Posted by psgels on 17 April 2013 with categories: Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet

Suisei no Gargantia, pretty much the best mecha series of the season. What I like best so far is how it’s more than just mecha: it’s just a story that has a mecha in it, it has a bit of gunplay in it, it has a bit of post apocalypse. It’s very varied and fleshed out. compare that to Majestic Prince, which feels very monotone, or Valvrave that just puts the tried and true school formula in a place where it doesn’t belong. Plus it’s the only show that can actually take itself seriously. That’s also a plus. I mean I like comedy as well and all, but comedy that feels out of place does more harm than good for me.

Not to say that this series is perfect though. The characters strangely remain teenagers, and the lead female in particular needs to be fleshed out more (though granted, she got a lot more tolerable in this second episode), and the same goes for the rest of the cast: aside from the male lead none really stands out so far, so the creators need to develop them somehow. Make them interesting.

What I liked about this show is that you can see that it’s going to escalate. That was quite cleverly done, in the way that those pirates were obliterated so easily without effort. It’s just the build-up to something much bigger and much worse, something that Urobuchi Gen tends to be good at. Though I’m not expecting a gore-fest, I am expecting that things will escalate somehow. It’s up to him to find a good way.
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

32 Responses

  1. Puran says:

    I am almost foreseeing a plot in the lines of “Our protagonist gets used to a quiet and simpler life and begins to warm up to those around him, when suddenly… TRAGEDY!”.

    I am enjoying the series so far though, so I hope to be pleasantly surprised (and even if I predicted the plot, with a good execution it will still be worth watching).

    • Shadow says:

      I doubt that will happen. This series will only be 12 episodes, so far the build up is taking quite a while *episode 3 will still deal with the aftermath of Red’s pirate massacre*

      Add in the opening sequence and you can see Red will have a harem, so 2 episodes will be taken to introduce the other girls properly.

      Then the pirates themselves don’t seem that much of a threat. But i think they might kidnap Amy later on.

      Yeah, i don’t see a lot of tragedy in the horizon, and Urobuchi stories are well written but you can see the dead end a mile away. In Madoka episode 2, i already got the hunch Mami was going to die and that Kyubey wasnt a nice guy. That’s not happening here.

      This series is Urobuchi exploring a new territory, he wants to prove us he can write good stuff besides psychological mindfucks. So i expect things to actually get lighter and cheerier as episodes go on.

      A few mindfucks here and there *but mostly related to Earth and Space, not related to any character* but never as dark or sinister as previous Urobuchi works.

      • Cytl says:

        I don’t think this is going to have an harem (they only appear flying together in the OP). After Ami, I imagine Red is going to treat the most with Ami’s brother and Pinion.
        Also, I agree with you saying this series probably/hopefulyl won’t be as dark as Gen’s previous works.

      • Ender says:

        He seems to be a lot better in hiding the serious nature of his shows, I mean if you just watched episode one again, you could figure out that a lot of stuff is going on, and it ain’t good.

        Really, watch the first episode again.. . .specifically, watch the first 6-7 minutes of the first episode.

  2. Ebisu says:

    I’d say Majestic Prince is a lot better at mecha stuff in particular than the other two shows, but that’s my opinion (I still feel Majestic Prince is the one who holds more potential of the three and you can easily see they paid more attention at making the mechas there).

    Valvrave is a lot more consistent in plot and setting rigft now and it’s still showing us the world and as you said building up. The reactions of the others in front of that level of destruction will be interesting to see. He has just altered the balance of power of the place after all.

    • Shadow says:

      Gargantia is not a meccha anime, Gargantia is an strictly sci-fi *more like psy-fi, if you think that this is an Urobuchi series*. It’s an anime where one of the characters pilots a meccha.

