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Gurren Lagann Volume 3 (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)

December 15, 2014 by  



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“Gurren Lagann” can be described in one word and that is “Fantastic!”. There is so much to love about this anime series and for those who had owned it on DVD may want to own it on Blu-ray as the series is absolutely vibrant and just all-out gorgeous in HD! Highly recommended!

Image courtesy of © GAINAX, KAZUKI NAKASHIMA/GURREN LAGANN-MOVIE COMMITTEE. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Gurren Lagann Vol. 3

DURATION: Episodes 11-16 (125 Minutes)

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, Japanese and English Linear PCM Stereo, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Aniplex

RATED: Suggested 13 and Up

Release Date: November 11, 2014


Created by GAINAX

Director: Hiroyuki Imaishi

Assistant Director: Masahiko Ohtsuka

Series Directors: Kazuki Nakashima

Character Designs: Atsushi Nishigori

Mecha Designs: You Yoshinari

Design Works: Shigeto Koyama

Art Director: Yuka Hirama (BIHOU)

Color Design: Harumi Takahoshi

Director of Photography: Toyonori Yamada

Editing: Junichi Uematsu

Sound Director: Tohru Nakano

Music: Taku Iwasaki

Produced by TV Tokyo, DENTSU, Aniplex


Featuring the following voice talent:

Katsuyuki Konishi/Kyle Herbert (as Kamina)

Marina Inoue/Michelle Ruff (as Yoko Littner)

Tetsuya Kakihara/Yuri Lowenthal (as Simon)

Yukari Fukui/Bridget Hoffman, Hynden Walch (as Nia)

Daiki Nakamura/Doug Stone (as Dayakka)

Kana Asumi (as Kiyal)

Kana Ueda/Stephanie Sheh (as Kinon)

Kisho Taniyama (as Kittan)

Masaya Onosaka/Steven Blum (as Leeron)

Mitsuki Saiga/Johnny Yong Bosch (as Rossiu)

Nobuyuki Hiyama/Sam Ergal (as Viral)

Rina Satou/Karen Strassman (as Kiyoh)

Shizuka Itou/Julie Ann Taylor (as Boota and Darry)


Kamina’s death hits all the members of Team Dai-Gurren hard, but nobody is more devastated about his Bro’s death than Simon. But this does not stop Guame the Immoveable, one of the Spiral King’s Four Generals, from setting a cunning trap for them. While the other members can’t stand against Guame’s onslaught, Simon refuses to be defeated. With Kamina’s words beating deep inside of his heart, Simon succeeds in countering Guame’s sneaky trap and proudly assumes the position as the new leader of Team Dai-Gurren!

With Simon completely out of his funk, the team sets their sights on Teppelin, the Royal Capital. But the road to Teppelin will surely be no easy task, as the rest of the generals await their chances to strike them down with their powerful flagships. Will Simon be able to defeat the ruthless Spiral King and lead humanity to a new era?!


As “GURREN LAGANN” moves on to the third volume (episodes 11-16) on Blu-ray, the battle takes them closer to facing the Spiral King but first, Team Dai-Gurren must take on Guame and Cytomander, the last two of the Spiral Kings Four Divine Generals!

Who will win? Find out in “Gurren Lagann volume 3” available now on Blu-ray courtesy of Aniplex!

What is “Gurren Lagann”?

For those not familiar with “GURREN LAGANN”, the popular anime titled “Tengen Toppai Gurren Lagann” aired on TV Tokyo back in April 2007 and completed it’s 27-episodes by Sept. 2007 and centers around two characters Simon and Kamina. Both live underground with a bunch of orphans and due to earthquakes, they developed a system of people using manual drilling holes in order to move around.

But one day, the life of a young driller named Simon discovers a small mini drill underground. Simon is a shy young guy. Not too confident in himself and hates how his parents were killed during an earthquake. So, he works hard in order for everyone to live but also to collect whichever treasure he can find. While continuing his digging, he discovers a small drill and not long after, he discovers a huge robotic face.

As for Kamina, he’s the cool leader of a gang. He once saw the atmosphere with his father a long time ago and dreams of making it up to the surface but no one underground believes him. He comes up with a plan to get to the surface with the help of Simon’s drill.

The plan backfires and Kamina is put into a jail. Meanwhile, a big monster robot-like figure comes out of the sky and lands in the group’s village underground. A girl sporting a bikini top and tight short shorts with a large rifle starts fighting with the monster robot. Her name is Yoko and all of a sudden both Kamina and Simon try to assist her.

As the monster grows vicious, Simon introduces Kamina and Yoko to what he found underground. It happens to be a small robot that Simon takes control of and eventually the three fight the robotic monster and end up defeating it. Also, end up making it above the surface where they discover sunlight, blue skies, mountains and more…monster robots. It is learned that these things are called “Gunmen” and are piloted by Beastmen who have a hatred towards humans.

The three must survive and outwit and defeat the Gunmen and with Kamina’s leadership and willing to take anything head on with his machismo ego, he calls Simon’s robot Lagann. Kamina eventually commandeers a Gunmen robot and calls it Gurren. As a duo, the group is called Gurren Lagann.

But as the group manage to find allies to help them take down the Spiral King, the group are shocked by Kamina’s tragic death.  Can Simon and friends defeat the Spiral Kings Four Generals and will they be ready to take on the Spiral King?

