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Episode 17: You Don't Know Anything

 

Review by Scott Richardson

July 29, 2007

 

Summary

 

Seven years pass as humanity, freed from Lordgenome's oppression, returns to the surface and constructs a new civilization, the center of which is Kamina City, based in the ruins of Teppelin. Simon, now the leader of the new human government, finds himself drowning in paperwork delivered by Rossiu. Fortunately, he is granted a break when Nia drops by with his lunch, causing Rossiu to flee. Later that day, Simon and Rossiu meet with other government officials (all former Team Dai-Gurren pilots) and watch as the space agency--headed by Leeron--successfully launches its first lunar probe--Simon hasn't forgotten Lordgenome's warning about the moon and the destruction of the planet when the human population reaches one million. Though many members of the government aren't convinced that Lordgenome wasn't just bluffing, Simon believes it to be worth checking into. Rossiu asks Jogan how the population count is coming, causing Jogan to squirm a bit and attempt to avoid the question. Some of the others try to cover for him, but Rossiu berates them all, accusing them of being useless. Before the meeting can come to blows, Simon calls for order and allows Rossiu to take control of the population count project, but assures Jogan that he's not being demoted. Dayakka, Kittan, Jogan, and Barinbo go to eat lunch at a restaurant run by Jiiha Village's former elder. Jogan and Barinbo are rather annoyed with Simon for allowing Rossiu to talk down to them like that, while Kittan writes off the whole thing as an overreaction to a bitter old man's last words. Dayakka, distracted by thoughts of his very pregnant wife, Kiyoh, drifts in and out of their conversation. Back at Dayakka's house, Kiyal tries to keep Kiyoh off her feet by taking care of the chores when they receive an unexpected visit from Nia who asks for advice. To the two sister's shock, Nia nonchalantly reports that Simon just asked her to marry him--after lunch, Simon told her that it didn't matter to him if she was a princess or a member of the Team Gurren, all he wants is to see and hear everything she does for the rest of their lives. He then produced a ring and asked her to marry him. Nia smiled and happily took the ring, but responded, 'nope.' Shocked again, Kiyal and Kiyoh demand an explanation. Nia explains that she doesn't think that it's possible for two people to become one. Noting the misunderstanding, Kiyoh informs Nia that Simon didn't mean that literally--he was just trying to be romantic. Kiyoh reminds Nia that he proposed to her and tells her that what's important now are her feelings. Nia considers this and looks down at the ring and smiles, so Kiyoh produces a telephone and tells Nia that it's her turn to put her feelings into words. Elsewhere, Simon visits a large statue of Kamina, and remembers a time when the city was still under construction. He and Rossiu were admiring the newly completed statue when Yoko joined them, remarking that it stood out just like its subject did. Knowing that she was due to leave soon, Simon and Rossiu tried to convince Yoko to stay, but Yoko told them that politics are simply not for her. She jumped on a hover bike and told the two boys that she was leaving the new government to them and told Simon to take good care of Nia before flying off. Amused by this memory, Simon remarks that Nia won't let him take care of her so easily. Suddenly, he receives a call from Nia, who nervously tells him that she and him are not the same person, but because of this, she thinks that they can live together. She thanks him for the ring and tells him that she is very happy before hanging up. Simon's celebration is cut short, however, when Rossiu drops in to kill the mood by reporting that a guerrilla attack by a certain white Gunmen is in progress to the south. Recognizing Viral's machine Enkidudu, Simon decides to see to the matter himself in Gurren-Lagann, but Rossiu tells him he can't--he has a duty to the government and its people now and he can't risk himself in battle. Instead, a Grapearl squad is sent out to face Viral. At the site of the battle, Viral manages to take down one of the Grapearls (a mass-production version of the Gurren-Lagann) and angrily asks where Simon is. Darry and Gimmy join the battle, with Gimmy telling Viral that they don't need Simon to take him down. The two of them launch a combined attack, which finally overwhelms Viral's field-repaired and battered Enkidudu. Viral thanks Enkidudu for putting up with him up until now and accepts his defeat. Viral is taken into custody and greeted by a holographic transmission from Simon, who asks him why he keeps rebelling even though their fight was put to rest long ago. Viral dismissively tells Simon that he has no interest hearing that from the person sitting on Teppelin's throne, and informs Simon that he was defending the humans here whom the government are forcing to the surface against their wishes. Viral suggests that Simon is becoming Lordgenome, merely forcing people above ground rather than below. Simon is shocked at what Viral has told him, but their conversation is interrupted by Rossiu, who orders Viral to be brought back to the capital to await trial for his crimes against the government and cuts the transmission. Simon angrily reminds Rossiu that he never ordered people to be forced from their underground homes. Rossiu calmly tells him that he did it to help them get an accurate population count--for fear that if it wasn't done quickly, the population would reach one million without them ever knowing it. As Rossiu walks away, Simon calls after him asking what he plans to do with the one millionth person--will they be exiled from Earth, similar to how things were done in Rossiu's old village? Rossiu ignores him, but tells himself that Simon doesn't understand anything. Rossiu goes to meet with his followers, which include Kinon, and is informed that the biological computer is now operational--now they can discover the truth about this world. His followers are convinced that the current government is too used to peace and they believe that Rossiu is the only one looking out for the human race. Rossiu smiles and tells them that he is not alone--he has them, the younger generation. 

