Posted by psgels on 2 July 2013 with categories: Anime Reviews, Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet



Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet tells the storyline of a planet that is completely submerged, with only giant ships residing on the surface, while one of those ships gets visited by this guy and his AI-mecha from this very technologically advanced civilization. Yes, this show is about world building.

What this show managed to do really well is create a culture for the people who live on these ships, complete with customs, a new religion, a clothe style, a way of behavior. They use the technologically advanced culture well to explore this culture by clashing it, and show the differences. The show can keep this up, and it definitely has some interesting ideas to explore.

The shame is that this is a 13-episoded series that really just needed 26 episodes. It’s not rushed because of that, but it does have pacing issues, and glosses over a lot, and doesn’t really get to explore this setting to its fullest.Same goes for the characters: there are some good ones here: Ledo and his AI have this really good chemistry, and the acting in general is also quite good and down to earth… with some notable exceptions though. There are a number of annoying characters, and really weird character character-decisions that don’t make much sense. The storyline has nice ideas on one hand, but it does get a bit boring and redundant at others. Especially the beginning is good, and the conclusion also has its moments, but in the middle there are a few episodes that could have been better used; they waste too much time.

It’s a solidly produced series, and the creators managed to make this show stand out with tis visuals that manage to remain expressive. Gargantia is a show with issues, but I personally think that the pros weigh over the cons and it’s worth a watch. Just don’t go out of your way to watch it though, because there just are better series.
One-Sentence Review: Good world-building and characterization versus some big pacing issues causing this show to not get the full potential out of its ingredients, by far.
Suggestions:
Blue Submarine No.06
Heat Guy J
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

17 Responses

  1. Oroboros says:

    After the first 4 episodes, this series settled in a groove of mediocrity with audience pandering. Hopefully Urobuchi’s next work, Expelled from Paradise will return his nihilistic aesthetic.

    But I thank PSGELS for mentioning other scifi shows, which I am now watching: GeneShaft and Heat Guy J. :)

    • selma says:

      I’m a big urobuchi fan and the same thing happened to me I lost interest after the first 4 episodes and dropped the show but when the show ws over I somehow went back and watched the last episodes and I can say i was very pleasantly surprised if you can bare with some not so good episodes in the middle you won’t disappoined by the last 3 episodes they are worth the watch at least for bro chamber’s epicness

  2. Puran says:

    For a series that spent half of its airtime building up, it’s a marvel that its climaxes felt like they weren’t built up at all.

    Maybe it would have worked better as a 26 episode series, but I don’t think it even used its current air-time correctly. The story was simple, straightforward (and kinda cute/interesting), but wasn’t even executed that well, because the characters weren’t developed enough for us to care.

    All in all, I didn’t regret watching it, but I can’t really recommend it to anyone.

  3. ServantOfPriss says:

    I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. As it’s been mentioned before, the first three episdoes and the last arc (two or three episodes) were good, but other than that, this is the blandest of three. Yes, even moreso than MJP. And MJP is cliched as fuck. But it has a sort of charm at least. Gargantia is just there. It doesn’t do anything with the genre it belongs to nor does it stand out at all. Again, like MJP, but MJP has a sort of Macross/Nadesico charm that makes it tolerable.

    The fact that this show’s best character was the mech’s AI and the lesbian pirates and the “asshole” mechanic makes me cringe.

    It seemed like this show was being written by three or perhaps four different teams, and they just put in all they could from what the three teams did in 24 minutes for each episode.

  4. Jipooki says:

    I finished it. I think it was pretty good. Yes the first episodes are kind of eh because they set everything up and try to build Ledo’s character. But sht gets real later on. You can’t really judge this anime until you hit the twist at least (although that happens around 2/3 of the 13 episodes).
    I just wanted to throw that out there, since I’ve seen a couple negative remarks after only watching 3-4 episodes which really doesn’t justify how awesome it actually is.

    • Oroboros says:

      I’ve seen all 13 episodes, and it was painfully obvious that SnG never matched the heights of the first 3 or 4 episodes, and worst of all, the twist with the sea creatures was promptly forgotten in the cliched showdown in the end.

