|“||We evolve beyond the person that we were a minute before. Little by little, we advance a bit further with each turn. That's how a drill works!||”|
Simon (シモン Shimon?) (pronounced like "Simone" or "sea-moan" in English, and "Shimon" in Japanese), also known as Simon the Digger (Anahori Shimon in Japanese), is the central protagonist of the anime and manga series, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. He begins the story as a short, unassuming and lonely young boy, but grows up into a commanding and well-loved man. Hailed for being like a drill (a dynamic he explains at the top of this article), he became known as a legendary hero who overcame impossible odds both personal and universal and now stands eternally as a beacon for the good of all man and Spiral kind.
- 1 Appearance
- 2 Personality
- 3 History
- 4 Powers and Abilities
- 5 Relationships
- 6 Gallery
- 7 Trivia
- 8 References
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Simon's most notable physical traits are his wild dark blue hair, short height, deep indigo eyes and strong lean build, but this was not always the case.
Earlier in the series, for his age so he was quite short, shorter than even Nia, Rossiu and Yoko, all of the same age group. At age 14, he stood at approximately 5 feet, and was not as defined compared to the rest of the men in the brigade. He had a lightly tanned baby face which may have not been so bad, was it not for the rest of his body which made him look younger than he actually was. This, as a man, was much to his chagrin. Despite this, his attractive features were still noticed by some women.
In part two, 21-year-old Simon looks very different. He has matured considerably, now standing at an impressive 6'2'' (taller than both Kamina and Kittan) and is much more muscularly defined. His facial features have matured, gaining hardened edges in his jawline, and his voice dropped an octave or two. In addition, he is even more level-headed than he was before.
Outfit[edit | edit source]
Early in the first episode, Simon wore a brown cloak to shield from rocks and minerals as he dug for premise expansion in his home village. Completing his typical wear were a pair of brown shorts, white socks, and brown boot-like shoes. White bandages encircled his abdomen and the Core Drill was typically found hanging around his neck. His cloak, lost when he reached the surface was replaced with a dark blue jacket with red stripes along the shoulders and sleeves, given to him and customized by Leeron with the Gurren Gang's logo on the back after the official addition of the Littner vilage people to the team. Later, he begins wearing a red armband. This armband is a piece from the cape of Kamina's dead father.
After the timeskip, Simon has a relatively drastic change of wardrobe. Specifically during the escapade to win back his fiancée and save the universe with the newly reformed "Super Galaxy Dai-Gurren Brigade", he wears grey, low-rise jeans, a matching black neck brace and haramaki, and a long, navy blue trench coat with gold studs. Emblazoned on the back of this coat is the Team Dai-Gurren logo, identical to the way he wore it when he was a teenager.
In both seasons, Simon wore digging goggles with built-in light systems. He usually wore them on his forehead, lowering them over his eyes when digging. After transforming the Super Galaxy Dai-Gurren, Simon's goggles turned into red sunglasses similar to Kamina's, but with three extra points to make them resemble a star (presumably a tribute to the recently-deceased Kittan). These goggles were destroyed during the final battle against the Anti-Spirals.
In the epilogue, Simon's older self was seen wearing a large brown cloak, with a hood to conceal his face. He also carried a staff with a large drill on the tip. In the movie, he wears Nia's wedding ring as a necklace.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Simon is polite, humble, compassionate and brave. At the start of the series, he was a shy, extremely withdrawn boy, finding solace only whilst digging tunnels for the expansion of Jiha village. He also had a huge fear of earthquakes after losing his parents in one, though this changed when he discovered that the Gunmen were responsible for those earthquakes. After finding Lagann and fighting a Beastman for the first time, he began to come out of his shell but continued to fear the pressure to be brave and fight for the rest of the team. Initially, Simon relied heavily on those around him to inspire him to fight bravely, especially Kamina, who often had to convince Simon to pluck up the courage needed in battle.
However, Simon displayed an uncanny aptitude for combat despite his timidness, and has even enjoyed himself on the battlefield, as seen during the first battle against Thymilph. He is also more than capable of being brave, and refused to just stand around while Kamina got himself killed. Simon is also very level-headed, and often kept the rash and reckless Kamina from making poor decisions; Kamina even remarked at one point that his level head is the only thing that kept him alive.
