Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann was a modern take on the super robot anime genre and invited fans to experience something old school in the modern age. But what is the difference between a super robot anime and a real robot anime?
To its very basic, a super robot anime involves mechs with physics or reality-defying powers while real robot anime involves mechs with realistic applications and limitations. There were a few super robot anime that were popular back in the 1990s like King of Braves GaoGaiGar, but they somehow lost the relevancy in the 2000s. Sure there was Koutetsu Jeeg and Shin Mazinger to name a few, but it was Gurren Lagann who arguably relit the genre’s hot-blooded nature to the modern audience.
With that said, this list will be all about the wonderful and, well, obviously the hot-blooded characters of Gurren Lagann. To spice things up, we’re going to list 10 skilled Gurren Lagann characters. Skill can take many forms like combat skill to tactical skill, so we’re gonna include all of them.
Oh yeah, can you guess how many times the word “Spiral” is used here?
10. Gimmy and Darry Adai
These twins are inseparable, so the two of them shares one spot. The two were born and raised in Adai village, and due to the strict rule of maintaining the village population to 50 and Gimmy and Darry having no parents, they were chosen to leave the village - or in other words they are sent to their deaths in the beastmen infested surface. The twins survive thanks to fellow village member Rossiu, and they eventually cross paths with Kamina and Simon, and then become part of Team Dai-Gurren.
Seven years after the fall of the Spiral King, Gimmy and Darry grew up and joined the Grapearl squad, and with their exceptional skill, the two became squad commanders due to their skill and leadership. And after the defeat of the Anti-Spirals, Simon bestowed the Core Drill to Gimmy and the two became the new pilots of the venerable Gurren Lagann.
9. Leeron Littner
Leeron is openly gay and provides comic relief to lighten up the mood or gives the viewers something intriguing to look at, but despite his sexuality, Leeron is a very rational man and can be very serious at times.
Yes, looks can be deceiving, but make no doubt, Leeron can fix anything he can get his hands on. Leeron is a mechanic who has a knack at fixing and modifying gunmen and other equipment used by the Beastmen. Leeron is one of the most intelligent people on Earth and ever since he joined Team Dai-Gurren, he invented various tools, weapons to exploit enemy weaknesses, and provide detailed information regarding how the universe works.
Unlike most beastmen, Viral has a very strong sense of honor, despite his hatred towards humans. He never uses cheap tactics or attack from behind, or hunts down the injured. He is the commander of the Human Eradication Army and his goal is to hunt down humans who dared to go to the surface.
Viral has fast reflexes and is skilled in piloting a gunmen. Viral is also an immortal, a gift given to him by the Spiral King and this gave him an advantage during combat — his wounds heal instantly and never tires out. However, he lacks the Spiral power and he was soon bested by Kamina and Simon. During the Anti-Spiral’s invasion of Earth, Viral allied himself with Simon and became the co-pilot of Gurren-Lagann, and helped Simon in combat. From a rival to a powerful ally, Viral is the only beastman to acquire Spiral energy after being exposed by Simon.
7. Kittan Bachika
Kittan is the eldest and leader of the Black Siblings, a group composed of 4 siblings that specializes in hunting down beastmen. Much like Kamina, Kittan is a boisterous and reckless guy with matching ferocity to boot. During the Beastmen War Arc, Kittan pilots a custom-made gunmen called King Kittan and while he’s a reckless, he knows how to fight and he’s a natural born leader.
Also, Kittan is the 3rd human to have ever harnessed Spiral power to create his own Giga Drill Break move, one of the most powerful moves in the anime.
6. Yoko Littner
Yoko is one of the main characters in the anime and unlike her male companions, Yoko relies on agility, smarts, and long-range attacks. Her main weapon is a custom sniper rifle that’s powerful enough to take out enemy gunmen with only a few shots. She is also a skilled marksman with fast reaction times to adapt into any situation, and has a knack of hitting enemy weak spots at different angles, while the target is moving (i.e. rockets).
If the situation calls for more firepower, she is also a skilled gunmen pilot and can rain down death with her gunmen’s assorted range of a deadly barrage of rockets, including her patented boob rockets.
5. Rossiu Adai
Rossiu came from an underground village who went to the surface after he and two others were chosen to leave the village. He then met with Kamina and Simon, and he eventually became part of Team Dai-Gurren. Rossiu is not a fighter by any means, but his strength lies in his intelligence.
After the fall of the Spiral King a few years later, Rossiu pursued politics and science, and became the Chief Adviser, and eventually, the Supreme Commander of Earth. Unlike his hot-blooded companions, Rossiu spends his years in the confines of research facilities improving the technologies and making the right calls to ensure mankind’s survival and be one step ahead if another crisis occurs.
4. Kamina Jiha
Kamina has explosive potential ever since he and Simon got out of their underground home. He’s cocky, brash, and reckless, but these traits gave the people around him a sense of security. A big brother looking after his siblings and, more importantly, hope for the future. Team Dai-Gurren started out with two members and gained other members from people Kamina came into contact with.
