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

João Gomes

Great Teacher
I'm conflicted about the first movie, actually!

First of all, and ironically (or maybe not) I can't help but see it as a companion piece to the series. It feels complementary to it rather than a means of replacing the experience of watching the series. Complementary in the sense that as a fan it's interesting to see the differences between both but that just makes me appreciate certain things in series even more.

On the one hand, they knew what to prioritize: the team getting set up gets a spotlight as does does Viral, Kamina's final battle and Simon's big return. They also went really quickly over some of the boring parts like the Rossiu episode and the Black Brothers. On the other hand, one minute these characters don't exist and the next they're on board.

I liked all of the new stuff with Adiane vs Yoko being particularly remarkable. I liked the setup for all out war against the generals but it robbed me of one of my favorite moments of the series which is Simon charging by himself to save Nia. That whole sequence in the movie is weirdly paced, stilted and completely lacking in music. Found that weird, despite the cool reuse of animation.

As others have said, not having the movie end with a battle against Lordgenome is weird but that just means we will have two huge battles in the same movie and I'm cool with that, too!

The new intro was great and the final visuals in the sunset were also beautiful. The team had more of a chance to shine in the end there and that's a good thing, even if I'm cool with Simon being front and center.

It was good and it may be an good alternative to watching the whole thing if you're short on time!
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Episode 25 - You're either in or in the way
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Gunbuster's science lessons return, this time taught by the head of Lordgenome. And all this time, Kittan has been feeling like he still can't live up to Kamina. But Yoko is right, he's every bit as much responsible for their victories as Simon is at this point, he kept the spirit of Team Gurren alive whenever Simon couldn't. For my money, Kittan has even managed to surpass Kamina as far as being an inspiration goes because of his overcoming his insecurities. And what a goddamn way to go, plunging that drill with every last ounce of his might into the very heart of darkness that threatens the survival of humanity, and being happy to do it. Someone hide my Black & Decker, I don't want to make the evening news.

Episode 26 - If you think I'll sit around while you chip away my brain
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Or Lupin III: Instrumentality. I do enjoy visual representations of stuff that takes place in people's heads, Eva is the obvious comparison here but it wasn't long ago we watched Lain, and there are quite a few animations that make use of the idea now that I think about it, it’s a great medium to explore the idea. Live-action is a bit more limited, unless you’re David Lynch, and who is? Anyway, the lesson here is that the Anti-Spirals should not have underestimated Simon's belief in Kamina, be he real or imagined, nor everyone else’s belief in Simon.

Episode 27 - 答えはそう いつもここにある
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This finale packs so much in and really seems to fly by, but in the best way. Every scene is gorgeous, and while I certainly didn't remember everything from the first time I watched the series, a lot of these shots certainly stuck with me. Particularly great are the shots like the above, and the panning shot that goes through all the characters making clear that while Simon is the big hero here, it’s still very much a team effort. Those left back on Earth witnessing the final showdown is also a highlight.

I don't think there's any need to feel too sad for Simon, or for anyone else who lost somebody in the course of the series. As illustrated by the very last scene, he gave his all for a future another young boy can look forward to and keep moving towards, all of Team Gurren did. And all seem satisfied with that outcome. They had their time to live and love, however brief, and I think in the end that's what it's all about: Striving, fighting, grasping and making the most of the lives we have. That's as worth shedding a happy tear for as it is a sad one.

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Neil.T

The Wildcard
I can't help but see it as a companion piece to the series.
João! My man! You get it!! ❗🤜💥🤛❗

On the other hand, one minute these characters don't exist and the next they're on board.
Yep, that's actually the one and only issue I probably have with the film, these important character introductions that get glossed over, Rossiu's especially. As we know, he becomes a central character in the second arc, but we can't understand his motivations or his methods without knowing his background, which isn't shown here. That's why I agree so much with your idea of the film(s) being a companion piece.

I said at the start that I had only one issue with the film, but... Hmmm... I don't want to be picky, but perhaps after the spectacle of the big combining sequence between the four enemy fortresses to form one massive mecha, it's a bit too easily defeated? I really don't have too much of an issue with it, though: there are running time constraints, after all, and I think the new Yōko vs. Adiane sequence already more than makes up for it.

I liked the setup for all out war against the generals but it robbed me of one of my favorite moments of the series which is Simon charging by himself to save Nia. That whole sequence in the movie is weirdly paced, stilted and completely lacking in music. Found that weird, despite the cool reuse of animation.
I'll be interested to check that bit out when I watch the film now.

You mentioned reuse of animation there, João, and I particularly love the new take on Simon's arrival in Lagann to rescue Nia.

