|“||I will face tomorrow.||”|
|“||The human spirit is limitless! I've staked everything on its greatness, too!||”|
Nia Teppelin (ニア・テッペリン Nia Tepperin?) is the disowned daughter of Lordgenome. She is also an artificial being made by Antispiral and serves as the main antagonists' messenger in the third act. She is Simon’s main love interest and eventually marries him in the final episode before she fades away, yet her love for him remains and connects them.
Nia's birthday is on July 4th.
Nia is a beautiful and delicate-looking young girl of average height with curly, light blue/pale blonde hair, which appears immaterial, floating and moving like a cloud with hair tips resembling the edges of a blue-gold cloud. Her initial appearance shows her to have extremely long hair running down her back until it is one day ruined during the gunfire of battle (caused by Yoko pretending to shoot her in the head but missing on purpose to hit the gunmen's shoulder). She later asks Yoko to cut it to just above her shoulders. She has peach skin and unique blue eyes with pink crosses ("+") for pupils (designed to look like flowers). She wears a variety of outfits, mostly pink and white.
In Parts 3 and 4, she looks mostly the same, but her features have matured as she gains womanly curves and her hair has returned to its old length, but it become straighter. She wears a white and pink dress, along with the ring Simon gave to her when he proposed. After the Human Extermination System is activated, her skin becomes covered with red circuit lines and her eyes gain a flat, darkened tone. Her dress is eventually replaced by a skintight bodysuit covering everything up to her head; the suit itself is black with red circuit lines and asymmetrical turquoise highlights.
Upon being recalled to Antispiral's Main Star, Nia's eyes return to normal, but her outfit remains the same. When Team Dai-Gurren frees her, her bodysuit dissolves, but Simon catches her with his long coat, which she wears for the rest of the battle. During her wedding to Simon, she wears a white wedding dress with a thin veil prepared by Old Coco.
Nia is a kind, caring, sweet and soft-spoken girl who always likes people to be happy and she is highly empathetic to others, especially Simon. She naturally tried to Simon when he was distressed over Kamina's death, saying that he isn't helpless on his own and shouldn't be so dependent on Kamina, but ends up upsetting a heart-broken Yoko to the point where she shouted at her and stormed off. She is never intentionally mean and almost always has a smile on her face even when she was fading away in the last episode of the series.
Through her travels with Team Dai-Gurren, Nia opts for a change in her personality a little. She eventually follows Kamina's words and believes in Simon with her entire being. Also in her travels, she shows a rational thought process similar to Yoko and is very willing to stand up against the odds when need be. Likewise, she is a bit rash though and will not hesitate to throw herself into the fray to try and reason with the enemy. In season 1, she does so three times (though one of them was addressing soldiers about them sacrificing themselves.). In this regard, Nia can often be oblivious to certain words and meanings due to her sheltered life.
For most of the third arc, Nia serves as the messenger from the Anti-Spirals to the humans, during the activation of Earth's Human Extermination System. After the Anti-Spiral genes awakens within her and converts her into an Anti-Spiral life form, becoming an emotionless and serious person, the exact opposite of how Nia was beforehand. As the messenger, she wears a dark skin-tight suit, covered with red line patterns resembling a circuit board, and the previously pink irises of her eyes have become black.
Before Beastman War Arc
Sometime before her introduction, Nia lived a comfortable life with her father. This life would soon come to an end, however, when Nia became too self-aware and questioned her father about her existence, prompting him to lure her in a pod and thrown into a canyon filled with caskets of his past children and mistresses, where she would be found by Simon.
