|“||My Bro is dead. He's gone. But he's right there on my back and here in my heart. He lives on as a part of me! If you're gonna dig, dig to the heavens. No matter what's in my way, I won't stop. Once I've dug through, it means that I've won! Just who the hell do you think I am? I'm Simon. I'm not my bro. I'm ME! Simon The Digger!!||„|
Simon is the main protagonist of the anime series Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. He begins the story as a short, unassuming and lonely young boy, but grows up into a commanding and well-loved man. Hailed for being like a drill (a dynamic he explains at the top of this article), he became known as a legendary hero who overcame impossible odds both personal and universal and now stands eternally as a beacon for the good of all man and Spiral kind.
He is voiced by Tetsuya Kakihara in the Japanese version and Yuri Lowenthal in the English version.
Simon's most notable physical traits are his wild dark blue hair, amazing height, deep indigo eyes and strong lean build, but this was not always the case. Earlier in the series, Simon was underdeveloped for his age so he was quite short, shorter than even Nia, Rossiu and Yoko, all of the same age group. At age 14, he stood at approximately 5 feet, and was not as defined compared to the rest of the men in the brigade. He had a lightly tanned baby face which may have not been so bad, was it not for the rest of his body which made him look younger than he actually was. This, as a man, was much to his chagrin. Despite this, his attractive features were still noticed by some women.
In part two, 21-year-old Simon looks very different. He has matured considerably, now standing at an impressive 6'2'' (taller than both Kamina and Kittan) and is much more muscularly defined. His facial features have matured, gaining hardened edges in his jawline, and his voice dropped an octave or two. In addition, he is even more level-headed than he was before.
Simon is polite, humble, compassionate and brave. At the start of the series, he was a shy, extremely withdrawn boy, finding solace only whilst digging tunnels for the expansion of Jeeha village. He also had a huge fear of earthquakes after losing his parents in one, though this changed when he discovered that the Gunmen were responsible for those earthquakes. After finding Lagann and fighting a Beastmen for the first time, he began to come out of his shell but continued to fear the pressure to be brave and fight for the rest of the team. Initially, Simon relied heavily on those around him to inspire him to fight bravely, especially Kamina, who often had to convince Simon to pluck up the courage needed in battle.
However, Simon displayed an uncanny aptitude for combat despite his timidness, and has even enjoyed himself on the battlefield, as seen during the first battle against Thymilph. He is also more than capable of being brave, and refused to just stand around while Kamina got himself killed. Simon is also very level-headed, and often kept the rash and reckless Kamina from making poor decisions; Kamina even remarked at one point that his level head is the only thing that kept him alive.
As a teenager among like-aged women, Simon was prone to jealousy and heartbreak. This was demonstrated when he witnessed Yoko, then the object of his affections, kiss Kamina. The image was burned into his mind during the pivotal battle against Thymilph, and Simon was unable to fight properly until he was, inspired to fight by Kamina, who ended up dying in the battle. The latter's death changed Simon profoundly, and Simon fell into a state of heavy depression. Initially, he disconnected himself from the rest of the crew and even once lashed out at Rossiu, mocking him for having once believed in a false religion. These same feelings forbade him from operating Lagann correctly. These frustrations greatly interfered with his fighting as well. Simon resolved to try emulating Kamina, but the Spiral rejected it, forcing him into a fit of nausea and discharging raw Spiral Power out of Lagann's cockpit. After meeting Nia, he temporarily forgot about his emotions in utter awe of her, though he sank once again into his depression after both he and Nia were safely aboard the Dai-Gurren.
With nearly everyone having "abandoned" him (at Yoko's urging, as she believed nobody could help Simon overcome Kamina's death but himself), he is at his lowest. Simon is eventually able to snap massively out of his delirium through a combination of his want to change Nia's desperate situation and his own resolve to rescue his crew. Behind him, the Dai-Gurren crew watch as Simon uses his core drill to diligently break through to freedom. It is in that moment that they were witnessing what Kamina saw all along; an unbreaking back that was in silence paving the way to their freedom. Not only were they seeing a man chip away at bedrock, but they were witnessing him chip away at himself and their leader slowly being broken out in front of their eyes. Shortly thereafter, Simon awakens and lays waste to the Beastman opposition. Performing the first solo Giga Drill Breaker shown in the series. From that point forward, the true Simon had awakened and the old Simon was gone. He also accepted that he could never be like Kamina, but that doesn't matter as he can still be his own person. Even after mastering his immense Spiral Power, however, Simon refuses to see himself as a god, and instead thinks of himself only as 'Simon the Digger'.
