|“||We Anti-Spirals were once a Spiral race like yourselves. But when we learned that the evolution of Spiral Power would lead to the destruction of the universe, we annihilated all those who possessed the power of the Spiral, and drove the few surviving life forms to the far corners of the universe. We halted our own evolution and locked ourselves away into this pocket universe! On our homeworld we sealed away our bodies and any hope of evolution! This form is the symbol of our determination! Foolish creatures, drunk on Spiral Power! We defended the universe by killing our fellow spirals and halting our own evolution! Do you possess the sheer fortitude that is on par with that?! DO YOU?! WE SAY, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NOT! AT! ALL!!!||„|
The Anti-Spiral is the true main antagonist in the anime series Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, being behind the corruption of Lordgenome. It is a mysterious species of humanoid beings that realized the danger of the Spiral Nemesis long ago. It found the means to cease their own evolution by purging themselves of Spiral Power, trapping them in a state of suspended animation as their collective consciousness took form to purge the universe of all Spiral beings.
It is voiced by Takuya Kamikawa in the Japanese version and Dave Mallow in the English version.
The individual members of the Anti-Spiral race resemble humans. However, their iconic "collective embodiment" which serves as the villain of the anime is more akin to a living shadow, a dark humanoid silhouette with shifting patterns within. Its facial features are white and look like they have been "crudely painted" on the face. This is its default form, but because it is so powerful, the Anti-Spiral can take on any shape it desires.
The Anti-Spiral mecha, the Granzeboma (also known as the Grand Zamboa), has a very eerie, organic look. Like most mechas in the series it has a face on its stomach (with asymmetrical eyes). The torso is not connected to the pelvis by any visible means, nor are the legs, but this does not stop the Granzeboma from functioning as a whole, which means there must be some invisible tethers linking them. Two long additional arms/tendrils protrude from the Granzeboma's shoulders. The head of the mecha has long horns, between which the Anti-Spiral planet is suspended. The Granzeboma is always wreathed in purple flames.
The Anti-Spiral typically talks in a very detached, cold, emotionless fashion, as fitting for someone who claims to have transcended emotion. However, in the midst of battle that can change dramatically, and the entity can quickly fly into righteous and murderous rages, constantly erupting into long rambling speeches about its motives.
The Anti-Spiral is very arrogant. It sees itself as superior to Spirals because it has transcended evolution and emotion. It also considers itself as a hero defending the universe, and the Spiral beings as villains. While its intentions may have been good, it is the ruthless execution and dictatorship over the Spiral lifeforms that make the Anti-Spiral evil beyond all hope of possible redemption.
A notable quirk of the Anti-Spiral is that it will never resort to its full godlike power in battle. The Anti-Spiral believes that to Spiral Energy must be suppressed with absolute despair. Therefore, it will always assume a form that will be just enough to destroy the opponent slowly, so they can fully realize what is happening to them, and that they cannot win. This is also the Anti-Spiral's weakness - if the opponent manages to somehow overcome the Anti-Spiral before it can readapt itself, they can exploit its self-imposed limitations to destroy it.
The Anti-Spirals were once an incredibly advanced humanoid Spiral race. They obtained perfect knowledge of the laws of the universe, which allowed them to manipulate it as they saw fit and be as Gods. However, such knowledge came at a price: they found out about the Spiral Nemesis, a universe-ending disaster that will someday occur if Spiral Energy, the energy of evolution and willpower, is not kept in check. To prevent the destruction of the universe, they stopped their own evolution, sealing away their bodies on their planet. They would continue interacting with the universe through only one entity, the embodiment of their collective consciousness. This entity is often known among fans as the Anti-Spiral King.
Since stopping their own evolution would not be enough, the Anti-Spiral decided to suppress the evolution of every other sentient race in the universe, by violent means if necessary. In most cases, the Anti-Spiral is content in simply repressing sentient species, preventing them from evolving any further. However, if a world proved to be too deadset on fighting back, it would completely exterminate that world's sentient population. To this end, the Anti-Spirals implants sleeper agents among sentient species, their genetic code set to turn them into "Anti-Spiral Messengers" if certain conditions are fulfilled (such as the population of a planet going past a certain number). One of those Messengers was Nia Teppelin.
Spiral beings opposed the Anti-Spiral oppression, but the universe-bending power of the Anti-Spiral, as well as its ability to retreat into an almost inaccessible parallel dimension of its own creation, made victory virtually impossible. One of those Spiral Warriors was Lordgenome. Since he was proving a very strong opponent, the Anti-Spiral decided to contact him and revealed to him the existance of the Spiral Nemesis. Overwhelmed, the man fell into despair, slaughtered his comrades and became a willing agent of the Anti-Spiral.
