I prefer the more definite animation. However I liked the use of colors in this. It was really colorful and vibrant which added to the somewhat light atmosphere of this anime.
Music - 7/10
I liked the OP but hated all the EDs. The OP wouldn't make it into one of my favorite songs, but it was catchy and suited this anime.
Overall - 8/10
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann was enjoyable and I don't think of it as a waste of time, however I don't think I would be willing to watch it a second time. Unlike all the other people who thought of this as a masterpiece, I just couldn't really get into it at a deep personal level. If someone asked me for recommendations on anime, I would probably mention this but only if I couldn't think of anything else.
Posted by : kalrah
Posted on : 2008-07-15
I hadn't watched animes in a while, and wow! This was a great way to start again. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is, in a word, AWESOME. At a glance, it's filled with cliched elements like: hot girls who can kick butt, cool, transforming mechas, courageous and unstoppable protagonists, some cute pets, and predictable winners in crucial battles. But, it still has nice twists, which makes it very entertaining and unpredictable.
Best part is though, how everything comes together so perfectly. It's filled with great music that keeps the energy going, charismatic characters, and excellent animation. Add to all this a great plot and you have a winner! I was really impressed by how much story they could tell with only 27 episodes (2 of them were even recaps!).
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it's because of animes like Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann you started watching animes in the first place. Don't miss it!
Posted by : EndlessWaltz24
Posted on : 2008-07-09
Ok, so, before we start, I'll say this. I am a huge fan of mecha, and in addition, even though it's extremely cheesy sometimes, I am a total fan of the "believe in yourself" motto in various animes that dates back... like waaay back. Therefore, please note that if either of these qualities are huge turnoffs for you in an anime, you should dramatically lower your expectations because I just gave you the genre and the theme of this show. Anyways, onto the review.
As I mentioned above, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is a mecha anime with "confidence leads to unimaginable strength" as its theme. Now this may sound ridiculous to new fans of anime, especially the new mecha fans. However, this was how anime was done back in the day (like 70s-early 00s). Archaic? Maybe, but the reason why there is success here is because of the fact that anime has not been using this theme in a long time. In short, old is new. Because of this fact, even though it's not necessarily "new" per se, this is the driving force behind the story of this show. Objectively speaking, the viewer should take caution with the first 3 episodes of this show because the story will, at first, seem to be nonexistent. However, the story picks up to a very strong, yet short, linear pace that can only be done in a 26 episode series, thus helping in making the anime great to watch.
Truthfully, the character development is all over the place. It would've been great to see a lot more development of the characters, but as you continue to watch the series, you'll notice that there are just so many characters that to do decent character development for everyone is literally impossible and inconceivable in a 26 episode series. However, the producers do well with what they have, and they do do some great development with some main and some supporting characters.
Now, here's a big kicker to the show. If the story and the character development wasn't good enough, the aspects that really help pick up any remaining slack and push this anime from "great" to "outstanding" are the music and animation. The music... ahh, I love the music. Except for the 1st ending song, the music here helps feed you into the pumped up vibe that the show builds. The music is well-done to help give each episode its own unique feel as the characters face new obstacles. Meanwhile, the animation in this show is done in a way to always emphasize the essentials and to bring out the proper feelings that the viewer should feel as they watch the show.
So here's the breakup: Story (8/10), Characters (8/10), Music (10/10), Animation (10/10) --> Overall (9.7/10)
Final comments: Remember, be prepared to get sucked into the pumped up feeling, and go along with it because it will make the show even more fun. "WHO DO YOU THINK I AM?!!"
Posted by : Obliviator
Posted on : 2008-06-12
Tengen Toppa is a mecha adventure anime. The beginning starts off a bit boring, but once you get past the beginning you can get hooked almost instantly and you’ll start watching episode after episode. Some people may think that this is a childish anime; yes, it does start off that way. Like I said, the beginning is boring, but throughout the anime it starts to get more serious and more action starts to pop up.
My favorite is Kamina; he is the funniest one there and he never backs down. He is always encouraging his teammates. There’s nothing wrong with the other characters. They're all funny andsometimes deep, aside from Leeron, whose moments are just annoying. Simon is the main character. At first he is a chicken and is always looking up to Kamina. Later in the anime, he finds the courage and power in himself and learns to fight for himself.
The music managed to draw my attention, especially the OP. I've only watched the ED once, so I don't even remember the tune. The background music is amazing. It may be the same as the OP, but the timing is brilliant as it truly complements the fights.
