It is a common belief in fiction 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.
How many people have ever dreamed about our world ever becoming one? It's an idea that stretches beyond dreams and imaginations. In such a world, there would be peace, paradise, and colonies where humanity can settle down and enjoy their lives. Well, those are just all dreams of course. People may fill their heads with these ideas but for the Human Galactic Alliance, it's one that they hope to fulfill for many years. Then, there's one young boy among all of this and his name is Ledo. After a certain event, he gets swallowed up into a distortion of time and space while
finding himself on a new place. It's Earth, a planet of life and prosperity.
Suisei no Gargantina (also known as Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet) is an original animated series that fuses the genres of action, drama, science fiction, and mecha into a single package. The famous Gen Urobuchi is involved in the series as both for the script and composition. Based on his various style of writing in his previous works (Psycho Pass, Madoka), this series takes a different direction. It takes the form of a more style of world building constructed by our characters, settings, and themes that sets off this science fiction series.
For starters, the series takes place in the distant future. Thus, its technologies and settings are far beyond our modern times by standards. A clear example is our main male protagonist Ledo and his sidekick Chamber. He is a AI-automated, humanoid-shaped battle suit with a catchy tone of voice to go along with it. More importantly though, he is Ledo's partner as well as a weapon of war. Chamber fits within the style of science fiction by the way of his stature and its mechanization. With powerful technology, we can see that Chamber is something out of the ordinary. Then of course, there's Ledo. He is a 16 year old young male who is recognized as a Galactic Alliance lieutenant. After engaging battles against the mysterious tentacled alien beings known as the “Hideauze”, he gets stranded to another planet. It's a verdurous planet where the Gargantians live and prosper.
And of course, there's all kind of new excitement waiting for our friend Ledo.
That brings forth the Gargantinans who have peacefully settled on the planet. As we can see, the planet itself is covered with water. Thus, people are forced to live on enormous ships in order to survive. Through unity and cooperation, colonies have been established and attempts are made to settle down peacefully. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. Beyond just the mysterious Hideauze species, there are also pirates. In fact, one of the earlier episodes shows a pirate fleet directly engaging in combat against the Gargantinans. These people seems to be a bit different than normal humans. Although on the outside, they look almost just like normal humans, they have different standards. Through comparisons, the Gargantinans functions differently by the way they don't murder senselessly. They also seem to enjoy life to their fullest and often tries to endlessly protect it no matter what the cause. Going back though, it's clear that these beings value lives truly. For example, they treat the handicapped with respect and also protect creatures whom are considered “sacred” under their eyes. However at the same time, there seems to exist some problems between them and other colonies. These problems on such a utopia gives a different outlook on the world that is considered Earth with such a paradise.
Being the new guy on a whole new planet, Ledo is the talk among the crew members. Among these members include Amy, a girl who literally becomes Ledo's hostage from the beginning. She is a young girl with about the same age as Ledo. At first, they get off to a rocky start because of the circumstances. However, it is clear that Amy cares about Ledo as she is perhaps the only person who gets closest to him. Through interactions, Amy serves as both a guide and friend to Ledo. Even from the beginning, she is fearless towards him and offers assistance in learning about the world. (with a taste of a bitty treat if I might add) Over time, it's also clear that Amy wants Ledo to adjust to his new environment. In many ways, Amy serves as someone who can navigate Ledo's character through her guidance. By teaching him the standards of a human and adjusting them, Ledo seems to become softer and more humane as before. This is most prominent as Ledo is taught about the philosophy of “think before killing”. The philosophy seems to confuse Ledo at first because the way he grew up assumingly. At many variances, Ledo questions about the laws of human nature and what's right or wrong. However, there is an unique bond between the two that I find to be natural and interactive. It is through interactions with Amy that Ledo now has a more value to where he belongs. It seems that there's a case of Ledo desiring to protect Amy and his newfound home. His morality is built based on the moments they share and although they seem to be simple, it is important for his character from my perspective.
Among other characters as well is Chamber, the ever so flashy robot who serves as a tool and sidekick (not to mention translator) for Ledo. His origins are a bit mysterious by his manner of speech but even more so with his structure. The machine seems to also serve as a guide for Ledo on the planet and at the same time, a weapon of war. It is equipped with a devastating offensive weapon (a disintegrator ray of sorts) as well as agility to maneuver itself against adversaries. Other characters in the series such as Bellows, Pinion, and Amy's friends also make their flashy highlights whether it's to serve as progressing Ledo's character or just giving him some time of fun.
Speaking of fun, the series does push that mood a bit especially later on. It comes in all shapes and sizes too with some fan service swimwear. To further this element, Ledo himself becomes Mr. Fan service and the girls just seems to love him for that. It doesn't stop there either as it pushes the dance scenes along with the mood coupled with the panty shots and up-skirts. At the same time, it pokes fun of the language in the series that can be portrayed as both scientific and at times, comedy. To further this out a bit, the series also has that lighthearted mood with its slow pacing.
Despite this though, the series still retains its serious mood at many times. Ledo's progressing in character seems more evident the more time he spent with others, in particular Amy. In fact, he even learns how to express gratitude to others in the form of a simple “Thank You”. He also learns about some of the food and how they came to be on the planet. Unfortunately, Ledo does not seem to forget about his primary objective and this earns him some criticism from others. If you guessed something related to 'killing', then you're right. Ledo's personal philosophy still seems to stick hard in his head. Only this time, he seems to have something worth fighting for. However, the guy isn't exactly a pacifist.
Among other factors, I find this series also a little bit mysterious. This is especially evident in the beginning involving the Hideauze as they are described by Ledo as his ultimate antagonist and executioners of the world. Then, there's the planet Earth itself as well as the Gargantinans. How did they survive all these years? What happened to the planet that caused all the flooding? Why are certain creatures on the planet so sacred? These are perhaps many questions that pops up into a viewers mind as they are watching this series. Needless to say, it makes this show worth watching for its assumed origins and how fans perceive them as each episode progresses.
The action of this series is spectacular but at times seems a bit out of space. The way that Ledo engages in combat from the beginning is presented visually as exciting. At the same time, we can also see that Ledo is a bit too good at what he does especially against some pirates later on. Watching a somewhat overpowered MC loses somewhat of a balance. Furthermore, his actions results in anger from the people of the planet. He just doesn't understand the laws of human nature. For Ledo, humanity is something that may take him a very long time to understand.
The visuals in this series is outstanding. It is beautiful enough that the series must be watched in 720P or higher or it might lose the experience of this show. The reason lies in the magnificent battle in the beginning. Then, it's the planet that Ledo landed on. The planet's ocean is given strong scenery to give an impression of a world of water. The characters' designs also gives a feeling of an utopia. Though some of them may be dressed with more fan service material than others, it sets the mood right with its theme. It shows that the series has that feeling of science fiction. Ledo himself also seems to stand out with the way he dresses and those noticeable hair and eyes. Among other things, the architectures and vessels on the planet are designed to be aquatic along with the creatures themselves. Needless to say, this series is a visually presented with extraordinaire. With the talented Hirotsugu Kakoi (Mirai Nikki, Blue Exorcist) in charge, I find this series to be quite something in terms of visual artwork. That something is obviously worth the praise.
However, the soundtrack of this show seems to strike me also as powerful.Taro Iwashiro is in charge of the background OST and I find it to fitting. It balances between smooth to intense at occasions but nothing too earth shattering. It does match with some scenes though. At the same time, there are two pieces of songs performed by Minori Chihara (the Opening song) and ChouCho (the Ending song). They have their style but the visuals seems to overshadow the soundtrack here.
Overall, this series was a very pleasant experience for me. Although it takes a different approach of how Gen Urobuchi's other works, it's an unique approach to the science fiction genre. At some instances, it might seem like a slice of life story. However, the experiences the characters goes through is much more than that. It challenges them the aspect of life, especially for Ledo in terms of his standards and morality. As a soldier of an alliance, his certain circumstances becomes something completely different than what he was used to. It's insightful to watch how he adjusts to them. Through world building along with the cultural differences, the viewers can see how Ledo explores his new found situation on the planet. Perhaps it does flow a bit slow than what some fans may expect out of a science fiction show. However, that flow from my perpective is one that is a fun ride to experience. Yup, I got a nice experience watching Suisei no Gargantia.
After seeing episode nine of this series I feel compelled to write a review about it.
Suisei no Gargantia is by far the best anime of the season, even better than Shingeki no Kyojin and I am really hoping that they renew it for a second season (because I feel they will need more episodes to develop the plot.
Essentially if you have followed the series so far you know that Ledo (the main character) is a solider in the Galactic Alliance which has been in a non stop war with the Hideauze for as long as anyone can remember. Ledo like his solider counterparts were
bred to be soldiers, go through massive amounts of psychological altering, and ultimately are trained to hate the Hideauze with all of their being as a human. This is evidenced by Chambers continual Sleep preservation training, and his instinctual will to kill the Hideauze on sight.
When you watch this series you follow essentially the humanization of ledo as a character, from a human Hideauze killing machine to a being that thinks on his own, and it so far has been wonderful.
Now to break this down into parts.
Story & Characters: 10/10
When Ledo and Chamber first arrive on earth after the result of being lost in a wormhole, they are essentially helpless. Clueless to where they are after being in a state of cryo-stasis for 6 months, they awake to humans trying to pry Chamber open. This is where you get to meet the rest of the major characters in the series and Ledo begins living life in his own way. As the episodes progress you get to meet Amy, Ridget, Pinion, Bellows and the rest of the cast, and you see how they affect Ledo's almost machine like mentality and slowly turn him into a human being.
Art & Sound 10/10
This by far has top quality animation and sound like Shingeki no Kyojin, except with a much more vivid color palette. As many other reviewers have noted, though Shingeki may be the most original story based anime to watch this season, Suisei is the one you choose to watch for the animation.
