Gurren Lagann

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Gurren Lagann
275
The logo of Gurren Lagann
天元突破グレンラガン
(Tengen Toppa Guren Ragan)
GenreAction, Adventure, Comedy-drama, Mecha
Anime television series
Directed byHiroyuki Imaishi
Written byKazuki Nakashima
StudioGainax
Licensed byAustralia New Zealand Madman Entertainment
Canada United States Bandai Entertainment
European Union Beez Entertainment
NetworkTV Tokyo
English networkAustralia C31
Canada Super Channel
United States SyFy
Russia 2x2
India Bangladesh Indonesia Malaysia Singapore
Animax Asia
Original runApril 1, 2007September 30, 2007
Episodes27 (List of episodes)
Manga
Written byKazuki Nakashima
Illustrated byKotaro Mori
Published byASCII Media Works
English publisherUnited States Bandai Entertainment
DemographicShōnen
MagazineDengeki Comic Gao! (former)
Dengeki Daioh
Original runApril 27, 2007 – ongoing
Volumes9
Light novel
Written byKurasumi Sunayama
Illustrated byHiroki Shinagawa
Published byShogakukan
DemographicMale
ImprintGagaga Bunko
Original runAugust 17, 2007 – ongoing
Volumes4
Game
DeveloperKonami
PublisherKonami
PlatformNintendo DS
ReleasedOctober 25, 2007
Manga
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Gurren Gakuen-hen
Written byAshi Zaitsu
Illustrated byKabao Kikkawa
Published byKadokawa Shoten
DemographicSeinen
MagazineComp Ace
Original runAugust 26, 2008January 26, 2009
Volumes1
Anime film
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Gurren-hen
Directed byHiroyuki Imaishi
StudioGainax
Licensed byCanada United States Aniplex USA
ReleasedSeptember 6, 2008
Runtime112 minutes
Anime film
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Lagann-hen
Directed byHiroyuki Imaishi
StudioGainax
Licensed byCanada United States Aniplex USA
ReleasedApril 25, 2009
Runtime126 minutes
Anime and Manga Portal
 
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Gurren Lagann
275
The logo of Gurren Lagann
天元突破グレンラガン
(Tengen Toppa Guren Ragan)
GenreAction, Adventure, Comedy-drama, Mecha
Anime television series
Directed byHiroyuki Imaishi
Written byKazuki Nakashima
StudioGainax
Licensed byAustralia New Zealand Madman Entertainment
Canada United States Bandai Entertainment
European Union Beez Entertainment
NetworkTV Tokyo
English networkAustralia C31
Canada Super Channel
United States SyFy
Russia 2x2
India Bangladesh Indonesia Malaysia Singapore
Animax Asia
Original runApril 1, 2007September 30, 2007
Episodes27 (List of episodes)
Manga
Written byKazuki Nakashima
Illustrated byKotaro Mori
Published byASCII Media Works
English publisherUnited States Bandai Entertainment
DemographicShōnen
MagazineDengeki Comic Gao! (former)
Dengeki Daioh
Original runApril 27, 2007 – ongoing
Volumes9
Light novel
Written byKurasumi Sunayama
Illustrated byHiroki Shinagawa
Published byShogakukan
DemographicMale
ImprintGagaga Bunko
Original runAugust 17, 2007 – ongoing
Volumes4
Game
DeveloperKonami
PublisherKonami
PlatformNintendo DS
ReleasedOctober 25, 2007
Manga
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Gurren Gakuen-hen
Written byAshi Zaitsu
Illustrated byKabao Kikkawa
Published byKadokawa Shoten
DemographicSeinen
MagazineComp Ace
Original runAugust 26, 2008January 26, 2009
Volumes1
Anime film
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Gurren-hen
Directed byHiroyuki Imaishi
StudioGainax
Licensed byCanada United States Aniplex USA
ReleasedSeptember 6, 2008
Runtime112 minutes
Anime film
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Lagann-hen
Directed byHiroyuki Imaishi
StudioGainax
Licensed byCanada United States Aniplex USA
ReleasedApril 25, 2009
Runtime126 minutes
Anime and Manga Portal

