My dearest guests and subjects! For the most loyal readers it may be known that one of the anime I hold in the highest of Regards, is Gurren Lagann , prime candidate for my favourite anime, despite my adversity to the Mecha Genre. The themes are a perfect fit for me and I draw inspiration from Kamina’s word. His vision of his drill piercing the heaven, a message I found inspiring. Yet what would happen if this prophet of my evangelion had stuck around?! What if Simon got killed in the battle with Thymilph.
Disclaimers and Stuff
So before we dig into this story let me make a few things clear, obviously this post will be filled with “spoilers”. As we will see how the orginal story changes by performing a role reversal of sorts! Secondly I will not write this as a story.. but more how the story would conceptually change. Given what we know, how I envision these characters and based on things like story motivations etc. I love the original story and do not think this story would be better in any way, I just think it would be an interesting post to theorycraft. As the lawful ruler of Paradise , the only holiday resort located in between reality and imagination I will use both character motivations as well as narrative structure as a guide to come up with this concept.
This means it can happen that characters suddenly change their character quite a bit, as will be the case with several characters in this scenario but this is because some personalities will not fit this new story, I will always try to find a motivator for this but as lesser anime have proven, characters are often pliable to fit a story if the need exists. I fully intend to utilize this. No custom characters will be inserted but some designs may vary due to how things unfold. Unlike a Dragon Ball what if , this scenario would drastically change the tone of the story, but many major events. Where in Dragon Ball, making an extra character turn good, will alter the scenario..it will still feel like the same series. The events in Gurren Lagann though are pretty inevitable so the main story changes much less than the tone! With that being said , let’s get into the story.
Episodes 1 Through 7
First let’s look at any changes that need to happen prior to the big event. I will not change any persona’s here. Things would change a bit cinematography wise. We would things a bit more from Kamina’s perspective…maybe even seeing what the man sees in Simon trough a vision of sorts… The first episode would air mostly unchanged but the introduction would look a bit different. Rather than a somewhat casual looking figure we see a more stern hero, clad in black instead of a blue glowing radar we see a more reddish colour scheme as the war across the galaxies proceeds. A man shrouded in darkness clenches onto a tiny little drill making a tsk noise. Gurren Lagann.. Spin On! Who the hell do you think I am, is being said… but at a Much Different Tone. Other than that.. not a single change happens in episode 1.
Episode 2 has a bigger change, in this episode Kamina doesn’t find out his father is dead yet. He finds his stuff.. but no bones. Instead there is this little box that looks like it needs the Spiral Key. Kamina believes Simon is the only one that wields it’s power and he asks Simon to try and open it.. but nothing happens. He tries it himself but this time around the key doesn’t even glow. A little mystery towards Kamina’s fathers mythos. As the character might need something of a story arc to continue on right now. He thinks his father might be dead.. but this also looks a bit like a dead drop! Other than that the episode will remain largerly unchanged.
Episode 3 & 4 will not change at all, there is no need for them to change and it introduces major elements that are told in great ways already. In the fifth episode though we will notice a few changes to the character of Rossiu Adai. The character that was depicted as a fairly devout/pious follower of Gunmen Worship! This time around is not AS pious He is Devout still but he sees something in Kamina. A Prophet of some kind. A man who can talk to gunmen! Much like how Kamina looks at Simon in some way, Rossiu will look at Kamina in a similar way.. except with the perspective flipped. This initially will lead to Kamina bullying the boy a bit more. “Forehead Boy” because more of a slur Kamina uses to keep Rossiu at a distance. With this theme moving forward trough episode 6 and 7, which remain largely unchanged. Yet we do see the religious boy giving Kamina a even bigger hero status. He is the apostille of Kamina after all.
The big moment.. the episode of the first Giga Drill Break and Kamina’s Last Certain kill move! At least in the orginal run! This time we will see a slightly more fearful Simon although rather than fearful, perhaps the better worth is anxious. Rossiu would have talked to him about the hero he thinks Kamina is.. and Simon agrees! He is convinced the world needs Kamina. He looks around him more.. and then he spots the beastmen general trying to make a surprise move on Kamina. We see the original scene play out fastened, as Simon realises Aniki might die. Overcome by stress.. we see Gurren starting to run and as the attack is about to hit Kamina, Simon’s little droid takes the hit instead. Kamina immediately reacts and damages the Gunmen of General Thymilph badly in an attempt to shelter his buddy! Kamina tries to reach Simon through the radio, but there is no response. As he thinks he hears static come to live he realises it’s rain hitting his window. There is no response from Gurren at all. With Lagann holding the badly damaged Gurren he knows. A rain puddle on the ground right below Gurren colours red. For the first time in his life.. Kamina gives the order to retreat. As Lagann picks up the heavily damaged Gurren, the general laughs, allowing them to leave. His beastmen ask him why he did that to which he simply replies. I want them to feel this pain! Their spirit is broken.