    • Ender says:

      MJP seems like a parody of those super sentai shows mixed with gundam

  3. UmbrellaMan says:

    I’m not sure if the lead is supposed to be a teenager. In the first episode it said that he had been serving in the military for some 145,000 hrs, which doing the math equals 16 years. Therefore I can assume that he hasn’t been serving since he was born. (Of course this is going off of the subtitles which could be wrong).

    Also, I loved the ending of this episode. He definitely showed himself to be a military machine. He completely wiped out the enemy with out even batting an eyelash. Obviously he has killed before, but those were alien creatures (unless they turn out to be humans). For killing fellow human being, most likely for the first time, he had no remorse, hesitation, or reservations (even if they were bad guys). Moreover, this was probably not the best way to win the “trust” of the people. They are going to see this as a major no no – crazy man from space that can obliterate everyone and everything in the blink of an eye. He just proved how dangerous he really is and that he poses a threat to them.

    • boa_sting says:

      I didn’t check official site or otherwise check better sources, but ANN preview lists Ledo at 16; he doesn’t look older than that based on the character design and even according to Amy, anyhow. The 145,000 hours is presumably just his age.

      I guess growing up and training are part of the service hours, so to speak. Kids have better reflexes for piloting mechas; pilots are raised from birth? The ones who survive longer, gain a lot of experience, and don’t feel like retiring to Avalon can become officers? Well then… it’s dumb but I’d say that the whole teenagers-in-mechas situation is maybe more realistic here than elsewhere.

      • Shadow says:

        No the reason why he is 16 yet he has served 16 years in the Alliance, is far simpler.

        Space travel takes time. He spent 6 months in cryostasis, yet his hair didn’t grew. That means, true, he has fought for 16 years, but he has been in cryostasis when not fighting, so Red could easily be 40 or 50 if you add space travel and wormhole mechanics.

        He even calls Amy a kid, despite the fact they are the same age.

        • Kiraly says:

          I like your explanation. I usually just ignore ‘canon’ ages (there’s no way Arturia is a highschool-age teenager), but this is a lot better.

  4. boa_sting says:

    Usually I’m not much of a fan of mechas flying around and overpowered attacks that don’t make any sense at all with regards to practical implementation and feasibility, but it’s different here. In this episode it’s used to (1) showcase the huge disparity in military capability but maybe more importantly (2) to shock everybody involved, including the viewers.

    As UmbrellaMan pointed out, that kind of extermination can’t really be the best way to win over the natives. Moreover, it seems extreme to those who think in terms of modern criminal justice. Armed robbery is bad and all, but instant death is a rather harsh penalty. But Ledo and Chamber are military, tools of war, especially Chamber. They’re apt to implement the cleanest, most efficient, least-risky solutions, which generally involves quick killing.

    • Shadow says:

      Well obviously episode 3 will deal with the aftermath of Red’s actions. I think is too soon to start criticizing.

      The captain of the Gargantia said it himself. “There’s no point in helping the weak, neither in space or sea.” Also the adults and the hight officers of the Gargantia are not taking him seriously, he needs to make a true “Show of power” if he wants to convince them to give him assistance.

      Add in the fact that Earth is a post-apocalyptic Waterworld-like planet, where survival and scavenging is the main means of survival. And things like what Red did, are not something to treat as a crime, but rather as an edge above the other fleets.

      Knowing Urobuchi, i am sure the Gargantia will be divided in groups due to Red’s actions. Those that support Red and want to help him *Amy & Co.* . Those that want to use Red for the fleet’s benefit *Gargantia Officers and that bitch that wanted to dismantle Chamber*. And those that fear Red *The Gargantia nameless filler people*

  5. Blizt says:

    There really is nothing wrong with the lead being teenager, I think you’re just kinda biased because we all have seen too many mecha shows that put teenagers as main characters/pilots.

    In this world’s setting, considering all the info revealed to us in episode 1, I think it’s safe to say the lead has been stationed, trained, and fought outside of Avalon since birth (or early childhood). To us, because of his appearance, we take him as a kid, but to the people of Avalon, he’s a full-fledged perfect solider, who only looked young because without permission, he cannot “grow”, so he may stay useful to them for as long as possible.

