Short Answer: Simon left team Gurren Lagann because he accepted the fact that his duty as the supreme commander is over and he goes back to doing what he does best, digging. We cannot deny the fact that Simon took over the leadership of the team after Kamina’s death. The team built a new city after defeating Lordgenome (the Spiral King) and then defeated the Anti Spiral (during the Anti Spiral war). Despite the Anti Spiral entrusting the universe to the Spiral Beings, specifically to Simon, Simon entrusts this responsibility to Gimmy, team Gurren Lagann, and the future generations.
Before Kamina’s death, Simon is the typical protagonist boy who is dependent (to Kamina), humble, compassionate, and mostly withdrawn. He is also shy and has a fear of earthquakes (he lost his parents because of one). Although Simon was mostly cowardly, he has this hidden aptitude for battle. Every time he was being backed up by Kamina with his speeches as initially, Simon would gain a boost in self-confidence and actually perform well in battle. After Kamina’s death, Simon gradually changed as he accepted the fact that he needs to lead team Gurren Lagann. Simon eventually developed into a leader and the team followed him. Simon also developed his personality to a more mature and dependable character (rather than being dependent on another person).
Did Simon actually want to be a leader?
In hindsight, Simon had no goal or desire to become a leader – especially in the earlier stages of the series. This is noticeable as he saw there is no need to become one when Kamina was still alive. He saw and understood how Kamina drew people toward him and carry them through their adventures. Simon sees Kamina as not only his “brother” but the “man” that everyone can depend on. What Simon failed to realize is that Kamina looks at him as a leader but lacks the self-confidence, drive, and the will to become one. Kamina even told Simon that “Don’t believe in yourself. Believe in me! Believe in the Kamina who believes in you!”. This quote does not only apply in battle but in life and in Simon’s leadership also.
After Kamina’s death, Simon hesitated at first but later accepted the fact that he needs to step up and take the mantle of becoming the leader of team Gurren Lagann. It wasn’t easy for him as even after taking responsibility, they still faced obstacles and hardships. Eventually, he got the hang of being the leader, and the team eventually hurdled each of the obstacles and hardships.
Why did Simon go to jail?
During the seven-year timeskip of Gurren Lagann, Rossiu secretly preserved Lordgenome’s head and tried to access his memories so they can learn the history of the conflict between him and the Anti Spiral. After learning the history from Lordgenome and facing the uprising of the people (hearing the truth from Nia), Rossiu imprisoned Simon. He deemed this as a necessary act for him to use Simon as a scapegoat and to ease tension among the people. Ironically, Simon saved Rossiu (and Earth as a whole) from the Human Extermination System. In short, putting Simon in Jail (and executing him afterward) was supposedly a necessary evil, however, it wasn’t the appropriate (and best) solution that Rossiu had planned.
What was Simon’s real goal?
Throughout the series, Simon (and team Gurren Lagann) faced several obstacles, hindrances, and enemies. You can also observe that Simon’s goals were relative to the current instance they were in. From simply defeating Beastmen piloting gunmen, to defeating the Spiral King (Lordgenome), to creating Kamina City for the people, to defeating the Anti Spiral (and saving Nia in the process) and eventually marrying Nia. Simon’s original goal was to dig further below the earth to expand his village. But if we were to look and understand deeper, Simon’s real goal was to realize his true potential which Kamina has tried to make him understand.
Simon previously was only seeing the little and narrow things as he only considers himself a “digger”, but Kamina sees him bigger and farther than that. With Simon gradually realizing his true potential, all of their goals throughout the series were successfully achieved. In addition, Simon also realized that they should pave the way for the newer generations to come as Spiral Beings are known for evolution to which life would always move forward.
Why Simon left to be a digger?
If we look at Simon abandoning the team, we would be misunderstanding his motives or actions. He left the team and went back to become a digger as he was a digger from the start. He was initially good at being a digger and will always be good at it. He embraced the reality that he already fulfilled his duties and responsibilities. What he actually did was entrust the team to the next leader, Gimmy, and the duties and responsibilities from it. This is a sign that Simon understood Spiral Beings’ ability to evolve and move forward. Gimmy also inherits the Gurrent Laggan in the process. To expand more on Simon’s activities after leaving the team, it was revealed in Lagann-Hen (second movie) that he traveled around the world to help people and as a reward, he asks the people to plant flowers and grow them. This is Simon fulfilling Nia’s dream.
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As a fan of Gurren Laggan (and anime in general), you would always wonder how any of these series quantify their unit of power. Interestingly, you have this thought on how Simon gathers his “power” and where he even draws it from the start. Do not fret as we also totally understand your sentiment. Also, don’t worry as we got your back. By clicking the link here, you will understand what and how Gurren Laggan gets its power.
Our Final Thoughts
Understanding the series and what Simon (and team Gurren Lagann) has gone through, we get why Simon left the team. It was about moving forward towards the future and entrusting the duties and responsibilities with it. It was never about abandoning anything or being similarly negative. We can see it from Kamina’s father (also Simon’s parents) entrusting the goal of reaching the surface, Kamina entrusting the team and their goals to Simon, Lordgenome entrusting the survival of the Spiral Beings (planet Earth as a whole) to Simon, and eventually, the Anti Spiral entrusting the universe and its progression to Simon (after being defeated).
On a similar thought, the team was entrusted to the next leader, Gimmy (with the help of Viral and the team) and would also eventually be entrusted to the next incoming generations. This may sound similar to Naruto (inheriting the will of fire) and One Piece (Inherited Will) however in Gurren Lagann, this is on a broader scale as this is not only for one’s goals and ambitions but for the future of mankind (Spiral Beings).
Thank You for reading!
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