The animation isn’t bad. The ganmen seem like a childish creation, but they look cool in some sort of way. There is some detail, but the animation is best when the ganmen are using a move. It's the only brilliant thing about the animation, but I don't care that much for animation.
Overall, this is a brilliant anime. I recommend it because it has great music, a brilliant range of characters, and animation that’s somewhere in the middle. If you enjoy mecha-based anime, then this is the anime for you.
Posted by : Objectivist
Posted on : 2008-05-29
Sorry, but for this show, I'll have to be a bit biased on MY review. Not to say that the more tangible elements of the series weren't excellent, which they were anyways. This story is about the message that everyone needs to hear: "absolve you to yourself", "believe in yourself", "if something is standing in the way of the path you walk, destroy it and move forward with the same resolve until the day you die". Did anyone ever watch FLCL (Fooly Cooly, Furi Kuri)? Oh yeah? Did you understand the statements being made through the show though...? Well this show, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, basically spells out one of those main points you may have missed in layman's terms, if you will.
The only thing this show was lacking in was character development, which, I personally, see to be insignificant. The over-the-top action sequences, the melodrama, the mechas being WAY too user-friendly. All of these things are drowned out by the extraordinary way this show can touch the viewers mind and heart. And when I say "melodrama", I somewhat don't really view this negatively. Some of the scenes HAD to be overly dramatic for the point of the dialogue to be accurately conveyed.
The producers, writers, directors, and all the staff behind TTGL accomplished exactly what they set out to do with this show. They spread the message of non-conformity by any means necessary. For those of you who don't know what the he** I'm talking about,... WAKE THE F**K UP!!!! This was not just a show, this was a statement!
This show is a 10!
Posted by : Molenir
Posted on : 2008-05-29
I've been meaning to write a review of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann for quite awhile now. I originally watched the first episode of this show, and immediately dropped it. I couldn't stand Kamina and characters of that type. I've never seen an ultra-shounen type show that after more then a few episodes, was worth watching, and this show definitely fit the stereo-type.
Several months later, I noticed that Anime-Source was getting a lot of extremely positive reviews for this show, and surprisingly, it kept being mentioned in a lot of places, as one of the best of the year. After reading quite a few of these reviews, I decided to go ahead and give this one another chance. Maybe my first impression was wrong, and this was worth watching. Though I didn't really hold out a lot of hope for it.
After sitting through the first episode again, I was resolved to watch more, and found myself shocked that by the end of the second episode, I was intrigued, by the end of the 4th, I was hooked. The show just kept building, and getting better. Until the climax in episode 16 or so. But wait, there are 27 episodes. Heh, surprisingly, the climax was merely the intro to the rest of the show. As others before me have said, this was simply one of the best mecha shows I've seen, and definitely the best shounen type show ever.
It did have its weaknesses, as others have also pointed out. Apart from the 3 main characters; Simon, Kamina, and Yoko there was minimal character development. Others commented on how fantastic the fights and animation were. While I enjoyed them, and while I found them to be well done, I didn't think they were the best I've ever seen. But then when you're dealing with universes exploding the artwork likely can't live up to expectations.
The music was outstanding, as were the character designs. And of course, while the mechas were silly in their designs and lack of physics, it simply didn't matter. The surprising depth of the story, and the sheer fun involved simply overwhelmed the problems.
Overall I strongly recommend this show. While its not perfect, its simply too good to miss. This is one show I definitely plan to add to my DVD collection.
Posted by : Gen3s1s
Posted on : 2008-05-25
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, to put it simply, is amazing. Every element in the show is done perfectly. However, there is one thing missing. Others can consider this missing element a redundant factor but, I think if they had put more focus on this area the anime would have been perfect. Aside from the one bad point everyone can pretty much agree that the other areas are perfectly done with almost incredible precision. Now this is the first mecha anime I've seen, so I don't know if pulling out special skills, from out of nowhere, with absolutely no practice is considered normal. Like I said this is the first mecha anime I've seen so therefore I can't place any opinions on this, I will however, say that it did make things run a little smoother and a lot quicker.
The animation is brilliant sure it may seem that it's just up to date, however when a battle begins such amazing effects are put to use. I love how the animation can change when I big move is activated. It turns into a sort of really roughed out animation, and it makes a big impact a big enough impact to make you say "oh my god... THAT WAS AWESOME"!