    At least, I found this setting much better than Valvrave or Majestic Prince, where the former just have a teenager to “happen to” find a mech and go in, and the later just…well, let 5 teenager pilots use the best mechs for whatever reasons…

    • Anna says:

      Hi Blizt, I’m not sure what you mean by this statement:

      “to the people of Avalon, he’s a full-fledged perfect soldier, who only looked young because without permission, he cannot “grow”, so he may stay useful to them for as long as possible.”

      Especially the ‘looked young because without permission he cannot grow’ part. Personally, I just think that the people of Avalon have no problem with raising a child as a soldier because they need manpower to fight the space creatures. He might have been a test tube baby created to be a soldier rather than a natural baby conceived from two Avalon citizens, and thus, was not automatically granted citizenship rights. Instead, he needs to fight in order to earn temporary citizenship rights.

      • valinor89 says:

        I think it is entirely possible that he was “born” a warrior. He could have been “fabricated” and grown with knowledge “downloaded” as seen in the intro when he is being educated while he is sleeping.

        Then you can have a fully functional soldier as soon as you take him out of the lab.

        • Anna says:

          Hi Valinor. While that is an interesting hypothesis, if it were true, Red’s aging process must be in statis or slowed down significantly. He has apparently served the military for 16 years (we can also assume that is his age since his external appearance is quite young), so if he was created as a fully-grown soldier, then he must not have aged very much in the 16 years that he was alive.

  6. Tomtom says:

    I really loved this so far. There is something about the art and animation that feels unique and vivid, even if you can’t really call it original. Solid, well-paced start of a story too.

    Disappointing if this is indeed only 13 episodes long though.. I am in desperate need for a new ‘long running scifi show with good world-building’.

    I hope this will be a story-driven 13 episodes, not character-driven. Because the characters feel fairly cliché but the setting is exciting to me.

    • valinor89 says:

      I like the use of saturated and high contrast colors. Kinda like eureka7 and specially Bonen no xamdou. Seems like they are imitating some kind of HDR (high dinamic range) filter.

      • Puran says:

        Yeah, I have to say, the second episode especially really reminded me of Bone’s work as well. I had to double check that it was Production IG doing it instead of bones. I have to say, the background art especially, is gorgeous.

        • Anna says:

          Production IG is quite adaptable with their art and animation style. They are also on fire lately…there are so many good series by them. Gargantia, Shingeki no kyojin, Kuroko no basket, Psych-Pass, Usagi Drop just to name a few

    • Carbine Gammaximon says:

      Yeah. the vividness and saturating colors just make the world all the more thrilling to see. Its the kind of place you would want to spend a holiday with your super advanced AI-powered mecha. paradise. The character designs are also something to enjoy – like the red-haired woman with intense blue eyes – cuteOVERKILL!!

    • boa_sting says:

      Saturated colors, kind of lush environment, yeah.

      On the other hand, humans on Earth seem to live pretty much entirely on rusted, red-to-brown ships. There’s no land, nothing much suggesting vegetation. There are the ships, the water, the sky (well, stars at night), and the characters. Their clothing, and to some extent the hair / eye / skin colors, are what fill in the rest.

      Now, this contradiction pretty much -has- to be intentional. With different shots, different direction, different storyline, this could be an extraordinarily monotone setting with perhaps an entirely different message.

  7. Houlgrave says:

    Eh…guys, for the last time…his name is Ledo, not Red! That was the result of bad subbing. xD

    Overall, a fine episode. Seems way too early to be criticizing it based on the fact we haven’t fully explored any cast yet…two episodes isn’t a whole lot of time ya know?

