Adiane can’t believe that the princess would be outside of the capital, and considers just killing her and pretending they didn’t notice, but eventually decides to withdraw and request further orders. Safe for the time being, the members of the Team Dai-Gurren wonder what they should do with Nia now that they know she’s the daughter of their mortal enemy. Kittan decides that they’ll be friendly for now, but interrogate her tomorrow. Later, at the capital, Lordgenome berates Adiane for turning her back on the enemy. Adiane tries to explain that they had taken Princess Nia hostage, but Lordgenome calls her a moron and tells her that he’s already abandoned Nia–he no longer cares what happens to her. Sensing that her livelihood is in danger, Adiane begs for one more chance, and winds up promising to annihilate the humans and Nia with only her personal Gunmen, Sayrune, before sunset tomorrow. Lordgenome reminds her that this is her last chance. On her way out, Adiane runs into a rather somber Viral, still recovering from the battle for Dai-Gunzan. Regretful that he was unable to protect Thymilph and that he was defeated by Kamina once again, he wants to ask Adiane to take him with her, but as he attempts to make his request, she hits him in the face repeatedly with her scorpion-like tail. Having had some unfinished business with Thymilph, she isn’t very happy with Viral, whom she partially blames for his death. Despite the beating, Viral makes his request, but Adiane informs him that she’s already decided to go alone. The next morning on the Dai-Gurren, the crew gathers in the mess hall to watch Nia’s ‘interrogation’. In fact, Nia simply eats a big breakfast (cooked by Old Coco) while Kittan loudly fails to intimidate her. Kittan tries to explain to her that she is their enemy, but Nia doesn’t know what the term ‘enemy’ means. This kind of back-and-forth continues until Kittan gives up and Nia happily thanks him for teaching her so many useful things. Defeated, Kittan is forced to ask a still-brooding Simon to get Nia to tell him more about their enemy. Simon unenthusiastically goes to see Nia, who tells him that she heard from Kittan that her father has done terrible things to the people on the surface. She can’t imagine her father doing such things for no reason, but at the same time, the people she’s met here don’t seem like bad people. She asks Simon if he hates her father, which he does, and then asks if he hates her, to which he replies that he doesn’t know. She then asks him why he fights, causing Simon to tell her that he used to fight because his brother, who believed in him, was with him. Nia asks who his brother was, and after telling her most of the story, Simon tells her that Kamina was always smiling, no matter how bad things got. Overhearing, Yoko walks over and asks Simon to tell them a story about Kamina. Simon tells them that once when they were trying to escape Jiiha Village, an earthquake left them trapped underground. Simon was terrified of dying like his parents had, but even as everyone panicked, Kamina sat back there calmly urging them forward with a grin glued to his face. Seeing him like that, Simon’s hands stopped shaking. In that serene state-of-mind, it was as if he could hear the voices of the rock, telling him exactly where to dig. If they had just given up, they certainly would have died, but instead they were saved thanks to Kamina. Now Simon doesn’t feel like he can do anything without Kamina, but is trying to fight for Kamina’s share. Suddenly, Nia informs him that he’s completely wrong–Simon saved her by himself, so why should he be so obsessed with his dead brother? Even more miserable now, Simon retorts that she never knew Kamina. Nia reminds him that she can’t know a dead person, and he shouldn’t depend on a dead person either. Yoko finally snaps and grabs Nia’s arms, yelling at her that she can’t understand Simon’s feelings if she didn’t even know Kamina. Scared, Nia apologizes, and Yoko backs down, telling Nia that it isn’t like they don’t realize that grieving over him won’t bring him back–but there’s no way they could forget about him so easily. As Yoko walks away, Nia realizes that she was crying, and decides that she wants to know more about all of the people here.
