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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Losing the Gurren Lagann virginity

    Okay, so it isn't the slickest or most PG name for a thread ever. But 'Let's Watch' wasn't quite right, and this title seems more in line with the nature of the series itself.

    This is a thread wherein I'm going to sit down and watch Gurren Lagann, one episode a day until my brain realizes the sham of a life I've been living up until this point and immediately atrophies in shame.
    I'd heard about it for years, of course. But I've spent even longer devoutly sticking to my self-proclaimed loathing of anime, and missing some truly excellent shows because of this. It wasn't until I spent an entire week watching Trigun in the nude that it became clear to me that not all media from Japan was embarrassingly bad (though that's a story all by itself), and other decent series' started to slowly infiltrate my download lists. Samurai Champloo tugged at my heartstrings like a little girl at her mother's bellbottoms, and Cowboy Bebop taught me that anime didn't have to be a seizure-inducing series of flashing frames and oversized hammers.

    But even after getting my toes wet in the frothing black pool that is Anime, I still wasn't ready for shows with Japanese titles, much less (heaven forbid) prominently-featured MECHA, and thus resisted Gurren Lagann for ages. I bought the series, and it's been sitting on the shelf so long that it has more dust collected than the sequels to the Matrix.

    But tonight I have just the right amount of inebriation in me to stumble over to the computer and give it a shot, no pun intended. I blurted this out in between I LOVE YOUs to someone on messenger and they insisted I commemorate the occasion. I'm doing this by way of a quasi-review, though I can honestly say I have no idea who I'm writing FOR. I'll be either spoiling the series to someone who hasn't seen it or ranting about it to people who have. But frankly, I've seen the sort of GARBAGE reviews people spew out onto the interwebs these days, and I can honestly say I don't feel bad for anything in comparison.

    Be forewarned that I plan on watching the whole bleedin' thing in English, regardless of what I might be missing by failing to understand the subtle inflections in the ORIGINAL voices while I'm staring stupidly at subtitles. Which reminds me; I hate you, purists. You let me watch my anime dubbed, and I won't make fun of you for strutting around for that time you went to see the Hitchhiker's Movie with a towel slung over your shoulder.

    Yeah. You.

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    Default Re: Losing the Gurren Lagann virginity

    Quote Originally Posted by Dust View Post
    Be forewarned that I plan on watching the whole bleedin' thing in English, regardless of what I might be missing by failing to understand the subtle inflections in the ORIGINAL voices while I'm staring stupidly at subtitles. Which reminds me; I hate you, purists. You let me watch my anime dubbed, and I won't make fun of you for strutting around for that time you went to see the Hitchhiker's Movie with a towel slung over your shoulder.

    Yeah. You.
    It's mainly that Kamina's original voice is beyond awesome.

    The dub's Leeron is arguably better than the original though.

    EDIT: I think I can sum it up. The dub voices are all slightly less manly than the originals. In a few cases this is a good thing.
    Last edited by Prime32; 2011-02-02 at 05:32 AM.

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    Default Re: Losing the Gurren Lagann virginity

    Video Link on Youtube

    I can't understand a word of the theme song of course, but I summarize the basic idea to be 'T&A, plus robots.' The series then quickly starts off with a bang, as I watch what I presume to be the CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE and am quickly disappointed as it transforms into some punk kid shouting Star Trek buzzwords. 'Our thruster flame is visible now!' Golly gee, we better kick the warp factor overdrive into...bloody hell, I don't know. I can't even remember which Trek captain had sex with aliens and which one was played by Patrick Stewart.

    Okay. Gurren Lagann. I'm busy staring at their outfits until someone shouts 'TARGET THE GREAT DIMENSIONAL WATERFALL,' at which point I need to pause the show for a moment while I clean up the Smirnoff that just shot out of my nose. I don't know if I'm supposed to be taking this seriously or not. Oh god, I hope not.

    I'd like to take a second and fill you in on everything I know about this show.
    • Kamina is one of the main characters. He hauls around a sword, generally poses like a badass, sports his trademark shades and shouts a catchphrase that even I have to admit is kind of great.
    • I'm fairly certain Kamina dies/retires/etc by the end of the series, since I've seen shots of his sword unused, or him coming up to a kid and asserting that he's 'nobody.'
    • There is no third bulletpoint. Really, that's it.


    So when Kamina - or someone very much like him - shows up on the bridge of this intergalactic space cruiser, I fully expect things to get ridiculous in a hurry. And I'm not disappointed when it turns out to be a mech instead of a space shuttle. With a face the size of a small nation.

