Gurren Lagann is one of the most influential animes out there. This series single-handedly brought back the mecha genre when it came out. It is absolutely insane to think that this is an original anime. An original anime that was so good that its success caused the formation of Studio Trigger, a studio we all know and love. Not only that, but this anime also highly influenced the making of Transformers Animated; yes, the creators of TFA said so themselves.
But, is Gurren Lagann actually that good, or is it overrated? Has it fallen off compared to when it came out? Is it worth watching even today? Well, I will try to answer all of those questions today. Of course, the true answer to all those questions is subjective but let me still give you my perspective.
Gainax is famous for making mecha shows that mess with people’s heads. Now while Gurren Lagann is much simpler in terms of the plot when compared to something like Evangelion (also by Gainax), the psychological element is still there. The show goes from trying to break free from an underground prison to fighting a threat on a universal level. That is kind of a big leap when you consider that this anime is only 27 episodes long.
The plot is exceptionally well-paced. While I do agree some of the plot twists are kind of predictable, the good pacing keeps you entertained. It is kind of the complete opposite of Evangelion in this regard. Instead of the slow, painful buildup of Eva, Gurren Lagann has a more light-hearted fast-paced story that just sways you away. Both of them are amazing in their own right and suitable for different types of moods/audiences. So while it may lack the depth of Eva, it still gets the job done.
Now, this is probably the biggest strength of Gurren Lagann. Simon is a really well-written protagonist. He includes aspects of all former Gainax protagonists, Shinji (NGE), Noriko (Gunbuster), and Ken (Otaku no Video). His character development spans the entire series and is pretty well done. While Kamina was a huge influence on him, Kamina falls flat in front of grown-up Simon and Kamina is no slob.
Also special mention to the memorable cast of side characters, Yoko, Nia, Viral, etc. And of course, our first antagonist, the Spiral King, Lordgenome. All of them are really well written as well.
Animations and Soundtracks
The animations easily hold up today even after 15 years. This is the precursor to Trigger, and we all know how much effort Trigger puts into its animations. They are absolutely stunning. Same with the soundtracks, Libra Me from Hell is one of the most iconic anime soundtracks of all time. The sound design in Gurren Lagann is awesome as hell. This is part of the reason why the anime feels so hype all the time, Libra Me from Hell playing in the BG always brings in the hype.
So yeah Gurren Lagann is every bit as good as people say. 15 years later, it is still one of the best mecha anime of all time. And you should watch it yourself at least once if you like mecha animes. Let me know what you think in the comments though. I am taking my leave here. See ya!!