Short Answer: Kamina had to die to serve as a catalyst forSimon to grow up, go further, and pass his limits and disbeliefs. Despite Simon being the main protagonist of the show, Kamina was the center stage of the show as he had this overflowing enthusiasm, energy, and charisma toward his peers and allies. The said traits and qualities of Kamina even extended to his adversary, Viral, whomistakenly thought he was still alive and co-piloting Gurren Lagann (episode 13) and he only confirmed later when he confronted Simon. Simon took some time before accepting and growing, going further and past his limits and disbelief (around 2-3 episodes after).
Kamina’s power was inspiring people.
Kamina is one of the protagonists of the series. He is one of the villagers in a subterranean village called Giha and he considers Simon his brother. Kamina’s dream is one day to reach the surface and rejoins his father (he was too hesitant when he has younger, as seen in a flashback).Despite his dream though, Kamina realized that his father was dead already with the bones he saw during a fight (episode 2). He confirmed this in the aftermath of the fight as there was a familiar bracelet and cloak which were signs that his dad had previously owned.
Kamina behaves arrogantly in the story and sometimes even goes out of his sense. However, this is how he passionately expresses his dreams and how he pursues his goals without fear and hesitation (to a point).Kamina also has this innate quality of being the visionary of the group. He even shares his philosophical wisdom from time to time and regularly lifts up people.
This is first shown as how Kamina inspires Simon to be a man. Despite Simon having his disbelief and negativity, Kamina was always there for Simon. Even during thetime when Simon lost his temper, Kamina hurriedly jumped toward Simon and gave him a smack so Simon can refocus.
And this would continue along the way as evidently, he rallied several of the people he met to join his cause. This made their team stronger too.
Simon and Yoko before Kamina’s death
This is a classic example in an anime where the main protagonist has a love interest in another (female) character. This is understandable though as Simon was currently rejected by the females of their village due to him being a digger and the first time Simon and Yoko meet, there was no hint of rejection. It also seemed that Yoko had an interest in Simon however, this was gradually brought down as Yoko saw how Simon would react and respond during critical times and paired it with his personal characteristics. Despite this, Yoko still had a little infatuation and found comfort in Simon.
Was Kamina’s death too early?
The death of a character is possible in any anime genre as this would be either a sign of weakness, a necessary evil for self-sacrifice, a possible culmination of events, or even a plot twist. Some instances of deaths in anime would either happen early/start of the series (like memory/happening), middle (like some training-arc), or near-end/actual end of the series. Given the progression of the story and the series’ total number of episodes, Kamina’s death was indeed too early (episode8).However, this is a necessary evil for self-sacrifice. If Kamina did not go all-out with Simon, Dai-Gurren’s integration/combination would not have been done and both of them would not have defeated the Dai-Gunzan.
In addition, Kamina being alive most of the series would overshadow Simon. This would defeat the character development of the main protagonist and the others. It may also turn out to be cliché` as all of them would become too dependent on Kamina.
How his death affected the other characters.
Initially, Simon was negatively affected as he regressed after Kamina’s death. Simon being so down was noticeable that he was seen doing some digger art crafting a statue in memory of Kamina (episode 11).
However, Kamina’s death would also be the beginning of Simon’s transformation and accepting the mantle and responsibility that Kamina left – leading the group. If Kamina would have not sacrificed himself and died, Simon would still be a brat, living in his own weaknesses and disbeliefs and being overshadowed by Kamina.
Yoko also was affected by Kamina’s death as Kamina promised to return the feelings tenfold (after confessing to Kamina) but sadly, this did not happen. This left a big hole in Yoko’s heart. She also became irritable also when Nia (when she was new to the group) casually mentions Kamina’s name.
After Kamina’s death, Kittan became the interim leader of the team Dai-Gurren (not officially agreed). The actual leadership was only passed to Simon after he recovered from grief and despair. Despite the seven-year time skip, Kittan was still affected by Kamina’s death however, he chose not to mention his name. Although everyone had already grown up, improved, and progressed, he still believed that Kamina had the better job of uplifting people.
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If you guys want to read more about the fate of Zero Two, you can click here.
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If you enjoyed Gurren Lagann and mecha anime (in general) already, then Gundam Wing would be a fitting choice to watch. Why specifically Gundam Wing though? Think of paying homage to a 90s legend and classicthat the masses have deeply enjoyed and like. Aside from the action, adventure, politics, and missions, the best reason to watch Gundam Wing is to see the five main Gundam suits (and their pilots) in action. With this mecha anime also, you can imagine yourself piloting one of the mobile suits.
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Our Final Thoughts:
Kamina’s death was indeed abrupt and rushed. We can agree that it was not even half of the series when he died. However, his death was necessary. Without him dying in the series, the story itself would get boring, unprogressive, and cliché. Some of the characters would become redundant too (i.e. Kittan has similar/same traits and qualities as Kamina’s, Simon would still be a brat, etc.).
Hidden feelings would not have been discovered also although, these feelings may have been scattered in the series. Yoko may not have truly accepted the fact that she had feelings and interests toward Simon. Also, Kittan would never have the guts to kiss Yoko before sacrificing himself. Lastly, if Kamina was always there to inspire and uplift everyone, then Simon would not have discovered and progressed his potential, strength, and will. The ending of the series may have led to a more unfitting end.
Thank you for reading!
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