The final set of dubbed Gurren Lagann episodes closes out the
the last nine episodes. Though sometimes
anime programs have a hard time wrapping things up, that wasn't the
this show. It concludes just as strong
as it started, making this one of the better releases of the year. Still filled with a lot of humor and some
kick-ass mecha action this is one of the most enjoyable anime series to
around in a while.
Series Background (warning: contains spoilers from sets one and two):
Simon is a driller.
He lives in a subterranean cavern and his job is to drill new tunnels
the living area of his clan. He's quite good at making new
of the fastest drillers the tribe has, and one day he discovers a
spiral shaped object buried deep below the surface as well as a metal
size of a man. Simon's friend, Kamina, names the face Lagann and
huge Gunman (mecha unit) crashes into Simon's cavern, it's Kamina who
that Lagann is a Gunman too and that the strange drill shaped object is
Practically forcing Simon into Lagann, Kamina and a boisterous red-head
Yoko who followed the Gunman from the surface, manage to defeat the
monster. Discovering that there is a surface world, Kamina and
leave their village to explore the great outdoors. Yoko fills
quickly about the realities of life on the outside: The Gunman
piloted by Beastmen, animal-like creatures that want to exterminate all
which is why most of the population has disappeared underground.
above ground village every day. Kamina, filled with energy and a
ridiculous fighting spirit, manages to capture a Gunman during the next
which he labels Gurren. With two mecha on their side, the trio
discovers where the Beastmen base is supposed to be located and take
off to put
an end to the attacks once and for all.
Along the way they start
to gather recruits. When other humans hear that Kamina fights in
captured Gunman, others start to take the Beastmen's weapons.
is a small army tagging along. Eventually they get to the
headquarters, fight their king, and gain the human race's freedom.
With his dying breath
however, the Beastman King reveals that there was a reason behind his
persecution of the humans. It turns out
that humans have 'spiral power' and if the population of mankind ever
million, the anti-spiral race will come to destroy them.
That's exactly what happens seven years after
the victory, and the anti-spirals aren't fooling around.
Things looked bad for
humanity at the end of the last set, and the situation grows worse as
volume opens. After the humans have
(barely) beaten back the first anti-spiral attack, the aggressors
decide to get
serious and send the moon on a path that will have it crashing into the
in a matter of weeks.
The Earth government, run
by members of Team Gurren, tries to get as many people underground as
while outfitting a huge space ship for the rest of the population. Things are looking bad for Simon too. The populace has turned against him since he
defeated the anti-spirals, blaming him for the imminent moon crash. He's arrested, tried, and actually
Like the previous
volumes, this show moves at a fast pace and covers a lot of ground
As where some shows would take seasons to get to the enemy capital, Gurren
Lagann does it in a little over a dozen episodes. Things
this program too; main characters die, enemies that seem destined to
group forever are dispatched and Team Dai-Gurren achieves the goals
out to achieve. That's really great. After watching
that are enjoyable but where nothing much happens to advance the plot,
nice to see a show that speeds along at a good clip.
Another great aspect of this show is that it's laugh-out-loud
There aren't too man mecha shows that play up the laughs but Gurren
one of them and it works wonderfully. The show is outrageous and
the top that it's impossible not to laugh. The main comic
Kamina who gung-ho to the point of being absurd. He doesn't let
reality) enter into his plans, his fighting spirit will show him the
way, or so
he hopes. Typical of his thinking is the advice he gives to Simon
the driller hesitates to pilot Lagann: "Reject common sense to
the impossible possible! ... Listen Simon, don't believe in
Believe in ME! Believe in the Kamina who believes in you!"
This final pair of discs
is a little more serious, though there're still some light moments. The battles have higher stakes now, and
things don't always turn out like you'd expect, especially in the last
mega-battle at the end. Even with this
more sober set of shows the program is still exciting and action-filled.
This two disc LE
set containing episodes 19-27 comes with the first volume of
the manga and a two-disc soundtrack CD.
These are nice bonus items and I wish more companies would
manga volume. It's a great way to get
more people reading the original version.
Unlike the earlier release, this disc comes with an English dub in 5.1
addition to the original Japanese stereo mix. I have to admit
English dub is very good and I enjoyed listening to it. The voice
do a great job and the 5.1 mix really makes the show come alive during
battle sequences. The Japanese track was also very good, but it
have the sonic impact of the full surround mix.
The show is presented with a 1.78:1 anamorphic image that looks fairly
especially the above ground scenes. These are bright and colorful
have a nice range of tones. Underground the show isn't as
appealing, mainly due to the drab colors. There is a bit of noise
image and some minor aliasing, but these never becomes distracting.
There are a few nice extras included with this set.
The first disc has a 15 minute reel of 3D
tests (with text comments) of some of the CGI mecha; a clean opening
closing, and some Bandai previews. Disc
two has an 8-minute interview with the singer of the opening song,
clean opening and closing for the third versions, three more previews.
This show wrapped up just as strong as it started.
Though these shows were a little more sober
than the beginning episodes the program is still a lot of fun. Entertaining, action-filled and with some
unexpected twists, Gurren Laggan is a 'must-buy.' Highly