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Shout Out / Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

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  • Shout-Out: It's Gainax. There are always a lot.
    • Childhood's End and The Lights in the Sky Are Stars, enough said.
    • The asymmetrical design on the head of Gurren Lagann is a homage to the titular robot of Zambot3.
    • The show starts right off on an homage to Arcadia of My Youth.
    • When Yoko becomes a teacher during the Time Skip, she takes the name (Yomako) and outfit of another Action Girl teacher (if only substitute).
      • The setting and plot of episode 21, with Yoko in the role of a new female teacher at a rural elementary school with a class of just twelve students, were likely inspired by the beloved novel and film by Sakae Tsuboi, Nijuushi no Hitomi (or Twenty-Four Eyes).
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    • Lordgenome's Lazengann is supposed to look and fight like Gainax's earlier Unit 01. You don't think that means anything, do you?
      • This is lampshaded in the Satire:
        Lordgenome: EVA-unit 01 Advanced activating. Time to get some exercise.
        Simon: You just said that so I didn't have to point it out, didn't you?
    The fact that the Lazengann massacred anything standing in its way in Parallel Works 8 without wielding any weapons (except for the obligatory drills) only helps to confirm this. The fact that the berserking Lazengann changed from greenish colors to reddish colors just like EVA-01 in Rebuild of Evangelion only helps.
    • Also, the hidden teeth on Lazengann's abdomen may be referencing the Eva units being organic under their armor...
    • Continuing with the Neon Genesis Evangelion references, there's a Pre-Time Skip episode that features the explosion of a Gunmen that looks very similar to the cross-shaped explosions that are prevalent in Eva.
    • And then an internal reference, in Lagann-hen, where the Anti-Spiral's Gran Zamboa literally beats the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann to death on the ground, ripping and maiming the suit in a method very reminiscent of Evangelion Unit 01's horrific destruction of Unit 03. This show loves shouting out at its parent company.
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    • In episode 3, Leeron wonders if Gurren has a special energy field that neutralizes enemy attacks.
    • Nia ending up naked in the finale is a stark equivalent of Rei's lengthy state of undress throughout the End Of Evangelion—even down to the hair color.
    • The pilot suits used by Gimmy and Darry bear striking resemblance to the ones from Neon Genesis Evangelion.
    • What's that, Attenborough? A giant naked woman in space?
    • Lordgenome himself being this blended with Master Asia. Originally humanity's greatest champion, he became its worst enemy upon realizing their impact on the world. While never a mentor to The Hero, he was his predecessor and pilots the dark, scary counterpart to his robot, and is just as powerful with or without it in combat. They also hung some lampshades on the source material.
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    • Nia does not just have decorative eyes and the same voice as Nono, but is her dark parallel. She awakens to her destiny to gain sci-fi tights, Flight, the ability to warp, and controls swarms of mindless robots... except as a Manchurian Agent with the exact opposite goal. Underneath it all, they both just wish they were ordinary girls.
    • Gunbuster's shortlived comic sequel, NeXT GENERATION, was full of epic concepts even for Gainax. Among them were the heroes traveling to a space between dimensions to battle God using a giant robot of infinite power. It looks like Gainax waited til it was financially stable and the trends regained freshness to bring back those ideas. They finally got to animate some of them for DieBuster and Gurren Lagann.
    • In episode 11 of GaoGaiGar, take a look at what a particular robot's wielding as part of its signature attack. Coincidence? I think NOT.
      • Even more noteworthy about that particular robot is that he's voiced by Katsuyuki Konishi, the voice of Kamina!
      • Arc Gurren Lagann's power up sequence and head design are drawn from GGG's titular mecha.
      • Another GaoGaiGar Shout-Out: During the scene where Simon and Nia are getting married, Gimmy is seen with one of the keys to theGoldion Crusher around his neck.
    • Similarily to Arc GL above, Great Galaxy/Chouginga Gurren Lagann's visual design is based off Mazinger Mazinkaiser mixed with Diebuster. It does the Gunbuster/Gainax pose upon emerging on the screen.
