OP animation sequence changed a bit this week to reflect that Kamina is gone. The void was filled with new shots of Nia, the bad guys, and the Gurren Brigade without Kamina. Having said that, I should note that Kamina is still in the ED.
Inside the capital city of Teppelin, the three remaining generals – Cytomander the Swift, Guame the Immovable, and Adiane the Elegant – are meeting with the Spiral King Lordgenome about Thymilph’s death and the stolen Daigunzan. Cytomander offers to go recovery the Daigunzan, but Adiane gets the mission because she claims to want revenge for Thymilph, her friend. Meanwhile, on a dark and wet battlefield, Simon forces Kittan – who is currently piloting the Gurren – to give him control over the entire Gurren Lagann and proceeds to completely annihilate the Gunmen that they’re fighting. In the time since Kamina’s death, the group has taken over control of the Daigunzan which they have renamed to the Daigurren on Yoko’s insistence. They’ve also repaired the Gurren, though Leeron comments on how you can’t repair someone’s heart in reference to how Simon has been acting recently. At that moment, Kittan is angrily confronting Simon over going at it alone and the need for teamwork. After the argument gets broken up by Kiyol, Simon agrees with what Kittan implied about him killing Kamina. Simon feels that he has to get stronger so that he can do Kamina’s share of the fighting. As he starts to walk away, he questions why Rossiu’s god didn’t save Kamina, and then answers his own question, saying that it’s because Rossiu had been praying to a Gunmen. Using that logic, Simon feels that Kamina was killed by god. Dayakka makes him realize that he said too much, so Simon returns to his own room and collapses on his bed, still thinking about Kamina.
With Kamina gone, some of the other members of the team are feeling that the Gurren-dan is done for, though Yoko reminds them that their name is the Daigurren-dan. When Dayakka notices her eating a lot in the lunchroom, Yoko explains that she has to keep her physical strength up since there are still many enemies, and their battle will continue. She had just finished a round of target practice and feels that before all this happened, she couldn’t have imagined eating right after – it’s all thanks to that person. When Dayakka changes the subject to her being bothered, Yoko recalls the names of the people who sacrificed themselves to protect her old village and how the survivors did their best. She had been prepared for that, but this time it is useless. In the shower, Yoko remembers how Kamina had said he’d give her back tenfold kisses and how she instead got a tenfold hole in her heart. Meanwhile, the team detects enemy Gunmen headed their way, and although Simon wants to go out alone, Rossiu convinces Simon to let him take the Gurren. During the battle, however, Simon is once again the reckless force behind everything as he pushes the Gurren Lagann to the point where Rossiu noticed unstable output in the mecha. Simon fights how he thinks Kamina would have and claims that Kamina wouldn’t have run away. In the middle of the battle though, Simon suddenly throws up, and the Gurren Lagann starts spewing out energy from all orifices. The Lagann then detaches from the Gurren and jumps down the nearby ravine.
Simon wakes up at the bottom and is able to still move the Lagann, so he explores the ravine a bit. Around him are numerous boxes lying in a smoldering landscape, and he sees a Gunmen dumps another box from above the ravine. When Simon investigates this box, he notices that it has a glowing keyhole that his drill would fit into, so he gets it and sticks it in. Inside, Simon finds a girl sleeping in a bed adorned with flowers. This girl soon wakes up to greet him in a very formal manner and then inquires who he is. Before he can answer though, she notices the rain like she’s never experienced it before, and she also likes the feeling of the muddy ground when she steps out of the box. Getting close enough to Simon to make him blush, she questions why he’s the same as her since he lacks a tail or fangs. Simon tells her that he’s a human, but because this girl is unfamiliar with the term, he attempts to explain it to her. As the rain stops and sunlight starts peeking through the clouds, the girl wonders why she’s outside. Although Simon doesn’t know the answer, he feels that they should get out of here, so he gives her his shoes to wear. The girl then introduces herself Nia, and Simon blushes again when she says that Simon is a good name. Nia suddenly notices something behind them, and Simon turns around to see a Gunmen. It starts firing at them, so Simon pulls Nia with him towards the Lagann and starts it up. The Lagann protects them from the enemy’s missiles, but Simon isn’t able to finish an attack because the Lagann starts spewing energy again.
After a punch from the enemy Gunmen knocks him out of the cockpit, Simon questions why the Lagann isn’t listening to him. He doesn’t want to see anyone die anymore, so he decides to hold back the Gunmen with a mere drill while Nia runs away. Seeing how much he’s shaking, Nia asks if he wants to die and says that it’s okay for him to run if he’s afraid. She insists that they run away together, but the two cannot outrun the oversized missile the Gunmen just shot at them. Luckily for them, Yoko arrives to shoot it down, and Kittan quickly destroys the Gunmen. Once they bring her onboard the Daigurren, Nia is able to see all the different types of people that she’s never encountered before because the only other human she has seen is her father. She doesn’t know why she was in that box in the ravine either, nor does she know the place where she used to live because she never used to go outside – her father had said that the outside world was dangerous. Nia does, however, remember that she made her father angry by asking why she was born. Simon meanwhile is in the hanger asking the Lagann if it is abandoning him too and questioning what he should do. Rossiu overhears him and wants to say something, but Yoko stops him because she feels whatever Rossiu says will only make the hole in Simon’s heart bigger.
The Daigurren is suddenly shaken by several spouts of water that appear around it. These spouts form a circular wall of water from which a new Gunmen suddenly appears standing on top of another worm-like Gunmen. This new Gunmen is piloted by Adiane the Elegant, who voice Nia immediately recognizes. Although Rossiu is in the process of scrambling the Gurren, Yoko sees that Simon is just sitting lifelessly beside the Lagann in the hanger. Simon doesn’t stand up until he notices Nia rush outside and put herself between Adiane and the Daigurren. Much to everyone’s surprise, she commands Adiane to stop as the first princess of the Spiral King.
Well, I was caught off guard by the new Nia-themed title screen, and that font manifests itself in the to be continued screen too. I guess the focus really is shifting now towards Nia as a main character, though I hesitate to call Nia a replacement for Kamina. She initially appears new and innocent to the world around her, yet she shows off a certain spunkiness by the end of the episode. I also find it interesting that she’s the daughter of the Spiral King and that they’re both human. It makes me wonder how a human became king over the beasts, yet has armies for exterminating other humans. I also find it interesting that Simon’s drill opened the box Nia was in, which once again implies that he and that drill are special.
Still, I can’t say that any of this is terribly shocking, especially since I was expecting Nia to become Simon’s love interest. What I am curious about is how Nia being around impacts how the Spiral King and his generals treat the Daigurren-dan, and how Yoko’s character continues to develop (if she finds new love or becomes like Simon’s guardian or dies or what). The answer to that first question might come as soon as next week since this shot from the preview shows that Adiane might not care that Nia is the princess.