Gurren Lagann – 12
Heading straight for the enemy capital, the Dai-Gurren arrives at the ocean, and all the guys get excited at the thought of the girls wearing bathing suits. This causes Yoko to beat them all up for being lecherous, and she cites how their top priority is to head for the capital, so they don’t have time to play around. Leeron, however, points out that they have to cross over this ocean to get to their goal, and since the Dai-Gurren is made for use over land, he needs time to put the water equipment onto it. This mean that they do indeed have time to play, and the guys can’t wait to see Yoko and Nia in their swimsuits. Yoko’s amount of skin exposure disappoints them, but they soon go crazy for Nia. What gets Yoko even more pissed off is how Nia is superior to her in every beach game, from volleyball to suikawari (watermelon splitting) to making sand castles to seeing who can hold their breath the longest underwater. It also doesn’t help that when Nia brings Yoko a bowl of crab during the barbecue, Yoko accidentally drops it and gets laughed at by the guys.
Leeron meanwhile finishes installing the equipment of the Dai-Gurren, so it’s time for them to head across the ocean. Although everything seems to proceed perfectly at first, they soon come under torpedo attack from Adiane’s Dai-Gunkai. The Dai-Gurren attempts to return fire, but it doesn’t score any direct hits with either its cannons or depth charges. Kittan wants to head out in his Gunmen, but he quickly finds that it’s not suited for underwater combat when water starts pouring into the cockpit. The Gurren Lagann can still fight because its repair abilities allow it to self-seal, but it is unable to do much against Adiane’s Sayrune which is clearly superior underwater. Under Viral’s command, the Dai-Gunkai then clips the Dai-Gurren’s feet and starts dragging it underwater. Simon and Rossiu are unable to help because they have their hands full with Adiane, and so the other guys panic when water starts pouring into the bridge. To their surprise, it is Nia who tells them to calm down – she feels that it’ll be okay because she trusts in Simon to come through for them.
With his friends going under, Simon finally becomes determined enough to put on his goggles and fully powers up the Gurren Lagann. He transforms its arms into drills to free it from the Sayrune’s grasp and then creates a huge drill on is head to allow it to propel its way back towards the surface, speeding upward faster than the Sayrune can catch it. The force of the Gurren Lagann hitting the Dai-Gurren is enough to send it back above the water, but the battle still isn’t over because the Sayrune leaps out of the water and plunges its arm into the bridge of the Dai-Gurren to pull out Nia. Yoko, however, isn’t about to stand down just because Nia has been taken hostage and prepares to fire straight at the girl. Yoko’s first bullet manages to miss Nia’s head, though it goes through much of her hair. The next shot rips through even more of Nia’s hair, but this time it also hits the Sayrune’s shoulder, causing the Gunmen to drop Nia, entering her into a free fall. Fortunately, old man Coco once again saves her by catching her.
With it no longer holding a hostage, the Sayrune gets blasted to smithereens by the Dai-Gurren’s main cannons. Viral tries to come help with the Dai-Gunkai, but Simon doesn’t let him by using the Gurren Lagann to drill straight through the submarine Gunmen. Both the Sayrune and Dai-Gunkai start to blow up in a glorious fashion, but although Viral manages to survive, Adiane does not. Her last words are an apology to Thymilph. The subsequent explosion rivaling a nuclear blast creates a huge wave that the Dai-Gurren rides to the other side of the ocean with everyone cheering the victory. In the aftermath, Nia approaches Yoko with a request: to trim and even out her now-tattered hair. As she cuts, Yoko asks Nia why she closed her eyes when Yoko was about to fire at her in the earlier battle. Nia’s response is that Yoko is a rifle expert, so she trusted her. Yoko eventually finishes cutting Nia’s hair to a shorter style that both girls are happy with.
RIP, Nia’s long hair. Of course, that was only a small part of this episode since, aside from the battle, it was mainly about Yoko’s relationship with Nia. I’m actually glad that Yoko got more screen time because I was afraid that she was going to take a backseat to Simon and Nia for at least the rest of this arc. Granted, it was Simon who became a support character instead in all of the scenes this week except for the one where he powers up the Gurren Lagann, but he runs little risk of getting minimalized since he’s the main character. Anyway, I liked Nia’s long hair better, but this short hair’s not as bad as, say, Eureka’s hair from Eureka Seven. Once again though, it was the old man Coco who saved her, and I continue to question his role.
Also, RIP, Adiane. She was no match for a determined Simon and underestimated Yoko, but at least she got a really nice eye-catch this episode. Viral, however, survived again. He’s outlived two generals now and I see little reason to kill him off anytime soon since they haven’t already. At this rate, he’s going to live longer than the Helix King and and maybe become the final boss. For now though, it looks like Cytomander is next, and his domain appears to be the air. We’ll see if he can provide Simon with a challenge since Simon currently only appears to need that determination and fighting spirit to win.