Gurren Lagann The Movie: Childhood's End (known in Japan as 劇場版 天元突破グレンラガン 紅蓮篇 (Gekijōban Tengen Toppa Guren Ragan Guren Hen) or Film Version Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: The Crimson Lotus Chapter), or simply Gurren-hen, is the first Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann movie. It is based on the first half of the original TV series, from episodes 1 to 11, with elements of episodes 12, 13, and 14 added in for the sake of brevity.
Prelude: Lordgenome's Past
Using footage from Parallel Works episode 8, and narration alternating between the Anti-Spiral and Lordgenome, the tale of the fall of the Spiral races and the rise of the Spiral King and the Beastmen is recounted. The title, Gurren-hen (meaning The Crimson Lotus Chapter) is shown.
From Giha Village to the Surface
Simon, a boy who digs tunnels to expand his underground village of Giha, uncovers a Core Drill and a huge face one day. Making the Core Drill into a necklace, Simon and his surrogate big brother Kamina attempt to break out of their underground village to something Kamina calls a "surface". Just as their chief is berating them, an earthquake unfolds, and a bull-headed mecha falls through the ceiling. It is pursued by a young woman who rappels down, firing at it with a large rifle. While Simon leads her and Kamina to the face he found, the girl explains that the robot is a Gunmen, and that she is from Littner, the "pit next door". Kamina encourages Simon to pilot the face by telling him to "believe in the Kamina who believes in you". Simon does end up piloting "Lagann" (as Kamina calls it), the giant robot head he uncovered. Producing drills from Lagann's forehead and arms, Simon's attack carries the trio up to the surface, where they hang in midair in awe of the setting sun and rising Moon. The girl introduces herself as Yoko, who is mutually introduced to Simon, Kamina, and Boota (who finds that he likes sitting in between Yoko's large breasts). Falling to the surface, Simon, Kamina, Yoko, and Boota are accosted by another Gunmen...which is promptly scrapped by gunfire from Dayakka and other Littner villagers.
That night, Yoko and Dayakka's mech-savvy friend Leeron speculates that humanity used to live on the surface all the time. With help from Simon in Lagann, the wreckage of the Gunmen is carried back to Littner. On the way, they bury the skeleton of someone killed by a Gunmen.
Acquisition of Gurren
The next morning, three Gunmen attack, including Gunzar. Kamina sets his eyes on stealing Gunzar. With help from Simon in Lagann, Kamina forces out Commander Guzack, but Gunzar is unresponsive. Gunzar is knocked down by the two remaining Gunmen, and Kamina unearths the skeleton they buried the previous night. His fighting spirit renewed, Kamina takes control of Gunzar and delivers a "Who The Hell Do You Think I Am Kick" (accidentally scrapping Gunzar's legs) and a "Hands Off My Beloved Little Brother Punch" (inadvertently smashing Gunzar's left arm) to keep the other two Gunmen from crushing Simon and Lagann. Throwing Simon and Lagann in a Cannonball Attack, Lagann's drill impales the two enemy Gunmen, leaving only their arms and legs behind.
An eyecatch (a la the original TV series) shows Gunzar being refitted with the enemy Gunmen's arms and legs to become Gurren, Gunzar's twin swords having been reworked into Gurren's sunglasses.
The next day, while hunting with Yoko and learning some of Littner Village's history, Kamina fires an arrow into a flying raccoon. Running off to collect his game, Kamina notices a second arrow in the fallen creature. Narrowly avoiding another arrow, and a swipe from a machete, Kamina is confronted by the Beastmen commander, Viral. Viral is a member of the Human Eradication Forces, who pilot Gunmen to ensure that no humans who come to the surface live. Simon arrives to help in Lagann, and Viral retreats to his Gunmen, Enki. Kamina in Gurren and Simon in Lagann, even working together, are barely able to escape with their lives, the Cannonball Attack being ineffective. Simon and Kamina only survive because Simon dug a tunnel with Lagann's drill until Viral departed at sundown, deciding to finish the next day. That night, Kamina tells Simon that his drill is meant to pierce the heavens, not to run away. Yoko offers to pilot Lagann when Viral returned, but Kamina's faith in Simon is unshakable, saying that Simon will pull through.
