Jean’s distant “cousin” from another series

! This section/page contains spoilers of the anime series Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (TTGL) [天元突破グッレンラガン]. If you have not watched the series, AND are spoilers-sensitive, proceed at your own discretion.

updated Jan 05 2014

Background
Let’s put it this way, I knew beforehand there exists a character in TTGL who is very similar to Jean (heck, they have the same JP seiyuu) – and I also did read through that character’s info/wiki pages and all, but reading is different than watching. Not a surprise I watched it BECAUSE of the character!
First impression of the character? “Will you just shut up!” ahaha… yea…he is like Jean with a bit of Eren and a bit of Connie mixed in – which I will explain why later on. But just like Jean, he underwent character development in the 2nd part of the series which makes him much more likable. So somehow, he’s become my favorite character of TTGL. That badass character is (if you haven’t yet guessed it), Kittan Bachika [キタン・バチカ].


Sections


Similar, familiar
I might have missed some, but here are three that came to mind:

1. Sound similar (or, the same)
Well, both of them has the same CV – Kisho Taniyama. So that’s a no-brainer, especially when both Jean and Kittan use a more “rudeness” form of words in their speaks.
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While I can’t provide direct url to the video clips of the above scenes (since they’d be deleted anyways), I’ve listed the episode #s. Two sets of scenes: Listen to just the audio of those scenes, without the visuals – confused by who’s who?

2. Similar personalities (in some ways)
According to a tropes website, they at least share the “jerk with heart of gold”, “the lancer, and “magnetic hero”. Kittan is “badass”, but Jean is “badass normal”. not bad, not bad at all..
– they seem rude when they speak, but they are actually nice people
– both have the default leader-role for the common soldiers/fighters
– now this is just my opinion, they are both funny, to their own extent.

3. Look similar
Similar hair (both have side buzz cut), and at times very similar facial expressions and eye styles. Not sure if Kittan’s qualifies as a horse face though.
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left: ep. 25 eyecatch; right: original sketch – source
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4. Same “supporting character”
They are classified as supporting characters, I ain’t gonna lie about that – though they are probably in the upper tier of that category. Jean is right after the EMA trio. Kittan is right after the original Gurren-dan 5.


Different

1. Genki guy
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Jean is calm and collected (aside from his interactions with Eren), you won’t see him behaving the same way as Kittan does in there (right side of the picture). Kittan is always exploding with genki (seems that way) – a reason why he’s been called Kamina version 2.

2. Not the brightest?
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Jean is one of the smarter ones in his group. Kittan is shown to be the guy who’s not gifted in brain department. (though one might argue about that with ep. 19)

3. another shi ni isogi yarou?
1-00006This, going up against those anti-spiral machines with just a shotgun. You probably realized what Jean will call Kittan. That’s right, as with most other characters in TTGL, Kittan is what Jean calls a “shi ni isogi yarou” (死に急ぎ野郎). On this front, Kittan is more similar to Eren.

4. Jean is just a special case
Jean is Isayama’s favourite, and looks to be also the anime staffs’ favourite. Proof? Just look all those anime original material. (Isayama’s was already confirmed in past interviews). Kittan, poor guy, it’s rare to find him in official promo material – probably because there are like at least five “main” characters above him. Then he just has to die, even in the second movie, when everyone else was “spared”.
*although…it might just be because THAT scene of his was SO memorable and iconic to the series, it has to stay, no matter what.


Tragic?

mv20Though his sacrifice/death is considered one of the most awesome badass scene of the series, a number of reasons have made it somewhat saddening. (as many would agree, Kamina death was necessary to pave way for Simon’s eventual growth) Most of the reasons below are unique to Kittan’s character.
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He’s not as cocky as everyone thinks. He has always looked up to Kamina. (for some reason the scene reminds me of this in SnK)
1. character development in the 2nd part of the series; we get to see a different side of him other than the brash and arrogance shown in the first arc. (episode 20 and 25) You hear things like, “Damn! I was starting to like him..” from audiences.
1-00009
“Once we waste these guys, take out the Anti-Spiral, and go home to Earth…that’s when I’ll-“
2. Then he will what?? Forever a mystery, but I think it can be guessed. He actually had something planned for his post-battle future, something he was looking forward to. He did say he likes kids, so maybe get a school job? though one would wonder what he’d be teaching..
3. He being the longest episode-spanning character to die, 4 to 25. Audiences “know” him for a long time…
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4. Kamina is the aniki, and Kittan is the o-nii-chan (in some ways to everyone on the (Dai-)Gurren-dan). So we lost both “bro s”.
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Not just (gone for) a bit, and he’s not gonna be back to tell the stories..
5. he’s the one in the series shown to have a large family (who are introduced in the story); his three younger sisters, his new brother-in-law, his newborn niece. Yoko might fit in the list, from their dialogues in ep. 25, it looked as if they could’ve built on something if he had survived. So in total, six.
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6. he awakened his spiral energy right at the moment before his death; feels like wasted potential