Gurren Lagann, known in Japan as Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (天元突破グレンラガン Tengen Toppa Guren Ragan?, literally "Heaven-Piercing Gurren Lagann"), is a Japanese mecha anime television series animated by Gainax and co-produced by Aniplex and Konami. It ran for twenty-seven episodes on Japan's TV Tokyo between April 1, 2007 and September 30, 2007. It was directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi, written by veteran playwright Kazuki Nakashima and had been in development since the participation of the famed animator in the Abenobashi mecha themed episodes by the same studio. The anime won several awards at the Tokyo International Anime Fair[1] and the Animation Kobe[2] and Japan Media Arts Festivals.[3]

Licensing for a North American release of Gurren Lagann was announced by ADV Films at Anime Expo 2007 on June 30, 2007; however, after an unexplained removal from ADV's catalog (despite having had finished the first five episodes), Bandai Entertainment announced it held the license at New York Comic Con 2008.[4] It was also announced for a UK release by ADV Films at AmeCon 2007, however at AmeCon 2008 Beez Entertainment announced that they had the UK distribution rights instead. It was also announced by ADV Films Germany for a summer 2008 release. The Sci Fi Channel acquired the broadcasting rights of Gurren Lagann, and began airing the anime on July 28, 2008 as part of Sci Fi's Ani-Monday anime block.[5][6]

A manga adaptation started serialization in MediaWorks' Dengeki Comic Gao! on April 27, 2007, but switched over to ASCII Media Works' manga magazine Dengeki Daioh on April 21, 2008 due to the former being discontinued on February 27, 2008. Bandai Entertainment licensed the manga and released it in English in North America. A series of light novels have also been created and are published by Shogakukan. A video game based on the series, for the Nintendo DS, was released in October 2007, bundled with a special episode of the anime series.[7] Two animated film versions were produced. The first premiered in Japanese theaters on September 6, 2008, and the second premiered on April 25, 2009.[8]

Contents

Plot

Story

Gurren Lagann takes place in a fictional future where Earth is ruled by the Spiral King, Lordgenome, who forces mankind to live in isolated subterranean villages. These villages have no contact with the surface world or other villages, and are under constant threat of earthquakes. Select villagers called diggers are conscripted to expand their homes deeper underground. Simon, a meek young digger ostracized by his peers, finds solace in his best friend and older brother figure, an eccentric delinquent named Kamina. Kamina allows Simon to join his gang, Team Gurren, to help him achieve his dream of visiting the surface world. One day, Simon unearths a drill-shaped key called a Core Drill, followed by a small mecha resembling a face called a Gunmen.[9][10] Shortly thereafter, a giant Gunmen crashes through the ceiling and begins attacking the village, followed by a girl named Yoko who attempts to repel the Gunmen. Simon uses his Core Drill to activate the smaller Gunmen, which Kamina names Lagann and is used to destroy the larger Gunmen and break through to the surface world.

Simon and Kamina learn from Yoko that humans on the surface are attacked each day by Gunmen piloted by beastmen, humanoid creatures who serve as Lordgenome's army. Kamina hijacks a Gunmen and names it Gurren, combining it with Simon's Lagann to form the mecha Gurren Lagann. Their actions inspire other humans to steal their own Gunmen and join Team Gurren, which Kamina renames Team Dai-Gurren. Eventually Team Dai-Gurren captures an enemy Gunmen fortress to use as their base of operations, though Kamina is killed in the preceding battle. Simon sinks into depression following Kamina's death when he meets Nia, Lordgenome's daughter. Team Dai-Gurren is initially distrustful of her, but allows her to join when it becomes apparent that she was abandoned by her father. Nia helps Simon come to terms with Kamina's death, and he takes up the role as Team Dai-Gurren's leader, leading them to defeat Lordgenome and the Beastman army.

Over the next seven years, mankind prospers on the surface world with Simon and the members of Team Dai-Gurren serving as the world's government. As soon as the world's population reaches one million people, an alien race called the Anti-Spirals emerges and uses Nia to announce the moon's collision with Earth, which will wipe out all life on the planet and prevent them from evolving to such an extent that they will risk destroying the universe in a cataclysmic event called the Spiral Nemesis. With guidance from a resurrected Lordgenome, who had hidden mankind underground to protect them from the Anti-Spirals, Team Dai-Gurren prevents the moon's collision, rescues Nia, and destroys the Anti-Spirals. This, however, causes Nia to fade away and die as her own existence is tied to that of the Anti-Spirals. Simon spends the rest of his life wandering the planet as a nameless vagrant while his comrades set out to contact other races throughout the galaxy to help prevent the Spiral Nemesis and ensure the safety of the universe.