As a teenager among like-aged women, Simon was prone to jealousy and heartbreak. This was demonstrated when he witnessed Yoko, then the object of his affections, kiss Kamina. The image was burned into his mind during the pivotal battle against Thymilph, and Simon was unable to fight properly until he was, inspired to fight by Kamina, who ended up dying in the battle. The latter's death changed Simon profoundly, and Simon fell into a state of heavy depression. Initially, he disconnected himself from the rest of the crew and even once lashed out at Rossiu, mocking him for having once believed in a false religion. These same feelings forbade him from operating Lagann correctly. These frustrations greatly interfered with his fighting as well. Simon resolved to try emulating Kamina, but the Spiral rejected it, forcing him into a fit of nausea and discharging raw Spiral Power out of Lagann's cockpit. After meeting Nia, he temporarily forgot about his emotions in utter awe of her, though he sank once again into his depression after both he and Nia were safely aboard the Dai-Gurren.
With nearly everyone having "abandoned" him (at Yoko's urging, as she believed nobody could help Simon overcome Kamina's death but himself), he is at his lowest. Simon is eventually able to snap massively out of his delirium through a combination of his want to change Nia's desperate situation and his own resolve to rescue his crew. Behind him, the Dai-Gurren crew watch as Simon uses his core drill to diligently break through to freedom. It is in that moment that they were witnessing what Kamina saw all along; an unbreaking back that was in silence paving the way to their freedom. Not only were they seeing a man chip away at bedrock, but they were witnessing him chip away at himself and their leader slowly being broken out in front of their eyes. Shortly thereafter, Simon awakens and lays waste to the Beastman opposition. Performing the first solo Giga Drill Breaker shown in the series. From that point forward, the true Simon had awakened and the old Simon was gone. He also accepted that he could never be like Kamina, but that doesn't matter as he can still be his own person. Even after mastering his immense Spiral Power, however, Simon refuses to see himself as a god, and instead thinks of himself only as 'Simon the Digger'.
In part 2, Simon appears to have, as Gimmy has pointed out, gotten lazier, having fallen into the monotony of bureaucracy, though he wished to return to his hot-blooded life. When Rossiu has him imprisoned after saving Kamina City from the Mugann, Simon seemingly resigns himself to his fate, but shows that he still yearns to fight, shown through his heated battle against Viral in the prison showers. Once Simon and Team Dai-Gurren go to space to rescue Nia, Simon goes through his final evolution. He is much more outgoing and fired-up as opposed to how he was during his tenure as leader of Kamina City. He revels in being able to once again fight alongside his friends. In the final battle against the Anti-Spiral, Simon develops a hybrid personality between himself and Kamina, wherein he leads the team in a hot-blooded assault against the Anti-Spiral using the bravado once exhibited by Kamina without the arrogance or foolhardiness which frequently landed Kamina in trouble against tougher opponents.
One of the most prominent traits that Simon holds is that he cares about others more then his own well-being, as shown when he tells Rossiu to put a bomb inside of Gurren-Lagann to make sure he can't escape to save himself before he went off to fight an incoming group of Mugann during his trial in order to save Kamina City.
History[edit | edit source]
Jiha Village[edit | edit source]
Simon was born in Jiha Village, one of many subterranean civilizations on Planet Earth in the far future. Unlike other villages, Jiha Village had supplies of fresh water, animals (Mole pigs) for food and electric generators for light. In spite of this, there was an ever-present threat of cave-ins from earthquakes, so the village chief employed diggers from the energetic and maneuverable youth to create new routes for the city to expand. Simon became one of them, and quickly distinguishes himself as one of the best diggers in the village.
At age seven, Simon's parents were crushed before his eyes in a cave-in during an earthquake. The incident traumatized him and gave him a harsh phobia for earthquakes. Simon then delved into his job, far outclassing his peers and thus earning their scorn. Only Kamina, the local gang leader, and juvenile delinquent reached out to Simon. Kamina "recruited" Simon and co-founded Team Gurren, gaining ragtag lackies on the way. Virtually dragging him along on outrageous schemes, Kamina implored Simon to lend his skills and help them escape Jiha Village and reach the surface, which Kamina claimed he had visited as a young boy. Though Simon was an outcast, he would always feel more comfortable around Kamina. In one instance, Kamina and the other members were trapped in a small hole caused by an earthquake; everyone was scared, but Kamina's pep talks to Simon motivated the digger to drill a tunnel out of the barricade. After this incident, Kamina and Simon grew so close that they started being called brothers.
Beastman War[edit | edit source]
One day, during the digging of a new tunnel, Simon discovers a small drill-shaped object that periodically glows, an item known as the Core Drill. On the same day, he unearths a large "face" in the ground. Upon exiting the cave, he's found by local leader Kamina, with whom he tries to escape, without success. The failure results in Kamina being jailed while Simon is let off. While trying to break Kamina out, Jiha Village is attacked by a large Gunmen while a girl with a gun comes in to stop it.
