Gurren Lagann – 22
As the battle rages on outside the ship, Leeron takes a private moment to think about the spinning of a gyroscope and how he wants to see what’s beyond the heaven that they’re aiming for. By now, Simon and Viral have let loose a shock wave that destroys over half the smaller Mugan, but soon after, a large energy blast comes from the surface of the moon. The Gurren Lagann manages to protect the Arc-Gurren with a giant drill, and Kittan then suggests that the rest of them will protect the ship while the Gurren Lagann goes to take care of things on the moon. From inside the Arc-Gurren, Dayakka starts getting teary-eyed as he watches his friends turn the tide of the battle, though he’s a bit worried about who’s piloting his Dayakkaiser. The others inside the ship also begin feeling more hopeful about all this, and that in turn restores some of the Arc-Gurren’s spiral energy which Rossiu proceeds to use for the shields. Simon meanwhile tells Viral that they’ll destroy the enemy’s beam cannon before it fires a second time, and when Viral asks if that’s an order, Simon says that it’s a proposal. They then use the Gurren Lagann’s winged backpack as a pair of boomerangs to blow up the cannon, but several more cannons suddenly appear on the moon’s surface. All of them fire directly at the Gurren Lagann, forcing Simon to use a long drill to catch all the beam energy and throw it back at the moon, destroying all the cannons.
The two huge Mugan in the battle then make their move by separating into their component pieces and using those pieces to surround both the Arc-Gurren and the Gurren Lagann. With the ship being blasted by energy, things look bad, but Simon tells Rossiu not to give up and reminds him of how they’ve managed to pull through in the past. Leeron then remembers that the Arc-Gurren is the same type of large-scale Gunmen that Teppelin was, and realizing what he has to do, Simon – and Viral – power the Gurren Lagann out of the confines of the huge Mugan and manage to drag it all the way to the Arc-Gurren so that they can combine with it. Doing so injects a ton of spiral energy into the ship and causes it to undergo a transformation that’s capped off by Simon putting the Gurren Lagann’s Giga-Drill into the Arc-Gurren, turning it into the Arc-Gurren-Lagann. The two enemy Mugan also combine into one larger Mugan, and when it clashes with the Arc-Gurren-Lagann, Viral and Simon use their Burst Spinning Punch to send the enemy crashing through a hole before exploding. Leeron thinks that this is a space-time hole and wonders if this is the awakening of the spiral power.
With the immediate threat gone, the next task is for them to push back the moon that’s still falling towards the planet. Kittan and the other Gunmen pilots try to help, but since they’re approaching the planet’s atmosphere, Leeron advises them to return to the Arc-Gurren-Lagann. They then notice a huge face appear on the moon, causing Rossiu to wonder if the moon is a gigantic machine too. The surge in spiral power from Simon trying to push the moon back wakes up Lord Genome (who had been knocked out earlier in the fight), and he reveals that the moon is his flagship. Viral and Simon are surprised to hear that Lord Genome is still around, so Leeron explains to them that it’s a bio-computer. With only five minutes left before they enter the atmosphere, Leeron thinks that they won’t make it because the moon is too big, but Simon then receives several schematics of the moon, and Lord Genome tells him that inserting the source of his spiral power into a certain spot will let him control the moon. This moon is actually his flagship Cathedral Terra. Deciding to go, Simon leaves control of the Arc-Gurren-Lagann to Gimmy and Darry, but after the Gurren Lagann disappears into the moon, Rossiu decides that the Arc-Gurren-Lagann will disengage one minute before they enter the atmosphere. As his final responsibility, Rossiu feels that he has to protect the 180,000 people on the ship.
Having reached the core of the moon, the Gurren Lagann rushes towards the spot to drive it’s drill into, but Simon stops it just short of the hole because Nia appears in front of it. Simon tries to get her to move out of the way, but Nia refuses because she is the Anti-Spiral’s messenger. When Viral wants to drill through her, he learns from Lord Genome that Nia’s body is made of the same stuff a Mugan is made of. This means that destroying her would cause an explosion that would also destroy the control system. Nia calls this absolute despair and says that since the spirals have strong instincts for survival, the Anti-Spirals have to crush their hopes. She feels that terror and despair are the best deterrents for them, but Simon knows that they’ve stood up against hopeless situations and have become stronger through difficult situations. That’s why he’s here now, and he thinks that Nia had hoped for that too. Nia, however, declares that all things of her past are fiction and says that his words won’t reach her, but Simon then points out the ring she’s still wearing. He feels that it’s her will that prevents her from discarding her past, and he then realizes that the real reason she’s been appearing in front of him is because she’s wanted him to save her.
Simon remembers that when they defeated Lord Genome, Nia had said that she’d head towards tomorrow. They had created that tomorrow together, so Simon questions if Nia would destroy that. He now holds that tomorrow, and he yells for Nia to get out of the way as he plunges the Gurren Lagann’s Giga-Drill into the hole. This succeeds in stopping the moon from falling and causes it to transform instead into a huge ship that’s even bigger than the Arc-Gurren-Lagann. Everyone is then able to breathe a sigh of relief as the Cathedral Terra rises back up into orbit. Inside of it, Simon thanks Nia, but she tells him that this doesn’t change destiny. With the neutralization of the humanity eradication system, the Anti-Spirals will enter into a state of war, and Nia thinks that if they become serious, even Simon is no match for them. Simon, however, wants to know if Nia will return to being her original self if they manage to win, so she tells him that there’s close to a 0% chance. Simon feels that as long as it’s not exactly 0%, it’s the same as 100% for him. Changing back to her old self for a moment, Nia asks if he’d come to get her – which Simon of course intends to do – but she then starts to disappear. Nia’s last words tell him that she’s being recalled to the Anti-Spiral homeworld, and Simon cries out her name after she’s gone.
Back on the Arc-Gurren-Lagann, as everyone else is talking amongst themselves happily, Rossiu feels that he’s no match for Simon who he felt turned everything upside down after all. The Arc-Gurren-Lagann then returns to Kamina City where the sun is rising, and Simon looks towards it while thinking about Nia.
As expected, the episode had a lot of Simon + Viral kicking ass and taking names (I was amused by the Gunmen piloting a Gunmen concept), though the second half was a bit more subdued with Simon facing Nia and finally putting the ring stuff into play. In terms of returning her back to normal though, I wonder if Simon saying that stuff about not-0% being the same as 100% was a bit too overconfident. I still have my doubts that Nia will die, but there may yet be some plot twists in store for us. For now, since Nia is being recalled to the Anti-Spiral homeworld, I guess that’s where the group will go now.
On a different note, I didn’t expect the
Death Star moon would turn into the giant ship seen in the OP and in the beginning of the first episode. For some reason, I had assumed that that’s what the Arc-Gurren-Lagann was going to be like, but it seems that it was Lord Genome’s flagship instead. I’m sure it’ll become Simon’s flagship as we enter the final arc of the series that appears to have shifted focus to him since he now voices the preview instead of Rossiu. A lot can happen in the five episodes Gurren Lagann has left, though for next week, it looks like at least part of the episode will be Rossiu visiting his old village and perhaps rediscovering himself.