Beastman War Arc
During a battle with some Gunmen, Simon lost control of Gurren Lagann when Lagann detached itself due to Simon's unstable mental state. After falling into a canyon, Simon found Nia's pod and opened it with the Core Drill. Nia stepped out, surprised to see something other than a Beastman and was told about what a human was by Simon. Nia and Simon were then attacked by a Beastman, Simon prepared to stay behind to save Nia but was saved by the timely arrival of Kittan and Yoko. She is revealed at the end of the episode to be Lordgenome's daughter and a princess. She was originally disliked by the members of Team Dai-Gurren, (Kittan tried to interrogate her, but failed) but when Adiane the Elegant, one of the Four Generals appears, and reveals she was an exile, the members of Team Dai-Gurren accepted her. After her encounter with General Guame the Steady, she comes to an understanding of the reason Simon found her outside the palace, being forsaken by her father after she started attaining her own will and self-consciousness, as he considered his offspring nothing more than dolls, and decides to join the Team Dai-Gurren as a cook (even though her cooking is unbearable to anybody but Simon and Boota) in order to confront her father. In the final battle with Lordgenome, she boards Lagann with Simon and when she sees Simon losing, he ssays she will believe in him with her whole being. This drives Simon to kill Lordgenome. Nia attempts to save her father from falling, but fails, though this does nothing to shake her resolve, as she states she "will head toward tomorrow".
Anti-Spiral War Arc
Seven years after the war with the Beastmen, Nia receives a marriage proposal from Simon. She refuses at first, after her bubbly contrived logic causes her to misunderstand his words, but after receiving counseling from Kiyoh and Kiyal, she decides to accept. As predicted by Lordgenome, when the population limit is reached, a mysterious force takes control of her body, and her hidden identity as Antispiral's messenger awakens. Appearing before the population of the planet, she broadcasts the intention of the Human Extermination System, proclaiming that the moon will collide with the Earth in three weeks, bringing the city to a panic. Her body is entirely unchanged, with the only differences being a black skin-tight suit and her narrowed, menacing eyes with dark irises. She appears before Simon several times over the course of the arc, to repeatedly tell him that all efforts against the Human Extermination System are futile while increasing the odds against mankind. She also reveals to Simon that her memories as a human still remain. But after realizing who she really is and seeing the pointlessness of human progress, her entire personality radically changes, and she declares her past as long-lost fiction. According to her, Antispiral's purpose is to bring mankind into ultimate despair by letting them struggle to the very end, right before their inevitable destruction. However, she continues to wear the ring given to her by Simon. And it was when she is the only thing keeping the Gurren Lagann from the "moon's" control system that Simon points out to her that all her actions and appearances before him were, in fact, the true feelings of her former self, and that the true intention of the trial she set up for mankind was to create a resistance against Antispiral. All the while urging Simon to keep fighting, and realizing that, unconsciously, her feelings toward him haven't changed. When Simon points this out, Nia finds the strength to revert to her old self and successfully manages to do so, allowing Simon to end the Human Extermination System. However, just as he catches a glimpse of the old Nia, she
is transported to Antispiral's Main Star so the data on Team Dai-Gurren can be extracted from her for analysis. Simon then vows to rescue her, resulting in the rescue attempt that begins the fourth and final arc. When Antispiral questions her and tries to probe her body, Nia explains that Simon will defeat them. Simon appears and frees Nia, causing her skin-tight suit to dissipate moments before he catches her in his jacket.
She rides in the head of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and helps Simon defeat Antispiral. After the battle, she apologizes for the terror she's caused to the people during her time as Messenger Nia. Seven days after the return to Earth, she and Simon get married, though she begins to fade away before the shocked crowd and an unsurprised Simon. She tells Simon she loves him, and he answers back saying that he will never forget her "till the end of the universe". Nia corrects him, stating it will never end and that's what they'd worked so hard for. She smiles as Simon says he loves her before she completely fades away.
Nia's memorial site is near the graves of Kamina and the members of Team Dai-Gurren who died fighting the Anti-Spiral. Her memorial has the flowers she held at the wedding along with a white cross bearing her engagement ring.
Nia is Simon's main love interest, coming into the series the episode after Kamina's death. When Nia and Simon first meet Simon is speechless and Nia is confused as to why he has no beast body parts. He informs her it is because he is Human. After bringing her onto Dai-Gurren the crew members aren't sure if they should trust her after it is revealed as Lordgenome's daughter. Simon loves Nia a lot, even going as far as to charge at a Gunmen by himself without Lagann in an effort to save her only to be out run by the other crew members' Gunmen and ending up tripping and twisting his ankle. While Simon fights Lordgenome, Nia puts all her faith in Simon and tells him she believes he can win. After winning the fight against Lordgenome, Nia cuddled up to Simon and Simon put his arm around her.
