Monday, May 24, 2010

Letter to Simon (Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann)

Warning: the following is a letter addressed to Simon from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann from the fictional perspective of Yoko (my own opinion is moderately incorporated :-P). It’s written based on the whole series (27 episodes) and will contain major spoilers. Do not read it if you haven’t seen this series. In case you have seen it, enjoy ;-)!

Dear Simon,

It’s certainly been a while since our lives parted ways. After everything that’s happened I’m now trying to continue living my life in a small village far away from the big city – I’ve never been really suited for politics anyway. Sometimes I look out of the window and think back to the old times, and how radically different my life then was from the life I’m leading now. I keep smiling in front of the children, fulfilling the – at the time – unrealistic dream I had set my eyes upon since the very beginning. I bet you guys didn’t expect me to have this kind of dream when you first met me ^_^. I think you could call me happy, even though it hurts unexpectedly much at times. It was kinda naieve of me to believe that fighting a war would leave me unscathed – even though we did save the world, eventually. Or maybe I didn’t believe it, maybe I just hoped for it. It was a battle that at first only involved fighting for ourselves, but later turned into a war on a huge metaphysical scale that would determine the fate of mankind. In that kind of war, sacrifices are made that cannot be replaced by any means. It’s hard leading a life with the realization that it’ll be a scarred one, but you do your best anyway because everyone – including the ones that died - fought for it so hard, and you most certainly don’t want to let them down. The world is indeed a better place now for all of us but no matter how you look at it, it’s just not the same anymore with the loss of that many lives.

What are you saying? Yeah, you’re right, I’m sounding like a bitter old woman, wishing for old times to come back. But don’t misunderstand me, as I said, I’m not unhappy. It’s only that, with the passage of time, I find myself thinking back to those events more and more. I’m realizing that was probably the most precious time of my life, even though it was dangerous and uncertain, unstable, intense and painful…

And here I am wondering how you are and where you are. I’m wondering about the kind of man that you have turned into, and most of all, if you’re somewhat happy, or at least satisfied with your life.

When we first met, I thought you were little more than a powerless kid, and an annoying one at that, always hiding behind the back of Kamina and always needing support and reassurance from him. Later, the amazing teamwork between you and him made you earn my respect. Kamina told me about your biggest strength that always saved him and his insecurities; how you may come across as spineless at times, but at the same time have a knack for saving the day in crisis situations. He also spoke highly of your determination to accomplish your goals and the trust you have in your friends. I later realised that, from your point of view, it must have seemed as if Kamina was always the confident one. In reality, you were relying on eachother.

In the beginning he taught you that it’s not bad to feel scared or insecure during a fight as long as you realise that others believe in you, even if you don’t believe in yourself. When he died in battle, he told you that it was time for you to start believing in yourself, not in the you that he believed in or in him who believed in you, but in you believing in you. It sure took some time before that message sunk in – your other half was taken away from you and you didn’t know how to live on. I was also sick of the sadness, but I carried on somehow and felt frustrated and disappointed at your display of emo-ness. It seemed to me like you had given up life without Kamina. But that’s just one of the cruelties of the wishes of the dead – they want you to live on and have a happy life. Without them, that is.

Then, just when it seemed your depression couldn’t get any worse, you met Nia. Her pureness made your shell painfully open up a bit, so that you could regain your resolve and confidence when we were all in a pinch – you were able to save us in an extraordinary way, instantly becoming the new leader of the Dai-Gurren brigade. With your remarkable powers you were able to defeat the spiral king. That was seriously one of the most badass things I had seen so far.

Looking upon the situation seven years later revealed an unstable government. We finally learned the meaning of the warning the spiral king gave us. Humankind was attacked by the anti-spiral race and your beloved Nia was taken from you. On top of all that, when we were attacked as a result of us not listening to the warning, you were placed in an extremely unfavorable light by Rossiu. To be honest, I was shocked. Rossiu was the one who defeated the spiral king with you as a copilot and you had always been on pretty good terms with one another. The intelligent, serious and conscientious boy turned into a gigantic asshole playing nasty political games.

When the situation got more and more out of hand, Rossiu had to make grave decisions regarding the survival of the human race, while you coincidentally met up with Viral in prison. When I saved you, I was surprised that you two had sort of reconciled. Ever since you and I fought Viral and discovered his honorable principles of fighting, his interesting persona had been lurking about somewhere in the depths of my mind. It was the most kickass thing ever that he turned out as a willing and able copilot of Gurren-Lagann. Your teamwork was amazing. Man – and beastman boundaries were transcended for the sake of saving both races.

Soon, it was time for a battle of humankind against the antispirals, on scales that became more epic and gigantic every few minutes. A lot of significant people of the Dai-Gurren Brigade died, a lot of sacrifices were again made. Even Kamina showed up to kick our asses out of the alternate worlds we had fallen for. Even in the face of success rates of zero, you never lost hope and fought with full strength. Your very mentality symbolized the strength of the spiral race: to keep struggling upwards, crawling out of the mud and living under the open sky. Always moving forward, never losing hope. And you succeeded. The anti-spirals were beaten somehow and soon everything went back to normal, although we were left with the responsibility to be careful with our ever evolving spiral power.

After you wed Nia - your greatest wish - she vanished, but you were both prepared for that grave outcome. A lot of important and significant friends of yours had died in battle. The woman you loved was taken from you. I wonder if you ever weighted the importance of their lives against your own success of saving mankind, and if it made you feel somehow complete to have been a significant factor in the process, despite of all the losses.

That was the last time I saw you. You chose a successor, draped Kamina’s cloak around your shoulders and wandered off into the desert – you weren’t seen or recognized by others ever since and I presume you’ve led a traveling, slow paced and contemplative existance.

Still, I can’t keep wondering about you. I wonder if you’re bitter and broken, cynical in the face of happiness of others. I wonder if you have a lot of regrets about past mistakes, or things you could have done but didn’t. I wonder if you’re still the sincere and energetic Simon I knew, always idealistic, easy-going and full of trust and confidence in others. Somehow, I really want to believe that you are. I want to believe that you haven’t forgotten Kamina’s words about you believing in you. After all, you have been and will always be the symbol of the strength of the human race that keeps struggling no matter the number of times it is crushed.

As for me, I eventually got married and I was blessed with a son and a daughter, although it took me some time. I guess it was pretty traumatic after all to be kissed by a guy I liked, after which he almost immediately died on me – not once, but twice, goddamnit. I still visit their graves once every while. It gives me peace of mind when I can tell them how well everyone is doing. I bet they’re grinning at us from above, like they used to grin to us full of confidence that they could complete any job we’d throw at them. They were quite alike, after all…

You know as well as I do that I’ll never post this letter. I have no idea where you are, or even if you are still alive. Still, I hope that my thoughts somehow reach your mind. I spent a few of my most dangerous and fun years of my life with you, Kamina and the rest of the Dai-Gurren Brigade and those are memories that I still cherish.

Simon, I hope you’ll be able to live the rest of your days in peace. I have confidence in you, and judging by the you I knew I’m hoping you have confidence in you as well.



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