Enjoyment Factor 10/10
I've been trying real hard to not give away too many spoilers about the anime or write a word for word plot synopsis, but this anime has it all. The story so far is killer, the animation is great, and you can just tell it was a well thought out anime. To me, it feels like an original story for an anime. I won't say that at this point I haven't seen the story in a video game, because I honestly have, but for an anime it is quite original.
So go on, watch it. I don't think you will be disappointed.
Suisei no Gargantia (or Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet) is a show that starts off with plenty of promise. It had famed writer Gen Urobuchi venturing outside the grimness of his previous work to make a more uplifting story, beautiful visuals from Production I.G., and a great premise. It explored thought-provoking concepts while remaining fun and affirming; possessing an optimism and faith in humanity that was simply infectious. However, while the first half of the show flows with a comfortably and naturally (albeit with some wasted time), the second half is clunky and forceful in introducing darker elements to the plot. The end is still
a decent and interesting show, but it doesn't quite live up to expectation.
The set-up for the show is great. Due to some great catastrophe, most humans have left Earth and are now engaged in a constant battle for survival against bizarre monstrosities called Hideauze, becoming a militaristic society called the Galactic Alliance of Humankind. Our hero Ledo is a young man who was born into this endless war, knowing nothing but battle. Due to an accident he is transported far away from this conflict, to a water covered planet; the Earth which humankind had left so long ago. He comes across the (mostly) peaceful boat-dwelling indigenous people living in a fleet named Gargantia, and has to adapt to their drastically different culture in order to survive in this unfamiliar world. This set-up works for so many reasons. It allows the show's world to open up as Ledo learns more about his new surroundings; its culture and its people. It provides contrast between Ledo's militaristic way of life and the more laid-back way of life on Gargantia. Most importantly, it gives Ledo a lot of potential for development as he grows accustom to the ways of Gargania, and makes personal connections with its people.
Ledo is by far the most developed character in the show, as it should be because the story hinges on his growth. He starts off as hard-edged, serious young man lacking in personality and understanding of the nuances of human interaction; which is no fault of his own, of course. Despite not understanding of the world he landed in, he knows that he must adapt to his surroundings, which of course includes adjusting to Gargatnia's society and finding his place in it. Completely foreign to him are many of Gargantia's core values: co-existence, caring for the deficient, and using violence as a last resort. The lax organization of the fleet and laid-back way of life seem inefficient to him. However, as he continues to meet and interact with the residents of Gargantia, he begins to understand and appreciate their way of life. This leads to an inner conflict between the ideas that have been instilled in him at a young age, and these new feelings he is developing; which comes to a head when he finds creatures living beneath the water that are genetically identical to the Hideauze. Ledo's development throughout the show is the driving factor on the show, and seeing him change and loosen up is the greatest satisfaction of the show.
The rest of the cast don't have anywhere near the amount of development Ledo has; really do feel secondary. The exception is Ledo's battle mech and support unit, Chamber. Despite not being human, Chamber has a surprising amount of charm; his (Chamber has a male voice) duty to serve and protect Ledo actually grants him some personality. Though his A.I. gives him great analytical ability, being a robot Chamber doesn't really understand human interaction, which is often used for some good laughs. Amy is the spunky girl who volunteers to be Ledo's guide in Gargantia; she's the catalyst to much of Ledo's changes, and his love interest later in the show. She doesn't develop much beyond her feelings for Ledo, but she is a ray of sunshine and a good foil for our stoic lead. Her disabled younger brother Bevel also has a profound, if limited, effect on the show. Through his conversations with Bevel, Ledo learns the value that every person, even someone who is disabled, brings. Most of the other characters are less remarkable; they do get some development, but not enough to make them really memorable. Which is a shame because the show could have done something interesting with many of these characters, but ultimately focuses on them only enough for them to be plot devices. Some of the their actions later in the story feel like they happened for plot convenience, rather than something the characters would do.
The world of Gargaintia is rich in detail and well developed through the early stages of the show. The show begins with a detailed introduction to the Galactic Alliance of Humankind, a bit of its history and social structure, and it isn't even where the main story takes place. When Ledo lands on Earth, it opens up a new world to explore. The show does a good job of depicting first contact between two unfamiliar cultures. Along with the difference of environment and culture, Ledo doesn't even speak the same language as the people of Gargantia. It takes him some time to learn their language; he has to rely on Chamber to decipher and translate for him regularly at first. This really adds to the show's immersion; as a viewer, it feels like you are discovering a new world alongside Ledo. Details of Gargaintia's society and Earth's ecosystem are introduced gradually through situations, rather than just being explained in information dumps. Not to say it always uses its time effectively, episode 5 is a completely unnecessary fan-service episode that is also the low point in the show's writing, and there are moments which are a bit too quaint every once in a while. Still, all in all, it is a very good approach, building the settings in a very natural way.
The show loses this quality in the darker later half, which delves into why and how humans left Earth to begin with. After certain events cause tension, Ledo parts ways with Gargantia for a while. This leads to him finding footage chronicling the events before a large populous fled to space. It is interesting, showing that the people of Earth were far from united even in the face of impending disaster, with two factions waging war on each other. However, it is also a huge info dump that feels out of place. It goes on about disagreements of what actions should be taken for mankind's survival, and arguments of ethics concerning genetic modification; as well as the origins of the Galactic Alliance, and the creation of the Hideauze. It is too much information at one time, and is quite jarring, honestly. The pacing also is jarringly different, with majority of the big plot twists taking place in the latter half; the show goes from pacing itself leisurely to being very busy. Because of this, a lot of characters' development is rushed, and there isn't really any closure or catharsis for any characters the show takes time to develop, with the exception of Ledo and Chamber.
Not to say these plot twists are bad. They invoke some interesting ideas about the system a group of people live under and how it can become harmful when it is so rigid that it becomes constrictive; as it has in the Galactic Alliance of Humanity and the cult that is introduced late in the series. Human society needs a system to function, but when that system becomes all encompassing that it determines how everyone living under it thinks, it becomes an oppressive force. This is a theme Urobuchi seems endlessly fascinated with, having explored similar ideas in his past work. The thing is, Gargantia somewhat oversimplifies these ideas by doing too much to vilify the system at work without really going into why such a system might be necessary. The cult introduced near the finale is so brainwashed that it is obvious that the show is skewed against their way of live. It's admirable that the show believes so strongly in a simpler and more loosely constructed way of life, but it is optimistic to the point of naivety in its view. Luckily, Ledo's revaluation of his life gives the show's values enough weight to still be honest and meaningful.
As far as the visuals go, the show looks incredible as would be expected from Production I.G. Right from the beginning, the visuals impress with a stunning space battle that is cold and mechanical, but amazing to behold nonetheless. In contrast, the never-ending ocean of Earth and city-like fleet of Gargantia are brimming with liveliness. There is a naturalistic beauty to the settings: the clear blue sky and the shimmering water below that goes well beyond the horizon, the underwater ecosystems, the light of the glowfish at night; it is all breathtaking to look at. Gargantia itself is quite a sight, equal parts fantastical and makeshift. The boat-dwelling people of Gargantia have a rudimentary grasp on technology compared their ancestors, but resourceful and learned to live with what little lost technology they can scavenge and whatever nature provides them; it is easy to see this by just looking at the place where they live. The character designs by Hanaharu Naruko are diverse, colorful, and lively. Clear emphasis is put on female characters (the show loves to flaunt their bodies), but the guys are also quite distinctive; something that is fairly rare in anime. Of special note is the tan Ledo develops during his time on Earth, which is a nice subtle touch.
The music by Taro Iwashiro is mostly composed of orchestral pieces. It is nothing innovative, but it is very well composed and most certainly effective. The music is broad and versatile, which is for the best because Gargantia has a wide range of tones. The compositions support the calm quite moments and warm touching moments just as effectively as tension filled arguments and battles. Probably the most impressive thing the music accomplishes is capturing a sense of wonder. After living on a confining military space colony all his life, the wind open Earth must be awe inspiring for Ledo; the music as well as the visuals imbues the show with a feeling of discovery and adventure.
Though it is too naive to really be called a mature work, Suisei no Gargantia is certainly not a bad show. It is really quite enjoyable; it has likable characters, great art and animation, and a well developed lead. It's theme of how people in a community support one another is so good-natured that I feel kind of bad calling it out on its naivety. Still, the lack of development to the overall cast outside of being likable, and the simplifying of complex themes prevent it from being something great.
This review entails some spoilers and, potentially, offensive regards to anime.
So. The two problems this anime faces are characterization and plot. The two key components of what make a good story. I'm just going to condense it down for ease and simplicity.
Gargantia had a lot of potential in the first few episodes. We're introduced to Ledo, a young man who lives among a space-colonized community of humans. However, all he and his fellow kin know is war against cephalopod(octopi, squids) aliens. Piloting highly advanced and durable AI, Ledo isn't accustomed to much outside of his mecha, "Chamber". As given by the summary, we pretty
much know the basics of everything else. When landing upon Earth, the very foundation of his life is put into question and he must battle his ruthless dogma with the mercy-based morality of the Earthen humans.
Now, to just get straight to what I want to address, I'm going to talk characters and keep it as short and to-the-point as possible of me. Apologies for the poor construction ahead.
Ledo is, truthfully, one of the extremely few characters that was carrying this show, with Chamber being his only rival as such. Bevel and Oldham had their moments, but their screen-time was little and as such, isn't really much of a basis to go off from. Anyways, Ledo(as we see in the first episode) is very logical, analytic and precise, something that was likely learned from his constant interaction with a robot. He seeks constant guidance from Chamber and the two work together to figure out what they're dealing with, being aided by a girl named Amy. He is, however, open to change and thinks on a deeper level, attempting(constantly) to understand the ways of the people of Earth when they weren't doing the same in turn. There are some very good moments where Ledo expresses his horror, confusion and irritation toward truths of his mission and the mannerisms of his new commune. There are also terrible moments where his entire character is goofed up for the sake of a smile or small giggle.
