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GARGANTIA #10 - - Watch & Learn

Arrrrrrrr! Any show with pirates can't be too bad, now.

You know, it does make plenty of sense for Pinion to start going power mad after he’s salvaged all this high-tech, dangerous weaponry. We’ve seen him bristle under command a few times already, so it also makes sense that he’d want to want to assert himself once he established a base of leverage. And, given how we saw his brother get horribly murdered by the Whalesquid, we can’t really argue with the logic of him just shaking off these creatures' deaths, either.

Nobody’s cheated to get us here but, to reiterate, I’ll be disappointed if this show ends up becoming yet another screed about “man’s inhumanity to man.”

See, what I’ve appreciated about Urobuchi’s previous work is his level-headed, almost economic approach to the morality plays you usually see in genre adventure. For instance, both MADOKA MAGICA and PSYCHO-PASS acknowledged that, in the greater scope of things, some level of evil actually is needed for a civilization to function. That’s a more intelligent theme to aim at (and it takes more skill to properly hit) than a maudlin, nihilistic message that any moody middle-schooler would shoot for in creative writing class. It’s just too easy.

So, if we can’t get the lower-stakes ‘summer job’ angle I was hoping for, I hope the show will do something a little more daring and maybe have Ledo realize the validity of Chamber’s logic about the irreconcilable antagonism between the Hideauze and humans. Killing them makes him sick to his stomach, sure, and it horrifies some of the surface dwellers… but it has to be done to prevent these monsters from exploiting the ignorance and superstition these people have developed over centuries of isolation.

Does that seem callous? Well, keep in mind that this all fantasy at the end of the day. The fantasia is a metaphor for whatever you want it to represent. In some stories, Frankenstein is a gentle and misunderstood creature. In other stories, Frankenstein is a horrible blight on nature. So there’s no inherent way to ‘read’ the whalesquid just yet.

And I hope the reappearance of this familiar mech will put us in that direction.

Watch this episode, “Island of Ambition" here and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

About the Author

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk
Marshal Victoryon June 20, 2013 at 6:37 a.m.

Hideauze seem to have evoled into a natural force an not a good one.Pinion seemed to always had big plans an grander goals an now a evolved ego.Ledo lunch seems to have evolved out of his stomach far to often.Thus we can say with out a doubt evolution is evil ! or at least not always good.

This episode gave me some Waterworld flash backs...no sea sickness tho.

Lurkeroon June 20, 2013 at 6:48 a.m.

I too am hoping that the message Gangantia delivers isn't ultimately the same generic bland message that the typical morality focused show tries to deliver.

The appearance of the other mech worries me, though. I hope the show avoids being about a battle between mechs and continues to focus on the relationship between the Hideauze and the humans.

YotaruVegetaon June 20, 2013 at 8:40 a.m.

I think the message being sent to us by Gargantia is: babies need to die! Even if they are whalesquid. I know the guy threw up, and was all broken up over it, but he still cleared out that nest, even though he knew the truth.

I don't see him becoming an environmentalist savior of whalesquid or anything, but he obviously will go back home with a greatly differing approach to the enemy than his compatriots do. What are these future people, anyway? Mass produced clones? They look like Future Aryans. Something's up with that. Who's less human in this war, the Hideauze or the future humans?

takashichea moderator on June 21, 2013 at 12:33 p.m.

I hope we get to see the Hideauze's point of view. They are originally human beings.

zaldaron June 22, 2013 at 8:26 a.m.

Hmm not sure I agree with the analysis of Madoka but that is an interesting take...I will have to think on it.

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Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet is an anime series written by Gen Urobuchi.

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