The part of the ending where Simon gave up the Gurren Lagann and became a wanderer is even more fitting after watching it again and noticing a specific line: "I'm just Simon the Digger. I shouldn't be the one to traverse those tunnels that I make". It's pretty much telling us that his role was to lead the way to a new life of freedom to all races, but leading the people after freeing them isn't something he's suited for or would even enjoy. Additionally, by this point he was creating so much spiral power that he would have a hard time using only a comparatively little, and since the only threat that would require so much Spiral Power was gone him remaining a pilot would be more of a liability than an asset. That's why he gave the Core Drill and Gurren Lagann to Gimmy. Thus he can instead live a humble life with his closest friend (Boota), which is pretty much all he ever really wanted. This also brings new meaning to Simon's adjustment of the Arc Words in the finale that "My drill is the drill that creates the heavens!"—He didn't say anything about commanding them, now did he?
Beastmen operating Gunmen without Spiral Power: the majority of them were solar powered, thus explaining why Beastmen only attacked during the day unless they had other power sources like the one from the Hot Springs Episode (geothermal) and coming out of Teppelin (Lordgenome's Spiral Power).
Since Simon's main weapon is a drill, he can really only move forwards, and head-on. Other species must have been foolish in the past, creating such distracting things as strategies, never really understanding the nature of Spiral Energy. But Simon's drill is one large spiral, and is an allegory for his soul, as Kamina stated in the first episode. And that led to an increased understanding of Spiral Energy, far beyond that of a normal person. Upon understanding the true nature of the power he was using, on a complex level we outside of that universe would never understand, he could charge forward, little by little, whittling away at the Big Bad, and he won. Because his is a drill that pierced through the heavens! And in contrast, Lordgenome's drills are narrow and flexible. He tried to destroy the Anti-Spiral with strategic, decisive attacks rather than whittle away at it slowly, and was defeated for it.
What made the heroes unique, compared to every other team of Spiral Warriors? Something that showed up in the infinite labyrinth: Kamina. All the other groups had their own Simon as seen by all the Laganns, they probably had their own Kittan and Yoko and everyone else, but they didn't have someone to properly inspire them. Just consider Parallel Works 8 and Lordgenome's attempt at defeating the Anti-Spirals. It's rather telling that Lordgenome's is able to so easily slaughter the rest of humanity once he betrays them. It seemed as if everything rested on Lordgenome as their leader—whereas in Team Dai-Gurren, everyone was inspired by Kamina. When Lordgenome betrayed humanity, everything went to hell, because they didn't know what to do without their leader. But Team Dai-Gurren was able to move past Kamina's death and fight and stand on their own two feet because of his memory.
If Simon had resurrected Nia, then it would have opened up a whole can of worms as people would have demanded the use of Spiral Power to resurrect their loved ones too. Such a world, where no-one would ever die and leave the world to the next generation, is exactly against the ideals of "moving forward" and "evolution" that the series portrays.
Something rather touching that comes after Kittan dies: The star-shaped sunglasses Simon has seem like just a random bit of coolness they stuck on. Then it hit me: approximately what shape was the King Kittan? A star. It's not just there , it's a tribute to another fallen hero. At the end of the final battle, when delivering the final blow, the star-shaped shades break. This symbolizes him fulfilling his promises to Kamina and Kittan and carrying on their fight, to make their deaths worthwhile. The shades are like that to remind him of the people who gave everything to get him that far, and when they shatter, it means he's won. But also consider, what were the shades originally? That's right, his digging goggles. So, also taking into account his statement that somebody else is meant to go down the tunnels he dug, the phrase "my drill is the drill that creates the heavens," and the fact that the Anti-Spiral gets a big ol' drill through him, it basically means that Simon has dug his last hole. Not only do the shades break because he's justified his friends' deaths, but it's also his goggles breaking because he has fulfilled his destiny and doesn't need them anymore. Pretty deep for something that took less than a second of screentime...
Kamina would have had IMPOSSIBLY large shoes to fill in the later parts of the series if he had survived. It could be said, by dying, he was more instrumental by being a memory of greatness, rather than ever having disappointed the people. His spiral power actually seemed to be pretty minimal, especially when he tried to steal the Gurren, until his death. He basically needed to set an example for everyone of how to do the job he couldn't do himself, especially Simon, with his massive potential.