In Part two, Simon and Nia are both more grown up where Simon asks Nia to marry him, but she turns him down, not understanding what marriage is, but she later accepts after an explanation from Kiyoh Bachika and Kiyal Bachika. Even after it is revealed she is the Anti-Spiral Messenger, Simon stops at nothing to get her back. Once he saves her and the rest of the world they finally get married and Nia smiles and expresses her love for Simon as she fades away.
At first, Yoko dislikes and distrusts Nia due to her unusual origin and her stinging yet honest words about Kamina, but she eventually grows to trust her and see her as a friend.
Although Nia has never met Kamina, she gains a great care and respect for him through the stories told to her by Simon. Through her belief in Simon she comes to believe in Kamina's philosophies, and in the Gurren Lagann movie is shown to address him while writing in her journal. In the Otoko series and in others where she does know him, they get along well. Kamina is also one of the few who can stomach and enjoy her cooking, the others being Simon and Boota.
Nia has a complicated relationship with her father. For much of her life Lordgenome was the only human she had contact with, all the others being beastmen. After traveling with Team Dai-Gurren and seeing the oppression of humans she expresses anger and questions her father when she confronts him. When Simon defeats Lordgenome and throws himself off the capital, she runs and tries to save him, yet sheds no tears and expresses a desire to move forward when he is gone. At the end of the series/movies, she shows to still care for him when he sacrifices himself to give team Dai-Gurren a chance in battle.
Powers and Abilities
Spiral Power: As a Spiral being, she is capable of evolving with the use of Spiral Power, becoming more capable as she retains her willpower or "fighting spirit". In episode 27, Nia, like all other members of Team Dai-Gurren at the time, has unlocked and has access to infinite amounts of Spiral Power, and is capable of using it in any possible way. In the movie, her emotions manifest a Tengen Toppa Gunmen (emotions being a subset of Spiral Power); Tengen Toppa Solvernia, to fight against Antispiral. Just like Lordgenome, Simon and Boota who have unlocked the power of the Spiral, and have used it outside of Gunmen, she should be just as capable without the use of Gunmen as well; as well as logically having every capability the Tengen Toppa Series have shown.
Superhuman Strength: Even without the use of Spiral Power, Nia has a consistent list of feats that showcases supernatural strength. In episode 11, she slaps one of the Four Heavenly Kings, Guame, across the room in a short fit of anger. Yoko in the episode right after states that Nia is formidable, after she slams a volleyball towards her. This feat is very impressive, considering that Yoko with her bare hands pinned Adiane's tail down, to which a spray of her Superconducting Rifle's bullets was effortlessly deflected by the same tail. In Lincarne's Electromagnetic Prison, she could effortlessly defeat Viral in a fist fight; the latter who, in his fight with Simon, kicked a Beastman through a wall. She is even treated as a threat by Simon, who, at that moment, has even gained further control over Spiral Power. While manifesting the power of the Spiral in his hands, in front of her, he states that he refuses to die, and insists that she does her worst to him.
Superhuman Speed: In the manga, she dodges an attack from someone who she's not aware is there. As Yoko fires her Superconducting Rifle, Nia moves her hand out of the way of the bullet, which in the novelization are mentioned to move at hypersonic speeds; which is corroborated by her snipet rifle functioning like a railgun. Nia is even capable of reacting to Gurren Lagann's drill last second, getting out of the way. In the movie, she is capable of moving out of the way of Arc-Gurren Lagann's drill.
Regeneration: In the novelization it is revealed that Nia is capable of regeneration, by using her memory and spinning it with her body. She may also create false information or dummy data to begin regeneration. In the anime, it is shown that right after Simon frees her, every missing piece of her body (which would include limbs, stomach, breasts, neck and face) is brought back, in an instant. She also uses regeneration to keep reforming her body after Antispiral's life was ended, as she is supposed to disappear with him. As a week passes, the limit to her reforming is reached, and she marries Simon.
