TTGL (Shounen) – Written by Kazuki Nakashima, Illustrated by Kotaro Mori and Directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi (Anime) – Rating 9.5/10
Reviewer: Dr. §trangelove
Synopsis: The manga for TTGL, based off the critically acclaimed anime of the same name, follows the touching story of two young men as they escape their native village together, develop everlasting bonds of brotherhood, pilot ever larger robots, fight hordes of other giant robots, break every law of physics known to man and basically turn everything in the universe on its ass at a whim…
Set on post apocalyptic earth, where beastmen reign supreme under their monarch, the Spiral King, TTGL presents a somewhat new perspective where humans are considered inferior and only deserving of extermination. The series’ main antagonists, Kamina and Simon, live underground in a small, dirt poor village pitifully eking out their existence on a diet of pig mole and dirt until a fateful day when their whole world is shattered with the arrival of a gigantic mech trying to destroy their village. Teaming up the with inadequately clothed sharpshooter, Yoko, they make their way forth into the wide world, defying everything that has the possibility of being defied.
As the series progresses they add a ragtag group of comrades (who doesn’t?) to their “Dai Gurren Brigade” which now has the sole purpose of humanity’s freedom in mind. Along with the added purpose of blowing up everything that has even the remote possibility of combustion.
I’m not a fan of spoilers, so I will avoid leaking any of the more detailed plot aspects of the series so you lazy buggers will actually go and read/watch it. Suffice it to say that the manly connotations of their every action will make you wish you were that cool and that at the end of the series you will be breathless and misty eyed.
Artwork: Director Hiroyuki Imaishi (perhaps my favourite anime director) and production house Gainax are known for their extremely fast paced and frantic animation styles. The anime is resplendent with it’s plethora of colours and quickly shifting art style and in all honesty, I am at a lack of words to accurately describe it beyond “your mind = f***ed”.
Soundtrack: The soundtrack for this series is a masterful at its worst. It jumps from hard rock to earthy jazz to some sincerely amazing operatic pieces that leave your neck hairs standing on edge as you wait in tense expectation for the inevitable explosion or feat of extreme manliness, most often at the same time.
Tone: The series can be considered a parody of the usual serious mecha anime, except it ends up doing it better than you’d expect. There is a general air of hilarity about the whole thing, but there are times when the mood is frighteningly serious. I will admit that at various times during watching/reading this series my eyes have begun to tear up moderately. There’s also an omnipresent ecchi feel to it, but that’s pretty much due to Yoko’s general state of near nudity.
Consensus: Perhaps one of my favourite series of all time and definitely one that I will watch again. In fact, I think my life is divided into segments where I am either 1) watching TTGL or 2) not watching TTGL. Sadly, the latter outweighs the former. The art is amazing, the music is hypnotizing, the characterization is superb and the plot doesn’t feel like it was written by a four year old.
*One reader said: “You know you are a bad ass when you walk out in the middle of space, naked, with your dick on fire, and summon your long destroyed, building sized mech out of sheer will power and balls. BEST. ANIME. EVER.”*
*Warning*: You WILL be afflicted with TTGL syndrome. Symptoms: Quoting Kamina in real life situations and not giving a fizwidget if people think you’re crazy, pointing towards the sky at dramatic moments and the insatiable desire for a cape with a flaming red skull with sunglasses on it.
Age Rating: 13+
Status: Complete at 27 episodes.
You need to watch this in the best quality possible so buy the HD box set you cheap bastards.
DISCLAIMER: Artwork and manga copyright © Gainax but there is a whole universe of fan art out there.
Video of the flash forward scene from the first episode. This pretty much sums up TTGL.