Yoko Littner (ヨーコ・リットナー Yōko Rittonā?) is the primary female protagonist of the series. She is a fourteen year old girl from Jeeha's neighboring village of Littner who had been chasing the Gunmen that crashed into Jeeha Village during the events of Episode 1. She wields an extensive range of firearms, most frequently use of which is a long range sniper rifle modeled after the Barrett M82.
In the first season, she commonly wore a black and red flame-patterned bikini top with black shorts, a white studded belt, pink thigh-high socks and white, usually unzipped mid-calf boots designed with red flames emerging from the soles. She also wore black open-knuckled half-gloves complete with gold studded black bracelets and around her neck, a tall white, red and pink striped scarf in which she kept a space magazine for her gun. Like Simon and Kamina, Yoko also had a piece of signature headwear in the form of a white cracked skull hair accessory on the left side of her head as well two yellow chopsticks that kept her hair up and doubled as melee weapons.
At first, she wears an outfit similar to the one she wore in part 1, only with the notable addition of a dark maroon jacket similar in style to what Simon wore in part 1, thigh-high variants of her old boots and no stockings.
After her official return to the team as a Super Galaxy Dai-Gurren officer, she changes into an outfit made of entirely rubber-based, form fitting agile material, customized with a mix of white, black and a pattern of red and yellow stars. Essentially a three piece outfit, the gear she wears sports a black tube top with large yellow-golden stars on the breasts, a white, highly stylized, two tailed cloak with red accents including a star in the front, and white form fitting leggings with a golden star on the outer legs, both above and below her knees. The leggings finish themselves off with connected red heels and a black half-back thong piece.
Yoko is known primarily for her has thigh-length red hair that she commonly ties in a ponytail with bangs hanging on the right side, large amber eyes, a voluptuous yet slender frame and very large but only partially covered breasts that were present even from a young age. Even seven years after the fall of Tepplin, Yoko's physical features fully develop and the young, more roundish facial structure she maintained as a young teenager mature into that of a woman's. In addition to more defined, mature facial features and a sharper jawline, the rest of her body follows suit with her frame becoming more slender, her curves becoming more defined, and her breasts becoming even larger, making for an even more bodacious look than before.
Yoko is shown to be a very mature and quite knowledgeable woman, especially when it comes to survival and general common sense. Yoko is a kind and caring person but can become quite irritable and aggressive sometimes, particularly when dealing with belligerent or uncooperative people, namely Kamina. Despite this, Yoko is a person who can endure and even handle most situations while maintaining a level head. Perhaps due to this, she has built up a well earned reputation as an excellent rifleman, a fact she is very confident in, as well as the resident sniper of the Dai-Gurren brigade.
Unlike Kamina and more like Simon, Yoko prefers to think things through before charging head-first into a battle and is easily the most rational member of the group along with Rossiu and generally, Simon. Yoko is also shown to be a very protective person and cares deeply for her team mates and friends.
Initially, Yoko doesn't think much of Simon, largely due to his lack of self-confidence. She couldn't understand Kamina's blind faith in him as she believes him not to be the fighting type due to his inability to cope under pressure. However, she later warms up to him and eventually forms a sisterly bond with him.
She was horrified by Nia's (unintentionally) tactless and insensitive words about Kamina, namely that Simon can't rely on someone who isn't even around anymore. Even though Yoko acknowledged that no amount of crying would bring Kamina back, she still believed that they couldn't just forget about him like he was nothing. This incident caused Yoko to hold a grudge against Nia Teppelin and develop a deep resentment towards her. Yoko is also shown to be a rather competitive person, as shown when she attempted (and failed miserably) to defeat Nia in a sport during their stay on the beach. Her opinion of Nia changed once the two worked together to take down Adiane the Elegant. This convinced Yoko to let go of her resentment of Nia and the two became friends.
After the defeat of Teppelin, Yoko remains generally the same, but with a new outlook on violence. Having seen friends die, Yoko believes that violence, mostly senseless, is terrible and should not be used with little children. She is shown to dislike politics, judging by her decision to leave Kamina City and become a teacher on a remote island.
