Originally called the Dai-Gunzan (ダイガンザン, Daiganzan?) while under the command of Thymilph, one of Lordgenome's four generals, it is essentially a walking fortress many times larger than conventional Gunmen.
The Dai-Gunzan resembles a massive battleship on two legs. The front of the ship looks akin to a huge blade. The bridge is shaped very much like a body, with windows arranged in the shape of eyes and a mouth. It also has functional arms on both side.
Aesthetically, the Dai Gurren resembles the Cathedral Terra, albeit on a smaller scale, with an attached tower, which serves as the Gunman's face, and legs. It also replaced the face on the bow with a knife anchor and two thrusters. There are several Cannons both on the deck and the shoulders of the tower.
Armaments and capacities
The Dai-Gunzan is equipped with numerous heavy artillery gun turrets and heavy armor, but its primary function is being able to carry a contigent of Gunmen. The arms attached to the control tower serve as launchers for those housed Gunmen, throwing them at the enemy. They can also be used to attack enemies assaulting the ship's deck, where the cannons could not fire out of fear of causing damage to the fortress itself.
The blade-shaped bow can be fired at enemies (this attack is called Knife Anchor). The two thrusters apparently double as giant missiles and can be fired at enemies in a pinch.
Ironically, despite being shaped like a ship, it cannot swim without modifications.
Role in the show
The fortress was originally commanded by Thymilph and used against Team Gurren, arriving to assist Viral. While neither Gurren Lagann nor the rest of the team were able to destroy the titanic Dai-Gunzan, Simon successfully trapped it in a huge hole before retreating. The following day, Team Gurren used Lagann to seize control of the walking base, though Kamina perished in the assault.
After its capture by the newly rechristened Team Dai-Gurren, it is renamed the "Dai-Gurren" (ダイグレン, Daiguren?) (although still referred to by its original name by the Beastmen) and remodeled to accommodate the Brigade members, sporting a red color scheme and a different tower on the head as the original was destroyed when Simon took control of it using Lagann.
The Dai-Gurren serves as the flagship and mobile home of Team Dai-Gurren for the first part of the series until the battle of Tepplin where at the end, the Dai-Gurren's hull is self-detonated while the rest is ejected before being deactivated.
- Ironically, while it was Kamina's plan to take over the Dai-Gunzan, he would never command it, dying just moments after the victory.
- In Parallel Works episode 8, many Dai-Gunzan are seen in Lordgenome's fleet. Aside from all being refitted with an additional bow-mounted drill, they otherwise do not cosmetically differ from the one in the series. However, the Dai-Gunzan seems to be the only one of its kind still in service, with the remaining fleet either destroyed or converted into the newer unnamed battleship gunman.
- The "zan" in the name can be translated as "mountain", referring to it being a primarily land-based Gunman. A similar naming theme refers to Dai-Gunkai, Dai-Gunten and Dai-Gundo.
- Due to its general body plan, most notably its colossal L-shaped body and broad, triangular feet, its design may also draw some inspiration from the Emperor Sea Strider from Wayne Douglas Barlowe's book Expedition.