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Episode 22: This is My Final Duty

 

Review by Scott Richardson

August 30, 2007

 

Summary

 

Leeron spends some alone time musing over a gyroscope, noting with amazement that only seven years ago he was a Littner armory watchman who could barely read, but now he's in charge of keeping a giant spaceship running. He is called back to the bridge just in time to witness Gurren-Lagann's return to the battlefield. Simon and Viral manage to destroy a swath of smaller Mugann by simply flexing Gurren-Lagann's aura, but are taken by surprise when a large beam cannon fires on Arc-Gurren from the moon's surface. Kittan tells Simon to head for the moon while the rest of the Team Gurren protects the Arc-Gurren. The presence of the famous Gunmen helps rally the remaining Grapearls which help wipe out most of the remaining small Mugann. The Arc-Gurren receives a power up as well as the morale of the crew and the refugees increases dramatically. As the battle suddenly goes from utter disaster to winnable the second the Team Dai-Gurren arrived, Rossiu begins to wonder what it was that he had been working on all this time. Successfully breaking through the Mugann defense line surrounding the moon, Simon and Viral perform a Double Boomerang Final--using both Gurren's sunglasses and its flight backpack as boomerangs to destroy the moon's beam cannon. Unfortunately, upon the beam cannon's destruction, dozens more beam cannons open up all over the moon's surface and open fire on Gurren-Lagann. Simon is unimpressed, however, and produces a huge, fork-like drill which absorbs all the beam energy directed at it and redirects it back the way it came, devastating the moon's surface. The two colossal Mugann break up into dozens of bar-like pieces, half of which swarm past the Arc-Gurren's defense line, surrounding the ship and creating some sort of energy cage which throws the ship's control system into chaos, while the other half surround Gurren-Lagann. Rossiu doesn't believe that the Arc-Gurren will be able to hold out for long, but Simon tells him not to worry--they've always just barely made it, betting on what little they had and barely pulling through. On that note, Simon and Viral pool their strength and turn the bottom half of Gurren-Lagann into a giant drill which pulls them, and the Mugann energy cage, onto a collision course with the Arc-Gurren. Realizing what Simon means to do, Leeron quickly works to ensure that the refugees will remain safe as Gurren-Lagann combines with the ship. Astoundingly, when Gurren-Lagann drills into its prow, the Arc-Gurren transforms into a huge robot with Gurren-Lagann as its pilot--"Breaking through destiny and the Milky Way! The screams of life echoing through the galaxy! Union of the Raging Billows, Arc Gurren-Lagann!!" The transformation blows both energy cages apart, but the two huge Mugann reassemble into one unit which rivals even the size of Arc Gurren-Lagann. In a clash of the titans, this unified Mugann rushes right into Arc Gurren-Lagann's punch. Simon and Viral gain the upper hand, however, and perform a Space-Time Burst Spinning Punch, which sends the Mugann flying in a web of spiral energy with such force that it actually shatters the fabric of space-time. Simon's allies are left in awe of Arc Gurren-Lagann's power, but are quickly forced to direct their attention towards the still-falling moon. 

 

Arc Gurren-Lagann and the Gunmen of the Team Gurren use all their power in an attempt to physically push the moon back, but to little avail. Parts of the moon's surface begin to crumble away, exposing a mechanical interior and leaving the moon with a grinning face. Lordgenome finally makes his presence known, surprising Simon and Viral. Leeron assures them that Lordgenome is not back from the dead--his memories have merely be reconstituted in the form of a biological computer. Viral is somewhat offended by this, but Lordgenome assures him that this existence has proved fairly interesting. Lordgenome sends Simon a map showing the way to the moon's core, explaining that if he goes there and inserts a source of spiral power he will be able to control the moon and prevent its decent--the moon, as it turns out, is Lordgenome's Cathedral Terra. Gurren-Lagann leaves Arc Gurren-Lagann in Gimmy and Darry's care and begins digging towards the moon's core. With only three minutes left until collision, Rossiu decides that they will leave when one minute remains--the 180,000 people on board must be protected--even if everyone hates him for it--this is Rossiu's final duty. Gurren-Lagann finds its way to the hollow center of the moon and makes a dash to jam a Giga Drill into the control slot, but stops short when Nia suddenly appears in the drill's path. She tells them that aiding in the downfall of the Spiral beings is her mission and suggests that if she really wants to finish this, they should plunge in the drill anyway. Viral has no problem with that idea, but Lordgenome warns him against it--Nia's body is currently made up of the same energy as the Mugann--damaging her will cause a huge explosion which will destroy the moon's control system. Nia explains that the survival instinct of Spiral beings is very strong, thus, fear and despair are the most powerful weapons the Anti-Spirals can use against them. Simon remains unimpressed, and tells her that it seems like she's expecting something from humanity--perhaps she wanted him to make it here? Nia tells him that they are of different dimensions--her past is entirely fictitious and his words do not reach her. If that's true, Simon wonders, then why is she still wearing his ring? Nia is caught off-guard by this, and Simon tells her that it represents the part of her that refuses to throw away her past. She kept appearing to Simon and critical moments, not to ensure absolute despair as she kept saying, but because she wanted him to help her. Simon wonders if she'll really help destroy the future for humanity which she helped create and begs her to stand aside as he pulls back and then plunges the Giga Core Drill into place... The moon powers up, blasting away its rocky shell and revealing a colossal battleship, the Cathedral Terra, which immediately reverses course and returns to the moon's natural orbit. Simon thanks Nia, who moved aside at the last second, but Nia informs him that his fate has not changed--with the Human Extermination System destroyed, the Anti-Spirals will enter all-out war mode, and nothing will be able to stop them. Simon asks her if she will return to normal if he defeats them, but Nia responds that she will be summoned back to the Anti-Spiral government to analyze Simon's data--the probability of her returning to normal is extremely close to zero. Simon smiles and responds that as long as it's not zero, it may as well be one hundred percent. Nia's cold exterior finally breaks, and returning to her old tone of voice, Nia tearfully asks if he will really come for her. Simon responds by asking her who she thinks he is? Nia smiles happily as she is forcefully teleported back to the Anti-Spiral seat of power. As the crew of the Arc-Gurren and the rest of humanity celebrate, Rossiu broods. Simon was able to overturn everything, even as all Rossiu's plans to save humanity fell apart. He walks off the bridge, defeated. 

 

Commentary

 

The theme surrounding the third story arc was basically 'logic and reason.' Rossiu took over the government through cold, methodical reasoning and worked to save humanity in the most logical and safest way possible. The Human Extermination System was basically just a huge computer program designed to ensure the extinction of the human race in the most efficient manner possible (drop the moon while using Mugann and their spokesman to bring despair to humanity, in order to keep their spiral power contained). However, as established in the first episode, "go beyond the impossible and kick reason to the curb" is the Team Gurren way. And kick it to the curb, they most certainly did--turning a giant spaceship into a giant robot which is in turn piloted by another giant robot?! The moon turning into a massive battleship?! Arc Gurren-Lagann punching a hole in the fabric of reality?! Awesome. Still, Simon's conversation with Nia stole the show for me. The stage is now set for the final arc and the prologue scene from the first episode--Simon and the Team Gurren versus the universe. 

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

5 out of 5 stars
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Gurren-Lagann Episode 22 Gurren-Lagann Episode 22

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