And in terms of that entire sequence, the preceding part where an utterly determined Simon clambers up the side of Cytomander's airborne mecha to get to Nia I just find so damn exciting to watch. I probably won't be able to resist raving about it in my eventual post on the film.

And what a goddamn way to go, plunging that drill with every last ounce of his might into the very heart of darkness that threatens the survival of humanity, and being happy to do it.
He's the only character other than Simon and Kamina (who was the move's originator, let's remember) to get to do a Giga Drill Break, so Gainax saved something special for him.
 
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Ian Wolf

Symphogear
AUKN Staff
Parallel Works, Ep. 1-4

A fantasy version, an Edo version, a western version all in the mix, but for the comedy my personal favourite was the pachinko machine version.
 

D1tchd1gger

Idolm@ster
Film 2
Liked the change from 1m people to reaching the moon for the triggering of the Humanity Annihilation Thingy. 1m seemed to be a bit too small a number, especially when looking at the city. It looks quite big and has a lot of big highrises.
Didn't notice earlier or was this a change? Instead of the 3 stars Simon has 3 Xs when in his prison outfit and then is only a 1 star when he changes into his new outfit. Yoko's entrance is even more dramatic with the Gunmen crashing through the ceiling at the same time
The new design of the fake moon is cool. Looks a bit more like it would fit into the moon better.
Rosiu's suicide attempt was a bit less dramatic in terms of where it took place and how Simon and Kinon found him, but I felt that Kinon's slap was more appropriate than Simon's slightly comical punch, something that fit better in the first half when it was a bit more slapstick.
LOL, let's transform to this shape so the animators don't have to do any extra work in this part!
I had a thought about the Spiral Nemesis. When the Anti-Spiral was explaining that a person could obtain the power of the Universe, but wouldn't be able to control it, it sounds an awful lot like the same thing that happened to Akira/Tetsuo in Akira and then when Simon gets "pulled apart/melted" it reminded me of the scene when Tetsuo gets swallowed by the energy at the end.
Everybody gets a cool robot for the final battle and there's a super duper final final form and then from the biggest slugfest to the smallest as Simon and the Anti-Spiral have a fist fight before the final blow.

I had the same problem as with the first film in that dispite all the changes it's still the same plot I've just watched. If I watched it 2 years or so I probably would have enjoyed it more as its own thing. As it was I was just comparing it with the series for the differences, which also meant stopping and taking notes every so often. Some of the changes were definitely for the better, but the final battle was just way over extended with all the new bits.
Again probably just give it an 8 for consistency sake.
 

João Gomes

Great Teacher
João! My man! You get it!! ❗🤜💥🤛❗


Yep, that's actually the one and only issue I probably have with the film, these important character introductions that get glossed over, Rossiu's especially. As we know, he becomes a central character in the second arc, but we can't understand his motivations or his methods without knowing his background, which isn't shown here. That's why I agree so much with your idea of the film(s) being a companion piece.

I said at the start that I had only one issue with the film, but... Hmmm... I don't want to be picky, but perhaps after the spectacle of the big combining sequence between the four enemy fortresses to form one massive mecha, it's a bit too easily defeated? I really don't have too much of an issue with it, though: there are running time constraints, after all, and I think the new Yōko vs. Adiane sequence already more than makes up for it.


I'll be interested to check that bit out when I watch the film now.

You mentioned reuse of animation there, João, and I particularly love the new take on Simon's arrival in Lagann to rescue Nia.

And in terms of that entire sequence, the preceding part where an utterly determined Simon clambers up the side of Cytomander's airborne mecha to get to Nia I just find so damn exciting to watch. I probably won't be able to resist raving about it in my eventual post on the film.

Concerning the combining mecha, it's true that it kinda becomes much ado about nothing, it takes longer for them to combine than for them to be defeated lol (exaggerated, of course).

Yeah, tell me what you think about the silent sequence! I was watching and all of a sudden thought "there hasn't been any music for a bit now/this could use some music", it was weird.

That's exactly the bit of reused animation I had in mind ahah. I also liked the way they integrated the projectors during the fight, using a different context.

I liked Simon climbing cytomander's mecha, too I just thought him rushing to Nia in the series really conveyed how heroic he is.

And I'm now 36 minutes into the second movie and this is, at first glance, much better! Quite a bit of new stuff added.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Intermission for conversation and screencap compilation: part deux. I hope you were all pleasantly surprised to wake up to the like-bombing from me reading back through the thread (by the way João & Neil, you did a great job of making Page 20 look like an early 2000s MySpace page). I'm like a con-man Father Christmas who leaves you the gift of validation but nothing of actual value. But first:

An Ode to imgur
imgur, your website
is now, a load of sh*te.