Suddenly, the Dai-Gurren is hit by a miraculous tidal wave. When the water clears, Adiane, now standing on the deck in her Sayrune, informs the unprepared brigade that before she destroys them, she’d like to talk to the princess. Completely defenseless at the moment, Kittan decides to hand Nia over. Simon isn’t sure that’s a good idea, but Nia tells them that she wants to talk to Adiane. Yoko suggests that they let her go on the off chance that she may be able to prevent a battle, but warns Nia–whom she still does not completely trust–that she’ll have her sights trained on her back if she tries anything funny. Nia approaches Sayrune and asks Adiane if she is making the people on the surface suffer on her father’s orders. Adiane proudly tells her that annihilating the humans on the surface is her duty, handed down to her by Lordgenome himself. Nia asks if she’s ever questioned the morality of this duty, and Adiane dismissively tells her that humans are like insects to them. Appalled, Nia asks Adiane to take her to talk with her father. Adiane suddenly drops her polite facade, and cruelly informs Nia that she’s not a princess anymore–her father has abandoned her and she’s to be killed with the rest of the insects now. Hearing this, Simon runs back to Lagann and tries desperately to power it up. Nia can’t believe that her father would do that, but Adiane transforms Sayrune into a scorpion-like form, and wraps its claws around Nia, dismissively telling her that she just does what Lordgenome tells her to do. Nia defiantly tells Adiane that her father is wrong–these humans haven’t done anything wrong–all they want is to live peacefully on the surface, and that’s no reason to kill them. Adiane tells her that the humans killed Thymilph, but Nia counters that they lost someone precious to them as well–that’s what happens when people die–others are saddened by their loss. With Adiane about to crush Nia, and Lagann still not responding to him, Simon gives up and simply charges toward Sayrune on foot, intent on saving Nia no matter what. It doesn’t take long for him to realize that the combined Gunmen forces of the Team Dai-Gurren have gotten the same idea. Nia and Adiane’s conversation was broadcast across the whole ship, and none of the crew are too happy with a father who abandons his daughter. Simon is quickly overtaken by the Gunmen, which free Nia and knock Sayrune off the deck. On the ground, Adiane manages to fight the entire squad to a standstill, but is unexpectedly defeated when Leeron finally gets the Dai-Gurren moving, shattering Sayrune’s spine with the impact of Dai-Gurren’s massive foot. Just as Sayrune is about to be crushed by the Dai-Gurren, Enkidu comes tearing across the desert and in a stunning display of strength, manages to hold up Dai-Gurren’s foot and knock the entire fortress off-balance. Viral apologizes for not listening to Adiane’s orders, but suggests they make a temporary retreat. Before they make their escape, however, Viral notices Gurren nearby and, apparently not knowing that Kamina did not survive their last battle, declares that they will finish their duel later. Afterwards, Nia apologizes for putting the brigade through such trouble, but the entire ship enthusiastically accepts her as a full member of the Team Dai-Gurren. Later, she brings Simon’s meal down to his room, but as he is busy wallowing in self-pity, he does not answer the door. From outside, Nia tells him that she’s decided that this place is full of good people after all, and then she thanks him for being the first one to run to her rescue. Completely shut off from the world, Simon simply mumbles to himself that he just can’t become like Kamina.
Gurren-Lagann has certainly taken on a different tone since Kamina died. Whereas before the story centered around a small group of people fighting random non-human enemies through guts and will-power, now we have a whole ship-load of characters and a well-defined enemy–while the last arc was more of a homage to 1970s-style super robot shows like Mazinger Z and Getter Robo, this arc is apparently more of a homage to 1980s-style real robot shows like Gundam and Macross. That being said, I’m impressed by how likable all of the members of the Team Dai-Gurren are. While they’re always hot blooded and looking for a fight, they completely fail at trying to intimidate a young girl (who, to her credit, had a really strong showing in this episode). On the other side, it’s good to see that Viral is still around. I would have said that he seemed to be channeling Jerid Messa from Zeta Gundam–what with once again failing to defeat his nemesis and being forced to beg for another chance–but Jerid never disobeyed orders and knocked over a fortress to save his superior officer.