Celebrate 10 Years of Gurren Lagann With 8 Facts You Never Knew

Can you believe Gurren Lagann is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year? Gainax’s mecha series debuted on April 1, 2007 and ran for 27 episodes before being adapted into two movies.Gurren Lagann

The tale of an underground dwelling teen piercing the heaven’s with the Gurren Lagann has been loved by Japanese and International fans alike! Here are some pieces of trivia about the anime to celebrate.


1Gurren Lagann was written by a playwright.

Kazuki Nakashima is known for writing plays, but he has dabbled in anime. After composing the script for Re:Cutie Honey, he was asked to be the lead writer for Gurren Lagann. While Nakashima rarely writes anime scripts, he did reunite with most of the Gurren Lagann staff for Kill la Kill.


2Yoko Littner’s age is a mystery.

Despite a popular “anime age meme,” Yoko Littner’s age has never officially been revealed. The closest thing to a true age fans have is when it’s mentioned that Yoko is around Simon’s age, which is 14.

But, that may be a red herring, since it’s later revealed that Yoko’s perceives time differently compared to people from the underground. It’s one of those specific things that fans will never know the truth to.


3Episode 15 has over 22,000 frames of animation.

That is about 1 and a half episodes worth of animation in a single episode! A large chunk of the frames was drawn by Sushio, who has jokingly referred to himself as The Super Animator for his contribution to episode 15.


4A lot of the cast was killed due to a lack of time and money.

Spoilers! [Kamina and Nia] were the few planned deaths in the series, with the majority of the dying cast being a result of a lack of planning time and budget. Because of this, the Lights in the Sky are Stars movie is considered the true second-half of the anime since it includes all of the original content that was supposed to be in the anime.


5Gurren Lagann was made to be kid-friendly.

The giant robot action and Yoko’s sexy design are actually part of a kid-friendly anime! Gurren Lagann is one of the few Gainax shows to air on a kid-friendly time slot, which led to issues for one episode: the bathhouse episode.

The staff had to edit this episode despite TV stations approving it while reading the script. However, the stations saw an issue with the male cast peaking into the female baths, which is an illegal act in Japan. Not wanting to receive complaints from parents, the TV stations demanded that Gainax to make some edits, which they did. However, an uncut version of the episode was included in the home video release.


6Gainax’s co-founder resigned due to online criticism.

Entertainment is not for the thin-skinned, but Gainax co-founder Takami Akai didn’t get the memo. He helped found Gainax in 1981, but criticism of Gurren Lagann on the 2ch imageboard site lead to his resignation.

Some users of 2ch criticized the first episode, claiming it had “C-level animation.” After a colleague showed Akai the thread, he wrote that reading 2ch comments was “like putting your face next to an anus and breathing deeply.”

He and another Gainax member would get in feuds with 2ch users up through episode 5, with one staffer saying they shouldn’t listen to comments from amateurs and that the “stupid, stupid, disgusting otaku should die!”

However, the situation may have reached a boiling point after the official Gainax website shared a gag comic of Yoko shooting a character from Yes! Precure 5, which was competing against Gurren Lagann. After all the negative press, Akai decided to resign as a board member of Gainax. Akai hasn’t worked in anime since then.


7Kamina and Simon’s names are symbolic.

Kamina’s name is derived from “Kami,” which is Japanese for God. Simon’s name is derived from Simon Peter, one of Jesus’ apostles and leader of the Church after Jesus’ death.


8The Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is officially the largest mecha in anime.

The titular robot is 10 million light-years tall!


What were your favorite moments from Gurren Lagann?

I really like to look at the darker side of things, like a shadow following you at night...or maybe I'm just trying too hard? Anyways, Persona is my life!
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