Image source: リトルウィッチアカデミア on Twitter

How better to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Gurren Lagann than with a giant robot battle on Little Witch Academia?

[Note: This article contains spoilers for Episode 18 of Little Witch Academia.]

Ten years ago, the giant robot genre of anime exploded back into the anime mainstream with Gurren Lagann. A love letter to giant robot anime of the past, it is also a deconstruction of that genre.

Image source: リトルウィッチアカデミア on Twitter

Ever wonder why attacks in mecha anime seem to be more powerful when the character is screaming? Of course, in the meta sense it’s because it makes the scene more dramatic. But in the world of Gurren Lagann, it’s not that the heroes scream during a powerful attack, it’s that the attack is powerful because the character screams. In Gurren Lagann, the more over-the-top and passionate you are, the stronger you become.

It really is an amazing show.

Image source: リトルウィッチアカデミア on Twitter

In the 10 years since Gurren Lagann, several of the anime’s creators moved on to found their own studio, Trigger—the maker of shows like Kill la Kill and the currently airing Little Witch Academia. But that doesn’t mean they can’t still celebrate Gurren Lagann‘s anniversary using our witchy heroines.

Episode 17 of the series continues the previous episode’s trend of giving Ako a one-off adventure with one of her non-roommate witch friends—in this case Constanze, a nearly silent witch who likes to combine magic and technology. Constanze has received special permission to join in the Wild Hunt and dispatch ghosts alongside other hunters in a friendly competition.

Image source: リトルウィッチアカデミア on Twitter

Ako, after breaking one of Constanze robot servants on accident, tries to make up for it (in her bumbling, yet well-meaning way) by helping Constanze build her giant airship for the hunt. As the two become close, Ako becomes inspired by Constanze’s magitech skill and draws a sketch of her impossible magitech dream—a giant robot. Likewise inspired, Constanze modifies her airship so that it can transform into said giant robot.

As you can probably guess, the hunt goes pear-shaped with the ghosts combining into a giant monster, leaving Ako and Constanze with no choice but to fight it in their own giant robot.

At this point, the episode goes full Gurren Lagann.

Image source: リトルウィッチアカデミア on Twitter

As the transformation begins Ako stands with arms crossed in the typical “Gainax Stance”—though, it being Ako, she doesn’t hold it long before comedy ensues. Then comes the over-the-top transformation sequence you’d expect in something paying homage to Gurren Lagann.

The resulting robot is 100% Gurren Lagann. It’s got tons of pointy bits jabbing out everywhere, a cockpit for two, and a circular power gauge front and center.

Image source: リトルウィッチアカデミア on Twitter

The following fight is half-comedy, half-action as Ako, Constanze, and their robot use Gurren Lagann logic to fight the monster. And of course the enemy is finished off with a tremendous spinning drill punch as Ako yells the attack name at the top of her lungs.

Really, when it comes down to it, all this homage episode lacks is Ako sporting an awesome pair of pointy shades.

Little Witch Academia is currently not streaming outside of Japan. However, it has been licensed for streaming by Netflix.

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