Teleportation: She is shown many times that she is capable of teleportation. Her first instance is shown in episode 18, when she talks to Simon in Teppelin Battle Memorial Park, and she moves around instantaneously, mid-conversation. In episode 19, she suddenly appears at Simon's trial, to which the novelization brings further context, and states that her teleportation causes discomfort all around the room and causes a twist in space-time. In the same scene, she can presumably create protals. Her last instance of teleportation is shown inside of Cathedral Terra, where she teleports out of the way of Gurren Lagann's drill (in the movie, Arc-Gurren Lagann's drill). Later in the novelization, the mechanics of teleportation are stated by Leeron, to be able to instantly transport users at the moment of recognition, being able to jump by thinking about it.
Worldwide Technology Interference: In her first appearance as Messenger Nia, she interrupts every screen in Kamina City to project herself, to announced Antispiral's attack. She also uses this to broadcast her conversation with Simon.
Electricity Manipulation & Resistance: In the novelization, a Special Machine Soldier shot a blitzkrieg at Messenger Nia at Simon's trial, to which she was supposed to be paralyzed, so that Rossiu could get hold of her. It is revealed that she remained unaffected by the blitzkrieg, and redirected the electricity that coursed throughout her body, and shot it back towards them.
Energy Shots: Similar to Antispiral, Nia herself is capable of shooting energy from her hands. In the movie she is shown using this ability to effortlessly defeat Viral. She isn't limited to shooting it, as she is also capable of keeping the energy in her hand for close quarters combat.
Flight: As shown in the anime, she is capable of levitating and moving in mid-air. At Simon's trial, she floats towards Simon, and the novelization goes as far as to say that she defies even gravity itself.
Supernatural Senses: Even prior to the unlocking of Spiral Power she is capable of sensing Antispiral in a couple of ways, such as being able to see him, to which he is invisible; feeling his touch, to which his body is the endless consciousnesses of a dead race.
Athleticism: In episode 12, Nia has stated that she has partaken in many sports, as it was a part of a princess' education. Later in the episode, she is shown that she is very proficient as she has beat Yoko in many physical activities, to which the latter has many years of experience in war against mecha. Yoko complemented her strength in volleyball as formidable, she lost to Nia in a race, and was showcased underwater that Nia has had better conditioning.
Chef: In episode 13 she takes up the job as the cook of Team Dai-Gurren, after hearing that it was "Simon's job to eat". She seems to be an excellent cook, as Simon and Boota are shown at the end of the episode to eat a large portion of her meals. Although, the same can't be said by everyone else as they start feeling sick after one bite. 7 years later, Rossiu is instantly reminded of the time he got sick, when Nia mentions she made lunch for Simon, and quickly denies that Nia makes one for Rossiu as well.
Martial Arts: In the manga, it is shown that she is capable of easily overwhelming Viral in a fist fight, the latter being a well-trained soldier of Lordgenome's army, and could fight equally with a man who had become quite proficient in martial arts with only 3 years of training. Furthermore, as Antispiral's messenger, she would retain all his knowledge; Antispiral being capable of keeping up with a Simon who had merged with infinite versions of himself, which would immensely increase his experience and skill. Later after her fist fight with Viral, she dodges a bullet suddenly fired from Yoko, who she didn't even know was there; an attack Nia was not aware of was going to happen. This feat implies that she is capable of dodging through sheer instinct
Piloting: As shown in the movie, she is quite gifted at piloting mecha. Her first time being against Antispiral's Granzeboma, showing that she is able to control Tengen Toppa Solvernia so well, slipping through Antispiral's many drills, and landing her first attack in her first attempt.
The name Nia has multiple potential origins:
In Japanese, it could also be read as Near, referring to her relationship with Simon.
- By itself, it can also be seen as a short version of other feminine names ending with Nia such as Antonia or Stefania.
- It could also be seen as a reference to the organic compound Niacin and/or the vitamin Niacinamide, which would tie her name to the biology theme present within the names of her father and his four generals.
- It is present in the Swahili language, where it means purpose; referencing her role as the Anti-Spirals' messenger.
- It could also possibly refer to the fact that, in one way or another, she motivates Simon (and by extension, the rest of Team Dai-Gurren) to overcome impossible odds time and again.
