Posted by psgels on 13 June 2013 with categories: Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet

Aah, the build-up. The thing is, this episode on its own was really good. Here you can really see that Urobuchi Gen wrote this, in the cold way he analyzes his settings, and he really has a character who is as objective as possible, setting aside any personal bias you might have. That part on its own ws really well written.

Gen loves to use this cold, realistic and objective character on one side, and a naive (but not stereotypically naive) character on the other. The fact that this character is not stereotypically naive is important: this prevents cheese. Ledo went from this cold-hearted guy to someone with a lot of empathy. The thing is that I have trouble buying that he changed so radically. He was very well able to think rationally: the fact remains that the Hideazu have threatened the existence of humankind. I can understand that he would feel conflicted about killing humans, but he didn’t even try to consider both options. That was a missed opportunity I feel.

I believe that Gargantia would have been best if it was about a season and a half long. As weird as it sounds, the creators should have had more episodes like number 6 and 7, dedicated to explain exactly why the characters in this series changed, the way they did. Right now the character-development is great, but a bit out of left field. Pinion for example: he was this normal guy until last episode suddenly revealed that he has this big trauma with his lost brother, and now suddenly he’s leading his own ship that takes over pirate ships and… stuff. Note though: these are nitpicks. Overall I like this series a lot.
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

17 Responses

  1. kero says:

    seven was good, but six was yeurgh.

    I agree that they should have explored some more of the underlying motivations of the characters and a more gradual development of the characters, or at least sewn in elements a bit earlier to bring that into fruition. Pinion’s about suddenly escalation into power crazy money grubber was a bit too much.

    The best I’ve seen something like that done was probably Gungrave.

    The story writing for Gargantia feels adhoc.

    Even the girl, and the other two girls, the one with the porn name Melty, and the other that I can’t remember, how do they figure aside from being fanbait?

    I think if I was to write it, I would have gone down the route of showing how ‘humanity’or galactic alliance whatnot was very shitty and up to lots of nasty deeds, and that hideazu complemented earth nature better, and so he’d question was it right to continue fighting for what was immoral.

    I’d make the girl salvager lady more competent, and add a hint of darkness to Pinion earlier, get rid of the girls, and replace them with hotboys (at least that’s fanbait I can enjoy ;p)

    I’d also make the young sick boy smarter, and work it somehow that they’re on the boats that run out to forage, perhaps have some connection between him and Pinion (love of engineering etc, reminder of sibling relationships with dead brother, could work)

    I’d probably have to kill young boy, or pinion or both for emotional impact at some point.

    mm, that’s all I’ve got so far. + More kick ass robot battles of course.
    ___

    ___

    looking forward to seeing what happens now there’s a second big robot

  2. Mazz says:

    I have to disagree with you about Ledo. I was discussing this episode A LOT on the crunchyroll forums and I have to say I find his reactions justified. If you put his reaction like this I think it makes more sense. Ledo has just found out that there are both good and bad humans in the world. Gargantia is good, pirates arent. The way the GA is run makes me feel as if there probably arent many bad people, and if there are, they would die pretty fast. Now he is figuring out that like humans (who they originate from), there are both good and bad hideauze. The space ones are presumable bad (assuming they threaten humanity like chamber says. Although I’d take any dialogue from chamber with a grain of salt) and there are good hideauze (earth/sea hideauze). He feels guilty for killing all those innocent hideauze, and the fact that he was lied to was just icing on the cake. I feel it’s less about their humanity and more about the fact he just slaughtered some babies. Otherwise I agree with you.

    Oh and thank you for not saying “how are they gonna end this series in 3 episodes.” Many people were complaining about that which I find dumb since 3 episodes is like 20% of the show.

    • psgels psgels says:

      Really, they’re saying that about this series, of all things? I actually think that it can get a pretty good ending if it plays its cards right.

  3. TheUltimateReaper says:

    This episode was good. I’m not vastly impressed, but its starting to look like Gargantia is solid.

  4. iz4n4gi says:

    Actually the trauma of his long lost brother was revealed in a previous episode when Bebel played the flute while his brother was shipped off in a pod.

    The Moral conflict about the Hideauze is not actually about whether or not they are good or bad. Wars blur the line and when they go on for centuries one often forgets why the blood feud even started. The actual Moral conflict is about why the Alliance forces justify the war in the first place; the Hideauze are said to be inferior species / abberation when actually they are the bio-technical advancement of the human species. Chamber’s justification itself is also null–the Hideauze on earth get along with the humans just fine, as long as they stay out of each other’s way. The Verderous planet itself is the utopian term in which human survival is not reduced to mere technological progress and constant war, and where evolution is possible without a sort of crude social darwinism. The contradiction is the ideologies that separate the common humanity that belongs to both the GA and the Hideauze.