    • Yoko flies around on a yellow scooter and fights Humongous Mecha with ridiculously undersized weapons. She hangs with a cute boy who has the power to combine with a robot with a face on it's stomach, in order to be preposterously awesome. They protect the world from an alien race bent on destruction. Sounds vaguely familiar.
    • Does nobody seem to note the references to Star Wars? Especially in the Time Skip. One such reference is Lordgenome speaking to Simon not long before they get ready to fight.
      Lordgenome: "The Spiral is strong with you..."
    • Episode seven has a brief shot of nude Simon having his crotch covered by a huge drill.
    • Squidward's head appeared briefly in an episode. See here.
    • Continuing with the Evangelion-references, the planes that drop bombs during the fight against the Dai-Gun Doten Kaizan look very similar to the plane used by NERV to carry the EVA-02 to Japan, and by SEELE to deploy the MP EVAs.
      • Coincidentally enough, the one that Simon equips to Gurren-Lagann to let it fly bears a certain similarity to Stealth Gao I from GaoGaiGar...
    • The team behind the show cited Getter Robo as their main source of inspiration.
      • If you're familiar with both, the parallels are easy to see in a lot of core concepts. Getter Rays and Spiral Energy, save for Spiral Energy being self generated and following the will of the user and Getter Rays coming from space and having their own will, though you can increase your Getter Ray output through will power, are exactly the same down to the color. Both of them.
      • There's also the motives of the villains through the series. The Beastmen army follow exactly like the Dinosaur Empire and 100 Demon Empire, "Kill all humans because the planet belongs to us." Then when the plot decides to be a bit more serious, though no less insane, humans are using an energy source that will cause them to consume the universe and the villains are the last stand for the survival of existence. There's even a timeskip separating the two types. The big difference is that Lordgenome was privy to the second part villains and Emperor Gore just hated humans and the Getter, at least at first.
      • Then there are small bits here and there. Horrible creatures from beyond space doing something to the moon, combining with a celestial body to form an even bigger robot, drills in general as well as flying into enemies really fast drill first, absorbing other machinery because that's what the robot does, growing to the point that a planet hitting it just crumbles like a dirt clod, growing to universal proportions so you can punch a god in the face, robots that contain or can generate the necessary energy to start a big bang, and probably a dozen other things I haven't even thought of.
      • Rising up in space with crossed arms to look awesome is Gunbuster, though that itself is a Getter G reference. Rising up out of the ocean with crossed arms to look awesome is straight Getter G.
      • Take the first scene from Neo vs Shin getter where the Dinosaur Empire does their speech against Musashi. The similarity to the situation that humanity is in with Gurren Lagann is amusing.
      • This actually goes all the way to parts of the art style. That "hot blooded yelling and the art getting all pencil scratchy while something insane happens/is about to happen/just happened" is just like Ken Ishikawa's art style for the same kind of events. Compare Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann powering up after Lordgenome gives them energy to Shin Getter Robo powering up and firing the first Stoner Sunshine.
      • Not to mention the most obvious parallel to fans of both works, namely that the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is essentially a friendlier version of The Getter Emperor.
  • Space Pirate Captain Harlock
    • In the first arc, Kamina's father is modelled on Leiji Matsumoto's designs for his Space Pirate Captain Harlock characters.
    • After the time skip, Simon is loosely modelled on Captain Harlock, mainly aesthetically.
    • As the fourth arc commences, Simon is a clear shout out to Captain Harlock.
    • The Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann is modelled after Captain Harlock's spaceship when it's in ship mode.
  • Simon manages to block Viral's attacks in episode 15 exactly like Neo blocked Smith's attacks right after becoming the One.
  • The way in which Yoko equips herself in episode 21 is similar to Ash in Evil Dead 2.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann bears an uncanny resemblance to Persoenlichkeit and the Anti-Spirals' motivation is similar to that of the Einsts. Even the area where the final battle takes place looks similar to the Einst pocket universe.
