Simon is a boy who lives underground and digs holes along with everyone else because village head wants to expand the village. He digs to find treasure, and one day he discovers a tiny drill. Not popular with the girls, Simon then bumps into his friend Kamina who insists on being Simon’s soul brother and declares that the drill is Simon’s soul. What’s more, he says that Simon’s drill is the drill that will break through to the heavens. It seems that Kamina is tired of living in this confined village and has his sights set on what’s above ground. His latest scheme involves using pig-moles to reach the ceiling, but he gets stopped by the head of the village. After getting lectured about how there’s not an above ground surface, Kamina stands his ground as an earthquake shakes the village and scares everyone else into their holes. Remembering how his parents died in a similar earthquake, Simon tells Kamina that he’ll be crushed to death if he doesn’t run away. Kamina holds Simon in his arms until the earthquake subsides and then yells at the entire village about how everyone spends their lives afraid of the earthquakes. Nevertheless, Kamina is the one who gets chained up in jail by the head of the village.
Simon meanwhile continues digging and uncovers a face that glows in unison with the tiny drill he found. He returns to the village and digs Kamina out the jail in order to show him the discovery, but the two get caught. The village head starts beating Kamina, but suddenly everyone is swept off their feet as something emerges from the ceiling. Kamina uses this as proof that there is something above them, but no one cares about what he says because the giant head that came down is now wrecking the village. Taking the village chief’s sword, Kamina steps forward to face it. He gets interrupted by the arrival of a girl with a large gun who manages to shoot the giant head multiple times before landing on the ground. Kamina immediately tries to get to know her, and it’s Simon who digs them all to safety and eventually leads them to the head that he discovered. With his small drill starts pulsating again and with some encouragement from Kamina, Simon uses the drill as a key and activates the face. The head then sprouts arms and legs, and all three are sent flying through the tunnel and out into the open area where the huge head (identified as a Ganmen by the girl) still is. Kamina names Simon’s mecha the Lagann, but he and the girl get separated from it and instead land on the Ganmen’s head.
Fortunately, Simon saves them and in the process gets the Ganmen to smash its own head. It initially looks like they’ve won, but the Ganmen soon gets back up. With the Lagann caught in the Ganmen’s teeth, Simon knows they need more power and manages to turn the drill key further. This causes the Lagann to explode with energy and sprout a forehead drill. With Kamina’s backing him up, Simon has the Lagann turn its arms into drills, and it’s then able to plow into the Ganmen. The force of the Lagann is so strong that they fly into the air and completely destroy the Ganmen after emerging up from the surface of the planet. Kamina, Simon, and the girl are able to enjoy a beautiful view, and the girl chooses this moment to finally introduce herself as Yoko. However, they soon realize that they’re falling, and they can’t do anything except to protect themselves inside the Lagann. Simon ends up landing on top of Yoko’s chest, but she doesn’t seem to mind. Rather, she hugs him tighter after getting a scared look on her face because two more giant head-shaped mecha have shown up in front of them.
ED: 「UNDERGROUND」 by HIGH VOLTAGE
Watch the ED! Mirror 1, Mirror 2
I really like the energetic opening song, which is sung by the extremely talented Nakagawa Shouko. The ending song wasn’t nearly as good, but it’s hard to judge a song based on only 30 seconds of it (which is how long the ED lasts).
This was a ton of fun to watch – very exciting and action-packed. I love Kamina’s character, and Konishi Katsuyuki did a great job voicing him. It’s hard to believe that this is the same guy who voiced Hagi in Blood+, though maybe I shouldn’t be too surprised since he voices Komui in D.Gray-man. Inoue Marina’s Yoko character was pretty cool too, though it looks like she’ll be the source of a lot of fanservice and breast humor.
Overall, GAINAX did a fantastic job with this and created something that felt very stylish. I still don’t really like the head-centric mecha designs, but I can probably overlook those since everything else is so impressive. Unfortunately, I don’t know if I’ll be able to fit this into my blogging schedule, so I can’t commit to blogging this until the other shows air in the next week or so, and I can compare with what else is good.