Friday, December 11, 2015

Gurren Lagann Ep6: There Are Some Things I Just Have To See!!

Voted #1 non-Gundam Robot Anime (even besting Neon Genesis Evangelion) in 2015 Otaku USA poll.

Once again underscoring Gurren Lagann was working very much outside the box of conventional child-friendly anime and mecha fare, the series ran into trouble in its efforts to air Episode 6.

A peek-a-boo bathroom sequence whereby the boy characters will virtually stop at nothing to catch a glimpse of the naked girls ran the staff into some trouble when it came time to airing the episode. Thus Gurren Lagann, Episode 6, There Are Some Things I Just Have To See!! (essentially the Director's Cut) was ultimately censored for television as Sit In The Hot Tub 'Till You're Sick!!. Not since a male nub in Gaiking has a nub been more pronounced and in your face then in this particular episode.

Though likely my least favorite entry to date the episode shakes up conventions and expectation all over the place and is simply intended to be a good bit of youthful, naughty fun.

The story revolves around a bathroom steam house/hot springs locale that turns out to be nothing more than a giant Gunmen headed by a nasty beastman creature. It's essentially a giant trap.

But the focus is on Kamina and Simon and their teenage yearnings to catch a glimpse of some bare breasts. It's essentially the Japanese anime version of Porky's (1981) for the adolescent, coming-of-age set. Of course these are more sensitive politically correct days sadly. Kamina and Simon are just bursting at the seams to see those puppies, those bad boys, those bodacious ta-tas, those mouth-watering scoops of flesh. And gosh can you blame them? Yoko Littner is their target amongst a bevy of others. Let's face it, Yoko is too hot for a hot tub. She's positively to die for if you're an anime fan.

There is no shortage of penis nubs. Simon sports a drill while Kamina is bedecked by one fat hairy Boota in just the right private area spot. There are breasts, asses and even a scene where a young boy sticks his finger up Simon's ass. Are you feeling me? YOW! This is wild stuff! But the fan service shenanigans take center stage over any real forward character progress. There is nothing in the outing with real emotional resonance, the kind that has populated the series to date in certain spots. Not those spots.

Though there is one moment whereby Simon accesses a peep hole and has a shot at nirvana in the form of Yoko but decides to block the hole with a stone respecting Yoko's privacy. It's an interesting, sensitive character moment. Still, admittedly, the manly man part of me was quite displeased to see Simon get all sensitive and respectful at that critical juncture in the episode.

This is yet another nice little experimental effort going forward, because although it plays with a lot of the wonderfully exotic animated Gainax expressions and creative touches it's not an entirely satisfying episode. It's more a frivolous thing, but there is no shortage of surprises. Gurren Lagann appears to be going for broke. It's fun and unpredictable and that certainly cannot be said for a lot of anime.

I want to say the more mature, discerning fan would be disappointed here, but I feel the application of the word 'mature' in the case of Gurren Lagann is entirely inappropriate and grossly misapplied. Look no further than the title of this entire episode itself! The clear focus is on coming of age and a desire by its two male principals to get a nice look at some bodacious ta-tas. It's pretty up front and rather in your face about it (wink, wink). If efforts were made to apply a bar of maturity here one would likely have to ask his or herself, why are you here watching Gurren Lagann then?

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