ROW, ROW, FIGHT THE POWAH!!! Gurren Lagann complete simulwatch

Ian Wolf

Symphogear
AUKN Staff
Episode 18

This episode is certianly one of the more dark, dramatic, moody ones. What happens to Nia is certainly part of it, but Rossiu's conversations with the head of Lordgenome also contribute to this sense of foreboding. The scene where armed soldiers starts to advance on a crowd before Rossiu orders them back is also one of the more telling moments.
 

Lordhippos

Adventurer
Episode 18

The pace of the show at this point is really good, we see quite a bit in this episode.

The council trying to deal with the complaints, the return of the Spiral King in head form, Nia finally levelling the situation with Simon (and subsequently broadcasting the fact the moon is having a meeting with the earth in 3 weeks time to everyone), the attack from double the number of enemies we had before, and finally culminating in Rossiu deciding to make Simon the scapegoat and activate his coup.

My episode 18 post that picks up on Rossiu vs. Simon in terms of the story is coming later, but for my own part, generally speaking I really do see as well where Rossiu's coming from.

I think Rossiu is meant to be the voice of reason amongst viewers, he's kind of saying what we are thinking. the rest of the crew are more about just trying their best and hoping for the best without worrying about the small details.

I don't completely disagree with Rossiu but I do find his approach a little too calculating, he rubs everyone up the wrong way trying to do what he's doing, but I also think he believes his judgement is the correct one.
 

Neil.T

Claymore
Episode 18

Just some quick observations from me today to make amends for that behemoth of an episode 17 post yesterday. 😅

So, our faceless new enemies have been given a name: Mugann. Just as the gan in Gunmen (or Ganmen) meant "face", so it does here, too. The prefix mu in Japanese is equivalent to negatives like "un-" in English, so mugan basically means "without a face". It's perfect.

The other thing that came to me was while watching the scenes of the Muganns exploding into colourful fragments when beaten. It couldn't help but bring to mind the barmy-as-a-box-of-anime-cliché-bananas PlayStation 3 game Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day. The enemies in that explode into colourful random shapes that can in turn take out other enemies to make chain reactions. The first example of it is at 7m32s in this video:

But by the end of this episode, it becomes clear in hindsight that it was possibly a mistake to leave Rossiu to his own devices within the administration, and surely a mistake for Simon to have trusted him. Now humanity's chief liberator has found himself scapegoated and arrested as a war criminal.

How quickly he went from hero to zero in the eyes of the fickle public.


Note: I wrote all of the above before reading @Lordhippos' previous post. How coincidental that we both chose the term "scapegoat" to describe Simon's current position.
 

Dai

Great Teacher
Episode 18
We're heavily in exposition mode this episode. Lots of people looking worried while they get talked at.

It's always annoyed me that the reason Nia is the one who becomes the anti-spiral messenger is just... coincidence. Sure, they hang a lantern on what a coincidence it is, but it still feels like one of the lazier bits of writing in the show.
 

HWR

CCG’s Reaper
AUKN Staff
Episode 18
A turning point for poor Simon as he has to deal with losing the one he loves and becoming a scapegoat (good use of terminology there) for Rossiu’s scheming. I’d almost forgotten that Lordgenome makes a return here.
 

João Gomes

Great Teacher
Ok, so maybe I was bit tired to watch the ep yesterday...

Watched the episodes before jumping into danganronpa, otherwise I'm pretty sure I would've postponed again. Don't play Danganronpa!

Anyway.

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Ah yes, that exquisite new OP smell... New animation, new lyrics, the promise of inter-galactic warfare... Literally. Smells like freshly unwrapped anime special edition booklets.

Episode 17 in which we understand this show clearly has something against Simon

Not really, I suppose but the result of the fight is unfairly disproportionate to the action he took. I know, the story needs to go to the places it has to go, but all that destruction being on his hands exclusively and Nia being used as the mouthpiece for the computer aliens is unnecessarily cruel for a character like Simon, I feel. Nia too, just, damn. Rubs me the wrong way.

