While digging around in his underground village, a young boy named Simon uncovers a mysterious object that turns out to be the ignition key to an ancient artifact of war. When their village comes under attack, Simon and his daring adoptive older brother Kamina use this weapon to fend off the invaders, discovering that there is a whole surface world above them in the process. With the sky now in plain view, Kamina and Simon set off on a journey that will take them across the galaxy.
Quirky, fast-paced, and filled with very manly catchphrases, Toppa Tengen Gurren Lagann made a big impression. Will these anime recommendations have the same effect?
For Fans of Over-The-Top Action
Kill la Kill
Ryuuko Matoi is on the hunt for her father’s killer, and her only lead is the missing half of his invention, the Scissor Blade. On her quest, she arrives at the prestigious Honnouji Acadamy that is ruled over by the super powerful Satsuki Kiryuuin and her Elite Four. Believing Satsuki knows who killed her father, Ryuuko challenges one of the elite, but gets beaten due to their special uniforms. After receiving a special uniform of her own, Ryuuko sets plans into motion to dominate the school and find out what happened to her father.
Enjoyed the uniquely fluid and flexible animation in Gurren Lagann as well as the ridiculous over-the-top action and silly character designs? Kill la Kill has all of that in a slightly more nonsensical storyline. Out of all other recommendations, this is the most enjoyable follow-up.
Earth is embroiled in an intergalactic war where their only hope lies within the hands of the TOPLESS, a group of gifted children that can pilot buster machines. Among their ranks is the rookie Nono who must aim for the top to protect the world.
Colorful, beautifully animated, and way over-the-top than it needs to be – that statement describes both Diebuster and Gurren Lagann. However, potential viewers should be aware that Diebuster is technically a sequel to Gunbuster, however both provide enough exposition to stand alone. The reason Gunbuster was not chosen is that it remains a more serious old school type of mecha series.
Space is a mysterious place filled with even more mysterious things. Dandy’s job is to roam the galaxy and register new alien lifeforms for a reward. It sounds easy enough, but you know it isn’t.
Were you a fan of Gurren Lagann because of its weird colorful art style and manly lead characters? Then Space Dandy will probably be of interest. However, it has less GAR moments and it more about wonderfully weird fun and adventures that span the galaxy.
For Fans of GAR Characters
In a universe full of aliens, only one person can be the best racer. To decide this, they all compete in a racing competition called Redline. This year’s Redline is particularly dangerous on its trigger-happy host planet, Roboworld. However, while most racers will be packing heat, the human representative JP will be going out without weapons.
I know, right? What does racing have to do with Gurren Lagann? Nothing at all. Where Redline shows its similarity is with its sheer energy and manly moments. Redline might be the only anime that can match Gurren Lagann in that respect. Don’t be fooled by the racing plot, this isn’t your mama’s Speed Racer.
During Japan’s Warring States period, several powerful warlords rose up and fought in both politics and the battlefield to try to unite Japan. This is the story of those men.
While Samurai Kings may have vaguely historical references, situations, and characters, it takes the action way over the top and throws logic and the suspension of disbelief out the door in its battles. If you like manly dudes screaming and beating on each other in explosive battles, both shows are a fun watch.
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
In 1868, Dario Brando saves the life of English nobleman George Joestar. When Dario dies, George hopes to repay the favor by taking in his son Dio. Unfortunately, Dio wants the Joestar household for his own and tries to take it with the help of an Aztec stone mask with supernatural powers. This triggers a chain of events that will affect the Joestar house for generations to come.
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is the GAR-est of GAR anime, but has little to do with Gurren Lagann. What similarities it does have is that it goes way over the top in terms of action, story, and acting. It also features and abundance of histrionics, like screaming, so maybe watch it at a sensible volume.
For Post-Apocalyptic Mecha Wastelands
Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet
In the distant future, humanity has fled Earth into the deep reaches of space where they battle their eternal alien foe. During one of these battles, Ledo and his mecha are flung through space where he crash lands on a planet made up entirely of water. There he finds humans living a more primitive life aboard massive ship fleets.
Both Gurren Lagann and Gargantia take place on a ruined version of Earth, although polar opposites on how it was ruined. They also share the fact that what is left of civilization lives a very primitive way that it only accented by mechs that not everyone has access to. They both also slowly discover the mystery behind the alien race that is their enemy.
Renton seeks a life of adventure, but his grandfather’s insistence that he becomes a mechanic keeps him firmly planted at home. His only escape is a pastime that rides Trapar wave particles in the air akin to surfing. One day, adventure literally crashes into his house in the form of a Light Finding Operation piloted by a mysterious girl named Eureka. As a member of the mercenary group Gekkostate, Renton suddenly finds himself intertwined in a whole new life.
If Eureka Seven had the same whacked out animation and over-the-top demeanor to it, it would just be Gurren Lagann. Eureka Seven is different in plot, but the themes remain the same, it also tends to take itself a little more seriously for the majority of the time unlike Gurren Lagann that has its moments.
Shin Getter Robo
Humanity is under attack by a race of demonic creatures dubbed Oni that are immune to traditional weapons. In order to stand a chance, Dr. Saotome created a series of giant robots powered by Getter Rays in order to fight the Oni. His strongest mechs, Getter Robo, must be piloted by three distinctly different individuals.
If you want something like Gurren Lagann, why not try the series that majorly inspired it? While Shin Getter Robo isn’t the best in the Getter Robo series, it is the most easily accessible. It has drills, its own version of spiral energy, and hot-blooded heroes, but is also more old school in its animation and action.
Have your own recommendations for anime series like Toppa Tengen Gurren Lagann? Tell us about it in the comments section below.