Main characters

Simon (シモン Shimon?)
Voiced by: Tetsuya Kakihara (Japanese), Yuri Lowenthal (English)
Simon is the main protagonist of Gurren Lagann. He is introduced as a fourteen-year-old digger from Giha village who is looked down upon by many of his peers for his timid and weak character. He greatly admires Kamina, one of his few friends in the village, and refers to him as his brother despite them not being related by blood. Simon spends much of the first quarter of the series following after Kamina, but gradually acquires his own fighting spirit and determination over the course of the series, acting on his own more often until his personality mirrors that of Kamina. His discovery of the Core Drill and the Gunmen Lagann are what set the events of the series in motion. Throughout the series, Simon primarily pilots Lagann, which is capable of producing drills from any part of its body when it reacts to Simon's Spiral energy. He uses this ability to combine with Kamina's Gunmen, Gurren, to form Gurren Lagann. He can also take control of other Gunmen using this ability.
Team Dai-Gurren
Kamina (カミナ?)
Voiced by: Katsuyuki Konishi (Japanese), Kyle Hebert (English)
Kamina is the deuteragonist for the first quarter of the series. He is a young delinquent from Giha village who dreams of leaving his underground home and go to the surface world, which he saw as a child. His extremely passionate and self-confident personality causes him to act as a foil for the more timid and weak-willed Simon, and serves to instill courage within Simon. His actions greatly influence the entire series, as he forms Team Dai-Gurren and acts as its leader to combat the threat of Lordgenome and the beastmen. Early in the series, Kamina hijacks a Gunmen he names Gurren, which he pilots while combined with Simon's Lagann to form Gurren Lagann. However, he is killed at the end of the first arc during Team Dai-Gurren's capture of the Dai-Gunzan, which the protagonists use as their base.
Yoko Littner (ヨーコ・リットナー Yōko Rittonā?)
Voiced by: Marina Inoue (Japanese), Michelle Ruff (English)
Yoko is the tritagonist of the series. She is a young woman from Littner, a village neighboring Giha, and is introduced as a member of a small resistance against the beastmen. She helps introduce Simon and Kamina to the surface world, and becomes a member of Team Gurren soon after. She falls in love with Kamina early in the series, and thinks little of Simon until he begins showing signs of self-confidence. After Kamina's death, she tries to help Simon cope and forms a sisterly relationship with him. Instead of piloting a Gunmen, she wields a high-powered energy rifle and uses her superb marksmanship and wise council to help her teammates.
Nia Teppelin (ニア・テッペリン Nia Tepperin?)
Voiced by: Yukari Fukui (Japanese), Hynden Walch (episodes 9-15), Bridget Hoffman (episodes 17-27) (English)
Nia is a major character introduced after Kamina's death in the series. Having lived a sheltered life as the daughter of Lordgenome, the main antagonist of the first half of the series, she is ignorant of the war between the humans and Lordgenome until she is abandoned by her father and discovered by Simon. She is a very polite and naive girl who is curious about the world, and acts a soothing influence for Simon following his depression caused by Kamina's death. The two fall in love and become engaged at the start of the second half of the series, after which she is discovered to be an agent of the Anti-Spirals. During this time, Nia is taken over by a cold and uncaring personality called "Messenger Nia" and forced to fight Simon against her will until Simon rescues her. Because her existence is tied with that of the Anti-Spirals, however, she fades away with them after they are defeated, but keeps herself alive long enough to marry Simon.

Terminology

Beastmen

The Beastmen Generals (clockwise from top) Guame, Cytomander, Thymilph, and Adiane

Beastmen (獣人 Jūjin?) are non-Spiral beings, created and cloned by Lordgenome to fight by piloting Gunmen. The numerous fauna on the planet are previously failed creations, and thus lack the intelligence that beastmen have. Beastmen and many other animals found on the planet cannot reproduce, instead multiplying via cloning.

