I've been thinking for a while...it's such a waste, how all those Tengen Toppa Gunmen just appear once. I know they were only made for fanservice, but still, I wish there was a way we could play with them more in fandom. Because as it is, even if there are requests for fanfiction involving them (see the Kink Meme), it's kinda difficult to write considering the circumstances and short time frame that they appear in.
The obvious solution is to go AU. How about constructing an AU completely separate from the canon timeline but with similar circumstances to play around in? If it's an AU, we could mess around with a ton of things, like Nia not dying, or bringing in mecha like Tengen Toppa Gurren, Tengen Toppa King Kittan, etc. It doesn't necessarily need a plot, just a rough premise in which to have an eternal Tengen Toppa Fest.
So now I'm trying to come up with a premise. But it's still pretty difficult.
What I have so far:
-Super Spiral Space is a must. I dunno if it's even possible to form that many Tengen Toppa Gunmen in normal space. So that's the main battlefield. They either stay in there while fighting indefinitely or jump into S.S.Space whenever it's time to fight.
-Everyone has awakened Spiral Power. Anyone can fight, even Rossiu. It's a complete free-for-all.
-Dead people don't have to be dead. Kamina can finally kick ass in space. Even Lord Genome can be alive and a good guy (or a bad guy, who knows).
Things I'm still figuring out:
-Who's the enemy? They need someone to fight. Someone very powerful. The Anti-Spirals, or someone else? Other Spiral races?
-What are they fighting for? What's the cause? Is the Earth at stake? The universe?
-Could it perhaps be that the Gurren-dan themselves are the bad guys, and they're merely fighting over control of S.S.Space? Does this happen after the defeat of the Anti-Spirals, and if so, how is S.S.Space maintained? Do the Anti-Spirals even exist, and if not, who created S.S.Space?
-How do the characters know each other? Are their histories similar to canon, or completely different? I'm leaning toward completely different, due to certain characters not being dead and all, but with some similarities to preserve existing relationships, and enough leeway to create entirely new relationships if desired.
-What about Boota? Could he be in humanoid form, and if so, could he get his own Tengen Toppa?
-What about Beastmen? Viral had a Tengen Toppa...if we take the 'no one's dead' premise further, does that mean characters like the Four Generals could get their own too?
-Could the premise be like the Teppelin arc...in space? And with the characters as adults?
-Could it perhaps take place far in the past, during the Spiral golden ages before the Anti-Spirals start attacking, but with the current cast members somehow?
-Could it perhaps take place far in the future, after the defeat of the Anti-Spirals, with the characters becoming somewhat immortal due to awakened Spiral Power?
-Or alternately, could it be similar to the canon timeline, except that the Anti-Spirals weren't defeated all in one shot, and the hive mind somehow scattered itself all around S.S.Space as a last resort, so the Gurren-dan have to hunt every single one of them down before the battle is finally over? This would still allow for the existence of Solvernia and time for more character interaction, though other canon restrictions would apply (dead characters being dead). It would also be interesting if the Anti-Spirals adopted guerrilla warfare tactics, jumping out from behind galaxies to ambush them or something. After all, what better way to induce despair than a seemingly never-ending battle? Fighting spirit only takes you so far if the fight drags on for years and you can't even see the enemy. If going for simplicity, this premise would probably work best.
Details that are unnecessary but fun to think about:
-We could totally mess around with uniforms. Don't like an existing uniform? Change it! I personally really like this for Yoko compared to the starboobs outfit. It's so much more practical. Nia could get a cool uniform too, since she won't be naked all the time.
Of course, I can't draw, so there's ultimately nothing I can do with this myself.
So yeah, basically I'm just trying to make this easier for myself if I ever feel like writing something with the Tengen Toppa Gunmen. I'm not saying that anyone else in fandom needs to jump on this, though I wouldn't mind if anyone adopts these ideas and shapes them to their own liking.
Right now I'm just calling it Spiral Warriors AU. It's all up in the air at this point, so any ideas are appreciated~
EDIT: Looked through the 4th novel for more detail on how Spiral Power works...
On Chouginga's engine:
"The Transcendental Spiral Engine is a system in which the power of an awakened spiral lifeform draws out energy on a galactic scale. If the will of the spiral lifeform being used as the core can't match that energy, there's a chance that it can run wild, or surge back and cause him to disappear."
Lord Genome's explanation of Spiral Power (rough translation):
"Spiral Power is the power of the spiral factor composing a spiral lifeform synchronizing with a spiral galaxy, transforming the potential inherent in that galaxy into energy, and releasing it. Lifeforms use their transcendental double helix energy to resonate with the galaxy, and control it with the power of their own will. That is why individual differences can be found in Spiral Power. In order to control the Transcendental Spiral Engine, true awakened Spiral Power is needed."
"Spiral Power is manifested with the power of a human's will. An enormous amount of energy is attained by resonating with a galaxy, but it must be suppressed in order to keep it from running wild. A strong will and stamina is needed for that control."
When Simon is powering up the engine, it's described as feeling like a universe is being born in every one of his cells, and he has to use all of his nerves to push that energy into Gurren-Lagann. When he tries to take it too far, he coughs up blood, and starts to feel like a galaxy might burst out of his body, which would start the Spiral Nemesis...