First off, yes, I've been rather obsessed with Gurren Lagann. I have my many legit reasons to be though, so relax..it's a phase..but a good one -_-.
Before I get into this post...if you have not seen Gurren Lagann and you call yourself an anime fan, please do so, you won't be disappointed. Also, please note that this post will have a good amount of spoilers. So it's a warning. If you are new to TTGL, watch the series and come back if you have to.
The "Science Behind Gurren Lagann" you say? How in the heck could there be any legit science to a crazy mecha anime where the machines are as big as the moon and even a whole galaxy?! Ok, not all of Gurren Lagann has true science to it (maybe wait 1000+ years and who knows). However, especially once the story reaches the second arch about the Anti-Spiral, much of the confusing science that is mentioned to the crew of Team Dai Gurren (of which practically only Leeron and Lordgenome understand) is actually based in the most current and cutting edge science and physics we humans know of as I write this post. So yes, some of the absolute craziness (and fun) of the last batch of episodes had some thread of truth in it.
Mind you all, I am a scientist at heart, granted my studies are that of Computer Science, but I did have to learn a bit of physics and my constant wonder of the cosmos helps me keep in tune with what is at the boundaries of human understanding. Some of this stuff my be over your head, but hopefully for fans of the series, this might be a nice easter egg of knowledge of some sort.
String Theory, M-Theory and Branes
Much of what is mentioned in the final episodes has to do with String and M-Theories , so if you know anything about those branches of physics...you know where I'm going with this. String Theory in short states that ALL matter, energy and even the polar opposite to matter, antimatter are made of 1 dimensional "strings" of energy that vibrate and curl. Depending on the vibration of these "strings" we get the various sub atomic particles that make EVERYTHING. M-Theory in short takes that into notion as well as all of the different versions of String Theory out there and melds them into understanding existence in more than the 3 dimensions we know of...11 dimensions to be exact.
what in the hell is he talking about?
Yep, you heard me right, from what the mathematics of physics can tell, the 3 dimensions we see and the time we travel in is just the tip of the iceberg. M-Theory takes that discovery into notion and when you then expand those 1 dimensional "Strings" into higher dimensions....they look like sheets, or what scientists call membranes or "branes" for short. In the episode when Simon and the others are in the Arc Gurren Lagann, Lord Genome mentions about the Anti-Spiral breaking through the "membranes" of higher dimensions and you see the picture of 2 yellowish sheets on the computer screen. Everybody is giving the ? face while he's trying to explain it but it's basically M-Theory. From that theory, scientists are finding out that our universe is on but a sheet of multidimensional paper. Bulges in that sheet are the galaxies and particularly the super massive black holes in their center. The origin of the Big Bang that created our universe is now mostly agreed by physicists to have started when two parallel universal branes touched. My theory on that is that as a universe gets older, super massive black holes simply get larger and larger as galaxies combine..thus creating a huge black hole thousands of galaxies in mass, and enough of a bulge in multidimensional space to create a new universe. In Gurren Lagann, this kind of universal destruction was mentioned... "The Spiral Nemesis"..the very reason why the Anti-Spiral caused The Spiral King to go nuts in the first place and keep humanity hidden underground.
more M-Theory info
Multi Dimensions and the Many Versions of You
Back-tracking a bit and to hopefully get your mind out the spin this might have given it (because there's more crazy real science from Gurren Lagann than you think). Lets just focus on the dimensions we can see right now; length, width, height and our forward movement in time. It is said that there are 10-11 dimensions...so what's next after the initial 4 we know?
The answer is the Probability Dimension. You play the lottery at all? Did you recently lose yet another $1 or so in hopes for multi million dollar security and fun? Well, there exists a you that actually did win the lottery and is living rather richly now. But don't fret, there exists a universe that you are far worse off so always be grateful for what you have. Before you throw "this is utter bull crap" statement at me, if you ever have done physics, you know that the math can get crazy. Basic Newton physics that we learn even in high school usually deal with physics on a 2-dimensional + time scale. Yes, you are told to imagine 3 dimensional situations (like a bolder on a pulley..or something to that degree) but you are calculating all the variables if it was happening on that flat sheet of paper you are writing on. To do the same problem involving all three dimensions and time, you then have to get into higher math like integration and such. Though you can't imagine it without making your head spin, you can keep increasing your dimensions by using integration and even Matrix math (us programmers know that stuff, the problems with the charts of 0's and 1's with A= "this huge mess") . For a long time scientists have had a hard time melding the different energies of the universe (electromagnetic, weak force, strong force, gravity) together. When calculated in 5 dimensions, everything (particularly gravity) starts to fit into place. This wasn't found out just this decade though. This was over 70 years ago during the time Albert Einstein formulated his Theory of Relativity. Einstein and other scientists saw that there was extra dimensions from this point on. Today we know that subatomic particles aren't in a fixed place and are both in one place and in many places at one time...all depending on probability.
