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Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann the movie: Gurren-hen May 9, 2009

Posted by ayasawada in Anime.
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GurrenLagannMovie1

I watched the first Gurren Lagann movie the other night and it’s worth a quick post. Largely, it’s just an edit down of the first half of the TV series, but there are some changes to note.

SPOILER ALERT

It begins with a lovely new introductory sequence telling the story of the Sprial King (and hinting at the fight with the anti-Spirals) to the tune of Libera Me From Hell. But it did not, as I had expected, end with the defeat of the Spiral King, instead ending with the defeat of the four Spiral Generals and Simon’s emergence as the “Who the hell do you think I am?” Kamina2. This followed the biggest change — a completely new retelling of the battle with the four Generals.

Admittedly, although it makes sense in a TV series to defeat each general sequentially, it would have taken loads of screentime to follow that through in a movie. Thus, they had all four Spiral Generals attack at once, with the TV bits spliced with all new animation of Kittan and the beast hunter sisters (with all new Gattai-gunmen!) taking on Guame and Yoko facing off hand-to-hand with Adiane.  Overall it worked pretty well, though without the bigger character development that comes with several episodes of Simon wallowing in grief, then growing in stature with each successive battle. It also leaves a heck of a lot of story to tell in the second movie, with the gang taking on the Spiral King, and then the whole anti-spiral war + Simon vs. Rossiu of the second act. O.o

Even in this movie they had to montage some of the slower bits early on in the series, including the infamous low-budget episode 4 and the onsen episode. Somewhat surprisingly they also glossed over the introductions of Rossiu, Ginny, Darry, Kittan and the rest of the Black Siblings. Considering I think of them as fairly major side-characters, to have them more or less appear suddenly with just an introduction was a bit of a shock. But I imagine most people watching this are fans of the series, so I guess it’s not such a big deal.

Overall, I really enjoyed the movie. It was great to revisit Gurren Lagann again and reminded me how awesome the story, characters and the score were. It really is a beautiful series, with such a fantastic message of belief, faith, friendship, commaradery and never-say-die attitude (I’ve just pre-ordered the first of the TV series DVDs, due for a UK release next month ^^). Bring on Lagann-hen!

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