"Don't believe in yourself; believe in me who believes in you". On its face, it sounds like, "Don't worry, kid, when your confidence is shot, I'll keep cheering you on", and it's easy enough to just take it as such... but pare down that sentence and you get "Believe in me." Simon was looked down on and/or ignored in his village, and no one "believed in" him aside from Kamina... but consider that Kamina was in much the same kind of position, being called "the liar's son", having his gang composed of insincere hangers-on who betrayed him at the first opportunity, and being subjected to constant beatings, jailings and general attempts to shut him up. The only person who truly stood by him was Simon. Additionally, we see inEpisode 11 that Kamina was afraid and panicking when the tunnel collapsed, and Simon's quiet determination was directly responsible for Kamina's refusal to give up. In short, when the phrase is examined closely, Kamina was actually asking Simon, the person he admired more than anyone else, to have faith in him — "Please have faith in me, because you're the person I respect and trust the most, and I act confident and self-assured because I know you're watching me". Furthermore, when Kamina was dying, he told Simon, "Don't believe in me, who believes in you... don't believe in you, who believes in me... believe in you, who believes in yourself" because he finally recognized that that was what he should have been telling Simon all along.
There is a Japanese saying that goes something along the lines of "The nail that stands out gets pounded down." It practically defines their culture. Keep that saying in mind, and re-watch the scene of Simon getting beaten by Lordgenome.
Rossiu's viewpoints in the third arc reflect the views of his village in the fifth episode.
Given his insistence that he wouldn't die on the surface like his father did, one might only attribute the fact that Kamina didn't struggle or get angry when faced with death, and in fact died smiling to his genuine (and well-placed, of course, as it turns out) faith in Simon's strength. But that isn't all — Kamina's acceptance of deathalso points to the series's eventual message that death needs to be accepted and the past placed in the past in order for life to continue forward, and that peaceful smile also a tribute to the ability to let go and move on that he knew Simon had. Notice a line earlier on: Kamina's father says to him "Come to the surface and join me when you're ready." Later on, when Kamina dies, this acts as him joining his father, who had also died.
The earlier scene where we find out Simon's actions during the cave-in originally seem like just a touching moment about two friends, but in truth, they point to this important fact about his personality: When faced with a seemingly impossible task, he presses straight forward, always taking what seems like the hardest route, but making it work through pure determination. Consider, for instance, the scene where Gimmy and Darry are attempting to find some way to defeat the Anti-Spiral without its pieces destroying the city: another show might try to lure the enemy outside the city or enclose it (think GaoGaiGar), but Simon just takes the direct approach by grabbing a gun and shooting every piece before it hits ground. Watch the series again with this in mind: you'll notice that every time someone seems to try and come up with some roundabout strategem or some complex plan (for example: captured by the Beastmen), Simon solves it using the direct approach that no one considered because it was (thought to be) impossible.
Pay close attention to Yoko's fantasy scene. Yoko turns off the screen showing her AU future at the exact moment before she kisses Kittan. When it is revealed that Kamina's spirit is the one holding the screen, it becomes clear that she chose that particular moment in order to show both herself and Kamina that he was still the man she really loved, even though she cared for Kittan.
Viral's scene. He has a wife and a child. Which, okay, in his heart he might want a family. But this isn't just "what he would like." Unlike Yoko and Simon, though, it's not because what they desire is gone. As much as anyone else's dream, it's impossible, since as a Beastman he can't have children. He will never be able to have a child like a spiral race creature could.
Through implication, during the last arc, the members of Team Dai-Gurren basically state themselves that, by the last episode, they have surpassed the Gods to fight the universe and WIN.]] They don't call Simon a determinator for nothing!
