The best way to crush an empire is to tickle its king the right way.

November 1, 2008

“Er… can you please put on some clothes before we talk?”

Taki Ozuno, “Conductor”(pilot) of the ‘Absolute Phono Cluster’ X-Arvend; Gensou Senki RuLiLuRa, chapter one

Wow; talk about a real bastard. I’m into the fourth episode of School Days and Makoto is one real playboy. By the end of Ep. 3 he’s already prepared to get a fresh girlfriend! And whoever taught him that the steps in a courtship are date -> kiss -> bang?!

To offset that, I had to stop and wach some Soul Eater. I swear, animes that keep high-quality animation into the thirtieth episode are almost extinct. Sure, there were reused scenes there and over there, but it was only for once or twice per episode or even in a few episodes. Last I checked at the week’s Episode 30, the quality is top-notch.

So, with Gundam 00 Season 2 running around blowing up industrial buildings, rescuing captured comrades and testing out MSes on each other, I figured that everyone forgot about Code Geass.

Oh, I couldn’t have been more wrong. In these post-mortem months that followed, the majority of fans mourned a little-understood hero; one who gave his life to ensure that no one would fight again. Lelouch wasn’t a matyr. Damn, he was have been remembered as a mass-murdering tyrant by everyone, but for a few. The entire hoo-haa ended in such a way that while some things were left unexplained (if FLEIJA didn’t kill people like Guilford, then it wouln’t be a very effective threat as a tactical weapon), I found a forum post that, however, did a good job at explaining the title of the entire series and Lelouch in general. Funny thing is, it’s just the two words: CODE GEASS.

For some of you who’re still in mourning, I also saw a doushijin (thanks to DC.com) that features an alternative end, and even introduces the concept of a second season. Unfortunately, it seems that according to official sources, our beloved and misunderstood monarch is really ending up cold six feet under.

Well, a toast! To one of the Greatest Animated Heroes of the Decade! No, wait. One of the Greatest Animated Heroes ever seen in history!

To celebrate our hero, Lelouch Lamperouge a.k.a. Lelouch Vi Britannia a.k.a. Zero, this post’s “Character Of The Post” is another great hero-correction, two great heroes: Simon and Kamina, of Tengan Toppa Gurren Lagann fame!

Simon starts life out in the village of Giha, in a time where most of humanity lives underground in isolated villages. The population generally gets by, but because of earthquakes, the village has to constantly expand deeper into the earth; a job relegated to the “diggers”. Simon is a digger, and he’s the best at what he does, but the adults ignore the loner kid, and the girls snub him because of his hygiene… well, the lack thereof. His only friend and companion after the death of his parents, caused by an earthquake, is Kamina and his fellow band of like-minded deliquents, the Gurren Brigade. Kamina is remembered as a trouble-maker best, mostly due to his actions to get to the surface world, which he saw as a young child, and wants to see again. It is around the ever-upbeat Kamina, however, that Simon feels truly at ease.

Simon and Kamina’s life would turn a 180 degrees, however, when he finds an object of great power; a Core Drill, and following an attack by a myterious robot, a Ganman, or specifically, the Lagann; another similar robot, but with a different power source. Along with the mystery robot is a teen girl from the surface, Yoko, and together, all three would destroy the robot, and with the Lagann, rise up to the surface world for the first time.

On the surface world, they would encounter many allies and enemies; Ritona Village, Yoko’s hometown; the Ganman Gunzar, which Kamina would steal and rename the Gurren; an enemy Ganman, the Enki, commanded by a commander Beastman (humanoids populating the surface in lieu of humans) called Viral, and would later become the Gurren Brigade’s worst enemy and rival; the subsequent fight inbetween Kamina and Viral that would birth the title machine of the series, Gurren Lagann; and a decision by Kamina that they would have to destroy the capital of the Beastmen in order to be free for ever.

The Gurren Brigade, later the Great Gurren Brigade with the addition of more members, would be first led by the charismatic and morale-inspiring Kamina, who would almost, always, along with Simon and his Lagann, lead them to victory. A sacrifice on his part allows the Brigade to gain a powerful Ganman warship, but after follows Simon’s role as the replacement leader for Kamina, and one of the lowest points for the Brigade, as everyone, espicially Simon, is hit hard by Kamina passing. However, finding an abandoned girl by the name of Nia, and receiving her encouragement, Simon would take on Kamina’s attitude and rise to be the very best; leading the Brigade to victory after victory against the Beastman Empire, the remaining three Beastmen Generals and the recurring light casuality Viral, and finally Lord Genome, ancient King of the Beastman Empire and one of Earth’s most powerful warriors, sans Kamina and Simon. Nevertheless, Genome falls, and the dream of the Brigade is finally realized.

Of course, it doesn’t just end there, but I’ll rather not spoil it any further. If you happen to be in the U.S., Tengan Toppa Gurren Lagann is on the Sci Fic Channel. If you haven’t picked it up, well, what’s keeping you?!

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