Now, Amy would have been a fine character... except for the fact that her friends and a portion of other characters nearly share the exact same archetype. Carefree, loved, sweet, and lively. There is very little depth to her, and she's your typical sweethearted heroine. Amy serves as a catalyst for Ledo's position in the society of Gargantia, and is a key component in his moral struggles, but that's pretty much it. There's very little exploration of who she is as a person and why she does what she does or why she is the way she is. Her only role in the anime is to be Ledo's guiding light, and she doesn't do a particularly fantastic job at it... unless just throwing him at people to talk to was her only purpose. Then she did great.
Pinion is a mess. The character initially hates Ledo with every fiber of his being and suddenly just becomes best bro's with the kid when seeing him, Ledo, down in the dumps over personal conflict. Pinion just randomly offers a hand to Ledo after continually trying to make the head of the ship get rid of him, and treats him like a brother very early on in the series. Again, there was no explanation for this change of character. It was like Pin was meant to be a rival and after a few episodes in, they just completely scrapped that idea. His history was passed over briefly and the character is pretty much an idiot and comedy relief. He has one or two truly mature moments in the entire thirteen episodes. A comic character isn't bad... but like I said, Pinion is a messy character. He is severely lacking in structure.
Chamber, on the other hand, is quite deep for being an artificial creation. As we expect, he's intelligent and can do all that cool robot-y stuff like scanning and predicting the future through complex analyzing to blowing crap up, but he himself has his inbuilt information challenged with knowledge learned throughout the show and ends up being more of a human than the human characters. And what I mean by that is he was given a developed personality... despite being a machine. Out of all the characters to choose from, they give the second most development of character to a hunk of freaking metal. I'm wont complain, anyways. At least they didn't give the entire mantle to a 16 year-old boy.
Bevel(an intelligent young boy) and Oldham(the only doctor of Gargantia?), like I said, didn't get much view time and had little spotlight. However, Bevel is very much a reason for Ledo's inner conflicts and Oldham is that "wise old sage" type that is suppose to balance out the immaturity of the rest of the cast, but can't because it's so overwhelming here with his sparse appearances. I'd try to be more explanatory, but it's difficult to do without giving spoilers. The few moments they appear are fairly important to Ledo, so you'd just have to watch for yourself.
Miscellaneous characters. I'm not going to name them because I truthfully cannot even remember that much. There's a redheaded woman and another with black hair and glasses who leads the ship. Characters that seem to hold an important role, but are given no real depth and very little background. The pirate princess, who comes to their aid in the end of the series-- after being their enemy and a major threat to the lives just about everyone(the relationship was beneficial, but for whatever reason she comes to share a random friendship towards Pinion that has no development at all), is just a mess of a character again. Her intentions aren't remotely clear nor ever explained.
As for the plot... it's very weak and typical. This anime would have been far better off just exploring the psychological aspects of a child bred for war, taught "survival of the strong" ideals and merciless killing with having to question themselves against what it actually means to be human and what freedom of choice is. Ledo's growth as a character was good, but could have been phenomenal in the right hands. With the contrived plot and ending, this anime was just mistreated. The vast majority of the cast is shallowly written, every episode past seven is just an awkward clutter of poor development-- with few shining moments(all involving Ledo), and it's just another typical hurriedly-written anime that just can't deliver something more.
I would recommend this for the average anime viewer because it's something that appeals to the masses. It's simple and very lighthearted, which to me, was a pitfall. Comedy isn't a bad thing, by any means, but anime anymore just focuses too much on goofy situations that don't have any sort of place in the story. Gargantia, unfortunately, is plagued by quite a bit of that.
It's not a terrible show, but it's not amazing, either. If you're looking to waste a few hours, or a day, then this wouldn't be a bad anime to do that with. It's short and easy to understand.
I skipped over this series at first. Didn't know anything about it, and not being a particular fan of mecha anime I just assumed it wasn't going to be for me. Then I happened to decide to finally finish up Psycho-Pass which I had started not too long ago. That series was immensely satisfying for me and left me wanting more. Hopefully a second season of Psycho-Pass will eventually come... but in the mean time, I decided to see what else the writer had his name attached to and came back to this. I decided to shove my preconceptions aside and give it a watch.
Now I can say that without a doubt, after Madoka Magica, Fate/Zero, Psycho-Pass and this curious little gem of a series I will follow this writer, Gen Urobuchi, wherever he next goes.
Suisei no Gargantia is definitely an odd little series. I started off seriously unimpressed. Halfway into the first episode I was ready to turn it off. I was greeted by impenetrable space battles with flashy mechas piloted by characters who had given no reason to care about them. It felt exactly like the kind of thing I dread and lead me to believe Urobuchi had finally struck out. Sticking with it though, the second half of the episode stuck the hooks in deep and introduced an instantly likable female lead, a colorful, attractive band of characters and an interesting and imaginative world to explore. I soon realized the anime wasn't at all what I thought it was. What I saw instead was an immensely satisfying study of society and relationships with real heart on display, not another of the showy mecha fight series you can find just anywhere.
The series looks amazing. The art direction is superb and most of the shots look gorgeous. It's Production I.G., so maybe that goes without saying, but regardless it's a strikingly beautiful series. No complaints on how anything sounds either; the voice actors all do a good job and the music is usually pleasant and suitable. The character designs are very appealingly glossy and attractive. First rate stuff all around.
I like the characters. The male lead is believable in his role, and though initially hard to identify with, becomes increasingly sympathetic as he opens up to the world around him. The female lead, Amy, is effortlessly likable; Urobuchi had proven to be really good with somewhat understated but resilient and spirited female leads, and she's no exception. The supporting cast is pretty good, I guess. I find myself liking them and the designs are great, but many of them aren't well developed at this point. The mecha itself is a kind of amusing character.
For me, Gargantia is immensely likable. Not as thought provoking as other Urobuchi works, or as intense for that matter, but that's kind of the point I think. It's a show that rides on emotion. It's very much about feeling, and personally, I've thus far found it to be nothing but evocative. An unexpected pleasure through and through.
Update: Having now completed Gargantia, I feel the need to add a bit of an addendum to my initial review. Later in the series it shifts focus rather considerably; sacrificing a lot of the sentiment it conveyed so well through the first stretches of the series to try and be somewhat more thought provoking. Everything still works in my opinion and looking at it it's clearly the story Urobuchi was always going to tell here, but it is still somewhat disappointing. Amy, who is the crucial character in why the show works so well at first is shoved aside, only meriting a few appearances per episode in later episodes. It starts to feel a bit less earnest, and then it all concludes with a string of mecha action sequences that are only so satisfying.
I would still say I admire this is a very well-made, and overall exceedingly enjoyable anime experience. It's very earnest and I commend Urobuchi for stepping away from his usual work somewhat, especially for the first half or so. Really it's easy to say that it might have been better if he had gone even further as Gargantia really does work it's best in the quieter, more understated slice of life moments. That said, while this show didn't do quite what I wanted it to, and for it it will miss the perfect ten score I've given to Urobuchi's other works, I still keep it at a nine and eagerly anticipate future projects from the writer.
Watching Suisei no Gargantia is like watching someone who is completely incompetent play a good video game for an extended period of time. Is there anything more aggravating? They ignore obvious powerups right in front of their face, they never know what attack to use at what time, and they have absolutely no idea where they are going. As much as you desperately would like to take the reigns or at least guide them in the right direction, you simply can’t. This process is universally frustrating and cringe-worthy because you know that if this person were only playing correctly, you would be able
to see the gameplay in all its glory. Instead, you end up sitting through hours of moronic lollygagging that goes utterly nowhere. To make a long story short, Gargantia is a comparably pointless and meandering ordeal despite the obvious potential for a heartwarming, meaningful, and even thought-provoking story that it at one point seemed destined to eventually arrive at.
Synopsis: In the distant future, The Human Galactic Alliance has been constantly fighting for its survival against a race of beings called "Hidiaazu." During an intense battle, a soldier named Ledo and his humanoid mecha “Chamber” are sent spiraling through time and space. Several months later, Ledo wakes up from his artificially induced hibernation and realizes that he has arrived on planet Earth; the birthplace of humanity. The life he has known as an HGA soldier differs drastically from the culture he now finds here on Earth, as he struggles mightily to adjust to the new environment.
If I had to give Gargantia credit for anything, I’d praise the fact that’s it’s ambitious. It simultaneously aspires to be a thriller, a slice of life, a romance, a commentary on morality, and a mecha-action. Unfortunately, its own ambition coupled with some god awful writing resulted in an incomprehensible mess of plot holes, no direction what so ever, and so many irrelevant subplots that it becomes difficult to even comprehend what the show’s primary narrative even is.