    Cut to Simone, another main character and self-proclaimed treasure hunter. He finds a key and is then promptly made fun of by a trio of slutbags with some of the worst lines since the queue for the girl's bathroom at a grade-seven school dance. 'If we're not careful, he might drill a hole in us, too!' I mean, c'mon. Somehow I get the impression this isn't a thinly-veiled sexual reference and is instead something they're joking about as a very real possibility. Which I suppose makes sense, since all three of them are dumber than rocks.

    So Kamina shows up and I instantly like him, especially because he partially takes his glasses off the first time we meet him. Nothing turns a character stale faster than a freakish desire to hide behind their Blues-Brother shades 100% of the time. We discover he's planning to escape from the underground city in which they all live, and I also suddenly realize I recognize his voice as Wario, from There Will Be Brawl. I wonder what else he's been in and I'm too thick to realize it, but I suspect it would be enormously embarrassing and so I just press on.
    I vaguely wonder how many people have fantasized about Simone and Kamina and have an animated gif of this shot on their hard drives.

    So the village elder, whose nipples have the tendency to wander around his chest and even float nearby while he talks, shuts down their escape attempt and informs them that the surface is a myth. It would be a great premise for a series if I wasn't sure it would be proven wrong at the end of the episode. I turn out to be mistaken - it's proven wrong less than five minutes later.

    Kamina gets a frown from me as he takes a few hits to the head without flinching, casually catching a spinning sword, yadda yadda, and in any other series it would be tiresome and trite. This one gets a pass from me since the character is otherwise so extremely likable right off the start. Having him declare himself to be a huge badass, eliciting eyerolls and groans from some of the other villagers....well, it's refreshing and well-written.

    Our first shot of T&A appears as a Sniper-Girl™ descends from the sky to fight the talking Mech-Thing™, and there's a few extended shots of our heroic trio fighting, burrowing and otherwise trying to make a getaway. It helps demonstrate the dynamic personality of the three characters between shots of the new girl's jugs and the monstrous mech sitting and waiting patiently. I can't help but inwardly groan at the romantic tension between Kamina and Unnamed Girl, though this may or may not ever amount to anything. Simone climbs into the mech which we learn is actually called a Gunman, which becomes a moot point as Kamina immediately names it Lagann, and proceeds to open a can of Whoops on the much larger Gunman. I really hope the drill-based weaponry gets explained later in the series.

    So with the decades (centuries?) of reclusive philosophy and underground lifestyle forever shattered, the village is left to be eaten by wild surface-monsters of some description I'm sure. Good job breaking it, heroes. The episode ends with a really great shot of the dusken skyline and horizon, Simone ends up landing comfortably on the new girl - Yoko - and her milk wagons. She smiles cutely up at him as he flounces around in her Isaac Newtons like a kid on a new waterbed, but not even Yoko's headlights can stop the shade that falls over the group, caused by two more Gunman (?) appearing.

    And that's where the episode ends. And I'm finding myself honestly impressed, ready for the next continuation, more mechs, and more melons.

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    Default Re: Losing the Gurren Lagann virginity

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime32 View Post
    It's mainly that Kamina's original voice is beyond awesome.

    The dub's Leeron is arguably better than the original though.

    EDIT: I think I can sum it up. The dub voices are all slightly less manly than the originals. In a few cases this is a good thing.
    I hated Kamina's voice in the English dub. Most of the English dubs I didn't like except Viral's. His voice was so bad ass!

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    Default Re: Losing the Gurren Lagann virginity

    Terminology
    It's Simon, not Simone. The EN and JA versions pronounce it differently, but neither pronounces it correctly.

    The mecha are called Ganmen in the original, which for some reason is to changed to Gunmen in the dub. Which is arguably a better name. (roughly, "Gunmen" = face, "Ganmen" = face trooper)

    "TARGET THE GREAT DIMENSIONAL WATERFALL" appears to be a mistranslation of "AIM THE MAELSTROM CANNON".


    I will say no more, to avoid spoilers.

    EDIT:
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Epic View Post
    I hated Kamina's voice in the English dub. Most of the English dubs I didn't like except Viral's. His voice was so bad ass!
    Mainly, Viral's original VA is heavily associated with extremely manly and courageous men. His most famous character shares the position of "God of Hot Blood" in the TVTropes pantheon with Kamina.

