Gurren Lagann, known in Japan as Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (天元突破グレンラガン Tengen Toppa Guren Ragan, literally "Heaven-Piercing Gurren Lagann"), is a Japanese mecha anime television series animated by Gainax and co-produced by Aniplex and Konami. It ran for twenty-seven episodes on Japan's TV Tokyo between April 1, 2007 and September 30, 2007. It was directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi, written by veteran playwright Kazuki Nakashima and had been in development since the participation of the famed animator in the Abenobashi mecha themed episodes by the same studio. The anime won several awards at the Tokyo International Anime Fair and the Animation Kobe and Japan Media Arts Festivals. Licensing for a North American release of Gurren Lagann was announced by ADV Films at Anime Expo 2007 on June 30, 2007, however, after an unexplained removal from ADV's catalog (despite having had finished the first five episodes), Bandai Entertainment announced it held the license at New York Comic Con 2008. It was also announced for a UK release by ADV Films at AmeCon 2007, however at AmeCon 2008 Beez Entertainment announced that they had the UK distribution rights instead. It was also announced by ADV Films Germany for a summer 2008 release. The Sci Fi Channel acquired the broadcasting rights of Gurren Lagann, and began airing the anime on July 28, 2008 as part of Sci Fi's Ani-Monday anime block. A manga adaptation started serialization in MediaWorks' Dengeki Comic Gao! on April 27, 2007, but switched over to ASCII Media Works' manga magazine Dengeki Daioh on April 21, 2008 due to the former being discontinued on February 27, 2008. Bandai Entertainment licensed the manga and released it in English in North America. A series of light novels have also been created and are published by Shogakukan. A video game based on the series, for the Nintendo DS, was released in October 2007, bundled with a special episode of the anime series. Two animated film versions were produced. The first premiered in Japanese theaters on September 6, 2008, and the second premiered on April 25, 2009.
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