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

Ian Wolf

Harem King
AUKN Staff
Episode 7 (The Birth of Team Dai-Gurren)

A much more straight-forward episode this time around: one single, great battle. A useful episode too as we learn more about the Beastmen with the appearance of the first of the Four Generals, and we see the humans also gaining strength. Another important aspect is seeing Kamina giving Simon major responsbility as to how to win this battle.
 

Lordhippos

Thousand Master
Episode 7

I forgot how quickly they came across the dai-gurren, and how they dealt with it as well.

Fortunately the conditions were met so that they didn't in fact need to run away, but could still regroup and come up with a better strategy.

With the first mentions of the spiral King and the 4 generals I do enjoy looking out for small reveals in each episode.
 

Dai

Vampire Ninja
Episode 7
More fighting. Considering the number of references this show throws around, I imagine that Enki's detachable crest is meant to be a reference to Ultraseven's Eye Slugger.
 

Neil.T

Idolm@ster
Episode 7

This episode has been given a rather under-punctuated title. It's actually supposed to be "You're Gonna Do It", with the emphasis on you. We'll be seeing more examples of under-punctuation in the subtitles of the AL/Madman Blu-ray as the series goes on. We've already had Kamina's "Who the hell do you think I am kick" instead of his Who-the-hell-do-you-think-I-am kick. (I'm a punctuation prude, and there's no point in me denying that. 😜)

Can't wait till we get to my favourite example late on in the series. It's another character special move. 😅


But anyway, we got an immediate answer to the question of how the script was going to deal with whether or not the name "Spiral King" had previously been used in the series. The solution was actually very clever: Simon, who wasn't present when the name was spoken to Kamina in the full version of episode 6, repeats the name, having obviously never heard it before; whereas Kamina instead chooses to focus on Viral's claims of what kind of place the "Capital" is, neither acknowledging nor refuting his having heard the name before. Like I say, very cleverly done.

Did anyone watching the Anime Limited BD pick up on the drop in picture quality during one of the action sequences where DVD footage was spliced in? This was actually the second of the three occurrences that were previously mentioned in this thread. (Did anyone catch the first one, in episode 5? I know I didn't the first time I watched it.) It's not even the drop to standard definition that's the noticeable bit: it's the janky frame rate. If you go through it frame by frame, the SD footage seems to consist of a lot of cross-faded kind of "frames between frames", like the sort of thing you sometimes see in NTSC-to-PAL conversion.


This caught my attention as well:
I imagine that Enki's detachable crest is meant to be a reference to Ultraseven's Eye Slugger.
I unfortunately have no Ultraman knowledge to fall back on there, but I liked how the crest was shown tilting into a forward position like a separate component at one point when Enki itself leaned forwards. It's one of those little animation details that really doesn't need to be there, but it is there because Gainax were a bunch of animation geeks. What a delight.
 

Geriatric hedgehog

Thousand Master
Finally caught up and more, after a busy week.

Watched the two versions of episode 6, amongst the weaker ones overall but had some funny bits as others have pointed out. I didn't quite remember why it was meant to be controversial if it was just the usual onsen fan service but I see that it is down to things like Gimmy running around in the nude. I think cultural differences would come into play here, as I agree with what @Neil.T wrote that Gimmy is too young to be sexualised (and there wasn't any leering or child abuse being depicted) as toddlers in some cultures do seem to run around in the nude on the regular, especially as I'm guessing with the onsen rules and all. However, the fact that it was the Japanese themselves who had it censored before broadcast would go against the latter cultural difference argument?

Watching episode 7 with hindsight made it seem incredibly portentous, with foreshadowing all the way through, especially with Yoko demonstrating relatively constant consternation. Will come back to episode 8 later today heh.
 

Lordhippos

Thousand Master
Episode 8

This is really a huge dynamic shift with the death of Kamina.

I remember thinking there is no way he could die the first time I saw it, but Kamina overshadows Simon so much that it kind of needed to happen.

This is also the first time (as I recall) that Kamina used the words believe in the you that believes in you.

For Kamina I think this was the best stage for his epic end game tale. The heavy price paid for the gain of the dai-gurren would be balanced against his own life.
 

Neil.T

Idolm@ster
Episode 8

"That day, we lost something that could never be replaced."


The expressions of all the members of Team Dai-Gurren say it all. Yōko's disbelief. Zorthy's sadness. Jorgun and Balinbow, and Kid and Makken's tears. Dayakka's obvious anger. Tetsukan can't bring himself to look. Kittan seems to be experiencing a mixture of things, none of which have probably sunk in yet.

Leeron and Rossiu understand what has happened, but little Darry and Gimmy don't.

And the bottom has fallen out of Simon's world.

I don't think I ever feel such nervous tension watching fictional media as when I watch episode 8 of Gurren Lagann.