In part 2, Simon appears to have, as Gimmy has pointed out, gotten lazier, having fallen into the monotony of bureaucracy, though he wished to return to his hot-blooded life. When Rossiu has him imprisoned after saving Kamina City from the Mugann, Simon seemingly resigns himself to his fate, but shows that he still yearns to fight, shown through his heated battle against Viral in the prison showers. Once Simon and Team Dai-Gurren go to space to rescue Nia, Simon goes through his final evolution. He is much more outgoing and fired-up as opposed to how he was during his tenure as leader of Kamina City. He revels in being able to once again fight alongside his friends. In the final battle against the Anti-Spiral, Simon develops a hybrid personality between himself and Kamina, wherein he leads the team in a hot-blooded assault against the Anti-Spiral using the bravado once exhibited by Kamina without the arrogance or foolhardiness which frequently landed Kamina in trouble against tougher opponents.
One of the most prominent traits that Simon holds is that he cares about others more then his own well-being, as shown when he tells Rossiu to put a bomb inside of Gurren-Lagann to make sure he can't escape to save himself before he went off to fight an incoming group of Mugann during his trial in order to save Kamina City.
Powers & Abilities
By the end of the series, Simon becomes the most powerful Spiral warrior in the Gurren Lagann multiverse, both with and without the use of his Gurren Lagann mecha variants. One of his most important abilities for much of the series is that when Simon is driven to give his best during combat, his spiral power increases exponentially in an instant while also increasing the power of his mecha and his allies, something that was initially picked out by Kamina. By the end of the second film, Simon's spiral power is infinite. He can also create matter out of nothing (defying the law of mass-energy conservation), as he occasionally uses his Spiral Power (created from his will alone, which could also have been homage to his "fighting spirit" and "Spiral Power" working as one) to create new and exponentially larger versions of his Gurren Lagann mecha later in the series, by which point he creates weapons larger than galaxies (or in the second Gurren Lagann film, almost the size of the universe). Later in the series, it shows him having powers on a multi-dimensional scale that can distort the space-time continuum, while the epilogue shows Simon having metaphysical powers and compares him to a God, implying omnipotence.
Simon has the ability to use spiral power since humans are spiral beings. Simon has a large amount of spiral power and Lord Genome stated he has even more than him. He had no control of his spiral power at first but after Kamina's death he gained more control and went to a level where he could pilot massive gunmen. His spiral power is infinite, making him the most powerful being in the entire Gurren Lagann multiverse. He usually channels spiral power into his core-drill but towards the end he learned to unleash it alone. He can fire massive beams of spiral power from his core drill and can create drills for various purposes the latter requiring a gunman.
When Simon was piloting the Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann, Leeron noted that "a galaxy is being born from within the engines" of the mecha due to Simon's large amount of spiral power. In the final episode, Simon combines his own spiral power with that of his comrades to create the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, which is more than a hundred times larger than the Milky Way galaxy. The actual limit of the mecha's abilities is immeasurable, as its power continuously exponentially increases depending on the pilots' will to win; it fights the Anti-Spiral (a being omniscient and omnipresent even on a multiversal scale) at forces powerful enough to create entire galaxies, being able to absorb the Anti-Spiral's Infinity Big Bang Storm (which has the power of a "Big Bang" explosions). The battle was so intense that it was shown to rip holes through various dimensions, showing that the power of each were god-like, furthered by the fact that they can alter the fundamental laws of reality, such as altering probability and creating matter larger than most galaxies out of thin air. According to the creators, Tengen Toppa also has the ability to create an entire Super Spiral Space universe (a universe much more complex and protracted than our own) within itself.
In Lagann-hen, after absorbing the Infinity Big Bang Storm, he combines that energy with his own spiral power (and that of his comrades) to create the Super Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, which purely consists of spiral power in the form of a faceless entity resembling both Simon and Kamina, and it is more than a hundred times larger than its preceding form. After the Super Tengen Toppa finds itself in a stalemate with the Anti-Spiral, Simon's spiral power is therefore further emphasized, him surpassing the power level that the Super Tengen Toppa was at using even only the smallest and weakest form of the Gurren Lagann. After the Anti-Spiral shatters the Super Tengen Toppa's Giga Drill, the latter is forced to downgrade to the smallest form of the Gurren Lagann; despite the infinitesimally smaller mecha, Simon manages to summon enough spiral power to destroy the Anti-Spiral's Giga Drill. Simon then breaks the laws of reality by surpassing the Anti-Spiral in its entirety without any mecha at all.
Skilled Gunmen Pilot: Simon originally had no skills when using a Gunmen. Simon never really fought using Lagann as most of the time, he was in Gurren-Lagann or taking control of a Gunmen. However, once Kamina dies, Simon becomes skilled enough to pilot Gurren-Lagann by himself. Simon also was skilled enough to pilot the other forms of Gurenn-Lagann, Arc Gurren-Lagann, Chōginga Gurren-Lagann and Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann. He is also one of the few humans able to use spiral power and has used it more often than anyone in the show. Some of the moves include the Giga Drill Break, "Drill missiles," and even drills that fly out and hit many foes.
