The Martyrdom of Saint Viral
Tags: Anti-Spirals, Beastman, Diocletian, Diocletianus, Enki, Enki Bilal, Gilgamesh, Gurren Lagann, Human Eradication Army, Immortality, Jan von Adlmann, Kishin Shinoyama, Lyricism of brutality, martyrdom, Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian, Maximian, Maximianus, Nikopol, Nikopol Trilogy, Saint Sebastian, St Sebastian, St. Irene, The Man The Beast, Truth, Yukio Mishima
Viral cosplaying Saint Sebastian – (from /a/)
Viral is a member of the Human Eradication Army. After Kamina’s death, he continues to fight Gurren-Lagann, thinking that Kamina is still alive, and he is shocked once he learns the truth. After the fall of the empire, he resurfaces and causes an uproar with his Gunmen, calling Simon out to fight him. He is later taken into custody, and pilots Gurren during the battle against the Anti-Spirals. Viral thus becomes a ‘reformed villain‘ of sorts. It is also shown that his deepest desire is to get married and have children, but cannot do so as Beastmen lack the spiral energy necessary for reproduction. Towards the end of the series, it could possibly be implied that he has developed spiral energy. (wiki)
Viral’s name comes directly from the word “viral”, tying in with the Beastmen’s genetics theme, but there are other theories about his name’s origin. One is the fact that it can also be an anagram for “rival”, referring to his constant rivalry with Kamina, which transferred to Simon throughout the series until near the end. Another possible theory comes from the Nikopol Trilogy of comic books written by Enki Bilal, as Enki is the name of Viral’s first Gunmen and “Bilal”, pronounced in Japanese, sounds like “Viral”. Supporting this theory is Viral’s theme song, which is titled “Nikopol”, on the anime’s soundtrack.
The name of Viral’s Gunmen may be tied to the Sumerian deity Enki, though it is much more likely that there is a deliberate connection between his second Gunmen, Enkidu, and the character of Enkidu from the Epic of Gilgamesh. The myth consists of Enkidu (‘Enki’s creation’), a man of the wild who seeks to challenge King Gilgamesh, a mighty warrior, but who later befriends him and assists him in in his travels, which may be a reference to Simon and Kamina, as he initially wanted to beat them but later joined Simon to save the universe. (Wiki)
Saint Sebastian was an officer in the imperial bodyguard and had secretly done many acts of love and charity for his brethren in the Faith. When he was finally discovered to be a Christian, in 286, he was handed over to the Mauretanian archers, who pierced him with arrows; he was healed, however, by the widowed St. Irene. He was finally killed by the blows of a club.
The earliest mosaic picture of St. Sebastian, which probably belongs to the year 682, shows a grown, bearded man in court dress but contains no trace of an arrow. It was the art of the Renaissance that first portrayed him as a youth pierced by arrows. (New Advent)