WHY CLEVER USE OF VISUALS AND SUBTEXT IS BETTER THAN BORING EXPOSITION, AND HOW TO DO IT WELL.
Kamina: “One of these days, you and me need to try to go to the moon.”
Simon: “…you mean this?”
Kamina: “No, THAT!
Simon: “I don’t think any amount of wishful thinking would…”
Kamina: “You dumbass. Kick logic out and do the impossible - that’s the way we roll! You and I made it all the way up here to the surface, right? It can’t be impossible to go to the moon.”
Simon: “…when you say it like that, I feel like maybe we can really do it”.
OBVIOUSLY this scene foreshadows the fact that Simon & co eventually DO go to the moon. But this exchange has two other meanings to it:
1. Briefly yet perfectly encapsulating Kamina & Simon’s personalities through visuals; focusing on the moon’s reflection vs. the actual moon in the sky. Simon is down-to-earth, Kamina is a daydreamer. Simon views himself as “just Simon the Digger”. Kamina sees him as “Simon the Digger - the one whose drill will pierce the heavens and dig a path towards thomorrow”. Simon’s character slowly develops as he mixes his own personal philosophy with the worldviews of those around him - like Kamina’s, for one. Just as new, individual mecha are formed by fusing together existing ones.
2. Highlighting the theme of progress. All of the major breakthroughs in Gurren Lagann mirror eachother; however, they increase in scale every time. Escaping to the surface truly was an insane achievement; back then, the underground was their reality, and the ceiling of Jiha Village represented their ‘heavens’. This short exchange is the Gurren world’s equivalent of the classic debate of, “Wait, you think THIS is impossible? Not too long ago, people thought the same thing about human flight!”, or “Is this theory truly is insane? For the longest time, we all thought the Earth was flat”.
Pretty good for a 10-second scene in a fanservice/comedy episode.