Giga Drill Break: Simon forms a huge amount of spiral power into an enormous drill or number of drills much bigger than Gurren Lagann itself (an ability he learnt from Kamina).
Super Tengen Toppa Giga Drill Break: A much larger version of the Giga Drill Breaker used by the Super Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, with the drill being the size of a multiverse. When it collided with a similar and equal attack from the Anti-Spiral, it caused the entire Anti-Spiral space the fight was held in (itself the size of an omniverse) to collapse on itself as a side-effect caused by the ripples from their drills.
Other Abilities: Early in the series with the Lagann and Gurren Lagann mecha, his abilities include creating a durable energy shield which can deflect energy blasts even at short range, the ability to wield the sunglasses on the Gurren's chest as a melee weapon, a regenerative function which can restore accumulated damage, and the power to rip open a worm hole in space to travel great distances. Later in the series, his Arc-Gurren Lagann and Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann mecha sport an enormous array of missiles, beam weapons and shielding capabilities. The Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann has the manufacturing capabilities to create hundreds of Arc-Gurren Lagann sized mecha in a small period of time, and is capable of both deflecting and destroying objects on a planetary scale with ease (which the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann extends to a universal scale).
Spiral Power Abilities
Reality-Warping Abilities: The physical law of mass-energy conservation is defied early in the series, with the Gurren Lagann using Spiral Power to create drills out of nothing (by the end of second film, he creates masses that are larger than universes). Later in the series, with the Arc-Gurren Lagann and Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann mecha, he has the ability to rip the fabric of space-time itself through sheer brute force. The Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann can transverse to other dimensions and universes, can alter probability at will, and is equipped with thousands of cannons that appear from the threads of the mecha's drills, each capable of shooting a beam straight through the time-space continuum, used for hitting targets regardless of their locality and temporality in the multiverse, being able to hit targets in the past, present and future. The Super Spiral Space within the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann allows the pilots' recognition to become reality. In the film Gurren Lagann: Lagann-hen, it shows Simon escaping from the Infinite Multiverse Labyrinth of "infinite possibilities" created by the Anti-Spiral; he absorbs its energy, and combines it with his own spiral power and that of his comrades, to create the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
Metaphysical Powers: The epilogue shows that Simon alone has the metaphysical power to extend anyone's life and revive everyone back from the dead, but he refuses to do so, stating that the dead should stay dead. In the epilogue, Yoko explains to Gimmy that he should stop viewing Simon as a God, implying that Simon is omnipotent.
Superhuman Durability: Lordgenome was able to utterly destroy Lagann with his bare hands yet Simon was shown to have little more than cuts and bruises after being punched by the man during their fated battle. This implies that Simon has a durability beyond that of an average human, even when he was a child. He was also able to withstand the blows of the Anti-Spiral, an omnipotent being, in the midst of their hand-to-hand melee.
Superhuman Strength: Simon has displayed feats of physical abilities on a superhuman level on multiple occasions. One notable example would be in Childhood's End, when Simon is shown climbing up Shuzack with nothing more than his core drill and brute strength. There is also an instance in the third novel where, in the prison, he is able to physically beat up and take down an armed mecha that was used to guard the prisoners.
Skilled Digger: Simon is a skilled digger and one of the best diggers in his village. He saved himself and Kamina from Viral's particle laser by digging a tunnel in almost an instant. Early in the series with the Lagann and Gurren Lagann mecha, he can use his drill in various ways, ranging from projectiles and missiles to shields, screws and various melee applications.
Physical Combat: Simon is able to fight hand-to-hand, as shown when he fought Viral for a short time and hit Rossiu hard enough to not only knock him off his feet, but propel him backwards, cause a very tangible shock wave and disintegrate his hair tie all in one punch (though this may also be due to momentum). His punch is also shown to rip the fabric of space-time itself through sheer brute force. In the ending of Lagann-hen, the Anti-Spiral is defeated by Simon alone, without any mecha at all. Simon engages the Anti-Spiral in a fist fight, and he uses some of his own blood to create a drill powerful enough to defeat the Anti-Spiral.
Artist: Simon is a talented sculptor. Shortly after Kamina's death, Simon spends a chunk of his time sculpting statues of his fallen blood brother by using his drill. This talent is again later put to use when he sculpts the large iconic statue of Kamina which was on display in one of Kamina City's parks. In the Otoko no Jouken drama CD, Simon grows up to become a notable mangaka who creates a story loosely based off the events in the earlier drama CDs and calls it Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. However, the Simon from this story, Simon Avant, walks out of the pages and captures the mangaka in his own core drill.