-ayase


"Uploading 41 images..." 10 minutes later, okay, where are they? Zero page activity, reload page, none of them are there. Upload 5 images... they instantly upload. Upload 3 images... "Uploading 3 images..." 10 minutes later, etc. I had to upload most of these one at a time.
rightly or wrongly, I'm not remotely into reading fan fiction. I just really don't see how one individual fan's skewed interpretation of the source material (because anyone's interpretation is unavoidably going to be skewed in some regard and not mesh with the original creator's intent) has any relevance to it.

For example, countless users on the Evageeks fan forum have links in their site signatures to their own Evangelion fanfics, but I honestly wouldn't give any of them the time of day. Several of these appear to be billed as continuations of Evangelion 3.0, but all it would have taken was for anyone to see the first 10 minutes of the following film to render them completely irrelevant in the grander scheme of the story.

It's a double-edged sword, though. I wrote in another thread recently how Mardock Scramble author Tow Ubukata probably grew up as a fan of Ghost in the Shell and then went on to actually write an installment of the franchise himself with Arise. In this case, of course, Ubukata is being asked to write GitS stories, but sometimes all that separates an unknown writer's already existing fanfic from becoming an actual part of the franchise that inspired it is a label saying "Officially licensed". Look at how Nyoron! Churuya-san became a (sort of) part of the Haruhi Suzumiya franchise when it was made into an anime. Personally, I'm a big fan.
Counterpoint: All fiction is fanfiction of the earliest written texts of the Bronze Age. I don't put a whole lot of stock in how "official" anything is for the exact reason you've stated there Neil (especially in the case of something like say, Star Wars where some of the official material is now definitely worse and less true to the original than some of the fanfiction) but I also find that helpful because I then don't particularly care about canon status or if "official" stuff is terrible. Fanfiction can be a way to right perceived wrongs taking the (in my opinion, very positive) step of believing you could do a better job yourself, attempting to do so rather than just complaining and in some cases, actually doing a better job than the official writers.

Your Eva fanfic point is of particular interest as someone who is more invested in that side of fandom, because you appear to be under the impression those writers or their readers care whether their fan-work meshes with the official version; My experience is very much that they don't and it should be viewed more like branching alternate time-line stuff. This happens even in official media after all, what is Angelic Days and Shinji Ikari Raising Project? :p

This begs the question, can any action be forgiven if you're repentant and your heart's in the right place? This show certainly thinks so. Perhaps that's just its shonen fight-then-bond DNA bubbling to the surface, where we see Team Dai-Gurren forgive Rossiu, accept Viral (who killed Kamina, let's not forget), and even team up with a castrated Lordgenome.
Forgiveness and redemption are totally recurring themes of Gurren Lagann, albeit ones that tend to be rather overlooked in all the gar-ness of flashy giant robot fights. And most of the characters have such a fantastic and accepting attitude towards reconciliation. Viral had a hand in killing Kamina, yes. But let's also not forget that Team Gurren killed Adiane (yes, let's not forget that) whose death Viral definitely felt. But forgiveness of and co-operation with former enemies is the only way conflicts can ever be meaningfully resolved without resorting to killing absolutely everyone on the other side, even in real life. Surely places like Northern Ireland, Cyprus and Israel/Palestine would be better places if more people were willing to forgive and work with each other (it was kinda working in NI, at least until the Tories screwed everything up again).

if I can steal something from a completely unrelated anime to tie in to this, look at the 2013 CG film Harlock: Space Pirate. Main character Yama (I refuse to call the characters by their Western renamings. "Logan"?! WTF) is the spitting image of Harlock, but they're separate characters, have never met before they do during the story, and aren't related by blood.
Eh, I mean I wouldn't really read too much into Mastsumo's characters all looking the same, that's kind of a Matsumoto thing :p

You make another very good point there, Ian. 🤔
I think there might've been something niggling me the previous times I've seen the ending, but it's never materialised as a conscious thought, and you've managed to dig it out there. That's... arguably sexist, as if Yōko would prefer us to remember her as she looked when she was younger.
It could also be argued it was just done out of respect, I mean it's still pretty frowned upon to even ask a woman how old she is (Hell, I don't like being asked how old I am, I think it's time that unwritten rule was extended to men as well) and does anybody (apart from the odd deviant) actually look fondly on the effects of the ageing process? I know I'd far rather everybody remembered me the way I looked ten years ago...

