By Christopher Troy
I’ll be honest, outside of the occasional Gundam related series or EVA revamp, there hasn’t been much anime that’s grabbed my interest as of late (Yen Press/Viz/Vertical still have me drawn to manga). This is mostly due to the fact that the independent American comic scene has been some great progress over the last couple of year (Image especially), and the fact that I really haven’t enoyed a series as much as I have since Gainax’s Gurren Lagann (available on DVD via Bandai America). This 26 episode series paid homage to a lot of great over the top mecha series of the 70s/80s, while delivering some of the greatest mecha moments in modern anime history. The series has been available on DVD since 2009, but was recently released in a single volume bundle that I highly recommend, as well as 2 seperate movies that recap the series, as well as add some new footage. It’s also available on instaque via Netflix.
Cashing in on TTGL’s popularity, the Revoltech line quickly secured the rights to making collectibles based on the line, and the results were fantastic. Much like Gainax cashcow Neon Genesis Evangelion, there were several Revoltechs released based on the various forms of the Gurren Lagann, it’s enemies,as well as 2 versions of a Fraulein Yoko. Today we’re going to look at some of the later re-released forms of the TTGL, which are some of my favorite Revoltechs released to date.
The 1st 2 re-releases we’ll be looking at today are the 70th and 71th Revoltechs, Arc GL and Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann. These, as well as the Gurren and Lagann 2-pack were some of the earlier releases of 2009 Revoltech reboot, which came with bigger packages, chips for mail in incentives (Japan only sadly) and cases for spare accessoires. Arc and Super Galaxy and there 2 and 3rd forms of the Gurren Lagann, and much like the rest of the mecha Revoltech releases, are super poseable and capture the look of the character designs well. That says a lot, as Gainax went crazy with the later mecha designs in the series, and the sculptors did of impressive job of creating faithful sculpts. However, that lead to some problems, as the pointy feet of the Arc Gurren cannot stand by itself and will need the base to keep it up. The Super Galaxy doesnt really have that problem, which is why it’s probably my favorite of the 2. Aside from easily pop-on drills (FACT: Drills can pierce the heavens) and the accessoies mentioned above, each of the Revoltechs comes with various hands, and form specifiic weapons. For example Super Galaxy has a giant Sunglasses boomerang which sounds like it makes no sense, but totally does if you’ve watch the series. Both Revoltechs retail for little over $30 and are available in extremly limited quantities.
Released as the 62nd Revoltech, the final form of Gurren Lagann, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, is not only my favorite release to date, but definetly one of my favroite mechas from all time. The Revoltech sculptors had their work in store for them, given the fact, the the TTGL’s chest cavity is composed of a giant green flame, and they managed to nail it. The amount of detail and poseable on this figure is insane, as the pictures attach show what the sculptors had to deal with, The shoulder pad, neck, torso and flames as poseable as well as the standard revoltech points of articulation. A lot of plastic makes up TTGL, and suprisingly, Kaiyodo did not skimp out on the accessories! You’ll get a spare forearm, a few hands, a drill, plus cool little clip on yellow piece for the drill to give it the look of it spinning, as well as a spare torso piece (as well as the given stand). Best of all, as a pre-reboot Revoltech, it only retails for $27!! And much like the other re-releases, it’s only available in limited quantities, so you best hurry down to FPNYC if you want one! I cannot stress how awesome this series and the Revoltechs it’s based on are, so I HIGHLY encourage you all to give it a chance. And if the Revoltechs arent enough for you, I’m fairly certain there’s a few Yoko status floating arounf the store as well.
For the record, I lost count how many times I’ve misspelt Gurren Lagann when writing this article.