EDIT: My longer review...
Okay, for the first parts of the movie, I was mostly impressed by how they were able to cram everything together and still make it feel natural as a stand-alone movie; albeit it was just fight after fight after fight, but they knew when to pause and include a quiet moment. Though there were a few parts that made me burst out laughing (like when Lagann just fell into that Gunmen's teeth lol).
I also liked their use of BGM, such as using Yoko's theme when she first appears and "Chougattai" (an awesome track that was unfortunately hardly used in the TV series). I think there was a new BGM I've never heard before in there too (during the part where Kamina and Yoko are talking, from near the end of episode 7).
The musical montage also made me LOL a little because suddenly they're using animation from episode 4 and introducing characters left and right with only a few lines to introduce themselves. And the scenes from episode 6 AHAHA. Though it was still done pretty well and the new scenes were adorable.
But then. EVERYTHING BECAME AWESOME AFTER KAMINA DIED. Okay, I feel really bad saying that. But it's true. I kinda think Kamina got screwed over in this movie since nearly all the new scenes come after his death and they basically blow away everything that came before.
First, the eyecatch. It starts out looking flashy like the previous ones, but then it suddenly fades and turns dark and Simon shrinks into a corner. Very effective. And gah, scenes like where Simon is sitting in his room staring blankly while mindlessly turning a drill in his hands, or silently dragging a hunk of metal to his room so he could make Kamina statues, just killed me. ;__;
Before watching this, I was worried that they wouldn't be able to do Simon and Nia's relationship justice in such a short time. But you know, I really liked it. I'm especially impressed with that scene in Simon's room, because they were combining material from two different scenes from the TV series, but it still worked. I felt for the characters.
I almost feel like Simon and Nia formed a stronger emotional connection here than they did in the corresponding point of the TV series. The look of shock and hurt on Simon's face when he finds out Nia is Lord Genome's daughter, when just earlier he had told her how the Gunmen killed everyone important to him... It's a natural reaction to learning that your new friend, someone who seems to understand and accept you so naturally despite only knowing each other for a short time, is related to the cause of everything that's gone wrong in your life.
Their conversation in his room carried a lot of feeling. Nia, having heard of the things her father did, feels very badly for it, and Simon can't bring himself to blame her. Simon's apathy and feelings of uselessness, Nia doubting herself and earnestly wanting to learn more... Even with Yoko being there and adding comments, the dialogue felt close and personal.
Then when Adiane attacks, Nia and Yoko run out of the room, but Simon just sits back down and keeps drilling. But he still listens to what's going on outside, and his reaction to hearing that Nia was thrown away, the tears in his eyes...it shocks him into taking action. Somehow this part felt stronger than the TV series.
And outside, just as everything Nia used to believe in is falling apart, suddenly, there he is. Out of nowhere, without any fanfare, using nothing but his hands and two drills, a tiny human clinging onto a huge mecha in a desperate attempt to save a girl. And this instantly reaffirms her faith in herself and humanity. That was such a beautiful moment. ;___; And as Simon keeps climbing, he remembers his Bro's words, and even as he gets thrown off, he still keeps reaching for her, and she's screaming and crying for him, refusing to believe he's been defeated...
That was friggin emotional.
As for the fights themselves, from the moment Cytomander showed up I was going "OH SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT." It was like the Gurren-dan had angered the gods for how much they were being kicked around. It felt natural too, that once they had defeated one general, the others would be pissed off enough to launch an all-out simultaneous attack to wipe them out once and for all. It really seemed like this could be the end for them.
Adiane's rage at what the humans had done with Thymilph's battleship was shown clearly too. Her fight with Yoko was amazing and a great moment for both characters. I can't believe Adiane cut off her own tail to escape. BADASS. *___*
I loved the focus that Kittan, Kiyoh, and Kiyal got too, with the three of them fighting as a team. ♥ There were nice moments for the other guys too; I especially liked Makken.
But I think my most favorite moment was after Dotenkaizan unleashed its missile spam, and the smoke clears to reveal the Gurren-dan are still there and they are FIRED UP LIKE NEVER BEFORE. "WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK WE ARE?!?!" AHHHH THE ART HERE WAS AMAZING.
And then the Giga Drill Break Dai-Gurren-dan Special! Bringing all their hot blood and fighting spirit together! And suddenly Gurren-Lagann became a KILLING MACHINE wiping out everything in its path. I couldn't help but laugh, but it was awesome. XD
And the final scene. I liked how quiet and personal it was again. You could tell that Simon, Yoko, and Nia had all grown by the end of the movie. And Rossiu and Leeron's comments at the end. "The fight will still go on, won't it?" "Yes, but for now let's just laugh."
And LOL Viral. I kinda hope that in the next movie he finds out that he was already made immortal without knowing it. Because seriously. How did he survive that? XD And dawww, he was holding Adiane's eyepatch. T_T
All in all, the last twenty minutes or so made the movie for me. That part felt a lot longer than twenty minutes actually. But that was totally worth it.
Now, my question is....WHERE IS THE DRAMA CD RIP? D: