‘Gurren Lagann’ is set on an earth where humans live underground where the surface is a myth to many. The young boy, Simon, is a digger committed to his drilling after his parents were killed in a rock fall. He works mindlessly in his grief, expanding his subterranean village, thought of as an oddball by the others–except by the older boy, Kamina, who sweeps him up with his quest for the surface to follow in his father’s footsteps on the land above. When Simon finds a mechsuit gunman in the rock shaped like a head–Gurren–Simon and Kamina find the key to escaping their underground life. However, the surface is not what they expected, and they find themselves amidst oppressed humans resisting constant attacks from beastmen in their gunmen…
Many ‘Gurren Lagann’ episodes are formulaic, the artwork is the most caricature anime I’ve come across yet, and it can all be a bit silly… So why is it so awesome?!
Well, I’ll tell you why: it’s the relationship between Simon and his blood brother Kamina that makes this show. Kamina is mouthy, idealistic, egotistical and a raving optomist, whereas Simon is quiet, timid, thoughtful and uncertain of himself. Kamina builds Simon up, and Simon is devoted to Kamina. Their love and devotion to each other and their cause has so much heart episodes are uplifting and full of feels.
It’s not just these two though, there’s a host of allies and friends they make as they set themselves the task of liberating the Earth from the beastmen of the spiral king. Even a pigmole called Boota, which is just too cute. Kamina soon finds his own gunman–Lagann–and Gurren combines with it to become the titular ‘Gurren Lagann’, and with their friends, they are team Gurren Lagann. Kamina might be an egotist and the leader, but he believes in everyone else too–especially his little bro Simon.
Silly and funny, where the goodness of humans ensures that victory over the evil beastmen will always be pulled out of a hat–just because of fighting spirit–this show could easily be laughably shallow and predictable, but there is a shocking loss early on, a loss that is felt through the remainder of the series, which proves that ‘Gurren Lagann’ is going to be far from predictable. It could be easy to misjudge this show from its first couple of episodes, but the heart through Kamina and Simon’s relationship and the positive never say never attitude of these characters might just get under your skin and into your feels as it did with me. I would give this 5 pigmoles out of 5. Check it out. Unless your inner child is dead inside you.