    Kamina's dub VA is Kyle Hebert, who was presumably cast for his role as Teen Gohan in Dragonball Z ("Tremble, evildoers, before THE GREAT SAIYAMAN!").
    Last edited by Prime32; 2011-02-02 at 07:41 AM.

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    Default Re: Losing the Gurren Lagann virginity

    "Isaac Newtons"? That's a new one.
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    Default Re: Losing the Gurren Lagann virginity

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime32 View Post
    EDIT:Mainly, Viral's original VA is heavily associated with extremely manly and courageous men. His most famous character shares the position of "God of Hot Blood" in the TVTropes pantheon with Kamina.
    You didn't have to tell me. Any boss in God Hand is of course going to be bad ass and awesome....well, most of the bosses...half...any of the Devas.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Losing the Gurren Lagann virginity

    Quote Originally Posted by Dust View Post
    'If we're not careful, he might drill a hole in us, too!' I mean, c'mon. Somehow I get the impression this isn't a thinly-veiled sexual reference and is instead something they're joking about as a very real possibility. Which I suppose makes sense, since all three of them are dumber than rocks.
    You're joking. Of course it's a sexual reference! Not a very good one, but Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann isn't exactly a "thinly veiled" kind of show.

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    Default Re: Losing the Gurren Lagann virginity

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    "Isaac Newtons"? That's a new one.
    I'd never heard it before either. I have to figure a way to work that into normal conversation now.
    Truth resists simplicity.

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    Default Re: Losing the Gurren Lagann virginity

    Thread subscribed. Gurenn Lagann is one of my favorite shows.

    The motif of a drill, or a spiral, appear frequently throughout the show and is an important theme. But I'll let the show explain the importance of Spiral Energy. There are some fairly cool SF concepts lurking underneath the laughable manga and the oversized mammary glands.

    Respectfully,

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    Default Re: Losing the Gurren Lagann virginity

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime32 View Post
    It's mainly that Kamina's original dubbed voice is beyond awesome.

    The dub's Leeron is arguably definitely better than the original though.
    Fixed that for you.
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    Default Re: Losing the Gurren Lagann virginity

    Quote Originally Posted by Reverent-One View Post
    Fixed that for you.
    Please don't do that, the argument will turn the heavens into Swiss cheese.

    Kamina's voice is the biggest point of contention for the dub, only rivalled by how to pronounce a certain attack name (you know the one).

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    Default Re: Losing the Gurren Lagann virginity

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime32 View Post
    Please don't do that, the argument will turn the heavens into Swiss cheese.

    Kamina's voice is the biggest point of contention for the dub, only rivalled by how to pronounce a certain attack name (you know the one).
    Is there any other name for that one attack?
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    Default Re: Losing the Gurren Lagann virginity

    Quote Originally Posted by araveugnitsuga View Post
    Is there any other name for that one attack?
    Spoilers:
    Spoiler
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    JA: Giga Drill Breaker
    EN: Giga Drill Break

    Mainly people get annoyed because there was no clear reason to change it. We never even see a mouth when it's said, so the lip-flaps excuse is out.
    Last edited by Prime32; 2011-02-02 at 09:41 AM.

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    Default Re: Losing the Gurren Lagann virginity

    Quote Originally Posted by Dust View Post
    which Trek captain had sex with aliens and which one was played by Patrick Stewart.
    That would be Shatner and Picard, respectively
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    Default Re: Losing the Gurren Lagann virginity

    Quote Originally Posted by shadow_archmagi View Post
    That would be Shatner and Picard, respectively
    I see what you did there.

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    Default Re: Losing the Gurren Lagann virginity

    Yay! We're kicking it Mark-style! Keep it up with the non-spoilage, everyone!
    Don't blame me. I voted for Kodos.

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    Default Re: Losing the Gurren Lagann virginity

    On the attack name:

    Spoiler
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    I was always under the impression that it wasn't so much "Breaker" in the Japanese version, but "Break" pronounced in the Japanese way ("Bureikku" or however you would actually spell it).

    But yeah, I think the Japanese one works better. There you can stretch out the scream into high eternity ("Giga Doriru Bureikkaaaaaaaa!) whereas the English version will have to have the consonant at the end, which can cut the shout short.