Sure enough, Viral returned in Enki, and appeared to make short work of Kamina in Gurren. Yoko berates Simon for not believing in Kamina, and Simon rushes to Kamina's aid. Kamina decides that "combining" is what they should do next, jamming Lagann's drill into Gurren's head. Amazingly, they really do combine, and are able to smash off Enki's helmet, taking it for themselves. Overwhelmed and overpowered by the newly christened Gurren Lagann, Viral fires off a last volley and retreats under the smoke. During the celebrations after having driven Viral off, Yoko admits that Kamina and Simon do make a good team after all. Leeron finds program files in Gurren relating to a recall point: the Beastmen headquarters. Pulling on a cape, Kamina sets off with Simon, Leeron, and Yoko at his side, taking the fight to the Beastmen their intent. Another eyecatch shows Simon, Kamina, Yoko, and Leeron.
A montage sequence set to Rap is a Man's Soul! follows, summing up episodes 4, 5, and 6. This montage introduces the following characters: the Black Siblings, Kittan, Kiyoh, Kinon, and Kiyal; Rossiu, and Gimmy and Darry Adai. Battle sequences with Gunmen from those three episodes are shown. Footage from the first opening is shown as well. New footage is shown, such as Kamina and Simon carting a large boar for them to eat, a near-naked Yoko reading with glasses at night, and Kamina, Simon, and Gimmy peeing off of Gurren (forming a rainbow). It ends with Simon smiling at his Core Drill while everyone else sleeps.
The Bid for Dai-Gunzan
In the Royal Capital of Teppelin, Spiral King Lordgenome holds a conference with Three of the Four Generals. They are discussing the uprising of Team Gurren. Cytomander the Swift laments the casualties of their units and how Thymilph the Raging Wave has fallen, Guame the Immobile notes how the seasons affect when humans will come to surface, while Adiane the Elegant merely finds the idea that the Four Generals will have be dispatched themselves to be interesting. Lordgenome asks that they not disturb his millennium of doldrums.
The Dai-Gunzan, along with Viral in Enkidu, attacks. Kamina sets his mind to stealing the Dai-Gunzan. Gurren Lagann rides the shockwave of Dai-Gunzan's cannon fire to knock down Enkidu on the Dai-Gunzan's deck, before facing Thymilph atop the Dai-Gunzan's bridge. Dai-Gunzan smacks Gurren Lagann about, but before it can be torn apart, fire from a Gunmen frees Gurren Lagann. The Gunmen which saved them is Dayakkaiser, hijacked and piloted by Dayakka. King Kittan, hijacked and piloted by Kittan, is there, too (though Kamina doesn't seem to remember him). Apparently, Kamina's stealing of a Gunmen has inspired others, more than just Dayakka and Kittan, to do the same. Under attack from Dai-Gunzan's Gunmen, Gurren Lagann is knocked off of Dai-Gunzan. Simon wants to retreat, and Yoko wants Kamina to retreat, but Kamina refuses to give in, until Simon says he just wants his Bro to stay alive. Kamina acquiesces, so long as they pin down Dai-Gunzan to keep it from pursuing them. Simon has an idea, which involves firing drills in a circle around Dai-Gunzan and detonating them at the same time. A pit opens up, preventing the Dai-Gunzan from pursuing the rebel humans.
That night, several people who hijacked Gunmen for themselves have showed up, to aid Kamina in his stand against the Beastmen. They celebrate the formation of Team Dai-Gurren, while Kamina talks to Yoko about how Team Dai-Gurren is about securing a world where kids can look up at the sky without a care in the world. She cautions him against being as reckless as he was against the Dai-Gunzan. Kamina tells the newly formed Team Dai-Gurren of his ambition to steal the Dai-Gunzan as their headquarters, and how Simon will be the one to do it.