      Like Servant of Piss said, this show tried to cover too many bases, due to too many cooks in the kitchen, and failed to realize the promise of the first few episodes.

    • ServantOfPriss says:

      …The first episodes were the best part of the show. You have it backwards.

    • Nautical says:

      It went downhill after the twist. Everything felt so one-sided and underdeveloped. The first episodes at least had a nice atmosphere and a sense of subtlety.

  5. Erki Birk says:

    I am looking forward to start watching Gargantia. It looks really good, but I will still need to make some time to be able to actually sit down and enjoy it.

    Also, nice read.

  6. conyo985 says:

    This show had so much potential. With so many loose ends hanging it wouldn’t be hard to make a second season of this show. The Hideauze is still at war with the Galactic Alliance in space with no clear victor on either side. How about other pirates on earth that rule the seas? Exploring that side is very interesting. Amy as a supposed main character is seriously underdeveloped. What consequences will Ledo have to face since he massacred a Hideauze nest? Are there any more ships that are similar to Gargantia with some kind of hidden lost tech and with a community of its own? With the impression of this anime being incomplete it really baffles me why they settled it with a 12 episode length. I believe it could have told so much more.

    • DangerMouse says:

      Agreed. Loved a lot of this show and those first episodes were incredibly strong.

      Definitely agree it fully deserved more episodes to fulfill all of its promise.

  7. HunterWulf says:

    I really have to say i liked the series a lot and in contrast to most comments here, i think it delivered all it promised .. i had doubts it could do it after some lackluster midsection .. but things picked up quite considerably after ep8 .. and the final episodes warped up things very nicely with almost no loose ends.

    Let me explain .. first .. those who wanted more about the conflict between the Hideouz and the Galactic Alliance clearly didn’t bother understanding the sub-title of the series name .. which is “on the verdurous planet” .. which is earth, that conflict in the first few episodes isn’t there to be resolved nor it is the focus of the series, it’s part of the world building and also a lunching pad for the events that came later .. nothing more .. so it’s left unresolved that’s totally expected and understandable.

    As for character development, i admit some characters could have used more development time (i.e Amy) and that some of the slow-paced lackluster episodes in the mid-section of the series could have been used for that … still .. almost every character got some sort of development or issue resolved and had their moment of glory .. specially Chambers.

    Also … some people seem to completely miss the central theme of the series and wish it had more episodes to explore lost civilization artifacts or meet more pirates .. come on guys .. this isn’t One Piece .. the central conflict here was done excellently and the final episodes warped things very well in terms of that aspect, specially the heavy undertones from “Heart of Darkness” .. how Ledo’s commander came to earth and wanted to uplift the barbaric underdeveloped humans there (from his point of view) under the pretext of protecting them but ended up enslaving, misleading and brain-washing them to the point of posing as a god to them .. it was overall very well executed even given the time constraints .. that’s one part of the theme .. the other was how Ledo (coming from a militaristic and a very pragmatic society devoid of emotion and individualism) to a society of normal humans who co-operate and live life to the fullest side-by-side .. seeing him trying to warp his head around the differences between the two cultures, trying to cope .. trying to live like a normal human despite growing in such a twisted militaristic society .. it was all a joy to watch .. same with his relation to Chambers .. which managed to be one of the most interesting AI characters in recent memory.

    I also have to add that the fight scenes from the final three episodes were really well done .. how everyone had a role (even Misty), how it all culminated into an epic sky battle between the two combat frames each representing a different ideology and a contrasting points of view.

    All in all, a very good (and short) enjoyable series with some minor flaws and a wonderful finale that warps all loose ends (for me) and presents all the necessary thrills, emotional context and closure one would expect from a good finale .. well done Gin .. well done.