Heading back into the cave, he shows the face to the girl and Kamina. The face is revealed to be a miniature Gunmen, and the Core Drill Simon dug up is the key to starting it. With the aid of the "gunmen" which Kamina names the "Lagann ", Simon destroys the large Gunmen attacking Jiha and rises to the surface world. Most of the Team Gurren's early successes are a direct result of Simon's work. The highlights of such work, are produced in the capture of the Gunzar (later, the Gurren) and entrapping the Dai-Gunzan in a desert sinkhole, before later controlling it.
Although Simon quickly forms familiar relationships with those in his age group, namely Yoko and Rossiu, and is admired by Rossiu's wards Gimmy and Darry, he often goes unnoticed, or ignored by the older members due to his appearance, with the exception of Dayakka, Kamina and Leeron.
On the night before the raid on Dai-Gunzan, Simon spends a short time talking with his crush, however, something in their interaction spurs Yoko to cut herself off, deciding to end the conversation and leave rather than leap into whatever she came there to talk to him about. Simon at some point soon following seeks Yoko out, only to find her kissing Kamina.
The witnessing of the event that happened between Kamina and Yoko upset Simon tremendously and offset his ability to pilot the Lagann, prompting Kamina to intervene with him. While Kamina returns to his then stationary Gunmen, Divine General Thymilph reveals himself and stabs Kamina, ultimately killing him. The guilt from Simon over Kamina's death reduces the morale for the Team Gurren, but it affects Simon to an extreme - mentally broken, bitter and depressed, he becomes increasingly hostile towards foes and aggressive team members (i.e. Kittan).
Few members had any faith in Simon's capacity as a leader and a power struggle begins between Simon and Kittan, ending in Simon soullessly yielding. His psychotic tendencies had an adverse effect on the Gurren Lagann, leading to surges of spiral power that disrupt the mech's basic functioning, causing it to fall apart. The Lagann rejects Simon, deeming him unfit to pilot it properly while in his unstable state.
It is during this time Simon meets Nia, and the two immediately develop a strong friendship. Continually inspired and touched by her kindness and sincerity, Simon regains his composure to fight, renaming himself "Simon the Digger". After this display, he is unanimously elected Team Gurren's new leader. He leads Team Dai-Gurren to Teppelin, where he engages the Spiral King in battle. Despite destroying the Spiral Kings Gunmen, Lordgenome defeats Simon in Lagann and attempts to finish off Simon before Simon stabs him with his Core Drill and turning it, sending a Spiral burst through Lordgenome, killing him. With his victory, Simon returns to his friends. They are free.
Anti-Spiral War[edit | edit source]
Upon defeating the Spiral King and putting an end to the war against the Beastmen, Simon becomes Supreme Commander of Kamina City, the city founded on Teppelin's remains and effectively becomes the leader of humanity and of Earth. During the seven years since their victory, the city flourishes by his and Team Gurren's efforts, bringing a long-sought period of peace.
However, just after proposing marriage to Nia and receiving her acceptance, the one-millionth human child is born, triggering the Anti-Spiral Human Annihilation System. Nia, turned into the Anti-Spirals' messenger, reveals to the population the whole truth behind their intentions and their reasons for wiping out mankind. This triggers a revolt from the people of Kamina City against the government, who destroy Kamina's statue and demand Simon's head.
In a maneuver to calm down the angry mob, Simon is betrayed by his second-in-command, Rossiu, who removes him from power and holds a mock trial where Simon is sentenced to death. Incarcerated in the Rinkane Jail until the day of his execution, he ends up meeting his old foe Viral, and after causing a commotion among the prisoners, both are sent to individual cells.
During Simon's attempted escape, Nia appears before him. The ensuing conversation is interrupted by Yoko, who broke into the prison in order to rescue him. Before leaving, Yoko frees Viral at Simon's request and the trio regroup soon with the rest of the reformed Team Dai-Gurren who have finished their preparations to retaliate against the Anti-Spirals. With Viral piloting the Gurren, Simon and his companions rush into space to protect the Arc-Gurren from a massive Anti-Spiral attack, forming the Arc-Gurren Lagann in the process.
After confronting Nia and making her briefly revert to her old self, Simon manages to convince her to let him stop the Human Annihilation System by taking control of the Cathedral Terra and keeping it from falling on Earth. Nia is teleported back to the Anti-Spirals' homeworld, and within the last few moments of her presence as herself, she pleads to him, and he swears to rescue her. Leaving Rossiu at the command of Kamina City in his absence, Simon and the rest of Team Dai-Gurren take control of the Cathedral Terra, renamed the Super Galaxy Dai-Gurren, and launch themselves into deep space to recover Nia from the grasp of the Anti-Spirals.
