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 Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Review

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PostSubject: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Review   Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:31 pm



If you came to this entry, expecting another rave about how Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann should deserve to be the best anime ever, then you’ve come to the wrong address. This series is a nice watch, but for me, it wasn’t the instant classic that others make it out to be. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagan is homage to the GAR mecha-series of the seventies and eighties; it’s a brainless over-the-top action-series, nothing less, but barely anything more.

This series suffers from a huge degree of predictability. The good guys are basically like a bunch of energetic monkeys who’ve drank too many cups of coffee, and they often like to think with their hormones, instead of their minds. Nearly the entire series has them basically running forward, taking out enemy after enemy. When one enemy is defeated, another, more powerful one appears. He or she is cocky, but he keeps getting surprised at the ever-increasing power of our protagonist. Of course, the anime does this in style, but the lack of much variation does become jarring after a while.

There’s one point in the anime where it actually promises to be more than just this, though. At episode 17, there’s a time-skip, and both the setting and the characters themselves develop quite interestingly. Unfortunately, the creators chicken out after three episodes, and go back to the overblown action of the first part of the series, and increase this ten-fold. If there’s also a point in this series where every chance has turned against our heroes, then don’t worry. A previously unmentioned plot-device will appear and turn the tides. After this happens for the fifth time, it does take away some of the tension.

The characters are fortunately a bit more interesting than this. They’re basically the definition of passionate manliness. I especially liked Kittan and Rossiu, two side-characters who do what they can to help out, and can actually think for themselves. The other characters are enjoyable enough, though the two lead females have a few problems here and there. Nia’s actions in the beginning feel a bit forced, and while Yoko is a great side-character, she becomes really annoying when she becomes the centre of attention. This is a Gainax-anime after all, and of course they had to stuff in the obligatory fanservice.

If you’re looking for something realistic, then stay far and far away from this series. While I can’t say it for sure, but especially the final episodes deserve a good chance of being among the most scientifically inaccurate episodes ever. If you’re looking for epic GAR and manliness though, you should give this one a chance. The over-the-top action nearly thunders out of your screen with the bright and energetic production-values, and among the general fandom, this has become a favourite series. While I can’t share this opinion (Gurren Lagann is nowhere near the best of the previous season), it remains a nice watch.
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