Okay, maybe I just don’t like him. Sure, he has some nice ideals and emits an overwhelming sense of confidence and bravado, but when it comes right down to it, he’s just too stupid for me to really admire or respect.
Kamina tackles every problem that arises in only the most literal sense. He tackles it. Hits it, smacks it, beats it, smashes the living shit out of it and then moves forward to destroy even more inevitable things that are sure to get in his way. Instead of formulating any sort of strategy, Kamina’s only plan is strike even harder, and for the most part this works…until it doesn’t. His brashness can only take him so far, and what’s worse is that it puts everyone that looks up to him in danger.
I wouldn’t consider Kamina to be a “larger than life” kind of character. If anything, he only thinks that he is. It’s this ideal that seems to push him onward and upward, until his drill pierces the heavens. Or until he dies trying. But this isn’t the only ideal that he lives by. His second most prevalent ideal is that of exuberating manliness. Kamina tries to define what it means to be a man, and I must say I’m not quite a fan of what he’s come up with. In his world, men must be strong in pretty much two basic ways: Physically and strength of will. I think of myself as a man, but not because of those two standards. Really, the only thing that defines being a man to me is having a penis, and even that might be up to debate. But to Kamina, power and determination are all that matter and that’s why he dies lol.
But on a serious note, I’m always a sucker for willpower. It’s one of the most aspirational themes to stick to in storytelling, mainly because success is something most everyone wants, and not giving up just seems like the most splendid, solid, unarguable advice you can ever give someone. Don’t give up on your dreams kids and one day you can reach the stars! But then reality kicks in and smacks your ass down, pushes your head into the dirt and makes you eat it too. There are a lot more things that you will need in life than just the will to keep carrying on. Sure, it’s important, but so is having a functional head on your shoulders.
My main issue with Kamina however, is not his manliness or thick-headed nature. No, my main gripe with this otherwise bearable character is that he is un-relatable on a very fundamental level. And that level is fear. Humans have fear. Animals have fear. Plants have fear? Everything has fear, except for Kamina. And that annoys me. Fear is absolutely essential when it comes to survival, because without it you never know when to back off, and that’s why he dies lol. And what gives him the right to be fearless? This barren wasteland hell scape that he was born into? Perhaps, but what about his comrades? Surely he must care for Simon and fear for his safety, and yet he always finds a way to put them in harm’s way.
But what do you think? Is fearlessness stupid, or is there something worthwhile in being without fear? And how do you feel about Gurren Lagann? I personally haven’t finished the series yet, currently on episode 13. Nia is great, but I don’t myself liking much of the other characters. The mechanic is funny, I guess. Well, thanks for reading, and I hope you come back for more next week!