Consider the difference between a Real Robot show and a Super Robot show, not only in terms of the nature of the robots but of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism. In Neon Genesis Evangelion, an EVA unit is a Super Robot show in a Real Robot universe, and the Ganmen in Gurren Lagann are the other way around. Think about it: Spiral Energy is essentially the Minovsky Particle of the TTGL universe, and the creators of the Gunmen have essentially exploited this principle in their design and execution; furthermore, anyone who fits the right requirements can pilot any of them. The fact that the nature of said Spiral Energy is a combination of Rule of Cool and Serial Escalation, and said requirements consist of "FIGHTING SPIRIT!" instead of training and certification, and the tone is as Idealistic as all hell, doesn't change this. Compare to Evangelion: the EVA units are empathic weapons bonded to their specific pilots, they're essentially one-of-a-kind in the battle against the Angels ... and the tone is extremely Cynical, it has a Downer En — um, a Gainax Ending, and eventually, they have mass-produced EVA units!
In Lagann-hen, many of the audience wondered why the Cathedral Lazengann moved so slowly as it was trying to crush Arc-Gurren Lagann in its hand, then to punch out the Earth when it moved so much more quickly later as the Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann. But the Cathedral Lazengann was not running off of Spiral Power (the fighting spirit) that would have allowed it to have moved as quickly as the Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann would later in the very same movie.
When I heard the Anti Spiral say that they were using Spiral Power to satisfy their own desires and growing drunk on it, I at first thought it was just a stupid Hannibal Lecture, but then, I realized this, it wasn't just a lecture, he was calling them out on unnecessary upgrades that usually just made the mechs and themselves look cooler, such as the Garrific glasses that Simon had, and other things, the flight was necessary, but it didn't excuse the other unneccasary upgrades, he wasn't just giving them a lecture about overusing Spiral Power, he was calling them out on the upgrades that weren't even needed!
The Anti-Spiral had a humanoid body, when that's something only Spiral races have. Then it turned out that it was made of the collected minds of a Spiral race.
The four Beastman generals are introduced one or two at a time; not all at once, with Adiane only ever referring to Thymilph and Guame only ever interacting with Cytomander. They were named after the four nitrogenous bases in the DNA molecule: adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine. And in the DNA molecule, adenine always bonds with thymine and guanine always bonds with cytosine.
Boota wasn't just giving Simon and Kamina his tail to eat for nourishment, he was giving back some of the spiral energy that he had absorbed from them like he does in the final battle. Simon is the method to Kamina's madness, but Boota is Simon's backup.
Rossiu's decision to arrest and execute Simon in order to save his face post-timeskip seems like an immensely Genre Blind move (and it is)- but in fact it's a good illustration of how their society has changed since before the timeskip. In the beginning of the series, Simon, Rossiu, and all their friends live in a more or less tribal society, like some of the first cultures that ever existed, where it's necessary to fight enemies all day to survive (and thus, all the fixings for Humongous Mecha battles are in place). After the timeskip, though, there's a more modern civilization established, and it's not necessary to fight for your life anymore- so the mecha becomes more like a wartime tool not to be used around civilians; and furthermore, Rossiu knows that the new government (like modern governments) must stay in the people's favor. It's like the evolution of government in general over the centuries and another approach to the show's general evolution motif.
Minor one, probably, but the wimpy Kamina in the penultimate episode was exactly like Kamina's "friends" from the very first episode, selling out their pride to avoid getting in trouble, and using Simon for their own gain. And in the first episode, Kamina is absolutely disgusted with them, just as he later says there can only be one real Kamina. Then when the village chief lets Simon go because he was a digger, Kamina told him to go ahead, but Simon stood by Kamina even when an earthquake was going on and it would be smarter to hide. Later in the last episode, the real Kamina tells Simon to choose whichever Kamina he wants - either the one alive he could always be with, or the dead one he could see again. Both choices have Simon have facing an emotional crisis and risk his life for his bro, the manly leader of Team Gurren, by his own choice.
The creating and discarding daughters might have just been to keep himself in Despair, so he didn't build up too much Spiral Power and draw undo attention from the Anti-spirals.
Lordgenome knew that his massive badassery would be passed on to his daughters. If they grew up too much, they would call him out on his tyranny and overthrow him. He couldn't trust his daughter with being queen of the world; she would probably inadvertently have the population reach one million and doom the world to a Colony Drop. Oh, and since the Anti-Spiral genetic code was inscribed in his daughters, humanity would lose their queen at the worst possible moment.
The purpose of the pocket dimension (not including tactical effectiveness) the Anti-Spirals used was to exert their spiral power without risking the accidental destruction of the universe they were trying to save.
