Posted by psgels on 7 June 2013 with categories: Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet

So in these two episodes Gargantia gets back on track. For starters, I really thought that that captain dying was just a minor plot point: something that had to happen, but would be glossed over pretty quickly. Instead the creators dedicate nearly an entire episode to it. And it was really good: it showed what an impact death can have for such a fleet. It showed how some people didn’t have confidence in the new captain, and therefore roke up. It had a much bigger impact than I thought it would, and not just for plot related reasons. I think that that episode was really well put together.

The episode after that showed the real identity of the hideazu. It’s a twist that reminded me a lot about a certain other show which I’m not going to mention here for the sake of spoilers. I mean, what’s important here is not the twist itself, but the context: what does it mean for the actual plot? Well, for that it’s a bit shoehorned. I’m not suddenly feeling sorry for Ledo that he killed what once were a bunch of humans, because really: that just looks down on actual wars, and I don’t really understand why he suddenly felt sorry: these ARE the creaturs who threatened his race to extinction.

However, for world building, it was great. Heck show me more about those Hideazu who were genetically engineered humans. They sound interesting! Their backstory as humanity’s last hope of surviving the ice age sounds definitely interesting. Okay, it’s a bit far-fetched, but I like the ideas.

Overall, you can see tha the individual episode directors of this series got some freedom: there is definitely some general pacing and continuous story, but every episode has a slightly different atmosphere and tone. I’m not sure whether this really is the right formula for this series, but at the very least things are looking better than the previous episodes again. Still, I think that the pacing here could have been a little smoother.
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

14 Responses

  1. Blizt says:

    I think that despite the fact Ledo’s been fighting Hideazu for nearly all his life, and hating them to the guts, the reason for him to show that sudden emotion breakdown is because he “killed” human, his own kind (even though they pretty much look nothing like human, well except those babies and the last one Chamber squished).

    In episode 7, when he was raging and complaining to Amy, he did mention about how people on Earth instead of working together to fight Hideazu, they continued to kill or go into conflict with each other.

    I’m guessing that human’s survival is so hard in space, that they always need more people to fight, that the Human Galaxy Alliance strictly forbidden one to kill another human being.

    And yes, the weak will be disposed, but they probably viewed that as a “necessity”, as opposed to actually think they “killed” them.

    Although, I guess even now knowing Hideazus were actually humans, killing them is also a “necessity” for Ledo, it’s debatable whether he will continue to act like the end of this episode, perhaps after he calmed down a bit, he will convince himself to kill them again…

  2. Arno says:

    Meh… If I had to sum up what is wrong with this show I would say “too nice”.

    When they showed the robot killing baby hideazu that looked like human fetuses my reaction was “oh come on…”

    Also as Psgels says it is not clear why Ledo suddenly feels so sorry, because after all he was just confirmed that the hideazu were deadly enemies. He hadn’t shown the same scruples against the pirates who were less dangerous and fully human…

    I also had doubts when the robot said they were some 120% weaker than the space hideazu. To me that qualifies as a different species, so why go on slaughtering foxes when you were intent on killing wolves ?

    Also, in the first episode I had found the hideazu to be ridiculous monsters for kids’ stories, but I had forgotten about them because the following scenes on Gargantia were so great. Here not only I find that the recurring hideazu cast a certain doubt about the seriousness of the show (beware of the transgenic green squid monsters !!!), but I found the scene with the hideazu in their state of hybrid mutation really pathetic.

  3. Keiki says:

    Did everyone forget that they tried to make Ledo more human bit by bit in past episodes? I think that was mainly what the past episodes were trying to accomplish. It doesn’t seem so strange to see him feeling sorry now…

  4. Arno says:

    It is fully human to make war against enemies.

    I get it that the message is war is ugly and killing is bad, and I agree. The problem in this series is that they launched the grand emotional orchestra of universal peace twice (pirates and hideauze) just while confirming that the enemies were deadly danger.

    They should have made the pirates capable of retreat or shown the hideauze as victims in their origins. Not resolute explicit enemies and deadly danger.

    You have just been confirmed that your enemies have been your enemies from the start and by their very nature, not because of some unfortunate historical circumstance, and that humanity always had to fight them in order to survive, and it’s precisely that moment that you choose for crumbling down ?

    I agree with a pacifist message, but then make the war unjustified, stoppable and make the enemies capable of peaceful coexistence.

  5. black says:

    I’m not sure that Ledo felt sorry, I think he is just very confused about what’s right and wrong. Maybe this was the first time he realized that his enemies are the hideauze, not the whalesquids. I mean there is no war between the latter and the humans on Earth. It’s like killing all sharks because they’re dangerous.

  6. Starss says:

    Too bad this episode didn’t happen about 3 episodes sooner. I really enjoyed the hideauze and ice age story. It was the most interesting thing that’s happened since the initial landing on Gargantia. I think the key was the abruptness of the realisation for Ledo, especially since he’s been feeling all sorts of new emotions lately.

    Also, Amy has a braided mullet.

  7. jonas says:

    Ledo is in shock not because he is killing humans, but because he just found out that his life is a lie. There are no aliens that want to wipe out human life. The Galactic Allience are just sending people like him, and his brother to dead, for simple revenge.

