One month after the Team Dai-Gurren’s first battle against Cytomander, Simon and Yoko make a brief visit to Kamina’s grave. Simon tells Kamina that while he can’t become him, he can do what’s right. Yoko gets a message informing her that the enemy is preparing to make its move, so Simon says his farewell and heads back to Gurren-Lagann. Before joining him, Yoko glazes back at Kamina’s grave and says something too low to be heard. Returning to the Dai-Gurren, Leeron informs Simon that they’ll have the flight sphere (which they stole from Dai-Gunten) operational soon–with luck, before the enemy arrives. In Lordgenome’s throne room, Lordgenome notes that, according to legend, god created the earth in seven days, creating man on the sixth day. Ironic that the humans are due to arrive at Teppelin in six days time. Cytomander volunteers to take the Dai-Gunten out first and leaves to get it ready. Guame notes that the humans sure are persistent–no matter how many times they crush them, they just keep coming. Lordgenome explains that that is the basis of their strength–even though they were driven underground, they keep fighting their way back to the surface. In that way, their power resembles a spiral. Guame wearily notes that they have no idea that such power could just as well lead to their fall. Lordgenome notes that their ignorance allows them to keep fighting. Later, Dai-Gurren’s flight sphere is brought online just in time to avoid a missile attack by Dai-Gunten, which then dispatches all of its Gunmen. The Team Dai-Gurren follows suit, launching their Gunmen, which have now been fitted with flight spheres stolen from downed fighters. To Kittan’s surprise, Kiyoh and Kiyal decide they’re coming as well. Kittan angrily tells them that they might not make it back, but the two sister say they know the risks–besides, they want to avenge Kamina as well. Gurren-Lagann, piloted by Simon and Rossiu take the lead. Kittan tells Simon to go for the Dai-Gunten while they take care of the small fries. Unfortunately, shortly after the battle begins, another enemy battleship appears on the battlefield. The heavily armored Dai-Gundo, commanded by Guame, launches a slew of artillery Gunmen, which target Dai-Gurren from the ground. Seeing this, Kittan is forced to decide if they should split up their forces to protect Dai-Gurren. Simon tells everyone else to go take care of Dai-Gundo while he takes out all the fighters. Kittan accuses Simon of just wanting to show off, but Simon reminds him that they can’t stand against Teppelin without the Dai-Gurren. Knowing that Simon is right, Kittan orders the Gunmen units to protect the Dai-Gurren. Left alone against a huge number of fighter-Gunmen, Simon powers up Gurren-Lagann and launches hundreds of miniature drills in every direction, destroying a large portion of the enemy force. Shocked at this display of power, Cytomander orders an all-out barrage against Gurren-Lagann. Exhausted, Simon tells Rossiu to take the controls for a moment while he rests. Seeing a huge missile barrage headed right for him, Rossiu panics and sends Gurren-Lagann a series of dives and banks in a largely successful attempt to throw off the missiles. Simon comes back just in time to face Cytomander’s newly deployed Shuzack. Unfortunately, a few of the remaining Gunmen get the drop on Gurren-Lagann and hold it in place as Shuzack comes in for the kill. Simon is unable to break free, having already expended most of their energy. Seeing that Gurren-Lagann is in trouble, the brigade attempts to give Simon some covering fire, but Cytomander has ordered his remaining troops to fly between him and Dai-Gurren, sacrificing them so he can have the honor of the kill. Just when all seems lost, Cytomander and the Gunmen holding Gurren-Lagann are hit from the opposite side. A large force of small ships and Gunmen come from the east, all waving the flag of the Team Dai-Gurren. It seems that when Guame’s defeat was broadcast to the other villages, many people were inspired and began assembling a fleet to fight alongside the Team Dai-Gurren. With Gurren-Lagann freed, the fleet focuses its firepower on the Dai-Gunten, which begins to lose altitude. Enraged, Cytomander promises to show his true power and transforms Shuzack into a new form. This form is short-lived, however, as the Dai-Gurren suddenly comes streaming out of the clouds, smashing into Shuzack and proceeding to ram its knife-like prow right into Dai-Gunten. The fiery wreckage which was once the Dai-Gunten and Shuzack comes crashing down to earth, falling right on top of Dai-Gundo just as the engines explode, enveloping the battleship in fire. Before the humans can celebrate their victory, however, Dai-Gundo emerges almost completely unscathed from the explosion.
Seriously unamused, Guame orders Dai-Gundo to head back toward the capital. Connecting itself to the bottom of the massive, drill-shaped city, Dai-Gundo begins to spin, turning the entire city into an unstoppable energy tornado. The Gunmen of the Team Dai-Gurren and her allies struggle against the wind as the lead vessel of the new arrivals futily rams his ship into Teppelin in an attempt to stop it. To the brigade’s horror, most of the other ships begin to follow his example,committing suicide uselessly against the swirling wall of energy. Dayakka attempts to contact the other ships, but Teppelin’s spin has rendered all lines of communication inoperable. Suddenly, a huge holographic projection of Nia appears between the ships and Teppelin. Nia, apparently using one of the cameras from Guame’s failed public execution, yells at everybody to stop and then politely introduces herself as the cook of the Team Dai-Gurren. Taken by surprise, the ships stop and listen to her as she explains that Teppelin is currently surrounded by a near-impenetrable energy field, and if something isn’t done soon, they will all be sucked into it and be destroyed. She requests that they hold on for a moment, as the tornado will die out shortly–Simon is going to stop it–after all, his drill is one that will pierce the heavens. Sure enough, Gurren-Lagann is busy tunneling under Dai-Gundo, eventually breaking through and attempting to pierce Dai-Gundo’s underbelly with its drill. Unfortunately, even Gurren-Lagann’s drill is unable to immediately pierce Dai-Gundo’s incredible armor, and simply winds up pushing Dai-Gundo (and Teppelin) into the air. Unfazed, Guame orders the reverse thrusters fired, which slams Gurren-Lagann back into the ground. Unfortunately for Guame, Gurren-Lagann is undamaged by this move, and in fact, that push was all it needed to finally break through Dai-Gundo’s armor. To Guame’s horror, Simon begins to spin Dai-Gundo in the opposite direction, causing the energy tornado to feed back upon itself, destroying the Dai-Gundo and bringing Teppelin to a halt. But just as the brigade breathes a sigh of relief, the huge amount of towers connected to Teppelin’s underside begin falling off, forcing the brigade and its allies to scramble for cover. As more and more of Teppelin’s surface is exposed, a huge face begins to shine through…
The tone of the series certainly did change for this episode. By setting it one month after the last episode with the final battle just around the corner and opening with a visit to Kamina’s grave, everything just feels more serious, as if main characters could be killed off at any time. Unfortunately, the episode’s one flaw lies in the brigade’s timely reinforcements. In addition to the fact that their introduction scene was eerily similar to Kittan and Dayakka’s reappearance in episode 7, you’re left wondering where they found so many Dai-Gurren-esque ships. But what really bothered me was their sudden decision to slam themselves into Teppelin after watching their leader die in vain doing the same thing. It simply left me feeling that the whole thing was just a cheap excuse to give Nia something to do–this definitely could have been handled better. That aside, though, with the Four Generals dead and the sudden revelation that Teppelin is not merely a city, but a huge Gunmen, I am more excited for the next episode than I have been for any episode previously.