Gunmen

Generic Gunmen

Gunmen (ガンメン Ganmen?) (singular form unchanged as 'Gunmen'[9][10]) are the type of mecha used in the series. They are modeled to resemble faces with arms and legs, while the name itself is derived from a similar-sounding Japanese term, Ganmen (顔面?), which roughly translates to "huge face". Different Gunmen sport a wide variety of weaponry, which range from primitive weapons such as large clubs or their bare hands, to more advanced weapons such as projectile or beam weapons. Gunmen powered by the "Spiral Energy" inherent in humans' DNA are more powerful than those piloted by beastmen. The voice broadcaster within each Gunmen is linked to the mouth, making it seem as though it is talking. Gurren Lagann can also make several facial expressions.

Spiral theme

The spiral theme is especially prominent throughout the series. Within the series, it is the basis of strength for the main characters and mankind, as well as a philosophy and way of life and a model of physics. Lordgenome (whose own name contains the word genome, referring to DNA and its spiraling double helix) notes that it is the natural order of the universe to coordinate itself into a spiral arrangement. The spiral symbolizes the double helix structure of DNA, representing biological evolution, and the spiral structure of a galaxy, representing universal evolution. Lordgenome's four generals also pay homage to the motif through their names which are derivatives of the four nucleic acids of DNA: Adenine, Thymine, Cytocine, and Guanine. Simon's spiral drill is used as a motif to symbolize the spiral theme throughout the series. At the same time, the drill motif symbolizes the soul and determination to overcome all obstacles as something which gradually advances "with every revolution".

In the same way a logarithmic spiral grows in size with each successive curve, the scope of Gurren Lagann's story and the scale of its mecha grow in successive steps as the series progresses.[citation needed] By the end of the series, the largest mecha, the Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann, contains all the smaller iterations of Gurren-Lagann nested inside like a Daruma doll or matryoshka doll, reflecting the way the curves of a spiral grow in size but maintain the same shape.

Spiral Energy

In the series' concept, Spiral energy is the power of evolution, symbolized by a drill, generated by DNA-based beings such as humans whose double helix molecular structure allows them to grow stronger through the generations. Spiral energy is what connects those capable of evolution, referred to as Spiral beings, and the universe together. Because beastmen do not reproduce naturally, they cannot evolve and are thus unable to produce Spiral energy. The amount of Spiral energy produced by an individual varies and is based not only on their own limitations, but also their immediate will to survive and persevere. Spiral energy has both infinite potential and applications—it can regenerate and grow new parts on machines to a galactic scale, and even create tunnels through spacetime. One of its most prevalent applications in the series is in weaponry: Spiral-enhanced ammunition provides phenomenal stopping power, making a simple shotgun capable of damaging a Mugann, while Spiral-based warheads and energy beams demonstrate destructive power far in excess of nuclear weapons. Spiral energy is specifically stated to defy the law of mass-energy conservation, which in addition to explaining the creation of mass that is practically constant during battles, also carries danger if Spiral energy is overused. Termed "Spiral Nemesis" by the Anti-Spirals, too much Spiral energy may cause all of spacetime to collapse into a supermassive black hole.

Anti-Spirals

The Anti-Spirals (アンチ=スパイラル Anchi Supairaru?) serve as the main antagonists of the second half of the series. They are a race of aliens who have abandoned the use of Spiral energy, thus ceasing to evolve, after discovering that limitless evolution could one day lead to the destruction of all spacetime, an event they term the "Spiral Nemesis". As their name implies, they act to repress other civilizations in the universe that use Spiral energy, fearing that they could pose a threat to the universe if left unchecked. Because Spiral energy is generated by its users' will, the Anti-Spiral employ tactics that induce fear and despair in their enemies. When a Spiral civilization surrenders to the Anti-Spiral's will, which includes Earth prior to Lordgenome's rule, the Anti-Spirals leave behind an automated "defense" system that will activate and attack the civilization if it produces too much Spiral energy, namely when its population reaches one million individuals.

Media

Anime series

Produced by the animation studio Gainax and directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi, Gurren Lagann aired in Japan on TV Tokyo between April 1 and September 30, 2007. The anime has twenty-seven episodes plus two specials, the first being the uncensored version of the sixth episode, and the second is episode 5.5, a bonus that came with the Nintendo DS game.