It’s easy to be lured into Gargantia via its bright animation and intriguing first couple of episodes, but every good aspect it ever manages to establish goes to waste simply because it refuses to pick an identity at any point; this anime has NO idea what it wants to be. My first guess was that it was going to be a charming slice of life about a young man discovering what it really means to live, but then it decides to go on an incoherent, pointless, and shock-factor driven tangent that tries to introduce aspects of action, psychology, and suspense without an ounce of the narrative framework required to successfully do so. It’s almost comical when you realize in hindsight how irrelevant and pointless this anime’s little “Shyamalan Twist” was to the main storyline. When the aspect of the narrative that’s slated to carry the most emotional weight can be removed entirely without anything being different, something is wrong. VERY wrong. But, surprisingly, one of the most nonsensical plot twists in anime history isn’t even the biggest issue facing Gargantia’s plot, because that title goes to the entire 2nd half of the anime, which is the most horrible, confused, and plothole laced 6-7 episodes I think I have ever seen. To sum all this up in a single sentence, Gargantia’s plot is absolute garbage. This is far and away the worst thing that writer Gen Urobuchi has ever written or will ever write again, ESPECIALLY when you consider the characters:
Our protagonist, Ledo, is the only character in this show. That’s right; you heard me. There are no other characters. LITERALLY everyone else in this show is a plot device. Amy, the female lead and love interest, is as 1-dimmensional as it gets. No personality, no motivations (partially because she barely does anything), no backstory, no nothing. She exists only so we can pretend that Ledo formed a bond with one of these boring sacks at some point. The closest thing this show ever gets to a character (besides Ledo) who exists for purposes other than advancing the plot IS A GODDAMN ROBOT. That’s right; Chamber, Ledo’s robot, is the closest thing to a side character that you are going to get. Notice the emphasis on the word “close”, since Chamber is still an information-spewing plot device. The laughable way in which the show eventually tries to portray some sort of bond between Ledo and a robot makes the god-awful writing all the more cringe-worthy. Oh, and in case you didn’t guess it already, Ledo is a bad character. They try to convince you at the end that he learned something and went through some kind of change but… When? It never feels like he’s learning something nor does it ever feel like he’s ever changing. Not to mention that his inconsistent reactions to events around him amplify the show’s glaring plotholes. *Sigh... It’s just really, REALLY bad writing for the complete lack of a better term. Putting it as bluntly as that is the best way I can think to sum it up.
In conclusion, Gargantia is not worth your time and it will only cause you immense disappointment if anything at all. One of my least favorite reviewer-clichés is to go on and on about how “This anime had potential”, because EVERY anime has potential; you aren’t really saying anything with that. In this case, however, I really feel like this anime could have been special. If it had merely picked ONE out of the multiple great ideas it had and focused on it, this might have been one my favorites. Instead, it’s shit. Storytelling is fickle, I suppose.
Suisei no Gargantia was my anticipated show of the season; written by Urobuchi Gen [the mind behind novel renditions of derivative works such as Madoka Magica (to Faust), Psycho-Pass (to works such as BNW/1984), Saya no Uta (to Lovecraftian works), Kikokugai, and so forth], and animated by a studio adept with handling most subjects [Production I.G.]. I was looking forward to it; his works not only make the audience think, but they’re often crafted intricately — excelling in both plot, characterization, and ultimately, presentation.
But the result? A mercurial series effusive with
heroism, bad writing, and awkward, fickle characters. If in a work, the plot is meant to complement the character, and the character the plot, then in this aberration, the plot advances the characters forward, without any heed to the intricacies of how a character actually develops.
Ledo’s our protagonist; he’s accentuated to be servile to the mechanical acquiescence of militant dogma, and stubborn to the root; throughout the series, he constantly shifts between having the fervor of a Westboro Baptist preacher when it comes to the holistic condemnation of an entire race, and being an average teenager with notice towards morals and emotion. His character wasn’t really given the ‘right’ treatment; the former half of the series revolved around making him more human — the series was fairly enjoyable during this period; the developments weren’t shaky, and it seemed reasonable for him to be initially belligerent towards the foreign preaching of ‘love’, family, and morals. However, at a breaking point, he essentially left his learned insight bereft, and committed an act antithetical to what he was being developed to be. After that, he becomes a clock-reaction of sorts; fickle to change between being that guy driven by visceral emotion, and being that guy driven by the stringent tenets of the military [for example; during the last episode, he was willing to risk his life for the sake of 'love' towards a girl that he never so as much blushed at, while a few episodes previous, he had condemned her kind to be plain, detestable savages].
But he’s not the only erratic character in the series. The characters that were developed the most consistently and the ‘best’, were the ones that were linear and simple; Amy, the heroine, remained consistent, and her actions sought no faults in relative reason — the nascent commander was devoted an entire episode of development, perhaps the simplest, albeit more realistic progression of character development within the series. Then we have the chain of ridiculously dubious characters; we have the pirate, emblematic of pride, greed, and cruelty, turn contrary during the final episodes into becoming an altruistic hero ["I'll help you if you give me X; helps without mentioning X again]. We have the mechanic, characterized by an ambivalence between avarice, pride, and greed, all the while holding onto apparent, blatant empathy towards his associates. We also have the mecha, austere in judgement, and strict in dogma — to valiantly sacrifice itself for the sake of inexplicable love.
Then we have the science fiction within the series. There’s a dichotomy of science-fiction series; there’s the series that integrate an explanation for every development [an allusion to a real-world theory, or a pragmatic explanation falling within real-world boundaries], and series that hold the term ‘science-fiction’ nominally. Suisei no Gargantia belongs to the second category. The series doesn’t attempt to explain most of the occurrences; the plot revolves around the protagonist falling through from one location to another — the series never attempts to explain how or why. The series bases the primary plot off of an enigmatic lifeform by the appellation of “Hideauze”, yet its explanations for its origin are incredibly antithetical to how science actually works [We can't even engineer a major modification for genes within the same species, yet Suisei no Gargantia is comfortable with engineering modifications past the phylum ].
You also can’t forget the structure of the series. The latter half basically bereaves the mood and developments that the former half worked so hard to craft; if the former half were viewed as a standalone, slice of life, and the latter half, individually as an action series, then perhaps, the respective halves would not be so awkward. But when coalesced, you get an erratic amalgamation of dissonant factors devoid of the slightest harmony. Suisei no Gargantia had thirteen episodes to craft a holistic, reasonable story; they spent half of it on slice of life, and the other half, on erratic plot; they attempted to do far too much within a simple one-cour series [most plot-heavy series require a two-cour season]. The former half made use of the tranquil soundtrack that offered vestigial aid to the latter half, while the latter half boasted forgettable tracks, integrated as simple filler music [also have to note its liberal use of flashbacks, without any further attempt to attenuate its ambiguity, or the usages of dei ex machina with its sudden reveals of certain weapons] .
While a work isn’t exactly entirely dependent on the obscure laws of presentation, and of reasonable development, it certainly should at its very core, leave the audience entertained. Yet, it’s hard for me to say that for Suisei; his works as noted, are novel renditions of derivative series — this work, is awfully similar to his most recent work. More than that, like the previous work, was incredibly vocal with making the characters literally express the themes and the ideas of the work. There’s not grace in conveyance when you’re having a protagonist scream his philosophies in an aggravating, 'let this guy die please' way, and it’s made less so when you have the opponent rebut back in an equally vehement manner ["You're being immature? I will too].
The flaw with the series had to do with its potential of being able to easily devote thirteen episodes into crafting an affable slice of life, or even thirteen episodes of reasonable science-fiction, to come short with half a season of shaky developments, and another half of retrospective unimportance. When you force down every other genre down on a series, you might get a stride of adventitious enjoyment, but most of the time, simply avoidable frustration.
Well first I must say this is my first review and english is not my native language, so I apologize for my bad english.
Well in all the news anime who popped out this spring, I guess we could say that the outstanding one is Shingeki No Kyojin, however, when I heard of Suisei No Gargantia, I just thought that this one may be the most beautiful one.
Indeed, this is an anime with a storyline who looks goods, I first thought this will be an ordinary mecha, but it's a lot different and this is why this anime is a special one.
The graphics and animation are...
well awesome, and the color you can found in this anime are wonderful.
But the best part is the characters, at least an anime whith characters who are not stupid !
This is a story about the meaning of life, and this is what Ledo will learn.
I'm kinda the depressed guy in everyday life, I guess I could say I'm like Ledo, I sometimes wonder why the world is like that, why the other are doing these things, and when I watch this anime, I'm fully in the character of Ledo.
Seeing such a beautiful world, with many colors, wonderful characters who are always smiling and just enjoying the life as is it, this is what makes me happy.
In the end I could just say that this anime bring happiness, it makes you smile en enjoy the moment.
That's why it deserve a 10, because no other anime have this power.
Suisei no Gargantia is the latest work of the (in)famous Gen Urobuchi, who did Psycho Pass last season (IG) and the more known, Fate/Zero and Madoka Magica.
While I did enjoy the latter, Psycho Pass was pretty bad and so had no high expectations of another sci fi with Gen Urobuchi and IG behind it.
The show is still airing and I will edit some parts later on, but my overall impressions of the show are set and will only tweaked slightly after the end which will come soon.
Suisei no Gargantia (Gargantia) sets in the distant future, humanity has escaped Earth and fights squid like Aliens called
Hideauze in space with spaceships and Mechas.
One of those mecha pilots is Ledo, the protagonist.
After a fight with hideauze he gets suck into a wormhole and ends up on earth which has changed dramatically and now is a water planet.
With his high tech Mecha Chamber he stays at a (for him) primitive ship called Gargantia, learns the culture and language of the people who stayed on earth.
The plot moves very slowly, shows you the way people live on earth and deal with everyday tasks. Ledo is "forced" into learning the habits of Gargantia and forgetting about his soldier life.
There are various themes addressed in the show, like what is the value of a human life that is not productive for society (eugenics), co existing with the environment and other human beings, the freedom to do what you want and not what you are ordered to.
It all sounds nice on paper but Gargantia lacks pretty in that regard. The waste time on fanservice, boring side events and after a while you don't really know what the show is even about.
Is it some sort of anti-war piece?
Thankfully the plot advances after it is shown that there are Hideauze on earth and Ledo finds his duty to kill them.
This leads to some drama, because the Gargantians think of the Hideauze as somewhat holy and don't want to kill them.
And here I need to make a clear cut. Up onto this point the show wasn't bad, just boring, but episode 9 turned over the entire show.
I don't wanna spoil it yet I feel compelled to do so, since it was outright ridiculous what happened.
All I can say is that it suddenly becomes inconsistent, cliche and stupid at the same time.
It's typical Gen Urobuchi shock factor and emotion manipulation which turns the Story into a complete mess that is just laughable.
I have no idea what to expect of the ending, but it's really hard to get your head out of that rope.
