English: Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet
Synonyms: Suisei no Galgantia
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 7, 2013 to Jun 30, 2013
23 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.811 (scored by 40726 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisThe story begins in the distant future in the far reaches of the galaxy. The Human Galactic Alliance has been constantly fighting for its survival against a grotesque race of beings called "Hidiaazu." During an intense battle, the young lieutenant Ledo and his humanoid mobile weapon Chamber are swallowed up into a distortion of time and space. Waking from his artificially induced hibernation, Ledo realizes that he has arrived on Earth, the planet on the lost frontier. On this planet that was completely flooded by the seas, people live in fleets of giant ships, salvaging relics from the seas' depths in order to survive. Ledo arrives on one of the fleets called Gargantia. With no knowledge of the planet's history or culture, he is forced to live alongside Amy, a 15-year-old girl who serves as a messenger aboard the Gargantia fleet. To Ledo, who has lived a life where he knows nothing but fighting, these days of peace continue to surprise him.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Suisei no Gargantia, Suisei no Gargantia
Side story: Puchitto Gargantia
Sequel: Suisei no Gargantia Specials
Characters & Voice Actors
There's a perpetual belief that the bigger and more explosive a story is, the better it becomes.
In the case of "Suisei no Gargantia", bigger is anything but better. What makes the first half of the anime so special, and so rewarding, is made irrelevant by the bloated mess that follows. And it's a shame- it had the potential to be one of the best anime of these past few years.
Despite being the latest work of the (in)famous Urobuchi Gen, Suisei no Gargantia depicts a much more down-to-earth story. There is no ruthless slaughtering of the characters (though some might deserve it at times), nor are there any plot twists until the last few episodes. Suisei no Gargantia is set in a distant future where the Earth has been flooded. And flooded entirely. What remains of human civilization live their days in fleets of antiquated ships, free from any worry but the rare threat of pirates.
Enter "Ledo", a teenage soldier from across the galaxy who somehow, conveniently enters a wormhole that drops him to the birthplace of humanity-- Earth.
The most interesting aspect of the series is how Ledo copes with (and eventually accepts) a society so distinctly different from his own. Where Ledo comes from, concepts such as peace do not exist. Humans are born and raised for the sole purpose of fighting their enemy, the Hideaze. And naturally there is no such thing as love or friendship.
What follows is a series of amusing, sometimes uncomfortable scenes of Ledo experiencing culture shock. What the heck is the purpose of money? ... to buy more weapons to shoot dudes with? He has no idea. Whenever he experiences something new, he and his AI companion ("Chambers") will inevitably draw some ridiculous contrast to their own society. In one scene, Ledo even asks the person beside him why an injured child is alive. I felt very bad for laughing at that.
Ledo also experiences a rapid period of growth as he becomes closer with the inhabitants of the Gargantia fleet. He learns to enjoy life, how to do ordinary things such as swimming or cooking, and what friendship means. He transforms from a cold, ruthless soldier into a normal human being, one that can feel emotion and remorse. The Ledo at the start of the story is not the Ledo at the end of the story, and this character development is something that deserves no shortage of praise.
Sadly, there's also everything else about the story.
If you enjoyed the relaxed and carefree nature of the first half, prepare to have everything you liked about the show flipped upside down in the second half. The character development slows to a crawl. The comedy becomes nonexistent. What is hammered in its place is a joyless disaster, devoid of anything even remotely interesting.
Where to begin? I suppose the moronic characterization would be a start. While the first half showed signs of the side characters breaking away from their stereotype, the second half seeks instead to bury them in that shell. The only character aside from Ledo who even receives any notable growth is Pinion, but his backstory is so contrived and heavy-handed that there's little reason to care about his suffering.
Even worse are the minor characters who populate the Gargantia fleet. They are insufferably stupid. There is one scene where Ledo is reprimanded by the fleet's commanders for protecting them from a pirate attack, which would have inevitably led to looting and violence. Are you kidding me?
It makes one wonder why this screen time wasn't handed to Amy instead. Aside from Ledo, she is the only character in the show with sense in her brain. She is the one who changed Ledo, who taught him that life is worth living, and yet she is merely relegated to the role of a cheer leader by the end. She deserved much more than that.
