Gurren Lagann’s end, explained

If anime fans think of Gurren Lagann, is often thrown around with the label “over-the-top”, and not without reason. Simon the Driller’s simple life is changed when he discovers Lagann and shoots him out from underground, eventually and literally “piercing the sky”.

Along the way, viewers are treated to plenty of big speeches, epic battles, and a cast with a lot of heart. However, the ending wasn’t the happiest-ever-after that fans were expecting. However, looking back, it may have the most logical and powerful endings.



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Drilling the way for the new generation

The first half of the last episode was mech combat of epic proportions, with cannons blazing and celestial bodies throwing around like shurikens. After Simon finally gets through the anti-spiral form, everything seems to end well, and he brings Nia home safely. Viewers are then treated to their wedding, with the whole gang cheering as they enjoy their final kiss.

In artistic Gurren Lagann Vogue, Nia begins to fade as they say their final goodbyes. The shock of Team Dai-Gurren, other than Simon and Viral, is the show’s way of being aware of how fans would react to the whole scene. However, audiences forget that without the Anti-Spiral maintaining her existence, Nia’s presence is a major hole in the narrative. Knowing this would happen to Nia, Simon and Viral explain to the crew – and the audience – that Nia is just a virtual life form created by the Anti-Spiral; without her, Nia would not exist.

Gimmy asks if he could use spiral energy to bring Nia back to life, a sentiment shared by fans when they say Nia doesn’t have to go away. But Yoko logically argues that Simon is not God to bring people back from the dead. And if he did, Simon would be doing exactly what the Anti-Spiral fears – abusing the power of the Spiral for selfish reasons. If he did, it would nullify all their sacrifices and stand in the way of progress.

And it’s not just Simon who has stepped off the scene to make way for the younger generation to move forward. After 20 years, viewers can see that Kamina City have progressed even further under President Rossiu’s leadership. He discusses the Galactic Spiral Peace Conference with Leeron. Rossiu is now mature enough to recognize that everyone has different ways of thinking, showing that he has grown from his past as a better leader. Leeron, who was most likely involved in the city’s technological advances, also concedes that none other than Rossiu could have achieved this.

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Meanwhile, Yoko has returned to her quiet life as a school teacher and is now the headmistress on a remote island. Although she is very much part of the core team, she chose to stay away from politics and instead educate the younger generation. One of her former students, Nakim, tells her that he is part of the Grapearl Squad that would represent humanity during the conference and assures her that they will not allow Spiral Nemesis.

At the head of the Graperl Squad are Gimmy and Darry, who will lead the team to the conference. Gimmy, who inherited Lagann, continues to fulfill the promise he made to Simon to move forward. Viral, who will accompany her to represent Earth, awaits her in space.

One of the predominant themes that Gurren Lagann has is the hope that comes with moving forward. As Simon and the others paved the way, they also knew that they had to step aside so that the newer generation could walk through it. Each of them understands that only he can watch over the younger generation to continue what they started and work towards the peace they have been striving for.

Let go

Despite the losses along the way and the challenges he faced, Simon always had Nia as his guide. It gave him – and the audience in general – a glimmer of hope that everyone will be working toward a happy ending. After everything he’s been through throughout his life, the traditional ending would be to give him the happiness he deserves, which is to finally be at peace with Nia.

Some fans felt that Simon not getting his happy ending was too much of a downer considering what he lost along the way. Perhaps to reassure audiences, Gainax explained that Mia and Simon spent time off-screen on an island for a week before their wedding. However, some fans are still disappointed and convinced of it Gurren Lagann got the gainax end it didn’t deserve. However, it’s important to note that the point wasn’t to punish Simon even more with losses he didn’t deserve in order to gain more drama; it was easy to stay true to the story.

Unlike Kamina’s death, Simon takes the loss of Nia calmly and without a fight. Though it must bring much pain, he understands that he must let Nia go, which makes the scene all the more bittersweet as he takes off his wedding cloak and disappears into the darkness.

Until the last episode of Gurren Lagann, Simon was very dependent to pilot Lagann, take control of other Gunmen and lead every battle to victory. During the 7 year time skip, he also founded Kamina City and sits at the helm as Supreme Commander. With everything he’s achieved and Nia still losing, you’d think he’d at least have an ending befitting a war hero. Instead, he leaves the city to Rossiu and gives Lagann the key with Gimmy so they can lead the new generation towards peace.

While Simon could have stayed in office until the end of his days, he is fully aware that he must step down. After all, you don’t need a war hero in peacetime. And while he’s not the type to look for a war to make himself useful (after all, he’s had a comfortable desk job for seven years directing the betterment of their civilization), he realizes he must hand it down to the next generation, “that of going through the tunnels [he] dug”.

And while he may have unearthed that future for everyone, Simon knows it’s not in his nature to lead the way and be in the spotlight at the same time. As he did when he finally accepted Kamina’s death, he decided to stay true to himself and become “Simon the Digger” again. Though the memory of his exploits has faded after 20 years, his legacy remains with Gimmy and Darry as they take off to other galaxies with Viral representing Earth while he watches over them.

Gurren Lagann can be streamed on Netflix.

Source: Reddit

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