  8. Arno says:

    Ok, I am not totally sure now and I don’t have the time to rewatch. It seems to me there are three elements in this episode :

    – a plot twist that says that Ledo has been lied to and he should now rebel against his education

    – an aesthetic directing that says that what Ledo was horrible (baby hideazu looking like fetuses and child hideazu looking like innocent angel)

    – a confirmation that hideazu are enemies

    Also the judgment “hideazu are humans” is scientifically wrong. They are far more apart from humans than apes from humans. Although of human origin they are now a different species. Genetically it’s as if you said that dinosaurs are human because of a remote common ancestry in genetic history.

    Then even if you consider the hideazu as humans, it doesn’t make them less enemies. They are a foreign army and Ledo is a soldier at war against them.

    Ledo was lied to as regards the origin of the hideazu, he was not lied to about the fact that they are enemies.

    • jonas says:

      The video showed that the GA followed the hideazu into space just to kill them for being treacherous transhuman aberrations. They were not competing for resources or anything.

      The point is that the Hideazu and humans may be enemies in space, but on earth they are just living beings. Kind of like same theme as “You Don´t mess with the Zohan”.

      • ServantOfPriss says:

        It was the opposite: the GA’s predecessor was going to leave Earth through some sort of portal, and the Hideauze stranded as a result. This wasn’t favorable to the Hideauze, as the Earth was in full Ice Age mode. So the Hideauze found out and decided to chase the GA’s predecessor as revenge and to survive as well.

  9. kero says:

    08 and 09 were a whole lot better than the previous episodes and I loved the back story of the hideazu.

    The revelation wasn’t a major surprise, I kinda felt it after seeing the attack scenes and the mouth bit did look like heads to me.

    There were several bits that were ‘trying too hard’ and could really have been better.

    1. Baby hideazu looking like babies and making crying screaming noises when they’re killed.

    2. Proto hideazu with humanoid form and big doe eyes preceding shots of cute litte girl.

    3. how they combined the human dude with the hideazu form together. Seriously, that’s how it happened? What. (how does that even fit in with the baby hideazu that looks like human foetus??)

    4. Ledo’s reaction, I kinda agree with comments above, yeah I’m sure it’d mess you up to feel like you’ve been lied to.. but considering how he completely obliterated a whole bunch of pirates at the start, and the hideazu are still ‘enemies’ of the human (that look like humans) race, his cries of horror doesn’t match.

    I mean he’s realised that his younger brother has been eliminated by the people he fights for, and he was okay with that, but OMG Baby Hideazu being squished is too much for him, I can’t quite believe the switch from the detachment he was feeling.

    Anyhow, interested to see how it will go, despite the flaws.

  10. Nautical says:

    Yeah, I’m not feeling much for the coexistence message going on (the sudden sympathy felt awkward and jarring), and the revelation of Hideauze=morphed humans was a bit too familiar. But I agree that the world building was fantastic. I absolutely love all the different elements going into the story of what happened in humanity’s past, everything from the politics to bioethics to man vs. environment. The peaceful episodes on Gargantia was starting to slow to a bore (those fanservice episodes…), so I’m glad we’re at least getting this tone shift.

  11. DmonHiro says:

    Well, here’s the thing. We’ve never actually seen the Hide ATTACK humans. We’ve only seen humans attack THEM. In the 1st episode, the humans were trying to destroy their hive/nest, of course they’re gonna defend that. The whalesquids did NOT attck anyone not attacking them first. So far, it’s the normal humans that seem the bad guy.

    The only “facts” we have that those are bloodthirsty monsters come from the Federation, which is hardly a trustworthy source.

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  • prince
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 10:04 PM)
    I have commented on your Schwarzesmarken episode 4 review and also answered your questions so please check it out
  • wicked
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 07:26 PM)
    Fire dragon arc! Fire dragon dies in the 5th episode
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 04:06 PM)
    @Bam, Well the three games were originally supposed to be one. But it turned out that the first two were bundled together and Alternative was made a separate release.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 08:38 AM)
    Jesus I never expected that doing a myanimelist/letterboxd account thing would be so hard. I’ve seen a scarily higher amount than I thought, its insanely hard to remember everything to add.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 06:17 AM)
    It seems then that the future of the franchise’s anime adaptations rests a bit on Schwarzesmarken’s success, which looking at the buzz doesn’t seem favourable at all. I doubt it can regain the lost audiences.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 06:14 AM)
    That would suggest that the author(s) had the foresight of including seemingly useless stuff that will come into play later. That’d be impressive if they did, as these kinda series are make-it-as-you-go.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 01:59 AM)
    It’s difficult to put into words but essentially while the first game isn’t good, it does work as a tool for introducing and endearing you to the characters. Then Unlimited sets down the rules of the new world. And finally alternative proceeds to kick your ass into next Tuesday.
    That’s sort of why I don’t think it would have the same effect if it was an anime. VNs allow you to get a more personal connection with the characters.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 01:55 AM)
    It’s not quite the same. It’s more like there are things in extra which seem insignificant but turn out to play an important role later. It wouldn’t really work the same if you did it in reverse order. Character history is a bit different too as each game is essentially an alternate universe. The character histories in extra are different from those in alternative.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:38 PM)
    And also remember how Darker Than Black had a big jump between the main series and Gemini of the Meteor. They later made a 4 episode OVA that covered the gap, and although you knew the outcome it was still entertaining; or at least more than the Gemini one. There’s merit to non-linear chronology and storytelling, but it is usually very hard to pull. The audience is intrigued by secrets that can later be uncovered, although in anime the pay-off is not always substantial.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:32 PM)
    I don’t know, the audience usually only needs very limited information to figure out dynamics and histories between the characters.

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