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Episode 5: I Don't Get it, Not One Bit!

 

Review by Scott Richardson

July 29, 2007

 

Summary

 

Having gone quite a while without seeing any Gunmen, Kamina worries he's getting rusty. He also wonders why Yoko is riding with him in Gurren, despite the fact that he made a room for her out of some wreckage, which is now being dragged behind them. Yoko informs him that riding in that thing makes her butt hurt, which causes Kamina to make a rather insensitive comment. Yoko simply smiles and throws a rubber bullet into her sniper rifle. Up ahead, Simon and Leeron are scouting the surrounding area. Leeron notes that the ground here seems to have only formed around four or five hundred years ago. Suddenly, Gurren comes trampling out from behind them as Kamina tries to avoid Yoko's scorn, nearly running them over and causing the ground to give way, sending the entire group down into a deep hole. Yoko regains consciousness to discover that they've landed in a pool of water which seems to be connected to a rather poorly-lit human village. A group of villagers has already quietly gathered nearby and are rather shocked when Yoko exits Gurren. It seems that they believe the Gunmen are 'Face Gods' and they worship an old Gunmen on the other side of the pool. Not quite sure what to make of their guests, one boy named Rossiu, who seems to hold a position of some authority, takes responsibility for them and provides a fire for them to dry themselves around. He also gives Yoko a full body cloak to wear, noting that her normal ultra-short shorts and flame-print bikini top are rather indecent. It seems that the villagers think the members of the Team Gurren may be divine, considering that they 'travel with the Face Gods', but before they can get that straightened out, a villager runs up and tells Rossiu that something terrible has happened. It seems that one of the villagers has given birth, but instead of a single child, she had triplets. This seems to worry everyone, and Rossiu is forced to report it to the High Priest. The High Priest notes that that means the village now holds fifty-two people--which means that two must be 'chosen'. Rossiu wonders if this is really necessary, but the High Priest tells him that this is a ritual of blessing--the same as it was when Rossiu's mother was chosen. Meanwhile, Kamina isn't horribly pleased at the meager meal that they've been supplied with. Leeron believes, however, that despite it all, the villagers are trying to welcome them. But in a village with no livestock or electricity, this is probably about as good as they can do. Rossiu approaches and asks if the meal meets their tastes, and then asks if they would tell him about 'the world of the heavens'. Kamina tells him that the first thing to know is that Gunmen are not gods. Rossiu informs him that things have been like this since before he was born, ever since the High Priest was made leader of the village. And at that moment, the High Priest himself approaches and introduces himself as Magin. Kamina immediately takes a disliking towards the man and gets in his face, asking him if he's the big shot around here. Magin doesn't flinch at all, and simply tells Rossiu that with the ritual tomorrow, he should go get some sleep. He suggests that the members of the Team Gurren get some sleep as well, and then excuses himself. Simon and Yoko ask Kamina what he thought he was doing, but Kamina simply says that he can't stand that face or attitude. 

 

The next morning, Rossiu goes to look at the village's 'Face God' and notices some sort of switch in the Gunmen's nostril. Overcome by curiosity, he pulls it, which reveals the Gunmen's cockpit. Kamina, who was watching unseen from the other side of the pool, suggests that he get in and see if he can move it. Rossiu pulls back, saying he never had that intention. Magin shows up, to Kamina's annoyance, and chastises Rossiu for touching the Face God. Kamina gets back in his face and tells him that he's figured out why he ticks him off so much--Magin reminds him of their village elder. As unflappable as ever, Magin asks them if they would please leave if they have no business in this village. Later, Magin begins the ritual. The father of the new triplets asks him if there is any way to insure that the triplets will be raised together. Magin simply smiles and tells him that those chosen in this ritual receive god's blessing. In turn, every village draws a lot from a jar, until the last two are taken by the village's two young orphans, Gimmy and Darry. With all the lots drawn, Magin tells everyone to check their lot, those who have a lot with a red tip have been chosen by God. Gimmy and Darry happily announce that they've been chosen. Rossiu brings Gimmy and Darry to Kamina and the others and asks if they could take them with them. It seems that, when the number of villagers goes over fifty, someone will be chosen by God to go to 'Heaven'--a.k.a. the surface. Yoko can't believe that they would be willing to send such young children to fend for themselves and Kamina asks what's wrong with having an extra brat or two? Magin tells them that to go to Heaven means to be freed from worldly suffering. Kamina has about had enough and asks if anybody there actually knows what the surface is like, and tells the villagers that their High Priest is lying to them. The villagers don't seem very happy with Kamina, and Rossiu seems about ready for a fight. But before things can get out of hand, a Gunmen plummets in from above. Yoko opens fire on it, giving Simon and Kamina a change to get to their machines and combine to form Gurren-Lagann. The villagers can't believe that two Face Gods are fighting, and don't seem to be interested in Yoko's warnings to run away. Rossiu, on the other hand, attempts to make his way to the village's Face God, but when he makes it there, he's shocked to see the Face God get up on its own. Kamina decides that the best way to convince the villagers that Gunmen aren't gods is to break open this Gunmen right in front of them. But before he can make good on that, the village Face God walks over and smashes both Gurren-Lagann and the Gunmen, while putting out a lot of steam, which obscures the villager's view of the battle. The Gunmen gets up and attacks the Face God, forcing it back towards the wall. When they get there, however, the Face God manages to knock the Gunmen through a gap in the wall into a bottomless pit. The Face God collapses and the cockpit opens up. Rossiu is shocked to discover that its pilot is none other than Magin. Before Magin can explain, the Face God slips and begins to fall into the pit. Fortunately, Gurren-Lagann rushes over and pulls it back up. Kamina is even more annoyed with Magin now that he's shown himself capable of piloting a Gunmen. Magin asks them to please leave the village before they bring any more chaos. Simon suggests they do what he says, as they really aren't needed in this village. Kamina angrily exclaims that he just doesn't get it at all. Later, Rossiu tends to Magin's wounds and asks him why they don't tell the villagers the truth. Magin explains to him that when he became leader of the village he decided to limit the number of villagers to fifty because they just couldn't support any more than that. His religion is simply a tool to that end and he believes that the truth would destroy the village. He also reveals that he fixed the ritual because Gimmy and Darry have no relatives--the least he can do is try to limit the people who would be saddened. Rossiu angrily asks him then why he chose his mother so long ago. All Magin can say is that he regrets it. Gimmy and Darry are given supplies and prepared for their journey to the surface, and Rossiu tells Magin that he'll be going with them. If he can bring back news that the surface is habitable, then the need for all their harsh laws will go away. He also notes that it would be more convenient for the village if those who knew the truth weren't there. Magin offers him their holy book to take with him, but Rossiu tells him he can't accept it--after all, he can't read. Magin smiles and tells him that that hardly matters--he can't read, either. When Rossiu, Gimmy and Darry reach the surface, they find Gurren-Lagann waiting for them. 

 

Commentary

 

The Team Gurren's number grows in this episode, adding the cool-headed and straight-laced Rossiu and two young orphans (or should I say two more orphans? The only members who aren't confirmed as such are Yoko and Leeron). Magin, the High Priest, was kind of an interesting character, willing to condemn people to what is probably more often than not death in order to keep the village's number at a sustainable level. Does the good of the many outweigh the good of the few? It was also interesting to see Kamina acting the part of a jerk, simply because Magin rubbed him the wrong way. Sure it turned out to be somewhat justified, but he didn't know any of that at first. 

 

Overall Rating

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

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