Hatoko’s Outburst – Inou Battle Within Everyday Life
*Warning – Spoilers Below*
There aren’t too many times I can say I was “shocked” by an anime scene. I usually attribute being shocked with a sudden inability to function. For me, it seems like a surprise combined with strong intensity would be “shocking.”
This scene is also on my top 5 list of most intense scenes. It was particularly shocking because it seemingly comes out of nowhere. And yet, it provides some necessary perspective that makes everything Hatoko did up to this point make sense. She’s a very sweet girl and seems very supportive throughout much of the anime. What was shocking was that it revealed a fundamental character crisis that we were unaware of. Part of its intensity is that it has a mixed tone – it’s both an outburst of frustration and a plea for understanding. It’s a complex emotional scene that also happens to define the character.
*Warning – MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW*
Nia Tepplin Disappearing – Gurren Lagann
Somehow, I didn’t see it coming. Somehow, I didn’t really think that the events leading up to it were really going to have any bearing on the character. I mean—all the fighting was over, good guys won, it was time for happily ever after. Nia Teppelin was finally marrying her childhood sweetheart, Simon. Aww! I was so happy for them. This was a long time coming. Even to me (and I often don’t go for the happiest finales), there was something incredibly satisfying about this fairytale ending…
UNTIL SHE FREAKING DISAPPEARS!!
I was literally so shocked that tears came gushing from my eyes before I had a chance to actually feel any sadness or even a lump in my throat. You know in anime when the tears are bubbling out more liquid than seems physically possible? That was me. (It was bizarre, let me tell you.)
So…what happened? Apparently I just didn’t think it was possible. I thought she was an untouchable character. That’s part of what makes Gurren Lagann a really impressive piece—they don’t pull their punches, they don’t restrict their outrageously over-the-top battle glory, and they don’t make untouchable characters. On Anime News Network, we found the rather oddly intriguing and wholly unique tag of “burning manly passion” attached to this show. I think it applies in both the big ways (how awesome it is to be a dude), and the more subtle ways (Simon loved Nia and would forever love her, though she be lost to him forever). He knew what would happen, but he faced it head on, accepted it, and married her mere seconds before she faded into nothingness. I believe it was for Simon that my tears came before I even had a chance to think through the blinding shock of the moment. Aw.
Zenko signing off.