The Anti-Spirals used a slightly different/altered form of spiral energy to fight Simon. Spiral Energy comes from the will to move forward, or will power in general. The Anti-Spiral comments on how much resolve, will, and fortitude it took to halt their own evolution. While Spiral power comes from the will to move forward, Anti-Spiral power might come from the will to stop moving. 2 sides of the same coin, like the Force.
Something that Lordgenome said concerning the Anti-Spiral. He said that it always sought to fight Spiral warriors on a level field, so as to cause despair, but that might not be the only reason. The Anti-Spiral itself said that its race had stopped its evolution...in other words, they couldn't grow. It mimicked humanoid bodies, copied moves and designs, and even copied the Giga Drill Breaker in Lagann-Hen. No wonder it was always mimicking its opponents' designs and tactics. It couldn't think of new ideas on its own.
And that's how Simon kept winning in every encounter. His speech about the drill symbolism ('with every revolution we move forward a little... we're stronger now than we were a minute ago') means that the uncreative and unchanging anti-spirals will always be a step behind: unlike all the spirals that came before, Team Dai-Gurren evolved faster than the anti-spirals could keep up.
Why did the Anti-spirals get so Hot-Blooded despite seemingly being unemotional beings? There are 3 reasons: First, because having been a spiral race themselves, they knew they would need that power to fight the spirals. The fight is won by the one who wants it more. Second, adding on to the first point, just because you suppress your emotions doesn't mean it's gone. It's like riding a bike; you never really forget how. And finally,Their method is to fight their enemies equally. Which means being equally Hotblooded as well!
Remember how in Simon's epic speech to the Anti-Spiral, he mentions how the hopes of those who have fallen and the dreams of those who will follow "wind together in a double helix." Ultimately, the path the heroes take at the end is a combination of two entirely opposing viewpoints- Kamina's "kick reason to the curb and make the impossible possible" and the Anti-Spiral philosophy of "Spiral Power dooms the universe." As explained above, the Anti-Spirals completely lost the concepts of evolution and creativity, becoming completely stagnant and ultimately genocidal. Had Team Dai-Gurren kept pushing their power forward and forward, it would have spiraled (excuse the pun) out of control and end with the Spiral Nemesis. So these two different ideals are combined, so that Earth can cooperate with all the other Spiral races to find a way to keep evolving but also avoid becoming drunk on their Spiral Power and ending the universe. That's the only way to keep heading for tomorrow- we saw what happened with the Anti-Spirals (complete suppression of any advancement), and the opening of Episode 1 is the exact opposite: the team going out of control and eventually causing Spiral Nemesis by making "every light in the sky" their enemies. This is what Simon realizes, and why he tells the Anti-Spirals that they can both win the battle and protect the universe, because he now understands this drill/DNA concept, and that the only way to save the universe is to pull the natural opposites of Kamina's and the Anti-Spiral's philosophies into a single structure, that double helix that drills a path toward tomorrow, whereas alone neither of those concepts would be able to pierce the metaphorical heavens. That's why Simon's drill creates the heavens in the end, because he can break the "endless cycle of violence" repeatedly referred to in the narration- the until-then conflict between the pro-Spiral and, well, anti-Spiral philosophies. THAT is Tengen Toppa, and THAT is Gurren Lagann... and this was a really long explanation as to how I came to understand exactly what the show meant.
As awesome as the final battle in Lagann-hen was, Simon's fistfight against the Anti-Spiral was a bit confusing, due to the fact that the latter was bleeding just as much as the former. Why would the collective Hive Mind of an entire alien race would be able to shed blood? The Anti-Spiral was still trying to fight Simon on even ground as part of his Despair Gambit. In other words, he just tried to give himself the same limitations as his opponent.
The shield that Gurren Lagann used to defend Arc-Gurren was almost exactly the same as the one Viral used to block Littner village's missiles... which essentially means Viral was protecting humans with a technique he'd learned during his time as a villain, indicating his journey to the path of light was complete. That wasn't the only time, he also was using the shield to protect a human settlement that didn't want to leave the underground, another possible indication to his path to the light.
