I’m always in a bit of quandary when it comes to doing episode-by-episode write-ups on shows that are still running. Honestly, I prefer to watch the shows in bigger chunks, instead of week-to-week; and since there are only five episodes to date, I’m going to run out of GARGANTIA’s pretty fast.
Still… the show had a hell of a pilot and, since I feel obligated to be commenting on this season’s big darling ATTACK ON TITAN, I’d rather talk about the show I prefer first. So, here we are.
Anyway, with MADOKA MAGICA and PSYCHO-PASS under his belt (though, I’ll ignore the dreary PHANTOM), Gen Urobuchi’s quickly become the #1 talent I look out for in anime. He’s the story editor on this and, even though each episode after the pilot has been scripted by a different writer, it’s probably more effective to just infer his narrative sensibilities here.
It doesn’t seem to be a deconstructionist effort on the order of his previous shows, but it has put a shockingly sharp spin on a familiar set-up. Really, GARGANTIA feels like a GUNDAM crash-landed into one of the Miyazaki action-fantasies with a little more blood in their teeth (like NAUSICAA and MONONOKE). I don’t what it is, precisely, about the execution that makes this set-up work so well when it could so easily seem jarring, so perhaps it’s just a matter of the little touches.
Maybe it’s too much about subtly, at times, actually. Somebody on the crew should have seriously realized that our alien pilot Ledo should be speaking in some made-up alien language with sub-titles. Instead, we’ve got these characters all speaking in the same language on-screen, and continually talking about how they can’t understand each other. It gets confusing in this sub - - even when the characters are all speaking in language I can’t understand anyway!