The English version had been previously licensed by ADV Films, but was later acquired by Bandai Entertainment. A subtitle-only version was released in three volumes in July 2008, and an official English dub with the first two volumes released on November 18, 2008 called "Gurren Lagann Set 01".[citation needed] The show premiered on the Sci Fi Channel on July 28, 2008 as part of Sci Fi's Ani-Monday anime block, airing two episodes each week (and three the final week).[5] The European distribution branch of Bandai, Beez Entertainment, is distributing the series in the UK and Europe, with the first DVD set for release on July 6, 2009.[11] The English version also aired on Animax across its English-language networks in Southeast Asia and South Asia starting on May 22, 2009. It was broadcast in Italy on Rai 4 between September 24, 2009 and April 1, 2010.

2channel incident

Takami Akai, the producer of the series and a co-founder of Gainax, announced that he would resign his position effective episode five, which aired on April 29, 2007, over comments that he made regarding posts on the Japanese Internet forum 2channel. Akai and another Gainax employee, Keiko Mimori, made disparaging remarks about comments criticizing the animation style of the fourth episode of Gurren Lagann, which was completely directed by guest and friend Osamu Kobayashi. With regard to reading the fan criticisms, Akai stated that it was "like putting [his] face next to an anus and breathing deeply." Fans later became aware of his comments, and he announced his departure from the company he helped to found.[12]

Music

Four theme songs are used for the episodes; one opening theme and three ending themes. The opening theme is "Sorairo Days" (空色デイズ Sorairo Deizu?, lit. "Sky-Blue Days") by Shoko Nakagawa. Starting from episode seventeen, the second verse and chorus was used, as compared to the first verse and chorus used in the previous episodes. For episodes one through fifteen the ending theme is "Underground" by High Voltage. "Happily Ever After" by Shoko Nakagawa was used in episode sixteen. "Minna no Peace" (みんなのピース Minna no Pīsu?, "Everyone's Peace") by Afromania was used for episodes seventeen to twenty-seven.

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Character Song was released on July 25, 2007 by Aniplex, including image songs by the main voice cast, with songs sung by Tetsuya Kakihara (Simon), Katsuyuki Konishi (Kamina), and Marina Inoue (Yoko), the latter of which is a playable song in Dance Dance Revolution SuperNOVA 2. In addition, several music compilation albums have been released, most consisting of background music.

Manga

The Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann manga, illustrated by Kotaro Mori, started serialization in the Japanese shōnen magazine Dengeki Comic Gao! on April 27, 2007, published by MediaWorks. The manga ended serialization in Dengeki Comic Gao! on February 27, 2008 when the magazine was discontinued, but continued serialization in ASCII Media Works' manga magazine Dengeki Daioh on April 21, 2008. The first bound volume was released on September 27, 2007 in Japan, containing the first five chapters, and is published under ASCII Media Works' Dengeki Comics label; the second volume followed on March 27, 2008. Bandai Entertainment licensed the manga and released it in English in North America.[13] The story of the manga follows the same plotline as the anime, however, there are several changes to the layout of events, and the addition of backstories that essentially fills in gaps from the anime, such as the relationship between Dayakka and Kiyoh.

A spin-off manga entitled Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Gurren Gakuen-hen (天元突破グレンラガン −紅蓮学園篇−?) started serialization in Comp Ace on August 26, 2008. The manga takes the characters from the original story and puts them in a school in a parallel world. In the manga, Simon attends Dai-Gurren Academy (ダイグレン学園 Dai Guren Gakuen?) with his friend Kamina, and childhood friend Yoko. Simon, who lives in a run down apartment building, wishes for a normal life, and meets the mysterious Nia one day when she trips down the stairs. She immediately takes a liking to Simon and declares him her husband. Kamina finds another "aniki" in Nia, who shares his hot-blooded style. She enrolls in Dai-Gurren Academy, and all three must deal with the threat of students from Teppelin Academy, who wish to bring Nia back to her father, the principal. Another spin-off manga entitled Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann 4-koma Kingdom: Yoko no Oheso-hen (天元突破グレンラガン4コマKINGDOM ヨーコのおヘソ編 Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann 4-panel Kingdom: Yoko's Belly Button Chapter?) started publication by Futabasha in 2008 as a compilation of various short stories.

