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Episode 19: We Will Survive, by Any Means Necessary

 

Review by Scott Richardson

August 15, 2007

 

Summary

 

The citizens of Kamina City riot, blaming Simon and even Kamina for their current plight. As Simon is being escorted, handcuffed, to a holding cell, he calmly asks Rossiu why he's doing this. Rossiu explains that because of his reckless and public battle over the city, his broadcasted conversation with Nia, and especially because it was him who killed Lordgenome, the people are blaming him for bringing the Anti-Spirals down on them. In their eyes, Rossiu explains, Simon is now no different from Lordgenome, and thus must be punished in the same manner. Simon remarks that Rossiu is just as tied down by the rules as ever. Rossiu coldly informs Simon that they've always made sacrifices in order to move forward--take Kamina for example, when he died the Brigade grew stronger and eventually won the war. Simon asks Rossiu if he thinks it was a good thing that Kamina died, and Rossiu says that he does. Simon immediately rushes Rossiu, but three guards hold him back. Rossiu emotionlessly tells Simon that he hasn't matured at all, and confiscates Simon's core drill. The next day, Dayakka and Kiyal visit Kiyoh and her new baby girl, Anne. Kiyal isn't happy with the current situation and states that even if arresting Simon was a good move to pacify the citizens, she still hates Rossiu for being so cold. She also expresses disappointment towards her sister, Kinon, for following Rossiu and not even finding the time to visit her new niece. Dayakka tells her to be careful what she says in public--with the citizens still on edge, there's no telling what may happen. Later, Rossiu meets with his advisers, and is informed that they have found 36 underground cities which should be capable of surviving the moon's impact, which can support at total of 640,000 people, leaving only around 360,000 people still in danger. However, at that moment, a tech reports that they've just discovered some new information from the bio-computer regarding something massive buried deep under Kamina City. 

 

At his trial, Simon is quickly found guilty and it is decided that he will be put to death. Many members of the Team Dai-Gurren protest, including Kittan who points out that Rossiu appointed Balinbow as Simon's lawyer, Gimbley (Rossiu's right-hand man) as the jury, and himself as judge--this seems more like a coup d'état than a trial. Rossiu coldly informs Kittan that, as their leader, no one else but Simon can take responsibility for the current situation. Dayakka argues that killing Simon won't help defeat the Anti-Spirals, but Rossiu believes that stopping the riots is their first priority. Simon pays little attention to the conversation and wonders what Kamina would do in this situation. To everyone's shock, Nia suddenly appears in front of Simon. Nia declares that the Anti-Spirals want absolute despair and hopelessness for the Spiral beings. Simon begs her to tell him why she's doing this, prompting her to float closer to him and coldly tell him to spend the next two weeks tortured by his will-to-live. Despite this, Simon notices that the engagement ring he gave to her is still inexplicably on her finger. Nia disappears through a portal just as sirens go off--Mugann have been detected heading towards Littner Village (one of the evacuation cities). Within minutes, dozens of Mugann completely obliterate the village and begin heading towards Kamina City. Hearing this, Simon tells Rossiu to let him go out in Gurren-Lagann. Rossiu points out that there would be nothing stopping him from escaping, so Simon suggests that he put a bomb in Gurren-Lagann which he can detonate if it looks like he's running away. Rossiu considers this and eventually agrees to these terms. Preparations are made and shortly thereafter Gurren-Lagann launches. Simon is shocked to find Kinon in Gurren's cockpit, connected to a huge bomb. Rossiu explains that if Kinon's life is on the line, Simon will definitely not attempt to escape or try to martyr himself by blowing himself up with the Mugann. Simon can't believe that Rossiu would use Kinon for such a thing, but Kinon informs him that she volunteered for this mission. Simon sourly notes that she's come to ensure that Rossiu will be able to execute him properly. As Simon heads toward the swarm of Mugann, Rossiu makes a public announcement to the citizens of Kamina City. He informs them that the former head of the government, Simon, will be put to death for his crimes against humanity, and outlines his plan to save everyone by evacuating the populous to various underground shelters and having the rest board a massive spacecraft which has just been discovered under the city--the Arc-Gurren--which is introduced to thunderous applause as the citizens begin to chant Rossiu's name. As Rossiu enjoys their cheers, Simon fights for all their lives against dozens of Mugann. He manages to take out a couple units, but as he attempts to lead the others farther away from Kamina City, they surround him and force him back the other way. Kinon notes that the larger Mugann has been keeping its distance and suggests that it may be the control unit. Simon decides to chance it and makes a run on the large Mugann, but Nia suddenly appears to Simon and vindictively tells him goodbye, just as one of the smaller Mugann sacrifices itself to throw Gurren-Lagann off course. Simon finds himself completely surrounded--Kinon panics, saying that they won't be able to defend themselves with just one Giga Drill. Simon smirks, saying that they'll just have to make more, and performs a Giga Drill Maximum--through sheer force of will, he surrounds Gurren-Lagann with huge drills, which reflect the Mugann's beams back at them, causing a massive explosion, which destroys all the smaller Mugann, but leaves Gurren-Lagann all but crippled. Simon is unable to chase after the larger Mugann which turns towards the city. Fortunately, Gimmy and Darry's Grapearl squadron appears with new anti-Mugann weaponry developed by Leeron, which destroys the Mugann while surrounding it with an energy field which contains the Mugann's self destruct. Simon is relieved to see that Kamina City has been spared any damage, but is forced to admit to himself that that Nia is not the one he knew. True to his word, Simon returns to the capital where he finds Rossiu waiting to take back the core drill. Rossiu announces that they are going to destroy Gurren-Lagann, so they won't rely on Simon anymore. Simon offers no resistance as he's loaded onto a police vehicle. Kittan burst onto the roof just in time to see Simon being taken away and then notices Kinon being unstrapped from the bomb in Gurren. In a rage, Kittan stalks over and attempts to hit Rossiu, asking him what he was doing to his sister. Unfortunately, Rossiu nimbly dodges every one of Kittan's blows, and as he declares that he will never forgive Rossiu, Kinon herself walks over and slaps him, angrily informing him that she volunteered to wear the bomb and telling him that he doesn't know anything about Rossiu. Kinon and Rossiu walk away, leaving Kittan shocked and dejected. Simon is taken to Rinkane Jail to await his execution date. As he is lead to his cell, a familiar voice welcomes him to jail--Viral smiles threateningly. 

 

Commentary

 

Simon's life has taken a turn for the impressively horrible--his friend sentences him to death, his fiance rubs his face in it, Kinon wears a giant bomb to threaten him with death even while he fights to save a city filled with people who hate him. At least Kittan and Kiyal seem firmly in his corner, even if a lot of other members of the Team Dai-Gurren seem surprisingly unconcerned. I take back anything good I have ever said about Rossiu. He publicly blames Simon for bringing the Anti-Spirals to their doorstep while setting himself up as the people's savior--but who was it piloting Gurren against Lordgenome? He orders the execution of a man who saved his life more than once, who freed the entire human race, and who seems to be the only person capable of wielding Spiral Power--the only thing that the Anti-Spirals fear. One thing is for sure, this episode set out to make you sympathetic to Simon and angry at Rossiu and his group, and it succeeded--in spades.

 

Overall Rating

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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Gurren-Lagann Episode 19 Gurren-Lagann Episode 19

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