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.
For 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.
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.
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.