Before Beastman War Arc
Unlike Simon and Kamina, much of Yoko's background is never revealed. However, what is known is that when Littner Village was filled with gas, Yoko was among them and was forced to flee to the surface.
Beastman War Arc
When Simon and Kamina attempted to defeat the Gunmen that appeared in their home, Yoko appears to offer then aid. Kamina remarks that "Surface girls are hot" and helps Yoko destroy the Gunmen though Kamina's ego makes the task much more difficult. She then decides to join the two and helps them by providing back up fire and support. She tries her best to help Kamina face Viral but when she sees Simon cowering in fear, she yells at him to help. This helps Simon muster the courage to help Kamina. Over the next few episodes, she helps Simon and Kamina in their battles and in Episode 7 gets worried when Kamina tries to defeat Thymilph's Dai-Gunzan. She stands against other Gunmen with just a revolver until Kittan and the others arrive.
In Episode 8, she reveals her feelings for Kamina, which he readily returns and the two embrace and kiss. Simon accidentally witnesses the whole situation and runs off heartbroken. During the battle, Yoko saves Kamina from a sneak attack and provides support. When Kamina is killed, she, like Simon, takes it the hardest. When Simon meets Nia, she doesn't trust her at first (that's after she reveals she is Lordgenome's daughter). She is captured, along with most of Team Dai Gurren. She attempts to escape and doubts getting out but sees Simon digging and remembers what Kamina said about Simon that he refused to be laughed at by Simon's back.
On the deck of the ship, she shoots at Guame, but his armor protects him. She watches Simon's speech and is in awe while commenting that he needs some work. She gets uneasy of Nia while waiting for Dai-Gurren to be fixed. However when Adiane attacks, Yoko appears and shots her Gunmen square in the shoulder. Afterwards, she makes peace with Nia and admits to herself that she was stupid for distrusting her. From there, she helps Simon by piloting Gurren for Rossiu. She does her best but when Viral attacks, she opens her hatch to shoot which Viral then hits, causing her to be knocked out. Simon saves her and she watches him fight Viral one on one remarking that he can pilot alone. Cytomande, however,r holds her hostage, but when the Dai-Gurren attacks, Simon saves her again. She then asks Simon if he knew that she loved Kamina, to which he smiled and said yes. From there on she helps Simon by advising him. She orders him to go on and defeat Lordgenome and helps by fighting against the Gunmen.
Before Anti-Spiral War arc
After the Beastman war, Yoko was around to help Kamina City get established but leaves because she feels that she has no place in government or politics despite Rossiu and Simon's attempts to get her to stay. She eventually left for a small island where she became a teacher under the name of Yomako.
Anti-Spiral War arc
Despite being a teacher and not usually being involved in the affairs of the city, she hears about Simon's trial and is infuriated by Rossiu's decision. Sometime later, as the island is being evacuated, two Beastmen attack and hold a little girl hostage. Yoko is forced to grab her rifle and change into a similar outfit to her original. She defeats the two Beastmen, while lecturing her class that violence and stealing is wrong, and decides to go save Simon. Heading to the city, Yoko runs into Kittan (who's in his Gunmen) and informs him of her plan to save him. Arriving at the prison, she shoots at the Anti-Spiral Nia which forces her to flee. She frees Simon and Viral (at Simon's request) and helps them by piloting the Dayakkaiser into battle. She helps Simon by fighting along side him and protecting the Arc-Gurren. When Simon decides to go save Nia, Yoko goes as well, sporting a new outfit (much to Kittan's surprise). She helps the members of Team Dai-Gurren by holding out till Simon can transform the Super Galaxy Dai-Gurren. When the group returns to the ship and it gets pushed down into the dark sea, Yoko, Kittan, Gimmy and Darry go out and destroy the Anti-Spiral ships.
When the missile to destroy the Death Spiral Machine fails, she decides to go and destroy it but Kittan goes instead, and steals a kiss from her. He states that he is sorry for being selfish (both for the kiss and knowing that there is a strong possibility that he will die leaving everyone behind). Yoko merely hugs him and tells him that this is what he wants and so she can't stop him. After Kittan's death, Yoko is shown mourning the loss as she sheds tears.