You know that attack the Anti-Spirals use in the final battle? The one where it turns into a spear-like form and crashes Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann through several galaxies? That attack mirrors the one that killed Kamina.
What would happen in our universe if the law of conservation of energy was broken in real life? The mass of the universe would keep increasing, and the described Spiral Nemesis would actually happen.
The spacetime portal to Earth during the fight against the Anti-Spiral seemed at first to be just a way to increase tension/raise the stakes, and so the main cast would fight harder. But the people watching from Earth had Spiral Power too. They're seeing the heroes of humanity fighting for the very sake of the planet. They're channeling their Spiral Power into Team Gurren.
The symbolism of the final charge. Starting out large at the base, extending and shrinking until the end while still keeping the same shape. Yes, going from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann to Simon while charging forward, the final attack took the shape of a drill.
If you stop and think about the purpose of the Core Drill, you will notice that it is meant to enhance Simon's ability to use his Spiral Power. Simon seems to have far more latent spiral power than anyone else in the series, but he has trouble tapping into it earlier in the series, without getting a pep talk from Kamina. The more spiral energy he is using when he turns the Core Drill, the more power he is able to obtain. If you think about it, the Core Drill doesn't create more spiral energy. It just focuses and condenses it into a single point, just like a drill does with kinetic energy, focusing it and making it more useful.
In Lagann-hen we see Nia with a drill staff. Look at what Simon is walking with at the epilogue.
Viral's name sounds a lot like "Virility". This is an extremely manly show, but guess what? Viral is not a man and also, he cannot achieve the goal he truly wants: to have a family of his own. His name in and of itself lets you know what his true nature is.
During the Final Battle of Lagann-hen, when Simon makes a drill and goes in for the finishing stroke, the Anti-Spiral charged at him as well, with a grin on his face. The Anti-Spiral, having seen enough of Simon's determination, decided to entrust the future to him, and was basically saying, "Strike me down and show me you are ready to protect the universe in a better way than I did!"
Libera Me From Hell is used twice, in specific circumstances: when the team is trapped in a hell-like place (the Death Spiral Field and the Dimensional Labyrinth) and needs to escape. That's what the song is really about, and why the two different melodies are juxtaposed- there is the woman lamenting their entrapped state, and the rap lyrics exclaiming the will to break out. Notice which melody overtakes the other at the end. The song plays in the prologue to Gurren-hen, which is essentially a remixed Parallel Works 8 with sound effects. It lacks the rap portion of the song. Guess why.
Spiral power is literally dividing by zero. It actually solves the mathematical problem with division by zero - it can divide something into zero parts by violating the law of conservation of mass. If 1/0=X, then X*0=1; X is "a number which when multiplied by zero is greater than zero", which could mean a number that becomes greater than itself in the process of it existing. I'm no mathematician, but I think numbers don't usually have processes - they are themselves, as static facts, even imaginary and irregular numbers and what have you. 1/0 is a number that grows; it's an abstract equation without physical substance that results in gaining mass; it's something from nothing. It's a mathematical expression of the concept of forward motion implicit in itself. Division by zero is impossible - we can't do it. So of course it's how Team Gurren rolls, taking mathematics beyond mathematics.
Why does Viral call the humans "naked apes"? Because there are ape beastmen.
Notice that when Kamina takes off his Triangle Shades, he doesn't look as awesome as he does with them on. Later, we find out that his Crazy Awesomeness and Badassitude was all a mask; he was every bit as scared as everyone else. He puts on his Badass Facade (Note to self: make that a trope) to encourage everybody to not give up hope. So when he puts on his shades, he is literally and figuratively putting on a mask of awesomeness to inspire everybody into giving their all. This is two fold: Kamina was never meant to be the greatest hero in the series but the inspiration to forge the Team Gurren and Simon. If Simon is the digger who would pierce the heaven, Kamina is the drill which would pierce it and to show how humanity should be: Broken, imperfect and sometimes stupid, but always striving to be better and never giving up, no matter what.
Lagann's drill is different from all the other drills in the series. Instead of having grooves, it has a raised spiral similar to a screw. It's to make it where it can hold onto things since its main power is Gundamjacking.
