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Post Reply Gurren Lagann: Do you prefer the first half or the second?
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24 / M / Osaka
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Posted 6/16/14 , edited 6/16/14
- Spoilers ahead, obviously this thread is only for people who have completed it -

So I finished it the other day, and I'm curious about what everybody thought of its two arcs and which one they preferred?

Just like everybody else I think it's a superb anime overall, yet I can't help but feel a little disappointed about the way things went after the fall of Teppelin. From the first episode onwards I was plunged into this crazy, fantastic adventure of two kids escaping from their ignominious subterranean village and starting to explore a deserted landscape scoured by bizarre mechas piloted by the alien 'beastmen', picking up human allies and confederates as they went along. The whole rebellious vibe I got from the show felt much more suited to this storyline, pitting a scruffy band of human rebels against various gunmen outfits, gradually getting more and more epic before culminating in the battle for Teppelin, including the epic duel between Simon and Lordgenome.

In most shows I prefer adult characters and here I thought I'd be relieved at a time-skip, but instead I couldn't help but feel a bit disconnected afterwards. I definitely enjoyed the way Rossiu got fleshed-out for the portion still centered on earth, but nothing else really felt better. It seemed so contrived the way the whole population instantly turned on Simon, and though Nia had never been a great character, here she just became a plot device from the get-go. The main thing however, is that the episodic, adventure-based dynamic set on earth's surface and underground, involving a series of consistently cool/fun enemies, was a thing of the past. Instead, we got the anti-spiral drones (probably the most boring enemies ever) and...space. I felt that they kept trying to revisit the past to bridge the gap (Rossiu returning to his village, Simon's prior chief showing up etc.) and yet, every time those goosebump-eliciting songs would come on, they didn't quite feel the same in the new arc, probably given how funamentally different and boringly clean the new environments, enemies and allies (the grapearls) felt in comparison with the old. The core theme of the show remained the same as it had been initially, just becoming more loudly expressed, whereas the theme of brotherhood which I found really potent during the first arc kind of just merged into it, as Kamina did with Simon in effect. I wanted to feel something when almost all of the original team-gurren was killed off, but they came across as being so inconsequential that I just couldn't, with even Kittan's heroic sacrifice against a...space sea of despair...not managing to make things as engaging.

There were some good things - I like what they did with Viral, and the finale was truly brilliant (meaning the confrontation with the original anti-spiral, the illusion sequence and the final battle that follows it), but even this was just a bit spoiled by how needlessly bittersweet the last five minutes were, leaving me feeling a bit depressed. I mean, I get the message they were trying to convey with it, but on a personal level I think there are lots of us who don't really enjoy spending the last few minutes of a fantastic, feel-good blockbuster seeing one of the two lovers disintegrate at their marriage after so much toil to finally be together, followed by the now-aged characters living the mediocre dusks of their seemingly empty, isolated and separate lives as forgotten nobodies.

Anyway, what are your thoughts, rollers? Was the first half or the second half the better one, or perhaps you find them both equal? I'd very much like to hear what you all have to say.
Posted 6/16/14
Second. It get le epic win xD
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24 / M / The Dark Continent
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Posted 6/16/14
Honestly I can't say. I loved both.

The second half was pretty intense though.
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24 / M / Osaka
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Posted 6/16/14 , edited 6/16/14

Anticosm wrote:

Second. It get le epic win xD

Great post buddy, really gave me a deep insight into your thoughts.

No seriously, could you elaborate on that please?


Kurodenki wrote:

Honestly I can't say. I loved both.

The second half was pretty intense though.


Did you find it more intense because the stakes were higher?
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28 / M / NY
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Posted 6/16/14
First half for me, as things felt more down to earth and grounded (pun intended). Though the second half was epic, it lacked some of the heart and the wit portrayed in the first I felt. Plus I preferred the relationships earlier on and the younger versions of the characters. Really, the first half I felt the struggle more and the characters felt more alive whereas the second just went off the walls crazy with its amped up ridiculous action and drama. It was still good, but not as well told as the first in my view.
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24 / M / Osaka
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Posted 6/16/14

sonic720 wrote:

First half for me, as things felt more down to earth and grounded (pun intended). Though the second half was epic, it lacked some of the heart and the wit portrayed in the first I felt. Plus I preferred the relationships earlier on and the younger versions of the characters. Really, the first half I felt the struggle more and the characters felt more alive whereas the second just went off the walls crazy with its amped up ridiculous action and drama. It was still good, but not as well told as the first in my view.