Role in the anime
The Anti-Spiral launches an attack on Earth after Lordgenome is defeated and the human population exceeds one million. At this point, Nia Teppelin becomes an Anti-Spiral messenger and begins to summon Anti-Spiral minions to destroy the human population. However, the Anti-Spiral eventually realizes that Nia Teppelin is actually resisting his control and is in fact "training" humanity to resist attacks. At this point, the Anti-Spiral recalls Nia to its homeworld to analyze and deconstruct her, but thanks to Simon's wedding ring she is still wearing, a reassembled Dai-Gurren crew is able to track her and follow. They manage to overcome the Death Spiral Field trap and repel an Ashtanga attack (though at the cost of many lives).
Tired of those interlopers, the Anti-Spiral traps them in the Dimensional Labyrinth, but an intervention from what seems to be Kamina's spirit allows Simon to overcome it and free the others as well. They emerge into a room where the Anti-Spiral is "analyzing" Nia in a manner disturbingly similar to a rape. When Simon and company use their spiral power to create the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, the Anti-Spiral creates a mech on par with it, the Grand Zamboa. The mechas clash in an epic battle, throughout which the Anti-Spiral exposes its motives, asserting that Spiral Power will lead to the Spiral Nemesis. Nevertheless, Team Dai-Gurren destroys the collective embodiment of the Anti-Spirals, prompting from it the following last words:
"If this is how it must be, protect the universe...at all costs."
Simon takes those words to heart, and resolves from now on to limit (but not entirely suppress, like the Anti-Spiral had) the usage of Spiral Power so as to postpone the end of the universe.
Unfortunately, the Anti-Spiral's demise causes the untimely death of its Messenger, namely Nia.
Powers and Abilities
The Anti-Spiral is advanced enough to be virtually godlike. The only reason it does not erase enemies from existance with ease is because of its "absolute despair" philosophy. Notable Anti-Spiral powers include:
- Unarmed combat: Though not displayed in the anime, in the compilation movie the Anti-Spiral embodiment displays some hand-to-hand combat skill. It can also project tendrils from its body to impale enemies.
- Probability Alteration: The Anti-Spiral is able to alter the probability of something happening. This means the Anti-Spiral and its constructs are able to launch attacks that cannot be blocked, as the probability of blocking it is simply erased.
- Dimensional Labyrinth: The Anti-Spiral is able to trap sentient beings in a maze of parallel universes to incapacitate them.
- Death Spiral Field: An Anti-Spiral defense mechanism that projects a water-like field of Anti-Spiral energy, draining the Spiral Power of any nearby lifeforms at an extreme rate and converting it into more Anti-Spiral energy.
- Summon Construct: See below.
Through its power, the Anti-Spiral is able to summon diverse mechas and warships.
- Granzeboma: When the Dai-Gurren crew conjures the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann through sheer willpower, the Anti-Spiral manifests an equivalent mecha of its own, the Granzeboma. Larger than a galaxy, this mecha is able to easily match and even outmatch its counterpart.
- Melee: The Granzeboma's additional limbs have incredible strength and a very long reach. They can easily pick up a galaxy and throw it, or even tear the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann to pieces.
- Laser storm: The Granzeboma can unleash a virtually unavoidable hail of lasers from the holes in its body.
- Drills: The Granzeboma can generate drills from its body. Those drills can be thin and tentacle-like, or large and inflexible.
- Infinity Big Bang Storm: For this ultimate attack, the Granzeboma smashes a pair of galaxies together and unleashes the immense power of a Big Bang explosion through the mouth of its chest-face, as a giant beam.
- Super Granzeboma: A variation created to oppose the Super Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann in the compilation movie. Even bigger than the Granzeboma, this abomination can use the fearsome Anti-Spiral Drill Breaker, the most powerful attack seen in the anime.
- Ashtanga: A terrifying Anti-Spiral warship that looks like a cluster of stone faces. Armed with probability alteration missiles, defended by probability negation shields, able to grab and throw small planetoids and carrying a swarm of smaller ships shaped like hands or feet, those immense vessels are more than a match for any Spiral force.
- Mugann: Digital-looking vessels manifested out of thin air by the Anti-Spiral Messenger. Mugann are usually armed with powerful lasers and tough energy shields that deflect most attacks. Upon destruction, they turn into a cloud of violently explosive pixel-like cubes. Many varieties of Mugann exist. Basic ones usually attack in swarms, while the biggest ones can be the size of a large warship.