Due to a clever feint, Simon is forced to watch the deaths of almost all of Team Dai-Gurren's members when he tries to transform the Super Galaxy Dai-Gurren into the Super Galaxy Gurren-Lagann. He nearly dies trying to free the team from the Sea of Despair, which saps Spiral Power and transforms it into pressure. He manages to generate two Super Spiral Missiles which the team uses to destroy the Death Spiral Machine powering the Sea of Despair but nearly passes out from the strain.
After Kittan loads one of the Super Spiral Missiles onto his Gunmen, Kittan sacrifices himself to ensure the Death Spiral Machine's destruction, freeing the Super Galaxy Dai-Gurren, Simon transforms it, during which, developing star-shaped glasses in honor of Kittan's sacrifice. The new Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann obliterates the Anti Spiral's Ashtanga battleships, but the entire team is then trapped in the Multiverse Labyrinth by the Anti-Spiral. Stuck in endless sea of possibilities where he digs tunnels to steal Beastman jewelry, Simon is freed by his own mind's manifestation Kamina. Having been for a moment reunited with his brother, he leaves to frees the others.
The remaining members of Team Dai-Gurren claim the Laganns remaining from the Spiral Races who died in the Death Spiral Field - and they all unite, their combined Spiral Power engenders their ultimate Gurren Lagann form: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, piloted together with Simon as one. After an intense battle, Simon kills defeats the Anti-Spiral with Lagann Impact, destroying the entire Anti-Spiral Race and taking the responsibility to protect the universe from the Spiral Nemesis.
After the final battle against the Anti-Spirals, Simon finally weds Nia, but that happiness is cut short when her body disappears due to her being an Anti-Spiral creation, a virtual lifeform. Simon is not surprised, as he and Nia knew what would happen beforehand. When Gimmy suggest he use Spiral Power to revive the dead and bring Nia and their allies back to life, Yoko tells Gimmy that Simon isn't God, and Simon explains "Those who are dead are dead. If we bring them back to life, they'll just get in the way of the next generation...". Simon gives his Core Drill to Gimmy to inherent Lagann and leaves to wander the Earth with his companion Boota.
Epilogue[edit | edit source]
Twenty years later, an elderly Simon, having only a staff tipped with a large drill is seen in the outskirts of Kamina City. He found a boy trying to open a coconut with a drill and gave a hint to open it. Right after that, they see a group Gunmen consisting of Gurren Lagann and Spiral Powered Grapearls flying towards to board Super Galaxy Dai-Gurren. The little boy exclaims "It's Gurren Lagann! Look at all the Gurren Lagann's." Simon responds with "Yeah you're right" and the boy looks up asking him if he'll be able to go. Simon responds with "Sure you will, because The Lights in the Sky are Stars" and finally reveals his elderly face, lit up by the light given off by the Gunmen, a spiral-pattern revealed on the left eye. Boota appears from the inside of his clothes to reach his shoulder as he always does making a questioning noise, and Simon responds saying "Yeah they're stars. Stars where our Spiral cousins are waiting for us." Simon, Boota and the little boy watch the Gunmen board with a bright twinkle in the sky, thus ending the story as they stare at the firmament.
The second movie, Laggan-hen, reveals that during the years he quits the Team Dai Gurren. Simon was helping people around the world and as a reward he asks them to make flowers grow, to fulfill Nia's dream while wearing her wedding ring as a necklace.
The epilogue reveals that the elderly Simon the Digger has been the narrator of the series the whole time, as they have the same voice.
Powers and Abilities[edit | edit source]
Simon has the ability to use Spiral Power because the humans of his universe are Spiral Lifeforms. This is because humans have helix-shaped DNA. By the end of the series, Simon is the most powerful spiral being who possesses limitless Spiral Power. In the first half of the series, his Spiral Power surpassed the great Spiral King Lordgenome, as stated by Lordgenome himself, and later that of the Anti-Spiral by the end of the series, making Simon the most powerful being in the entire Gurren Lagann universe. He had no control of his Spiral Power at first, but he gained more control as he grew and eventually growing sufficient enough to transform Gunmen on a massive scale like Super Galaxy Dai-Gurren. He usually channels Spiral Power into his core-drill but towards the end he learned to unleash it alone. He can fire massive beams of Spiral Power from his core drill and can create drills for various purposes the latter requiring a gunman.
