Saturday 25 April 2009

Movie REVIEW: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann The Movie: Guren-Hen

Although technically not a "cinema release" post because it was a japanese only cinema release that has just got its dvd release over there (and therefore fansubs are now availible) I'm going to review the first movie of one of my favourite anime series' of all time - the heaven shattering, drill piercing epicness that is Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Movie: Guren Hen (or Crimson Chapter if you prefer the translation) is basically a retelling of episodes 1 to 14 of the original series, which revolves around lead characters Kamina and Simon breaking through to the surface after humans have been forced underground by beastmen with giant mecha known as 'gunmen'. Along the way they meet Yoko and a cast of other rebels, and gain the titual mecha 'Gurren Lagann'. However the movie also omits some details from the series and adds a lot of new things toward the end too. These include (SPOILERS to follow)

* Opening footage of Lord Genome (the spiral King)'s backstory and the original battle with the antispirals
* Footage of Yoko stuying and Leeron attempting to tutor Simon, Gimmy and Darry
* Brand new ending including
- All 3 remaining generals (plus Viral) generals fighting the Dai Gurren Dan at once
- Simon epicly climbing Cytomander's Shuzack armed with only a drill to rescue Nia
- Viral's new giant Gunmen - the Dai Gunzen 2
- General's giant gunmen can combine
- Yoko vs Adienne (a personal favourite of mine)
- Yoko's gunmen! (basically a pink Dayakkaiser, which is awesome)
* A post credits scene with Lord Genome awaiting the Gurren Dan's arrival at Teppelin

Despite me being a die hard Gurren Lagann fan, there are little nitpicks I could make with the film. The montage sequence about 1/3 into the film where Kittan and his sisters, Rossiu, Gimmy and Darry are introduced seems a little rushed and may confuse viewers who are not familiar with the series, especially as Kittan and Rossiu will become so prominent later on. Also the same sequence involves clips from the episodes the film barely covers (such as episode 6's visit to the Bath house). While these clips were certainly enjoyable to me, a fan, they might leave others wanting a bit more (but then I suppose they can go away and watch the series if they're that interested!).

Regardless, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Guren Hen is a fantastic movie and I couldn't recommend it more. Despite watching over an hour of material used in the series it's more than worth it to see the new ending as its over an hour of FANTASTIC material. If they put this much effort into the new footage of the second film - Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Ragan Hen I'll be a very happy man.

In short. If you're a Gurren Lagann fan, you'll have already seen this. If you're an anime fan, you NEED to see this. If you're neither, watch this anyway! Download this now.

Now is the time of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Long may it reign.

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