Gurren Lagann is one of those anime series that come once in a lifetime. Honestly, there is nothing that can really compete with it in it's own right. The story, for one, has some incredible plot twists that will leave you on the end of your seat. Don't even get me started on the characters.
The show transitions from a comedic, mecha anime into something serious after you get a few episodes in. There you are, all happy, then BAM! It hits you. Then you fall in love. We get to see the defeats, the triumphs, and even some romance in this tale.
So...What are some shows like Gurren Lagann?
The human race is divided between those of Earth, and those of Mars. A single power, Aldnoah, divides the race significantly. War became inevitable. However, whenever the lunar transport malfunctions and self destructs, there is cause for a cease fire. Now, a young Vers princess looks to form peace with the people of Earth. Unfortunately for her, there are many of her people that see her visit to the blue planet...as an opportunity.
First and foremost, Aldnoah and GL can both be classified as mecha anime. Of course, there is more to it than that. Like Simon and Kamina, the people of Earth face an uphill battle. Drastically at a disadvantage in forms of technology.
I don't want to use the term "overpowered", but the MC in both of these shows certainly have that characteristic about them. Inaho (Aldnoah) probably more so, since he's just a beast.
Moral implications. Gurren Lagann taught us that not even the bad guy is really...bad. I mean, he had his reasons. Same goes for Aldnoah, you will find yourself contemplating what side you want to take.
These two anime were made quite a few years a part, and differ heavily in animation style, but that doesn't stop them from being very similar. If you enjoyed the story of Gurren Lagann, I'm pretty certain you will enjoy Aldnoah.Zero as a whole.
Fifteen years have passed since the catastrophe known as Second Impact. A young boy, Shinji, is summoned to the city, to NERV, by his father. He is told of the imminent destruction of those around him by monstrous beings known as Angels. The only way to save everyone is to pilot Evangelion Unit 01. Will Shinji be able to do it, and save humanity?
Similarities Evangelion has quite a lot in common with GL when you think about it. The stories both forever evolve as you gain more and more information about what is going on around the main characters. It really makes you contemplate the actions of the characters, and their decisions.
This show has a lot more psychological impact than that of GL, I would say. Much like Simon struggled, Shinji struggles are ten times worse. Every time it seems like he gets better, there is something there to knock him back down.
Another tiny, little thing that they have in common: if they fail, they all die. So, I guess there's that.
This show may be a bit timed, but it is still a great one. If you want more of a psychological impact, then look no further. Not to mention awesome robot / alien fights!
Sousuke is the perfect soldier; he does what he is told, and he does it well. However, he doesn't have much experience in human interaction. So what happens when his assignment is to go to high school in order to protect a teen girl?
Much like GL, FMP starts out in a more comedic sense. You get to know the MC and his struggles with, well, common sense. Then, both of the shows hit you hard with a feels train out of nowhere. They both do it quite well, too.
Although they aren't dealing with a revolt, per say, the MC works for a company that counter attacks terrorist organizations. So essentially, they have big robot fights, just like in GL.
I would go for FMP if you are looking for kind of a similar show, that doesn't necessarily have the fantasy aspect that GL does. This one has some of the same characteristics, but focuses on modern military, with not a lot of crazy, space fighting.
Tatsumi is just a boy from a remote village, but is a pretty skilled fighter. He is heading to the capital to join the military and send funds back to the village. However, he ends up not getting in, and robbed, on top of that. He is picked up by a lovely young lady and taken back to her mansion, where the place is attacked by an organization known as Night Raid. After revealing that the people of this mansion actually tortured common people, including Tatsumi's friends, he must decide if this "Night Raid" is really as bad as they are lead on to be.
Okay, this one is not a mecha anime, and may be a little bit of a stretch, but there are some similarities that I think will make it worth your while. For instance, like GL, Night Raid is a force that is rising up against the current ruler. Of course, it's for different reasons, but the concept is still there.
Again, more morale grey areas. This show does a terrific job of making you question if the bad guys are really all that bad, just like GL did. In fact, you will find yourself quite sad whenever an "enemy" is killed.
Plot armor, or lack there of. Now we all know in GL there are some deaths that leave you going, "WHAT?!" Akame ga Kill takes that and times it by, like, forty. I will warn you early, not a single character in this anime has plot armor.
Though on the surface it may not seem like a good match to GL, I feel it certainly is. You should give this show a watch if you enjoy the moral dilemmas that GL put you through. Also, prepare a box of tissues beforehand. You have been warned.
There are way too many to even try to keep track of at this point, but I feel like any Gundam series would probably click very well if you liked GL. They have varying stories and such, but they all carry a similar pattern. So, if you want to watch Gundam, I bid you good luck at finding a starting point.
There you are, my top recommendations for if you absolutely loved Gurenn Lagann and are looking for something else to watch. I've seen all of these shows, except for the Gundam, so I can say they all sat pretty well with me.
Just to clarify, I've seen Gundam, I just couldn't tell you what, when, or where, haha.
If none of these anime shows seem to strike your fancy, you can always give my random anime generator a go, it's waiting patiently just for you!