Title: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Science Fiction
Summary: In their closed-off underground village, Kamina and Simon chafe at the limits imposed by the village elder. Yet all this will change, when Simon stumbles across a fantastic device – just as the village’s peace is broken by a violent intrusion.
Review: This was quite a difficult series to rate for me, so bare with me as you might see some mixed thoughts and ideas. The storyline itself started off with a bang and I was happy that the director wasted no time. As the story progressed I couldn’t really help but notice how cliche` and cheesy it was. I assumed that director was trying to make it a comedy by having really corny lines, but there is only so much of it I could take. The overused “back a beast into the corner and it will bear its fangs” was even further beaten in this anime. And of course how could you forget that you can do anything if you just have hopes and dreams! Because if you really, really believe with all your heart you can do it! Phew, now that I got that off my chest I can also tell you that this anime is not all rainbows and sunshine. Sacrificing for the greater good is a reoccurring theme and making future plans is a bad idea. Even though toward the end of the anime it is easy to see who will live and die, you still feel bad because of how well they did character development. The first half the anime (roughly 13 episodes) helps you understand the back stories of all the characters which plays a major role in their morals and ideals later on. But as I said before, the first half was predictable, and was a bit of a bore to watch. The second half takes place 7 years in the future from where the first one ended. It was great to see the same old characters, but slightly matured. Although some hadn’t changed at all, most had changed over the years but still held onto the past. The balance between change and constants in personality was done realistically and probably the most well-done feature of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. The second half also related a lot to the present day world. The message the author was trying to portray seems influenced by current day events (current being 3 or so years ago). The art style was also a bit iffy for me. Why? Because it wasn’t constant in the least, I felt as though every other scene changed the penciling or inking. It seems like a pretty neat idea but it was more confusing than anything. Explosions and combat were also far more epic than they needed to be. It was s though they watched it the first time and thought to themselves, “Needs more BOOM!”. The first couple times it was great, but after a while the caliber of awesomeness dropped exponentially. The soundtrack was amazing. The combat scenes had a hardcore song playing that didn’t overwhelm the ambient noises of explosions, and “woosh” noises. The soundtrack does lack variety though, and hearing the same song wasn’t bad but probably would have been better with a little change in beat. Overall I thought this anime was OK. The “hook” to initially get you watching wasn’t that great and I actually put this anime on hold for a bit. It did improve as the story progressed so I was thankful for that.
Final statements: Again, the anime was still very predictable and cliche` so if you can’t stand those you will probably cringe in your seat. Despite that, I couldn’t stop thinking about this anime when finally got around to finishing it. And to me, if an anime sticks in your head its either one of the two extremes: horrid/should be burned or taught you a life lesson. Preferred watch.
“Probability never takes willpower into account” -Sid