Anyway, everything has been said, really. It's interesting to see a urban setting in Lagann. Rossiu is justified in his stick-up-his-assness (I guess the priest's kinder side didn't rub off on him as strong), it kinda reminds me when I'm supposed to make plans with my mates and everyone is extremely relaxed and leaves everything for the last minute and it all goes to s.hit. Imagine that running a city 🤷‍♂️

I kinda felt the urge to slap the guys sitting at the table, they clearly don't give a damn about how things are dealt with lol. Give your place to someone who does and take an honorary position or something.

I would understand 100% if there weren't clearly some parallel power plays going on; as is, Rossiu is a little c.unt, even though he does what is necessary, for the moment.

Oh wow, I guess this really annoys me. It's just anime jesus, calm down, me.

Love the new music additions. The new enemy track is appropriately otherwordly and creepy. Love it.

Favorite shots were Simon looking at the city from his office in the nighttime and the looming moon over Nia. Beautiful!

Strong Getter Robo vibes from our man Viral! Liked that a lot.

Episode 18

Ah man, all that building porn at the beginning of the episode is giving me mass nostalgia for The Big O. I wish AL would get on with that particular release.

Exposition it may be, I still love that in a few seconds we got the lore of the world exponentially expanded upon by the talking head. The 80s style illustrations were a great touch, communicating the idea that a lot of stuff happened a long time ago connected to the present problem.

The melancholic rendition of the main theme and Nia not being herself break the anime-sensitive part of my heart.

I love that Simon is relentless even under his miserable circumstances, damn 🔥 🔥 🔥

@Neil.T sono kotoba kaeshite morau ze (oh look did that embarrassing thing where I try to say something in anime-japanese but it can't even be classified as such because I'm just repeating something I've heard in a series. hilarious 🤦)

Back at you dude, your posts always have cool insight and it makes things more fun!

And in your defense, no one has a drill the size of that lol, not even Kamina! Thanks for setting my expectations about Back Arrow, that does help.

And now I'm getting advance hype for the movies, I've never really watched them, didn't even take a peek at the first... Only the final part of the second because I'd heard new animation was added to the final fight. If they did the same to the final fight of the first arc, yaaassss. Can't wait! 🔥
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Episode 18 - Don't you remember?
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Kittan is the government spokesman Kamina City deserves. Everyone is put in impossible situations with the exception of Lordgenome, who gets to experience schadenfreude from beyond the grave from his head in a jar. Poor old Simon. What do you do when the people you fought your whole life to save and protect are calling for your head, your friend who fought by your side turns against you and your possessed girlfriend is threatening to wipe out humanity on live TV? Pull out quote of the episode - "Shame he's not a mecha... THAT, we could fix"

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I remember the first time I saw the moment Rossiu was hit by a protester's stone, and I thought for sure that was where everything was immediately going to go horribly wrong, so props to the writers for not taking the easy way of making Rossiu a villain and having him at least consider the consequences of his actions. I'm not sure I'd class what he does as scapegoating Simon, more that he simply doesn't see what else to do given the circumstances. Let's not forget Simon DID accidentally blow up a decent chunk of city, there, and that Nia is now the poster child for an alien invasion in the public's eye. It's true Rossiu doesn't seem to display much conflict about turning on Simon, but in his own mind I think he is still trying to do what he thinks is best for the nation (but then I note that is the exact justification Richard Nixon used for all his dodgy actions as well).

The Anti-Spirals do have a very Eva's Angels vibe to them, don't they? Appearing to attack humanity seemingly out of nowhere, all unfeeling, unflinching geometric threat.

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About ready for the end of part 1 and the beginning of my favorite half.
Wow, you too, eh? Yeah, I love Gurren Lagann as a whole, but I've long felt like the second arc is my favourite.
Now feels like a good time to come back to these quotes. My take on the two halves of Gurren Lagann is this: The first part is a super robot show (very much in the tradition of things like Mazinger Z) in that the hows and whys don't really matter, it's a straightforward good versus evil conflict in which the mechs make no logical sense and don't need to. The second half has far more of a real robot feel (such as most Gundam) in that real thought is now given to how the world of the show functions, both in terms of explaining spiral power and society, as well as shaking up that black and white conflict to produce a whole lot of grey. I think it's obvious the creative minds behind GL clearly loved both kinds of shows so they made one that was both. And somehow, it managed to work staggeringly well.

