5 of 18 people found this review helpful
27 of 27 episodes seen
Overall Rating: 10
Luckily, "Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann" is the kind of show that DOES have great characters, animation, and much more, while still being an exciting and entertaining watch all the way through. Here is my review.
I'll keep plot description short here, but basically the story revolves around a wimpy and timid 14 year old boy named Simon, and his "soul brother", the loud and over the top Kamina living in an underground shelter, the same kind of shelter humanity has lived in for years. One day they get the chance to go the surface, where they form a resistance to defeat the oppressive gunman forces trying to keep humanity suppressed.
Along the way many new characters are introduced, and they all grow in some way throughout the show. The story in this series is fast moving, hardly ever giving you time to catch your breath before it keeps moving. In short, it's a vicious romp, through endlessly creative battles, with an incredible feel of just plain "awesome" coursing through it the whole time, while also occasionally stopping to show you a sadder, more serious side of things, all with a coming of age undertone to it.
The story is one the best parts of Gurren Lagann, always offering new situations and playing on all of your emotions at just the right time. Just when it feels like the endless battles may get repetitive, it hits you with something tear jerking, but never without having something awesome waiting for you at the end of the tunnel.
There are only two parts when the story slows down, and even these have their silver linings. The story does slow down at one point, offering less over the top fun that was given prior, but the story itself does get a bit more interesting. Also, at the end of the show there are some things that are completely inaccurate "laws of science" wise, but many great moments would not be possible without these things.
And unlike some shows, you don't have to worry about a confusing or unsatisfying ending for this one. Everything comes together in the end while also providing a shocking twist, providing for a fulfilling, bittersweet ending that will be sure to stick with you.
To put it simply, the animation in Gurren Lagann is fantastic. Quality control is never an issue as Gainax is infamous for, and every character, robot, and location looks crisp and unique. The style of animation isn't anything groundbreaking like, say "Gankutsuou" (another show worth watching), but it is pleasing to the eyes.
There is one episode, where the animation falters though, episode 5. This was done intentionally by Gainax to parody older shows where animation quality would randomly fluctuate between episodes. It was admittedly an interesting idea, although it just didn't turn out well in the end.
From music to other sound effects, Gurren Lagann hits home. From the beautifully made opening theme, to the epic, blood pumping battle soundtracks, all the music hits home for the given moment, even including some quieter, more subdued tracks, and another, vocalized song that plays during some of the more important moments.
Sound effects work just as well as the music, and while there aren't any particularly memorable sound effects, they all work just fine, and the amazing music more than makes up for the lack of anything special here.
I can't speak for the Japanese seiyuu, but I can assure the the English dub works very well for the series, and all of the voices fit the characters perfectly, especially the main character, Simon.
Ah, the characters. There are many, many things I could say about the characters in Gurren Lagann, but I'll keep things simple. There are 4 "main" characters in this show, and each one of them is unique and enjoyable to watch. They all change and grow over the course of the show, and by the end you really will have made an attachment to them.
Other than them there are roughly 10-12 other side characters in the show, some of them more important than others. The great thing though is that even if the character doesn't seem important at first, by the end of the series, every character will have gotten the spotlight at least once, and you will go out of the show remembering most of them.
As I said at the beginning of this review, a show is all about how enjoyable it it, and quite frankly Gurren Lagann is the most purely entertaining anime I have ever seen. It's not always though provoking or deep and complex, but it has great, over the top and epic mecha action, interesting and well developed characters, high quality animation, and an epic soundtrack to go along with it.
It would be easy to make a list of top five moments in an anime, but for Gurren Lagann I could make a top five list for every episode, and I would probably still have trouble deciding what would make the cut. I think that's just a testament to how great this show is. The story does slightly falter at some points, and there is one instance where the art is lacking, but those parts wouldn't even be noticeable if everything wasn't near perfect at every other moment, which is why I'm still going to give this show an overall rating of 10 out of 10.
Overall: 10/10, Perfect