Home > Television > Gurren Lagann – Masculinity

Gurren Lagann – Masculinity

This is part 5 of a series exploring Gurren Lagann.

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4

And so we reach the end of my series on Gurren Lagann, yet there is still so much to say about this masterful piece of cinema. If there were one word to describe Gurren Lagann, it would be ‘Masculine’. It doesn’t get any more manly than this, but not in the American tradition of muscle cars and bikinis. Okay, there are giant robots and several bikinis, but that’s not what the show is about. It is about men doing what men do: doing whatever they have to do to save those they love, growing to overcome any obstacle, building a better world and making the impossible possible.

The men of Gurren Lagann are respectable, strong, emotional, intelligent (at least some) and loving. They are multi-faceted and manage to be manly without being ‘macho’. I believe this comes from a respect for masculinity which keeps them from having anything to prove. They are loved and respected for their manhood. They act like men, live like men, talk like men and they are not ashamed of it. The differences between the men and women of Gurren Lagann are clear, but neither is mocked or degraded. The men’s sense of masculinity does not come from degradation of the feminine, although the reverse is often true in American media. These men are afraid of no one, including themselves.

It is all very over-the-top, however, so this is not necessarily a one-stop guide to manhood, but it is a wonderful example of how a television series can show men with great respect and glory, much as women often get in America. This sense of over-the-top adventure also shows in the male characters’ attitudes about themselves. For the most part, they do not take themselves too seriously. I have always believed that one of the keys to manhood is having a sense of humor about yourself, and I think some of that shows in the men of Gurren Lagann.

Overall, Gurren Lagann is a beautiful and passionate display of masculinity in its many forms. The show has a great respect for men and what they do. They respect themselves and are respected by others as they fight for everything they believe in, using all their will and passion to succeed where all seems lost. It is an inspiring series to watch which will leave you invigorated and, for half of the world at least, proud to be male.

What this awesome sense of masculinity really boils down to is this:

These men are not ashamed of being male. They embrace it and do what it is they need to.

I do not think there is any piece of television I could recommend more highly.

I was planning on putting a picture here which I thought best represented what makes Gurren Lagann so great, but after several hours of searching I couldn’t find one. There are several scenes which sum it all up for me, but you will just have to watch it to see for yourself.

But, since I don’t like to give up, here are a few of my favorite shots:

Happy viewing.

  1. Taliesin
    December 11, 2009 at 10:09 am

    True indeed, most of American media show men as not really being able to anything, and especially not anything that a woman can’t, but this show that a man can do something, that men are good for something other then making money and babies, which are both being..taken..over by robots..and cloning..which is bad if you happen to be a man, and really that doesn’t have to much logic behind it, both men and women can care for children, I would say that they are both important in different ways, men are in fact good for children, so if a woman can care for children, then I’d say so can a man, however men are just bigger than women.
    Oh, and because my brother showed be a video, one which makes me now think of the people in this show as Spartanish, which they are.

    This blog is madness!

    Madness? THIS. IS. BEARD REEL!!

  2. December 11, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Very intersting review!

  3. May 18, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    i saw this a while ago and loved it. Im a dork when it comes to anime, and if youre going to review one i suggest reviewing Vandread. Its stereotypical, its sexist, but its fun-frankly its my vice so to speak.

    but gurren lagaan was fun-loved the gigantic banana mecha

  1. December 11, 2009 at 8:23 am

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