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Gurren Lagann Volume 4 (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)

February 4, 2015 by  



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It’s the start of a new arc and Team Gurren Lagann will never be the same!  “Gurren Lagann” Volume 4 is highly recommended!

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


TITLE: Gurren Lagann Vol. 4

DURATION: Episodes 17-22 (150 Minutes)

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

COMPANY: Aniplex

RATED: Suggested 13 and Up

Release Date: February 3, 2015


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)


Seven years have passed since Lordgenome’s Teppelin fell and Simon and Team Dai-Gurren fought to liberate humanity from their lives underground. Peace has returned and humanity is once again thriving on the surface. Simon is now Supreme Commander of the New Government and he and Nia are engaged. But, just as Lordgenome predicted, as soon as the population hits one million, their peaceful world is once again faced with destruction.

To Simon’s horror, the one who brings their peaceful time to a shattering halt is none other than Nia, who is now the Anti-Spiral messenger. Citizens panic as they learn that the moon is rapidly falling out of orbit and will soon collide with earth. Rossiu, now the chief advisor, decides that the only way to appease the terrified citizens is to order for Simon’s arrest and sentence him to death. As the moon continues to descend upon earth, Simon must cooperate with a past rival to save the people he loves.

 


The final battle with Lord Genome has led humanity to an era of piece and Simon became the new leader of Kamina City while Rossiu Addai became second-in-command.  The other members of Team Dai Gurren have become officers or employees of Kamina City while Yoko Littner became a school teacher.

But the seven year peace in the planet did not last as the anti-spirals wreaked havoc on the city but to make things worse, Simon along with his powerful mecha Gurren Lagann was able to defeat an anti-spiral nemesis but by doing so, when the enemy exploded, pieces of it started to shower over the city, almost like bombs and destroying cities and killing citizens.

For Simon, life with Nia will never be the same!

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.

The three have battled through hardships and one of the main three have died in battle.  But still Team Gurren Lagann has fought hard and has overcome the challenges that they have faced.

But now it is seven years later, mankind has prospered on the surface.  Simon is now Grand Supreme Commander and members of Gurren Lagann serve the world’s government.

But once the population has reached one million people, an alien race known as the Anti-Spirals emerges and immediately, Simon’s fiance, Nia transforms to a Anti-Spiral to deliver a message to mankind that the moon will collide with Earth and wipeout all mankind in order to prevent them from evolving to the point of destroying the universe and causing the Spiral Nemesis.

And now Team Gurren Lagann must join forces to fight against the Anti-spirals…but in the process, Simon has been branded a traitor.

Vol. 4 consists of the following episodes:

  1. Episode 17 – You Don’t Know Anything – With Team Dai-Gurren successful against the Spiral King, the series flash forwards seven years later.  The planet has flourished with cities and vehicles, Simon, Rossiue and everyone else has grown up.  People own homes and have their own jobs.  Simon is in his early 20’s and is the Supreme Commander and is bored doing paper work.  Rossiu is the Chief who does all of the work but unlike Simon, holds an iron fist on how the city should be ran and for some members of Team Dai-Gurren are just head employees who answer phones.   They wonder what Lord Genome meant by his final words before he died of a new emanating threat and sure enough, that threat has materialized on the planet.  Meanwhile, something has happened to Nia.
  2. Episode 18 – Tell Me the Secrets of the World – A new evil has appeared on the planet and says that because Earth has reached 1,000,000 people and has used Spiral technology to further their growth, they will now be exterminated.  Simon goes to battle against one of the enemies and succeeds in defeating it but since the enemy is composed of energy, that energy becomes like bombs and when Simon defeated the enemy and it exploded, in essence many people have died, buildings and structures destroyed and people want blood…Simon’s blood.    Nia’s true purpose is revealed and Rossiu keeps a secret.
  3. Episode 19 – We Will Survive, By Any Means Necessary – The public is very upset against the government because of the destruction and deaths from the Gurren Lagann attack against the Anti-Spiral and Second-in-Command Rossiu knows the only way they will appease the public is with the arrest and the execution of Simon.  But with another attack on the city by an Anti-Spiral, Rossiu has to release Simon temporarily from custody to fight the enemy.
  4. Episode 20 – How Far Will God Test Us? –  Simon is put into the same prison with his cell next to Viral.  Meanwhile Kittan who is incensed that his sister is siding with Rossiu in the execution and imprisonment of Simon.
  5. Episode 21 – You Are Someone Who Ought To Survive – The story shifts to Yoko as a school teacher who is stern but caring for the kids.  When she finds out what is happening with Simon, she decides that she must return back to Kamina City immediately.
  6. Episode 22 – This is My Final Duty  – Rossiu must make the most difficult choice by trying to rescue as many people he can in a secret spaceship and escape the planet but knowing that many will have to perish from the moon crashing down on the planet.  But on planet, Simon and Viral team up with Gurren Lagann and Arc Gurren as both join forces to form Arc-Gurren-Lagann and stop the Human Extermination System that the Anti-Spirals have implemented.

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. 4 comes with the textless opening and ending #3.

EXTRAS:

“Gurren Lagann” Vol. 4 comes with a slipcase, a double-sided poster and a 16-page booklet featuring interviews and illustration gallery!


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Just when you think that “Gurren Lagann” was going to calm a bit down after its first major arc, the series takes the story to the future, seven years later as mankind has prospered and is growing at a large rate on the surface world.

As Team Gurren Lagann has now become the leaders of the world and Simon is the Grand Supreme Commander, his life is turned upside down when something happens to Nia and in the process, a battle against the new threat, the Anti-Spirals ends up leading to casualties and massive damage to the city…and who is to blame?  Simon.

And with Simon imprisoned, Second-in-Command Rossiu then takes command.  But the public demands Simon’s execution.  Will Rossiu approve of the execution?

“Gurren Lagann” has been nothing short of fantastic. This second arc has really started with an enormous bang as Simon, the hero humankind, has become Simon, the most hated man of humankind.  This is a total 180 and something I really didn’t expect to see.

So, this is quite awesome to see where the story has been taken and how it sets up the final episodes for the series.

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 fourth 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!

It’s the start of a new arc and Team Gurren Lagann will never be the same!  “Gurren Lagann” Volume 4 is highly recommended!

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