Episode Review: Suisei no Gargantia 1-3

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SPOILER WARNING! As I had done in my previous post about Hataraku Maou-sama, so too is this post catching up to recent episodes and having a look at them and my thoughts on the show so far. Enjoy!

Episode 1: Castaway

Well, regarding the first half of the episode, it’s an all out war between the humans of the Galactic Alliance of Humankind and some bug-like entities known as the Hideauze. It also introduces us to our protagonist, a jaded and weary lad by the name of Ledo. Apart from that, there’s not much else to say… so have some rather lovely pictures. The anime is by Production I.G, so you can always expect quality 3D animation mixed into their works. In this series’ case, the mechas are animated in 3D. Kudos to the animators who blend this well with stellar 2D animation making this series a gorgeous feast for the eyes.

Our boy Ledo heading into battle.

Our boy Ledo heading into battle.

An enemy stronghold I'm led to believe... not that I really care much.

An enemy stronghold I’m led to believe… not that I really care much.

Lovely lasershow!

Lovely lasershow!

However being bugs, the enemy shows their appreciation in a more o

However being bugs, the enemy shows their appreciation in a more organic fashion.

Which leads to the humans resorting to this temporal sort of weapon...

Which leads to the humans resorting to this temporal sort of weapon…

Ledo's robot, he calls it Chamber but I wonder whether

Ledo’s robot, he calls him Chamber but I’m wonder if that’s the name of the individual robot or the model…

The cut-away screen before

The cut-away screen before we enter the second half of the show.

Really now, I had tons of screenshots I wanted to put up, but that’ll turn this post into a picture gallery instead of a jumbled up mess of a viewer’s thoughts. Really now, can you blame me? Especially when they throw such lovely visuals right at you. Apart from that though, the first half really was a bit of a drag, but seeing as this is meant to give Ledo some background so that we can understand a little bit more about him I’ll let it slide. After all, I’m here to watch him get stranded on an unknown world, not to watch some mecha war. If anything I’ll turn to Full Metal Panic for that, though that’s not all that cheerful in itself (Fumoffu excluded from that statement of course).

Anyway, skipping a couple months forward, we see Chamber get hauled in by a bunch of sea-faring people. An energetic tomboy by the name of Amy seems to be the show’s representative of this particular faction. We see them (unsuccessfully) trying to open up Chamber and this triggers a response in Chamber waking up Ledo who was in hibernation as a form of protection from the unexpected space travel he went through. Time passes and after night fell and everyone left, Ledo left the cockpit to explore his surroundings, only to be discovered. Taking Amy (who was nearby at the time) hostage he ran throughout the ship till he reached the deck where he stood disbelievingly as he stared at the oxygenated surrounding. His sense of awe and wonder was cut short when the crew of the ship he was on appeared with rifles ending the episode in a form of a Mexican standoff.

All in all a good and solid start to the series… well, with 15 minutes of exposition from Ledo’s side and where he comes from (i.e. a bloody war). With the fact that Chamber has constantly sent distress signals for the six months Ledo was knocked out on Earth, this may be a sign that the Galatic Alliance may find their way to this (relatively) peaceful planet. What they plan to do then is anybody’s guess. So far I like the idea of a war-veteren who is completely confounded when faced with a peaceful alien environment. What I’m worried about is that the distress signal may result in the war between the Alliance and the Hideauze being brought over to Earth changing the scope of the show entirely. I sat down to watch a slice-of-life style anime featuring a boy who grew up in a war-torn environment learning to live in a completely different one and so far I like it. If it changes in anyway towards a war-drama of any sort (think Gundam I guess) then that is a real crying shame as we have so many anime of that kind and in comparison fewer of those like Suisei no Gargantia.

Amy

Amy and her pet squirrel.

Well

Well, if you’re using a crowbar against that…

Arrh

Look at her acting all cute and all that… HNNNNNGGGH!

And we see Ledo waking up...

And we see Ledo waking up…

...after a rather long nap.

…after a rather long nap.

I do hope this isn't a prelude to some disaster later in the series...

I do hope this isn’t a prelude to some disaster later in the series…

A cue in the garbled language once again!

A cue in the garbled language once again!