Vol. 3 consists of the following episodes:

  1. Episode 11 – Simon, Hands-off – The team meets Guame, the third of Spiral Kings Four Divine Generals.  He uses Beastmen disguised as women to fool the crew and ends up taking over their ship and putting the crew underground in prison.  Only Simon and his drilling can save the day and for Nia, she learns why she was discarded by her father.
  2. Episode 12 – Yoko, Will You Do Me a Favor? – Team Dai-Gurren’s fortress needs to be refitted to travel in the water.  So, the crew goes through a little R&R and becomes too friendly with Nia and favoring her over Kyoko.  Kyoko is not sure he can trust her and sure enough, the crew goes into battle against Adiane.
  3. Episode 13 – Eat Up, Everyone – Nia really wants to fit in, so she found a job for herself, to become a cook.  Meanwhile, Cytomander, the fourth of Spiral King’s Divine Four Generals makes his attack on the crew and with Rossiu sick, Kyoko must fill in and be Simon’s co-pilot for Gurren Lagann.
  4. Episode 14 -Well, Met Everyone – The crew arrives near the Beastman Empire but must take on the last two of Spiral King’s Four Divine Generals – Cytomander and Guame to the death.
  5. Episode 15 – I Will Head Towards Tomorrow – Team Dai-Gurren now has one final battle left and that’s against the Spiral King.  It’s all or nothing!
  6. Episode 16 – Compilation Episode – This episode serves as a bridge for between the first arc and the second arc of the series.  It’s literally a special episode condensing major scenes from the first 15 episodes to one episode.  Mainly focusing on Kamina, Simon, Kyoko and Nia.

VIDEO:

“Gurren Lagann” the series finally gets its release on Blu-ray! The character designs by Atsushi Nishigori are fresh and very different. I truly dig the character designs and the whole anime is quite colorful and looks stylish and pretty cool.

With the series remastered in HD, the clarity of the series is much more evident, colors are much more vibrant and overall animation is much more sharper. “Gurren Lagann” looks fantastic in HD!

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

As for the lossless audio, “Gurren Lagann” is presented in both English and Japanese Linear PCM Stereo.

I’ve watched both episodes in Japanese and English and as much as I enjoyed the Japanese voice track, when I watch an action-packed mecha, it’s great to finally listen to the audio in lossless Linear PCM Stereo. With that being said, I am very pleased with the English vocal dub. You have quality voice talent with Kyle Herbert as Kamina (does the voice of Son Goku in “Dragon Ball Z”), Michelle Ruff as Yoko (does the voice of Rukia for “Bleach”) and Yuri Lowenthal (does the voice for many video games and anime such as Sasuke Uchiha for “Naruto”) involved. So, whether you listen to the soundtrack in Japanese or English, both are well-done!

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Gurren Lagann Vol. 3” comes with the textless ending for episode 16.

EXTRAS:

“Gurren LagannVol. 3” comes with a slipcase, a double-sided poster and a 16-page booklet featuring interviews and an illustration gallery!


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I have always gushed about how much I enjoyed “Gurren Lagann” and five years since watching the series, my appreciation for the series has not waned.

If there are any major difference from the last volume, there is much less perverseness.  Granted, the series becomes a bit more dark and dramatic because of the death of a major character (featured in the last volume) which leads to Simon’s worsening depression.  but who can help him get off his depression, perhaps a beautiful blonde named Nia, who befriends Simon but yet with an added twist, as this girl is not normal.

But eventually, the series works itself out as episodes 11-16 are pure mecha porn because it’s all non-stop action.  I have no doubt that fans who enjoyed the first two volumes will definitely enjoy volume three because the series has set things up for one chaotic conclusion between Gurren Lagann vs. the Spiral King Generals and the Spiral King himself. And pretty much setting the stage for a second arc!

“Gurren Lagann” has been nothing short of fantastic.  Featuring wonderful action, unique mecha, chaotic battles, drama and most importantly, awesome characters!

And as things seem a bit darker in these last few episodes of the first arc, due to Simon’s depression, he and the team are simply underdogs.  But yet, he is a major component to the team because he pilots Lagann and Kamina lives through him and he intends to make sure they defeat the Spiral Generals and hopes they can band together and defeat the Spiral King.

So, expect a lot of excitement and plenty of mecha action in this third volume!

As for the Blu-ray release, the picture quality is vibrant and sharpness of the overall animation is much more evident in this HD version versus compared to the Bandai Visual releases from several years ago. Painted backgrounds feature much more detail and the overall animation looks magnificent in HD! Also, the lossless soundtrack is in Japanese/English Linear PCM Stereo, thus the soundtrack sounding much more crisp and clear.  Unfortunately, there are hardly any special features with this Blu-ray release but for this third volume of “Gurren Lagann”, it does comes with a slipcase, a 16-page booklet with interviews and gallery plus a double sided poster.

“Gurren Lagann” can be described in one word and that is “Fantastic!”.  There is so much to love about this anime series and for those who had owned it on DVD may want to own it on Blu-ray as the series is absolutely vibrant and just all-out gorgeous in HD!

“Gurren Lagann” Volume 3 is highly recommended!

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