    • Nyangoro says:

      Pretty much. It’s a conflict of realities. The GA and the Hideauze is very clearly a continuation of the war begun by the “ancient” human civilization. The two sides in that scenario simply don’t know how to live together, because their mindsets are so radically different that the feel coexistence is impossible. They felt that this fundamental difference would become a hindrance to both sides (which it was, based on the footage).

      Meanwhile, on Earth, the two sides grew up in their own realms. One occupying “land,” and the other occupying water. This allowed them to live separate from each other, making way for cohabitation. So long as they left well enough alone, they didn’t need to disturb the other.

      This series has always been about conflicting worldviews, and it just comes to a head here.

      I do understand the character development issue though. Granted, I do think that their motivation is easily inferred, but the fact remains that it still has to be inferred. Whether or not the amount needed to be inferred is too much depends on the individual, but I can easily see where that’s coming from. Personally, I think Pinion’s actions are based around the idea of legacy. He and his brother were set up to unearth amazing treasure. Revenge was only part of it. This was his and his brother’s great finding, and he wanted that knowledge to last. Hence, his seemingly power-hungry appearance here.

  5. Arno says:

    Wow, what a disappointment.

    First, the sudden transformation of cheerful Pinion into overlord of the seas was unsettling.

    It was also accompanied by the moralizing disapproval of Gargantia about the fact that he mastered the pirates. Again. They really love their pirates.

    Second, the robot proved Ledo wrong, in a very simple way that Ledo should have inferred himself :

    – Hideauze are not humans but another species

    – Hideauze are unavoidable enemies

    With that and the way his dismay was directed, completely over the top, Ledo’s character regressed into a wimpy 5 year old kid. Chambers was basically telling him “shut up and listen, kid”.

    And then they brought back the fetus-looking crying baby hideauze again. Although it is biologically very unlikely, and although admitting they are not human.

    And the show was full of a feeling of moral disapproval, although they were showing that humankind immediately benefited from killing the hideauze. Scavenging the bottom of the sea is not an immoral luxury for them, its the survival of their civilization.

    It’s ok to have a show that says “don’t kill and seek peaceful coexistence”. But then you should not show those who are killed as irreconcilable enemies of humankind, and their killing immediately bringing a huge benefit for civilization.

    • Mazz says:

      So far all we know that they found are a bunch of weapons of mass destruction. Sure helpful to the survival of the human race.

      I wouldn’t say the Hideauze are enemies of humankind. At least, not ALL hideauze are enemies of humankind. The ones in space? Sure. But the ones on Earth are innocent. Ledo’s problem is that he just killed a bunch of innocent creatures. Chamber makes it out as if all Hideauze are bad, which isn’t the case. They didn’t NEED to kill the Hideauze to survive, and we can’t say the WMD’s will benefit anyone yet. And I’ll bet there was a reason the Hideauze took over that base. They aren’t stupid, after all, humans are their ancestors. That last part is speculation for now, so we’ll have to wait and see. You bring up some good points that need answering.

    • jzar says:

      yeah, Ledo reminded me of another whinny kid….Shinji Ikari, who I didn’t like then.

  6. Sywen says:

    a lot seem to miss some crucial facts

    Ledo did not know the Hideauze were intelligent beings. the GA knows this but they hide it from their soldiers.

    He just found out they are intelligent, and he has just been slaughtering innocent babies and females. i think his reactions are quite understandable. killing innocent babies and females is very different then killing soldiers like he did in space or killing criminals, like the pirates. It is explicitly said that Ledo ( and i assume every soldier of the GA) never even saw any nest, let alone females or babies.

  7. Arno says:

    “Innocent babies” is the most disappointing of it all, because 1) it is biologically impossible that they would look like humans as fetuses and then turn into squids, and 2) it’s really a cheap emotional trick.

    As for females, it is a bit anachronistic in 2013 to talk of females as militarily innocent. In this series the adult human females are not shown as innocent, and the female hideauze are not human anyway. Objectively, the destruction of baby and female hideauze will help human babies and females.

    They tried to further develop a feeling of doom and gloom by making them find canons as their first scavenging results, but they also showed that those canons were used immediately to defeat pirates. It is not mass destruction weapons, it is target weapons, and it solved their number one problem.