Simon, unable to have slept, is called upon by Yoko. She gives him something to drink, so that he will be able to pilot Lagann at full strength. Simon's crush on Yoko is obvious, but if she notices, she doesn't let it on. Leeron has finished repairing Yoko's rifle. She takes a drink to Kamina as well, who tells her to watch his back in this battle. She kisses him, saying his back is one big blind spot. He kisses her deeply in return, saying he will repay it ten times over when the battle is over. Unbeknownst to either, Simon bore witness, his spirit crushed.
Kamina explains the battle plan: the Gunmen pilots distract the enemy Gunmen; Simon uses Lagann to combine with Dai-Gunzan to wrest control of the behemoth from the Beastmen; then, they use the captured Dai-Gunzan to crush the enemy Gunmen. As Team Dai-Gurren's Gunmen move out to enact Kamina's plan, Simon has difficulty concentrating, his feelings muddled because of his having witnessed Kamina and Yoko's kiss.
Loss of a Comrade
The plan proceeds flawlessly, Viral going directly to battle Kamina, though he is disconcerted to see that Lagann is missing from Gurren's shoulders. That is apparently Simon's signal, as he performs a Lagann Impact into Dai-Gunzan, breaking the Beastmen's control over it. However, Simon's inability to concentrate means that he cannot effectively control the Dai-Gunzan, either. Pinning Viral down with Gurren's sunglasses, Kamina bolts towards Simon to snap him out of it. Jumping out of Gurren, he demands that Simon open Lagann's hatch. Simon obeys, and promptly gets punched in the face by Kamina. With some encouraging words from Kamina, Simon is able to concentrate, and Dai-Gunzan ceases fire. Kamina leaps back into Gurren, and Gurren is promptly blasted through by Thymilph in his Byakou. Stunned by Viral tossing Gurren's sunglasses at him, Kamina is unable to prevent Gurren - and himself - being impaled by Byakou's Alkaid Glaive.
Team Dai-Gurren is gut-punched. Simon's despair at his Bro's apparent death causes him to fire wildly on all of Dai-Gunzan's turrets, walking the Dai-Gun towards a volcano. Dai-Gunzan's flailing arms send Viral sailing away. Kamina rouses from unconsciousness and tosses Gurren's severed arm at Lagann to snap Simon out of his funk. Telling Simon that he needn't worry anymore raises Simon's spirits again, just as Byakou and the enemy Gunmen attack again. Gurren and Lagann combine into Gurren Lagann, taking out all the enemy Gunmen but Byakou at once. Blocking Thymilph's Condemn Blaze, Kamina tells Simon to believe in the Simon who believes in himself, before performing a Giga Drill Break which obliterates Thymilph and Byakou.
Kamina's last words were "Later, buddy". Team Dai-Gurren has lost its founder amidst pouring rain.
The Spiral King's Daughter
Viral, bandaged but alive, is informed by General Adiane that the three remaining Generals are moving out. He begs the opportunity to help her avenge Thymilph's death even as Adiane strikes him violently with her scorpion tail. Adiane tells him that he, too, has been given a Dai-Gun, but that he had better not get in her way.
Seven days since Kamina's death, it is still raining nonstop. Spirits are down. Simon absently spins his hand drill in his room onboard the newly christened Dai-Gurren. Kittan has made himself leader of Team Dai-Gurren, since Simon has lost the will to live with Kamina gone. Yoko is doing all she can to keep herself together, since Kamina's death after his promise to repay that kiss ten times over merely left a hole ten times bigger in her heart.
Enemy Gunmen attack the Dai-Gurren. Rossiu will pilot Gurren, much to Simon's resentment. Simon takes full control of Gurren Lagann, recklessly charging in and violently attacking, saying that it's what Kamina would have done. Simon's berserker charge seems to indicate that he does not care if he even lives or dies in this battle. Power output rendered unstable, Lagann separates from Gurren, goes berserk, and jumps into a valley. The one surviving Gunmen leaps after him.