The characters are amazing different personality’s different mannerisms. Character development is the one missing element I mentioned earlier. It's unfortunate that it’s really only done with one character. That character would be Simon and it's done incredibly well with him, I loved watching him grow into someone strong and amazing. OK so the character development is there, and it’s done well, so it's not exactly missing. I just think if it's done so well with Simon I assume that it would be done incredibly well with all the others.
The music, well I loved the OP, the ED however didn't have any effect on me. It could be because it's never played during the anime or maybe it's just not my type. Well whatever the reason I don't consider it a major fault. The background music is done incredibly well. No matter how many times it’s repeated you can never get sick of it. I especially love how well timed out everything is, especially when they use the OP for those big dramatic moments.
The story well it's something pretty common at first. Sort of like a big rebellion. No matter how lame and disappointing that may sound, it's something that can be considered epic. It's a little short but it's amazing what was done within the short time, there are some major surprises with this one, most of them are just incredibly sad.
All in all, this anime makes me want to see more mecha based anime. I'd recommend this to anyone.... and I mean anyone.
Posted by : Lightningcount12
Posted on : 2008-03-19
Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann is widely regarded as one of the best anime of 2007, and one of the past mecha this decade. I will have to disagree.
Story (6/10): The story is basically about humans being forced underground, with the characters in this story struggling to break through the top using their big-headed mecha called a Ganmen. The story is actually not bad when it comes to the second half. But in order to get to the latter part viewers must struggle to get through the beginning. The anime starts out as very bland and uninteresting. It is essentially a monster-of-the-week that gets defeated with a super attack the heroes just pull out. The enemies are also very ridiculous and not threatening, outside of Viral and Lord Genome. The first half was very predictable and lacked serious conflict. Its obvious how all the battles were going to turn out, except for the big showdown against Lord Genome. The first half was also packed with a lot of filler and useless fanservice scenes. The second half is much better. I won't go into too much detail but it involves much more difficult battles and personal conflicts between characters. The theme of humans doing whatever is necessary to survive, and the different methods used for survival makes the second half a much better watch. I also like the ending. However, with an average beginning and good, but not great, second half I cannot bring myself to call this ending "epic." TTGL has a good plotline, but nothing new.
Characters (8/10): The characters in this show are actually pretty good, but they lack the greatness I heard about. Sure Kamina is fun to watch, but sometimes he came off as a jerk. Greatness should not be measured in how boisterous you are, though he does present good ideas and motivation for the other characters. Lord Genome actually made a really good villain, and the fight against him is the best in the series. The development of Simon, and to lesser extents Rossiu and Kittan, keeps things interesting. Those characters are well used and help make a mediocre story good. It also helps to have several great personalities in the supporting cast, like Viral and Kiyal, among others. I liked the characters, and it was definitely character development that drove this storyline. Personally, however, I don't find any of them to be great landmark characters.
Art/Animation (5.5/10): Here is where everyone praises TTGL. Personally, I don't like this style or this mecha design. First off, the huge-headed mecha are not all that unique. I found them to be ridiculous and over the top (yeah I know, that is probably the point, but that doesn't mean its good). The artistic style used just seemed sometimes crude, and sometimes plain. I didn't like the character designs that much, though I have to give credit to their matching each characters personality. The anti-spirals were pretty cool and the fights throughout the series are drawn-out well. Not too much stock-footage is used, so that is a plus. I can see why many like this animation style, but if you don't like the look from the start you probably will not grow to appreciate it.
Music (8/10): Both OPs are alright, as with the first ed. The second ed (not counting the one at the end of episode 16, the clip show episode) is very good. The tunes within the show are pretty good and lend to the exciting and serious moments. Sound editing seems to have been done well.
Entertainment (7/10): Even though I eventually got into this anime, and it only continued to improve, I cannot forgive its bad start. Honestly, I watched the first episode and decided not to continue because I could find better shows. It was only after many great review that I picked it up again, watched a few more episodes, then dropped it again. Third time was a charm, as I found some free time and managed to get to the point where the story started reeling me in. But if you need good reviews to get viewers to give your show a second or third chance, it means that show is not that entertaining. Simply put, TTGL tries to be groundbreaking in the anime world, but it ends up feeling like a very good Saturday morning cartoon. To its credit though, not many other shows have built such a devoted and outspoken fanbase. It generated enough excitement for many to call it epic, and for many who disagreed about it being epic to at least watch the whole show and like it.
Overall, TTGL is a good product that I would recommend if you have some free time and you want to watch boundless action. Watch it to see what all the buzz is about, but don't expect "epic" coming in. Final score (6.9/10)
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