30 March 2019 | MidnightSerpent
The Most Epic Show Ever Made
You know that feeling of total shock and awe that you get after finishing a really good show or movie? Where you just sit there staring at the screen, unable to process the sheer epicness of what you just saw? Imagine that feeling, but ten times stronger, and you might get a taste of what I felt while watching Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Every time I finish that final episode, I get this euphoric feeling that lasts for several hours on end, often keeping me up the entire night on pure adrenaline. There isn't a single day that goes by where I don't have flashbacks to certain scenes from the show and start getting the chills all over again. Yes, it's that good.
One of the most common misconceptions of Gurren Lagann I hear is that it's a simple, mindless show that's all about over the top fight scenes and cheesy inspirational speeches. And while the show has plenty of those, it has way more than just adrenaline rushes to offer. The story is very well written, following several intertwined character arcs and thematic ideas that all spiral around a very deep and thought provoking central message. The attention to detail is ridiculous, with extended metaphors that can be applied to almost every aspect of the show. On top of that, there are several plot twists and surprises to keep the viewer engaged. The only issue I might have with the story is with a couple episodes near the beginning, which I feel are weaker than the rest of the show, but the last few episodes more than make up for it with my favorite ending of all time.
The major characters of this show are brilliantly written. Kamina's bold relentless attitude has its own charm, and Simon "the Digger" has one of the best character arcs I've seen in any form of media. Other characters like Yoko, Viral, Rossiu, and Lordgenome all have their own traits and well written arcs throughout the series. While their world is very different from ours, the characters feel very real and relatable through their growth. And of course, the villains are also great, with justified and believable motivations that serve as a near perfect contrast to our protagonists.
The visuals are animation are outstanding in this show, especially when considering that it was made in 2007. The fights are beautifully choreographed and visually appealing with vivid color palettes. The cinematography is some of the best I've seen in anime. And there's plenty of visual symbolism that adds meaning to the story and characters. The art is especially good in the final few episodes, which the creators saved 40% of their budget for. And it shows; those final episodes are some of the most beautiful episodes I've ever seen. That final fight, oh my god.
The show is just as amazing in the audio department. The voice acting is powerful for both the sub and dub versions. In fact, it has one of the best dubs I've heard, right alongside Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. But where the sound truly stands out is in the music. There's a large variety of soundtracks that perfectly capture every scene, whether they're happy, sad, spine-chilling, or pure hype moments. One track in particular, titled "Libera Me From Hell", is the most unique and symbolic soundtrack I've ever heard. It plays during some of the best scenes in the entire show, and it makes those scenes that much better.
Yeah, as you can probably tell by now, I love this show. It's my favorite piece of fiction across all types of media and storytelling, and I've had more fun watching it than anything else. Hell, those last few episodes are probably in the top ten best experiences of my life. The show's messages have genuinely made a positive impact on my life and how I view the world. And while I don't expect everyone to enjoy it as much as I do, I think anyone would be doing themselves a huge favor by watching it. So what are you waiting for? Open a new window and experience one of the most epic shows anime has to offer.