As usual for IG shows and Urobuchi, the characters are the worst part of the show.
They are lifeless and have weak personalities, feel unnatural and more like plot devices than real people.
They behave childish and immature and have no sense of consistency. Especially Ledo as it is shown in episode 9, as he does a 180° and behaves totally out of character.
The characters are also as usual unlikable and you cannot relate to them, people die... you don't care.
Sad things happen... you don't care.
I do blame Urobuchi for this, since the other IG show Attack on Titan (even though a shounen) has much more relatable characters, even if they reek of cliche and simpleness.
Art and Animation
We get our typical high standards for animation and art that IG delivers. Not outstanding but very solid.
The action scenes are great, the colors are vibrant and the backgrounds lush.
The only problem I had were the female character designs.
All look a bit slutty and their faces put me off. I know they hired a guy who normally draws hentai characters, so no wonder there. But to me they look like slutty K-On! characters.
The males on the other hand are pretty good looking though.
The CGI Mecha and special effects don't bother me and are actually quite good especially in the first episode very nice special effects with many different neon colors. Spacy.
The score for Gargantia is surprisingly weak. The opening and endings are bad (if not horrible) and the background music forgettable.
The voice actors doing an average job, though I give credit for the fantasy language Ledo uses. It's awkward but creative.
The sound effects have a good impact and are high quality.
Enjoyment and Value
For some reason the show gets hyped again, mostly because Gen Urubuchi is working on it. But if you ask me the shows is even worse than Psycho Pass and that show was pretty bad already.
I mostly forced myself to watch it up until episode 9 which was actually good for the first half until it became laughable to the end and I literally burst out in laughing at times out of sheer ridiculousness.
It did add to the enjoyment but in a bad way. I cannot take the show serious and I can never take Urobuchi serious again. This show as the nail in the coffin and will close the chapter of Urobuchsi work for me.
Art and Animation 8/10
Artstyle +1 (looks pretty nice, lush colors and realistic looks, gives you a nadia of the blue water feeling)
Quality +1 ( Good IG animation)
Background +1 (beautiful water scenes, nice textures on the ships)
Character Designs -1 ( the female character designs ruin it for me)
Visual Effects +1 (decent use of cgi, nice special effects for lasers and so on)
Voice Acting 0 (your standard modern voice acting)
Opening and Ending -1 (terrible terrible terrible)
Soundtrack 0 (not mentionable but also not bad)
Sound Effects +1 (good use of effects)
Story or Content 3/10
Premise and Setting +1 (as usually good premise for Urobuchi shows)
Pacing -1 (fillers, silly slice of life, boring funeral episode)
Complexity 0 (simple stuff that just tries to be more complex than it is)
Plausibility -1 (none, it’s space magic and misunderstood science when ep9 happens)
Conclusion 0 (will most likely be not good based on where the story stands now)
Personality -1 (walking, talking plot devices)
Behavior and Chemistry -1 (unrealistic and out of character, forced drama)
Development and Progression 0 (simplistic)
Motivation and Backdrop 0 (almost none)
Likability -1 (no one was likable)
Value & Enjoyment 1,5/10 rounded down to 1/10
Sentimental -0,5 (will forget about this as soon as I can)
Historical 0 (not as big as an impact as his other work, will be forgotten)
Art and Animation +0 nothing spectacular
Sound -1 boring soundtrack and terrible OP
Story and Content -1 stupid makes me cringe
Characters -1 boring again, no relation to them
Overall score 3,8 ~ 4/10 (bad)
Suisei no Gargantia will have some fans who think it is smart. I thought it was not only stupid but also weak in its exposition.
It was boring to watch and had nothing to offer.
Its messages are not clear and even if they were I do not agree with them.
It's Urobuchi attempting to do the same trick he did so many times before and fails harder every time.
Stop making sci fi shows if you can't explain anything, it will only end up creating plot holes.
Focus on fantasy like Fate/Zero and Madoka, at least there you can explain everything with magic and focus on the character drama or action.
Have you travelled into a different country, in the which you can't speak the local language, the culture is completely different and people has different purposes in life? Well, this is what Gargantia is all about. It gives the impression of being an all-out action mecha anime, but before you realize, it becomes something else.
The first episode begins, and we are quickly taken into a rather pro-active exposition of the show's world: The humanity is in danger, and we must fight the ultimate battle against some Whale-squid-like creatures that inhabit the outer space called "Hideazu"!!. Somehow, the attack plan backfires and our Main
Character is thrown into a wormhole. But something went wrong, and our character is now stuck in a place where he has no idea about, and his life will change completely.
You might have guessed, the place where our character arrives, is the Earth itself.
The show is mostly about our main character's development, but you may find some surprises. The exposition and exploration of its own world and ideas is one of the reasons why this anime is such an amusing and deep experience. There's a point when you'll start thinking and looking deep into yourself as a person and your purposes in life. Ambitions and goals are really important to grow up and find your own freedom.
Music and Art are simply fantastic, as it holds high production values. Every atmosphere is achieved perfectly and helps a lot to the inmersion.
The anime was rather short for the development it needed, but it never fails to amuse. Pick this up and watch it, dammit!
If I look back on my experience with Suisei no Gargantia, I can feel the chills of the sea and space envelop my body as a whole.
What a ride.
Suisei no Gargantia was definitely one of the animes I always looked forward to watching every week when a new episode came out, and I believe it does deserve plenty of recognition for what it has done.
The premise from the get-go was very promising - humanity has been forced to leave Earth and is driven to the deep reaches of space, developing highly advanced technology to combat strange foes that spell doom for
humanity. I liked it. However, like with any other anime I watch, I was sure not to get my hopes up to high in case the rest of the anime didn't deliver on the set-up. Fortunately, my caution was not necessary since I was well-satisfied with the content that I was gifted.
The concept of a futuristic human coming down to Earth, not knowing that it was his race's planet of origin, by itself provided numerous elements to the anime. It provided initial humor at his surprise with some discoveries and engaging action as he explored the now barren realms of Earth's body. When Ledo and Chamber run into some of the indigenous people, a spark of conflict then provides the backbone to the rest of the story, breathing forth a tale of cultural conflicts and drama, with a hint of romance.
The art is what you would expect out of many of the "generic" anime you see in modern times. Nothing new is introduced, but usually that's the way I like it.
Music and voice acting both completed their jobs well. Their existence was noted, but did not dominate the anime with their presence. They managed to stay discreet and not bring too much attention to themselves, just like they should.
I think this category is what really did it for me.
Ledo is a wonderful character to analyze by himself. As the anime progresses, there is a clear change in his character and his way of thinking. The show does a superb job of showing how Ledo struggles and wrestles with the idea that the ways that he was taught up in space may not be acceptable. While he is very powerful and easily overpowers all of the beings on Earth with Chamber, he is not shown to be invincible, which is something I can really appreciate.
Chamber also is a very potent presence in the anime and appears to be Ledo's last connection the world he left behind, causing him to be almost half of Ledo's life. Yet even though I held no expectations for him to surprise me as a character, he surprises me in the end and is the cause of one of the last chills to send down my spine for the anime.
Now we have Amy, the heroine of our story. (For clarification, there are hints of romance between her and Ledo in the story, but it definitely does not consume a majority of the anime) For Amy, I have to say she provides nothing extraordinary as a character, but she definitely is not a hindrance to the anime - which is a lot better than other heroines in other anime.
The rest of the characters are very colorful and have their own backstories that are all covered as the story progresses, and I have to say I found myself engaged in all of them.
For a 13 episode anime, I have to say they did a wondrous job of compacting a relatively deep and engaging story without sacrificing the usual components such as character development, pacing, and purpose. Both thought-provoking and exciting in numerous regards, Suisei no Gargantia is one anime I would love to see more of in the future.
Epic crazy battle robot? Or maybe a full-suspense atmoshphere?
Well, thats usually appears in every mecha anime, but have you ever feel a mecha anime with heartwarming feeling? I bet not every mecha had that feeling before. I usually avoided mecha anime, I dont have any particular reasons. I always thought every mecha anime is quite generic like you have robot, you used that for battle then WHAM! (put battle scene in here) and voila! Here is a mecha anime. Surprisingly, Suisei no Gargantia is more than that.
Suisei no Gargantia is not your usual mecha anime, if you’re looking for epicness mecha like Tengen Toppa
Gurren Lagann then Suisei no Gargantia is not what you’re looking for. SnG (Suisei no Gargantia) takes a setting in post-apocalypse earth, when humanity cant no longer lives in Island because of some circumtances. Humanity now, are living in the ships. The story focussing on Ledo which is a soldier from another planet that being stranded in Gargantia (is the name of the ships). He is trying to lives in this ship and of course, the lives where he was lived before and in this ship are so different and in this anime, we will see how Ledo adapting in this new environment when the technology is more primitive than he comes from.
SnG is more into slice of life aspects. They brings you a heartwarming feeling and more the pacing that they had was rather slow. It was admitable, because this anime is focussing on the details, like how Ledo (The main character) must learned the language in Gargantia (the place he had stranded) or on how people do their life in a big ship called Gargantia. So, prepare to heard so many dialogues. Although it was slow and many dialogue, but i bet you will enjoyed it in every minutes or even seconds. Even the premise of the story sounds simplistic but later in the story, the story will develop into something that will blows off your mind!
I really enjoyed this anime, the story was quie enjoyable and moreover, there some exciting twists that makes you feel “Aaaarghhh!” and at the other time there was some heartwarming scene that makes you said “Ooohh....”. Mixing feelings between heartwarming and some epic moments in this anime mix well and thats what makes Suisei no Gargantia is so appealing.