Video games

An online video game was developed by Konami called Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Chōzetsu Hakkutsu ONLINE (天元突破グレンラガン 超絶発掘ONLINE?, literally "Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Superior Excavation Online"). Beta testing had ended on April 16, 2007. The player takes up the role of a driller and drills for treasures in first person view. There is a shop to purchase drills—the shopkeeper is an original character named Asaki. The player can also collect digital trading cards. The game was canceled at the closed beta stage, as installing the game crashed Windows indefinitely. Konami even had to send out 500GB external hard drives to beta users so that they could back up files while reinstalling their operating systems.[14][15]

A game for the Nintendo DS was released October 25, 2007, not only featuring the characters from the series, but also containing a special episode set in the early stages of the story as a pre-order bonus. In June 2010, Gainax re-acquired the video game rights to the series from Konami, which allowed Banpresto to include it in the latest installment of its storied Super Robot Wars franchise, 2nd Super Robot Wars Z: Destruction Chapter, released in April 2011.

Anime films

An animated film entitled Gurren Lagann The Movie: Childhood's End (劇場版 天元突破グレンラガン 紅蓮篇 Gekijōban Tengen Toppa Guren Ragan Guren Hen?, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann The Movie: The Crimson Lotus Chapter), once again directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi, and written by Kazuki Nakashima, was produced by Gainax and released on September 6, 2008 in Japanese theaters and the DVD was released on April 22, 2009.[16][17][18] The film is a compilation of the events of the first arc of the series (episodes one through fifteen) with around 20 minutes of newly animated scenes. In conjunction with the release of the film, Gainax has released series of music videos entitled Gurren Lagann Parallel Works which contains alternative stories of Gurren Lagann set to songs from the original soundtrack.[19] The film had its first official English release at the Viz Pictures cinema in San Francisco, California on September 8, 2009.

A second film, Gurren Lagann The Movie: The Lights in the Sky are Stars (劇場版 天元突破グレンラガン 螺巌篇 Gekijōban Tengen Toppa Guren Ragan Ragan Hen?, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann The Movie: The Spiral Stone Chapter) was released in Japanese theaters on April 25, 2009.[8] It focuses on the second half of the series, contributing more new animation than the first film. The Japanese DVD for The Lights in the Sky are Stars was released on January 27, 2010. Aniplex of America distributed both films on DVD in regular and special editions. Childhood's End was released on July 1, 2010 while The Lights in the Sky are Stars was released on July 30, 2010.[20]

For both films, Shoko Nakagawa sang the theme songs: "Tsuzuku Sekai" (続く世界?, "Continuing World") for Childhood's End and "Namida no Tane, Egao no Hana" (涙の種、笑顔の花?, "Seed of Tears, Flower of Smiles") for The Lights in the Sky are Stars. Taku Iwasaki composed the films' scores.

Reception

Critical reception

Gurren Lagann has received widespread critical acclaim since its release. Anime News Network gave Gurren Lagann a full 'A' rating, with reviewer Theron Martin describing it as "one of the liveliest series of the decade" and concluding that "Gainax's paean to boisterous, macho mecha action delivers in triumphant fashion."[21] Anime News Network also gave the dubbed version of the first volume an 'A' rating.[22] IGN gave the series a score of 9.7 out of 10, with reviewer Ramsey Isler describing it as "an inspiring story" and concluding that "overall it succeeds at being a great tale of the indomitable spirit of determined people."[23] Anime World Order also gave the series a positive review, noting that it has become one of the most popular mecha anime on the internet, which reviewer Clarissa Graffeo ascribes to its crossover appeal among various audiences who do not usually watch giant robot anime, by combining aspects from a number of different anime genres, including elements of the Super Robot, Real Robot, Shōnen, Shōjo, Seinen and Josei genres.[24]