Later she takes one of the gunner seats when Simon attempts to destroy the fleet of ships but, like everyone else, is trapped in Space/Time Labyrinth. In her dream, she is a bounty hunter and a teacher, who is revealed to be the best shot in the galaxy, a super model, and married to Kittan. However, she reaches forward to touch the screen before it shuts off, thanking Kamina and heading off to help Simon. This could also hint that Yoko's "True Desire", out of the many she desired (hence the flipping of the channels), was to be with Kamina again as the setting took place in the last time they interacted before his death.
She appears as one of Simon's drills and takes a position on the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. She appears after the final battle at Simon's and Nia's marriage. When Nia fades away, she attempts to speak to Simon, but he cuts her off. As Simon begins to leave, she tosses him the ring, which he catches.
After Anti-Spiral War Arc
Yoko appears as a middle aged woman, waving to several students at the end of Episode 27. Her face isn't seen but they call her by her alias "Yomako". She appears mostly the same, albeit aged. The children also refer to her as "Principal", implying that she became the principal of a school.
At the start of the series, Yoko seemed to take an interest in Simon. Even so to the point where when he landed face first into her breasts and had eyes glued to them immediately after, she simply raised her eyebrows with a mysterious sort of smile. Whatever interest she had however began to immediately and consistently get subverted as she saw how he fared in battle despite having a gunman. She began to take more of a skeptical stance on his fighting skills and performance under pressure, something she held as extremely important, even at times expressing sincere frustration and on the rare occasion being out-right turned off by his personal characteristics in tandem with it. Short of that, she nevertheless consistently found an apparent comfort and slight infatuation with Simon. On the night before the Attack on Dai-Gunzan however, she, after observing him up until that point seems to give up on him entirely, pushing all of her attention towards Kamina. After Simon rescues both the team and himself, for the first time lived as Simon the Digger, she began to notice him more, became more open around him and became much closer to him than she ever had before. Despite this, she appears to be unaware of Simon's feelings for her until possibly Episode 13.
After Kamina's death, she herself told Kittan that she would not give anyone special treatment, despite the obvious sympathy that she felt for Simon and his situation. For a short time following his awakening, she co-piloted Gurren Lagann with Simon until she saw that there was nothing she could do to aid him in that realm; he could actually pilot the Gurren Lagann by himself. During that short period, while the two were for the first time in Dai-Gurren history, fighting with gunmen in airborne combat, she is thrown from the lower cockpit and into free air. Without a second thought, Simon risks the success of the mission in order to save her. He succeeds, but Yoko is critically injured, rendering her both immobile and unable to defend herself. He hovers over her, and she teases him about his worried face. He then swears to her that he will protect her, leaving her speechless and stoking a warm blush. Following Simon's swift victory over the head of the fleet beastmen Commander Cytomander, they have a brief conversation about her feelings and his brother as the sun sets for the day. From that point forward she openly shows concern whenever he goes off to fight, going so far as to scream his name whenever she thinks he is in danger or impaired.
In Part Two, Yoko saves Simon from prison following his dethronement by the masses, openly showing her blunt distaste for Nia as she chased the Anti-Spiral Messenger off. On his request, she also grudgingly frees Viral from his cell. Without need for discussion, she joins Simon and helps him lead the newly formed Dai-Gurren Brigade on an inter-dimensional quest to retrieve Nia and save the universe.
Following Nia's demise at Simon and Nia's wedding, the engagement ring falls at Yoko's feet. She attempts to speak to him, but he cuts her off. After his words of encouragement to her and the rest of the team, she, in the last official words of the series, shouts "Simon!", tossing him the ring. He catches it as he turns and departs from the city, likely never to be seen by her or the faces of his comrades again. Yoko follows Simon's suit and at some point afterwards returns to her island elementary school, where she resides presumably until the day she dies.
