Monday, March 31, 2014

Why you should watch Gurren Lagann

Gurren Lagann

     Gurren Lagann can be described in one word: Fun. This show is damn fun. It's a non-stop action show with an alluring plot, a beautiful, gritty art style, music that gets your blood pumping, and characters who have the fighting spirit (or should I say spiral?) of champions.

     Commend #1: The music. I can't begin to number off each time I caught myself singing the first song to myself when walking to class or bumming around my apartment. The music is unquestionably fantastic. Each and every battle scene's anticipation and excitement were increased tenfold, further strengthening the deliverance of each episode. However, there were a couple tracks that detracted from the show's value, one being an oddly placed opera piece. Thankfully, it wasn't used much.

Row, row, fight the power!
Viral's theme song (Turntables steal my heart <3)

     Commend #2: The characters. Each character is their own person, Kamina especially. His confidence is contagious and his stupidity unmatched. He is an incredibly ambitious individual, one who has his eyes set on the stars and will stop at nothing to attain his goals.
"Your drill is the drill that will pierce the Heavens!"
     He's a go-getter, the inspiration, and "bro" of our main character: Simon.
"If you're gonna dig, dig to pierce the heavens, even if it's my grave I'm digging,
I'll keep going! When I break through, it means I've WON!
Who the hell do you think I am? I'm Simon.
I'm not my Bro, Kamina. I'm ME! Simon the Digger!"
     A disease that has plagued many shows recently is lack of serious character development. Thankfully Gurren Lagann does a wonderful job implementing this; the producers develop Simon through his experiences, interactions with others, and all of the struggle he has to go through to merely stay alive. "I'm ME!". That one line states exactly how confident Simon is in himself. He's not trying to be anybody else anymore. He's not his brother. Only through his multitude of experiences does he finally come to terms with this. Character evolution is also benefited by a time-lapse, allowing them to show growth, not only in age, but also in personality and wisdom.

     Commend #3: The art style
     The art style is just flat-out cool. Whilst watching the fight scenes, you're able to see exactly how the art adds impact to each fist thrown and each kick blocked. The style, especially in Simon's picture (with the quote under it) is reminiscent of this season's show: Space Dandy mixed with a more modern/vibrant Fooly Cooly, both of which are action-packed anime. I'll definitely have to look out for more of this artist's work. For those of you wondering, the illustrator for the manga is Kotaro Mori.

     Complaint #1: The lack of downtime. This fact about Gurren Lagann bothered me the most, mostly because I enjoy a good break from plot and seriousness. In fact, most shows have at least one or two episodes where breaks from the plot are taken in order to give the viewer a little breathing room. Knowing what the day-to-day life is like and how they interact with one another is important. Unfortunately, Gurren Lagann doesn't do this. But, by not doing this it further reinforces what the show's message is: nothing can stop you, keep going until you make it, be yourself, and never give up.

     Gurren Lagann is an unbelievably great show because of its music, characters, message, and art style. Because of these aspects, I'm going to go ahead and give it the rating of 9/10. Unfortunately, the lack of downtime leads to a rushed feeling, which makes me think that this show should have been given 37 or 50 episodes rather than the 27 it has. Some bad musical tracks along with the rushed feeling steer me away from giving it a perfect score, but don't let that stop you from watching it. This show is definitely a must-watch for every anime lover.

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