I also don't think it's a coincidence that the main characters growing up is a major factor in this change, because not only does that parallel the difference between childhood and adulthood but also the way the mecha genre itself grew up. I notice the first film is even called Childhood's End, also the title of a sci-fi novel by Arthur C. Clarke dealing with the future evolution of humanity which I have my suspicions influenced (either directly or indirectly) both Gundam's Newtypes and Eva's Instrumentality. Speaking of the films...

And now I'm getting advance hype for the movies, I've never really watched them
I have never seen the films or Parallel Works. Very much looking forward to it!

"Yours is the drill that will pierce the downstairs ceiling!!"
Hey, everybody has to start somewhere...
 

João Gomes

Great Teacher
@ayase I have no doubt that Rossiu wants things to go smoothly and for the city to function as it should and its people be safe and protected. I am less sure about the reasons for that, though.

I'm saying this because I don't remember where they go with his character, I remember enough to know he's not detestable, but I don't know if he's just doing what he's doing because he's the only one up there who can (I think episode 17 makes this clear) or because he's following the priest's example of how to run the show or a mix of stuff... We'll see soon enough.

Putting Simon away is very Japanese (not exclusively, of course) in the "take responsibility/sekinin toru" sense but the show kinda puts us on Simon's side, having shown us Rossiu is up to power play shenanigans behind the scenes. The way he didn't redirect criticism of Simon to the real problem was kind of a giveaway, I'd say.

Concerning the show, yes, I agree it can generally be seen as a homage to the giant mecha genre in general, but you did sum it up well. I think at the very end it goes through yet another genre shift, to something even more outlandish (this is definitely a compliment) but I'm not well versed in subgenre nomenclature! It's familiar though, lol.

Hyyyyype for the new movie-level budget fight scenes added to the films 🔥 🔥 🔥

Oh yeah, parallel works too. I always thought they were glorified music videos, so I'm curious to see what it's about!
 
Ep 17
Simon's really not cut out for politics and Rossiu excels at it and dispite his pretty cold demeanour he got plenty of followers, even turning one of the Black Siblings to his side. And, of course, in terms of the population count thing he was dead right. And Simon's action prove the old ways don't work any more.

Ep 18
Dark Nia is born (I just had a deja vu moment about this, but I've lost it.) and Rossiu takes control! Simon has lived long enough to see himself become the villain!
I noticed that there were some beastmen in the crowd, so I guess after Lordgenome died they surrendered and the humans invited them to live with them.
I think that answered most of my queries. @Neil.T you could have just told me answers were coming or that I was right about the Earth (under a spoiler or via DM). Also that I probably should have used the inline spoiler if you felt I was spoiling stuff!
One thing I will point out is that Lordgenome said he was bored for a thousand years or words to that effect, but the crust of the covering they analysed was 4-5 hundred years old. Maybe like I theorised there were previous rebellions and the survivors got put in a fresh pit.

Ep 19
Simon is convicted in a show trial. Kinon is so infatuated with Rossiu that she becomes a human bomb for him. Leron comes up with another genius invention.
 

Ian Wolf

Symphogear
AUKN Staff
Episode 19

For me one of the most interesting aspects of this episode are the increasing similarities to the later Promare. We see here a space arc desgined to protect humans, which in Promare is also key element of the story. With this, Rossiu seems to also have similarities to Kray Foresight. While many people here have been making comments on Rossiu's scheme, he is still overall a good guy, while Kray seems to be much more like an evil version of Rossiu.

Kinon volunteering to have a bomb strapped to her while Simon pilots Gurren Lagann is also a key moment, showing how devoted she is to Rossiu and how much she has developed as a character, particularly when she confronts Kittan.