    All in all, I do prefer the Japanese version (especially the movies, which are near perfection in their over the topness), but the English dub isn't bad at all. Yuri Lowenthal does what he does best as Simon and Kyle Hebert does a reasonable Kamina, with other actors pulling their weight well enough even if I can't remember their names.
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    Default Re: Losing the Gurren Lagann virginity

    I bought the DVDs with the subtitles, then watched the first episode dubbed; I couldn't finish it I guess the character's voices didn't match up with my brain putting the subtitles into sound. I loved the show however and highly suggest finishing it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Comet View Post
    -snip- especially the movies, which are near perfection in their over the topness -snip-
    Indeed, Dust, if you can find a way to watch the movies in a way that you like (I don't see them on that youtube channel you're using, and I don't think they've been dubbed either), check them out. The first one is mostly good for kicking the second-to-last major battle of the first arc up a couple notches, while the second takes the final battle of the series (which is already turned up to 11) and manages to turn it up to 12, and then to 13*.

    *(Series End Spoilers)
    Spoiler
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    YMMV on this, I suspect. I, personally, found the music-less fistfight with the Antispiral King to be the epitome of manliness in the series. No mecha, no lasers, no shouting; just pounding the **** out of each other until Simon forms his own blood into a drill so he can finally dig his way to victory.


    [EDIT]: Prime makes a good point below. DO NOT watch the movies first. Much better that way.
    Last edited by AlterForm; 2011-02-02 at 12:33 PM.

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    Default Re: Losing the Gurren Lagann virginity

    Quote Originally Posted by AlterForm View Post
    Indeed, Dust, if you can find a way to watch the movies in a way that you like (I don't see them on that youtube channel you're using, and I don't think they've been dubbed either), check them out. The first one is mostly good for kicking the second-to-last major battle of the first arc up a couple notches, while the second takes the final battle of the series (which is already turned up to 11) and manages to turn it up to 12, and then to 13*.
    Movies are epic. Just don't watch them before the series, since they leave out a lot of scenes which establish character but aren't vital to the plot.
    Last edited by Prime32; 2011-02-02 at 12:32 PM.

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    Default Re: Losing the Gurren Lagann virginity

    I'm actually watching the series on DVD, I'm just including youtube links where I can find them for people who might like to, I dunno, follow along or somesuch.

    Simon it is, then. Good to know.

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    Default Re: Losing the Gurren Lagann virginity

    For me who has watched the entire series (not the movies, but I've yet to find a good place to watch them on), it's very fun to see the impressions of the series from a first-time watcher! Particularly one who is as well-written as you are.

    I'll be sure to read this
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    Default Re: Losing the Gurren Lagann virginity

    On Dub VAs:

    Nia is initially voiced in the dub by Hynden Walch, the VA for Starfire in Teen Titans. And it is adorable.

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    Default Re: Losing the Gurren Lagann virginity

    Kamina's English voice was lame in the first episode but I found it great in all later episodes.

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    Default Re: Losing the Gurren Lagann virginity

    Youtube Video Link

    Dear Hollywood;

    As a loyal consumer to even your most terrible of cinema Faux Pas, I like to think myself a bit of an expert on the subject of "what sells." For example, I am utterly convinced that Jason Vs Freddy 2 should be produced as a Bing Crosby/Bob Hope-style ROAD TRIP comedy. Jason seems like he'd make a good singer if given the chance, and he already brutalizes children. In addition, seeing Freddy on a camel, well, that would make my day.
    But more on point, Hollywood, sit down and watch this series. It'll teach you how to make unbelievable characters that still garner love and sympathy, and frankly, you haven't churned out a single one of those for years.

    Where was I going with this? Oh, yeah.

    The episode opens with the same adrenaline the last one ended on, and we get reminded of the personalities of our three heroes over the span of the next few minutes. Yoko serves as little more than a big gun and even bigger chesticles, Simon remains a sniveling wimp for the time being (understandable, though!), and Kamina exists to convert oxygen into awesome in an efficient manner.
    The chase scene ends abruptly with GM Fiat as the gun running out of ammo, Lagann suddenly shutting down, and a dozen NPCs suddenly appearing to railroad the heroes into the next social scene.

    Oh, and we discover the enemy Gunmen are piloted by Fuzzy Wuzzy and pals.

    We meet a few of the villagers, including one named Leeron who is a one-man parade. I mean, he's got more camp than Yellowstone. He's Elizabeth II at NASCAR. He's seen more tricks than everyone who lives on David Blaine's street. And it's hilarious and works really well with the atmosphere of the show.