  • Speaking of Super Robot Wars shoutouts, a large part of Parallel Works 8 (which isn't really "parallel" at all and serves as Lordgenome's Start of Darkness) seems to shout out to the concept of SRW, as a lot of the Spiral Army mechs look like GL-ized versions of various famous mecha - a Mazinger Z, several Gundams, a Gaiking, an Arbalest and many others are clearly visible in the big "pan-back" around 1:00 and you can spot other shoutouts when Genome slaughters his teammates. The "aliens attack, various robots team up to fight invaders" plot is even boilerplate SRW. So the implication is that Lordgenome lead a Super Robot War and then became the villain of such... and then won. Hilarious in Hindsight when Super Robot Wars Z2 Saisei-hen came out - in that game's backstory, Lordgenome was part of a group that apparently included some form of Mazinger Z, Getter Robo, SuperDimensionFortressMacross, and Original Generation characters.
    • Nevermind other Shout Outs, You can even see the Alternate Gurren Lagann from Parallel Works 6 beside Lazengan right at the beginning of the pan.
    • In Parallel Works 2-5, Kiyal and Darry are best friends as schoolgirls but enemies in their Magical Girl alter egos, essentially the same plot as Pretty Sammy.
    • The bombs that Cytomander's minions drop on the Dai-Gurren in episode 13 are Banzai Bills.
    • The plot as a whole appears to be partly based on The Epic of Gilgamesh (Viral's mech is even called Enkidu!), and possibly The Bible.
      • Viral's name is even romanized as "Biraru", which can also be read as "Bilal", the name of a person who controled Enki. The Epic of Gilgamesh is also known as the Nikopol Trilogy, thus being the namesake of Viral's theme.
      • More like a reference to Enki Bilal, author of the Nikopol Trilogy, a dystopian sci-fi BD.
    • Each Arc in Gurren Lagann is a Shout Out to the various eras of Mecha. The first arc is the original exploration, villain of the day, and heroic sacrifice tropes of the original 70s Super Mecha genre. The Second Arc is a shout out to the late 70s and 80s style of Real-Type Mecha where War and character development is the more prevalent trope, along with the conflicting ideas of realistic fighting and hotblooded one-man army actions like the earlier arc. The third arc is a take on the 90s psychological and more political trope-filled mecha anime, that doesn't actually involve that much fighting externally in giant robots, but internally as characters. The last arc, however, is Gainax's attempt to define the current style of Mecha in the new millennium, with some of the previous tropes put together, added in with "The Power of Love", as well as over the top characters saying anything is possible, no matter the odds, if you're willing to fight for it in big Mechas.
    • Episode 14 features a three-fer: Gurren Lagann's drill missile attack isn't strictly drawn from Macross, but it's virtually identical to one of the signature attacks of Ideon. After that, we get a more traditional Itano Circus when Rossiu dodges the missiles, and after that the giant hologram Nia is possibly a parody of Macross: Do You Remember Love?
    • Episode 6 features appearances by several very familar-looking Bunny Girls From left to right: Rei, Mahoro, Nono, Asuka, Lal'C.
    • The attack of the giant missiles in episode 25 is a reference to the battle in Sector Z in Star Fox 64.
    • Note the overall theme of spirals, humanity's tendency to break its boundaries, and the Arc Words relating to a "drill that will pierce the heavens". Now go look at any classical picture of the Tower of Babel. Hmm...
    • The show's episode titling conventions may or may not be an intended shout out to After War Gundam X, which uses the same naming rules.
      • To explain a bit better: The Episode Titles are actually the most epic lines spoken by certain characters in the episode. One of those waited until the end of the episode before giving us the title: "I accept your dying wish!"
    • The Ark-Gurren-Lagann's design seems to be based on several mecha, including Gunbuster, EVA-01 and Linebarrel.
    • In Episode 2, there's a "Blink And You'll Miss It" reference to Dragon Ball Z. When the two green Gunmen are stretching out before combat, it looks very similar to the Fusion-dance from DBZ. Especially with the powerful flash of light when they hold their hands together. In DBZ, they'd fuse and thus create a flash of light to save animation-money. Here, the light is created by the Gunzar crashing to the ground behind them.
      • In the same episode, the twin BFSs that the Gunzar is wielding look suspiciously like a pair of recoloured Dragonslayers from Berserk.