    • selma says:

      thank you ! you are totally right :”how Ledo’s commander came to earth and wanted to uplift the barbaric underdeveloped humans there (from his point of view) under the pretext of protecting them but ended up enslaving, misleading and brain-washing them to the point of posing as a god to them .. it was overall very well executed even given the time constraints .. that’s one part of the theme .. the other was how Ledo (coming from a militaristic and a very pragmatic society devoid of emotion and individualism) to a society of normal humans who co-operate and live life to the fullest side-by-side .. seeing him trying to warp his head around the differences between the two cultures, trying to cope .. trying to live like a normal human despite growing in such a twisted militaristic society .. it was all a joy to watch .. same with his relation to Chambers .. which managed to be one of the most interesting AI characters in recent memory” I find it frustrating that so many people missed the main themes and concerns of the show even though uribuchi said it himself that “the story is aimed towards those in their teens and 20s, who are either about to enter into society or recently have, and is meant to cheer them on and to encourage them that “going out into the world isn’t scary”
      I think the last episodes were absolutely excellent in all respects I especially likes how it dealt with the characters especially Pinion and Chamber

  8. LWolfe says:

    The first episode hooked me in but I had to jump ship after the “beach” one.

  9. selma says:

    I get that many people disliked the episodes at the middle but saying that the last episodes were bad is just misunderstang the show and forcing ones expectations (derived from usual mecha animes) upon it. granted, this show isn’t the best but its ending was among the best i’v ever seen and I didn’t feel that the show was ruched at all, actually they cld hv spared us the beach episode

  10. Sherris says:

    So many loose ends are left that I can’t really call this series good…

    Why were we served with 2 fanservice episodes IN A ROW IN A 13-EPISODE SERIES if the creators could use that time further developing the set ideas (the war in space, more about the Earth Hideazu, what happened to the people of the cult fleet etc.)? Oh wait, I already know the answer to that one: to fill more screentime with cute girls, so that more merchendise could be sold. This is what otaku desire after all.

  11. Tanz says:

    There’s a sequel of this btw.

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  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 07:35 AM)
    Damon I am more used to seeing in a drama or comedy role I reckon rather than an action hero.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 07:24 AM)
    Eric Bana is so underated =<
    I want to see more of the man on film.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 05:52 AM)
    The story would’ve been much more anchored and believable if the social imbalance wasn’t portrayed so heavy-handedly. It makes no sense for every house in Elysium to have a healing-bed that completely restores you and they dint bother to put a single one on Earth to keep the working class happy and healthy. I mean, c’mon now.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 05:49 AM)
    Yeah the action sequences were the best parts of Elysium. I don’t k ow, I just don’t feel Matt Damon in these roles anymore and I hope they stayed with Eric Bana like the rumors were hinting; that probably would’ve made it a more personal story.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:55 AM)
    Its been too long since I saw district 9 to have an accurate opinion on it.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:54 AM)
    I can remember giving higher points to elysium when I saw it first because I really needed/wanted to see an R rated action movie. But apart from Sharlto Copley as the villain it was in hindsight fairly miscast, the ending was quite poor and the script could have been improved on, I liked the robots/action scenes however.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:20 AM)
    I have a feeling that the movie’s gonna suck tho. District 9 was good, Elysium was a mess and Chappie looks like a Short Circuit ripoff with nothing new to add. I have respect for Blomkamp since he started as an animator and probably has respect for the medium and a good eye for aesthetics, by he’s doing progressively more conventional stuff as his career goes on.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 01:41 AM)
    Ha, so I wasn’t wrong when I came across that film Chappie and thinking that the robot resembled Briareos from appleseed, the director’s a fan of Masume Shirow’s work apparently.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 12:16 AM)
    @Brendan: That completely hinges on your personal taste, but Vagabond is one of the best Chanbara ones around, with superb art, fast pacing and entertaining storyline. Berserk should go without saying as it’s a codifier for many Seinen conventions, but Vinland Saga is another great series which is in similar vein. Biomega and Drifters are also worth a look.
  • ANIME CAMPUS
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 07:27 PM)
    Durarara!!x2 Shou Episode 8 | Anime Campus
    Watch English Subbed, Subbed, Sub.

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