I watched this right after that internal-monologue-laden ATTACK ON TITAN episode and it served as a nice point of contrast on the merits of understatement. Not one moment, in all the minutes of screen time devoted to the commander’s funeral, has any character explaining why sand is being gradually sprinkled on this corpse. We’re able to infer so much about this society - - and of the sacred scarcity of dry sand therein - - by simply observing actions in sequences that are almost totally silent.
It’s far more engaging way to tell a story, no? Can you imagine how much less powerful it’d be if we had close-ups of Ridget staring at the body during the funeral, and we also heard the voice in her head explicating how sorry she felt? Nah… that’d be no good.
Of course, while we’re speaking of ‘scarcity,’ I suppose it’s intriguing that a shorter series like this would have enough screen time to devote almost an entire episode to one supporting character. Certainly, Ridget’s transition into a more senior position is a decently compelling drama, but I can’t help wondering how her little conflict might tie into the larger themes of the series. My best guess might be a little tenuous, but I’ll go ahead and put it out here…
Urobuchi said his intention with this show was to send an encouraging message to recent graduates trying to adjust and integrate into a rougher job market. You can see some pretty obvious parallels in how the premise essentially breaks down to a warrior being forced to get a new job. I have a feeling that Ledo’s going to go all the way down to the bottom of the sea, find that whalesquids aren’t a threat, come back to the surface and realize… it’s all OK, anyway.
How does that relate to Ridget then? Well, the fact that this funeral doesn’t feel overwrought with sorrow makes a point that major transitions don’t have to be daunting, existential threats. Change comes. It’s rarely that dramatic. And we can all handle it.
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|