Watched all 27 Episodes
Finished watching 06-17-2010
Good show! Epic is really the word for it. If you want ridiculous levels of power thrown around, ask for Gurren Lagann. It's pretty incredible. A summary of the first part of the show: Simon and Kamina are two boys who grew up in an underground village. Kamina believes that there is a surface above the caverns. The rest of the underground village don't believe that. Everything changes when Simon digs up a strange little drill bit and a face. Then a giant monster face drops down from the surface. The subsequent fight eventually leads the two boys to the surface and fight for the freedom of humankind.
The characters. Nearly every character is well defined at the end. None of them are just cardboard cutouts. Some are obviously more developed than others, but even the supporting cast has depth. You don't see many shows that can do that in only 27 half hour episodes. The theme of the show is pretty much summed up by: believe in yourself, believe in others, and never, ever give up. There's also a running theme of being your own person, and not letting others define who you are. All of which is very good for a show that doesn't have God in it. Add a bit of God to the themes, and you'd have an awesome show. The plot is pretty standard. Bad alien guys oppressing the good human guys, the good human guys have to overcome the bad alien guys without many resources. The execution of the plot is what sets this show apart. I'd give more details, but I can't without spoiling it. Suffice to say, they took a rather generic plot and made it unique. They also avoided the trap of having everyone happy in the end. They actually had main characters die. Most anime shows have everyone somehow survive the entire show. Except maybe one character so that they can have some angst. Gurren Lagann let people die with it helped the plot. And they didn't do it for the angst.
This has a PG-13 level of violence. So, if that bugs you, don't watch. Some of the women walk around in bikini's, all the time, as in it's their daily wear. There are a few shots that make that clear. There are some rather obvious double entendres. I won't give details, because they are presented in a way that only people who get it would even notice them. And if you get it, you can ignore them rather easily. One of the main characters is obviously gay. As is typical with Anime, it's played for laughs. Nowadays, if you can watch PG-13 levels of violence, you should be able to deal with gay characters. Even if it's annoying.
I watched the show on Hulu with the English Dub. It's the first Dub that I actually like a lot. The voices all fit the characters very well. I don't see that often, even when I'm watching shows for the first time in English without having seen them with Subs.
One thing this show reminded me of as a Christian, is that we should never, ever give up, we should always seek God, and that when we are seeking God, nothing can stand against us. After all, when we seek God, it's His power that backs us, and what can stand against God's power? A key feature of the show is that the characters go off into big hyperbolic speeches as they fight. Essentially they stand up and say. "Enough of this crap! This is who I am! This is why I fight! I am not going to lose!" Shouldn't we as Christians say the same? "Enough of this sin! I am a child of God! I live in His power and I fight to save the world! I cannot lose!" When I was done watching it, I felt energized. There's something about how they show the characters overcoming the odds that gets to you. So, if you can deal with the cons, then it's a show I highly recommend. It's going onto my list of shows to buy.