THEM Anime Reviews gave the anime a score of 4 out of 5 stars, with reviewer Tim Jones describing it as "Almost five-star material," and stating that it is "chuck full of action, comedy, drama, adventure, and sci-fi elements, managing to even entertain a person who couldn't care less about mecha in the process."[25] UK Anime Network gave the first third of the series a score of 8/10, with reviewer Ross Liversidge noting that from episode 7 onwards, "the show's newfound edge makes it far more gripping," and concludes that it is a "high quality release" and "a fun, punchy series that stands out from the crowd."[26] On the review website Mania.com, reviewer Chris Beveridge gave the first two-thirds of the series a full 'A' grade. He described the first third as "chaotic, magical and engaging,"[27] and then described the second third as captivating "with non-standard storytelling ideas for an anime series" and concluded that it was "fun, exciting, unpredictable and filled with the usual positive messages but done without any serious preaching."[28]

Awards

The Gurren Lagann anime series received an Excellence Prize at the 2007 Japan Media Arts Festival.[3] Its director Hiroyuki Imaishi received an individual award for "Personal Best" at the 12th Animation Kobe Festival that same year for his work on the series.[2]

In 2008, during the 7th annual Tokyo Anime Awards held at the Tokyo International Anime Fair, Gurren Lagann won the "Best Television Production" award. In addition, the "Best Character Design" award was given to the character designer Atsushi Nishigori for his work on the anime.[1]

Influences

In an interview, the writer Kazuki Nakashima cites Ken Ishikawa, co-creator of Getter Robo, as one of Gurren Lagann's influences.[29] Gurren Lagann occasionally pays homage to Ishikawa's Getter Robo, particularly towards the end of the series, where the scale becomes absurd, with the robots steadily becoming bigger and bigger, much like Getter Robo more specifically, the manga version of Getter Robo Go. The final enemy also bears a striking resemblance to La Gooth of Records of Nothingness, another work by Ishikawa.[30] Nakashima, however, wanted to conclude the story of Gurren Lagann in a more reasonable fashion than what Ishikawa usually does in his works.[29] According to Jason Green from Anime News Network, the anime was influenced by previous Gainax anime, particularly in the character development of the protagonist Simon, who goes through three stages in his character development during the three arcs of the series. Each of these stages in his development were influenced by protagonists from several previous Gainax anime: Shinji Ikari from the Neon Genesis Evangelion franchise, Noriko Takaya from Gunbuster, and Ken Kubo from Otaku no Video.[31]

Popular culture

Influences from and references to Gurren Lagann can be found in several areas of recent popular culture, ranging from Japanese anime and video games, to American comics and animation, to politics in Europe. During a political debate over whether the British Union Flag should be updated by incorporating the Welsh Dragon, The Daily Telegraph newspaper held a contest for readers to submit their designs and have other readers vote for the winning design. On December 11, 2007, a Gurren Lagann-based design submitted from Norway won The Daily Telegraph's contest, winning by a wide margin of 55% of the votes.[32][33] Gurren Lagann has had an influence on the Transformers franchise, with the creators of Transformers Animated citing it as an inspiration. The art director and lead character designer Derrick Wyatt stated that, while he "hadn't seen Gurren Lagann until after" they "had finished most of the first season of TFA," he confirmed that the creators have "definitely been inspired" by it ever since, particularly during the second and third seasons of Transformers Animated.[34]

The Gurren mecha made a cameo appearance in an issue of DC Comics' Countdown to Final Crisis, appearing as a Green Lantern construct of Kyle Rayner's.[citation needed] The fifth episode of the 2010 anime series Baka to Test to Shōkanjū makes a reference to Gurren Lagann when the protagonist Yoshi shouts "Pierce the heavens, Problem Break" and throws his pencil like a drill.

References

  1. ^ a b "Eva 1.0 Wins Tokyo Anime Fair's Animation of the Year". Anime News Network. February 26, 2008. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2008-02-26/eva-1.0-wins-tokyo-anime-fair-animation-of-the-year. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  2. ^ a b "Gurren Lagann's official blog" (in Japanese). Gainax. http://gainax.weblogs.jp/gurrenlagann/2007/11/post_7a5b.html. Retrieved 2007-12-18. 
  3. ^ a b "Coo, Gurren-Lagann, 'Kafka' Win Media Arts Awards". Anime News Networks. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2007-12-04/coo-gurren-lagann-kafka-win-media-arts-awards. Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  4. ^ "Bandai Entertainment Gets Gurren Lagann TV Anime". Anime News Network. April 18, 2008. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2008-04-18/bandai-entertainment-gets-gurren-lagann-tv-anime. Retrieved 2008-04-18. 
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Further reading

External links