When Simon was piloting the Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann, Leeron noted that there was "...so much power in the engine it's like a galaxy is being born!" due to the large amount of spiral power contributed by both Simon's and the released Spiral Power absorbed by the Death Spiral Machine. In the last two final episode, Simon he absorbs the Multiverse Labyrinth, a multiverse with many higher dimensional multiverses (which each multiverse is infinite) and combines his own spiral power with that of his comrades to create the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. The actual limit of the mecha's abilities is immeasurable, as its power continuously exponentially increases depending on the pilots' will to win; it fights the Anti-Spiral, being able to absorb the Anti-Spiral's Infinity Big Bang Storm (an attack on par with the creation of the entire universe). The battle was so intense that it was shown to rip holes through various dimensions, showing that the power of each were god-like, furthered by the fact that they can alter the fundamental laws of reality, such as altering probability and creating matter larger than most galaxies out of thin air. According to the creators, Tengen Toppa also has the ability to create an entire Super Spiral Space universe (a universe much more complex and protracted than our own) within itself.
In Lagann-hen, After absorbing the Infinity Big Bang Storm, he combines that energy with his own spiral power (and that of his comrades) to create the Super Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (STTGL), which purely consists of spiral power in the form of a faceless entity resembling both Simon and Kamina, and it is more than a hundred times larger than its preceding form. After the Super Tengen Toppa finds itself in a stalemate with the Anti-Spiral, Simon's Spiral Power is therefore further emphasized, him surpassing the power level that the Super Tengen Toppa was at using even only the smallest and weakest form of the Gurren Lagann. After the Anti-Spiral shatters the Super Tengen Toppa's Giga Drill, the latter is forced to downgrade to the smallest form of the Gurren Lagann; despite the infinitely smaller mecha, Simon manages to summon enough spiral power to destroy the Anti-Spiral's Giga Drill. Simon then breaks the laws of reality by surpassing the Anti-Spiral in its entirety without any mecha at all.
Piloting[edit | edit source]
Skilled Gunmen Pilot: Simon originally had no skills when using a Gunmen. Simon never really fought using Lagann as most of the time, he was in Gurren-Lagann or taking control of a Gunmen. However, once Kamina dies, Simon becomes skilled enough to pilot Gurren-Lagann by himself. Simon also was skilled enough to pilot the other forms of Gurren-Lagann, Arc Gurren-Lagann, Chōginga Gurren-Lagann, and Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann. He is also one of the few humans able to use spiral power and has used it more often than anyone in the show. Some of the moves include the Giga Drill Break, "Drill missiles," and even drills that fly out and hit many foes.
Giga Drill Break: Simon forms a huge amount of spiral power into an enormous drill or number of drills much bigger than Gurren Lagann itself (an ability he learnt from Kamina).
Super Tengen Toppa Giga Drill Break: A much larger version of the Giga Drill Breaker used by the Super Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, with the drill being the size of a multiverse. When it collided with a similar and equal attack from the Anti-Spiral, it caused the entire Super Spiral Space was held in to collapse on itself as a side-effect caused by the ripples from their drills.
Other Abilities: Early in the series with the Lagann and Gurren Lagann mecha, his abilities include creating 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 regenerative function which can restore accumulated damage, and the power to rip open a worm hole in space to travel great distances. Later in the series, his Arc-Gurren Lagann and Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann mecha sport an enormous array of missiles, beam weapons and shielding capabilities. The Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann has the manufacturing capabilities to create hundreds of Arc-Gurren Lagann sized mecha in a small period of time, and is capable of both deflecting and destroying objects on a planetary scale with ease (which the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann extends to a multiversal scale).
Spiral Power Abilities[edit | edit source]
Deformation skills of reality: Gurren Lagann uses Spiral Power to create drills from scratch. Later in the series, with Arc-Gurren Lagann and Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann-Mecha, he has the ability to tear apart the structure of space-time itself through pure brute force. The Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann can traverse other dimensions and universes, can alter the probability and is equipped with kilometers of cannons that appear in the wires of the burner holes, each capable of firing a beam directly through the continuous space, used to achieve objectives independently of their location and temporality in the multiverse, being able to reach objectives in the past, present and future. The Super Spiral Space within the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann allows the recognition of the pilots to become reality.
Metaphysical Powers: The epilogue shows that Simon alone has the metaphysical power to extend anyone's life and revive everyone back from the dead, but he refuses to do so, stating that the dead should stay dead. In the epilogue, Yoko explains to Gimmy that he should stop viewing Simon as a God, implying that Simon is not omnipotent.
Superhuman Durability: Lordgenome was able to utterly destroy Lagann with his bare hands yet Simon was shown to have little more than cuts and bruises after being punched by the man during their fated battle. This implies that Simon has a durability beyond that of an average human, even when he was a child. He was also able to withstand the blows of the Anti-Spiral, an omnipotent being, in the midst of their hand-to-hand melee.
