Move over Attack On Titan, Gurren Lagann is coming to Adult Swim

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During Cartoon Network’s Toonami Tumblr Q&A on Sunday it was announced that the Adult Swim block has snatched up the rights to begin airing anime cult-hit Gurren Lagann. The award-winning series was previously owned by The SciFi Channel (when it was spelled that way) and first aired the series in 2008 as part of their Anime Monday scheduling.

Produced by animation studio Gainax (FLCL, Neon Genesis Evangelion) and written by Japanese novelist and playwright Kazuki Nakashima, Gurren Lagann originally found it’s footing with absurdist humor and surreal post-apocalyptic landscapes, frequently satirizing the popular “mech” genre of anime. The series eventually takes a dramatic turn, exploring themes of death, self-reliance, suicide, friendship and a heavy emphasis on existentialism. Without losing it’s surreal scope and humor, Gurren Lagann becomes a very emotional, weighted series that has been heavily analyzed by fans for it’s philosophical bearings.

Gurren Lagann takes place in the distant future, in a world where the human race has been mysteriously condemned to live in caverns deep below the surface. A boy named Simon, an outcast in his village, is an expert at drilling for treasure despite grappling with some major PTSD over the crushing (literally) death of his parents. Eccentric and theatrically machismo fellow villager Kamina assumes a “big brother” role for Simon, protecting him from danger and inspiring him to dig past the surface and discover the dangerous world above. The duo allign themselves with a diverse and colorful cast of friends, overcoming shocking twists and eventually learning the truth behind humanity’s downfall.

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Gurren Lagann not only has a reputation for being an inspirational and deeply empowering series, it also spawned a popular internet meme back in the late 2000’s. Just don’t be surprised if you recognize some of the dialogue or a certain pair of orange shades.

I cannot emphasize this enough, Gurren Lagann is an incredible anime that deserves your time and attention. There’s a good reason why it is often mentioned in the same breath as FLCL, Death Note and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. It is quite simply one of the most powerful and engaging anime series of the 2000’s.

Gurren Lagann will premiere through Adult Swim’s Toonami block on Cartoon Network August 16th at 2am.  If you don’t want to wait until then, you can always view the series on Crunchy Roll, Hulu, KissAnime or grab the dvd sets on Amazon.

Check out the official Toonami announcement here.

 

FYI- if you’re already a Gurren fan, they just released the official artbook in the United States in May.

Cowboy Bebop Director’s Terrorism Anime May Cause Controversy

Hot off the hype of Space Dandy, Wantanabe is premiering yet another new series later this summer.  Zankyō no Terror or “Terror In Tokyo” will team Wantanabe with Cowboy Bebop composer Yoko Kanno and Samurai Champloo character designer Kazuto Nakazawa.

We’ve actually been hearing from Shinichiro Wantanabe a lot more in recent years. For the uninformed, Mr. Wantanabe directed two episodes of the Animatrix (Kid’s Story, Detective Story), the animated sequence in Kill Bill, the hip-hop infused Samurai Champloo(2004) and the critically adored Cowboy Bebop(1998).  In more recent years, we’ve seen the release of Kids on the Slope, a manga adaptation about misfit high school kids bonding over jazz, reuniting him with Cowboy Bebop music director Yoko Kanno.  Only two months ago the duo also premiered Space Dandy, a self-aware spoof of classic space-themed anime, on Cartoon Network’s Toonami block.   Often described as “Cowboy Bebop on acid”, you would do yourself a great disservice by not checking out this trailer.

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Quite the resume, is it not? Though his new series looks to carry quite a different tone from his previous works…

Terror In Tokyo depicts a modern-day Tokyo in shambles after a massive terrorist bombing has wrought unimaginable death and destruction upon the city. Unbeknownst to the authorities, the terrorist group behind the violent attacks, known as Sphinx, are just two young boys…two young boys with grandiose plans that will encompass all of Japan.

Yes, that’s right. In his new series, the child protagonists are behind terrorist bombings in densely populated areas. While morbid concepts such as this are not exactly foreign to the medium, it’s quite shocking to see Wantanabe take this kind of route. Maybe the series will play out like Death Note, a cat and mouse game where the protagonist isn’t the good guy and is someone we eventually desire to see fail…most of us anyway. Even so, it’s hard to imagine a series like this reaching television without any controversy or objection, especially when it inevitably begins airing on Cartoon Network in the United States.

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Look at the two smoking buildings in the promotional poster. If that’s not a bulls-eye for Fox News to use the word “anime” for the first time in it’s 18-year existence, I don’t know what is.

It is possible that the trailer and promotional materials are meant to mislead the audience, causing us to speculate how we could possibly root for child-characters who successfully execute 9/11-style attacks on a massive civilian population.  “Trust in Wantanabe” I say, he is a master of the unexpected and knows how to build a series that can be appreciated by an internationally wide audience.

He has my curiosity that’s for sure. Check out the first trailer:

Terror In Tokyo premieres in July.

Gurren Lagann art book gets a US release date!

 

I just wanted to make a quick public service announcement to inform people of something that they need to kn- who am I kidding? “Just who the hell do you think I am?”  I’m a Gurren Lagann fanboy and I’m really excited that the art book for this gorgeous series is finally getting a U.S. release date on June 10th!

 
Now if only it were socially acceptable to wear Kamina’s glasses in public…

            Click here to pre-order “Gurren Lagann: Art Works” on Amazon