    Also, even on earth the hideauze were always a latent threat, and were aggressively preventing humans to access critical resources. And they were NOT humans. The little squirrel with the girl is genetically closer to humans then the hideauze are.

    • jonas says:

      Lets imagine they are like gorillas (animals that kind of look like humans). Would you not feel bad about killing a shit ton of them just because they are in the way?

      Even if Ledo is a soldier, he is not a psychopath, of course he is going to feel bad about killing non-combatant creatures.

      Ledo is experiencing what Metal Gear calls “Combat High”:

      “Due to large quantities of adrenaline released during combat, the body enters a state of intoxication. In this state, the combatant’s sense of guilt fades.

      When the combatant recovers from a combat high, he may suddenly be stricken by feelings of remorse”.

      • Taara535 says:

        jonas has it right here. It shouldn’t even matter if they are humans are not. The fact is, as the video shows, they are intelligent. One cannot justify the slaughtering of intelligent animals (or formerly humans). It would be like someone rooting for the destruction of baby dolphins (and furthermore we have distinct evidence that in this universe the Earth Hideauze – fairly harmless – are much more intelligent than dolphins).

  8. Arno says:

    To be more precise, fetuses showing limbs different in nature from their future adult shape would be possible if it was a metamorphosis species. Like frogs or butterflies. But neither humans nor squids are metamorphosis species.

    It is even stranger when you consider that there are two metamorphosis here, since we have seen three stages of development of hideauze :

    – fetus crying like a born baby

    – mute angel-looking child

    – sea monster for Hanna Barbera pirates cartoon

    The two first states seem to exist only to show it is so wrong to kill them.

    Chambers also says that that species has developed an exoskeleton, and to illustrate that mollusks with shells are shown. But he hideauze are never shown with a shell, or if that is an exoskeleton, it is so flexible that it must have reduced the human bones to jelly.

    It is not explained either how multiple eyes can grow on the limbs of a squid instead of the head, without being destroyed all the time. Except maybe to show hints of human intelligence in something that cannot look human.

    But yeah, even without thinking about all that, when you see for the second time the face of the guy inside the butt/mouth of the squid, you can begin to wonder if this show is serious.

    • kero says:

      agree. making the hideazu foetus look human was a cheap trick to garner a emotive response that was needed to provide impetus for the plotline of Ledo feeling conflicted.

      I would have been more full of admiration if they could have arrived at Ledo feeling emotional if they had done it without what were essentially crying human babies being squished to death. I found it a turn off.

  9. jonas says:

    This episode is basically Twilight of the Idols. Pinion´s attitude has become more arrogant, because Ledo proved that there are no gods, that the whale squids were just animals, something that he had suspected before, due to the death of his brother (he has gone from a “Good/bad” based morality, to a “strong/weak” based one, like Chamber).

  10. ServantOfPriss says:

    A little too late, sadly. This should’ve happened four or three episodes ago. Nothing impressive, if you ask me.

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  • Friend
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 08:15 AM)
    :-)
  • Friend
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 08:11 AM)
    @Bam I’ve sent you the rough sketch via Deviantart. Don’t expect too much, It’s only done to show the perspective and lighting.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 06:43 AM)
    @Friend: I’m excited to see it, but unfortunately hadn’t had long access to desktop to draft mine yet :/
    You might wanna leave an indication on yours as to where the shaman goes if you can, that would be great.
  • Friend
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 06:34 AM)
    Woah, that was a long discussion about the Inca O.o
    @Bam I’m nearly done with the rough draft, maybe a few more hours.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 06:20 AM)
    @Vincent: That was pretty much the entirety of it. We were destined to cross Mississippi and inhabit the west, so why not take an active part in manifesting our supposed fate?
  • k-off
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 03:34 AM)
    @Vincent No shit.
  • Vincent
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 03:14 AM)
    @Bam Slightly. Did americans use manifest destiny as an excuse to steal land from the natives?
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 03:05 AM)
    @Vincent: I guess we were slightly more honest about it. It is funny how we use the fact after the matter as evidence of our divine providence. It’s like holding a gun to somebody and saying “fate wants you to die”, proceed to shoot them, and then say “see! I was right” lol
  • Vincent
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 02:56 AM)
    @Bam But unlike the american concept of manifest destiny, the Japanese used it as an excuse to wage what they were really doing: a war to hoard resources.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 02:52 AM)
    @Vincent: I see. A similar doctrine to Manifest Destiny.

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