Tattooed on my mind: Kamina, Moments in Anime 2008

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Hello, this is asher langley, I too remember love. I’m supposedly the princess of tennis (LOL!).  I play tennis with ghostlightning and mechafetish, as well as watch anime marathons with them whenever my work and/or my superego are not looking.  I’ve pretty much mellowed down from anime until I’ve met these two, and they were the same people who repeatedly insinuated just how awesome a particular series called Gurren Lagann was.  So when the opportunity presented itself, I got to start marathon-ing the series with them.

When they first mentioned Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, I thought it must be some old school anime that I’ll probably not fancy so much, due to the fact that it is old school.  Despite learning that it’s actually fairly recent, my opinion almost didn’t change as I saw the opening sequence, with it’s so-so character designs and “what-the-hell-is-that?!” type of contraption called a robot.

Until I saw a dude with remarkable markings on his body, wearing shades, a cape and laughing nefariously.

1213493900020For this guy, I thought the series might be worth watching—and that was when my endearment for Kamina began.  I’ve always thought of him as an inspirational idiot.  Let me focus on ‘idiot‘ first—he is boisterous, way too impulsive and talks smoothly with twisted logic.  The logic behind his speeches are the best, by the way—it made me wonder whether studying and teaching at uni was not even near enough to grasp his cognitions.  Then again, Kamina is just at a different kind of level all together ^^; Anyway, underneath all that brawn is a person who’s simply passionate and committed about his ideals.  More importantly, he has great impact to people who needed a little nudge or two to get them or keep them going.  I suppose his character hits home nicely with me as well, since having a background in psychology, I can appreciate his efforts to motivate people (Simon, especially) and elicit changes in their behavior and way of thinking.  He’d probably make a good and unorthodox shrink, that is, if he lived long enough.

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Ironically, my anime moment for 2008 is in the episode where Kamina dies, specifically, when he told Simon in his own twisted way—during his dying moments—to believe in himself.  This scene had a great impact on me for several reasons.  First, it turned out that all his logic is not just for comic relief but builds up to something for Simon, like a desensitizing agent who can concretize to someone what he is capable of doing at a time when Simon is not quite ready to realize it.  As I think about it now, it might be too abstract to simply say to someone ‘Believe in yourself!’, whereas it could be easier to show someone who lacks self-belief that someone else believes in him.

Second, and here, I shall rant:  Why is it that my favorite characters had to die?! And at this early in the series?! *ahem*  What I meant to say was, Kamina’s demise was definitely one of the best unanticipated death scene (sorry, I’m oblivious to some death flags), following Mwu La Flaga’s in Gundam Seed.  Now, I it wouldn’t kill me if my favorite characters get axed but Kamina’s surprised me precisely because of the timing of when it happened.  It’s too early—I’m just getting used to the guy and all his quirks and the fun times with the gang, and then that’s it.  It’s too abrupt.  Too soon.  Things can change so suddenly.  It’s like…real life.  O_o

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Speaking of real life, I also associate the scene with the context as to how I experienced watching the episode since it is also one of the reasons why I will remember the whole Kamina-equals-awesomeness.  For one, I recall how it felt just a tad bit odd that going to episode 8, mechafetish’s back just had to obstruct my view of the screen, when neither him nor ghostlightning have done so when changing earlier episodes.  Another is how both of them neither responded when I asked if Kamina will die as episode 8 progressed—I thought that maybe they didn’t hear me.  Later on, I found out the rationale behind the obstruction (title will give it away) and the silence, and that was to further enhance the impact of Kamina’s death which left me in shock and mild denial—JUST AS PLANNED, I guess ^^;.

That was the last Gurren Lagann episode I saw.  Not that I’ve lost interest in the series—as a matter of fact, I was reassured that it will get better and was strongly advised to continue.  Still, I don’t feel the need to rush into how the Simon and the others cope (or should I? ^o^). Somehow, it feels satisfying to just let Kamina’s epic sacrifice hang in the air, to savor that anime moment—just for a little while longer.

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15 Responses to Tattooed on my mind: Kamina, Moments in Anime 2008

  1. haha, indeed Kamina’s death is one of the most legendary anime moments ever, and would have been my number 1 anime moment of 2007 if I hadn’t purposefully cancelled my number one moment. I had actually guessed that Kamina would die because people who were already reading deep into the show early on were convincing me of such and after episode 7 I thought ‘it’s about his time, I guess’. It still managed to be utterl fucking amazing though. When my brother and I showed the first nine episodes to two of our friends, both nearly cried at this episode.

  2. schneider says:

    It’s pretty much the opposite for me. I desperately wanted to know what would happen next after Kamina. Dwelling on him was too painful for me and I wished to see something good to come out of it. The rest is history.

