Top wo Nerae! Gunbuster, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Recommendations
The basis for Gurren-Lagann thematic wise: humanity fighting for survival against a righteous enemy, the rise to power from a cowardly lead character and a similar brotherly relationship.
Gainax's original super robot series made many years before Gurren Lagann.
If you want to see elaborate fight scenes fueled by passion like Gurren Lagann, then Top wo Nerae delivers, but what's more important is you get a view into much of the foundation of Gurren Lagann and Gainax as a whole.
Top wo Nerae! (AKA Gunbuster) is an older Gainax anime involving giant robots and bending the laws of physics in preposterous ways. The relationship between Noriko and Kazumi is well done, and one can see how their symbiotic relationship is similar to that of Kamina and Simon in TTGL.
The style of Gunbuster may seem dated for some folks, and the first 2 or 3 episodes are a bit lacking, but the awesome factor of the ending makes up for it completely.
Gunbuster is Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann's grandmother, and well worth checking out. It has aged tremendously well and was Gainax's first proper anime - so any Gainax fans out there should definitely check it out.
if Gurren Lagann had another name it would be Top wo Nerae 3! Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Gurren Lagann is a case of Gunbuster history repeating itself. Gunbuster though focuses more on the science of time dilation while Gurren Lagann while Gurren Lagann focuses on going over the top. Several references from this show can be seen in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
Epic mecha-driven plots encouraging hard work, friendship and teamwork.
And, accompanied by comedy and drama elements (but you'll have more laughs on TTGL than the 1st season of Top wo Nerae), and fanservice.
Both have characters who stand and pose themselves by crossing their arms.
Gunbuster shows a more femenine attitude, while you'll shed manly tears after watching TTGL.
Good animes if you love mecha.
Gunbuster (1988) serves as a transition work between Ideon (1982) and Lagann. The combining robot (合体！) with a star on forehead, the desperate attempt to preserve human life and the dangers involving doing it, the alien forces which aim to stop exponential processes, the “believe in me believing in you” and the “aim for the top” are all reworked by Imaishi, years later.
Mecha anime that drastically escalates in scale as it nears the end, with a protagonist who goes through similar character development.