We then cut to a defeated team Dai Gurren , Kamina exits Lagann and opens the pod to find a mortally wounded Simon. Simon tells Kamina he didn’t want to die.. but he could not let his Aniki die either. His body moved on his own. He apologises to Kamina, telling him.. Aniki is the hero anyway and as Simon hands him the tiny little drill that started their adventure.. he passes on. Kamina falls to the ground distraught, his sunglasses topple to the floor, shattering. Yoko cries, Rossiu tries to act big, as outside the rain pours we see a lonely Kamina digging a hole. Yoko looked from some distance, distraught but clearly pushed away by Kamina for now. He then takes of his cloak and uses it as a shroud for Simon, for a moment he thinks of burying the Spiral with him as well.. but he doesn’t he puts it on his neck, as the episode simply ends in silence.
The Remainder of Part 1
From here on out, I will not take this episode for episode anymore as we get a different story. So who knows where the episodes begin and end. In the 9th Episode we see Yoko comfort Kamina, he is in a funk and unable to fight.. but we see him snap out of it.. yet instead of Simon, who became the idealist in Kamina’s stead.. this change would change Kamina and his beliefs. In its core Gurren Lagann had been the story of a boy trying to fill impossibly big shoes to fill! A story of amazing heroes that try to shatter the limit of what people think is possible, showing that our only true limitation is our shortsightedness. If we think outside the box enough.. if we follow our own path instead of comparing it to what came before, we can reach new heights! Kamina has been a beacon for this ideal and the story was about how his will was passed on. That can not happen now.. so instead of Simon, he has to go through change. Yet I feel Kamina would not give up his goal, it is to much connected to him.. so we will go with the hero turning “Dark Saviour ” trope.
Rossiu will pilot Gurren for now but the boy has to weak of a will to save them all. Kamina realises that if he can save the world with team Dai Gurren, Simon will not have died in vain.. If they fail.. THEN Simon will have died in vain. He shall be the drill that Wil Pierce the Heavens.. NO! He will be the drill that MUST pierce the heavens. As Kamina realises this the Spiral Key glows red in his possession. Lagann and Gurren merge into Gurren Lagann, but the greenish/blue elements of fire and power have been replaced by a reddish element with some blue accents (like the yellow speed lines now being blue) to reflect Kamina’s old colour scheme. Kamina’s energy and catchphrases become much more grim.. like his Drill MUST pierce the heavens.. and “who the hell do you think I am” being said much more menacingly. He also takes a few extra tattoos to look more menacingly! Like a Samao or Maori Warrior.
The key now unlocks his fathers lock-box and in it he find his father’s diary. With it he finds out that Lordgenome and his Father once were allies, fighting a force that is greater than them. Yet Lordgenome betrayed the Spiral-Warriors, something that is heavily implied in some side lore for the series, now becoming an actual plotpoint. The Diary said that if Kamina found this, he (the father) would most likely be dead, but one day he would find a way to get back to his son. Kamina remade his fathers cloak.. in black this time..as well as a much more deeper shaded set of sunglasses. Lordgenome got Simon killed and now he found out he also killed his father. Kamina wanted revenge! Nia would still be found but not a lot of people would bond with her. Rossiu would seem to enjoy talking to her a bit , but Kamina said that they might have to use Nia as bait .. to weaken Lordgenome! He will avoid it if he can.. but if there is no other way he WILL sacrifice her to see the blight of beastmen end.
The next series of transformations we would see would be grittier and darker. Rather than the insanely abundant designs, the new combinations had something more visceral to them. Stil insanely over the top.. but more functionally so. Think extra drills for defence. Kamina would also ask for some wair paint on all the gunmen! The other humans would all change as well, as Kamina had this sort of natural charisma , they would all accompany him in his journey to a darker place. While never going villainous, Kamina’s tactics became much more pragmatic. He lost Simon.. so people die in this war it’s just facts people die! So as long as they don’t die for no reason they are allowed to die! While Kamina would never sacrifice anyone there would be times he comes close to do so to generate tactical advantage. A few gunmen get sacrificed and replaced though and rather than destroying all the general Gunman he would focus more on trying to obtain those. We also see Dai Gurren putting all their faith in him, very willing to throw their lives away, never questioning his orders. His natural charisma and their need for revenge clearly shaping them.
