Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Review


Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann



Now I'm sure those that know of this series know that it is commonly regarded as "the most epic anime of all time" and whatnot, however, whenever I ask people I know that have seen it what they think about it, I received mixed opinions. Out of curiosity, one decided to check this out to see how good or bad it was, and what did I think of it? Well, read on to find out!


Synopsis


In a far away future, mankind lives underground in huge caves, unknowing of a world above with a sky and stars.

In the small village of Jiha, Simon, a shy boy who works as a digger discovers a strange glowing object during excavation. The enterprising Kamina, a young man with a pair of rakish sunglasses and the passion of a firey sun, befriends Simon and forms a small band of brothers, the Gurren Brigade, to escape the village and break through the ceiling of the cave to reach the surface, which few believe exist.

The village elder won't hear of such foolishness and punishes the Brigade. However, when disaster strikes from the world above and the entire village is in jeopardy, it's up to Simon, Kamina, a girl with a big gun named Yoko, and the small yet sturdy robot, Lagann, to save the day.

The new friends journey to the world above and find that the surface is a harsh battlefield, and it's up to them to fight back against the rampaging Beastmen to turn the tide in the humans' favor! Pierce the heavens, Gurren Lagann!


The Visuals



The art in this series was rather unique. Imagine blending modern animation styles with older, more traditional animation styles. That's pretty much what you've got when you're watching Gurren Lagann, a blend of the old and the new.

That being said, I wish this animation style were used in other anime, it's very fresh and unique, a lot better than a lot of the common styles you see in a lot of the newer anime that have been coming out lately.





The Soundtrack


The soundtrack for this anime was good, really good. Some of the songs were average, but there were quite a few that just gave you.... I don't know how to describe it, but it was a good feeling. Like you were gonna accomplish something great or incredible (very fitting for this anime). There were also quite a few that made you want to bob your head while listening. The opening themes were pretty much just different parts of the same song, which was good, but nothing special. The ending themes, however, were a constant highlight of the show, I never got tired of either of the ending themes.





The Characters


I pretty much liked almost all of the characters of this series, but some definitely stood out more than the others.

Some of the favorite character descriptions may contain spoilers (mostly Viral's), read at your own risk!

Favorite Characters


Viral

Viral was, by far, my favorite character of this series. It's not so much what he's like in the first half of the series as what he's like in the second half (that's why I'm using a post-time skip picture of him). In the first half of the series, he's a villain that commands respect and puts his morals over winning a battle. In the second half, he became a rebel who actually fought for those he once tried to kill. When he becomes Simon's copilot, he's a very strong ally, who wishes he could do more.
That, along with a certain scene in the episode before last, made him become one of my favorite characters, not just in this anime, but in anime in general.




Kamina

Kamina was another one of my favorites. He's strong, persistent, and the smartest idiot I've ever seen in an anime. Even when the others gave up and said something was impossible, Kamina would still be able to accomplish the impossible. He gets the most ridiculous ideas, and makes them reality. I can see why he's a very popular character despite his small amount of screen-time in the series. I loved his madness, as well as how he was able to do things that all the other characters deem impossible.

Attenborough

Yes, I am being perfectly serious. Though Attenborough is not a very prominent character in the series, I did find his loudness and his constant belief that firing all the missiles was the right answer to whatever problem there was in battle, made me find him quite hilarious.







Least Favorite Character

Nia

Nia was the only character in this series that I didn't like. It's not that she was mean, or evil, or crazy, or weird, or any of that. It's just that, to me, she seemed like almost (because the bitch can't cook) a complete Mary-Sue. Yoko was a big deal until Nia showed up, and all the guys would coo over Nia's "cuteness" and "innocence" and pretty much change their normal behavior with just her presence. Also, her appearance looked so out of place in the beginning, ridiculously out of place. She looked liked she belonged in one of those RPG-like fantasy anime as a priestess or something like that. Also, her voice in the Japanese version irked me so.





The Story


The story for this anime is pretty basic.
The main characters and their allies face greater and greater foes as the series progresses, all with one goal, to live on the surface of the world in peace. Now, there are deaths in this series, all except for one were male characters. However, the highlight of this series, for me, was the second half after the time skip. That was the best. They fought their greatest foe, my favorite character became more prominent, I didn't feel like a pedo looking at Yoko, and the character I liked the least wasn't very prominent. The episodes where Kamina was present were also very good, a lot funnier than the rest of the series.



Overall

 

Gurren Lagann certainly lived up to its reputation as an epic anime, though, there were some flaws that this series had that I could not look past, it was still a great series, and definitely a worthwhile watch.

Story - 8/10
Characters - 8/10
Music - 8/10
Voice Acting - 9/10
Visuals - 9/10

Overall - 8/10


Another thing I'm Marathoning at the Moment


Clannad

As of right now, I've seen 9 episodes of this series, and I am very much enjoying it. It's got very good comedy, but it's also extremely sad at times. Well, that's pretty much what there is to expect from anything made by Key anyway, so I probably shouldn't be too surprised. I probably won't be writing a review of this one until I'm done with Clannad: After Story as well. I'll probably watch a few more episodes today, at least up to episode 12. But so far, I'm liking it!






I'm not too sure what I'll be tackling next time, but it'll probably be another hyped up series, so look forward to it!

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