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So, here’s what I thought after watching episode 7 of Space Patrol Luluco…

DON’T LOSE YOUR WAY!!!!

Space Patrol Luluco episode 7 Kill la Kill life fibers

In all seriousness, Space Patrol Luluco is a show I’ve wanted to talk about for a while, but just didn’t feel ready; like it hadn’t given me what I was looking for yet. Now… now we can get into it a little.

From the moment I saw the OP, which featured a deceptively simple yet spastic art style, a reference that I couldn’t tell if it was more Haruhi or Gurren, rocket surfing (so disappointed not sword surfing, or “Ride on Shooting Star”), basically Haruko Haruhara (though it might just be the seiyu), and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann…

Space Patrol Luluco OP Gurren Lagann

… I had two thoughts.

1) Finally, Trigger realizes that all we want/expect from them is more Gainax, and

2) Now, can Trigger stop living in the shadow of Gainax?

Well, in one episode, Space Patrol Luluco gave me both of those.

While Kill la Kill isn’t a Gainax series, it was Tigger’s own first TV anime. It’s hard for me to make that distinction because, damn, Kill la Kill feels so damn Gainax! And in this series, Luluco, so fraught with references to beloved series of the studio’s parent, Kill la Kill references fit right in. It’s still a reference to something that, while no FLCL, TTGL, NGE, or Daicon IV, is a good anime and a part of this very specific Gainax/Trigger legacy.

So having an episode were the main characters literally fight against Life Fibers, complete with Scissor Blade references; Guts the dog; and big, red, boxy kanji – yeah, that scratches my more Gainax itch. Not quite like sword surfing would… but I’m patient, and I can rewatch Cassette Girl every day until I get what I want.

But it’s the ending of the episode that really got me. The promise for new adventures, from Nova. Now, I haven’t watched every single Gainax anime (working on it though), but as far as I can tell, that’s setting up a structure that we haven’t really seen from Gainax before. It’s more Cowboy Bebop, or even Star Trek. And that, my friends, is Trigger being our spring of Gainax references, while stepping out of Gainax’s shadow.

Don’t Lose Your Way

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