Amy has her contribution too.

Amy has her contribution too.

Well... I suppose that's one way of doing it.

Well… I suppose that’s one way of doing it.

Pictures here on out will just be wallpaper galore depicting the last 5 minutes of the episode...

Pictures here on out will just be screenshot porn depicting the last 5 minutes of the episode…

Still in awe...

Still in awe…

Really in awe...

Really in awe…

Oh my, look at those guns. Whatever shall I do?

Oh my, look at those guns. Whatever shall I do?

Maybe call for some back up, Gundam style!

Maybe call for some back up, Gundam style!

This bit here reminds me of a Ghibli scene.

This bit here reminds me of a Ghibli scene. Haha! It really does!

He's equally as shocked, in his case from finding out he's on Earth... someplace that's just meant to be a myth.

He’s equally shocked, in his case from finding out he’s on Earth… a place that’s just meant to be a myth.

Episode 2: The Planet where it Began

Is it really?

Is it really?

Where life began or perhaps where the plot of this anime starts. Either way it fits I guess. The episode begins immediately from where the first one left off. The people of the ship Ledo is on (the ship is the main part of a fleet called Gargantia, so we’ll use that name from here on) decides to bring in their excavation mechas in an attempt to bolster their firepower in the face of Ledo’s Chamber. After a tense standoff, Amy is sent as Gargantia’s representative to speak with Ledo. They converse with Chamber being the translator for both parties and one feels that the distance between the two seems to close after their exchange. This may be due to the fact that they’re both (probably) around the same age. Also, Amy’s really open and bubbly personality may have helped also.

Some reinforcements from Gargantia... though they probably won;t be of much use against Chamber.

Some reinforcements from Gargantia… though they probably won;t be of much use against Chamber.

When learning a new language, making mistakes is unavoidable and inevitable. Still funny though.

When learning a new language, making mistakes is unavoidable and inevitable. Still funny though.

The fleet of ships that make Gargantia.

The fleet of ships that make Gargantia.

More foreshadowing, or just an attempt at conversation by Ledo to Chamber?

More foreshadowing, or just an attempt at conversation by Ledo to Chamber?

Typical girl talk ensures between Amy and her friends.

Typical girl talk ensures between Amy and her friends.

Amy's little brother Bevel's a bit more on the intellectual side it seems.

Amy’s little brother, Bevel, is a bit more on the intellectual side it seems.

Amy's attempt at negotiation involving fish 'carcasses' made me laugh a bit.

Amy’s attempt at negotiation involving fish ‘carcasses’ made me laugh a bit.

She can't hear you, she's into the groove, man!

She can’t hear you, she’s into the groove, man!

So

So with this episode we learn a bit more on the history of Earth, what with it originally being covered in ice…

...and also

…and also we learn a bit more on how the people on Gargantia (and on Earth in general I guess) get their electricity.

All is not smiles and joy however. The higher ups of the Gargantia see Ledo and Chamber as a threat, with some wanting to disassemble Chamber for tech and parts and with others just wanting nothing to do with the pair for fear of retaliation from their comrades. The episode has this underlying tension that doesn’t go away because of this and it hits a peak when pirates start attacking one of Gargantia’s ships away from the fleet salvaging. In terms of weapons and manpower the pirates overwhelm the separated ship and as plans are being made to send reinforcements to help, Amy in her youthful brashness rushes to Ledo and pleads for his help and Ledo agrees thinking he can use this as a bargaining tool for Gargantia’s cooperation to help shelter him unti he can return home.

The current leader of Gargantia. He's cautioius

The current leader of Gargantia. He’s cautious and wary of anything that can harm his people.

Bellows and her salvaging crew, part of the Gargantia fleet.

Bellows and her salvaging crew, part of the Gargantia fleet.

Pirates, not part of the Gargantia fleet.

Pirates, not part of the Gargantia fleet.

Don't the pirate uniforms remind you of Team Magma from Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire?

Don’t the pirate uniforms remind you of Team Magma from Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire?

The boat explodes not long after. Keep this in mind for the next episode...

The boat explodes immediately after. Keep this in mind for the next episode…

Amy pleads...