Simon doesn't really have a happy end, he just has an end where he gets to wander about without any responsibility.
I'm confused Hippo, you put that in such a way to make me consider that perhaps Simon got the happiest of all possible endings, then say he didn't? :p
 
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Lordhippos

Straw Hat Pirate
I'm confused Hippo, you put that in such a way to make me consider that perhaps Simon got the happiest of all possible endings, then say he didn't? :p

I think Simon deserved to chill, but just wandering about seemed kind of lonely to me, would have been nice to see him at least enjoying our version of sipping cocktails in hawaii for the rest of his days :)
 

Geriatric hedgehog

Straw Hat Pirate
I think Simon deserved to chill, but just wandering about seemed kind of lonely to me, would have been nice to see him at least enjoying our version of sipping cocktails in hawaii for the rest of his days :)
Heh I think modes of enjoyment are very relative. A good friend loves climbing up hills to view the scenery, which is my idea of cruel & unusual punishment (would happily be driven up the hills to admire said scenery mind you). So maybe A Wandering Simon makes him a happy Simon?

And thanks for the hard work with the screencaps @ayase, very much appreciated and great fun to scroll through as a highlights reel with a great selection as last time. So much so, I'm inspired to change my avatar to fit with Britain's current take on these pesky experts ruining our lives with the inconvenience of modern tech (I can't believe this simulwatch has made me want to change avatars twice when I had no intention of doing so ever.... Or at least until the final Eva rebuild movie is released heh).
 

Ian Wolf

Symphogear
AUKN Staff
Parallel Works, Ep. 5-7.

The most fan-service filled of all the episodes (both Gimmy's cock and Yoko's boobs); a modern setting with unrecognisable characters (are they a homage to another series?) and what appears to be the opening sequence of the first film. Not that much of interest to me.
 

João Gomes

Great Teacher
lol @ayase Christmas came sooner!! jk but you did keep the best shot of the episode (Simon checking out the city during nighttime) in the cutting room floor.... Yurusenu and such.

Anyway, MOVIE NUMBER TWO

The line "He's gonna punch the Earth!" is uttered seriously in this movie, I think nothing else needs saying, really.


BUT LET ME TRY ANYWAY

Something that is vastly superior to the series here is the way they set up Kamina city, again in the form of a montage, only they splice in new bits that make things more interesting, showing construction progress and them actually building the whole thing. So it's actually a faster setup but with a bit more info, I loved that.

Nia becoming the messenger is also changed and she is now in Simon's presence, that's also a good change, as I see it. The whole scene in the prison is great even if Simon does end up getting attacked by giant cock this time 😢

I mean, I won't detail each and every change, but I do think most of the changes were for the better.

The ending battle (which is like 30 minutes) is a treat for mecha fans and fans of Lagann. The pacing does suffer for it, but the trade off is new mecha designs for everyone, new action scenes (some, like Viral's, cleverly recycled) and a stupendous final fistfight, all of it beautifully rendered, just top notch animation.

Simon leaving suffered as well for one simple reason: they went without music for the entire scene so the credits song could have more impact, but the scene lost something. It's not nearly as impactful as in the series.

All in all, good stuff, but definitely something that should accompany the series, not replace it.

Shout-out to @Ian Wolf for his military-level discipline in sticking to the schedule and paging @Neil.T for his take on the movies!

Miscellaneous thoughts for the day:

II swear Yoko's outfit wasn't that non-existent in the series.

I think my Clannad CE has been lost in the mail 👌

I laughed at the nipples. Nips everywhere!!
 

Neil.T

The Wildcard
Neil has forsaken us.
🤣❗❗❗❗❗
Oh man...

I really haven't, buddy! 😂
It's just that it's been sunny here in Scotland recently (imagine that, eh!), so I've been making the most of it. It's currently p*ssing down with rain, though, so I'll be watching movie #2 this afternoon and can then give you my hot take on both of them. 🔥🤟🔥

Before any of that, though...
The line "He's gonna punch the Earth!" is uttered seriously in this movie, I think nothing else needs saying, really.
Now have a look at what I wrote earlier in the thread:
This entire sequence of events plays out very differently in movie #2, and includes a line of dialogue that's just so wonderfully ridiculous and OTT that it's just so... Gurren Lagann! I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do when we get to it, João
Again, nothing else needs saying.
❗🌋🔥🤟🔥🌋❗

I think my Asperger's is what makes me stick to such things.
Any chance you can you have a word with a friend of mine, Ian? He's on the autism spectrum and once took 51 weeks to respond to a Facebook post of mine. 😅👍

Your Eva fanfic point is of particular interest as someone who is more invested in that side of fandom
You raise some very compelling points that really did get me thinking there, ayase.

