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GARGANTIA #4 - - Watch & Learn

Look into those deep, soulful, purple eyes...

Now, I’ve actually been waiting for this sort of premise to get played out in a show. For all the hot air I’ve blown out over deconstructionism and the like, wouldn’t it be the greatest genre inversion to have your typical anime killing machine getting stuck in a predicament where he can’t use force to solve anything?

I’m about a third of the way into this show, now. It’d be easy to fall into the trap of calling things too early. Still, I’ll put a wish out there and hope that GARGANTIA actually goes ahead with something fearless here. I’d love if it turns out that Ledo really has wiped out all the bad guys, and the rest of this series is just about him and his mech learning how to cope with more benign communication and relationship challenges. He’d be the knife with nothing to cut, searching for a more benevolent reason for his existence.

The last time I used that whole “knife that doesn’t cut” phrase was when I was reviewing CASSHERN SINS. It’s not too much of a stretch here, honestly. Ledo’s basically another battle bot grappling with questions of purpose; only his struggle with humanization doesn’t have the sort of pesky qualifiers that’d come with him actually being synthetic. His conversation with Amy’s little brother is a rather bittersweet distillation of all the lengthy philosophical dialogs in CASSHERN.

On the one hand, the kid is so heartbreakingly naïve for not even comprehending how anybody could see him as worthless. On the other hand, there’s something undeniably life-affirming to the way he sort-of just shrugs off Ledo’s bleak worldview for the grumpiness it really is. The gloom simply doesn’t apply to him.

Whether the show winds up becoming more conventional - - either with the appearance of new Terran enemies or with the arrival of Ledo’ss alien foes - - I’ll prize this episode for having more Urobuchi-brand dialog that are legitimately thought-provoking without the pretension that usually accompanies the term.

Watch this episode, “The Flute of Recollection" 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

Halberdierv2on May 24, 2013 at 3:58 p.m.

I've gotta thank you guys for this, quite a memorable anime you've introduced me to in a while. nice to find something that doesn't involve high schools and has some teeth to it.

YotaruVegetaon May 24, 2013 at 6:01 p.m.

I'm all caught up with the show, and I'm glad I can't predict what's going to happen- or even if anything's gong to happen. There is something introduced that makes me wonder what Ledo's role is in all this.

How's that for vague!?

Marshal Victoryon May 24, 2013 at 6:50 p.m.

CASSHERN SINS part is fair comparison. I was thinking Kyle Reese but naïve, from The Terminator . The other two mech shows this season has taken 4 episode to set up an get good to bettter. Where as Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet started off strong an world built fast an painless.

This is a series i recomend one not read comments from other sites but only here . Seems comunity here never realy wants to spoil a show .Other sites not so much.

takashichea moderator on May 24, 2013 at 8:52 p.m.
Ledo and his brother?
Ledo and his brother?

I love Bevel's scene with Ledo, making Ledo question himself in purpose. I do agree with Casshern, but he also reminds of Castiel from Supernatural to a certain extent. The two have a culture shock and learn how to socialize with people.

I still question who or what trained and conditioned Ledo and the soldiers. I have this Brave New World/ Shin Sekai Yori vibe from this episode.

Everyone is welcome to check out the Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Discussion thread on Anime Vice.

Marshal Victoryon May 25, 2013 at 12:20 a.m.

@takashichea: not sure about Shin Sekai Yori comparison .Stoped watching it think 6 in . This feels the fish outa water deal for sure but Shin Sekai Yori to me had a horror backdrop feel this doesnt have ... yet maybe.

takashichea moderator on May 25, 2013 at 11:15 a.m.

@Marshal Victory:

I say Shin Sekai Yori to a certain extent because Ledo's beliefs are that the weak shall be removed from society. In Shin Sekai Yori, they remove any problem children who cannot sustain their psychic powers. They remove them because they might become Ogres or Karmic Demons later on. Gargantia doesn't have the horror theme like Shin Sekai Yori. I agree with you there.

Marshal Victoryon May 25, 2013 at 10:01 p.m.

@takashichea: Ahh what ya say makes sence to me now. Wasnt thinking shows biger view . But i dont think its his veiw it should be . Its just what hes known the " greater good" arguments so to speek is all he has ever known . Thats why this is unheard of for him.

Totaly see what ya was saying before now. I stil expect a darker yet sucker punch with this one.But thats probly a mistake on my part. Anime i think is just best with out to many expectations or plot predictions.

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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