Never Giving Up: Kamina and the Spirit Fruit of Faithfulness
“Believe in the me who believes in you!”
Kamina is the most faithful character in Gurren Lagann. From the very first moment he is introduced in the show, he’s always there and always ready to give his support, especially to Simon.
This may come as somewhat of a shock for those of you who know that Kamina dies fairly early in the show. How could he be the most faithful and loyal character in the show, and not only to Simon, but to almost every other character, when he’s not around for over half the story?
While looking up faithful in my handy dictionary, I found several different definitions listed: “steadfast in affection or allegiance : loyal”, “firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty” and “given with strong assurance, binding (such as a faithful promise)”.
It’s easy to see that Kamina is a driving force in the first part of Gurren Lagann. He’s the one who charges into impossible ideas and convinces Simon he’s worth something—that he can do anything. First, with breaking through the surface, then getting Gurren Lagann, Kamina seemed like the firm cornerstone of Team Dai Gurren.
Then, come episode 8, he’s gone. Like that. But, the special talent Kamina had was making a larger than life impact on everyone he meets, friend or foe. One could even say he made his words and actions bigger than life on purpose, so Simon could remember them. Despite Kamina’s reluctance not to die, I think he knew his duty to Simon and his friends, and he took it very seriously, despite his over the top attitude.
These actions and words of Kamina are carried with all the characters as they continue on their quest as Team Dai Gurren to save the world. In fact, Kamina has the most lines quoted by other characters in the series, which include but are not limited to, “Who the hell do you think I am?”, “Let me see you grit those teeth!”, and even Kitan calling all his men, “You bozos!” in a friendly way just like Kamina did.
One of the two best scenes in the anime is when both Simon and Yoko tell Nia, who had never met Kamina, the same story from different points of view.
Back in their village, long before before they broke through the ceiling, Simon, his family and Kamina had gotten trapped in a tunnel cave in. Simon had his drill, but was too unsure of himself to have the energy to dig all of them out.
Simon tells the story of how Kamina was the bravest one there and he kept everyone’s spirits up and wouldn’t give up, even though all hope seemed lost. He was beaming with confidence as always and Simon was able to dig them all out with the help from Kamina. Simon knew that it was Kamina was the one who saved everyone.
Yoko tells the story from how Kamina had told it to her. Kamina didn’t feel brave at all at that time. In fact, he was terrified of being trapped in that cave and just knew he was going to die. What good was he? He’d asked himself. He knew he couldn’t do anything. But Simon, the master of drilling! He knew Simon could dig them out. So Kamina, scared out of his wits, gathered enough energy to cheer Simon on and stay by his side, for it was all he felt he could do. It was Simon who saved everyone; Kamina just believed in him.
I was honored to be given the opportunity to join the Spirit Fruits series of posts, but I will admit while faithfulness is the one I chose, it’s something I fail at quite a bit in my life. As a very selfish person, I often feel too bothered to take time out of my life to keep up remaining faithful to others and sticking by them no matter what all the time. This is probably why Gurren Lagann had such a big impact on me, or rather, why I loved Kamina as the character. Sure, overall, it’s a show that never takes itself too seriously and just has lots of fun, but it’s also a major confidence booster, and that’s mainly because of Kamina’s faithfulness, in person first and in memory long afterwards, to Team Dai Gurren. If you’re faithful to those you care about, you’ll go far. And, it’s even better to know that someone is faithful and loyal to you. Simon knows this all too well and that’s what kept him fighting.
Being faithful doesn’t mean you have to be strong all the time or become the hero who saves everyone; it’s being there when it counts. It’s not giving up on someone. And even after his death, Kamina remained a strong, booming memory in everyone’s hearts that drove them onwards to never give up until they not only pierced the heavens, but rewrote the entire universe as well.
I think just knowing someone is loyal and faithful to us gives us the strength to go on another day, to face life head on. It’s no wonder that God’s faithfulness to us is mentioned countless times in the Bible. Even though bad things may happen and our lives may come crashing down, He remains faithful to us through thick and thin.
Other Posts in the Fruits of the Spirit Series:
Love: Honda Tohru (Fruits Basket)
Joy: Sasami Jurai (Tenchi Muyo!)
Peace: Ashitaka (Princess Mononoke)
Patience: Alicia Florence (ARIA)
Kindness: Vash the Stampede (Trigun)
Goodness: Sawako Kuronuma (Kimi ni Todoke)