Over the course of the years when it comes to theatrical adaptations of popular TV shows into movies, the one that annoys me the most are the ones that literally take lots and lots of footage from the show and simply recuts it into theatrical form. Even with the kind of filler and fluff you have in most shows, throwing it out the window and streamlining it is hard to do because that fluff and filler gets you familiar with the character and comfortable with the quirks and the like. Enter the Gurren Lagann movie, the first of two, which essentially takes massive amounts of the TV series and does the recut shuffle. With some cleaning up of the start to properly frame it and a few tweaks toward the end, we get a much more streamlined version of the TV show. And in a lot of ways, it loses some of its coolness because the quiet moments are largely gone when taken in full.
What makes this recut and use of the footage even more amusing is that it's a show from Gainax, a company that has continually shown off their boundless creativity and ability to re-use their own material regularly and liberally. Directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi, which explains quite a bit of the style as he was one of the principle forces behind Dead Leaves, and with a script by Kazuki Nakashima, Gurren Lagann feels like it's revisiting a lot of older Gainax material and reshaping it once again. The series takes place in some undetermined post-apocalyptic future where mankind has been driven underground and into small enclaves that aren't connected with each other. In the darkness, they either fear the light above or they don't believe that it really exists. Some villages even believe that whatever is above is a heaven of sorts where the gods live and they dare not tread. Years of belief have changed into numerous small religions or working theories that help to keep people controlled and in the end safe from exposure to the outside world.
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