I'll aim to quote your counter-argument in the General anime thoughts/discussion thread once this simulwatch has finished, because it's a genuinely interesting topic that I'd like to continue with.
 

João Gomes

Great Teacher
@Neil.T eew, favoring the sun over anime 🧛‍♂️

I'm totally messing with you man, as you already know. I love rain, though and the greyness does help make me want to visit Scotland (for a long time now) .

We're almost done with the simulwatch and it's been an awesome forum-bound, completely motionless, really, ride! Looking forward to parallel works. Took a peek at the first one and you just need to point me in the direction of the kickstarter for medieval Lagann misadventures with the gang!
 

João Gomes

Great Teacher
Double posting because who the hell do you think I am.

Right, so Parallel Works 1-7 gives the fans exactly what they want: Viral getting trolled by a pinball machine, Lordgenome x Yoko S&M, Kamina as a villain, Gimmy showing us he could've probably fingerf*cked the anti-spiral into submission, so why did we need a series and two movies, a bunch of totally-not-Lagann characters helping seemingly-brasilian Gimmy fight a war in the favelas...

I'm guessing you meant the short detailing the Spiral King's fight when you mentioned Lagannzan's expanded role in the films, right Neil? It gets me thinking about the chicken and egg because I'd like to know if Yoshinari did this as a PW and it was so good that they put it into the first movie or if it was always intended as the new intro to the movie. In any case, beautiful animation, style and colors, easily the highlight.

I enjoyed this. Tomorrow I'll watch the ones on the second disc, completing the simulwatch!
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Childhood's End
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Very nice opening scene, I only wish it had been a bit longer. So in hindsight, it was probably an obvious explanation but is still a bit mindblowing to think that the four generals were possibly originally just regular creatures who awakened their Spiral power and evolved thanks to Lordgenome, in the same way Boota did thanks to Simon. That's really cool.

I have to echo @Neil.T and @João Gomes that this feels very much an addendum to the series rather than a condensed version, but it has that in common with a lot of cinematic anime adaptations in that really, it's just a chance for fans of a TV show to see it on the big screen. Yes, it's great to see but it has to pack waaay too much in at the start and the pacing suffers there as a result. I did like the "putting the gang together" musical montage (I probably wouldn't have minded if most of the film had been like that in a kind of Transformers 1986 way).

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Once we make it to the alternate content though, it's excellent. I had no idea how much or what was new or changed in the film, at all. Much as I might regret not watching it earlier, it was definitely worth saving for an event like this simulwatch because I can properly appreciate it next to the original. The way they worked the old content into the new was, with only a couple of slightly awkward exceptions, pretty damn masterful and some of the changes I even thought were for the better.

GIRLFIGHT. You know what I like, Gainax, and readily provided at least a dozen more images for my Adiane folder. Badassery from her and Yoko was the primary selling point here, but no-one got left out on that particular score. I was also quite surprised by the fact the Lordgenome battle wasn’t how this film ended, which surely means even more compression will be needed in the second. We’ll see...

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Ian Wolf

Symphogear
AUKN Staff
Parallel Works, Ep. 8-11

We have a doll like Nia; a reuse of the animation style we last came across in Nia's backflash regarding Lordgenome; Darry and Gimmy meeting a guy dressed a goat; and some weird psychedelic stuff that I have no hope I'm understanding. Out of these four, I preferred the fourth (Ep. 10), mainly because of soundtrack, but I'm annoyed by a lack of subtitles.
 

João Gomes

Great Teacher
Parallel Works 8-all-the-way-up-until-the-last-one-effectively-ending-the-simulwatch

Bishounen Kamina and Madoka Magica Gurren Lagann, really what more could the fans want?!

What's that? A Haruki Murakami reference that I totally knew about without having to scour google for subtitles and ending up on YT reading about it on a comment and still have no subtitles at all and having never read the book? Absolutely!!

Hm? You want Gurren Lagann to be a huge cyclops that looks like a classical hotel on the inside on a gladiator match against weird Kaiju in a non-descript European city?.... Oddly specific, but guess what, you got it buddy!

Alright, tha- y-you want a pop-infused slice-of-life peek at that character whose name you absolutely do not remember cosplaying as low budget neko Sakura...? Jesus Christ, how do you people even come up with this. Alright, hey guess what, it's yours!

Listen, I got it, people want to see the weirdest Lagann s.hit. There's even a Gunnmendam bit (please kill me for having wrote that) where they romanize GR as Gren Lagan. It's all here, chill the f out alright.

Favorite PW was Kittan Zero but I also liked the weird, chill vibe of the ram sheep thing episode.

It's been a pleasure! Loved the experience and everyone's thoughts and insights.

See ya next time, you bozos!

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