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.
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.