WMG: Now and Then, Here and There

Lala Ru is Tlaloc
She is a being in mass control of water. She is apathetic to humans because they never appreciated her properly; she does not think that thank you is an appropriate show of gratitude. She is clearly not human and, popular opinion has it that she is a hideous monster. Is this an exagerration of a being who would not do as people wished, or is it a reference to "her" true appearance? Check him out, yo. People killing themselves over her could be because they want her for different purposes, or because they fought over whether or not to hand over the child sacrifices required by her to keep her strength. At the end of the series, Lala Ru unleashes a fury of water all over the world, sacrificing herself. Or does she? Most of the inhabitants of Hellywood were children, the sacrifice needed by Tlaloc in order to not lose strength. Instead of dying at the end, Lala Ru/Tlaloc instead uses her/his new strength to again become a god. This time, now that humanity knows what it is like to be nearly without water, they will be a little more willing to give the gratitude she/he truly desires...

...Did I just make Now and Then Here and There darker?

King Hamdo was actually a Well-Intentioned Extremist at one time.
It would explain why Lady Abelia seemed to care about him and why Hamdo claimed that his regime would bring peace. It's just that he jumped off the slippery slope with a Moral Event Horizon. He was eventually driven insane by everything and could have actually forgotten what his original goals were.
  • Here's another WMG that makes the series darker; what kind of brutal event did Hamdo experience to make him go from Well-Intentioned Extremist to the monster he is now?

Now and Then, Here and There is a prequel to Gurren Lagann
Hellywood's actual enemies remain unseen in battle. King Hamdo and Hellywood represent humanity's last stand against the emerging forces of the Spiral King and the Beastmen in this barren, desert world. The hopelessness of the fight has driven King Hamdo insane, fueling his belief he is the savior of the world. As he feels he is mankind's messiah, he feels entitled to force any remaining humans into his service in the fight against Lordgenome. The fall of Hellywood represents the loss of the last stand for humanity, if it could even be considered that after Hamdo's loss of sanity. The mechas used by Hamdo's army even resemble Gunmen!

Someone in the rape camps must've contracted with Kyubey at some point in a pre-Godoka timeline
, perhaps Sara herself in a timeline where Shu never comes to Hellywood. Blue Drop might've been that poor girl's witch barrier.
  • Lala-Ru is a Magical Girl in the post-Godoka world. Like Homura, she contracted a long, long time ago. Perhaps she was originally from Sudan or some other drought-stricken area of the world, and originally wished for more water, only for the various people to start warring over access over the water. Her water-controlling pendant is actually her Soul Gem, which is why she fades away when she uses up her power. Perhaps this slight infusion of hope into this world eventually prevented Sara from contracting and likely becoming a very dangerous Witch. Also, maybe Godoka herself guided Shuu into Hellywood specifically to remind Sara and the others that life is worth living.
  • In a less fortunate universe, Sara wished to travel back home, and eventually became the Witch Patricia (who gives off some rape-victim vibes).

The planet Earth
is a shithole because... ...any civilized folks have left the planet, cause the sun is exploding and now only the lowlifes and the poor are left and guess what the lowlifes do with the weak?

Hamdo wasn't the only guy in future!Earth
like him. That is, there are still other power-hungry, delusional warlords out there, just like in the real-life Africa this anime was based on.

Going back to the Puella Magi Madoka Magica guess above...
...Hamdo and the other mentioned "enemies" (probably fellow warlords) are descended from the various warlords who started fighting over the water Lala-ru summoned for the benefit of all. And of course, they had no use for any kind of generosity...

Hamdo started out the same way as Tabool.
He was captured and forced into service by the previous captain of Hellywood, and planned to work his way up the ranks to earn the guy's favor, then eventually emerge victorious in whatever their fighting was originally about, and release all their captors. Of course, as mentioned above, The Dark Side Will Make You Forget.

Abelia may have originally been one of the sex slaves who became Hamdo's "favorite" and developed a Stockholm Syndrome crush on him.

That trope comes up a lot for fantasy-world shows and literature, but consider that at the end we just see Shu dumped right back at the abandoned factory where he supposedly saw Lala-ru, and without any of the scars that you'd think he'd have gotten from his horrible treatment. The almost cartoonish, Obviously Evil Hamdo, not to mention American adolescent Sara speaking fluent Japanese, may also attest to all the previous horror just coming out of a feisty adolescent boy'd subconscious.

Perhaps Shu's history class had recently watched a movie about Child Soldiers, and his kendo teacher's lecture about not just charging in blindly set something off when he lay down at the factory for an afternoon nap. Sara's story came from a similar video about sex slavery/human trafficking.