At the base of the ravine, Simon reactivates Lagann and trudges along a little longer. He comes upon countless boxes throughout the valley. Hearing a noise above, he sees a Gunmen toss another into the ravine. He notices it has a Core Drill insertion mark on it; removing the Core Drill from Lagann, Simon opens the box. Inside is a beautiful girl his age. She greets him formally, and seems excited by the rain and mud (even though she is barefoot). She wonders why he is the same as her, and he says it's because they are human. She asks what a human is. He explains that humans are like them, with heads and stuff. The girl initially thinks all people Simon knows have his same face, which he says would just be creepy. The rain stops, and the sun comes out. Simon gives her his boots so that her feet won't get cold. The girl introduces herself as Nia, and Simon gives her his name. Pointing behind Simon, Nia asks what "that" is. It's the last enemy Gunmen from the attack on the Dai-Gurren.
Retreating to Lagann with Nia, Simon attempts his same berserker attack, but Lagann stops responding. Simon tells Nia to run and save herself. If the Gunmen kill everyone who mean anything to him, Simon would rather die than let anyone else die. Nia says that he should not die if he is afraid, and they run together. Yoko detonates the Gunmen's missile with a sniper shot from Einzer, and Kittan arrives in King Kittan, defeating the enemy Gunmen with a Kittan Stinger.
Nia cheerily introduces herself to Team Dai-Gurren as the eldest daughter of Spiral King Lordgenome. She seems unaware of the effect this has; speculation abounds if she is a spy. Kittan tries to interrogate her, but her lack of basic knowledge of what an "enemy" is, what it means to "beat the crap out of" someone, and what a "fist" is means that Kittan doesn't get any intel out of her. Dayakka and Yoko concede that since she was attacked by the Gunmen, too, there must be more to this story. Leeron gets to work trying to get Dai-Gurren moving again; it seems to not be responding.
Simon has taken to carving Kamina statues out of rock in his room. Nia wants to speak to Simon, so Yoko takes her there. Simon tells of how he can't do anything without Kamina, telling a story of how he and Kamina were trapped in a cave-in one time they tried to escape. Yoko recognises the story, but tells Simon to continue. Simon explains that Kamina's insistent, boisterous urge to move onwards and upwards were what enabled him to keep drilling. Without Kamina, Simon says, he can't do anything. Nia disagrees, saying that Simon saved her by himself, and says that you cannot bring back people who are dead. Simon says he tried to become like Kamina after he died, to pull his share for him, but it was useless. Nia exclaims that Simon is his own person, and asks why he obsesses over Kamina so much. Yoko loses her cool with Nia, saying that Nia didn't know Kamina, and so can't know how Simon is feeling. Nia explains that Simon is his own person, and should be able to function on his own. Yoko tells Nia to stop talking like she is not aware of who is responsible for Kamina's death. She then demands to know what exactly Nia is. Nia calmly explains that she asked her father why she was born, and when she next awoke, Simon had saved her from a box, and how she wants to know more about Simon, Yoko, "Bro", and the surface.
The Four Generals Attack
Dai-Gurren quakes, and water bursts up all around it. Adiane's Dai-Gunkai, with Sayrune atop it, makes contact with Dai-Gurren. Yoko and Nia run out, Yoko to fire her rifle at the enemy Gunmen, and Nia to ascertain that voice she heard from Sayrune. As First Princess, Nia commands Adiane not to harm the people of Dai-Gurren. Adiane wonders what Nia is doing there; an image shows on Sayrune's display, showing Nia being dumped in a trash bin. Adiane smirks, understanding. Nia asks if Adiane and the other Generals are making the people on the surface suffer. Adiane answers yes, explaining that humans are nothing but garbage for the Beastmen to clean up. Nia, angered by this, demands that Adiane take her to her father at once to discuss this. Adiane's cool facade crumbles as she tells Nia to take herself there, telling Nia that she is not a princess anymore, that her father has thrown her out and doesn't need her anymore.
Everyone on Dai-Gurren hears this, including Simon. Just as Sayrune transforms and prepares to snip Nia in half, Cytomander contacts Adiane, telling her to hold up. The water converges, then evaporates, revealing Dai-Gunten and Shuzack hovering overhead. Cytomander feels that Nia's screams would be more fitting on a stage that is an airborne execution platform. Dai-Gunten unleashes countless flying Gunmen, and Guame's Dai-Gundo emerges from nearby sand. Shuzack descends and grabs Nia in its hand, Cytomander explaining that Spiral King's will is to destroy those who resist him. Guame in his Gember asks how they can expect to defeat Lordgenome just because they stole the Dai-Gunzan. He says that this will be broadcast over the heads of every human underground and on the surface; even if it's the Spiral King's own daughter, he will kill them.
