Gurren Lagann (グレンラガン, Guren Ragan?) is the primary Gunmen of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. The head, Lagann, has always been piloted by Simon, while the body, Gurren, was originally piloted by Kamina, who was then succeeded by Rossiu, and then briefly by Kittan, then briefly by Yoko, then briefly by Kinon, and finally eventually Viral in the second story arc.
The Gurren Lagann was first formed when the Lagann and Gurren, piloted by Simon and Kamina respectively, faced off against Viral and his dual-faced Enki. In an erratic response from Kamina, who saw as Enki's two-faced configuration as "superior", he claimed that he and Simon would be reaching his level by "combining" and subsequently proceeded to slam Lagann drill-first into the top of Gurren's head. While in and of himself entirely content with the misshapen and broken result, as he had in his mind achieved equality with Viral's gunmen, something Kamina never expected happened. Lagann suddenly began to right itself into a practical and functional position atop Gurren, patch up the damages to Gurren's head and transform the Gurren into a much more advanced and capable version of itself, effectively revamping its entire construct. It was at this point that Simon and Kamina were able to fight Viral on even grounds, effectively repelling all of Enki's attacks and besting it in combat. Immediately after the final blow, Kamina stole Enki's headpiece (breaking the head ring in the process) and sat it it upon Gurren Lagann's head, Lagann immediately adapting it to Gurren Lagann's construct.
At a later point in the Beastman War, Simon uses his drills in mid-air to to attack and attribute an unnamed enemy flight Gunmen to Gurren Lagann's back, effectively gaining the mech its very own full-fledged flight capabilities.
While the Gurren Lagann has mainly been piloted by the series' main protagonist, Simon, the majority of the plot has almost always seen both cockpits occupied regardless of the Gurren pilot's involvement in the gunmen's endeavours. With the head managed by Simon (until he gave his Core Drill to Gimmy), the torso has been handled by a variety of characters including (in chronological order) Kamina, Rossiu, Yoko, Kinon, Viral and Darry.
Simon and Kamina are the original human Gunmen pilots which associates the Gunmen with Team Gurren by default. They were more closely associated with Jiha Village and the Littner Outpost (more closely the latter). When Kamina changed the team name to Team Dai-Gurren before the Battle of Dai-Gunzan, Gurren Lagann was involved. After the Battle of Teppelin, Gurren Lagann is seen as a symbol of humanity's triumph but had placed upon a pedestal: Rossiu was opposed to using Gurren Lagann at all because using it to protect the people means that they were forced to defend themselves from a threat greater than the Spiral King himself. After the final battle against the Anti-Spirals, Gurren Lagann is preserved as one of the last true Gunmen and was passed down to Gimmy and Darry as the personal Gunmen.
Its powers and fighting capabilities are almost entirely based on its ability to generate drills of greatly varying size, shape and usage from multiple points on its body. Over the course of the series Gurren Lagann produced dozens of different uses for its drills, ranging from projectiles and missiles to shields, water screws and various melee applications. The most powerful attack seen used by Gurren Lagann is the Giga Drill Break and its variants, where the pilot forms a huge amount of spiral power into an enormous drill or number of drills bigger than the mech itself.
Its additional abilities shown in the series include a durable energy shield, which can deflect energy blasts even at short range, the ability to wield the sunglasses on the Gurren's chest as a melee weapon (a sword or boomerang usually), a short-term regenerative function which can restore accumulated damage for the duration of Gurren and Lagann's union and the power to rip open a worm hole in space to travel great distances.
One of Gurren Lagann's most fascinating abilities lies in its ability to fuse with Gunmen larger than itself. This grants not only a very significant power boost, but also a new arsenal of abilities. While Lagann always had the ability to combine with another Gunman, Gurren Lagann combining with another Gunman was not seen until after the time-skip.