Superhuman Strength: Simon has displayed feats of physical abilities on a superhuman level on multiple occasions. One notable example would be in Childhood's End, when Simon is shown climbing up Shuzack with nothing more than his core drill and brute strength. There is also an instance in the third novel where, in the prison, he is able to physically beat up and take down an armed mecha that was used to guard the prisoners.
Skills[edit | edit source]
Skilled Digger: Simon is a skilled digger and one of the best diggers in his village. He saved himself and Kamina from Viral's particle laser by digging a tunnel in almost an instant. Early in the series with the Lagann and Gurren Lagann mecha, he can use his drill in various ways, ranging from projectiles and missiles to shields, screws and various melee applications.
Physical Combat: Simon is able to fight hand-to-hand, as shown when he fought Viral for a short time and hit Rossiu hard enough to not only knock him off his feet, but propel him backwars, cause a very tangible shock wave and disintegrate his hair tie all in one punch (though this may also be due to momentum). His punch is also shown to rip the fabric of space-time itself through sheer brute force. In the ending of Lagann-hen, the Anti-Spiral is defeated by Simon alone, without any mecha at all. Simon engages the Anti-Spiral in a fis fight, and he uses some of his own blood to create a drill powerful enough to defeat the Anti-Spiral.
Artist: Simon is a talented sculptor. Shortly after Kamina's death, Simon spends a chunk of his time sculpting statues of his fallen blood brother by using his drill. This talent is again later put to use when he sculpts the large iconic statue of Kamina which was on display in one of Kamina City's parks. In the Otoko no Jouken drama CD, Simon grows up to become a notable mangaka who creates a story loosely based off the events in the earlier drama CDs and calls it Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. However, the Simon from this story, Simon Avant, walks out of the pages and captures the mangaka in his own core drill.
Relationships[edit | edit source]
Kamina and Simon had known each other all their lives, living in the underground village of Jiha. Kamina often recruited Simon into his inital Team Gurren along with a few other boys in futile attempts to reach the surface. While Simon was often intimidated by the stunts Kamina would often attempt, he looked up to Kamina and considered him to be almost like a brother. Kamina was the one who inspired Simon to strive to be the best he could: "Your drill is the drill that will pierce the heavens!". While those around Simon all claimed he was too meek to achieve anything without Kamina's encouragement, Kamina himself was able to see Simon's full potential and most of his actions were fueled by his goal of getting Simon to achieve this potential. Kamina slowly coaxed Simon out of his timidity through his inspirational speeches and never-give-up attitude, something which Simon would come to emulate. During the battle against Thymilph, Simon wasn't able to concentrate after seeing Yoko kiss Kamina prior to the battle, and Kamina punched Simon in the face as a way of "priming" him for the battle: "Let's see you grit those teeth!". Kamina's death greatly affected Simon, to the point of Simon falling into a deep depression along with Yoko, though the latter's wasn't as bad. It wasn't until Simon was trapped underground by Guame did he force his way out of his depression and truly transition into Team Dai-Gurren's leader.
During the battle against the Anti-Spiral, Simon's goggles had transformed into star-shaped glasses, first the two points erupting from the sides so they resembled Kamina's, and finally another three points on the top and bottom (in honor of Kittan) to form the star shape. When the Anti-Spiral trapped Team Dai-Gurren in the Infinite Multiverse Labyrinth, Kamina was the one who saved Simon by appearing to him, and subsequently Yoko, thereby saving the rest of Team Dai-Gurren. Kamina gave Simon some final words of advice: "Your universe is the universe that lives in your heart". Simon told him he would always be a part of Team Dai-Gurren, and flew off in Gurren Lagann to save his friends and defeat the Anti-Spiral.
Yoko[edit | edit source]
Yoko first appeared to Simon in Jiha village while fighting a Gunmen. Simon was instantly enamored with the attractive young woman and despite her initial bouts of frustration with Simon when he hesitated to act in a combat situations during their first few missions together, she seemed to reciprocate up until the precursor of the battle for the Dai-Gunzan when Simon witnessed her kiss Kamina.
