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Episode 21: You Are Someone Who Ought to Survive

 

Review by Scott Richardson

August 24, 2007

 

Summary

 

With Yoko's gun aimed squarely at her back, Nia emotionlessly informs them that there is no hope for mankind and teleports away. Meanwhile, the Arc-Gurren leaves Earth's atmosphere with only around half the people on board that they'd hoped for, only to find their way blocked by two colossally large Mugann and an overwhelming number of smaller Mugann... One year ago, in a small village on Koreha Island, two bullies pick on a young boy named Nakim, but run off when the school bell rings. One of Nakim's classmates, a girl named Maosha sympathetically offers to help him on his feet, but a voice from behind them stops her. Yoko--in surprisingly conservative attire--tells Maosha to let him stand up on his own, and congratulates him when he does. Shortly thereafter, Yoko is introduced to the students as their new teacher, Yomako (who denies any relation to a certain member of the famous Team Dai-Gurren). Yoko has decided that she wants to look after this generation of children--the first to be born on the surface. As time goes by, she proves very capable and popular with the children, though Nakim still gets teased for being 'Maosha's boyfriend'--something that he immediately denies, due to his crush on Yoko. One day, Nakim finds his school bag (which is his only memento from his dead father) hanging from the top branch of a very tall tree. In a tearful rage, Nakim attempts to climb the tree in a seemingly vain attempt to get his bag back. Upset at how things have turned out, Maosha goes to get Yoko, but Nakim is already out of reach. Finally, to his classmate's surprise, Nakim reaches the top and grabs his bag. But when he looks down and sees exactly how high up he's made it, he freezes in terror. Seeing this, Yoko springs into action, nimbly reaching the top in a matter of moments and taking a seat next to the young boy. Comforted by her presence, Nakim is able to witness a beautiful sunset. Yoko tells Nakim that she's seen a view like this before, alongside a boy who was much like Nakim. Afterwards she made many friends and they all did their best to face tomorrow. Although some died, she tells Nakim that it's good to have such memories. When Nakim and Yoko make it back down, Nakim finds himself suddenly popular thanks to his impressive tree-climbing skills. Soon, however, Yoko's peaceful days were broken by Nia's message of despair and Rossiu's announcement of Simon's imprisonment. Shortly thereafter, the people of Koreha Island gathered together near the schoolhouse to wait for a boat which was sent to direct them to an underground shelter. They are unexpectedly attacked by two Gunmen piloted by wanted criminals, who take Maosha hostage and demand supplies from the villagers. 

 

Displeased with the criminal's destruction of the empty schoolhouse, Yoko quickly returns to her room, changes into her old outfit, and fetches her rifle. In an impressive display of skill, Yoko quickly rescues Maosha and puts a violent end to the rouge Gunmen. With the crisis over, Maosha tearfully confesses to Nakim that she was the one who put his bag in the tree--jealous of his crush on Yoko and not realizing how much the bag meant to him. Nakim quickly forgives her, however, and asks her to evacuate with him. Yoko suddenly receives a message from Rossiu, who asks her to return to Kamina City to board the Arc-Gurren, and informs her that no one on the surface will survive when the moon hits. Unimpressed with Rossiu's politics, Yoko packs up her hover bike to leave. The children gather around her for a tearful farewell, now aware of who she really is, but she tells them that to them she'll always be their teacher, Yomako, and promises to bring their blue sky back to them... Back in the present, Yoko quickly frees Simon as they fill each other in on the situation. To Viral's surprise, Simon frees him as well and invites him along. The trio exit the jail to find the Team Dai-Gurren reassembled and waiting for their leader. With the people on Earth doomed if the moon hits and the Arc-Gurren most likely flying into a trap, Simon informs the Brigade that the moon must go. Reite leads them to a warehouse which contains a repaired and upgraded Gurren-Lagann as well as a rocket capable of getting the other Gunmen into space, all of which has been prepared by Leeron. Simon offers him Gurren's cockpit, and despite his constant humiliation at the hands of the machine, Viral is unable to turn down Simon's offer. In space, the battle is not going well for the Arc-Gurren. More than half the ship's Grapearls have already been wiped out, and it seems that the moon's decent is accelerating. To make matters worse, the Arc-Gurren's spiral power is beginning to weaken as Rossiu and the survivors begin to sink into despair. As one of the colossal Mugann positions itself over the ship to deliver a killing blow, Rossiu is shocked to see Gurren-Lagann and the Team Dai-Gurren appear to drive the colossal Mugann back. With their impossible objective looming before them, Simon and Viral introduce themselves in tandem--"The two paths of man and beast intertwine to create a spiral path! Piercing destiny as yesterday's enemies and creating a new path with these hands! The Union of Fate--GURREN-LAGANN! Who the hell do you think we are!?" 

 

Commentary

 

After four episodes of things looking progressively worse for our heroes, we've finally hit the payoff with the Team Dai-Gurren making it's glorious return, fully intent on doing whatever it takes to stop the Anti-Spirals from dropping the moon. Viral becoming Gurren's new pilot and doing a speech with Simon was pure fanservice, and I loved every second of it. Yoko's story seems out of place at first, but after four episodes of seeing how drab and soulless Simon's civilization has become,Yoko's students and their colorful island village serve as a reminder of what the Team Gurren is fighting for. Not only that, but it's good to see that Yoko isn't tied down by her past and has found something worth fighting for outside of Kamina's memory. Her dismembering of the two Gunmen would have been the highlight of the episode had it not been for Simon and Viral's inevitable team-up.

 

Overall Rating

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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Gurren-Lagann Episode 21 Gurren-Lagann Episode 21

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