Except for of course the monkey General! Who begs for mercy after LordGenome has been defeated.. He will only show up in the last battle, not earlier because he is much more directly linked to the person Kamina has become.. he is a bigger villain this time around whom Lord Genome employs to distract Kamina but Yoko would use her sniper to disable his Gunmen and leave him stranded. When the defeat of Lordgenome would be complete and the general begs for mercy, Kamina shows him none! The monkey gets out of his gunman and on his knees and begs to be spared. Kamina lifts Gurren Lagann’s leg and squashes the monkey while the humans simply cheer him on blindly.
Just like in the original we make a time jump, towards the time Anti Spiral has appeared. A few major changes will occur here. Humanity has flourished much like it did with Simon. Though we see a few changes. Gimmy and Darry would not be piloting any gunmen. We see Kittan instead, hunting some beastmen in their machines. As the Star shaped Gunmen lands in front of it’s enemy it and it’s allies do a little Haka! One one these Maori war dances meant to intimidate their enemy! I feel that is exactly the amount of intimidating but weird that I want this civilization under Kamina to have. His tatoos always remind me of that a bit and I think it would make for a great cinematic element. These Haka’s would return for the “who the hell do you think we are “ type of scenes. The Beastmen would surrender.. and as a result they would get blasted to bits! Humans do not take kindly to beastmen! They would do so in the name of Simon and Kamina. In another scene we would see Yoko teaching full time.. but she would look a lot more respectable.. less Bikini look, instead she would have her hair loose. Looking a lot like Kushina from Naruto. The reason why she looks so homey is soon revealed as Kamina enters his house, the same Simon would have had.. but decorated a bit more garish!
He walk in saying “honey I am home” after which a squeaky voice says that Mrs Litner is not home yet, she had some parent teacher night. It is Nia, who now works for the family as a maid. She smiles at Kamina and tells her she put Simon to bed. Revealing Kamina and Yoko had a kid that they named Simon. She drops the exposition that Mrs Yoko had been trying hard to find Simon his first Birthday gift. Kamina gasps.. “Oh I have to give a great gift as well, what will I do” Nia laughs and tells him there is still a fair bit of time. Not long after that the anti spiral things begin to happen and Nia turns into an agent for Anti Spiral.. this time taking Baby Simon along with her as a hostage. I feel that just Nia turning into an Anti Spiral agent would not be strong enough this time around , so we need a character like Baby Simon. As for her reasons to take him, Anti Spiral believes it would break the human resistance and prevent them from striking at Nia, whom never was really beloved as she was the “daughter of the devil”
No betrayal and dickbag moves this time from Forehead boy ! Kamina’s rule is already more pragmatic than Simon’s and he is much more idolised than Simon, no one would ever doubt him. Everyone is loyal to a fault even our backstabber priesty boy! Like I said before the group has this Maori like feeling around them this time and they will walk into war more akin to War-Brothers and more primal as a society. Simpler though not persé worse ..Not a whole lot would change during the Anti-Spiral wars. We’d see those Gurren Lagann clones being used by a few more faceless people, that Kamina and the rest are more willing to sacrifice, we also seem them cope with death a bit differently. Where Kintan instead of a sad goodbye is more or less saluted by everyone for his bravery and sacrifice. The group is still fairly tight knit..but with Kamina’s undiluted ideology without the childlike innocence added to it.. it would result in a much more zealous team Dai Gurren. So we would probably see a few extra characters die. Including Rossiu because of course for the final part he has to be replaced with Viral. Death now is not as sad anymore. People have become much more like Kamina, and the warrior culture that grew makes it all feel very different.
Near the end of the story Kamina notices his transformations barely have enough power to defeat the enemy, which would be a factor leading into the death of Rossisu, his trusted copilot. Having used all those fake Gurren Lagann’s as sacrificial fodder now came to bite Kamina back in his ass well.. as there was no real suitable pilot for Gurren. He did not want Yoko to risk it as she is the mother of his child. Yet he knew of one beastman he had left alive.. a man to which he shared a strange sort of connection with.. a Parallel of sorts. We see the scene from the beginning unfold right before the search for Viral. Kamina butchering a lot of anti spirals as if it was nothing. Yet when Viral confronted him with how much he had changed Kamina began to think… perhaps that is why he could not get everything out of his Gatai?!
