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Episode 27: The Lights in the Sky Are Stars

 

Review by Scott Richardson

October 5, 2007

 

Summary

 

Nia's bonds are broken by Gurren-Lagann's drill and she is immediately caught by Simon, who tells her that he's come for her, as promised. The thirteen other members of the Team Dai-Gurren are transported in via drills as the Anti-Spiral looks on in amazement. Simon warns him not to underestimate them--be it space, time, or alternate universes, they will pierce through anything thrown against them. With that, Gurren-Lagann is enveloped by Arc Gurren-Lagann, which is in turn swallowed by Super Galaxy Gurren-Lagann, which absorbs the rest of the Team Dai-Gurren. With seemingly limitless Spiral energy flowing through it, Super Galaxy Gurren-Lagann grows and transforms into Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann, which towers over the galaxy itself. As an equally massive black robot appears to challenge them, the Anti-Spiral admits that no Spiral being has ever made it this far, but no matter--he will defeat them using the same kind of form they rely on. Lordgenome explains that the Anti-Spiral intends to impose absolute despair by defeating them in an equal form, but Simon is more shocked to see that Lordgenome has suddenly regained his body. The former Lordgenome explains that his form is the result of this Super Spiral Space, and is only temporary, but asks to be allowed to fight alongside them for the time being. Also, though he admits that he cannot face her as a father, he tells Nia that she has done well. The climactic battle between the forces of evolution and stagnation begins with the two god-like machines matching each other blow-for-blow, but Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann quickly finds itself outclassed by the Anti-Spiral machine, forced to dance across galaxies to avoid the Anti-Spiral's fire. Yoko manages to generate an appropriately-sized sniper rifle for their galaxy-sized mech, which she uses to shoot a large spherical object which seems to make up the enemy mech's forehead. To their shock, the outer casing is destroyed, revealing a planet underneath. Nia identifies it as the Anti-Spiral's home planet, causing the Anti-Spiral to remind them that his people were once Spirals as well, but after realizing the true dangers of Spiral power, they began annihilating the powerful Spiral races and isolating more insignificant ones. To stop their own evolution they imprisoned themselves in this pocket universe and sealed their bodies on their planet as proof of their determination to save the universe. The Anti-Spiral begins to hurl galaxies at Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann as he mockingly asks them if they have the same resolve? Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann is caught off-guard and slammed through several large galaxies, and the brigade members begin to wonder if they'll really be able to protect the Earth. Responding to their thoughts, a malfunctioning Spiral Recognition System creates a portal nearby through which Earth can be seen. Noticing this, the Anti-Spiral smirks and sends two long arms reaching for the blue planet. 

 

The people of Earth begin to panic as the demon-like Anti-Spiral mech fills the sky. But before its hands can crush the planet, the Anti-Spiral finds himself caught by Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann's Super Dimensional Anchor, which allows Dayakka to hurl it through space, smashing it into yet another galaxy as part of a move he dubs the 'My-Wife-Is-The-Best-In-The -Universe Swing!' Attenborough continues the attack, using the Anti-Spiral's own probability tricks against them, allowing his drill missile to bypass the Anti-Spiral's defenses even when they should not. The people of Earth can do nothing but watch in awe as the two titans battle to decide the fate of their universe. Enraged at losing the upper hand, the Anti-Spiral grabs two nearby galaxies and forces them together, creating an energy source equal to that of the Big Bang. This energy is turned on Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann in a sustained beam which the Anti-Spiral calls an Infinity Big Bang Storm. As it becomes clear that they won't be able to hold out for long against such a massive amount of energy, Lordgenome suddenly asks Simon to let him handle it. A black face from Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann's stomach bursts forth and Lazengann is reborn. Lordgenome quickly takes advantage of his new Gunmen, throwing himself in front of the blast. As the spidery drills of Lazengann hold back the onslaught, Lordgenome tells Nia not to grieve for him. Once, he was in a sea of despair, but now, having come all the way here, he is able to gain the satisfaction of ensuring a future for the Spirals. Lazengann begins to evaporate under the blast, but at the last moment Lordgenome goes into quantum divide, sacrificing himself to convert the entire blast into a drill made of pure energy, which is consumed by Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann. Enveloped in a new power, Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann rushes the Anti-Spiral with drills which are reconstructed every time the Anti-Spiral destroys them. As the onslaught continues, the Anti-Spiral exclaims that they are reaching the Spiral race's limit, but Simon tells him that his drill rips holes through the universe, and that hole will become a path for those who follow them. "The wishes of the defeated, the hopes of those who follow--by combining them with twenty spirals they will carve a path to tomorrow. That is Tengen Toppa. That is Gurren-Lagann. My drill is a drill that pierces the heavens!" Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann makes a final lunge at the Anti-Spiral, piercing it with its drills, but receiving a fatal blow itself. Leaving Tengen Toppa behind, Super Galaxy Gurren-Lagann continues the charge, only to be pierced by a second set of drills, but as before, Arc Gurren-Lagann pushes forward, followed by Gurren-Lagann, until Viral rips Lagann from Gurren, hurling it at the Anti-Spiral directly. Declaring a Lagann Impact, Simon and Lagann force their way past the Anti-Spiral's last defense and pierce the Anti-Spiral itself. With its last breath, the Anti-Spiral requests that they protect the universe. Simon replies that humans aren't that stupid, of course they will. The Anti-Spiral explodes, and the Anti-Spiral universe itself implodes under its own power, forcing the Team Dai-Gurren through the portal to Earth. As Simon and Nia float serenely in space protected by Lagann, they receive a message from an excited Rossiu, who tells them that freed Spiral races throughout the galaxy are contacting them with signals of joy... Some time later, Simon and Nia are finally married in front of all their friends. But as the ceremony concludes, Nia begins to fade away. Simon tells Nia that he will never forget her, even if the universe were destroyed. Nia smiles contently and reminds him that that won't happen. Nia tells Simon that she loves him, and finally fades away completely. Simon calmly explains to the shocked crowd that both he and Nia knew this was going to happen--Nia was a virtual life created by the Anti-Spirals, and thus, her existence was tied to theirs. Viral somberly notes that it was amazing that she held out for so long. Unable to bear this, Gimmy tells Simon that he should use Spiral power to revive her and all the others who died. Yoko reminds Gimmy and Simon is not a god, and Simon notes that if they revive the dead unwillingly, they'll just get in the way of those who follow. With that, Simon passes on his core drill to Gimmy and tells Rossiu that he'll leave the rest to him. Rossiu protests, but, content with his fate, Simon reminds them that he is Simon the Driller--there is someone more appropriate to pass through the hole that he has dug. Simon throws on his cape, and with Boota on his shoulder, walks into the sunset... 

