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Later, Buddy is the 8th episode of the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann anime. It first aired on May 20th 2007.


Synopsis

Act 1: Team Dai-Gurren Sets Out

It is the night after Gurren Lagann temporarily disabled Dai-Gunzan, and Simon is lying in the Lagann atop a cliff overlooking the magma field. A knock on the cockpit makes him jump - Yoko has dropped by to talk. Simon admits that he's having trouble sleeping, which Yoko attributes to nerves over his pivotal role in the upcoming battle. Thinking back to all the time he's spent with Yoko, Simon realizes that he's in love with her; he prepares to say something, but he's interrupted by another eruption from the volcanoes in the field beyond.

Yoko comments that Leeron told her how the fiery mountains work; they're giant vents for the magma flowing deep beneath the surface of the earth. Simon notes that Kamina is much like a volcano - he was ablaze with passion while living underground in Giha Village, and burst up to the surface when he couldn't take it anymore. Yoko notes that Kamina made the same comparison about himself, wondering why men think like that before offering Simon a cup of hot soup to ensure that he has enough energy for the battle. She seems about to say something else, but decides that it's nothing, wishing Simon luck before leaving him to his thoughts...and a burnt tongue when he tries the soup.

Yoko heads to Leeron's mobile laboratory to pick up her rifle after a tune-up; she's pleased by his work, claiming that she won't miss a thing this time. Leeron idly comments that it's unlike Yoko to let someone else work on her beloved weapon; Yoko replies that she can't afford to make any mistakes in the coming battle. Gurren is much weaker when it's not combined with Lagann, which could be disastrous given Kamina's usual attitude. Commenting that she can't change his mind, she leaves the lab abruptly (to the confusion of Rossiu), prompting Leeron to muse that Yoko is "a troublesome woman" herself.

On another cliff overlooking the volcanoes, Kamina is eating a chicken leg when Yoko offers him another cup of soup, commenting that he won't be able to operate Gurren if he overstuffs himself. He comments that his power is at its peak, asking Yoko to watch his back while he takes out the enemies in front of him, when he turns around, Yoko suddenly gives him a kiss. She shyly comments that Kamina really isn't the type to watch his back, prompting him to return her kiss and promise that it will be "ten times better" when he sees her after the battle. A clearly flustered Yoko comments that she'll be looking forward to it as Kamina dons his cape and slides down the cliff...unaware that Simon has been watching them. He runs back to Lagann (nearly bowling over Kittan and Dayakka on the way) and curls up in the cockpit, desperately trying to be happy for his "bro" instead of jealous and heartbroken. He's snapped out of it when Kamina finds him to let him know that it's time to move out; he reassures Simon that everything will be fine, erroneously believing that he's scared about tomorrow's battle.

Team Dai-Gurren assembles as Kamina reviews their strategy; they'll draw out the enemy so Simon can sneak up on Dai-Gunzan and combine with it. Once the walking battleship is under their control, defeating the rest of the Beastmen will be simple. Leeron mentions that he's rigged the Gunmen with communication features, although he doubts anyone is the type to listen (a notion likely bolstered by Jorgun and Balinbow's violent attempt to psyche themselves up). At Kamina's command, the team boards their Gunmen and sets out; Kittan exchanges farewells with his sisters, entrusting them with defending their base camp; Yoko jumps aboard the Einzer, with Iraak commenting that it's his pleasure to carry a lady into battle. Gimmy and Darry wish Simon luck in the battle as he and Rossiu exchange a silent nod. Kamina reflects on how much the Gurren Brigade has grown from the duo that left Giha Village; at Boota's urging, Simon reminds Kamina that the pig-mole was with them at that time. Yoko chimes in that she was also present, but Kamina explains that she wasn't "officially" part of the team yet. The rest of the team has a laugh at Yoko's expense, with Leeron reminding her about their new communication features. As Kittan and Kamina express their confidence in their success, Simon mentally tries to keep himself focused on his role in the plan; back at base, Leeron asks Rossiu to help him operate a new system to monitor Gurren and Lagann's condition. Gimmy excitedly offers to help, only to be sent running from the base when Leeron threatens to eat him (to Rossiu and Darry's confusion).

Act 2: Victory and Loss

When Team Dai-Gurren arrives at the pit where the Dai-Gunzan fell, they come under attack by a horde of Gunmen hiding under tarps to appear as lifeless debris. Viral says that he knew the humans were coming, but Kamina comments that he was expecting them to try an ambush. Team Dai-Gurren begins throwing boulders down at the Beastmen, mocking Viral's outrage at their "dishonorable" tactic. Thymilph reminds his fuming subordinate that boulders won't even scratch his Dai-Gun; this prompts Dayakka to open fire on its command tower with his Dayakkaiser. The assault knocks Dai-Gunzan around a little, but it quickly returns fire before literally throwing its troops into close-quarters combat. Yoko shoots down the first few enemies, but Viral's Enkidu blocks her shots with its arm shield before meeting Gurren in combat.

As he clashes blades with his human rival, Viral declares that he will reclaim his helmet from Kamina, but Kamina replies that he doesn't have it today. As Viral realizes that he's fighting Gurren alone, Simon burrows out of the mountain behind Dai-Gunzan. Thymilph orders his ship to open fire, but his crew reports that Lagann is in the battleship's blind spot, where none of the cannons can be brought to bear. In desperation, Thymilph yells at his gunner to "use fighting spirit, you idiot!", prompting Kamina to encourage Simon with the thought that they have the advantage in fighting spirit, too. With all the determination he can muster, Simon successfully performs Lagann Impact on the Dai-Gunzan - narrowly missing Thymilph when his drill splits the command tower in half - prompting Viral to wonder what the little Gunmen is doing.