    • Judging by the length of Kamina's katana in episode 3, during his on-foot fight with Viral, one can argue that the sword may be a homage to Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII, one of the most famous villains in Final Fantasy history, known for wielding a 3-4 meters long katana. Sometimes even in one hand. The rest of the time, Kamina's katana is only regular length.
      • Kamina's katana constantly changing size may also be a Shout-Out to Bleach, more specifically the Zanpakutou (Soul Slayers). They are regular katanas that change size depending on the user's Reiatsu (Spirit Pressure AKA Badass-ness), which Spiral Energy itself it pretty similar to.
      • The overly long Katana Drawing scene is pretty similar with the drawing of Final Kaiser Blade of Mazinkaiser.
    • Lordgenome after the Time-Skip is a blatant reference to Zordon from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.
      • Possibly Mimir of Norse mythology, as well. To elaborate, Mimir was a defeated god in the Aesir-Vanir War, who had his head cut off and preserved by the winning side and made into a slave-adviser.
    • The design of the Grapearl looks like a mix between the Arbalest, the GM and the Strike Dagger. Then again, it isn't surprising that it's similar in design to several Mass-Produced Real Robots, considering its own status in the series.
    • Like certain Great Mazinger, Gurren Lagann has a V crest shaped Sunglasses and, like Mazinkaiser, detachable wings that it gains as a sort of Mid-Season Upgrade that it can throw both as boomerangs. This is similar to Scrander Boomerang and Great Boomerang
      • The Lagann itself bears striking resemblance to the Pilder from Mazinsaga, being a sort of small detachable piloted object that controls the object it latched into(in Mazinsaga's case the titular Machine).
      • The first arc's main cast - Kamina, Simon, Yoko, and Kittan and the Black Family - resemble Mazinger Z's main cast - Koji Kabuto, Shiro, Sayaka, and Boss and his gang.
      • The "shield" Viral uses that just unfolds on Enki's arm may be intended to be an upgraded Genesic Protect Shade, or maybe just an upgraded, physical version of the Protect Wall, both from GaoGaiGar FINAL.
    • Giga Drill Break's has tons of shout outs to Great Mazinger's Thunder Break. Both are Finishing Move (in the latter's case, most of the time making it the first proper Finisher in Super Robot shows), and a kind of signature move of a big brother figure{invented by Kamina, and Tetsuya is Koji's adpotive older brother) have practically same line and simmilar name(compare : Hissatsu ! Giga Drill Break for Giga Drill Break and Hissatsu Power ! Thunder Break for Thunder Break) and same pose(raise hand/point to the sky, and direct it to the target).
    • Small, but the outfacing part of Yoko's scope has a three scope combination that look just like the eyes of the Scopedogs.
    • The Arc-Gurren is essentially the mecha equivalent of biblical Ark Noah used to gather two of every animal with his loved ones and escape the floods God rained down upon the world for 40 days & nights. Here, Rossiu does the same, gathering animals and attempting to rescue the entire planet's population on a space colony ark before the moon plummets into the Earth.
      • A similar concept was used in Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water. Atlantanian's had massive space ships called Arcs that were used to preserve species like dinosaurs and humans in the event of a nuclear explosion or space travel.
  • Right after Gurren and Lagann manage to combine for the first time, the Gurren Lagann and Viral's Gunmen punch each other simultaneously, resulting in a cross-counter. Compare the image in the link with the image in the Cross Counter trope page. The anime and manga series it comes from, Tomorrow's Joe, is not only the Trope Maker, but it's also one of the most iconic and influential series in Japan for the Shonen Genre, being also the Codifier for the use of "ore" pronouns by Shonen protagonists note . And in a more somber note: believe it or not, Kamina's death itself is a Shout-Out to a famous (yet massively spoilerific) scene from the same series.
    • The mole pig stampede is also taken straight out of Joe, though there it was obviously just pigs.
  • The laser gun and flying gun platform used by Kinon in Parallel Works 9 are straight out of AKIRA
  • Likely unintentional, but during an early battle, Kamina lets out an impressive string of muda in little under a second.
  • The moon having a creepy face that falls onto the earth in a number of certain days in the second arc is a reference to The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.

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