By the end of the series, Gurren Lagann managed to surpass the tremendous level of power that was possessed by STTGL and managed to summon enough power to destroy the Super Granzeboma, with its final Giga Drill Break. It could traverse the distance between to two Universal-sized mechs, both of which were billions of light years apart, as well as assimilating every other Gurren Lagann form's abilities
Components of Gurren Lagann
Lagann (ラガン, Ragan) is Simon's personal Gunmen. It is, given evidence, a prototype of, or a model similar to the head section of Lordgenome's Lazengann. He finds in the first episode while digging tunnels in his village. It received its name, Lagann (羅顔), meaning "enveloping face", from Kamina and draws power from its pilot, via the Core Drill, a small golden drill-bit that Simon uses similar to an ignition key. Like the head of Lazengann, the Lagann sports a unique cockpit and stands just short of an average human adult as opposed to the others which are all mostly the sizes of small buildings or larger. This physical handicap would typically put the Lagann at a considerable disadvantage in combat against opponents. However, the Lagann's power is based entirely on Simon's fighting spirit, therefore giving its capabilities the room to increase exponentially.
Lagann's most notable skill is a Spiral based technique named the "Lagann Impact." This earth-shattering technique features a drill forming from Lagann's limbs and slamming into a target. From this stems its trademark ability to combine with other machines by piercing them with said drill. It is through this ability that the titular Gurren Lagann is created, and through subsequent mecha that with the other large-scale Gunmen are formed in the series.
In Parallel Works episode 8, it's revealed that the first "Laganns" were found by Lordgenome as a child during the Anti-Spiral's initial assault on Earth long before the series' story begins and as such were used as a basis in the creation of all the Gunmen that appear in the show to use against their enemies. While most were cast into the Galactic Spiral Abyss by the Anti-Spiral, a maddened Lordgenome seemingly destroyed all the remaining Laganns except for the one that was crushed deep underground until Simon finds it. Currently it is unknown who created the first Laganns, but it is speculated to be the Anti-Spirals (when they were still a Spiral race).
Gurren (グレン, Guren), originally named the "Gunzar" as mentioned by other Beastmen in the manga, is initially an above-average sized Beastmen-piloted mecha, which attacked Littner Village the morning after Team Gurren's arrival early in the series. The mech is subsequently captured, rebuilt, stylized and named by its eventual pilot, Kamina, who had the Gurren's original swords converted into massive sunglasses similar to his own that could be used as a blade or boomerang in combat. Being of typical Gunmen proportions, the Gurren is able to fight without the Lagann's power. While its individual power was initially not on the same level as advanced Gunmen/pilot pairs, such as Viral and his Enki, Kamina eventually became experienced enough to hold his own against multiple enemies. After Kamina's death, the Gurren was mainly piloted by Rossiu and one-time pilots until the aftermath of the battle of Teppelin, pilotless until Viral becomes the Gurren's official pilot during the battle against the Anti-Spiral. Gurren (紅蓮) means "Crimson Lotus". As homage to it, a white Gunzar unit is seen during the battle of Teppelin, sporting a pair of pistols rather than blades.
Gurren Lagann After Merging With Spiralships
Arc-Gurren Lagann named Arc-Gurren (アークグレン, Āku-Guren) by Rossiu, this is one of Lordgenome's Gunmen battleships, a Dai-Gun, which his armies used when he was a Spiral Warrior in events prior to the series. Enormous in size, it is initially used to gather as hundreds of thousands of animals and people onto it as possible to escape world-destroying events later in the series. It uses Spiral Power to run and only recognizes Lordgenome as its operator. It is capable of going into space for at least a year, and contains an array of large-scale defensive systems and weaponry.
When Simon uses the Gurren Lagann to merge into the Arc-Gurren, he converts the Dai-Gun into a Dai-Gunmen called Arc-Gurren Lagann (アークグレンラガン, Āku-Guren Ragan), powered up by one of the Gurren Lagann's Giga Drills similar to how the Lagann is powered by Simon's Core Drill. The power of this Gunmen isn't fully displayed in the series, but it has the ability to rip the fabric of space-time itself through its sheer brute force on its debut. The Arc-Gurren Lagann is usually used exclusively by Simon and Viral in Gurren Lagann. It can form massive drills or fight with punches.
The Arc-Gurren Lagann resembles the Gunbuster, another giant mecha produced by GAINAX.
Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann
The Super Galaxy Dai-Gurren (超銀河ダイグレン, Chōginga Daiguren), christened by Simon, is another colossal battleship-type Gunmen akin to the Arc-Gurren and first appeared in the prologue of the first episode before being formally introduced near the end of the third part of the series. Originally, it was called the Cathedral Terra and it was Lordgenome's flag ship against the Anti-Spirals in the past and assumed the form of moon until the climatic battle during the Anti Spirals' attack on the Arc-Gurren reveals its true identity and becomes Team Dai-Gurren's flagship for the final part of the series on their crusade to defeat the Anti-Spirals and save Nia.
Because of its size, the people on board use teleportation technology to move around the ship. Its combat abilities are unparalleled by any other battleship-type mecha in the series, sporting an enormous array of missiles, beam weapons and shielding capabilities. It also has the capability to transverse to other dimensions and universes and has the manufacturing capabilities to create hundreds of Arc-Gurren Lagann-sized mecha in a small period of time.
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
By combining his own Spiral Power with his comrades, Simon created the true titular entity, which he titles, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, in the final battle against the Anti-Spirals. Though being similar to the Gurren Lagann, its design is overall very different from other mecha in the series, its armor being made up of red skulls, illuminated by the storm of Spiral Power that burns continuously from its core, giving it the appearance of Team Dai-Gurren's emblem. Of its many faces, the primary "cockpits" contain: Simon and Nia in the head, Viral the torso, Yoko in the right shin, and Leeron in what seems to be the left forearm. The rest of Team Dai-Gurren are positioned at various points in the limbs and appendages, all operating in Lagann-style cockpits. Its abdominal jaw is clenched onto the head of the Lazengann, containing a fully resurrected Lordgenome.
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann draws jointly on abilities from its many pilots, including Simon's drills, Yoko's rifle, Viral's swords and so on. The actual limit of the mecha's abilities is immeasurable, as it gains an infinite amount of power depending on the pilots' will to win.
Super Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
While the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is the most powerful and largest mecha in the show, in Gurren Lagann The Movie: The Lights in the Sky are Stars, a higher manifestation, Super Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, makes its appearance, which is regarded as anime's largest mecha and one of its most powerful.
Gunmen Integration: Due to Lagann's influence, Gurren Lagann can
spontaneously integrate parts of other Gunmen into itself. This ability gives Gurren Lagann its signature helmet (originally taken from Viral's Enki), and is later used to acquire a set of wings for the Gunmen (by impaling a flying Gunmen with four drills and attaching it to Gurren Lagann's back). In both cases, the stolen parts immediately reconfigured into forms complimenting the main body of the mecha, mostly by changing colors
Giga Drill Break: Gurren Lagann pins the opponent, usually a powerful enemy mecha, by throwing its sunglasses as a boomerang. As the sunglasses fly, they split into two. Once they have pinned the mecha in the air, Gurren Lagann summons its Giga Drill while screaming the attack's name. Gurren Lagann then flies towards the pinned mecha, drilling straight through it. This is then quickly followed by an explosion of the pinned mecha. The sunglasses boomerangs emerge from the explosion, reunite into a single pair, then fly back onto Gurren Lagann's lower face.
Giga Drill Maximum: Gurren Lagann surrounds itself with Giga Drills to do damage to all mechas around it.
Double Boomerang Spiral: Gurren Lagann removes its wings and sunglasses, then throws them both as boomerangs at the target.
Space-Time Shattering Burst Spinning Punch: A massive uppercut charged with Spiral Power. The sheer brute force of the punch can shatter the fabric of space-time, sending its victim flying straight out of the universe.
Arc Giga Drill Break: Gurren Lagann's Giga Drill Break, but sized for Arc Gurren Lagann. Used only in the second movie adaptation of the show; The Lights in the Sky are Stars. Also used durring the downgrading of Super Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann against the Super Grand Zamboa.
Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann
Shoulder Drills: Instead of making drills out of spiral power like other forms of Gurren Lagann, Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann detaches the drills on its shoulders and attaches them over its hands. These drills can be placed on top of each other for a stronger attack.