If i could said, the art in this anime was the best among the other anime that same airing in Spring 2013 no.. even for the other anime. In this anime, They use colorful color and makeit so artistic. The background was heavenly beautiful. Maybe some of you thought, with ship as the background, does it will make the atmosphere dull and plain? You’re wrong. Thats what i thought at the first time but when i watching this anime, the art makes the ship (Gargantia) looks so beautiful, rich colour, and brings out the cheerful atmospheres. From the art and the background itself i can tell that the atmosphere that the creator wants to make is cheerful one and that mixs well with the story and what i could said is the background is the greatest parts on this anime. Its so memorable and beautiful! Eyegasm!
Not just with the background , the character design is the best too. There was a steampunk and sci-fi feels and more it was realistic. Like many of the girl characters is in brown skin, Well, they live in ship and received sunlight everday, thats quite logic. And what makes me more excited was the most character is unique, i usually side character have similiar design for each characters but its not in Suisei no Gargantia. Every character have their own uniqueness in terms of design like in the clothes or anything like that and not just the human character that was appealing, the mecha design is quite great too. For mecha like Chamber (a mecha that Ledo used), they use 3-D graphic. It makes the mecha looks so cool and moreover, its blended well with the rest of animation. A perfect art if i could said.
For the songs, i found the opening song and the ending was quite catchy. I love the opening song “Kono Sekai “ by Minor Chihara , I never skip the OP parts, the song is so easy listening and quite catchy tunes. Its maybe my favorite OP for spring anime beside Shingeki no Kyojin OP. For the ending song, i dont really remember it. It doesnt have anything special.
For the seiyuu, we have Hisaka Kanemoto for Amy, Kaito Ishikawa as Ledo, Ai Kayano as Saya. Maybe the one that you havent never heard before was Kaito Ishikawa. Well, i am actually surprised that he is a newcomer but the quality of his sound doesnt represent him as ‘newcomer’, it sounds like he is a pro seiyuu. He is really fits as Ledo, like when Ledo stutter after learning earth language, thats totally remarkable! I think he is doing his job very well. For other seiyuu, i think i dont have to mention all of them since we know their quality.
The main character of this anime, Ledo is quite cool and attractive guy. He is really fits as the main character of this anime, not just because his looks but also the personality that he have. Gen Urobuchi seems making the character react for every events in most realistic way, like when Ledo stranded in Gargantia, He doesnt feel to comfortable with his new environment because it doesnt match with his stance (weak people doesnt deserve to die). I love the way how the character react to events in logic and realistic way, we can said, there isnt any action that bases from unrealistic thinking but its more about realistic and moreover the development in Ledo is quite remarkable, it was quite logic considering the environtment that he lives now, supporting him. Quite logic, huh?
The other main character that we should mention is, Amy. Amy is the first person that interact with Ledo, she is quite cheerful and cute person. I think she is my favorite character in this spring anime, I love the pairing within a cool and quiet guy with cheerful girls.
Anyway, i love all the characters in Suisei no Gargantia. They all have their own uniqueness and moreover there wasnt any character that being wasted, everyone have their own roles. Its like everyone have their own time to shine.
When people focusses on Shingeki no Kyojin and Hataraku Maou Sama (airing same as Suisei no Gargantia).They forgot to mention one another great anime, its called Suisei no Gargantia. Not many people take their eyes on this anime. It such a waste if i can said. With superb art quality like Makoto Shinkai works (not in terms of realistic art but in artistic way) and heartwarming story, Suisei no Gargantia can take away my attention from SnK and i dont regret it. Dont said just because this is a mecha so you wouldnt watched it, believe me, i dont really like mecha too but this anime was different it was focussing on slice of life aspects. You will regret it if you miss this show!
"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.
There’s a certain kind of excellence that I always pursue to discover within an anime - one that doesn’t have categories for scores, but rather, lives by one rationale - the desire to achieve and execute a goal. If I can see such a desire within the production team of said anime, I don’t have to rely on 1-10 scores or categories to judge an anime - I’ll simply know that it will be good, because the people behind it, are passionate souls with a love for what they do.
Of course, I’m not here to rattle on about my definition about a “good anime” but
rather, to tell you my opinions of one that does fit the above descriptor - Suisei no Gargantia.
So, naturally, I can’t simply give you my requirements for a good anime, and not apply them to Gargantia. The question is, obviously, did I see such passion within Gargantia? Absolutely. In fact, It’s been awhile (three months) since an airing anime caught my attention in the same manner that Gargantia did. As soon as I watched the first episode, Gargantia struck me with potential. And to an extent, that potential was pretty well met.
At the same time though, it’s kinda hard to just label Gargantia as an anime with a passionate production team, because if I did do that, this review would not only be very short, but very uninteresting. Gargantia, isn’t just an anime with a passionate team, its an anime with an excellent setting, an excellent story, an excellent cast, and excellent art and sound. In almost all aspects, Gargantia is an excellent anime. A very excellent anime indeed.
I can still recall that first episode - that amazing setting and plot, and that creative cliffhanger at the finale of the first episode of Gargantia. If there’s one thing that I’d pick out as my absolute favorite aspect of Gargantia, it would have to be it’s setting and story. The premise is interesting - the remnants of humanity years after the abandonment of earth by the majority of earth’s population. Although Gargantia takes a more relaxed pace in it’s first few episodes exploring Ledo’s daily life following his arrival to the now-water-filled Earth, Gargantia really picks up the pace halfway through it’s season. Now, although it’s refreshing to find an anime like this that isn’t entirely story driven, I’m kinda more partial to Gargantia leaning more towards the story side of the spectrum, and distancing itself from the daily life style that it took in it’s first few episodes. That being said, although only half of Gargantia was focused on it’s main story, those six episodes, were still very well realized. Not only was the climax of the story actually pretty suspenseful, it threw some fairly interesting plot twists along the way that made the storyline much more involving and interesting. Although I could see the argument that Gargantia's plot was somewhat underdeveloped being thrown, I’d have to somewhat disagree. The first half of Gargantia didn’t only prove to illustrate Ledo’s daily life upon Gargantia, it also set a few things in motion that eventually led to the perpetration of what I would refer to as the main story. And even though the latter half, the “main story” was somewhat packed, I still found the pacing of the entire anime quite good. Gargantia wasn’t rushed, nor was it too slow, and the progression of events was written out quite well.
This, was well voiced through Gargantia’s well-animated medium. One thing that instantly struck out to me about Gargantia, other than it’s story, was it’s style. The animation style of Gargantia is as per usual of most modern animes, quite good, with fairly fluid battle animations and excellent artwork. However, Gargantia takes it to a slightly higher level, and possesses a uniqueness to it’s animation style that isn’t present in many more recent animes. Not only is such a style unique, but it’s also fitting to Gargantia alone, and compliments the anime as a whole. In my own opinion, that is how “perfect” animation artwork should be done. It shouldn’t just be a sterile way to paint a story with some characters, it should be an entity on it’s own, with it’s own expressive abilities and it’s own message. Gargantia’s animation is a good example of that. The drawing style of Ledo, compared to the style of the rest of the earth inhabitants, is a very good example of this. In this case, it’s the stark difference between the sterile, white-haired, pale skinned Ledo, to the naturally darker, more colorful antics of the inhabitants of Gargantia that really paints a message all in itself. See, that, is animation that adds to the anime.
If there was one place that didn’t shine as bright as the other aspects of Gargantia, it would probably have to be the soundtrack. Although the opening and endings of Gargantia were good, and some could say, better than most, they weren’t anything really special and incredible. Yes, they were good, however, they weren’t as good in quality as the rest of the anime itself. Although the BGM escapes this, it doesn’t do so by much, as such quality is almost expected of an anime in this modern day and time.
To make up for it’s somewhat lackluster BGM and opening/ending, Gargantia actually has a pretty awesome cast. And it doesn’t end there - the development on said cast, is really quite good for a 13-episode anime. In addition, unlike the story, which was biased more towards the latter half of the anime, the character development is excellent all the way through, only stunted slightly by the fast-paced nature of the latter half. Of course, I really can’t talk about character development without mentioning the alien Ledo, as we can’t really forget about the fact that Ledo is essentially a stranger in a strange, strange land. Not only is he a stranger, he’s also a cut-out soldier with one unquestionable goal in mind, and possesses values that are very far from the values of those on this new, flooded earth. I think the development here, and the conflict, is quite obvious. It’s amazing how much development is made within Ledo’s character alone in just 13 episodes. Even more amazing, is probably the development of the surrounding characters - the members of Gargantia, and most interestingly, Ledo’s machine caliber, Chamber. To be honest, I’m actually partial on the “development” of Chamber as a character, as it was one of the more random aspects of Gargantia. It was pretty unexpected, and although I praise Gargantia for actually developing Chamber as a character, I know for a fact that I won’t be alone if I decide to go along the path of deciding that it was probably a bad idea. There’s another example of this, however, for the sake of not spoiling Gargantia for those who haven’t watched it, I won’t digress into that.
What I will digress into though, is my dissapointment with Gargantia. Hell, don’t read that wrong, I wasn’t disappointed with Gargantia whatsoever as an anime. It was awesome. I was disappointed that there was only 13 episodes. I know I’m not alone when I find myself wanting more, more of Ledo, more of Amy, more of Bellows and more of Pinion, and I know for a fact that I’m probably not (probably) alone when I cry myself to sleep at night digressing over what I’m going to do now that Gargantia’s over. Wait, pretend you didn’t read that last part. That’s personal. In all seriousness though, the one thing that Gargantia needs, is a second season. It has so much promise as a legendary anime, and so much more content and possibilities that it could so easily explore that a second season seems only logical in my opinion. Not only would it be awesome, it would also probably be pretty popular as an anime, and I for one, fully support the creation of a second season, for I know that I’ll see the same amount of passion in it as I did the first season. Because as it stands, the story of Gargantia has only begun. There’s so many more things that I want to know, not only about Ledo, or the history of the Gargantia fleet, but about the history of Earth within the world of Suisei no Gargantia, the fate of the Galactic Alliance and the war, and the development in communication with the Hideauze.
