Though starving, Kamina, Simon, Leeron, and Yoko make their way towards the enemy base. At one point in their travels, Kamina starts trying to train Simon on gattai (combining) by throwing rocks at him and ordering him to fly. Simon running away from the rocks gets interrupted when the Gurren get attacked by a group of masked assailants who think that Simon needs rescuing from a Ganmen. Kamina, however, is not the Beastman that his assailants think he is, and the misunderstanding soon gets cleared up. The three girls who “saved” Simon introduce themselves as Kiyol, Kinon, and Kiyal, and the guy who attacked the Gurren introduces himself as Kittan. They are Beastmen hunters – the Black Siblings. After the introductions, the girls go off to find food for everyone and end up discovering a large and furry pink something that already looks dead. Meanwhile, the Kittan reveals to Kamina and Simon that they’ve been after a 16-faced Ganmen. As they soon find out, the pink fur-balls they attempt to eat are the 16 pilots, and all of them soon escape to their respective Ganmen.

With Kittan’s help in providing covering fire, Kamina starts up the Gurren and Simon starts up the Lagann. Simon wants to combine immediately with Kamina, but Kamina refuses because Simon’s not putting his soul into it. Before they can go through with anything, their 16 enemies also combine into a larger Ganmen. Remembering how Kamina wanted him to fly, Simon tries to avoid all the enemies, but gets knocked into the air anyway. Kamina chooses that moment to combine into the Gurren Lagann. It squares off against the combined enemy Ganmen, but being starved, Simon and Kamina are unable to overcome their opponents. Realizing the graveness of the situation, Simon’s pet Boota bites off a piece of its own rear and feeds it to Simon and Kamina. This re-energizes them enough to beat their enemy and win the day. In the end, the two groups part ways with Kittan extending an invitation for Kamina to the join the Black Siblings and Kamina doing the same for Kittan with the Gurren Brigade.


Well, the first thing that stood out to me was that the animation quality dropped dramatically, at least during the non mecha parts. As many people have pointed out, this can be attributed to the different style, but there’s also the issue of them reusing footage (particularly with the 16-faced Ganmen). It was still fun to watch and had plenty of action, though the Boota offering part of himself to be eaten seemed kind of weird. Overall though, this was probably my least favorite of the episodes so far. Still, the next episode looks very promising…


  1. Different animation director. It wasn’t a really a drop, just a more “Artsy” style. The thing actually “Moved” better even if superficially it looks “weird”. The guys working here have actually quite a cult following.

  2. I can live with the animation not being as “OMG HOLY CRAP AMAZING” as it was in the first three episodes. It’s gotta drop at some point, and it’s better that it drops now, when the series is establishing itself, rather than later on in the series when everything feels really important.

  3. Flou is right. Its not a drop in animation its just that they had something of a guest animation director for this episode. Its the same guy who did Noein, some episodes of Beck and other random episodes of shows like Samurai 7 and Aquarion.

  4. Episode 4 was basically completely the work of Osamu Kobayashi – directing, animation directing, and storyboarding were all him. You can look up his other works on ANN.

    It’s not a situation where the budget has gone through the floor, it’s one where a director with his own style has been given complete control, and it shows.

    Much like how Sousei no Aquarion episode 19 and the third opening of Eureka 7 were entirely the work of Satoru Utsunomiya, or that episode of Samurai Seven that was directed by Hisashi Mori (aka Hisashi Nakayama).

  5. Episode 4 has some great animation, the movement is fluid and the director imprinted his own artistic vision. This episode is going to have a cult pretty soon. If you thought the budged went down, or that the animation dropped, you need to watch less naruto and expand the catalog of series you are following; still, I can see why a lot of people will not like this episode.

  6. As a viewer who considers consistency to be of utmost importance, I would have to say that this episode sucked for me. It’s not that I didn’t like the animation style, I just think keeping consistency in a series is more important.

  7. Take for example The Animatrix, if it was all directed by a single person, it wouldn’t be as great.

    Personal bias should remain personal.

    There are other great series that frequent a change of animation styles, one of which is Noein 😛 Well… maybe not a lot of people would have liked it, but anyways 😛

    I haven’t watched the episode yet, but am hopeful since I’m more interested in the story itself and how the characters interact rather than scoff the fun out of an episode just because the animation changed style. That’d be just wrong and you wouldn’t be getting anything out of it other than disappointment.