- It could also be considered as a Welsh variant of the Irish name Niamh, which means bright or radiant, possibly referencing her appearance and/or her personality prior to the Anti-Spiral War and during her captivity on the Anti-Spiral homeworld as well as events that follow.
- The name Niamh, in turn, originates from the Irish goddess Níamh Chinn Óir. (Also known as Niamh of the Golden Hair, and known by the Welsh as Nia Ben Aur.) Who, according to legend, is said to be the daughter of the Irish sea god Manannán mac Lir, the wife of Oisín, the mother of Plor na mBan and Oscar, and a queen of Tír na nÓg, the Land of Youth.
- One minor recurring theme that presents itself during the series both before and after the time-skip was that during the two times she is captured (first by Guame and then by Antispiral) she keeps a fiercely optimistic attitude (saying with a straight face that she won't die even though Guame has a gun pointed at her face, or courageously declaring Simon won't fail in saving her as Antispiral starts dissolving her structure) only to tear up the moment Simon comes to save her.
- Nia narrates the next episode previews from episode 8 up until the final episode of season 1. Her quotes are used as the titles for those episodes, which have a font that displays her character.
- Another recurring theme is her lack of common knowledge: She misunderstands many of the phrases Kittan used during his "interrogation" during the Beastman War arc, and it continued to years later when Simon proposes to her and turns him down, only to have Kiyoh and Kiyal explain it to her later.
- Nia's appearance is strikingly similar to Lordgenomes when he was young before the first Anti-Spiral war. This includes his short light blue/pale blonde hair, and his pale skin.
- Gainax has stated that 7 years is a long time, and that Simon and Nia "did what had to be done" during the timeskip.
- Gainax stated that during the 7 years before Season 2, Nia went out and traveled the world "like a real princess".
- Nia and Simon had exactly 1 week before the wedding and spent it on an island. Gainax made no further comments on why though.
- Gainax also said that Nia held on to her existence with fighting spirit, but eventually her time would come to an end, and things such as her nose or hand would start to disappear and various parts of her would start to wither. This was possibly why she disappeared quickly rather than over time.
- Despite being the Chef, no one seems to enjoy her food except Simon, who enjoys the food, not merely just because she made it, but he finds it delicious. Interestingly enough, according to the Otoko series and the Gurren Gakuen-Hen manga, Kamina also enjoys her food.
- In episode 11, Simon gives Nia an emerald like gem he found while digging out of the Beastmen's prison. This mineral is believed to be the same one held in Nia's wedding ring.
- In the ADV dub, Nia was originally going to be voiced by Luci Christian.
- Nia’s death is referenced in Samurai Jack season five ending when Ashi dissappears from Jack's sight since she couldn’t exist without Aku. It should be noted, however, that Ashi's disappearance is the result of time adjusting its flow accordingly to Aku's death in the past, meaning that Ashi herself might still exist in the future albeit not as Aku's descendant.
- Her English voice is provided by Hynden Walch, the voice of Starfire and Princess Bubblegum.
Theories (this is just a theory and has never been confirmed)
Nia's fate following the Anti-Spiral War
There is a possibility that Nia may not be truly dead, rather she still lives and exist in some unknown way after disappearing.
- She may be an Anti-Spiral, but she had the heart and soul of an amazing Spiral Warrior equal to that of the likes of Simon. When she disappeared on her wedding day, her soul or whatever's left of her may have gone to an unknown location.
- Second, Kamina showed up in the Multiverse Labyrinth to save Simon and the others, despite being dead for more than seven years. Most likely he used his "fighting spirit" and Spiral power to appear and help rescue them. Since Nia would come to display amazing "fighting spirit" of her own, she could exist in the same way.
- While she and her dress disappeared, the ring Simon gave her did not. While this could be due to the ring made of the Spiral Gem Simon once found, this could also be her way of telling Simon that it is possible to find her again, whenever and wherever she is. This may also what he may have been doing during the 20-year time skip, besides making the world beautiful with flowers.
|“||The human spirit is limitless! I've staked everything on its greatness, too!||”|
|“||I will face tomorrow.||”|
- Main article: Nia Teppelin/Gallery