    At this point, we bump into my first problem with the series thus far, when they bump into a skull in the desert, and Kamina actually asks what it IS. Just wrap your head around that for a minute - everyone in the underground village was toting around swords, digging through enough layers of dirt to uncover ancient relics from the past, and he's still unable to recognize a bone. Even if we assume he just couldn't clearly see the object over Yoko's gobstoppers, the following scene still doesn't sit well with me. So after confessing that people 'die all the time,' they spend a few hours burying the remains. It bothers me when a made-up society exhibits characteristics like this, because it implies a cultural tradition taught by religion or necessity, neither of which seems to be the case here. The whole scene just seems severely out of place, short of some subtle foreshadowing about Kamina's death.

    The next morning is coffee, Gunman attacks, and more of Leeron's amazing innuendo. ("I was up all night, polishing it.") I also start wondering about the actual culture they've developed here when you see things like glass jars filled with condiments and sausages. Do they have jobs like Engineer/Butcher? Demolitions Expert/Knitter? Sniper/Grain Farmer? I can only assume that Yoko has a part-time job as hot-air balloon ballast.
    I have to say, there was a pretty severe shift in tone when it was revealed the mechs are piloted by Yogi and Booboo, so that even the villagers don't seem to take them seriously. In fact, the only one who seems to give two squirts is Simon, who realizes the earthquake that caused his parents' deaths was due to the Gunmen on the surface. Thus, he goes Hero Mode and proceeds to help Kamina steal one of the other Gunmen. Sadly, it was rigged to be No Kamina Allowed, but he quickly overcomes this with the POWER OF HEART. He is the patron saint of Penetration With A Foreign Object.

    And I guess not all Beastmen are poor ripoffs of Paddington Bear. Others are goatmen and chimpanzees wearing arseless chaps. They briefly mention a commander, so I assume there's a whole military hierarchy thing going on here. I imagine their Supreme Potentate is named Chim-Chim.

    We're treated to the WHO-THE-HELL-DO-YOU-THINK-I-AM-KICK, as well as the Perfect-Combustion-Of-Manly-Souls-Cannonball-Attack, as well as another one of the most staggering lines in the series thus far when the villagers admit that they'd never considered stealing an enemy Gunman.
    Just further proof that they're all NPCs.

    And just as soon as I think I've figured out the tone of the show, it kicks me square in the chest with a shockingly sad scene. As Kamina prepares to don his father's cloak, it all ends abruptly.

    I mean it, Hollywood. You could learn a thing or two. And thank you, interwebs, for introducing me to this series. I am generally so overjoyed that I could ejaculate looping rainbows of joy. But I won't. Because of the carpeting.

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    Default Re: Losing the Gurren Lagann virginity

    Quote Originally Posted by Dust View Post
    Yoko serves as little more than a big gun and even bigger chesticles

    Kamina exists to convert oxygen into awesome in an efficient manner.

    I can only assume that Yoko has a part-time job as hot-air balloon ballast.

    I am generally so overjoyed that I could ejaculate looping rainbows of joy. But I won't. Because of the carpeting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prime32 View Post
    Spoilers:
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    JA: Giga Drill Breaker
    EN: Giga Drill Break

    Mainly people get annoyed because there was no clear reason to change it. We never even see a mouth when it's said, so the lip-flaps excuse is out.
    Meh... it is worse in the spanish sub
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    Giga Drill Destructor (note literal translation from spanish
    Spanish: Giga Taladro Destructor
    Just call me Dusk
    Avatar by Ceika

    Dming: Eyes of the Lich Queen IC OOC


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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    AsteriskAmp's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Losing the Gurren Lagann virginity

    Quote Originally Posted by Dusk Eclipse View Post
    Meh... it is worse in the spanish sub
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    Giga Drill Destructor (note literal translation from spanish
    Spanish: Giga Taladro Destructor
    Actually I think the correct term is: Giga Destroying Drill. (Giga Drill Destructor would be Destructor de Giga Taladros.)
    The Iron Avatarist Crypt of Fame - Exorcising photobucket from the historic archives of the forum.
    Go and went by many names Ast, Avgvst, Pink-Haired August, araveugnitsuga and nowadays AsteriskAmp.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Australia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Losing the Gurren Lagann virginity

    Quote Originally Posted by Dust View Post
    So after confessing that people 'die all the time,' they spend a few hours burying the remains.
    That's not a confession, it's an off-handed dismissal. And I'm pretty sure they didn't bury the remains
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    until Kamina realised it was his father's skeleton.

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