as if i could forget this

Something to taper off with

I’m back, and I’m bad! Well, at least I’m back. The first thing I did after I landed in SFO? Check to make sure I had the next two episodes of Gurren Lagann waiting for me. But, first, a slight detour.


I want to start off with a different space opera: Tobey Macguire’s Robotech. I think Robotech means different things for different people: some hate it, some dismiss it, some cherish it… but for most of this generation’s anime fans, it couldn’t be less relevant. I mean, when I was little, one of the few avenues of watching anime for me was trading VHS copies of Robotech. That must be something so foreign to people who just click a torrent on Tokyo Tosho these days. I mean, we had discussions back then on whether or not Robotech was anime… just a different fandom. Needless to say, back then, Best Buy wasn’t exactly stocking and promoting Haruhi DVDs, Cartoon Network didn’t run Naruto marathons, and people weren’t bitching that they weren’t getting Gurren Lagann subs 4 hours after airing. Really, really different worlds. Robotech is something cherished for rarity twenty years ago; nowadays it’s just another distraction for a Gurren Lagann post.

I guess with seeing all the shows from the 70s and 80s getting turned into movies, and seeing how much $$$ a less than mediocre Transformers movie brought it, it was only inevitable that Robotech is in the firing line. To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if Thundercats and Care Bears were up next. But thinking about it more, I’m actually kinda hyped and pumped about the prospects of a live action Robotech, especially if Tobey decides to take on Rick Hunter’s role. He’s got enough dopey energy to fill out Rick… which got me thinking… who else would I cast? Jamie Foxx as Roy Focker is a must. If he has time in his schedule to make a crappy Macross Plus rip-off, he has time to infuse some urban into Roy Focker. Not sure about Minmay, but I would go with some singer trying to become an actress… she also can’t be distracting in a miniskirt and should have an ounce of acting ability so Jessica Simpson is out. I’d go with Rihanna or Miley Cyrus, but I think Aaliyah could have done well as well. For Lisa… mmm… any eye candy would do, and if she were a few sizes larger than Megan Fox, all the better.

Then my mind really started wandering (this is what happens when United Airlines loses your luggage and you’re waiting at the baggage claim desk) about other anime series. I started with Haruhi before I realized that Back to the Future is close enough (both features tons of nonsensical time travel, and I’m almost positive Doc showed Marty the DeLorean only because he wanted to Itsuki him… yes, it’s a verb now) for a substitute. Well, what about Gurren Lagann?

Tobey would actually make a decent Simon, but I might opt for Matt Damon for Time Slip Simon. Brad Pitt would fit as Kamina; Samuel L. as Lord Genome; Rossiu would definitely be Jared Leto. I mean, it’s almost like Gainax used him as a template. Zhang Ziyi as Nia (only because I can’t think of a flatter actress; ducks projectiles from all my Chinese readers); Jessica Biel or Alba as 14 is the new 17 Yoko (I’m flexible). Monica Bellucci for Yoko-sensei. Clive Owen would be a serviceable Viral.

If you made it this far into the post, some reward…

Well, getting back to the actual Gurren Lagann: it’s official. It’s the real deal. I don’t care if Gainax turns it into a sappy school romance with the final episodes, it’s been a fantastic ride. I’m more excited to see the final few episodes of Gurren Lagann than I am getting a lap dance from Jessical Biel while watching Tobey Macguire as Rick Hunter. Something must be wrong with me. But you know that already. The last two episodes, 23 and 24, were great. This is not a complete list, but I liked: Simon knocking some much needed sense into Rossiu; giant nakkid floating Nia; Viral putting up his anti-Senator Craig shields on Leeron; Darry; Yoko wiping down the barrel of her long rifle; the prospect of Galactic Arc Gurren Lagann or whatever else the fansubbers would agree on calling it; Lord Genome’s head bringing back memories of Futurama; Simon taking Kamina’s act and seriously overclocking the shit out of it; Kiyal’s “Men are stupid” line… like she wouldn’t have gotten along with Haruhi; the long winded explanations of plot machina boring the cast; Leeroy using a Nintendo Power Glove to show off the battle plan.

What I don’t like? Yoko’s new costome. Yoko! You’re going to save the world, not appear on Flavor of Love. Didn’t like the death of all the scrubs… that’s something Sunrise would do, but I’ll forgive Gainax just because they haven’t brought Kamina back to life yet. Also didn’t like how Gainax chickened out and didn’t give Kittan a “Oh, that’s why your ass is suddenly so large” line after he thinks Yoko has had children.

One thing that I like about Gurren Lagann is the relatively compact plot and how it is well paced. A lot of shows will spend (forever in the case of One Piece) trying to accomplish the final task, but Gainax not only let Simon defeat Lord Genome fairly early on (when they could have tossed filler after filler of monster of the week shows), they took on a fantastic leap of faith by introducing Time Slip Gurren Lagann. Maybe it’s the show’s ultimate commentary: it’s not about the people evolving but the show itself. The show itself has shown tremendous “spiral” energy to go from being focused on a digger digging underground to a man beyond men commanding an intergalactic warship crossing time and space using his own will. That in itself is an evolution of the setting and nature and scope of the series. Consider how everything at the beginning seemed so small and focused. It was just Kamina, Yoko, and Simon trying to figure out how to beat a signal Ganman with Lagann. Now? It’s Simon and friends taking on the whole frickin’ dimensional forces of evil. Like a spiral, everything became exponentially bigger and bigger as the story went on. Now that’s impressive: not only did Gainax weave an entertaining story, they did so by mirroring the basic story concept.