 

Twenty years later, a very old looking Rossiu and Leeron look out across a futuristic metropolis and Rossiu notes that after twenty years the assembly for galactic peace is finally about to begin. Looking past his own work, Rossiu wonders how 'he' is doing. Leeron guesses that he's protecting them from somewhere, as that's just the kind of man he is... On a distant island, Principal Yomako receives a letter from Nakim, who has just been inducted into the Grapearl squad... Elsewhere, Gimmy and Darry board Gurren-Lagann to escort the Super Galaxy Dai-Gurren to the assembly. On board, Captain Viral tells his crew to prepare to leave for deep space and reminds them to put some spirit into it--they're the representatives from Earth, after all... On a hill overlooking three volcanoes, a grave marked with a sword and a cape can be seen, surrounded by six other crosses. Another grave nearby is covered in flowers and marked by a green-stoned ring. In the distance, the lights from Gurren-Lagann and the Grapearl squad can be seen as they blast off to join their mothership... And in some unnamed city, a young boy attempts unsuccessfully to drill his way into a giant walnut. An old man notices him and suggests he put less power into it. With this advice the boy cracks the walnut almost immediately, causing him to tell the old man that he's amazing. The old man laughs and asks the boy who he thinks he is, but notices that the boy has completely lost interest in him in favor of his newfound bounty. The old man chuckles and suggests that maybe he's nobody after all. In the distance, Gurren-Lagann and the Grapearl squad launches for space. The boy watches in awe and wonders if he'll be able to go to space one day as well. The old man assures him that he will, and revealing Boota on his shoulder, says that all the lights in the sky are stars--the stars where their Spiral friends are waiting... 

 

Commentary

 

Over-the-top does not even begin to describe this episode. Everything about the fight between Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann and the Anti-Spiral oozed epicness, the visuals of the fight as seen from Earth were an especially amazing touch. I've never seen anything quite like that fight before. And then right after that we're treated to a surprisingly bittersweet ending. For Simon to lose Nia after all that was heartbreaking, though it was a bit more bearable since they did manage to get married and were quite content with the time that they had. As much as Gurren-Lagann has been about kicking reason to the curb, moving on in the face of death has been an important theme throughout. I still can't help but be impressed at the massive scope of this series--in twenty-seven episodes Simon gradually moved up from feckless underground driller who knew nothing about the world beyond his village to battling what amounted to a god in a pocket universe between dimensions for the future of countless Spiral races throughout the universe. Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann is easily one of this decade's best shows and will doubtlessly wind up an anime classic.  

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

5 out of 5 stars
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Gurren-Lagann Episode 27 Gurren-Lagann Episode 27

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