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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Gurren Lagann Things

I love my anime. I've sorely missed it this last semester, so it was surely a pleasure to sit down and marathon Gurren Lagann, finally. At 27 half-hour episodes, this is a pretty doable series even for the time-pressed. One episode (declared as the summary episode) can be skipped, provided one watches the series in a short enough time span to remember most of it.

(Image stolen from this place, by the way. Thanks, Google Image Search!)

As a friend of mine described it, Gurren Lagann is the polar opposite of Evangelion. As dark and foreboding as Evangelion was, Gurren Lagann is uplifting and enjoyable. The main characters are pretty awesome, well-written and detailed in the later episodes. The oddity and spontaneity of the early episodes can be easily ascribed to the half-hour format - Gurren Lagann gets more story in any given 24min episode than Naruto has in any given month of releases. But in the later episodes, they manage to cram in a lot of character detail and drama as well, which really fleshes things out and makes for a much more interesting series.

This series involves young lads piloting giant mecha. However, it's pretty much nothing like Gundam or other more hardcore mecha series in that details like 'science,' 'materials,' 'repairs,' and other such nonsense don't matter at all. This series doesn't have time for those things - the other elements of the story far outclass such nuisances.

The awesome level of the show steps up by leaps and bounds, fairly reliably, every 2-3 episodes. Scale, man. I can say no more, lest I spoil plot details, but watch the show and you'll get what I mean.

It does kind of go off the rail in the last couple episodes, but more like you would expect of any good anime, and less like Evangelion. Some prospect of sanity is maintained, even into the final battles - just enough to make sure you know what's going on, who they're fighting, and what's required to win.

I found the series pretty dang enjoyable. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys anime, regardless of anime experience level. Give it a go!

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