22 Responses to “as if i could forget this”

  1. it should also be noted that from the onset, the animation style was somewhat unique in its own right. it wasn’t as clean and proportioned as most mecha anime tend to be, but jagged and outrageous at times, matching the characters and themes perfectly. i don’t want to be premature on this until the last episode rides into the sunset, but this may very well be my new top pick of any anime i’ve watched to date.

    on a final note, it would seriously make mine (and perhaps many, many people’s) day to get the 1st and 3rd images in larger resolutions. happiness abound in those.

  2. #1 The second pic there is wrong. I will never accept a 14 is the new 17 Kamina. Blasphemy I say!

    #2 Upon reading the the SciFi link, I don’t quite know how to feel. Its Robotech, the show that first introduced me to anime (or is it?) back when I was 3 or 4, living in China, and watching it with Chinese dubs. This was more than half a decade before moving to the US and catching of whiff of the likes of Escaflowne and most Hayao Miyazaki films. Its sacred, and its about time it got a renewal in recognition. And yet, the prospect of a possible trainwreck (no matter how small the chance), sends a chill down my spine.

    #3 The third pic is love.

  3. OMG, Third pic!!!!

    Not enough Darry’ness!!! Need more Darry!

  4. [quote]
    Not sure about Minmay, but I would go with some singer trying to become an actress… she also can’t be distracting in a miniskirt and should have an ounce of acting ability so Jessica Simpson is out. I’d go with Rihanna or Miley Cyrus, but I think Aaliyah could have done well as well.

    I often joked with my friends that if Hollywood cant find a fitting asian actress for a VG/anime-to-movie adaptation, they call Devon Aoki.

    Let’s hope my joke doesn’t turn out true.

  5. Indeed, Gurren Lagann has been fun. Yet I’m surprised that it still hasn’t overlapped the very first episode’s intro. I suppose this pretty much guarantees more than a sappy school romance, although that’d be rather amusing as well. Then again, I wouldn’t be surprised if Gainax was planning out a Gurren Lagann: Angelic Days remake already considering its success…


  6. Rossiu finally gets a bitch slap punch by Simon! I’m a happy man.

    [quote post=”1156″]One thing that I like about Gurren Lagann is the relatively compact plot and how it is well paced.[/quote]
    This is what I like the most about GL. Yesterday I went back to watch the first few episodes of GL and amazed at how different it was from the current arc. It’s feels like I was watching a completely different anime! The tone of the story was different, the characters was different. No other anime have this much plot & character development.

    As for current arc catch up to the first episode, I suspects that we’ll have another, small, time leap again. (Because Rossiu & Simon looks older in Ep.1)

    Anyway, great post Jason. (Darry pic FTW!).

  7. I am also thinking that the “end” of this series is going to be the first scene in episode one. It would be a great scene to loop back to, and it would be a very satisfactory ending. I’m loving how Gurren Lagann is turning out. For some reason, everything about this show just… WORKS. The compact plot is great, I also agree. I really don’t see any shows doing what GL has done. From episode 1 to 24, we’ve seen Simon go from Shinji Ikari to Kamina 2.0 Overclocked 100 times. We’ve seen characters die, grow, age, and develop into their own new personalities. We could attribute that to the whole time-slip thing, but even without that, this entire show has progressed far more than any other show I can think of off the top of my head. This was just simply amazing. I don’t care what happens in the next 3 episodes. This has been one hell of a ride already. A damn good ride. Props on the whole mentioning of the show being like a spiral. Props to GAINAX as well for coming up with something so basic yet so clever and meaningful.

  8. I have no idea what kind of ending i would accept as great, people dying, time reset, battle with setting for next generation, regular feelgood, or BAD END.

  9. Damnit jason, don’t you know I can’t be caught staring… slackjawed… at awesome pics like Darry x Yoko while at work?
    Have a heart!
    (also tell me where I can find more — is Danbooru back?)

  10. Woo, Robotech live action, it is gonna be JUST AS GOOD as Evangelion live adaptation! Now what I actually mean by that I’ll leave to readers’ imagination.

    And GL, the best mecha evolution since sliced bread. It’ll be a tough act for anyone to top, including Gainax themselves.

  11. Uhhhhh, everything you said was derailed by Darry.


  13. Found the source of that Lucky Star parody: the Gurren Lagann fanart site Candy Love Pop, illustrated by New York-based art student, Emi. He/she’s a highly skilled artist, although a bit on the Boys Love side.

    Candy Love Pop
    Emi’s DeviantArt page

  14. Wait, Power Glove….. I Love The Power Glove…..It’s So……Baaaad!

  15. Zhang Ziyi as Nia (only because I can’t think of a flatter actress)

    Are you KIDDING? What about Keira Knightley? Have you not seen this?

    Also, sorry, I think the rest of your live action casting sucks, but when I tried to think of my own I failed.

  16. That’s not Keira. That’s Johnny Depp.

  17. >> That’s not Keira. That’s Johnny Depp.

    LOLZ! On another note, Johnny Depp as Rick Hunter, and cut off Morgan Freeman’s knees to make him Exedore. Then cast The Rock as Breetai. Aaliyah should be saved for use as Claudia Grant.

  18. Yuck, Knightly as Nia?? That’s an insult to Nia. And grown-up Nia is not flat. Her’s are perfectly round. Just not as huge as watermelons like a certain someone.

  19. Perhaps he ment ‘flat’ as in ‘an actress who acts flatly/boringly’, rather than chest size. I think if he was talking about the melonpan, he would have specifically mentioned melonpan.

  20. Actually, he IS talking about chest size. Nia’s character is not flat and boring, nor is Zhang Ziyi’s acting.

  21. I lol’d at the flavor of love bit.


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