Super Galaxy Mega Cutter: It removes its massive sunglasses from its torso and throws them as a boomerang.
Super Galaxy Giga Drill Break: Although it is the same as the original Giga Drill Breaker, this form is the most powerful. The two drills on the mecha's shoulders combine on a single hand attack the enemy. Its sheer power destroyed an Ashtanga battleship in one hit.
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
Drill Proficiency: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann can also produce its drills all around the entire body, after absorbing the Infinity Big Bang Storm, which followed with a power boost, and can also be seen fighting against the Anti-Spiral.
Enki Swords: Used by Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann which is produced as Enki/Enkidu/Enkidudu's swords after Yoko's Sniper Rifle was destroyed in order to counterattack the Anti-Spiral, which was later broken during the duration of the battle.
Yoko's Sniper Rifle: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann uses a galaxy-sized version of Yoko's Sniper Rifle in order the counterattack and shoot directly at the Granzeboma's forehead to reveal the bits of the Anti-Spiral homeworld, which is later destroyed.
"I've Got The Best Wife In The Universe" Swing: An attack named by Dayakka about his wife. Dayakka and Gabal release hooks from their respective parts of the Tengen Toppa, that tie around the opposing mecha. The Tengen Toppa then grabs the hooks' rope and swings the opposing the mecha in the air, then lets go and lets the opposing mecha fall.
Probability Alteration Missles: An attack used by Artenborough which fires a lot of small, drill-like missles out from it's right leg directly at the Granzeboma.
Fist Barrage: An unnamed attacked performed by the surviving members of Team Dai Gurren in The Lights in the Sky are Stars. The Tengen Toppa shoots out a barrages of fists to attack the Granzeboma. It only appears in the movie but not in the series.
Matter Creation: Gurren Lagann can, via command from a pilot, create and manipulate matter from Spiral Power that its user desires. This is especially helpful in combat.
Super Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
Super Tengen Toppa Giga Drill Break: The only known move the STTGL performed and serves as the will of the entire Team Dai-Gurren. Discarding its crimson mantle, he points his finger upward to create a supersized sky-blue drill that dwarfs the multiverse itself with the sole purpose of destroying the Anti-Spiral. The impact from both the Super Tengen Toppa Giga Drill Break and the Anti-Spiral Drill Break caused the omniverse to warp and create the Super Spiral Space and cause the Infinity sign to appear. Unfortunately, the STTGDB failed to break the Anti-Spiral Giga Drill Break due to the latter having stayed in power the longest.
- Gurren Lagann is made up of parts of six mecha in total: Lagann, Gunzar and the other two enemy Gunmen with it that were combined to form Gurren, Enki's Helmet, and a flying Gunmen.
- Gurren Lagann (and its components) faces are unusual in that they sometimes show emotion, such as shock or anguish. This is likely based on Daitarn 3.
- Gurren Lagann's crescent shaped fin on its helmet is based on Zambot 3. In continuity, it was integrated into the Gunmen when it shattered Enki's upper head, taking its helmet for its own; the asymmetrical horns are the remnants of the focusing lens of the helmet's beam cannon.
- Gurren Lagann contains a few one-off abilities, such as in a battle underwater where he sprouts a cork-screw-esque Drill and in a battle with Mugann where the Gurren Lagann surrounds itself in Giga-Drills.
- Lagann is sometimes hinted towards having its own persona during the series.
- Gurren Lagann can detach its Sunglasses and Wings to use as dual boomerangs and swords, which bears a similarity with Mazinger's and Mazinkaiser's Jet and Kaiser Scrander and Great Mazinger's Great Boomerang.
- Its double face configuration is reminiscent of Gaiking.
- All Grapearl units were based on Gurren Lagann.
- Gurren Lagann is said to be able to adapt to any field of battle on its own, paralleling to, and possibly a direct result of its ability to integrate any mecha into itself. Miscellaneous examples are depicted in Parallel Works 15: "Gunmen Symphony", where Lagann is shown in combination with a variety of mecha inspired by events and characters in the series.