    If you thought Kamina was sudden already… watch Nadesico. 🙂

  3. ghostlightning says:

    The moment is epic for sure. Like you I’ve been utterly charmed by Kamina from the first episode on. It’s truly amazing for a character to live on sheer audacity. I had thought that while his death truly showed GAINAX had class and balls, the series would go downhill from there.

    AND WAS I WRONG?!!!?

  4. I was in denial for a week, thinking “Naw, he’ll come back in the next ep…i-it’s just a scratch!”

    When I watched it with my friend a month later she was like “wut? That’s a trick right!?”

    Savor the moment, my friend. You’ve picked a good place to rest. As you will see, TTGL is nearly 3 different shows in one. Don’t worry, post-kamina will not disappoint at all.

  5. @schneider

    >Nadesico

    you have no idea how much i “wut?”ed…

    then I raged.

    ghost, does what he’s referring to qualify as a black swan?

  6. ghostlightning says:

    @ MechaMarshmellow

    A black swan is a term from philosophy/probability science referring to unpredicted/able events that have tremendous consequence. Please see this post by mechafetish: https://ghostlightning.wordpress.com/2008/11/25/black-swan/

  7. @ 21stcenturydigitalboy

    I fail at seeing deathflags, or maybe I unconsiously refuse to see them especially if they involve my favorite characters. Then again, maybe because I got so used to him encouraging Simon every so often that the “final pep talk” on that ep seemed just any other for me. Of course, the impact of his sudden death–and an INCREDIBLE AWESOME fashion at that–really put him up there.

    @ schneider

    Ah, Nadesico~ I’ve been recommended to watch that also *stares at growing list*.

    Now that I think about it, had I seen this on my own without any feedback, I’d probably think that it the creators just took a big risk and shot their own foot by getting rid of a key character at so early in the series. At one point also, I wondered if GL was just a short series given the death scene. I might defer watching due to the possibility that I don’t want to see the entire thing go down the drain.

    @ MechaMarshmellow

    You know, I kind of skipped that Bargaining part of the Stages of Grief when Kamina died. I was in denial, too but I never had the chance to even hope that *maybe* there is some kind of way to…unkill him ^^; (thanks to Ghost and MFet who really rubbed it in that Kamina’s gone).

    Yup, I am looking forward for the continuation and very curious how Kamina’s replacement will live up to expectations : )

  8. Pingback: Kaiji: ‘He fell! He fell!’ « The Animanachronism

  9. yass says:

    I will just finish this serie, and i really think the same thing that you. until the end i hope that Kamina was not dead for real (sorry for the english i come from france and I don’t really speak english ^^)
    I was in denial about Kamina’s dead. And this is the first time I really desappointed (almost depressed) finishing a manga..!

  10. Anu says:

    Guys u all should really watch Ep 26 because he’s coming back with a bang surprising every one.When even Garlock simon can’t handle the situation the Eccentric Hero returns with style.The constant complaints to the author of Gurren Lagann about the death of their favourute hero through blogs finally paid off.
    He is really back guys in the second last episode.They are even planning for a comeback with the anime.This time Kamina being the main Protagonist(The Hero till the end of the universe baby).He would be working side by side with Garlock simon(comes only secondary this time).The author states that he never expected this much fans for the character who dies in the beginning state of the anime.He also states that Kamina was really meant only as a motivational character(not any more).
    I can’t wait for the next season starring kamina as the lead.

  11. Frank says:

    ARE YOU SERIOUS ANU!? ANOTHER GURREN LAGANN?! WITH KAMINA? DETAILS ?!?!! INFO URL!?

  12. asdf says:

    The same instant Yoko went up to talk to Kamina (right after she’d talked to Simon) I knew what was going to happen. I knew what she was going to do, and who was going to be meddling in the bushes to see. I knew that it would somehow cause a severe disturbance in the battle up ahead that would get someone killed. I blinded myself to the fact that it would be Kamina, I just wouldn’t believe it. I didn’t believe it, and watched on hoping he’d somehow return. So now, 2 weeks after having watched episode 8 for the first time, I finally understand why it happened…

    I don’t want to write too much (more than what I have already) so I’ll just say…

    Another Gurren Lagann? YOU’RE FUCKING SHITTING ME, MANG

  13. Dallas McAtasney says:

    Hi sorry to bother you but i’ve been trying to find that wallpaper of kamina’s grave for ages. lol could you please send it to me at 6arashi6@googlemail.com or tell me where to get it or at least what it says at the bottom right corner lol. Thank you for your time.

  14. johns says:

    You should really continue watching. The first 3 or so episodes after Kamina’s death are a bit boring because Simon’s in a slump. However when he comes back he comes back HARD. Plus the episodes where they go into space…I have to say I have never seen anything more epic.

  15. Bltizkrieg says:

    What are you guys talking about? Kamina doesn’t die. As the great Kamina once said: “A true man never dies, even when he’s killed.” And Kamina, my friends, is as true of a man as a man can be.

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