On the night before the raid, Simon and Yoko spend a couple of moments speaking with each other. The volcano they are looking at explodes, and Simon notes how it seems to him like his brother. She jokingly asks if that was "the old male-bond connection going on, or what?", and he replies awkwardly, "No, not exactly." After a brief pause, Yoko hands Simon her coffee and he replies with "Thanks." Yoko is visibly downcast, while Simon obliviously just stares at her bosom. She calls his name and he replies in a manner clearly distracted. She simply observes his face, before looking visibly let down and disappointed. Yoko feigns contentment, saying, "It's nothing. Forget it." A decision seemingly made, she walks away wishing Simon luck on the mission. Simon is left with his scalding coffee, ironically burning himself when she leaves. There was an underlying mistake in his interactions with Yoko, that due to his age and inexperience, he did not catch: insensitive expectancy. Shy and inexperienced, he didn't take any of the cues that she gave him throughout their time together. When she winks at him, he is bashfulness, but nonetheless looked off or just stares. When she does just about anything he is outwardly unresponsive, an effect of his then trapped and unrevealed personality. This haphazard and awkward relational dynamic ultimately proves fatal for Kamina when Yoko, apparently oblivious to Simon having possessed any feelings for her, confronts him on that same night. She believed in reliability of the man in Kamina and was dully enthralled with the presence that would come with it, as opposed to an unsure, shy boy no older than her.
Because of this, Yoko becomes an extremely key factor in the Simon's growth as a character, which revolves around Simon's progression from an unsung part of the team, to the recognized core component and unrivaled leader. Due to the changing relationship he has with Yoko and the repercussions that rise as a result of their interactions, he is forced to grow from a young boy into a man. Like Nia and Kamina himself, Yoko is a critical piece of the developments that allowed him to continue growing and furthering himself until he could surpass his brother, a feat that he eventually achieves marvelously.
When Yoko makes up her mind and presents her feelings to Kamina with a kiss which he readily reciprocates, he leaves, saying he would pay her back tenfold for the kiss he received. She tells him that she looks forward to it, him replying with a quick, "Sure!" As he slides down the hill, Yoko watches, looking visually pleased with her decision. Unbeknownst to her, Simon had seen the exchange, only hearing the leaves rustle as he runs off utterly broken.
Confused, Simon wasn't able to focus on the battle until Kamina punched him in the face. Upon returning to Gurren, he was hit by a sneak attack from both Viral and Thylimph. Simon and Yoko to a lesser extent would both fall into a deeper depression than the rest of Team Dai-Gurren following Kamina's death, though once Yoko began to rise from her depression, she instructed people not to force Simon out of it, truly believing that only Simon himself could do it. Their relationship was strained after Simon brought Nia aboard the Dai-Gurren. In addition, the appearance of a strange young girl who was well-liked by the team put Yoko on edge, though a few days later she would grow to like her.
With Rossiu unable to pilot Gurren due to a strange illness, Yoko volunteered to take the controls, claiming to have practiced while Simon was depressed. Thrown from the cockpit by Viral, she was injured in the fight and Simon, desperate to save her, crashes Gurren Lagann into the hull of Dai-Gunten. After successfully breaking her fall, Simon turns to face Viral but beforehand speaks to Yoko. He swears to protect her from further harm and as he leaves, she's left speechless and cheeks bright pink. She witnessed Simon fight Cytomander's Shuzack and Viral's Enki on his own and finally accepted him as a capable leader. After the fight, Yoko and Simon take time with each other and watch the sunset. Almost experimentally, Yoko asks Simon if he knew she was infatuated with Kamina, and he admits he did. Upon hearing this, she responds, deep in thought with a tentative "Is that so...". After this, their relationship becomes ironclad and and their bond unbreakable. She becomes, next to Nia, Simon's strongest and most fervent supporter and her once coy mannerisms towards a boy she was a little interested in became brazen love for a best friend worn on her sleeve.
During the seven-year timeskip, Simon and Yoko maintained a close but relatively platonic relationship and afterwards once she returns from pursuing her dream in her six-year teaching job under the guise of a "Ms. Yomako" to break Simon out of jail, he gladly re-accepts her back into an elevated position in Team Dai-Gurren. Yoko continues to be ferociously protective of him, even becoming openly hostile towards the brainwashed Nia when she simply appeared in front of him in prison. Helping lead the Dai-Gurren brigade, Yoko supports Simon wholeheartedly and fights tooth and nail to get him his wife back and ultimately save the universe. When Nia eventually dies, the wedding ring falls to Yoko's feet. She picks it up thoughtfully, but as she begins to speak with Simon he gently cuts her off. The two seemingly having come to some kind of oilent, but mutual understanding, a smiling Yoko in the last words of the series calls his name and tosses him the ring which he catches as he turns to leave. Shortly thereafter, Yoko herself returns home to her island and resumes her job as a kindergarten teacher, eventually becoming its principal, a position she held into her old age. It is unknown whether the two ever met each other again.
