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GARGANTIA #3 - - Watch & Learn

Whoa... these guys have watched a LOT of mecha.

Again, I’m a little hesitant to attribute too much of this show’s plotting to Urobuchi when there’s an entire writing staff contributing, but I've quickly come to associate the guy's name with shows that’ve clearly been crafted by somebody who’s consumed and scrutinized a ton of stories…

MADOKA MAGICA felt like a concise, if Byzantine, tapestry tying together the nooks in a hundred SAILOR MOON episodes. PSYCHO-PASS felt like a scientific answer to explain the buddy formula of a thousand cop movies. Now, GARGANTIA presents a very entertaining, and to-the-point, realization of your typical battle thread question. How would one Gundam unit fair against some roving marauders from FIST OF THE NORTH STAR? Well, it’d be a hilarious lopsided duel, and the people involved here recognize that.

The fact that such a… thought experiment proves to be something so tight, crisp and charming (instead of a boring, LODOSS WAR-like recitation of rules) is an impressive feat in itself. Actually, it’s doubly impressive considering that we’re three episodes in, so far, and everybody has proven to be a laughable threat to our lead. The pirate queen and her lobster mech gave him a bit of a fight, sure - - and she was quite fun while she was putting up that fight, too - - but Ledo’s more-or-less invincible at the moment. The only conflict he’s got to struggle with, right now, is how to better communicate with the nice people hosting him on this barge.

And honestly, the “communications” about necessary force and the like have proven to be just as fascinating as the mecha battles. If I were to attribute another quality I’ve enjoyed about shows Urobuchi’s involved with (with the exception of PHANTOM, though), it’s that the intellectual conversations feel like they’re coming from a place of practical experience instead of being vaporous, G.I.T.S.-like abstractions-unto-abstractions.

Ledo’s little dialog with Amy about the fish they’re eating is a sharp example of that…

Watch this episode, “The Villainous Empress" here and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

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

Lurkeroon May 21, 2013 at 9:28 a.m.

At episode 7 I am still not sure where Gargantia is going, but I have still enjoyed watching it as a kind of "slice of life" anime mixed in with a couple other genres.

Ledo could have still swept those pirates away, but the Gargantia asked him to hold back. I still dislike the Batman complex of saving the lives of people who do not show compassion for peaceful existence. In episode 2 we saw a pirate sexually assaulting two women and then in episode 3 we are supposed to accept that those pirates are still people?

I'd be willing to bet fewer pirates would be assaulting people if more of them were killed.

takashichea moderator is online on May 22, 2013 at 11:30 a.m.

Like Lurkero, it still has that Slice of Life element and the world building aspect into the Gargantian's way of life. Ledo still maintains the rules and objectives from his conditioning. I enjoyed the part where Ledo struggles to enunciates thank you to Amy. A lot of new fans hope there will be a romance thing going on between Amy and Ledo. Anything's possible.

zaldaron May 26, 2013 at 10:20 a.m.

Tom tom...read some science blogs...we are much closer to the abstractions unto abstractions as you call them in GITS coming true than you seem to want to admit.

What makes one human is never an abstraction and is really the only question worth answering. (or trying to as of course there is no answer)

Dig Deeper into Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet

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

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