Random bits

viewing guide: 4, 20, 23, 25
– Kamina and Simon inspires and claimed the surface for the humans. Kittan and Simon safeguards and upholds the claimed.
– the character originally was to die earlier. The producers were impressed with the (CV) performance, they decided to extend his screentime.
– family names were only assigned after the establishment of the new government (in the 2nd season) – based on the names of their (underground) village of birth
– this cover of vol. 9 manga:
coverv9
1-00013
“Look, uh…Nah forget it.”
Another one of “what was he gonna say” scene. Too many unanswered questions. I guess that was a deathflag?
– not counting the “o-nii-chan” line in ep. 20, Kinon last words to Kittan was probably in episode 19, “O-nii-chan you don’t understand anything!” …and she’s been cold to him for the majority of ep. 20. wow..sucks to be her.
68101-ttgl_super
– Oh…one that features all of the key characters of the 2nd movie. Now who will die? Not a surprise; only one person in that picture will. (actually, two, almost forgot the girl). Also notice how everyone’s paired up, hm….
Wild thoughts you may ignore:
Since TTGL is all about making the seemingly impossible happen, it’s entirely possible for the staff to let the character live (remember that concept ‘Tengen Toppa King Kittan’ for the second movie?). In theory, shouldn’t his newly awakened spiral energy be able to repair his King Kittan “continuously” ? Then he’d have survived that big blast. Oh well, there ends my crazy thought.


about the Kittan and Yoko thing…
“Till death do us part”, that’s a marriage related phrase; and Kamina and Yoko weren’t even married. So in my opinion, she was definitely allowed to move on, and Kittan was certainly allowed to “move in”. No conflict whatsoever.
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^ she has been observing. and that surprised him.
Kittan is a secondary character, it makes sense the story’s not focused on him. So there could have been more interactions between him and Yoko, but weren’t mentioned in the story.
Impossible to have anything since their time together was so short? I think it’s more like one of those reunion thing, where two people meet after many years.
1-00015
^ They were in front of a lot of people..
The fact she’s the one who had tears down her face after the explosion.. Had he confessed 6 years before, what could have happened? I do think she would’ve given him a chance – well, at least we know she’s seen him in positive light for a long time.
Conclusion: it is possible she had a thing for him, how minor there was. and had the ending been different, _________________.
But then, it doesn’t really matter where/who her heart belongs, as both Kamina and Kittan died!

There! That’s my opinion on that matter.


quick thing on 2nd movie

I think these are the scenes in the 2nd movie that differ from the original anime series.
ttglm2-00001ttglm2-00002ttglm2-00003ttglm2-00004ttglm2-00005ttglm2-00007ttglm2-00008ttglm2-00009ttglm2-00011ttglm2-00012ttglm2-00015ttglm2-00017ttglm2-00019ttglm2-00021ttglm2-00023ttglm2-00024ttglm2-00025ttglm2-00026ttglm2-00027ttglm2-00028ttglm2-00029

1. he’s not main, but secondary main.; 2. sleeps through meetings; 3. not sure what’s there to laugh about; 4. you’ll see it’s more like Dayakka being married into the Bachika family.; 5. would like to see an ova of this just for fun.; 6. he’s still the unofficial leader; 7. different words in this scene; 8. the tah-dah scene; 9. off-model?; 10.different setting of a similar scene; 11.he’s actually commenting on what she said, not what she’s wearing; 12.he’s trying to talk gibberish to change the topic; 13.; 14.more people are alive; 15.more people know about..; 16.a “cameo”; 17.I think this is more of Simon’s version of Kittan; 18.now Kamina has another buddy; 19.only three graves; 20.; 21.one less member



Even if the character didn’t make it to the end (which means if there’s any sort of continuation of the story, he won’t be in it), his epic “badassery” in episode 20 and 25 has already cemented him as one of the (insert very positive adjectives)-est characters in the anime-verse. Bravo!


More to read
The character’s profile, history and other stuff can be found in these pages/articles. They do a much better job introducing the character than my half-arse page of “character glorification”. 🙂

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