The final fight begins and he argues with Vidal a lot, at one point Yoko shows up in her Yoko Tank and tells Kamina to shut up. He begins to realise he might be the one in the wrong here indeed. This revalation is used as a speech to snap Nia out her control from anti Spiral. Kamina tells her that he was a man that would never sacrifice others before, that he met a boy who saw the good in him, calling him his big brother.. and that team Dai Gurren was family as well.. he was their big brother and a big brother takes care of his family. He tells Nia is family and if she lets him he will take care of her, no one else has to die. Nia returns baby Simon to Yoko and tells Kamina that she thanks him for finally welcoming her in the family. While she was staff before Kamina always shut her out due to her origin! She was so grateful that she had one final gift. Nia would now take the role that LordGenome did in this final fight. She would sacrifice herself to give the rest of the group a chance.
Kamina feels horrified.. yet another person he got killed. Then the box of his father glows.. granting him a vision, much like the anti spiral did with Simon with the false Kamina.. but this time it would all be from within Kamina himself. He would not have a vision of Simon… but of his father. Basically a Bardock Version of Kamina who just widely smiles at Kamina telling him “So You Finally got your own head out of your ass and stopped moping, you know you can do this… I just wanted to say… I am proud of you son, you have grown into a fine man.. and an even better hero, but liven up a little! Life is to short to be so gloomy..trust me I can know” Then Simon would appear and he would ask Kamina why he thinks Simon found that key? Kamina answers saying he felt Simon was the chosen one.. it came to him.. as with all heroes. Simon denies this and he tells Kamina to give him the tip to dig there. The Spiral was Kamina’s all along, Simon was just the way to get the key to Kamina. The latter is relieved to hear this but he says no Simon, you were more than that. You were my brother. The shot would return to reality and Kamina’s key would turn bright blue.. with some red accents.. and as he turns it, the final Gatai happens.. forming the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann from the movie.. the Blue Flamey one.
Like the original we get the scene where Anti Spiral keeps impaling these giant robots with a tinier form coming out but instead of Gurren, the final one this time would be Lagann. Throwing his Sunglasses, shouting out Certain Kill Move, before being impaled. Kamina jumps out as his hands turn into a drill as he yells, finally my drills have pierced the heaven .. but before Kamina can land a killing blow he is pierced as well. Kamina slumps over and seems to have died. His black cloak floats away on the wind.. outside the bounds of the universe. Then the logo of Dai Gurren is shown . Anti Spiral makes a comment about Kamina being strong for a mortal but in the end no one can stop him and he is just another failure. Then he jolts as he suddenly sees he is mortally wounded, Kamina has just pierced his chest with a grin on his face. Still alive, his arm turned into a drill. “Who the hell do you think I am? “ he asks.. before Anti Spiral is shattered and team Dai Gurren is victorious.
The series would end with Simon’s first birthday. His heavily bandaged father walks into the room holding just the tiniest gift.. while his mother gave him a giant plushie shaped like Gurren Lagann. Kamina bends over and pats his son on the back. Happy Birthday son.. Happy Birthday Simon he says, as he holds out the little drill key that started his adventure. As Baby Simon’s tiny hands grab the shiny looking thing. Kamina gives his son a kid on the forhead. He sits in a chair looking tired. Then he slumps over…dead. Yoko picks up her baby and sheds a single tear. She knew this would happen. As the audience is baffled she explains “Kamina was mortally wounded in the final battle, but somehow he managed to keep himself together until his son’s first birthday, to give him this gift” We pan out to a blue haired boy and a red haired woman standing at Kamina’s grave. She smiles at him as Yoko concludes her story with, and that is how you got this little thing. As the boy looks at his necklace that holds a tiny drill he is in awe at the story he just heard. She hands the boy a birthday gift which he opens to find a bigger drill. We see the boy smile widely zoomed in he is covered in dirt. His mother hugs him if only to hide some tears from him. She whispers in his ear “Happy Birthday Simon the Digger”
And that is my take on what would happen if Simon got killed in Kamina’s stead. I know most events did not change much but with treats this big and wars going on, the events would seem rather set in stone! This tale would function as a cautionary tale not to blindly follow another, and that sometimes even the deepest beliefs can be misguided. While they may not be wrong in what they say, they may also not be right! Always keep asking yourself the question if you believe. Kamina would still be a hero but a pragmatic one rather than an idealistic one and society would change a lot because of it! I like doing these what if scenarios! Do you now a good one for any series? Let me know! Don’t be afraid to sleep in it for a night though! Because remember, Friendship is Magic but Dreams are even more Wonderful! Oyasumi!