Kamina is a quick learner, able to pilot a gunmen and was able to stand toe-to-toe and, eventually, overpowered the beastman Viral, the commander of the Human Eradication Army. Kamina is also a crafty individual who can adapt to any situation and take advantage of his enemies.
What makes Kamina a skilled fighter is despite not knowing Spiral power, he can freely control Gurren-Lagann to create ridiculous deadly moves with equally ridiculous names. His over confidence is what makes him formidable against the Beastmen. Sadly, Kamina had sustained heavy wounds during a battle against one of the Four Generals, and bestowed his most powerful move, the Giga Drill Break, to his young brother Simon.
3. The Anti-Spirals
There was once a race of beings who realized the abuse of Spiral power will result in the creation of the Spiral Nemesis, an apocalyptic event that will end the entire universe. Knowing this, the Anti-Spirals purged their own evolution to rid themselves of Spiral power, and travelled across the universe to control Spiral power by destroying every Spiral being to save the universe from destruction. Over countless millennia, the Anti-Spirals attained omnipotence by having the ability to control the very fabric of the universe, and can create immense power that rivals that of the Big Bang.
The Anti-Spirals rarely attack head on, preferring more on overwhelming the enemy with infinite numbers and using psychological warfare. One of the biggest victories of the Anti-Spirals was they successfully broke Lordgenome’s will, plunged him to despair, and turned against his fellow Spiral warriors and eventually destroyed almost all life on Earth.
2. Simon Jiha
Simon was a shy, cowardly and withdrawn boy, digging holes for his village. His life changed when he meets his bro Kamina, and a gunmen fell onto his village. Simon followed Kamina in his quest to stop the beastmen from harming more humans. The two founded Team Gurren and along their adventures, the team grew with more people joining in the fight.
On one fateful day, Kamina lost his life after a grueling battle against one of the Spiral King’s Four Supreme Generals, Thymilph. Simon fell into despair, but got back on his feet after realizing what Kamina wanted and what Simon should strive for — To be himself.
Simon has literally an infinite amount of Spiral power and he can defy the laws of nature by creating anything from nothing. He can conjure infinite amount of drills to use as weapons, assimilate machines to be part of Gurren Lagann, and eventually can create mechs as large as galaxies.
He’s a natural gunmen pilot and it showed after the death of Kamina. He controls Gurren Lagann like it is part of his own body. He can do crazy acrobatics and with his infinite Spiral energy, he’s a force to be reckoned with.
1. Lordgenome aka the Spiral King
The Lordgenome was the main antagonist in the first half of Gurren-Lagann. He is the ruthless and cruel ruler of Earth, who created the beastmen to eradicate every human being on the surface without mercy. With his army of beastmen roaming the planet, Lordgenome watches over his kingdom high atop his castle-fortress Teppelin, and keeps the human race in check. Eventually, his reign of terror ends at the hands of Simon and Team Dai-Gurren, but he didn’t go down without a fight.
Lordgenome was the most powerful Spiral Warrior a thousand years ago until he came into close contact with the Anti Spirals as it corrupted his soul. The Anti Spirals showed him a vision of the Spiral Nemesis, an apocalyptic event that occurs when life forms overuse the Spiral power. Driven by his dwindling sanity and fear the universe will end, Lordgenome single handedly killed all of his comrades and eradicated life on the Earth’s surface, forcing the remaining survivors to live underground. With his overwhelming Spiral power, he made himself immortal and was almost near indestructible.
Of all the characters in the anime, Lordgenome is the most formidable one. He can take on Gurren Lagann without piloting a gunmen, can conjure enormous drills instantly and as mentioned before, he almost killed every human to near extinction, including fellow Spiral Warriors. His main specialty is energy absorption and converting it into a form he can use. His last superhuman feat was he absorbed energy equivalent to that of the Big Bang and converted that energy into a drill Simon could use.
It’s easy to pick Simon as the most skilled character in Gurren Lagann with his infinite Spiral energy, but Lordgenome accomplished more feats than Simon. He’s a formidable foe against the Anti Spirals, which forced them to use psychological warfare that destroyed Lordgenome’s sanity. He single handedly destroyed the Earth and almost eradicated the human race. Aside from his combat skills and ruthlessness, he is a prodigy who made many breakthroughs in the field of genetic engineering like cloning and spatial-temporal travel (aka travel faster than light).
The gunmen, the beastmen and every technology at the time were all thanks to Lordgenome.
How many? 34 times the word “Spiral” was used… uh… make that 35…
Anyway, there you have it, everyone. This list was actually hard to do because not all characters have infinite power, but there are other characters that made an impact in the anime and their contributions to Team Dai-Gurren. Leeron is not a fighter, and I can use any other character who can kick ass, but his intelligence and skill as a mechanic and researcher helped Simon, Kamina, and everyone in the universe survive. You just can’t simply ignore that.
So what do you think of the list? Please be sure to leave a comment below so we’ll know what you think!