Amy pleads…

...Ledo schemes.

…Ledo schemes.

"Oh-ho, you pirates gonna git it yo!" Something Ledo didn't say.

“Oh-ho, you piratey types is gonna git it now!” -Something Ledo didn’t say.

Watching Ledo go off in Chamber fending off the pirate’s attack was like watching an armoured grizzly bear attack a group of honeyed cupcakes. On one hand you feel like the pirates deserve that retaliation, however the overwhelming disparity in terms of weapons technology does make you cringe a bit when Ledo effectively wipes out the attacking forces… much to the shock of the surviving people of Gargantia. More of this in episode 3.

Power overwhelming!

Power overwhelming!

No chance, none at all...

No chance, none at all…

Something that will not concern you it seems...

Something that will not concern you it seems…

Vaporizing enemies with pinpoint accuracy, Chamber is IMBA!

Vaporizing enemies with pinpoint accuracy, Chamber is IMBA!

Shock...

Shock…

...and disbelief across the Gargantia crew's faces.

…and disbelief across the Gargantia crew’s faces.

Episode 3: The Vile Empress

hdh

A shot from the opening sequence.

I had meant to post this picture from the opening in one of the previous parts, but never mind. Here it is, a peek at the different characters we can expect this series to focus on. I’m sure I had mentioned my fears of this series becoming another space-age drama with mecha, but it seems probable that this series will instead focus on a more positive topic. One of the writers for the anime, Gen Urobuchi, stated on the official site that Suisei’s story was a message to those in their teens or twenties about to enter or recently entered society. It was meant to cheer them on and encourage them through that particular phase of life. He also added that the feel of Suisei will be different to others he’s worked on. One such (famous) example is Puella Magi Madoka MagicaAs such, my expectations for this anime has been raised even higher upon hearing this news… not that Puella was a bad anime by any means, it’s just that it was so very dark and heavy that I don’t think I need anything like that for quite some time now.

Anyway, the episode. We begin with everyone acting like Ledo’s a mass murderer of some sort… which he technically is on account of him vapourising a number of pirates at the end of last episode. Admittedly Ledo’s upbringing as a soldier against evil space bugs meant that for him it was either kill or be killed. Still, he is ‘in Rome’ as is so he’ll have to ‘do as Romans do’. Murder is seen as taboo by the people of Gargantia and extrapolating that I assume this to be the case with other like-minded fleets. Pirates, of course, ignore this code of conduct and that brings Ledo to the reason as to why the people of Gargantia arm themselves. Rather than a means to obliterate the enemy, it is more of a deterrent… to make oneself less appetizing to be attacked.

A) Lie. B) Tell the truth. C) "Never mind that, wanna hang out?"

A) Lie. B) Tell the truth. C) “Never mind that, wanna hang out?”

*Selects B*

*Selects B*

Errmmm... She doesn't seem to happy... and I forgot to save before choosing, dang!

Errmmm… She doesn’t seem to happy… and I forgot to save before choosing, dang! C was probably better.

An eye for an eye. One reason not to kill a pirate I suppose...

An eye for an eye. One reason not to kill a pirate I suppose…

Amy tries to patch things up. Bellows is off screen to the right here.

Amy tries to patch things up. Bellows is off screen to the right here.

Bellows' offering. I mean, what kind of negotiation would it be without food, eh?

Bellows’ offering. I mean, what kind of negotiation would it be without food, eh?

Ledo learning the ways of Gargantia and this world he's dropped into.

Ledo learning the ways of Gargantia and this world he’s dropped into.

That's some extreme form of negotiation there, love.

That’s some extreme form of negotiation there, love.

A proposal already? Dang, I should have chosen C after all!

A proposal already? Dang, I should have chosen C after all!