So please, passionate staff of Gargantia, please, use that creative genius to the greatest extent and bring us more of this incredible anime.
Suisei no Gargantia (Gargantia On The Verdurous Planet) is a 13 episode television series produced by Production IG, and notable for being primarily written by Gen Urobuchi, the mind behind such shows as Madoka Magica and Fate/Zero. Now before I start this review proper, I feel it's important to note that while Urobuchi has a track record of writing very dark shows with many characters dying and falling into despair, Gargantia is a very much different kind of show for him, for while it contains many similar themes to what he has tackled before, the show has an overall much more positive message to it.
But more on that later, for now, let's tackle the story.
Gargantia focuses on Ledo, a soldier in the Human Galactic Alliance, a coming together of the remnants of humanity in space to combat strange alien like lifeforms known as the "Hideauze". This has been Ledo's life since birth, fighting for humanities survival in the cruel confines of space. But when a mission goes wrong, Ledo inadvertently lands on a distant planet, far from the rest of his kind. When he wakes up, he is shocked to find himself on an inhabitable planet, where people live on the ocean in great united sea vessels, with none of the high tech technology Ledo is used to seeing. Even more surprising is that this world is a place that he had only heard of in myths, a place thought to be lost long ago: Earth.
The stories setup is simple, with a young man winding up in a new environment he's not used to at all, and his attempts to acclimate to the situation. But despite this, the story really shines because of it's solid execution that always leaves you wanting to know more about this world where people live on the open seas. You want to see how their lives are lived, what things have changed, what things have stayed the same. You'll also want to stay for the themes explored, such as what it really means to be a human, and what it really means to be happy and free. And most of all, you'll want to stay for the characters.
Gargantia has an amazing cast. Our protagonist, Ledo, is a typical hardcore soldier, who lives his life with a sort of "My purpose is to kill enemies with no mercy, and nothing else" sort of attitude about him. And this makes a lot of sense, considering that all he's known was fighting all his life. But on this new world, Ledo will be forced to change his ways and adapt to the much more peaceful, co-existent humans who live there. Over the course of the story, Ledo will constantly have to question his motives, wondering if he should stay true to what he was taught and be a soldier and nothing else, or if he should let his interactions with the humans of Earth change him and make him see that their's more to life.
Rounding out the cast, we have Chamber, a flying mech that also serves as a Pilot Interface System that Ledo uses throughout the show. Chamber is a typical AI most of the time, providing factual information and suggestions, while also inadvertently being hilarious. But Chamber is not just a lifeless shell, as he proves as the series goes on by slowly showing more and more advanced thoughts. In addition to Chamber, we have Amy, the first Earth human that Ledo interacts with, and the one who really shows him the ropes of living on their ship, The Gargantia. Then there's Pinion, the excavator who has an obsession with unearthing the treasures of the past, and is determined to have Ledo help him. Finally, there's Ridget, who struggles with trying to take command of the fleet and will need all the help she can get to keep the crew of The Gargantia together. There are many more characters in addition to these, and all of them have their own distinct personalities and quirks.
In a show with only thirteen episodes, it would be understandable if only a few characters got the spotlight while the others were put on the backburner a bit. But that is not the case here. While it is true that more focus goes onto some characters than others, each one has their chance to shine, and they all have grown in some way by the end. Sadly, the story does take a bit of a hit due to the lack of episodes however, with the ending feeling a bit rushed. Gargantia definitely could have been a 24 episode show, as there was much more that could have been done with the world and characters in that time. But considering they were only working with 13 episodes, the creators did a fantastic job of fitting everything in, even if it did feel a bit rushed at the end.
From a production values standpoint, Gargantia is very good. The music is fairly standard fare, fitting the mood but never really standing out. The opening and ending are quite good however, with the next episode preview situated nicely in the actual ending itself.
In regards to the animation, there isn't much to complain about. All in all, there isn't a whole lot of action in Gargantia, but even so the animation remains crisp and fluid throughout, using a lot of bright colors and backgrounds that really show off the fleet of The Gargantia nicely. Character designs are all well done, and when the show does hamper down and there IS action, the fine folks at Production IG remind us just how amazing they can be, and provide us with some even better visuals. All in all, the animation of Gargantia in excellent.
So at the end of the day, Gargantia is a great watch, packed with colorful animation, a well written story, and interesting characters. It may have been a bit better with a longer run time, but I came out of Gargantia very satisfied regardless, and I would recommend this anime to just about anyone.
Urobutchi Gen is an extremely divisive creator, that is nothing new. Urobutcher happens to flourish in the age of the moe boom. Over 70% of anime each season involves high school, club, imouto or some variation of a pandering orgy, Butcher’s butchings were definitely minty treats for twisted buzzards like me. However, just as moe cheapens itself by turning up at every facets of the Anime industry, Gen’s sadistic tendencies also begin to get tired. By the time Psycho Pass was conceived, there were cries of predictability.
Many believe that Gargantia was somewhat a failure, and some of them even called it
“Urobuchi’s worst to date.” I will assert that Gargantia of the Verdurous Planet was more like a minor success.
One may argue that Psycho Pass builds upon a very uninspired dystopian theme, a utopian-wannabe surveillance society. That was so over ten years ago. Gargantia seemed to head down the same path. It started out with a rather cliched scenario: child soldier who knows nothing but war, becomes stranded with a peaceful society. Subsequently cues character development and all sort of cheesy stuffs about war is bad, humanity is cruel and deep stuffs happen. However, what is unique about Gargantia that made it worked (at first) is the very nice contrasts between the characters and also thanks to the initial superb directing. Ever pondered why 90% of anime protagonists are third-year high school students? Because they are shows aimed towards wish-fulfillment for the primary demographic. In Gargantia, Ledo’s teenage age is fitting in capturing his impressionable innocence. Amy, the primary supporting protagonist, also belongs in the age group. She serves as the foil of Ledo. Her character, in every way, acts like your typical uninspired genki anime girl. But that is the very beauty of characterization! Her adowableness serves as the foil for Ledo’s uptight military formality. Amy’s archetype is the way normal teenagers usually act. It would not have worked anywhere near as well if Ledo was some old coarse-voiced disillusioned old man. It was a simple touch, not particularly clever, but brilliant regardless! Urobuchi’s characters are being more than just dull for once? I am not certain if it is an actual improvement, or if it was because there were other scriptwriters taking the helm each episode. I will give him the benefit of the doubt.
The first four episodes were superb, the best part of the series. I daresay that those were one of the strongest opening episodes I have ever seen and they went a long way in humanizing Ledo as a character. Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet could have become something greater. Unfortunately, that did not last.
Episode 5 aired, and the show took a huge dip. It introduced a plethora of issues to the writing, as well as being the worst episode in the show. A beach episode in a show that so far had been rather solemn and sincere. This turn of events ruined the tone, pacing and consistency for the rest of the series.
Following the turning point, the subsequent episodes consist of more world-building. I would have been fine if the world-building actually conveys some meaning, but it was inconsequential. Despite a nice set-up from the first four episodes, there were no real conflicts until episode 8. I eventually ran out of patience for the show due to its incoherent plot. Consequently, a lot of fans started to jump ship (sorry). Even after the big twist, everything was underwhelming and unmemorable. The conflicts introduced are messy and didn’t really follow through, especially anything that involves the whalesquid/Hadiauze.
The finale was actually quite decent, but by that point I just didn’t care anymore.
The most lamentable issues lie in the characters. Everyone besides Ledo and Chamber eventually suffers from extremely shallow characterization, typical of Urobuchi Gen. Amy started out great, but became an progressively flatter (yes, her chest too). She just becomes this background character who cries for Ledo every now and then, not the assertive girl who actively befriended him at the start of the series. After the series’ run, Amy was reduced to a pointless romantic subplot. Her dynamic with Ledo became stale and stereotypical of anime high school romance. The antagonists are rather silly. The inconsistency of their actions were jarring. They felt somewhat similar to the villains in Sword Art Online. They were cheesy, shallow, and do not actually seem threatening, just stupid. There are also good characters that have been left mostly untouched who would have greatly contributed to the story such as Bebel, Dr. Oldham, and Bellows. Wasted potentials!
Ledo’s growth as a character was the most enjoyable part about Gargantia. I can almost compare his growth to that of Waver from Fate/Zero. His kindness is pure innocence and self-awareness, rather than a bland self-insert that plagues every other anime nowadays. He possessed a childish obsession over Amy’s well-being. He wants to protect her not simply because he is a generic nice person, but because Amy is his first treasured companion. His love for her was subtle, and non-sensual. Ledo’s romantic interest in Amy is depicted not as between a man and a woman, but bears more resemblance of a family love. His conversations with Babel were very nice touches that serve to make the family motif evident.
Chamber is my favorite character in the show. He is the ultimate bro! Well, probably inferior to Rider, but still a bro! Throughout the course of 13 episodes, he is always the voice of the reason and at the same time, a snarky sidekick who is comically serious. Urobuchi has always been terrible at exposition, and his dialogues tend to be on the boring heavy-handed side. This time around however, Chambro was perfect for info-dumping and conveying the theme to the audience. Gargantia is seen through Ledo’s and Chambro’s perspectives. Ledo ponders about his surrounding, and Chambro forms his conjectures about the world. Everything flows together smoothly and more naturally, as opposed to being obligatory and obviously shoed in. It is definitely more engaging than listening to pretentious dudes quoting famous literature while preaching about Sibyl. The best aspect of it all, or maybe rather sad, is that Chambro felt more human than everyone else, bars Ledo. He was able to develop a certain degree of empathy, sentience and free-will in a much more believable way compared to Yui from SAO. Through a series of accumulated data, he came to his own conclusion, overcoming the restrictive protocols of the Galactic Alliance. If everything else sucked about this show, Chamber is extremely well-written to somewhat compensate.
