The Team Gurren has finally arrived at Gurren’s return point, but all they find is a vast empty dessert. Leeron checks Gurren’s data again, and discovers that the return point is moving. Yoko isn’t listening, however, because she’s overwhelmed by the body odor of her male counterparts, who have not bathed in quite some time. Unfortunately before they can find a solution, four rabbit-like Gunmen come streaking out of the sky. These enemies are dispatched surprisingly quickly by Gurren-Lagann. Rossiu wonders if the Gunmen have been getting weaker, but Yoko suggests that it’s because they’ve been getting stronger. They notice that one Gunmen is making a break for it, and Rossiu wisely points out that if they follow it, they ought to wind up at the return point. The Team Gurren gives chase, but loses the Gunmen in a sudden fog. Trying to get their bearings, they discover an old man who wordlessly leads them through some mountains until they discover, against all reason, a large Japanese-style bath house. Rossiu, noting the oddness of the situation, suggests they simply drop the old man off and leave, but Kamina and the others ignore him and walk right in. Inside they discover a plethora of beautiful young women who welcome them to their bath house. Rossiu finds this even more odd, but Kamina, Simon, and even Gimmy are too thrilled to give it much thought. An older lady who seems to be the owner, welcomes Kamina by name, and tells him that all the people on the surface have heard of the courageous Team Gurren. The brigade members are lead into a dining room and served a magnificent buffet. Rossiu finds this the most suspicious thing of all, and worries that it might be poisoned. By the time he’s voiced his fears, however, the other brigade members have already finished nearly the entire table of food. Unexpectedly, the three Black Sisters enter the room, and immediately throw themselves at Kamina. Simon asks them where Kittan is, and they tell him that he had some things to do on his own–they were actually supposed to meet him around here, but they chased a Gunmen, got lost in a fog and wound up here, instead. The owner reappears and suggests that they relax from their battles in the hot springs. After someone explains the concept to him, Kamina enthusiastically agrees. But sadly, his hopes are dashed by a very large brick wall in between the men and women’s baths.
Relaxing in the hot springs, Kamina suggests to Simon that they ought to go to the moon someday. Simon wonders if that’s not aiming a bit too high, but Kamina reminds him that they’re going to go beyond the impossible and kick reason to the curb. Their thoughts are drawn to a different kind of heavenly body, however, when they begin to overhear the girls on the other side of the wall. Kamina immediately begins to search for a way over the obnoxiously high wall. Failing to see over even while standing on Simon’s shoulders, Kamina orders Gimmy to look for a hole. Gimmy complies and sticks his finger in the first hole he finds, sending Simon flying through the air in pain. This works to Simon’s benefit, however, as he manages a quick glance over the wall before plunging back into the bath. Kamina orders Gimmy to do the same to him, but the young boy has already abdicated to the women’s bath. Kamina has Simon attempt to drill a peep-hole while he searches for another way over the wall. Succeeding in his task, Simon manages to overhear Yoko telling her companions that she’s never consider Kamina a potential boyfriend, or Simon either for that matter (he is, after all, still a kid). Simon is crushed by this remark, but Yoko goes on to say that, if he puts a bit of effort into it, Simon has the potential to grow into a fine man–the kind she could see herself marrying one day. His self-esteem bolstered, Simon closes off his peep-hole and abandons further peeping attempts. Shortly thereafter, Kamina finally makes it on top of the wall, but before he can dive into paradise, a giant cage descends on the women’s bath and the entire building begins to transform into a huge Gunmen. Kamina and Simon are ejected from the bathhouse and run over to board Gurren-Lagann. Before they can begin their attack, however, the bathhouse owner (now revealed as a beastman in disguise) shows them a projection of the captured women. Yoko yells at them to hurry up and save them, but Kamina is more concerned with why the projection includes mosaics, which prevents him from checking out the goods. The owner tells him that she’ll remove the mosaic if they exit Gurren-Lagann. Surprisingly, Kamina almost immediately pulls Lagann off and exits Gurren, demanding that the owner fulfill her end of the bargain. She does, but, as it turns out, the girls were wearing towels under the mosaics the whole time. Furious at this betrayal, Kamina rushes back to Gurren, but the rabbit-Gunmen from earlier run off with it. Fortunately, they run past Rossiu (who had been investigating the suspicious bathhouse) who jumps on board. While Simon and Leeron flee on Lagann, Kamina jumps off and onto the face of the massive Gunmen. Kamina’s attempt to break into the bathhouse prove futile until the old man opens a window for him. Meanwhile, Yoko finally goes postal, pulling out a hidden handgun and blasting her way out of the cage. She and the other girls rampage through the Gunmen, finally running into Kamina (who is on a rampage of his own). Yoko punches Kamina in the face, asking him what in the world he was thinking, fighting like that?! Kamina recovers immediately and issues a brief apology, but tells her with complete sincerity that hidden things are meant to be discovered. Yoko rages that if that’s all it was, she would have shown him anytime. The group stops in surprise, causing Yoko to realize what she just said and attempt to change the subject by reminding them that they still need to defeat this Gunmen. The group continues on to ravage the engine room, but are ambushed by the owner, who reveals a small remote control which causes the towels the women are wearing to constrict, rendering them immobile. With Kamina surrounded by beastmen, the owner declares that the women will most likely be sent to be playthings for Lordgenome. Unfortunately, while she is busy congratulating herself, Gimmy steals her remote and manages to loosen the towel’s grip. Kamina demands that he keep turning the dial, which he does until the towels finally release themselves and fall to the ground. Kamina watches with glee, but is crushed when the women are revealed to have been wearing bathing suits under the towels (graciously provided by the bathhouse staff). Kamina goes into a blind rage, declaring that the beastmen have taken too much from him. He calls for Simon, who bursts through the floor in Lagann. The entire group piles on, and Simon attempts to close the cockpit, resulting in some pleasantly cramped quarters. Lagann’s power suddenly skyrockets, violently ejecting them from the bathhouse. They home in on Rossiu, who managed to pilot Gurren and take out the rabbit-Gunmen. Simon rams Lagann into Gurren, immediately changing it into Gurren-Lagann. In a fit of rage, Kamina rips off Gurren’s sunglasses and uses them as a sword, slicing the bathhouse Gunmen in half, destroying it utterly. As they celebrate their victory, Yoko’s top accidental comes off, finally allowing Kamina and Simon their wish. Unfortunately, their bliss is short-lived, as they are suddenly hit by artillery fire, which scatters them (and what little they were wearing) across the desert floor. Nearby, the dust clears, and a familiar-looking white Gunmen and its pilot glares at them. Viral remarks that it has been a while.
This episode was deemed a bit too racy for the original broadcast run of Gurren-Lagann, and was heavily edited and half-replaced with a segment where Kamina and Simon reminisced about their time on the surface so far. Unfortunately, viewers’ dreams were shattered (much like Kamina’s) when the DVD came out and it was revealed that pretty much all of the cut nudity belonged to Gimmy. Nonetheless, the episode proves to be a lot of fun, which Boota filling in as an impromptu censor (is there anything he can’t do?) and featuring a ton of cameos by other GAINAX leading ladies among the bunny suit-wearing bathhouse staff.
Original Review: July 29, 2007