What makes Kamina from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann great?

“No great man lives in vain. The history of the world is but the biography of great men.”

~Thomas Carlyle

Spoiler Warning: Do not read this post if you have not completed TTGL, as this post will contain major spoiler warnings for the rest of the show going forward.  Seriously, as a massive fan of this show, don’t ruin it for yourself.  

Kamina.

Where could I even begin?

Of all of the characters of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann it is Kamina who is not only the most captivating and exciting, but also the most important. As he serves not only as the initial leader of the Dai-Gurren, but also as their symbol which carries them forward even after his death, inspiring and pushing the members of the team to never give up.

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It is Kamina who becomes a catalyst to push the main protagonist of the show, Simon, to embrace his power, as well as his destiny as leader of the Dai-Gurren, and the one who would defeat the Anti-Spirals, and free the universe from their control.

But it is not just what he means to others that makes Kamina such a good man, it is the content of his character. Kamina is a man of sheer determination, who never runs from a fight. His oft-criticised recklessness is something that defined him throughout his life, showing his bravery, as well as his occasional foolishness.

And it is because of this foolishness that Kamina is grounded, giving him depth and establishing him as someone who has great flaws that dramatically affect his actions. Kamina is a man of action and instinct, not foresight. And while these facts do bring him down to a believable level, they also perfectly compliment everything that is great about Kamina: his bravery, his absolute confidence, his sheer will. I can’t think of a better example of this than the first episode, when a massive gunmen plunges into the underground city that Kamina and Simon live, Kamina stands tall against the massive Gunmen challenging it to a fight. This is incredible for many reasons, namely that a man with a sword is attempting to take on a mech that is dozens of times larger than him. But this perfectly defines Kamina’s character, he never backs down from a fight, and despite being severely disadvantaged, Kamina still stands up to it, because that is just the kind of man that he is.

(Pardon the dub)

Kamina is a force of nature, often doing things that no one on the surface has ever done before, purely through his internal questioning. “Why can’t I steal and drive one of the gunmen?” “The Lagann looks like a head, why can’t I attach it to the head of my Gurren to make it even stronger?”

Kamina is a man.

A great man.

Someone that we can all aspire to be.

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He lived his life the way that I can only wish to live mine. And then he sacrificed it all to help a friend.

Kamina is one of my favorite characters of all time.

Despite how corny this sounds, he has inspired me to follow my dreams, believe in myself, and push forward into life without fear. Because real men don’t back down from a challenge.

Kamina is a man who gave everything to fight for what he believed in.

Kamina is a man who never backed down from a fight, no matter how big it was.

Kamina is a man who showed the world what it means to be a true to yourself and always believe.

Kamina is manliness.

Kamina is vigor.

Kamina is courage.

Kamina is self-respect.

Kamina is reckless abandon.

Kamina is everything I strive to be and more.

 

“Great men hallow a whole people, and lift up all who live in their time.”  ~Sydney Smith

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