When Yoko and Kamina first met, Kamina took no time in hitting on her thinking she was from the surface; he quickly lost interest when he figured out she's not from the surface. Their clashing personalities often led to bickering and banter. Still both of them remain very protective of themselves during combat against the Beastmen. Kamina is very tolerant of Yoko's beatings and scoldings, letting most of them fly and even apologizing to her for his behavior in episode six (after a punch to the face). It's an extremly volatile relationship due to both of the characters unyielding personalities, yet it's also full of trust, care ,and partnership. Despite regularly calling Kamina a man of unlimited stupidity, she like many others found herself infatuated and eventually falling in love with him. It is shown that both Yoko and Kamina strongly rely on each other. Yoko states she was holding onto the thought that no matter what, Kamina would always think something out and pull through, and Kamina entrusts his safety in the battle against Thymilph to Yoko. However it is after this that he reveals that he is only ever confident enough to keep pulling reckless and hairbrained stunts because he believes Simon, as in the two brothers' past, will be there to bail them out if things go south. Yoko appears to be the only person to whom Kamina can reveal this side of himself to as she acts as his confidant in episodes 7 and 11,when Kamina reveals his intentions behind starting the revolution and expands upon his normally hidden fear and doubt.
Eventually, Yoko confessed her feelings for Kamina with a kiss, which Kamina was more then happy to accept as he kisses her again, telling her he will return that feeling 10 times over later causing Yoko to giggle, not knowing what he meant. Unfortunately, Kamina was unable to fulfill that promise as he was killed. Yoko was greatly affected by Kamina's death although Yoko tried to stay strong for everyone in the brigade. When Dakkaya asked if she was alright she stated that she was fine although later in the shower Yoko cries stating that Kamina was an idiot because even though he said he would return her love tenfold he only left a big hole in her heart. After Simon brings Nia back, she gets irritated with her when she talks about Kamina loosely without ever knowing him.
During the battle against the Anti-Spirals, when Yoko was in the dream world, Kamina appears with a television set showing Yoko her possible future, however Yoko turns it off. They smile contently at each other and she thanks him before returning to join Simon in the battle. In addition to depicting Kittan as her husband, the scene is set in the area where Yoko kissed Kamina, suggesting that Yoko's inner most desire was to feel once more the feeling and sense of fulfillment that she felt with him.
Powers and Abilities
- Skilled Marksman: Yoko is a skilled shot with her rifle and has shown to be able to take out two Gunmen alone and without being injured. She is also shown to be able to hit weak spots on Gunmen even in the middle of a fight. One of greatest examples of her marksmanship is during her battle with Viral when she piloted Gurren Lagann with Simon. She was able to nearly hit Viral, despite being in the air and moving around, missing him by a hair.
- Skilled Gunmen Pilot: Like most members of Team Dai-Gurren, Yoko is skilled in piloting a Gunmen. She piloted Gurren-Lagann with Simon once and piloted the Dayakkaiser in the second half and she, along with Kittan Bachika, Gimmy Adai and Darry Adai, took out many Anti-Spiral ships alone.
- Armory: Yoko maintains a light variety of firearms that she currently stores for use in emergency situations. Among them is her trademark rifle.
- The name Yoko is an alternate transcription of Youko. The name means "light, sun, male" or "ocean" (you) and "child" (ko).
- Yoko's surname Littner means "wild" or "grim" in Slavic.
- Yoko has the last line in Gurren Lagann (not counting the epilogue).
- Yoko says she doesn't wear clothes because it restricts her movement during combat.
- Appearance-wise, Yoko is similar to Shantae, the main protagonist of the video game series of the same name, except she's a sniper for Team Dai-Gurren Teacher and Shantae is a professional belly dancing half-genie hero.
- Dengeki Online (7/11/2006), Look at the way the man lives! GAINAX New robot animation "Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann" production presentation: 巨大なライフルを持っている14歳の美少女スナイパー。ジーハ村の事件をきっかけに、“シモン”たちと行動を共にすることとなる。過酷な地上で生きてきただけに、大人びた考えを持っており“シモン”を子ども扱いする。が、年相応の幼さや脆さが時折見え隠れする。