    Still, even if its only getting 13 episodes (at least as far as we know), every indication is showing that Gargantia definitely has the potential to be a wonderful viewing experience. Who knows, maybe even a classic in the making. :)

    • Anna says:

      You know what, everyone is arguing so much on whether his name is actually Ledo or Red so I don’t know what to believe. Myanimelist is overflowing with people disagreeing on this

      • UmbrellaMan says:

        @Anna. Crunchyroll subs have it as Ledo, as does Anime News Network. If that means anything to you…

        • Houlgrave says:

          Indeed they do. You’d think the correct name would be obvious as the freakin’ blue sky above our heads…but I guess if there are people out there who thinks Gatsu is Guts from Berserk even in 2013, then there will be plenty of people who think Red is correct as well. xD

          • jonas says:

            “Guts (aka Gats, Gatts, Gattsu, depending on translation, though it has been confirmed by Kentaro Miura his name is Guts)”.

  8. kero says:

    It’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed a mecha anime methinks.

    The total annhilatoin of the irates was a great moment, because it showed chasm that lay between RED and the people on the ships in terms of tech and culture

    Red is a soldier, and it shows in how he didn’t give a second thought in doing what he did to humans…

    That actually reminds me a bit of Kyubei in magical madoka, logical but not emotional/human

  9. Keros says:

    I don’t mean to be picky here psgels, but you are technically listing the name of the anime incorrectly. The english name is listed as Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet, not Vendurous.
    Verdurous meaning green and lush. I’m not sure if vendurous is a word??

  10. jonas says:

    Valvrave = Space Dracula piloting a giant robot.

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  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:23 PM)
    The voice of the main character got kind of annoying though, the dub wasn’t all that good either.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:22 PM)
    This was based on/was a homage to a series by the Gigantor creator and having grown up with gigantors 90s reboot this felt like a nice throwback, plot is fairly simple but used effectively. It’s a shame that it feels like there was more to tell but at seven episodes I suppose it avoids outstaying its welcome.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:20 PM)
    Decided to marathon Giant Robo, I think this was mentioned by someone on here before. I guess it was fairly entertaining, great action direction, looked good for its time, you don’t notice the hour long episodes go by, adequate characters, nice retro artstyle also, not sure if I got excited over this as big O and Mazinger however but still fun enough nonetheless.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:10 AM)
    Seeing Hoffman in before the devil knows your dead and his character being dependent on drugs, that was another thing that hit me a bit knowing the circumstances of his death. Watching most wanted man I could also see that he was wearing out physically.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:00 AM)
    This is not Anno bitching about otakus jacking off to his characters and turning around and selling Rei panties, this isn’t the idiots at Shaft throwing around meaningless camera angles and the oh-so-symbolic teeth brushing scenes, this is a human being looking you in the eye with fear and telling you that he’s dying; morbid, honest, moving and remarkable.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:55 AM)
    Given my rants regarding Birdman it should be clear that I’m a sucker for these rare instances where the line between movie and reality get blurred- when an actor looks at a camera and just bares their heart out. This is the realism that reality tv tried but could never capture. this is art in one of its most sincere forms.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:50 AM)
    Oh yeah Hoffman was a massive talent and a beloved actor, so I don’t take it lightly when I call Synecdoche his greatest role ever. Given his death and knowing the circumstances of his life at the time imbues this performance with a chilling sincerity that just breaks your heart and leaves you in awe.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:42 AM)
    Oh Andrew Niccol, oh how the mighty have fallen.
    Hoffman showed up in Capote and most wanted man, the latter which I especially love and there need to be more thrillers of that vein coming out.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:37 AM)
    It’s funny how they also each have a Nicolas Cage movie. Kaufman has Adaptation and Niccol has Lord of War. Although despite the usual Cage antics neither of those movies is really that bad.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:33 AM)
    Eternal Sunshine and The Truman Show are the two roles where Jim Carrey really demonstrated his acting chops well outside of his usual comfort zone. But Kaufman moved forward from Sunshine with the superior Synecdoche, while Andrew Niccol went from doing Truman Show and Gattaca to doing young adult garbage like The Host *wretches*

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