Sure, Ledo is plenty developed, but he is just as much a victim as anybody else. The change that the first half had building for him is simply used as a tool to force in cheesy dialogue about the power of friendship. During the climax, he changes his mind over an important decision simply because Amy came flying by on a kite to yell at him. Can I puke now?
This would be bad enough on its own, but the plot itself fares no better. Plot twists and ridiculous contrivances are the name of the game. Everything is somehow tied to Ledo and his own people, and the 'twists' (especially regarding the antagonist) are so cliched that they almost feel as if the writer was playing a joke. And then there's not even a proper ending to wrap all of this mess up! It ends abruptly with little to no context, begging you to follow through with the sequel OVA for answers. There is absolutely no reason why the audience should have to watch a sequel in order to have a proper conclusion to a story that they already invested their time in. That is silly.
On a more positive note, the artwork is generally decent. The characters are modeled consistently while the oceans are rendered with grandeur, effectively making the post-apocalyptic Earth seem more like a paradise. However, the quality plummets in the 11th episode, where entire scenes have crowds of characters drawn as blobs. Literal blobs.
The soundtrack is also one of the better points of the anime. There's nothing here that will stay in your mind for eternity (though the ending song is sure as heck relaxing), but each of the lighthearted tracks do a solid job of conveying the feelings of relaxation and hope which pervade the first half. It's an atmospheric anime when it tries to be, which makes the second half all the more lamentable.
Suisei no Gargantia is an anime with an identity crisis. Is it a dramatic story about the dark secrets of humanity, or is it simply a lighthearted tale about a young man finding his place in life? Who really knows. I don't think it does either.
It didn't have to turn out this way. read more
"We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch, we are going back from whence we came."
The ocean is a grand, mysterious, and beautiful thing. At times the ocean is calm and soothing; at other times it is chaotic and disastrous. While the ocean can bring us many memorable spectacles and experiences, it can also be seen as tedious and tiresome.
Suisei no Gargantia began with a lot of potential. Boasting action, mecha, sci-fi genres, beautiful animation, a gorgeous ocean scenery, and a strong pilot episode, one can’t help but anticipate what this series has in store for its audience. Despite some interesting elements SnG had to offer, the show came short of meeting the standards it had originally set.
The story of SnG revolves around Ledo, our main character. As a soldier of the Galactic Alliance all Ledo has known since childhood is how to fight against an evolved species of space alien called the Hideauze. When he unintentionally gets sent to Earth due to an unfortunate chain of events and subsequently salvaged by Gargantia, he is bewildered by this sudden new environment. Earth is shrouded in vast amounts of water, capable of life without advanced technology, and full of mystery. He must then learn to adapt to this new place and befriend the people there if he hopes to survive. His struggle to fit in with his new acquaintances felt peaceful, fun, and overall fairly entertaining. It felt like a slice of life. Thematically, SnG does a good job at addressing key issues like faults with human nature, violence, morality, and struggles with self-identity.
What SnG really struggles with story-wise is pacing. More than half of the series is Ledo attempting to fit in with the people of Gargantia and make friends; however, the final few episodes try to incorporate a darker atmosphere and falls short on leaving a lasting impression. There are a couple plot twists here and there that are supposed to surprise the audience but, for the most part, felt predictable; there were several instances where I found myself saying, "I saw that coming." They added more Sci-Fi elements around the end, which I found to be somewhat intriguing, and attempted a sort of natural selection type concept. While I appreciate the idea the series tried to incorporate, it felt much too constricted time-wise to be of much enjoyment. If a certain beach equivalent fan service episode had been replaced with a different episode expanding on the story, SnG may have turned out better.
As I have said before, the Art/Animation of SnG is visually enticing. Production I.G. typically does a great job at making sure their productions look superb and it shows in Suisei no Gargantia. Colors are very vibrant, the scenery is great, and the animation is fluid; I have no qualms here. Transitioning to the sound portion, I say that overall this section was decent. The OP and ED aren't bad, but there's nothing that stands out too much in them. Sound effects and voice acting are also fair. Something I found commendable was how the show tried something fresh with the language barrier between Ledo and the people of Gargantia.
