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There are times when an anime comes and instantly becomes a classic. In the mecha genre, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has emerged as an anime that was able to create a category of its own, crossing over the mecha, romance, comedy, and shonen genres with its style, execution, and sheer scale.
With a cast that is absolutely memorable and battles which put the term over-the-top to shame, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann almost stands without equal. But of course, if the show has kindled that fire inside you after watching it, you would need a lineup of similar anime to keep the fire Gurren Lagann in your heart burning.
Here are 6 anime that are similar to Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann:
Similar Anime to Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
1. Getter Robo (1974)
- Episodes: 51
- Aired: April 1974 – May 1975
Getter Robo is set at a time when the Earth is at risk of invasion from the Dinosaur Empire, an empire populated by human-reptile hybrids. To combat these invaders, Prof. Saotome conceives the Getter Project. Through the piloting skills of hot-blooded martial artist Ryoma Nagare, aloof, anti-social Hayato Jin, and Judo expert Musashi Tomoe, the Getter Team combats the Dinosaur Empire to save the world.
In an interview with Kazuki Nakajima, writer of Gurren Lagann, he stated that Getter Robo is among the primary influences in the conception of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. When you watch both shows, you will definitely see his point.
With epic battles in space and on Earth, thrilling combing sequences, ridiculous mecha proportions, as well as the iconic drill as a weapon of choice, the inspiration that this 1974 classic gave to Gurren Lagann is undeniable. If you fell in love with Gurren Lagann, you will surely fall in love with Getter Robo as well.
Getter Robo Opening
2. Kidou Butouden G Gundam (Mobile Fighter G Gundam)
- Episodes: 49
- Aired: April 1994 – March 1995
Capturing much of the essence of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, this entry into the popular Gundam Franchise is a notable part of this list. Aired in 1994, Mobile Fighter G Gundam was part of the Gundam mythos that existed outside the Universal Century canon. G Gundam is set in Future Century Earth, a time where the rich are offered the comforts of living in lavish, lush, space colonies while the rest of the population is condemned to a life of hardship and poverty on Earth. The rule of the Earth is decided by the colonies, who hold a tournament every four years called a Gundam Fight to determine who gets to rule the world.
At the series’ focal point is Domon Kasshu, a Gundam Fighter from Neo-Japan. With his powerful Shining Gundam and his beautiful and versatile childhood friend and mechanic Rain Mikamura, Domon seeks to emerge victorious in the 60th Gundam Fight, while solving the mystery of a crime his brother committed years ago using his father’s creation - the mysterious, sinister Devil Gundam.
Mobile Fighter G Gundam captures much of the spirit of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. With an emphasis on the journey that a man has to take in order to discover his true self, as well as battles that defy physics and logic, G Gundam will give you an experience of the senses that is comparable to the level of Gurren Lagann.
G Gundam Toonami Promo
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: October 2000 – December 2000
This anime created in the early 2000’s carries much of the same themes that are present in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. On the surface, it is very similar in the sense that it is also a series that has a lot of mecha, comedy, over-the-top action, and fan service. The similarities between Vandread and Gurren Lagann are not skin deep, however, as the plot features a coming-of-age tale of a boy and his journey to become a man.
Vandread is set in a world where colonization has already extended far into the galaxy, and where women and men are segregated to such a degree that they inhabit different planets. Brought up to hate and fear each women, protagonist Hibiki finds himself playing the unlikeliest of roles in the unlikeliest of situations – an elite pilot who is tasked to protect a ship full of women.
With variable mecha transformations and combinations, a malevolent enemy that is little understood, and a cast almost as colorful as those of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Vandread is one anime that a Gurren Lagann fan should never miss!
Any Animes Like Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann ?
4. Shin Seiki Evangelion (Neon Genesis Evangelion)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 1995 – March 1996
Considered by many as the magnum opus of Gainax, the same production company who made Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Neon Genesis Evangelion takes place in a world where humanity is perennially attacked by beings known as Angels. The protection of humanity lies in the hands of young pilots who pilot the Evangelions, bio-mechanical weapons that hold as much secrets as the Angels themselves.
Neon Genesis Evangelion is an intense anime whose reputation precedes its fame. Combining elements of philosophy, Freudian psychology, and religion, it has made itself into one of the pillars of modern anime. In its core lies the trials and tribulations of the pilot of Evangelion Unit 01, Shinji Ikari, as he is tasked to save a world which has done nothing but use and reject him.
Though their tone and atmosphere may be dissimilar, both Neon Genesis Evangelion and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann feature memorable, jarring battles, characters that are unforgettable, and an intense story that grips you from the first episode. This is definitely not a series to be missed by fans of Gurren Lagann.
Neon Genesis Evangelion - Theatrical Trailer
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: January 2002 – September 2002
RahXephon is one of those anime that sneaks in under the radar and suddenly surprises everyone with its quality and execution. Set in a world where humanity suffers against the onslaught of the Mu, an alien race which made landfall over Japan in the year 2012, RahXephon is one anime of the mecha genre that is quickly becoming a sleeper classic.
Similar to Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann’s Simon the Digger and Evangelion’s Shinji Ikari, RahXephon’s main character, Ayato Kamina is thrust into the role of humanity’s savior by piloting humanity’s ultimate weapon, the RahXephon. As Ayato discovers the secret behind the Mu invasion and the secrets revolving around his past, he must come to terms with the reality that may be something that he has never perceived to be possible.
Featuring unique mecha battles, a beautiful score, a number of memorable songs from talented Japanese artists, and well-rounded characters that develop through the series, RahXephon offers a lot of excitement that fans of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann can truly enjoy.
6. Guilty Crown
- Episodes: 22
- Aired: October 2011 – March 2012
Guilty Crown is an anime that has stirred the waves of anime viewers all over the world. With a plot with elements from the mecha, romance, and shonen genres, it has cleanly divided critics with its story’s controversial ending and aftermath. The story takes place in 2039 Japan, after the country has been subjected to the oppression of a UN-sanctioned organization called GHQ, who came to the country when it was hit by the outbreak of the Apocalypse Virus.
While attempting to save a mysterious girl that he had previously failed to protect, Shu Ouma, a 17 year old student, unexpectedly acquires the Power of Kings, which enables him to manifest Voids, weapons crafted from people’s hearts. Thus begins Shu’s journey as a valuable member of Funeral Parlor, a rebel faction that is out to take down the GHQ.
Guilty Crown is very similar with Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann’s character development, in the way that Shu’s journey reflects much of the struggles that Simon faced while coming to terms with his newfound power. However, these two anime series’ greatest similarity may lie in their underlying commentaries on modern society. Both Guilty Crown and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann feature protagonists who have faced death innumerable times for the sake of their people, only to have the same people turn on them later on. It is an uncomfortable reality that these two shows have courageously chosen to portray.
Guilty Crown The Complete Series Trailer
Any anime fan can relate to the feeling of emptiness that one feels after watching the end of a great anime series. With an anime like Tenga Toppa Gurren Lagann, this blankness is extremely vast and very challenging to fill. Any anime fan out there who loved Gurren Lagann as much as I did can surely relate. The six anime in this list serves to fill that void a little, as they carry several elements of Gurren Lagann that made it so endearing. Of course, if we have missed any other anime that is similar to Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, feel free to mention it in the comments!
Now stand up and pierce the heavens!