Yoko through the multiverse (why not in this universe? T^T )
Anyways, so what this means is that every moment (actually every frame of planck-time ) a new reality is created in the 5th dimension. In Gurren Lagann, this was very nicely drawn when the Anti-Spiral leader spoke of all the universes created every second, and the art showed swirling black lines branching off everywhere. You then see the different versions of Yoko, Simon and Kamina in other realities. Simon was lost in a universe where he was digging for loot with a greedy ( Lupin the III) version of Kamina.
Yes, as crazy as it sounds, there exist a world where you are a famous sports player, or a model, or many of the various things you thought you can be but maybe didn't do so here in this reality. Freaky, right? In episode 26, when Boota turns human and faces off against the Anti-Spiral leader, he mentions how Boota and Lordgenome "are in the space between the 10th and 11th dimensions" This while the others are stuck wandering in the many versions of themselves in the 5th-6th-7th dimensions. Thus, another mention of M and String Theory.
Many Yokos ^//^
There was also mention of a "planck constant " when Team Dai Gurren was in Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann... planck constant , planck time and planck length are indeed real scientific terms, one of which, plank time, I mentioned before is behind the travel in the 5th dimension. Scientists believe at the plank length ( ) meters, the 5th dimension is curled up with reality. Mind you that length is the smallest possible that makes sense and is waaaay smaller than even a proton.
The probability dimension is also toyed with when in Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann, the Anti-Spiral's massive ships fire "probability altering missiles" at the mech and though they were supposedly being blocked, they curled around the 5th dimension and stuck them. It's in that scene when Darry says, "Probability manipulation? I thought that was God's domain" Oddly there's a probability of you being on the moon right now. Obviously absurd but still minute to the smallest of possibilities and thus exists in the 5th dimension. (I know..it makes your mind spin o.O)
These video explains the extra dimensions very well...in case you are still confused ^^;;
Intuition, The Connection Between Loved Ones and the Fighting Spirit (Spiral Power)
This part of science is still very new and still in the realms of belief and religion...but there are honest scientific studies on it (that are getting weird results) and there is also a slight connection to the crazy physics I've been talking about and of course, explored in Gurren Lagann.
In Gurren Lagann's second story arch, Kinon Bachika along with Simon, pilot Gurren Lagann to stop Rossiu from committing suicide. Kinon's love for Rossiu syncs with Gurren Lagann and thus they are able to teleport right to where Rossiu is underground where Simon then pulls a bad-ass Kamina-inspired punch to Rossiu's face to knock some sense back into him. This happens again in the latter episodes when the thought of Nia and Nia's ring is used to travel the extra dimensions to find her.
Well, obviously that's very much science fiction but the different feelings we get like intuition, the fear of trouble brewing for a loved one and even the death of a loved one affecting us the moment it happens far away is behind an honest scientific study, with "spooky" results happening. If any of you have read the latest Dan Brown book, The Lost Symbol, you saw they were mentioning about Noetic Science. This is a real field of science that tries to study, prove and disprove aspects of intuition and it is fronted by the Institute of Noetic Science which is actually backed by Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell. One experiment has a person closed off in a sound proof, radiation proof room. The person sits there, video taped live while people are told to view that person in a completely isolated room. The other people are then told to think both positive and negative thoughts about that person in the room. Oddly enough, the subject's brainwaves were being ever so slightly manipulated by the group thinking about that person, in correct intervals to when a new person would be told to think up of the thoughts...all with the subject not knowing when or what was being tested. Dan Brown's book also mentioned how on 9/11/2001 when the World Trade Towers where hit that probability/random number machines across the world were all of a sudden having a pattern to them. Since many many people were in sync with a single event and thought, it began to manifest itself in reality. Reason I quoted "spooky" earlier is that in physics, something like this is actually known...but with particles of energy. Einstein called it "Spooky Action at a Distance" or quantum entanglement as it's known today. Granted the experiments in quantum entanglement deal with photons that can be theoretically manipulated instantly across light years and not emotions...but such things do exist.
In Gurren Lagann, that was the spiral power that helped them fight, combine and also upgrade (in the latter episodes particularly the very awesome last episode). It also was behind Kamina and Simon's power in the very early episodes. Kamina called it "the fighting spirit" and it could very well be the force that binds us all...call it God, call it what ever but in the real world, some aspects of this is science fact.
Well there you have it. Hope this made you think a bit and maybe even want to take a look back at Gurren Lagann. In recent weeks, this part of science has been talked about on The Science Channel's "Through the Wormhole" w/ Morgan Freeman . Check out that series to get more of an idea on the workings of the universe. A very good watch indeed.
You can discuss these topics below in the comments if you wish. There has got to be some thoughts after reading about this stuff.
(Thanks to Wikipedia for of course the links to all the vast knowledge out there, youtube for the various clips...which I hope will stay there and thanks to Gainax, Konami, Aniplex and Bandai for the Gurren Lagann series (and movies). All Gurren Lagann images are copyrighted Gainax, Aniplex, Konami and Bandai )