The Lazengann Overload ability may seem like a convenient Ass Pull... until you realize that it's just Lordgenome's version of the Gurren Lagann's energy-absorption ability. The Infinity Big Bang Storm was just too strong for Lordgenome to shoot it back without any harm being done to him.
Jorgun has red sunglasses. Balinbow has blue sunglasses. Twin-Bokun is purple.
Kamina's motivation during the rebellion was to "allow kids to look up in the sky without a care in the world." So what did Yoko do after the war ended? Become a teacher and make sure that happened!
Any Kittan fan who watched Lagann-hen may be disappointed by how the changes from the original series have apparently affected his significance. Instead of being the last casualty in the Gunmen-riding gang and being the only one among said casualties who have experienced the Spiral Energy, in this version he's the only casualty in that group, and as a consequence is the only one who does not get the chance to have his own Tengen Toppa Gunman. However, the movie has made some additional Lampshade Hanging on his role as the one who pushes them all forward while Simon is the one who pulls them. And with this, one can see an added significance in his sacrifice in the movie version. His summoning the Giga-drill on his own is his one last and greatest push to the group; he has shown them that they can bring out their own Spiral Energy, thus making them able to bring out their own Tengen Toppa Gunmen. Whichever version is better, of course, is up to the viewer.
So, Kamina gets to put in one last appearance and shake everybody out of their trans-dimensional funk. Awesome enough on its own, but he also DID finally pay Yoko back for that kiss.
A lot of Guame's action and words take on a different light when you realize that in Parallel Works 8 it is implied strongly, if not outright confirmed, Guame is Lord Genome's Boota. He either was modified by Lord Genome into a more humanoid body or self-evolved like Boota did. He comments on the humans not knowing their true enemy not because of his loyalty to Lord Genome, but because he was there in the last round of fights against the Anti-Spirals. His "I go back with Lord Genome a long time" is downplaying having spent a thousand years plus with the man. His perviness and his role as providing Lord Genome with women to have his children are probably rooted in the fact that even if Guame lost the ability to reproduce in his humanoid form, he was originally a normal spiral being/animal unlike his compatriots. Unlike Lord Genome, who has been having sex with human females Guame has been providing for the last thousand years, Guame has spent a thousand years without being able to do the same despite having the same original urges. He can influence Lord Genome because he's likely Lord Genome's only, as well as oldest, friend.
A bit of a meta example, but during climactic scenes the main characters (most noticeably Simon), look a little different. Why is this? Because they are channeling so much Spiral Energy. Lordgenome is constantly in that Art Shifted state and looks like that all the time because he is constantly channeling incredible amounts of Spiral Power (what he's using it for isn't explained, but before his "death" its implied he was powering all the Beastmen's Gunmen personally, and once he's just a head he's being pumped full of it just to be animate at all). Kittan gets it too right before his death along with the Spiral Eyes that people who abuse Spiral Power seem to get(Lordgenome for example).
Another somewhat meta one: why is it Thymilph's Dai-Gunzan specifically that team Dai-Gurren steals? Because Thymilph is the General of Fire. Since Hot-Blooded, burning passion is a major theme of the show, the fact that they take the Fire General's fortress is symbolic.
You know how after escaping from the multi-dimensional labyrinth, Gurren Lagann launches Spiral Energy-powered drills containing all of the main team, including Viral? If you think about it, Viral shouldn't have one of those, since he can't generate Spiral Energy by himself. ...And then, when you think about it again, you realise that him having one anyways, despite not being able to generate Spiral Energy, makes perfect sense in a series where doing the impossible is one of the central themes.
Those buildings that Teppelin drops? How much do you want to bet everyone was out for the day? Even so, would you want to come home, only to find that all your Earthly possessions were now smashed to bits, courtesy of your living god?
Consider Paralell Works #8, which explains how Lordgenome lose the war against the Anti-Spirals. The civilization on Earth reached an advanced tech level which could support billions. When it was imposed that Earth couldn't have more than one million humans, Lordgenome probably executed a genocide to keep their numbers in check.
There are super-massive black holes in the centre of the galaxy. The Anti-Spirals feared that abuse of Spiral Power would create colossal black holes destroying the universe. How many of those super-massive black holes are the result of a minor version of the Spiral Nemesis?