Another personal highlight: Boota being handcuffed. Even he is considered a threat by Rossiu.
 

Lordhippos

Adventurer
Episode 19

I love how Kiyal has the fang still, even though she is older now by a good 7 years.

Leeron proving once again he belongs on Chris Hansen's To Catch a Predator.

Rossiu once again showing his dictatorial strategy, coup de tat ✅ sham trial ✅ it's the law! ✅

Simon showing more forbearance than I would, jumping to the defense of the very people who would have him killed. It was good to see that some of his old comrades backed him up despite the risk to themselves of being tarred with the same brush.

I don't think Kinon is wearing a bra whilst in that Gurren Lagann fight sequence! 🤣

Rossiu's strategy wasn't a terrible one but he can't save everyone, and where can he run to? He doesn't realise it yet, but it doesn't work to try and flee.
 

Neil.T

Claymore
Episode 19 post coming later. Let's get stuck into these for now...

I'm not sure I'd class what he does as scapegoating Simon
As one of the people who brought it up in the first place, I'd naturally have to disagree with that. One of Rossiu's lines in episode 19 is: "If no-one is held responsible, the populace will never be satisfied. Who do you suppose we hold responsible, if not Supreme Commander Simon?"

By his own admission, Rossiu is actively looking for someone to pin the blame on to quell public disorder. If he's not scapegoating Simon, then he's certainly making him the sacrificial lamb, in my eyes.

For me one of the most interesting aspects of this episode are the increasing similarities to the later Promare.
Definitely so, yeah. I think, like any writer, there are favourite things that Kazuki Nakashima tends towards. Like, there's a big flying battleship with a knife-like bow in Kill la Kill that resembles part of the mobile fortress Dai-Gurren in this series.

But I totally agree: the space arc in Promare couldn't help but immediately remind me of Gurren Lagann.

I have never seen the films or Parallel Works. Very much looking forward to it!
Hyyyyype for the new movie-level budget fight scenes added to the films 🔥 🔥 🔥

Oh yeah, parallel works too. I always thought they were glorified music videos, so I'm curious to see what it's about!
Already being a fan of the films, I'm hugely looking forward to seeing what first-time viewers will make of them.

I can't say that I ever got into Parallel Works as much as I really hoped to, but they're definitely not just glorified music videos: some have stories to them. Some of those are like alternate settings using the familiar characters, and a couple in particular seek to go behind the scenes of the workings of the Gurren Lagann or to fill in possible blanks in the story. It's just a shame that none of the on-screen text has been translated on the Anime Limited/Madman Blu-ray, as it's sometimes used for important things like setting the scene or even providing character dialogue.

Honestly, though, I'm just really looking forward to rewatching all of them with y'all.

Another personal highlight: Boota being handcuffed
Yes! 😆
I didn't even really clock that at the time, but you're right!

Or maybe Rossiu knows something about him that he really shouldn't yet...

I was right about the Earth
I'll come back to this with tomorrow's episode. 😏
 

Neil.T

Claymore
Episode 19

"In their eyes, you are now no different from Lordgenome."


Ouch. That's a low blow. Though not nearly as low as his comment about Kamina. 😬


I'll just offer up another little translation observation for this post, and it relates to the spelling of Lordgenome's name in the Blu-ray subtitles, and why it's Lordgenome rather than Lord Genome.

In the (untranslated) episode end credits, the evil overlord's name is written in katakana phonetics as ロージェノム. This is pronounced Rōjenomu, with the ō being a longer, drawn-out "o" sound, perhaps like the "o" in "roll".

This is done in an attempt to get the words "lord" and "genome" to almost blend together as they do in English. To explain what I mean, it's like how the voiceover at the start of 1990s TV gameshow Blind Date used to go out of his way to pronounce the two Ds separately, clumsily making it sound like "Blindah Date" as heard in the YouTube clip below, rather than the natural way it should come out in everyday speech, like "Bline Date", where the two words kind of blend one into the next.

