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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Final Thoughts: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

Having watched so many anime series ever since starting this blog, this is the first time that I actually bothered to write a blog entry totally dedicated to a single anime.

For the uninitiated, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is a Sci-Fi/Action Adventure/Mecha anime telling the story of Simon, a boy who has spent much of his life digging in an effort to expand his underground village and Kamina, who believes that a land exists above ground. One day, Simon finds a small, shiny drill and a mysterious robot when the ceiling collapses and a giant robot appears from the ground above, with a girl fighting it. All these trigger a series of events which eventually lead Simon to fight to save the universe.

Initially, when it was first shown in the month of April 2007, I had missed it because I was too busy with my other shows, Hayate no Gotoku, Romeo X Juliet and Lovely Complex (The latter two I eventually dropped because I lost interest). I came across it again at the end of 2007 in Random Curiosity's 'Best Anime of 2007' blog entry. I was intrigued by what he said - "the scope just kept getting bigger and bigger, up to the point where they were fighting for the entire universe. I think that qualifies this series as being quite epic." Seeing that we both have similar tastes in Anime, I decided to try out this series. Downloading Black-Order's version of the fansub, I started watching it during one of my weekend duties in camp. Despite the somewhat far-fetched (though humorous) situations that some of the characters are put in, I was impressed by how well they scripted and paced the story, together with the overall animation quality.

Most Mecha shows tend to either be too focused on the mecha themselves (Gundam SEED series) or have a over complicated plot (Evangelion TV series). Basically, it either had no depth or had too much depth. Shows like Gurren Lagann (Eureka seveN deserves a mention too...) manages to balance both the mecha action and plot. It keeps the mecha action flowing while having a plot which helps develop the characters, giving them much needed depth, beyond your typical idealistic or angsty robot pilot trying to keep world peace and/or save his friends and family. It even manages to throw in a really unexpected plot twist in the second half.

In conclusion, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann really goes beyond the Mecha, the likeable underdog characters and its great animation quality (despite having its fair share of detractors and controversy, read here), because most importantly, its an anime where you'll cheer them when they fight, laugh when they laugh and cry when they cry. Its an anime with HEART.

Rating: 6 out of 5 stars

Monday, February 04, 2008

Countdown to ORD: 4 month 5 days

Song of the moment: Shoko Nakagawa - Sorairo Days (Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann OP theme)

sugita kisetsu wo
nageku hima wa nai
nidoto mayotte
shimawanu you ni

honno sasayaka na
sonna koukai
kakaeta mama

sono senaka dake oikakete
koko made kitan da
boku dake ni dekiru koto

ano hi kureta kotoba ga ima demo
kono mune ni tashikani todoiteru kara
kinou yori mo kyou boku wa
boku no umaretekita wake ni kizuiteiku

kotae wa sou itsumo koko ni aru

(I don’t have the time to grieve
about the seasons that have passed by
So that I won’t be lost again

While I still held such
Countless and simply meager regrets

I only pursued
your back and came here
It’s something that only I,
who was searching, can do

Because the words that you gave me on that day
Certainly reach my chest even now
Today, I’ll realize the reason of my having been born
More than I did yesterday

The answer, that’s right, is always here)
Sorairo Days by Shoko Nakagawa
Thanks to

Sorry for not blogging recently, been busy with lots of stuff. Another batch of NS men has just ORD-ed, leaving my batch to be the old birds of the NS personnel. Soon our time will come... Anyways, now being the winter season, a new batch of animes has now come to our shores and I shall now introduce some of the new ones that I am currently following.

Currently Following

Zoku Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei - With its unique humor and spoofs of everything Japanese, Zetsubo Sensei returns for a second season, introducing a couple of new characters, from a housewife student to an 'old friend' of Zetsubo Sensei.

Shigofumi - A postgirl who delivers letters from the dearly departed...hmm...interesting.

Persona -trinity soul- - Set 10 years after the Persona 3 PS2 game (which I am still playing...). Apathy Syndrome is back and three siblings are reunited after 10 years...

Spice and Wolf - A merchant and a pagan wolf deity traveling together in ancient Europe. It focuses a lot on the customs and practices of traders during that time. Interesting setting but what keeps me watching is actually the seiyus of the two lead characters (Jun Fukuyama and Ami Koshimizu, a.k.a Lelouch and Kallen from Code Geass)

Lots of interesting shows in the winter season, but we all know that we are all looking forward to the Spring 2008 anime season. With shows like Code Geass season 2 (Bunny girl Kallen!!!), xxxHolic season 2, Toshokan Sensou and Soul Eater (who would have thought...), all of us fanboys got something to look forward to...

PS: You'll all have to wait a bit for the photos. Just don't have the time to post them yet...

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