Shoujo fantasy Gurren Lagann: Sense of Wonder by Akemi Hayashi

Shoujo fantasy can be the genre of the story-lover, so filled it is with sweeping, emotive images. I can’t help but think that Revolutionary Girl Utena and Princess Tutu could be stripped of their dialogue and remain just as coherent, such is the overflow of feeling trapped within their every frame; every side-long glance, tentative posture and concealed desire.
Akemi Hayashi is someone I hadn’t come across before. She’s a veteran animator of many years (which spans a career of working on the likes of Ouran and Utena,) and is now working at Gainax (of all places(!),) having recently directed a music video for Gurren Lagann‘s Parallel Works 2. Her video is titled Sense of Wonder and, quite frankly, it’s gorgeous.
Supplanting the original, rougher edges of the series with a thinner style, the elegance of the characters and their refined, imperfect beauty, evokes a dream-like and symbolic quality that’s typical of the shoujo anime I love. The romance between Simon and Nia takes centre-stage; his feelings for her, her desire to escape, and their need to overcome circumstance. I admire it for the warmth of feeling it’s trying to convey and the way it contorts the world around their struggle. Reality is rarely as poetic, but then, a dream is not supposed to be real.
Sense of Wonder is only 5 minutes long, but, if just for this haze of nostalgia I’ve now lost myself within, I’ve grown to adore it.

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