15 anime to watch before you watch Star Wars: Visions

After spending his childhood working in an oppressive underground burrow, young Simon discovers a small drill that turns out to be the key to a mecha head. This is just the beginning. With the help of the virile and rebellious Kamino, Simon escapes from his underground village following an attack from another mech, causing him to team up with humans from the surface, to hijack more mechas, to get into all kinds of mishaps and grow along the way.

Director Hiroyuki Imaishi helmed the 2007 series “Gurren Lagann”, drawing on his experience working on “Neon Evangelion Genesis”, one of the most popular and beloved mecha anime. Ironically, Imaishi’s take on mechas is much sunnier than that of his predecessor. Here, young people can pilot mechas without suffering serious psychological trauma. Machines make funny poses, pilots exchange humorous banter from their cockpits, and impossible combos keep the action moving. With a sympathetic cast, sarcastic humor, and a complete celebration of the dumbest tropes of mecha anime, “Gurren Lagann” embraces the impractical and should delight mecha lovers.

As for the “Star Wars: Visions” connection? Well, the critical and commercial success of “Gurren Lagann” ultimately led Imaishi to co-found Studio Trigger, which provided two of the series’ short films.

How to watch: “Gurren Lagann” is available on Netflix.

About Bernice D. Brewer

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