Simon was the one who found Nia after she, in her pod, was dumped into the canyon by a Gunmen under Lordgenome's instruction. The sight of this new mysterious girl greatly interested Simon and minutes after meeting her, he was willing to risk his life for her to defend her from a Gunmen that followed Simon into the canyon. Nia was made aware of Team Dai-Gurren's loss of Kamina and Simon's depression, and resolved to understand Simon and the people of Team Dai-Gurren better. She tells Simon not to be so dependent on Kamina, as he isn't helpless by himself, as opposed to everyone else, who had lost hope in trying to helping Simon. Before being taken to see Guame, Nia tells Simon he isn't Kamina and that he shouldn't try to be. He only needs to be himself.
Guame's kidnapping of Nia and imprisonment of Team Dai-Gurren inspired Simon to free himself of his depression and dig his way out of the stone prison with the Core Drill. He piloted Lagann into Dai-Gurren's bridge and saved an overjoyed Nia, who joined him in the cockpit to defeat Guame in his Gember, Simon finally pulling himself out of his depression.
Simon and Nia's relationship continued to develop on the way to Teppelin, with Simon being the only person on the team able to enjoy Nia's cooking (the source of Rossiu's illness), let alone stomach it. During the final confrontation in Teppelin, Nia urged Simon to take her with him to face her father, Lordgenome. Simon, losing the fight, was able to push himself to victory by stabbing the Spiral King in the chest with his Core Drill after hearing Nia's plea. They embraced in Lagann's cockpit on the return from the battle.
Over the seven-year timeskip, the relationship continued to develop, leading to Simon's marriage proposal to Nia in the first episode post-times kip, which Nia initailly refused, though she quickly accepted after being told about the specifics of marriage by Kiyoh and Kiyal. An overjoyed Simon was horrified to learn that his new fiancée had disappeared and reappeared as the Anti-Spiral messenger. She reappeared to him personally on multiple occasions, telling him about the Anti-Spiral's plan to eradicate the human race, though Simon was able to understand her underlying plea for help by appearing to him personally. Nia reappeared one final time inside the moon to Simon, and he was able to convince her to return to her normal self, though she was quickly recalled to the Anti-Spiral homeworld.
Simon officially reformed Team Dai-Gurren, with the addition of Viral, to search for and rescue Nia. While resisting the Anti-Spiral's influence, she expressed her certainty that Simon would come save her. He promptly appeared in Gurren Lagann, and, with Nia in Lagann's cockpit with him once more, defeated the Anti-Spiral. They married seven days after the battle, and after exchanging some final words, Nia dissolved due to her Anti-Spiral composition. Simon had her memorial placed near Kamina's.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Illustrations[edit | edit source]
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Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Etymology: Simon's name comes from the Japanese word 下 "shimo" meaning "under". The pronunciation of the name in the Japanese version reflects this.
- Though the extent of his relationship with Nia is never fully explored, Gainax Studios has stated that "seven years is a long time" and that "During the seven year timeskip Simon and Nia did what had to be done." []
- Simon is the space captain seen in the opening prologue of the series' first episode. Though he is never again shown in the anime, he became the antagonist in the drama CD Otoko no Jouken. In this, he goes by the name of Simon Avant.
- This Simon from the prologue was nicknamed "Garlock" by English speaking fans. "Gar" is a slang word that means "manly". The suffix " -lock" comes from a character named Captain Harlock and the main character of Space Pirate Captain Harlock. His outfit, along with the sound of clanking chains as he walked, was indeed a nod to this classic character. In Japan, this Simon is known as "Avant" by fans.
- Respectively, the Simon from the space arc is commonly known as "Starlock" to fans. Starlock refers to Simon's goggles transforming into star shaped sunglasses. In Japan, this Simon is known as "Cosmo" by fans.
- Simon narrates the episode previews from episodes 22 up till 26. A quote of his is used as the title for the episode he narrates, along with a paintbrush-type font.
- Simon and Boota (and Kamina, according to the Otoko series, as well as Gurren Gakuen Hen) are the only characters in Gurren Lagann who can handle and enjoy Nia's cooking.
- During his appearance in the epilogue, Simon's left eye was shown to have developed Spirals, similar to Lordgenome's. It may suggest that his dormant Spiral activity rate has slowly, but surely finally risen to uncontrollable levels as Lordgenome had early in his youth. As a result, Simon could be possessing extended longevity and as such he may or may not live forever, as Lordgenome was about 1000 years old before he was killed.
- According to the novel, Simon's father and mother were officially named Takshim (タキシム) and Sheeta (シータ), respectively.
- Simon shares the same Japanese voice actor (Tetsuya Kakihara) with Natsu Dragneel from the anime Fairy Tail.