Team Dai-Gurren's Gunmen prepare for battle, but Aretenborough wants to fire now, even though Nia is being held by the now-ascending Shuzack. The turrets don't fire, though. Yoko's rifle shots are ineffective as well. Dai-Gunkai takes hold of Dai-Gurren's prow in its mouth, tossing it up to Dai-Gunten (ripping off Dai-Gurren's right arm in the process). Dai-Gunten sprouts legs, kicking Dai-Gurren towards Dai-Gundo. Dai-Gundo spins like a top, sending Dai-Gurren flying...into a silver knife prow identical to its own! This is Viral's Dai-Gun, the Dai-Gunzan-Du! Dai-Gunzan-Du pushes Dai-Gurren onto the earth weakened by Dai-Gundo's spinning, and the Dai-Gurren sinks halfway into the bedrock. Dai-Gunkai, Dai-Gunten, Dai-Gundo, and Dai-Gunzan-Du deploy countless Gunmen to attack Dai-Gurren, and the Team Dai-Gurren Gunmen are deployed. Viral in Enkidu attacks Rossiu in Gurren (thinking that Kamina is still alive), and mocks "Kamina" and his now-sloppy Gunmen piloting. Dai-Gunten's flying Gunmen bombard Dai-Gurren, taking out its main guns. Sayrune and several troop deployment Gunmen dispatch from Dai-Gunkai, to "take out the trash". Adiane's tail blocks Yoko's sniper shots.
Nia asks Cytomander why her father is doing this. Guame explains that the Spiral King creates and raises children as "entertainment", a mere hobby, and disposes of them like dolls if they show self-awareness; that is why Lordgenome disposed of Nia after she asked why she was born. As Cytomander prepares to kill Nia, many Beastmen cameras shift their focus to Shuzack... and Simon is hanging off of Shuzack with his hand drill and Core Drill! He refuses to just hand Nia over, and wants to save her from Cytomander.
Nia and Team Dai-Gurren see this. Her hope rekindled, Nia explains that this shows that humans, as tiny as they are, have large hearts, and are not dolls. Simon works his way up, dodging Shuzack's flailing hands trying to shoo him off. Yoko realises what Kamina meant: he told her the night before he died of when he and Simon were trapped in a cave-in while they were trying to dig their way out of Giha Village. He said how his confidence was shot and how he was just showing "empty bravado", and Simon was really the one who didn't give up. At that point, Kamina resolved to never falter once he finds a goal.
Kamina's last words resonate in Simon: "Believe in the Simon who believes in you!" And Simon's Core Drill glows. Distracted, Simon doesn't see Shuzack's hand coming until it is too late. He is knocked off, flying past Nia. Nia refuses to believe that Simon will let this kill him. Simon grasps vainly at Shuzack as he falls, but slips past. He exclaims that Nia is waiting for him... and Lagann reactivates, flying up and catching Simon mid-fall. Lagann's drill smashes Shuzack's buzz-saw "Majestic Big Chopper" attack mid-sentence, and Simon frees Nia. Simon tells Nia he finally understands. Nia replies that she does, too, and thanks Simon.
Yoko is fighting off the aquatic Beastmen under Adiane's command, but then Adiane herself does battle with Yoko. Adiane's tail deflects Yoko's hail of gunfire from her rifle-turned-machine gun into her own men, before knocking Yoko over. Viral in Enkidu has Rossiu in Gurren pinned, prepared to deliver the final blow to "Kamina". Simon calls out to Rossiu, "Let's combine!". Throwing Enkidu off, Gurren and Lagann combine. A flying Gunmen tries to attack, but Gurren Lagann integrates it. After flying Gurren Lagann up to face Shuzack, Simon emerges from Lagann.
