Hello everyone! It’s been a whole month since I’ve written an OWLS post hasn’t it. My plan for 2019 OWLS post was to completely avoid mecha anime. That way, I force myself to writing about things from more creative perspectives then I am used to. I even did it for January because I skipped out on the December. Now though, I am going to release my limiter. Mecha March starts on Tuesday on my blog, so I doubt I will join next month’s OWLS tour. Using the energy of two months of OWLS post into one. For now though, let’s talk more about OWLS before letting all of that energy go.
OWLS Info and Prompt
For those of you who haven’t heard of what OWLS is may be asking me and other people what that is. Well, that’s an easy question to answer. OWLS, also known as Otaku Warriors for Liberty and Self-Respect, is a group of otaku bloggers who promote the acceptance of all individuals. There will be no judgement of people based on gender, sexual orientation, religion, race, or disability here. All of this is about humanity for humanities sake and hopeful betterment. Each month, our members are given a topic to write about and each of us approaches that topic in our own way. If you want to know more, please click here to go to our OWLS Blog Page. Find us here and maybe you can join us! We are always looking for more people.
With this, we jump into this month’s prompt. From our Chief Creative Officer Lynlyn, this month’s prompt is Legacy. We have mentors, teachers, coaches, and role models whose stories inspired us in some way. Even when these role models are gone, their stories will live on from generation to generation. For this month, we will be exploring stories that have inspired or taught us some important lessons about life. Some given examples were Clannad, My Hero Academia, and Pokemon. Those are pretty good starting places these posts.
Terren Toppa Gurren Lagann is super robot anime from studio Gainax long before they became trigger. It’s story involves human kind pushing back against the limitations set against them. It starts with the fight to live on the surface of the Earth and then eventually their existence in the galaxy itself. Human kind has been forced to live underground, but after Simon finds a small Gunmen (robot) in the dirt, their fate changes. Simon, Kamina, and Yoko break through the limits of what is pushed down on them and continually do the impossible in some very extraordinary and stupid ways. Somehow, it all works out.
Many people know about Gurren Lagann from its insane antics, things that shouldn’t happen happening, bombastic nature, and the constant pushing of the limits of what an anime can do and reality itself using giant robots and endless gar. That’s very true and I can’t refute that, but there is a major softness from the characters which really drives that aspect more forward. The character relationships, while not nuanced or bombastic, really give the show a softer touch which makes the anime feel a wide and full range of emotions through it’s run. TTGL is powerful, yo.
Rewatching TTGL and Spoilers
For reasons that I don’t want to reveal but will be in due time, I’ve been rewatching Terran Toppa Gurren Lagann recently. That’s something I wanted to do since watching Promare last year. That and wanting to rewatch Red Line. I haven’t done yet though, so spoilers for the future? There is so much I want to say about TTGL, but that will be saved for a later date. For now though, I am going to focus on the character relationship between our main leads Kamina and Simon. Nothing too much about the story itself.
I would say that would lessen the amount of spoilers for this post by not talking about the over all plot, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The relationship between Kamina and Simon is the core of the show. It’s so deep that when a major thing happens to one of them (you might know from internet reasons), the show never really feels the same again for the worst immediately and for better immediately afterward. There is your spoiler warning. If you haven’t watched TTGL and plan to in the future, you might want to skip this post right now.
Simon and Kamina from the Ground and Up
As I’ve already mentioned, Gurren Lagann starts in the ground. Like a literal hole in the ground. In a very totalitarian hole in the ground called Jiha village. Well, as far as we know. They were at least forbidden to ever go above the ground. With that smaller gurren team, Kamina, Simon, and some other nameless people wanted to see the surface like Kamina’s father before him. Kamina and Simon’s blood was thicker familial bonds where the two were pretty much brothers. They got caught in impossible situations and Kamina always pushed the shy Simon to do the best he can do and not be afraid.
In that way, Kamina was always a mentor like figure to Simon. From under the ground to when Yoko showed up and brought the sky down with her. It always felt like Kamina was in the lead. To Simon and everyone else, Kamina lit the beacons of humanity to fight for their right to live in a brighter and more open space. And in a way, that’s how the show ran for a while with some big hints to the contrary as well. Kamina was the sword master and hope for everyone. For eight episodes. Until he died. That’s a classic sort of death that happens in these stories, but it never gets easier when it’s done right. Kamina’s death was done right.
So what happens when half of the team of Gurren Lagann passes away? The other half breaks down of course. Simon tries to act like Kamina for a while, but he can never been the wonderful and powerful idiot that Kamina was. Simon is too smart and sensitive to do that. It takes putting team Gurren into an impossible moment that Simon finally figures out what he was. Kamina got his wish. Simon saw the greatness that he knew was in Simon all along. Still, the shadow of Kamina will always be there for better or for worse. In this case the better for Simon, but for the worse when they take the opposite from Kamina’s side of things.
The Opposite Is Also True
It’s been revealed through out the first episode that Kamina wouldn’t be able to do what he does without Simon at his back. Simon, the quiet guy who was the silent muscle behind Kamina’s madness and strength. In one incident back in the day while trapped in a hole, one side was motivated by the other side. There was that infinite resonance between the two that bounces off around in the best way. Simon was Kamina’s mentor as much as Kamina was Simon’s mentor. It was only that Kamina was the one who was able to see it both ways. That’s where the “I want you to believe in the me that believes in you” came from.
He may not remember everything and has dumb ideas, but Kamina was surprisingly emotionally intelligent. Well, only when it came to Simon of course. It’s not like Kamina really cared about other people that much besides maybe Yoko to remember everyone’s name. He really had no clue around Yoko at all. People just followed Kamina’s very intriguing positive personality and charisma. Hell, even the world itself followed Kamina’s charisma. That’s what happens when you have someone like Kamina with maxed out charisma and no intelligence stats. The world and all of it’s inhabitants feel empty when it’s gone. Not even the Simon finding his own Charisma fills that gap. Kamina and Simon’s relationship was one that went beyond words. It still does through out the series.
Kamina was a visionary for humanities legacy. He was a flawed human who often got confused and made dumb decisions that worked most of the time, but he was a legend. Him being a flawed human being only make him more of a figure to live up to. You can be a goof and a failure, but still succeed when you do things right. It is also possible to win at everything when you can also push forward. No one ever tried to do that before Kamina, so he really is leader for humanities future. Simon now carries that torch in his own way, but never forgetting his brother. We miss you, Kamina. Your death came too soon for everyone of us.
Thank you for reading this post everyone. One of these days, I need to figure out a tighter way to introduce an OWL’s post. For now though, I think this post is pretty good. I cried a lot when writing this post, btw.
Anyway, to get away from cry babies like me, Lita posted yesterday so I think you should check that out. Also, here is where you can find the entire OWLS tour for this month. Please check out the other great bloggers from this month.