And it turns out that "The man" who has been spoken of in the opening narration of each episode is not Kamina at all, but Simon. As for the identity of the narrator, who is he? Is he just this series' narrator, or is he perhaps also a character whom Simon will encounter at some point during the course of events as his destiny unfolds? Returning viewers already know the answer to this.

I change my avatar image today in recognition of Kamina's passing. As a fan of this series, it's the least I can do to.

Later, buddy.
 
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Dai

Vampire Ninja
Episode 8
It's been so long since I first saw this show, I can't remember if I saw Kamina's death coming. The death flags are certainly strong in this episode, especially with Kamina and Yoko making doomed plans for some post-battle drilling, but nobody was talking about anime in terms of death flags back when this show first came out. That only happened after the medium vanished into its self-referential meta-sphincter over the last decade.

It's fitting that the last thing Kamina says is for Simon to stop his hero worship and believe in himself. As much as Kamina was Simon's hero, the feeling was always mutual, so it was necessary for him to remove himself from the equation at the end.
 

Ian Wolf

Harem King
AUKN Staff
Episode 8

The death of Kamina has to be the most shocking moment in the entire series. That moment of realisation when you know that he is dead twists the series into something new. @Dai is right in his comments about Simon now having to step up and having to prove himself, although as we see in the next episode much of that help comes in the form of a new arrival.

Elsewhere, this is the first episode were we get one of the more unpleasant gags in the series: Leeron threatening to "eat" Gimmy, which is considered by some to be falling into dodgy predatory gay stereotypes.
 

Neil.T

Idolm@ster
That only happened after the medium vanished into its self-referential meta-sphincter over the last decade.
Yes. Sadly, it did, and now only re-emerges on the rarest of occasions. And those occasions will doubtless only become rarer as the industry marches on.

This is why we really need studios like Trigger, I think.

I can't remember if I saw Kamina's death coming.
I did. But then that was only because I had it spoiled for me by an Internet meme. The same way that I had Cowboy Bebop's ending spoiled by a negative US Amazon review.

But what Kamina's death might have lost for me in surprise value, it recouped in impact. For one thing, I didn't know it was going to be so visceral. But I also mean that I knew that it was final. This wasn't going to be a cheap fake-out where an episode has a shocking ending where an important character is apparently killed off, only for the next episode to retract it to still keep that character in play in a rather cynical exercise in having your cake and eating it. (Mob Psycho 100 season 2, I'm looking at you. 😒)

But no, there's none of that here. Kamina is no longer with us, and now Simon has to work out how to live with that and his role in it. That's going to be tough. 😬

Elsewhere, this is the first episode were we get one of the more unpleasant gags in the series: Leeron threatening to "eat" Gimmy, which is considered by some to be falling into dodgy predatory gay stereotypes.
Yeah, it's... Hmm.

I suppose you could try to argue that maybe Gimmy just finds Leeron scary, coming as he does from the profoundly straight-laced Adai Village. 🤔

But I have to concede that it's probably not down to that at all and is exactly what you suggest, Ian, because there were that earlier moment in episode 2 where Leeron invited Kamina to refer to him as "Beautiful Queen", along with the cliche gag of Leeron apparently trying to crack on to the straight man.

But TV anime is a bit of an oddity in that it's still being made while people are watching it, actually giving the creators the chance to adjust the trajectory of the story as they go, based in part on feedback. And in that way I hope that the viewers of the day decided that they liked Leeron as a character, because I certainly do. He may have started out as something of the intended camp comic relief, but come the end he's been developed into something much beyond that, and his queer identity is of no consequence to any of our cast because one thing is for certain: he's a f**king excellent mechanic, and I'd certainly want him on my crew.

There's one more thing I love about Leeron, but it'll have to wait until we're done watching before I can discuss it! 😆👍
 
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Ian Wolf

Harem King
AUKN Staff
Yeah, it's... Hmm.

I suppose you could try to argue that maybe Gimmy just finds Leeron scary, coming as he does from the profoundly straight-laced Adai Village. 🤔

But I have to concede that it's probably not down to that at all and is exactly what you suggest, Ian, because there were that earlier moment in episode 2 where Leeron invited Kamina to refer to him as "Beautiful Queen", along with the cliche gag of Leeron apparently trying to crack on to the straight man.

But TV anime is a bit of an oddity in that it's still being made while people are watching it, actually giving the creators the chance to adjust the trajectory of the story as they go. And in that way I hope that the viewers of the day decided that they liked Leeron as a character, because I certainly do. He may have started out as something of the intended camp comic relief, but come the end he's been developed into something much beyond that, and his queer identity is of no consequence to any of our cast because one thing is for certain: he's a f**king excellent mechanic, and I'd certainly want him on my crew.

There's one more thing I love about Leeron, but it'll have to wait until we're done watching before I can discuss it! 😆👍

@Neil.T I agree with you on much of what you say. Leeron is a fun character and a great mechanic, it's just that some of the writing does become cliche, but will no doubt have improved over time.
 