Going back to Lordgenome, the usual way you would perhaps expect his name to be rendered in Japanese would be ロード・ジェノム. (That bullet point, an interpunct, just delineates the two words.) Because of the way Japanese phonetics work, though, this would add a rogue "o" sound to the end of the first word, and you'd end up with Rōdo Jenomu instead. I guess that Gainax just wanted it to sound more like the English pronunciation, so they deliberately blended the two words together.

For some reason, the translation has retained this blending, leaving us with Lordgenome instead of Lord Genome.

Note, though, that the pronunciation of "genome" in Japanese does not match the English and sounds like "jennom" instead of "jee-gnome". It seems to often happen that foreign words are absorbed into Japanese according to how they're spelled rather than how they're actually pronounced by native speakers. See also as examples the anime titles Eureka Seven, where "Eureka" sounds almost like "errica"; and Higashi no Eden (Eden of the East), where it's "edden" rather than "eeden".
 
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Dai

Great Teacher
Episode 19
It's one thing to make hard decisions after considering all the options, but what makes Rossiu indefensible at this point in the story is the way he immediately snaps to writing people off. His talk of laws rings hollow when he rigs a kangaroo court to offer Simon up to the mob, and he doesn't so much as blink before jumping straight to giving up on a third of the world's population.

Leeron would probably make a better supreme commander if he could stop chasing after young boys (a failing in many supreme commanders).
 

Neil.T

Claymore
he doesn't so much as blink before jumping straight to giving up on a third of the world's population.
Oooh, that's harsh, man. 😯

He blinks and much, much more, I would say; he's sickened by having to make that call. He already looked unwell before that point, but that only made things infinitely worse for him.

Like I suggested in an earlier post, Rossiu plays the percentages, and in the circumstance he'd found himself in, he'd rather lose one-third of the Earth's population than have everybody die.

I wouldn't want his job. But he has nobody but himself to blame for backing himself into that corner in the first place through his own previous decisions.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Episode 19 - We Didn't Start the Fire
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Putting Simon away is very Japanese (not exclusively, of course) in the "take responsibility/sekinin toru" sense but the show kinda puts us on Simon's side, having shown us Rossiu is up to power play shenanigans behind the scenes. The way he didn't redirect criticism of Simon to the real problem was kind of a giveaway, I'd say.
As one of the people who brought it up in the first place, I'd naturally have to disagree with that. One of Rossiu's lines in episode 19 is: "If no-one is held responsible, the populace will never be satisfied. Who do you suppose we hold responsible, if not Supreme Commander Simon?"

By his own admission, Rossiu is actively looking for someone to pin the blame on to quell public disorder. If he's not scapegoating Simon, then he's certainly making him the sacrificial lamb, in my eyes.
Obviously there are some feelings of jealousy there (Rossiu was after all the second pilot of Gurren Lagann in no insignificant number of victories and he's been right the whole seven years he's been living in Simon's shadow, making contingency plans when no-one else took the population threat seriously) but there wasn't really any good reason to sentence Simon to death EXCEPT if Rossiu really does believe it to be the only way, otherwise you feel he'd just say "Take Gurren Lagann and jog on, Simon. Go fight the Mugann if you like but don't come back if you don't want to cause any more trouble." I don't think he's so cold as to execute Simon simply for the sake of his own power.

While he might be basking a little too much in the crowd's adoration, his actions did work as intended to get the (all too comfortable, whiny) people back on side, which is vital if they are to be saved; not that I think they particularly deserve it at this point, so Simon and Rossiu are both better men than I. While I'd likely be more of the Kittan mindset, telling an ungrateful public to shut up and p*ss off wasn't exactly going to solve anything or calm things down. What would have happened if there hadn't been a Rossiu in this situation? Playing devil's advocate to a certain degree here, but on the subject of the trial, has the law ever served anything other than the interests of the people in charge? Were his words to Simon in the lift and the prison cell really much different to Nia's matter-of-factness in anything other than tone? Even then, at least in the Japanese track, it certainly felt like Rossiu's voice was cracking as though he could barely believe it had come to this. All in all, the situation just seems more sad than anything.

