So I watched episode 4 of Tengan Toppa Gurren-Lagann and it...well, let's say the animation quality could have been better. It wasn't quite as bad as Yoakena episode 3, where I lost a perfectly good laptop by slamming it into the wall over and over as cross-eyed Feena stared vacantly out of the screen, my wife trying to vain to restrain me as I screamed "What have you bastards done to Feena-hime! WHAT! HAVE! YOU! DOOOOONNNNEEEEE!!!" But it wasn't pretty either.
Don't get me wrong--I love Gurren-Lagann so far, and I can even forgive it a monumentally badly animated episode here and there, because the rest of it is awesome. I'd normally rather staple my scrotum than watch a mecha series, but this just works somehow--Kamina's over the top cockiness, Simon's (more realistic) worries but slowly growing confidence thanks to Kamina, Yoko's l33t sniper skills, the drills, the Beastmen--it's just a lot of fun to watch. If this keeps up I'll probably need a CAT scan because aside from Gunbuster 2 (or Voltron, if you count what I watched when I was like 6 years old) I can't think of the last mecha series I stuck with.
Some people can look past the animation quality and still enjoy it--but for me, the animation quality is a big part of what I love about anime, part of what makes it part entertainment and part art form. Maybe it's because I can't draw well, but seeing things well animated is almost awe-inspiring, and the first couple episodes of Gurren-Lagann filled that bill.
Which brings us to episode 4...it introduced some new characters, but I pity them getting introduced in such a hellishly drawn fashion. They might be moe, but it's hard to tell when they look like bad fanart in most scenes. Anyway, the preview for the next ep looks like the animation's back to normal and Yoko's going to be shooting at something, so I'm definitely sticking with this and hoping the animation team for ep 4 goes back to their day jobs at Yoshinoya, never to return to the Gurren-dan. Kids today are really spoiled, being able to watch this at 8:30 in the morning--sure Voltron had princess what's-her-name for occasional fanservice, but she wasn't as...er...well-equipped as Yoko. Sasuga Gainax...