  8. TRUE DAT!!!! it aint easy putting out that type of fly animation everytime, i for one whole heartedly accept the idea of switching up the animation directors once in a while. consistency is good for paychecks, good for food prep, BUT NOT SOMETHING I WANT IN MY ENTERTAINMENT! switch it up negro, keep me on my toes. besides what other mech type show out there now can touch this.. P.S ”
    “””””NOEIN FUCKING ROCKED!!!!!”””””

    brooklyn otaku
  9. i’ll say it flat out – the animation was crap in this episode. i don’t care that it’s done by a different director, i don’t care that this director is supposedly famous. his style is clearly inferior to the previous 3 episodes IN THE CONTEXT OF THIS SHOW. a weekly 20 minute adrenaline rush demands fluid animation, not some 1 frame per second disjointed crap where the characters look like shit. the whole idea of “art” is irrelevant in this context – would lucky star’s animation be more appreciated if picasso came and did some of his emo cubist blue red artistic shit all over it?

    felt like i was watching one of those trash daytime kiddie animes with the 500 yen + free ramen lunch budget.

    my hope that they don’t pull more gimmicks like this later on.

  10. Consistency is important in a show.

    Consistency in the setting.
    Consistency in the characters.
    Consistency in the animation.

    If one day people are caveman getting food, and the next day they are bounty hunters that’s not consistent.

    If one day a egotistical self assured generally good protagonist reveals that he actually does nothing himself, has no confidence and enjoys eating the freshly pealed skin of twelve year olds, that’s not consistent.

    If one day animation that is roundish and smooth turns into square blocks that hardly move, that’s not consistent.

    That’s not to say consistency is required, I’ve seen a number of shows where they revel in their inconsistency and are quite entertaining. But the difference between those shows and this show is that they telegraphed to their viewer that their were an inconsistent show.

    After watching this I feel a sense of betrayal, I had warmed up to the look and feel of the world, characters, and animation and then without warning they pull this major shift out of nowhere.

    I hope they go back to the original method quick, or this shows hitting the my computers trash can.

  11. If they’re going to pull in guest directors, they should at least have waited a few more episodes until things were better established. Instead of getting everyone excited over the new show and then pulling the carpet out with a guest director that not everyone will like.

  12. lame.. lame… lame…

    one of the draws of this show was the rather fluid and bright animation and the spiffy character designs.

    About the only good thing I could say is I hope this means those responsible are sent to the bottom of the Z-list. I’m hearing some noise that some of the Gainax staff has a very poor opinion of their fans. Perfectly understandable (lets face it, some of them are rather squicky scary and creepy) but to tar all the fans is not very professional (or smart).

    They pull this stunt once or twice more and they can forget me buying the DVDs…. it may be that more JP-local fans need to grow a spine and say “sorry, won’t buy crap just because it has BRAND X anime logos on it”

  13. You guys should see the flame war that’s going on at the Gainax blog. It’s frickin’ 2ch versus 4chan towards the end and I must say it’s EPIC.

    2ch and 4chan are notorious for being home to the lowest scum on the Earth, and allowing them to post their crap anonymously. Needless to say the responses to Ep. 4 on Gainax’s blog can range from generally stupid to EXCESSIVELY AND GROSSLY OFFENSIVE.

    You have been warned. If still interested:

    random passerby
  14. Argh, now i was able to see the episode 4…. Argh, man. This is Animation? is more stop and Go technique. Did they run out of budget?

    Even the story in this episode is so low…

    Man what a drop, compared to the first 3 episodes…

  15. Ep 4 is not about art or the coming of a big director star…I did like very much Noein but Ep 4 is not even close to it.
    Let’s face it, all in this episode is made to minimize animation : constant close-up, mid shot without any action and reuse of footage.
    My guess is that they knew they would never made it in time for Ep 4, so they let it go broke to made it for Ep 5, a typical budget problem…

  16. >My guess is that they knew they would never made it in time for Ep 4, so they let it go broke to made it for Ep 5, a typical budget problem…

    Oh god, stop being a retard. The show was already halfway complete when the first episode aired.

    Take a look at the actual animation, it’s fast, precise and rich. Just because the design looks weird to you doesn’t mean that the animation sucks. Get it in your head. ANIMATION is a different thing than DESIGN.

  17. Hey, anonymous trying to be smart ? I know that animation and design aren’t the same. I didn’t say that the animation of ep 4 was bad but they did a lot of stuff to minimize it nevertheless. But actually just take a look at 2 sequences, say at 20’40” of ep 2 (monster running) and at 5’30” of ep 4 (Simon running) : we can see there a drop in animation quality though, at other sequences of ep 4, animation is rather good.

    The show may have already been halfway complete, but problems of budget are not related to airing time, just to some deadlines put up by the producer and others. My guess may be wrong, still I’m not blind…

  18. a masterpiece of morning/ afterschool show with quality animation and rich color, complete in a very old school style of the early 80s. wonderful, I will never rewatch this ep again.

  19. I have to say, normally animation quality doesn’t bother me all too much, but for some reason the style change in this episode bothered me so much I fast forwarded through the episode just so I could get the gist of what was happening and not have to sit through all twenty-three minutes or so.


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