Ledo is the protagonist of the series, and like all main characters he expectantly is subjected to the most character development over the span of the series. He’s puts off the vibe of being a quiet, serious guy that takes his job as a soldier very seriously. He struggles to understand the nature of normal social interactions and picks things up along the way while living on Gargantia. The problem I had here is that Ledo is basically the only one who really gets any development.
One of the most disappointing aspects of SnG is that the rest of the characters besides Ledo are left in the dust in terms of development and depth. While Amy is supposed to be the main female lead, she seems more like a pretty supporting side character whose only goal is to be a cheerleader and moral support for Ledo. Development-wise I’m not really even quite sure how she developed such an attachment to Ledo because it really isn’t shown in much detail. It seems that she simply is attracted to Ledo because he’s the main character and is apparently a good looking fella. Overall she’s a pretty cliché female lead. Chamber, though simply a pilot survival A.I., was probably my favorite 'character' of this series; his witty robotic comments and confusion with human rationale on board Gargantia were consistently entertaining. There was one other character that got a bit of development towards the end, but it just so happened to be Pinion, a mechanic of Gargantia, and possibly the most irritating character of the entire series. When I say irritating, I mean filling ‘the fool’ character trope and more. He is constantly yelling, rude to nearly everyone, exploits people to satiate his own greedy ambitions, and seems to lack intelligent thought.
Suisei no Gargantia embarked on its journey sailing smoothly, but slowly began treading in rocky waters in regards to plot and character quality. The only redeeming factor in the second half of the series is that the ending was surprisingly good; it’s a happy ending for the most part and concludes the series well. The beginning and ending are exceptional but the series will leave you scratching your head wondering what happened in between. I wouldn't recommend anyone to jump on board and put this series in the number one position for 'Plan to Watch', but I also don't think the show warrants anyone to abandon ship. read more
Both anime involve themes of censorship, war, and morality. Both anime have a huge plot twist and similar execution.
Once successfully survive the apocalypse, humans form small colony. But information of the cause of the apocalypse still remains classified. After stories develop, the dark truth behind the cause of the apocalypse slowly revealed.
Both themes includes morality, war between species, classified information, civilization, and human experiment. One retell the story with the supernatural and the other one with sci-fi.
Battle for survival. The eradication of a species. Science gone wrong.
In both series, there are dark secrets that becomes unraveled as the episodes progresses. These involve humanity and their origins.
Among other factors, there is the concept of morality that comes into play regarding civilization and the people/creatures in them. From that, there is also conflict that results in battles/wars between the two sides.
There is supernatural elements present in both series that is a thrilling ride as our main characters takes on an adventure that they may never forget.
Both anime are based around similar ideas; which unfortunately I can't explain to much because that would be a spoiler.
Even though there are also many differences (Shinsekai Yori is more psycological and darker while Suisei no Gargantia is mecha for example) both are great anime that sometimes suffer from low pacing.
In both anime, there's a war between species. Information is often censored in each society and both protagonists receive a revelation.
Both have somewhat of a Utopian setting but turns into a major plot twist towards the end.
The main character's peaceful life changed. He meets a group of people who are in a similar situation and decides to help them out. Both series has the main protagonist who is put in a new surrounding.
In both series, a main protagonist gets involved with a mysterious character after a certain incident. In Eureka Seven, it's Eureka. in Suisei no Gargantina, that mysterious character is Ledo. These two characters have trouble communicating with others or understanding others' feelings. However with the help of their new friend, they are able to understand the world a bit better.
There is mecha/science fiction themes present in both series. In fact, the mysterious character present relies on them and treats it as somewhat of a friend.
The backgrounds of both series also feels somewhat similar; giving off that science fiction outlook.
Both series also has drama, comedy, and of course action.
Both have space, an alien race that causes harm, and mechas.
Both include mechs, and a character that isn't exactly human. Ledo is similar to Eureka at the beginning of the series, he has no attachments to life, nor human feelings. He is however a human, but not entirely. It looks like they are created not born. It's a definitely a good watch.
Opening Theme"Kono Sekai wa Bokura wo Matteita (この世界は僕らを待っていた)" by Minori Chihara
Ending Theme"Sora to Kimi no Message (空とキミのメッセージ)" by ChouCho
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