However what’s done is done and the worries of the higher ups in Gargantia come to pass as we see Rackage, the assumed leader of the pirates in those waters, bearing down on the Gargantia fleet with her lobster themed ship leading a pack of angry pirates. Ledo’s aid is requested with the promise of not killing anyone senselessly, to which he agreed. Slowly he’s learning the ways of life on earth, and I can’t wait to see more of his character’s progression through the series… but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Night falls and Gargantia launches their attack in the pirates first with the help of spotlights sported by Chamber. Things quickly get sour as an underwater pirate strike force assaults the main fleet with Rackage making her own attack in a lobster Yunboro (not sure if I had mentioned this, but Yunboro seems to be the name given to Earth’s mecha). Rackage has victory in sights, knowing her specially crafted Yunboro is far superior to anything Gargantia can throw at her. However she underestimated Chamber’s powers and an attempt to drag Chamber underwater for a battle there ends up with Chamber performing the hammer toss on Rackage’s Yunboro. Pirates run away and Ledo is given a hero’s welcome on Gargantia, to which he replies with the very first word of Earth’s language he properly learns… “Arigato.”

The Lobster Ship of Death...

The Lobster Ship of Death.

Lady Rackage... and her two 'slaves'.

Lady Rackage and her two slaves.

Ledo in an attempt to extend his aid for the upcoming battle...

Ledo in an attempt to extend his aid for the upcoming battle…

...which they wisely accepted, considering Chamber's devastating power.

…which they wisely accepted, considering Chamber’s devastating power.

So we get Ledo's role in the upcoming battle.

So we get Ledo’s role in the upcoming battle.

Also, have another lovely background shot.

Also, have another lovely background shot.

You don't say...

You don’t say…

Two words you don't really want to here from Chamber against you...

Two words you don’t really want to here from Chamber against you…

Lady Rackage and her... 'slaves'?

Lady Rackage and her two… ‘slaves’?

And so the pirate's counterattack begins.

And so the pirate’s counterattack begins.

Anyone here thinks these looks like the Shark-ticons from Transformers?

Anyone here thinks these looks a bit like the Shark-ticons from Transformers?

Rackage's lobster Yunboro scaling the side of Gargantia's main ship.

Rackage’s lobster Yunboro scaling the side of Gargantia’s main ship.

Rackage's attempt to drown Chamber...

Rackage’s attempt to drown Chamber…

...ends in dismal failure as Chamber is easily able to maintain his altitude.

…ends in dismal failure as Chamber is easily able to maintain his altitude.

This scene would be better as a .gif I realise.

This scene would be better as a .gif I realise.

"Team Rocket's blasting off againnnnnn........."

“Team Rocket’s blasting off againnnnnn………”

Gargantia's gratitude at being saved...

Gargantia’s gratitude at being saved…

... and Ledo's gratitude in return.

… and Ledo’s gratitude in return.

Haha

Ending theme for the 1st time! Sora to Kimi no Message is its name and it’s really good!

In short…

Suisei no Gargantia is I feel one of this season’s bigger hitters, and so far it definitely has the potential to become a must-watch series. It may to early to call it, but I feel that this is one of this season’s best entries.

Episode 1: Half the episode is spent on Ledo and his military background in space, the second half is spent on Earth mainly on his confusion at being in an alien environment.

Episode 2: Amy talks with Ledo, and learns a bit more of him. Pirates attack the fleet’s salvaging crew and Ledo obliterates them from existence creating a gulf between him and the people of Gargantia.

Episode 3: Ledo learns more of the fleet’s customs and why they don’t haphazardly kill people off just like that, something a bit strange to someone of Ledo’s background, but he complies and sets about to correct his error. Pirates led by Rackage attack the fleet but is driven off thanks to Ledo and Chamber.

I have episode 4 ready to be watched, along with episode 4 and 5 of Hataraku Maou-sama and hopefully I can get a post up on these two series by next week at the latest. With that then I will have finally caught up to the screening times. Till then, I hoped you enjoyed this look through Suisei no Gargantia so far.

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Comments

  1. Justquitebored

    May 5, 2013

    I loved the part where the guy tapped the girl on the butt and got some vocab out of it. Lol that was too rich. And after that, she was like, “mmm I like that manly-barely-16-guy” lol good review keep it up

    • Avatar of Onery

      Onery

      May 5, 2013

      Just wanna say that was quite the funny scene indeed and one of my favourites of the series so far! Thanks btw!

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Welcome to FinallyAnime! You can call me Nuu. In short, I run the place and am always glad to have people who'd like to join me in my anime adventures.

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