Kamina explains that Lagann's combination with Dai-Gunzan will let Simon take control of the battleship for Team Dai-Gurren, prompting Viral to realize that he's been planning this all along. Kamina proudly confirms this as he renews his attack, striking with ferocity and skill that astounds Viral. Yoko continues shooting down Gunmen trying to ambush Gurren as the rest of the team battles elsewhere; Kidd Coega perforates two more enemies before his Kidd Knuckle is nearly caught in an errant blast from Dai-Gunzan. Simon frantically apologizes, admitting that he's still trying to gain control of the large mech; back at base, Leeron wonders why the Lagann Impact didn't work. Recalling that Lagann's power is based on its pilot's state of mind, Rossiu wonders if something is worrying Simon - meanwhile, Thymilph is preparing to join the battle personally. As Kamina demands to know what the problem is, Simon desperately tries to focus himself despite his continued flashbacks to Kamina and Yoko's kiss.

Gloating that the humans have blown their endgame, Viral rallies his troops to secure Dai-Gunzan; in response, Kamina pins Viral's Enkidu with Gurren's sunglasses, telling the others to keep the Beastmen occupied before rushing to Simon's aid. He jumps on the deck of the Dai-Gunzan, launches out of Gurren, and orders Simon to open Lagann's hatch; when Simon does so, he's immediately punched in the face. Kamina tells him to "grit those teeth" and believe in himself, encouraging Simon to focus on his task and renewing his confidence. As Leeron and Rossiu watch the fusion's renewed progress, Kamina returns to Gurren with satisfaction. As he reflects on Simon's abilities and heads off to rejoin the battle, a powerful energy blast suddenly erupts from the deck below him, shooting right through Gurren and sending it flying.

The Brigade looks on in shock as a new mecha bursts out of Dai-Gunzan: the Byakou, piloted by Thymilph himself! Though wounded, Kamina readies himself for battle...only for Gurren to be struck by its own sunglasses, courtesy of Viral. The enraged Beastmen proceed to pummel Gurren, ending with Enkidu tossing his rival into the path of a vicious diving strike from Byakou. The attack sends both mechs straight into the ground, with Byakou's Alkaid Glaive impaling Gurren's cockpit...and its pilot.

As Kamina's agonized scream rings through the battlefield, his life signs drop to zero on Leeron and Rossiu's screens. The entire brigade is left aghast at their leader's apparent death, but none take it worse than Simon. With an anguished scream of "BROOOOO!!!", his Spiral Power goes haywire and Dai-Gunzan goes berserk. The battleship's remaining occupants are blown out of its windows as its whole body is engulfed in energy; the power even flows into the ground, causing a nearby volcano to erupt. Thymilph can only stare in bewilderment at the carnage as Viral pushes him out of the way of Dai-Gunzan's flailing arms - unfortunately for Viral, the battleship smacks him instead, sending him flying into the distance. The Dai-Gurren Brigade's cries fall on deaf ears; Simon has fallen into complete despair, oblivious to Dai-Gunzan rampaging towards the volcano...

...until Lagann is smacked by Gurren's severed arm and a familiar voice sounds over the intercom. To everyone's astonishment, Kamina has returned to give his "bro" another encouraging speech, telling him that he should be celebrating his success in taking control of Dai-Gunzan. Finding his lost heart once more, Simon finally completes the fusion process, allowing him to turn Dai-Gunzan towards his allies and strike a pose, announcing their victory and welcoming them aboard.

Before anyone can do more than cheer, they're attacked by an infuriated Thymilph, who vows to destroy Dai-Gunzan himself before he allows it to fall into human hands. Groaning at the General's persistence, Kamina asks Simon to combine with him one last time; they'll finish this fight with the power of Gurren Lagann! Simon needs no prompting; he grabs Gurren's arm and sunglasses (using the latter to take out two enemies trying to jump Gurren from behind) before launching into their famous combination sequence. As Gurren Lagann is formed, Kamina and Simon dramatically announce their ability to break through any wall with the power of their bonds and determination, ending with a shout of "Just who...in the hell...do you think we are?!" as their friends cheer once more; from her perch atop the Einzer, Yoko comments that the duo is truly unstoppable.

Thymilph sends all of his remaining soldiers at Gurren Lagann, but the dual-faced Gunmen launches drills from every part of its body, destroying them all in moments. Undeterred, Thymilph launches Byakou's Condemn Blaze attack, but Kamina simply catches the blast and crushes it to nothing with Gurren Lagann's hand. Thymilph can only gawk at the failure of his attack as Kamina tells Simon to believe...not in Kamina, but in himself. Simon has no time to inquire about this before Kamina throws Gurren Lagann's sunglasses at Byakou, impaling its limbs and suspending it in the air. With his enemy immobilized, Kamina unleashes Gurren Lagann's most powerful attack yet: the Giga Drill Break, which annihilates Thymilph and destroys Byakou. The Dai-Gurren Brigade celebrates, but Kamina slumps in the cockpit; it is only when he whispers "Later...buddy..." that Simon realizes that something is terribly wrong.

Amidst a torrential downpour, the Brigade gathers atop Dai-Gunzan to see their leader dead in Gurren's cockpit, his last smile still on his lips. As they mourn his passing - with even Gurren Lagann appearing to weep as the rain cascades down its face - Simon is heard in voiceover: "That day...we lost something that could never be replaced."

Major Events

  • Yoko confesses her love to Kamina, who reciprocates.
  • The Dai-Gunzan is captured by the Dai-Gurren Brigade.
  • Kamina invents the Giga Drill Break.
  • Kamina and Thymilph die.
  • Simon loses his will to fight and falls into a depression.

Picture Gallery


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