HWR

CCG’s Reaper
AUKN Staff
Episode 8
As others have noted the loss of Kamina has quite the effect on those around him, especially Simon. I recall this was something I was already aware of when I first watched back in 2014/5 (if I’m remembering right) but it still felt as impactful then and does now.
 

Geriatric hedgehog

Thousand Master
After getting drawn by the praise for the series, I was amongst those that didn't take an instant liking to GL when first watching. The reveal of the unexpected fate of Kamina's father kept me going, and then Kamina himself dying had me hooked, with the eventual realisation that this isn't just a comedic wacky take on the mecha genre, but underneath all the bluster actually has a lot of serious themes & drama. I think most potential doubters, like myself, would be converted if they could keep up to this point.
Episode 8

This is really a huge dynamic shift with the death of Kamina.

I remember thinking there is no way he could die the first time I saw it, but Kamina overshadows Simon so much that it kind of needed to happen.

This is also the first time (as I recall) that Kamina used the words believe in the you that believes in you.

For Kamina I think this was the best stage for his epic end game tale. The heavy price paid for the gain of the dai-gurren would be balanced against his own life.
I too didn't believe he was really dead for a good while and kept thinking he would be making a miraculous comeback/reincarnation, given my initial impressions of the show. To the show's credit, that didn't happen thereby making every opening sequence featuring him thereafter that much more heartbreaking. It was a very realistic take that in war, unrestrained dreamers like Kamina (& his father) have a short life span, and despite initial wins, fall well short of their ambitions. His absence was the only way Simon would step out of Kamina's imposing shadow and finally and take the reins of his own potential and fate. And a very nice touch how we are made to realise, as @Neil.T stated, that it has always been Simon referred to in the intro narrations and not Kamina. Ultimately, it is a more balanced Simon and team that together realise their predecessors' lofty dreams to conquer the stars, but none of that would have been possible without the inspiration the fallen provided.
Elsewhere, this is the first episode were we get one of the more unpleasant gags in the series: Leeron threatening to "eat" Gimmy, which is considered by some to be falling into dodgy predatory gay stereotypes.
@Neil.T I agree with you on much of what you say. Leeron is a fun character and a great mechanic, it's just that some of the writing does become cliche, but will no doubt have improved over time.
I think there is no doubt on how essential Leeron is even up to this point, as there would be no team and just a bunch of uncoordinated renegades without the ability to communicate in battle nor carry out essential repairs. As for his scaring Gimmy, going back twenty to thirty years I would've just thought "ah a grown up just scaring a child to make them behave", akin to the use of the bogeyman. But these days it is easy to take that behaviour to be predatory, such that for example I would sympathise with any grandparent drawing suspicions just keeping an eye on their grandchild in a park.. Regarding Leeron the exaggerated gay stereotype (& that choice of name!), that all media is responsible for having promulgated, probably doesn't help. Fortunately those attitudes are now improving such that there is no longer the need for any minority character having to fall into an eccentric stereotype to justify their inclusion in a show.
 

Dai

Vampire Ninja
Episode 9
I'd forgotten what an unhealthy look Simon has in his eyes throughout this episode. He's clearly a mess.

In this episode, Simon finds one of the most heavily used tropes in SF anime: a chick-in-a-box. Surprisingly this one isn't naked, as that's usually the standard. It's also unusual for one to show up so late in a series; they normally arrive at the end of episode one. Nia's late arrival comes because she serves a different plot function from the normal CiaB: they're normally dispatchers who imbue power or send the hero on their quest, but Kamina filled that role in GL. Nia is the philosophical opposite of Kamina initially, an anti-dispatcher who urges Simon to value his life above the fight. Her final line in this episode is an unambiguous statement that she is intended to be Kamina's narrative equal, but opposite. This is a classic character web, where the protagonist encounters people who each offer a distinctly different viewpoint, and must synthesise their own path by taking in or rejecting elements of each.

In other ways, Nia does fall foul of some of the weaker aspects of the CiaB trope, namely that the box is a metaphorical womb that she's been freshly born from, and that she's a wide-eyed innocent who needs to be shown the ways of the world (and luuuuurve) by the first male she encounters.
 

Lordhippos

Thousand Master
Episode 9

The shock of Kamina dying is clearly hitting everyone very hard, especially Simon and Yoko.

But the gunmen don't care, they aren't going to wait, which forces Simon to fight even though it's probably the last thing he wants to do right at that time.

The discovery of Nia is another pivotal shift, and I think it's important to accelerate Simon's recovery.

Nia both propels the story forward by uncovering more of the spiral King mystery, and also by giving Simon something else to live for and protect.
 

Ian Wolf

Harem King
AUKN Staff
Episode 9

Agree with @Dai about how unhealthy Simon appears in this episode.

Also interesting to note that this episode practically marks the second arc of the entire story, the first being the one where Kamina is obviously the main driving force of the whole thing, and with changes to the opening titles and the episode introduction captions.
 
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