Fuck, I'm so mad right now. I wrote all that, and yet you seem to have expressed how I feel better than I did :P

Though the ridiculousness I didn't much mind, it had been pretty consistently rising in magnitude since the first episode.
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22 / M / Odd Future
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Posted 6/16/14 , edited 9/6/15
I don't prefer either, I believe both were equal in my opinion.

And Gurren Lagann is easily the best anime I have ever seen, so far.
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21 / M / Tiphares
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Posted 6/16/14
I view it all as one thing.
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25 / M / Inside Lorreen's...
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Posted 6/16/14 , edited 9/6/15
I'll be the one to say it for the small crowd hiding.

I found all of TTGL to be overall: Meh.
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27 / M / The heart of Linc...
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Posted 6/16/14
I used to say 2nd half, because it felt more dire, that the characters were fleshed out and had truly changed with kamina gone.

Though i do love the 1st half, it's now the whole show for me.

I found the last ep a bitter sweet experience. It's not the ending we wanted, but it shows that true heroes give it their all even if it means they personally lose if the rest survive.
We get to see what happens afterwards, which is usually left unanswered. Surprised me, thought it would just end. I found it a nice homage to the characters who lived while remembering those who died. It was a great juxtaposition with the mad o.t.t action compared to the realistic fates/lives at the end of the story.
It brought home a real connection between the characters and the viewers, that they were believable people with real issues while dealing with the insane sci-fi element.

Thus i believe the show is overall a fantastic anime. It's one of those rare pieces that gets more epic with each episode and lives up to the hype. I also found that the dub cast were perfect, reflecting each character while being different personalities to the voicers usual roles.

Overall TTGL is recommended for everyone to experience.
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21 / F / Scotland
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Posted 6/16/14
The only thing I didn't like about the second half was those couple of episodes after the timeskip (episodes 17 to 20 I think), they weren't bad and it didn't ruin the second half for me, but it seemed a bit too serious for the show and I didn't feel entertained by those episodes. Thankfully it did give me one of the most epic climaxes I have seen. So overall, I still enjoyed both arcs.
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26 / M
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Posted 6/16/14 , edited 6/16/14
I don't rate Gurren Lagann as highly as most people do here precisely because of the second arc. Personally, I think they should have ended on the first arc, because then the second arc did nothing more than take itself too seriously. Everything just became bigger and more explosive, etc. without offering anything new really. I felt like I was watching DBZ after the Frieza Saga.

I felt like the whole thing was a great idea, but when it came down to coming up with an ending, the writer wasn't good enough to find out a way to bring the series to a proper closing.

So yeah, I loved the first arc because it was new and refreshing. It had this nonchalant air to it that I hadn't seen in a long time, to say the least. The characters were great, etc. and the stakes kept getting higher, but that was never the sole crutch of the series (until the second arc).

At the end of the day: First arc was superb. The second arc is the reason why the saying: "Less is more" even exists.
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27 / M / Shiranui
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Posted 6/16/14

Stonewolfe wrote:

I'll be the one to say it for the small crowd hiding.

I found all of TTGL to be overall: Meh.


I am with you on that as well.

If I had to choose though, 1st half was better than the 2nd half for me. Sonic said it the best. So read his response because mine would be the exact response except I have a poor way of words lol
Posted 6/16/14
I overall really liked the show but I'd say the second half. It just felt really slow at first and I had a hard time wanting to continue it. Once it felt like the story was picking up though, I got really into it.
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24 / M
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Posted 6/16/14 , edited 6/16/14
The reason the latter half is rated higher for me, is because Kamina's story is fully explained.

First half, Kamina wants to take back the surface for humans. When he dies, Simon tells a story about how Simon and Kamina were trapped in a cave in, and Kamina never gave up, urging Simon on. He had boundless courage and that is why Simon respected and admired him.

Second half, Yoko tells a story about how when Simon and Kamina were trapped in the cave in, Simon was the first to move, giving Kamina courage. Kamina wanted to retake the surface to make Simon realize what Kamina saw in him. He had boundless courage and that is why Kamina respected and admired him.
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