I must say I am impressed by how consistently good this show proves to be week after week. This was probably my favorite episode since the eighth one.

Simon and Nia were both up to mostly more of the same this episode, with Simon being the central element of the battle plan with Nia mostly cheering from the sidelines. Nia wanting to find a way to help out was certainly cute, even though the results don’t seem to have been particularly great. Simon, on the other hand, managed to make the Gurren-Lagann even more powerful by attaching a pair of wings to form the GUNDAM-LAGANN. (It would’ve been awesome if they actually called it that.) Also, I enjoyed the more large-scale battle here; instead of simply being some duels between the Gurren-Lagann and a beastman officer, this was a large battle between everyone on the Dai-Gurren and everyone on the Dai-Ganten, with the “grunts” on both sides doing a fair amount of the fighting. As much as I hate to think about it, I have a feeling that she’s eventually going to be killed. And now it looks like both the Gurren-Lagann and the Dai-Gurren are going to be able to fly. Neat.

Yoko’s character seems to be moving towards playing a more mother/older sister relationship with Simon here (perhaps Misato-like would be the most fitting comparison here, since this is a GAINAX show). This is probably the natural direction for her to take since Kamina’s no longer around, and her having an actual romantic relationship with Simon would be more than a little creepy.

The most interesting character to me this episode, though, was definitely Viral. Him finding out that he had been losing not to Kamina, for whom he had already shown a high level of respect, but to a child was obviously crushing to him, but then later on he shows having grown a respect for humans in general. This drove him to even daringly ask the Helix King a question that does not appear to have an answer that would be pleasant to most Beastmen. I really wonder what the Helix King is going to tell him about humans.

Jaalin said it best, so I’m just going to repeat him: “In terms of sheer volume of enjoyment, the other shows don’t even come close to this.” Also, the title of the next episode is “Farewell, Everyone.” I certainly hope that doesn’t mean what I think it might.