 

That night, as Simon looks out over Kamina City, he receives a call from Nia, who tells him that Kiyoh's child has been born--it's a girl. Simon decides to go for a visit later, but suddenly, some sort of portal opens up over the city and a polygonal machine of some sort pops out and begins firing a laser which devastates everything in its path. Seeing this, Simon cuts their chat short, leaving Nia to wonder what is going on. Suddenly, her eyes lock on to the full moon, and a strange red circuit-pattern begins to light up under her skin. Unable to understand what is going on, Nia screams and suddenly disappears. The Grapearls launch to defend the city, and Darry is surprised to find that their enemy does not have a face. Unfortunately, their weaponry proves to be no match for the invader's defenses, and one by one the Grapearls are destroyed until only Gimmy and Darry remain. In the control center, Kittan, Jogan and Barinbo wish they had their Gunmen to fight with, but are reprimanded by one of Rossiu's subordinates who informs them that, as creations of Lordgenome, the Gunmen don't fit their era and for that reason they were all disposed of. Annoyed, Kinon tells them that if the Grapearls, which were made based on the technology found in Gurren-Lagann, can't destroy the enemy, their old Gunmen wouldn't stand a chance. Just as Darry is about to be killed, Simon and Gurren-Lagann come to his rescue. Rossiu immediately chastises him--telling Simon that fighting isn't his duty. Angrily, Simon calls Rossiu a fool and reminds him that protecting the city and its people is their first duty. Barely able to keep the invader at bay, Simon decides to use the Giga Drill Breaker to destroy the enemy, which only manages to penetrate after absorbing energy from the invader's beam. Unfortunately, as it is destroyed the mysterious machine collapses into thousands of tiny geometric figures, which rain down on the city and explode, cluster bomb-style. Horrified by the devastation, Rossiu orders rescue squads sent out and blames the disaster on Simon for being too reckless and attacking without knowing exactly what the enemy was. Suddenly, all the screens in the city are taken over by Nia, now completely covered in a red, glowing circuit-like pattern. She emotionlessly states that her people, the Anti-Spirals--have determined that the Earthlings have reached Spiral Energy Danger Level 2 and, as a result, they have initiated the human extermination system. 

 

Commentary

 

After the epic battle against Lordgenome, we're suddenly catapulted seven years into the future--humanity has moved to the surface and begun building their civilization under Simon and the other members of the Team Dai-Gurren. Dayakka and Kiyoh are married, Simon has proposed to Nia, Yoko left for parts unknown, Viral is still fighting (though now he's fighting for the oppressed humans, interestingly enough), and Gimmy and Darry are piloting mass-produced versions of Gurren-Lagann, but overall, the only person who seems to have changed much is Rossiu--who is suddenly acting highly sinister, and has gained followers of his own (including Kinon--say it isn't so!). Simon has taken Lordgenome's warning seriously, but it seems that humanity has multiplied faster than he expected, and thus the seven years of prosperity are about to end with the debut of the geometric 'Anti-Spirals,' who seem to have procured Nia as their spokesmen (against her will, from the looks of it--perhaps due to the way Lordgenome created her?). Interestingly, if Simon winds up in conflict with Rossiu's group as well as the Anti-Spirals, he'll be fighting the two people who were there to help him fight Lordgenome. The show's tone has certainly changed--and it remains to be seen whether for good or ill. 

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4 out of 5 stars
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Gurren-Lagann Episode 17 Gurren-Lagann Episode 17

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