TOKYO, JAPAN — As part of a special 10th Anniversary celebration panel of the Gurren Lagann The Movie: The Lights in the Sky are Stars movie, Gainax announced on Friday that they would be co-producing a new Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann film that crosses over with Darling in the Franxx, alongside Studio Trigger, a studio created by several former Gainax employees.
The crossover comes at an opportune time for both companies. Gainax Co. Ltd has failed in recent years to launch new anime IPs that rival the successes of their earlier series, notably Neon Genesis Evangelion. Meanwhile, Studio Trigger’s latest series, SSSS.Gridman, has struggled to translate its critical acclaim into profit, with middling blu-ray sales.
Yet the main producer for the project and Gainax co-founder Hiroyuki Yamaga insisted during the announcement that the crossover comes from a place of creativity. “When I watched the final few episodes of Darling in the Franxx, it reminded me of many of our studio’s finales. I was pleased to see that Imaishi-san has managed to spread our ending ethos. I had to call him up and congratulate the studio. And that’s when we started reminiscing and informally talking about a collaboration.”
Hiroyuki Imaishi, director of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is no stranger to creating cohesive multiverses, having tried to do so previously with Space Patrol Luluco. Announced as a co-director with Atsushi Nishigori, the latter of whom directed Darling in the Franxx, Imaishi is keen to return to the universe of TTGL. “I’ve missed Simon and the Spirals for a decade, and I’m excited to return and tell more of his adventures. Also, Zero Two is both really cute and sexy, so it’s always fun to create stories with those types of characters.”
Although plot details are scant, Imaishi was also quoted saying, “Considering how long it took for Zero Two and Hiro to return to their planet while travelling through space, it got me thinking about how the Spirals are maybe still out there and that they maybe interacted with them. I’ve always regretted letting Nia fade away at the end of [Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann] and I really enjoyed how innovatively Zero Two and Hiro were able to stay together. I hope the audience is willing to join me on this journey.”
The new movie is slated for 2022 according to promotional material. Hiroyuki Imaishi’s new film, Promare, is scheduled for release this year.