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I don't think Kinon is wearing a bra whilst in that Gurren Lagann fight sequence!
Now that's some proper old-fashioned Gainaxing - I think the animators had been missing Yoko and saving up their extra frames. Speaking of Kinon, she's being rather harshly treated by her former comrades as well. Everyone seems to think she's just Rossiu's lackey, when it's pretty obvious from her attitude while with Simon in Lagann she still cares very much about fighting for humanity's survival too. She's just gone her own way and no longer afraid to stand up for herself and her own beliefs, which has people writing her off as having changed for the worse. Just as sad to see her and her siblings' relationships deteriorate as it is Simon and Rossiu's.

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Leeron would probably make a better supreme commander if he could stop chasing after young boys (a failing in many supreme commanders).
Leeron's still a bro. Ignores politics, builds superweapons and makes heterosexual men uncomfortable and doesn't afraid of anything.

p.s. Anyone else tickled by the distinctly Daft Punk flavoured version of the thread's title track playing at the end when Simon was being escorted by soldiers with similarly themed helmets?
 
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I'll come back to this with tomorrow's episode. 😏
It'll have to be pretty convincing to prove not to be the case seeing as Lordgenome literally say "they came to Earth" as the visuals show a blue planet, that or something completely contradictory or crazy out there.
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Ep 20
Are you going by this?:
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I mean all the basic shapes of the continents are there, a bit misshapen in places especially the Americas, but that could be explained away by climate change and other processes (although a thousand years is too short-a-time for continental drift). Who knows maybe the 2 opposing forces had something to do with it, both seem pretty powerful.
Earth is capitalised a few times again in the episode and the moon looks very much like our own.
Talking of, their plan will probably fail in the long run as no moon means that it's affects on the Earth disappears, so even if they repopulate the Earth eventually it would become less hospitable, though probably not in their lifetimes.
The only thing that really doesn't add up for the This is Earth theory are the weird animals, but the Spiral King made the Beastmen, so maybe he made them as well.

Elsewhere the stress of the tough decision is really weighing on Rossiu and Yoko makes a badass return. I almost want to watch the next episode after that ending!
 
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Ian Wolf

Symphogear
AUKN Staff
Episode 20

Re: @D1tchd1gger Are we sure that it is just a thousand years have passed, relative to our time? Anyway, in terms of the Earth, the thing that I'm unsure about is gravity. As the Moon comes in closer, wouldn't its gravity start to more an effect on the Earth?

Anyway, regarding this episode, one of the stranger things that came into my head in the scene where Simon and Viral have their fight was the nude wrestling scene from the film "Women In Love". Get rid of the massive chicken and towels, and ass a fire, and you got a similar scene. Mind you, one imagines that the fight would eventually wear down thanks to Viral's immortality. He can just take all of Simon's punches and come out fine. For that matter, if Viral is now immortal, would he survive the Moon's impact with Earth or would he die too?

In terms of design, I like the fact that all the cars and other vechiles have legs rather than wheels, although having said that when everyone is fleeing from the Mugann attack I am slightly disappointed that no-one shouts: "Leg it!"

Anyway, tomorrow its time for more Yoko.
 
Re: @D1tchd1gger Are we sure that it is just a thousand years have passed, relative to our time? Anyway, in terms of the Earth, the thing that I'm unsure about is gravity. As the Moon comes in closer, wouldn't its gravity start to more an effect on the Earth?
I think Lordgenome said something to the effect of he was bored for a thousand years watching over the humans. Could have been thousands, but can't check it at the moment.
Yeah the Moon's gravity would get stronger the closer it gets, you would get higher tides and over the long term days shorter (they are currently getting longer by 1.8ms per 100 years as the Moon is gradually moving away from us). During a quick research I found out that the Moon is the reason why we have the length of days we do. Just after the Moon's creation the Earth had a day of just 4 hours and the gravity effect eventually stabilised it to around what we have now.
Of course the Moon crashing into Earth would probably do more damage than just strip the surface and would probably take a lot longer than a year to recover!
 
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