Review: Gurren Lagann Part 1

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Gurren Lagann Part 1 Gainax proves they can build a fun and yet compelling giant robot show with the first part of Gurren Lagann. It has the right blend of comedy, action, and character development; glad I overlooked the endless merchandise around the buxom heroine and gave this a shot. Let me know what you think in the Mania forums.

3 comments

Daniel Zelter on

I'm looking at the summary review for now. Surprised you were really into this, though, since the chara designs don't grab me enough to check it out yet[Or maybe I'd like the art more if it was actually Gainax's style, and not a style "borrowed" from "Birth"(Aka Planet Busters. http://www.rightstuf.com/cgi-bin/catalogmgr/amrbM67m09tGw3SeQ4/browse/item/63051/4/0/0 http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=2662 But then I've also said I liked Eva when it was Akira, Guvyer and Patlabor. Speaking of which, are you going to double-dip on Evangelion Vista 1.0? ^_-]. Plus, I wasn't sure if its appeal wasn't due to the Gainax Geeks over-hyping it again. [I still need to get to Karekano one of these days, though...]

The result, Gurren Lagann provides plenty of laughs, frenetic action, visual style, and enough bounce for several ounces. Yet, all of the laughs and explosions were a subtle, eight episode prelude lulling you into believing this is a light series. When the dramatic shift to a darker tone comes, you do not feel it was a contrived plot device but rather a brilliant way to make you care about the characters enough to feel their loss. If this turn did not come, I would have found this to be a fun but not overly memorable start to the series.

If you like that kind of approach, you might wanna consider checking out Nadesico. It's not a bad mecha homage series, but the movie may vary.

@Daniel

I don't base my viewing choices on character designs, or any other one factor, alone. Didn't know much about the series going into it other than it had giant robots and a scantily clad heroine. Gave it a shot to see what the buzz was about. As I state in the review, it didn't really hook me until the end of the first set of episodes.

Until then, it was amusing and entertaining but nothing I'd really look forward to. It is when they turn things on its head that I realized the series gently laid its hooks in me. I just didn't realize it until they pulled them and pulled them hard. Now comes the hard part for the series -- keeping the line taut enough to reel me in completely.

As for the latest Eva incarnation, I have no plans to pick it up for my own entertainment; I haven't heard much to convince me it is worth the expense. If Chris wants to throw it my way, then I'll check it out. Otherwise, I'll pass.

I would highly recommend checking out KareKano; thoroughly enjoyed that series from start to finish. One of my favorite "slice of life" series.

Started watching Nadesico back in the VHS days; never went too far in it but was amused by what I saw. If another collection pops up in the AoD queue, I might finally grab it and check it out.

Daniel Zelter on

I normally don’t care for chara designs, either. But for GL, they were already a case of "been there, done that." It’s nice to know it’s not another "in-joke" show for them, though. I’ll check out Karekano one of these days, I guess. Most likely whenever TRSI has a sale.