Why is Gargantia a relative success regardless of its various blunders? Despite it being a very safe show that take little risks, Urobuchi Gen finally deviates from his standard fare and tries out something different. That is a healthy mindset to have, something the industry definitely needs more. Unlike his other works, Gargantia is the most optimistic of all. Its light-heartedness just ring more true to me as a futuristic slice-of-life than anything else. In that respect, Gargantia is a pretty respectable slice-of-life.
Suisei no Gargantia is a recent mecha series from Production I.G, which doesn't tell me much since they've been involved in quite a few projects some good and some terrible. There is an ongoing manga adaptation by Mitogawa Wataru. It came out before the actual anime, but the anime was in production long before the manga's release. I have heard virtually nothing about it, so I'm going into this one pretty much blind. I hope it turns out better than the last time I said that. I need something at least tolerable after Cheese Steak Suppository and School Days or I may have to start
drinking and that would just be playing into the cultural stereotype. Let's take a look and find out.
Our story begins with a group of mecha pilots preparing to do battle against crustaceans, in space. You know, this may not be a very scientifically accurate anime. Still, I have to admit that it is kind of an awesome concept. The battle follows our protagonist, Ensign Ledo. Who ends up getting separated from the rest of his team. When he regains consciousness, his AI partner, Chamber, informs him that he's been in artificial hibernation for quite some time and their location is unknown. All they know for certain is that they're surrounded by people they can't understand the language of, who are trying unsuccessfully to take Chamber apart. One of the problems with the story is that it's kind of predictable. You can tell what the basic arc is going to be pretty early on, although some of the techniques they use to get from one point to another are quite surprising, even though genre savvy already told you where the story was going. In short, the overarching plot is obvious, but the specifics can be interesting. Another issue is that they clearly don't understand science. Some of it is excusable, since they are working with a futuristic world with technology far ahead of ours, but there are some points where they bring in concepts that we understand pretty well and they get them wrong. Which can be distracting. A more minor issue is that there's some rather crude and problematic humour in one episode. Since it's limited to that one episode, it's not a huge problem though. That being said, there are plenty of aspects that the anime handles well. The world they build is compelling. They handle the "Fish out of Water" element exceedingly well. The ending, though kind of rushed, is well handled overall.
The characters in this are great. They react to things like real people would and develop pretty naturally over the course of the series. Their motivations and actions make perfect sense based on their backgrounds. When you find out something about a character's personal history it serves to help you understand why they are the way they are, which indicates that the personal histories were either planned ahead of time or very well thought out. Even the more minor characters have a sense of verisimilitude. The only weakness when it comes to characters are the ultimate antagonists. I won't spoil it, but the explanation behind their actions is pretty flimsy.
The art in this is really good. The action sequences are appropriately chaotic while being easy to follow. The backgrounds can be downright breathtaking, they're so well designed and animated. The character designs are good. The various fauna are really well detailed. I only have one complaint about the art, those of you who read my reviews consistently can probably guess what it is, the Fan-service. There's a belly dancing scene that serves absolutely no purpose and there are some other moments where the angle or the costuming in general, is done for the sole purpose of providing fan-service. It's kind of annoying. And, frankly, the major female characters are too young to be shown in an objectified fashion. In all fairness, most of the costumes do make sense for the scenario. There are just a few cases where they make an exception.
The vocal cast in this is exceptional. I haven't heard Ishikawa Kaito in anything else, but he gives a really good performance. Kanemoto Hisako and Fujimura Ayumi are also really good. But the best performance has to be from Sugita Tomokazu. He is amazing in this. Certainly at the best I've ever heard him and I've heard him in quite a few roles. Including, but not limited to, Suzumiya Haruhi's Kyon, Chobits' Hideki and Nanoha's Chrono. The music is also really well done and really serves to enhance the action.
The yuri factor is a 3/10. Rackage is heavily implied to have yuri girl followers, although she does very little with them, and there are some scenes where Amy and her friends get really touchy. Scenes like this, however, are infrequent and ultimately don't amount to much.
It looks like I won't have to take up drinking after all. Suisei no Gargantia is a good anime. It has some rather substantial flaws, but nothing so bad that it should affect your enjoyment too much. My final rating is a solid 7/10.
An epic anime with a tremendous misplaced potential. Produced by studio Production IG, one of the most promising anime-studio there is, plus made by the renowned Gen Urobuchi, who's notable for his works: Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Psycho Pass, and Fate/Zero---well, meet their cousin: Suisei no Gargantia (Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet). The stage is set for one of the most misplaced potential anime there is.
Just by looking at these titles: Madoka Magica, Psycho Pass, and Fate/Zero, the veil of darkness is wrapped on these (in)famous anime, yet Gargantia took the opposite take; it's lighter and less casualty-oriented, among other themes that you would not
really expect from Urobuchi-san.
Still, after finishing the 13-episodes + 2 OVAs, I dare say this anime is on the same level as the other works I've mentioned here, just that it has the "misplaced potential" on its stead.
STORY = 8
At first, I was certain that the Gundam Series are the only legit mecha-anime that could pull these kind of story themes, wtih Gurren Lagann, and the original Aquarion (the original one, okay~ the "Evol" evolved into ecchi) being able to do just as unforgettable. Gargantia also rivaled those titles with its light-to-dark story, mecha-involved 13-episode (+2 OVA).
ART = 9
Fluid, great anime, something you expect much from Production IG. They made Psycho Pass after all, that anime led me to notice what "Production IG" can do. With Gargantia, it met up with my expectations art-wise.
SOUND = 9
A-ok songs, background music, and most notably, the seiyuu cast.
A "slight error" by my source (aka. friend) told me that Kanae Itou is the one voicing Amy, but when I first heard her voice, without checking it here in MAL, I straight away know its Ika Musume's seiyuu: Hisako Kanemoto. She did a great job alright. Ishikawa Kaito as the voice of Ledo, I kept it particular and acute that he was able to be convincing in "breaking" his Japanese fit for Ledo who has a hard time blending with his language against the people in Gargantia.
Tomokazu Sugita as the voice of Chamber: to say Gintoki and Kyon's voice being able to sound like an AI, these talents of these seiyuus deserve a 10 really---the 9 was intended for the other parameters of this category (like the BGM).
CHARACTER = 10
If I could rate this as 20, 20 it is. This is an anime that transcend to the usual "character types". Here, the character types doesn't necessarily apply being protagonist or antagonist. Urobuchi-san clearly demonstrates what he can do with characterization after making spellbinding anime. I first salute to "Rinne no Lagrange" for breaking the usual protagonist/antagonist archetype, and Gargantia did just as good--with less cliche even.
Characterization here clearly demonstrates the 3D parameters; one that you don't see the "protagonist" being the main cast and main seiyuu, but the antagonist also has the same weigh and reason of the protagonists' existence.
We're talking of out-of-the-book characterization here after all, and not something like Power Rangers where we know exactly who's the protagonist/antagonist the first thing we saw 'em.
ENJOYMENT = 9
From the story, to characters, it's all enjoyable. Reviews here in MAL states that it has a "slow" start, but then again we all know the drill of this by now: Madoka Magica, Gurren Lagann, Kill la Kill, Gundam Seed, Steins;Gate, AnoHana, etc, every epic unforgettable anime there is has a "s;ow" start.
OVERALL = 9
IF James Cameron has a kind of plot or theme like this, and incorporated it to Avatar, or perhaps made "Avatar 2" with this kind of theme---then we might forget he directed and wrote the script for Titanic.
Borrowing the elements of mecha or not, Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet is a solid, ground-breaking anime with three-dimension-characters and nihilistic themes in color rather than in dark---and HENCE the recipe for misplaced potential.
Misplaced Potential--why? Because an anime or a story like this is NOT intended for "anime fans". The slow-pacing, the more dramatic, three-dimensional characterization, and themes that conflicts the essence of humanity needs an appreciation that does not NEED to borrow the essence of either "wicked" or "dark" enough, and does not need to be filled with fight-scenes and effects JUST for anime-fans to appreciate it.
Sure, the term "anime fan" leaves a bad taste in the mouth; but since 2008 this is what I kept on observing. Why I'll slam this context in this review is all because of my observations. Like take it like this: a deep story with light-elements like Gargantia and you get a MAL rating of 7.78.
Meanwhile, getting a high rating is as easy as enticing anime-fans by simply throwing ecchi anime and various fanservice, and you'll never go wrong to say that the MAL rating received on those kind of ecchi goes a rating of 8 and above.
Still, not every anime-fan is ecchi-hungry and "needs to be amused"; there are those who sits intensively on shows like Steins;Gate and PsychoPass.
So for "Gargantia on Verdurous Planet", try to see if you're the kind of fan who watches for the plot, or the kind who watches for the fanservice and being amused; as this is pretty much intended to the former as it holds a promise of a "misplaced potential" great anime.
Okay Gargantia makes me think about my life situation!, like really i'm waiting for the episode to come and it comes late which is the last thing i want more of that anime, and to know that just only the first episode was great and the rest are just some circle that making them do the same thing every time is just frustrating.
I felt betrayed and i felt i'm watching something that i shouldn't to. That's all i was thinking of while i'm watching a 20min episode of an anime without non-reasoning behind it.
Everything was awesome in the first episode but they got the wrong
idea to develop the main character. I bet everyone felt the same as i am, The more you watch it, the more you know that the world they live on is just a little **** of some people enjoying the sun with sunscreens and some useless things.
The story kind of sounds a military anime but its not unfortunately. Some guy was fighting in the space, with his friends to survive (it sounds there going for something upper space, but then) he woke up in earth! in the middle of some fleet called Gargantia (sounds more adventures) and somehow all it matter is to know where he is or how to connect with his friends (and he still done nothing other than playing around).
I really don't feel like making a long review, since i always suck at English grammar. (who cares?)