Gurren Lagann – 24
By mentally focusing on Nia, Simon is able to confirm her dimensional coordinates for the ship and allows it to get a lock. He then makes a speech to his crew about how they can’t lose no matter what happens and how they have to win to protect their planet. With Simon declaring this to be the final battle, the Chouginga Dai-Gurren makes the warp jump and arrives in a place where a huge, naked Nia is floating in space. Nia is glad that Simon came, but she warns him to be careful because the Anti-Spirals are more powerful than he thinks. Undeterred, Simon vows to win and to go home with her. Nia smiles when she hears this, but she suddenly start experiencing pain and the huge image of her starts flickering. Lord Genome thinks that the Anti-Spirals are analyzing her body because she was born on Earth and grew up with humans, meaning that information about mankind is stored inside of her. However, he also questions why they need to analyze her now after such a long time.
After Yoko wonders where the real Nia is if what’s in front of them is just an image, Simon decides that they’ll make the jump again to try to reach the real her. When they arrive back at the same spot, Lord Genome realizes that the fake Nia they see is forcibly interfering with their jump. Simon wants to try once more, but an Anti-Spiral voice suddenly starts to address them from all directions. Lord Genome explains that this is possible because they’re in a causal space created by the Anti-Spirals in which the Anti-Spirals can manipulate things at will. Thus, the Gurren-dan’s enemy is this space itself. Deriding them for foolishly clinging to hope, the voice of the Anti-Spirals claims that the beacon of hope will disappear with Nia. Hearing this, Lord Genome tells the others that if Nia disappears, then it’ll be impossible for them to find the enemy’s mother planet. Simon won’t let that happen, but two giant battleships with heads carved in them then appear out of portals.
The voice calls these battleships absolute despair for Simon’s group, and when Simon orders Attenborough to open fire with the ship’s guns, they find out that these giant vessels employ an energy barrier similar to the ones that the Mugan were using. Because of this, Simon decides to send out their Gunmen, including the Arc-Gurren-Lagann. When they head down to the hanger, Kittan and the other pilots find out that Reite has created large versions of each of their Gunmen using the Chouginga Dai-Gurren’s production capabilities. Upon launch, they are greeted by so many enemy vessels (shaped like hands and feet) that it’s impossible for them to count them all. However, once the battle begins, they find that these enemies are fairly easy to destroy with their Gunmen, and they quickly clear a path for the Arc-Gurren-Lagann to strike at the huge battleships. Simon pushes a massive drill against the enemy energy barrier, but he and Viral aren’t able to pierce through and soon realize that this drill is insufficient.
Wanting a bigger drill, Simon remembers the ones on the Chouginga Dai-Gurren, but Reite informs him that he has to transform the ship to use them. According to Lord Genome, transforming the ship into humanoid form will amplify its spiral power manyfold, though doing this requires directly sending spiral power to the engines, and Simon’s the only person with that kind of power. This also means that the Arc Gurren will be taken out of then battle, but Kittan and the other pilots are confident that they can handle it. Simon thus returns to the ship and starts powering it up, but while he’s waiting for that to finish, he gets a bad feeling about all this. On the battlefield, Yoko has also noticed something strange: the enemy is too weak. It’s not until all the Gunmen get an order to regroup that the Anti-Spiral ships strike. One of their first victims is Zoushi, and although Ailac and Kidd go to help, they don’t make it in time to save him from being crushed by a hand.
One of the large battleships then fires a wave of 13 missiles, so Dayakka orders Attenborough to fire their missile interceptors. These interceptors only catch seven of the missiles, and Yoko and Darry are barely able to destroy the other six. Ailac and Kidd meanwhile have gotten themselves completely surrounded, and realizing that this is the end, they send a final transmission to Simon telling him not to make Nia cry. Back at the Chouginga Dai-Gurren, another missile gets warped in right beside the ship, and Yoko is forced to use all of the Dayakkaiser’s missiles to destroy it. When a second one appears, Darry manages to shoot it down, but the ensuing explosion destroys a good part of her Gulaparl. A third one then warps in on the port side of the ship, and this time it’s Makken who sacrifices himself to blow it up. Though she senses this loss, Reite doesn’t stop working and reports that the spiral power is at 95%.
With Darry’s Gulaparl immobilized, Gimmy rushes to her aid, but the pair quickly come under heavy attack. Darry wants Gimmy to escape with his own life, and although he refuses, his own Gulaparl starts taking a lot of hits. To his surprise, Jougan and Barinbou swoop in to destroy the enemies and carry the two damaged Gulaparls away. Taking a lot of damage while they try to fly back, the twins throw Gimmy and Darry towards the main ship and tell Gimmy to protect Darry. Jougan and Barinbou then turn around and face the horde of Anti-Spiral vessels, taking them all out in one giant explosion. Meanwhile, the Chouginga Dai-Gurren has finished powering up, and Simon vows not to forget this moment. They’re just seconds away from transforming the ship when they suddenly feel a gravitational pull from the port side of the ship. To their surprise, the ship then crashes into a large body of water and loses spiral power. Lord Genome realizes that this was a trap, and the Chouginga Dai-Gurren sinks into the water with the enemy battleships watching on.
The animation quality was really good this week, a definite plus since this episode was almost all battle. It wasn’t a huge surprise for me that they killed off some of the supporting cast, though there was a little scare in there when it looked like Darry would die too. The final death toll (not including random Gulaparl pilots) ended up being Zoushi, Ailac, Kidd, Makken, Jougan, and Barinbou. I probably should have realized that something was up as soon as I saw the eye-catch, but it didn’t click in my mind until after I finished watching the episode. Anyway, out of all of them, Makken’s death was probably the one that had the most effect for me since they had developed his story with Reite a little more than the others, though I have a lot more respect for Barinbou and Jougan now too.
There are technically a few more supporting cast members who could die – such as Attenborough, Tetsukan, Gabal – but their deaths wouldn’t mean much at this point compared to if, say, Yoko, Kittan, or even Dayakka died. On that note, it’s actually looking to me like Kittan and Yoko could have something going eventually since the two of them have been getting a lot of dialogue together recently. I’m beginning to think that a relationship between them isn’t out of the realm of possibility, especially if they both survive to the end. Having said all that, the title of next week’s episode, I Accept Your Dying Wish!, implies that someone else may die after all. From the preview, it looks like we’ll be seeing the Chouginga Gurren Lagann (Super Galactic Gurren Lagann) in action, and I’m sure that’ll be exciting to watch.