Simon exclaims about how his Bro is dead and gone, but lives on as part of himself. Simon vows to dig toward heaven, even if it becomes his own grave, because digging through means he's won. He exclaims, to the awe of Yoko, Team Dai-Gurren, and the three remaining Generals, that he is Simon, not his Bro, Kamina, but himself, Simon the Digger. Shuzack transforms and attempts to perform an attack, but all Cytomander gets out is "Demolition Pl..." before pinned by Gurren's sunglasses. Letting his last tears for Kamina's death get out, Simon performs a Giga Drill Break that obliterates Shuzack and Cytomander. Team Dai-Gurren lets out a cheer and begins to fight back in earnest. Viral is stunned at the revelation that Kamina is dead. Yoko's bra is snapped in half by Adiane's tail, but Yoko pins Adiane's tail between her legs with her hair-needles, pulling a handgun on the General. Adiane severs most of her own tail to escape to Sayrune. Leeron sends out Yoko's Gunmen, Yoko M Tank, for Yoko to use, and Boota arrives with a new top for Yoko.
Adiane in Sayrune returns to Dai-Gunkai, Guame in Gember to Dai-Gundo, and Viral in Enkidu to Dai-Gunzan-Du. The four Dai-Guns combine into the Do-Ten-Kai-Zan, and open fire on Dai-Gurren. Simon has projected a shield of Spiral Power to negate the barrage, and Team Dai-Gurren performs the Giga Drill Break Team Dai-Gurren Special. Energy blasts from all the Team Dai-Gurren Gunmen twist around Gurren Lagann's Giga Drill Break, allowing it to break into Dai-Gunten, destroying the Gunmen inside, then penetrating through Dai-Gundo with little resistance, obliterating Guame, before moving on through Dai-Gunkai and obliterating Adiane, narrowly missing Viral as Gurren Lagann emerges from Dai-Gunzan-Du's head. Do-Ten-Kai-Zan detonates, the wreckage plummeting to the earth.
All around the Earth, every human on the surface cheers at the downfall of the Four Generals. Dai-Gurren emerges from the mushroom cloud, one of Dai-Gunten's levi-spheres in hand. Viral stands amidst the wreckage of the Do-Ten-Kai-Zan, holding Adiane's eyepatch, vowing to make the humans pay.
Simon has taken Nia to Kamina's grave, and Nia explains how she relied on her father live and wanted to believe in him to the end. She asks why Simon supposes they were born, and Simon gives Nia an emerald he found while he was trapped in that cave-in with Kamina. He says that all that matters is to be who you are right now, which is how he will live. He can't become Kamina, but he'll do what only Simon the Digger can. Yoko speaks of how stupid she was, having been next to Simon the longest, but having believed the least, in Kamina, Simon, or even herself. She properly welcomes Team Dai-Gurren's newest comrade, Nia, and Team Dai-Gurren's new leader, Simon, since he was the man Kamina picked for the job. Rossiu ponders on the continuing battles, and Leeron says it's best if you just laugh for now.
After the credits, Lordgenome's concubines tell him that the Four Generals have been killed by the young man of the Spiral, Simon. He tells them to not be afraid, since Simon doesn't know true fear: the fear known as the Spiral King. A title reading "Onwards to "The Lights in the Sky are Stars"" appears, followed by "To be continued".
- All the scenes in the movie are reflections to the episodes, somewhat like looking at a mirror.
- At the end of the movie, a young Guinble Kite can be seen as one of the humans witnessing the destruction of the Do-Ten-Kai-Zan.
- Gurren-hen is a pun on the name of Kamina's Gunmen.
- The subtitles over the end credits for the song Continuous World on the official DVD accidentally repeat the phrase 'your everything keeps falling out of my hands' when Shoko Nakagawa sings the line 'my everything keeps falling out of my hands'.
- "Childhood's End" is the title of Arthur C. Clarke´s famous book. The Evangelion series creators admitted that they were based on that book.
- At the beginning of the movie, during the prologue explaining Lordgenome's defeat by the Anti-Spiral, a young Lordgenome is seen sitting on a rock with many animals. Among those animals are a turtle, bird, scorpion and a small gorilla, possibly the Four Generals. There is also a Pikachu and a Mew among them.