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GARGENTIA ON THE VERDUROUS PLANET #1 - - Special Review

Try saying this title three times fast!

Continuing the little naming scheme of the more attractive shows this season, GARGANTIA honestly grabbed my attention by finding another cool synonym for big in its title. Yeah, I'll fess up to that. The stark neon on display in the promo image was certainly eye-catching, as well. It goes to show that picking the right title and cover really is half the battle for these shows.

Anyway, perhaps I’m just getting too jaded, but I went through another cycle of dismissiveness-to-excitement-flipped-over-commercial-breaks here that was awfully similar to the one I went through for ATTACK ON TITAN’s pilot. For the first half, it honestly looked like this was would be another over-ambitious anime falling prey to the common pitfall of frontloading wayyyyy too much world-building.

There were plenty of pretty lights and explosions for the first 11 or so minutes, but I had no idea who was who because none of the characters were properly introduced. It’s hard to tell your daring lead (?) from your grizzled veteran (?) when you only ever see them with the same feature-obscuring flight helmet on. All the outer-space dogfighting was just a bunch of mumbo jumbo, as far as I was concerned - - pretty mumbo jumbo, to be sure, but mumbo jumbo never the less.

Maybe I wasn’t ever seriously going to close my browser, but the thought did dance across my brain for a second or two…

At least, it did until after the commercial break, when it seemed like a completely different show replaced the one was I watching. Once more, I feel like I’ve just played into a show’s hand, because I’m sure they made the first stretch of material intentionally overwhelming so as to add to the culture shock our stranger feels when he wakes up in this new strange land.

It’s a familiar twist, to be sure. Some might even call it a trope. But the execution really infused such urgency, humor and personality to all the scenes on the oil rig that, despite myself, I was eager to actually keep the browser open and let the next episode stream once the credits rolled. I want to know where this mecha-versus-militia Mexican stand-off leads, man!

In other words... I can be a big sucker for these storytelling tricks.

Watch this episode, "Castaway" here and decide for yourself.

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

ComicMan24on April 23, 2013 at 1:21 p.m.

It's not a bad show. So far anyway. The story seems interesting and the animation is really good. And fortunately it's not a harem anime because with all the women shown in the promos, a lot were afraid it could be one. Can agree about the whole no idea who he is for the beginning of the episode but apparently those weren't important enough yet.

Btw, if you ever get the chance , do review "The Devil is a Part-Timer" (IIRC this is its English title) as well. The best new show imo.

Marshal Victoryon April 23, 2013 at 2:16 p.m.

@ComicMan24: that show also goes by Hataraku Maou-sama! but The Devil is a Part-Timer! is a decent one an i think Tom my see a patern this season with it as well..

Problem with GARGANTIA is its switch to alien speek on both sides. it makes folowing the show feel like some one left off some subtitle here an there.But so far over all its very watchable. Tho by 3rd episode you should see some hypocrisy an other words i cant spell in the shows um moral guide.Animation tho is great.

Also some chance still that it will turn harem .

ComicMan24on April 23, 2013 at 2:17 p.m.

@Marshal Victory: Yeah, I know. Just used the English one since I suppose that it is going to be streamed with this title.

AURON570on April 23, 2013 at 6:04 p.m.

I don't really like anime military mumbo jumbo either. Throw in some "yokai"s, have people saluting left and right, throw in a few dramatic countdowns and BAM.. we get anime's depiction of military in a nutshell.

YotaruVegetaon April 23, 2013 at 7:04 p.m.

I just watched Ep. 2. It has a "...fuck." moment in it. This is one of my faves for the season. My only drawback is that I feel like they're trying to sell the female characters for sex/cute appeal. It looks like they weren't satisfied in just telling a sci-fi story and let the characters naturally sell themselves.

takashichea moderator on April 23, 2013 at 9:34 p.m.

It was a good episode but a bit slow. The animation and the background is much gorgeous on Earth. I enjoyed the show so far.

@YotaruVegeta:

I got that vibe, too. Plus, the character designer, Hanaharu Naruko as pointed out, is a mangaka who worked on hentai.

Oh you should watch episode 3. There is some major boobage in that one.

My pet peeve for anatomy - twisting her spine to show boobs and butt
My pet peeve for anatomy - twisting her spine to show boobs and butt

@AURON570:

Man, it was hard to work on the plot summary for the first episode. I let all the military stuff fly over my head.

@Marshal Victory: @ComicMan24:

Since Devil is a Part Timer is streamed legally on HULU and FUNimation, chances are that Tom might review it. This season, it seems there is more simulcasts than ever. I've been doing licensing and trailers for previous seasons with my teammates.

Hey everyone, if Tom drop this, come by and check out the Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Discussion thread in our community. Glad to see Tom taking a jab at this one.

Marshal Victoryon April 24, 2013 at 9:13 a.m.

@takashichea: Ehh thats not bad actualy. See the problem people have with anatomy is they apply personal experiance to it. Not what is an can be. Was gona embed this but not sure how it would have been taken, so ill just post link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwdVhb7X7L0 extreme ? Well proby maximum ones gone bend their spine .

But in that pic an right hand was extended down thats same bending stance with twist i watched girls do in high school .An that was 30 years ago. Also consider to movement the pic kinda hads way the cloth on arms an hair is moving . To me it looks like she was gona set down the bag an some one got her attention.The colors also can distort perception to .Which in this case i think they do.

Also as the vid shows some people just are more flexable.Considering what she does on ship she has to be flexable an athletic.

By way this guys books on anotomy helped me tons with drawing http://www.amazon.com/Dynamic-Anatomy-Revised-Expanded-Edition/dp/0823015521/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366819621&sr=8-1&keywords=burne+hogarth+dynamic+anatomy a former inker of X men recomended them to me. actualy i recomend all of his drawing how to books http://www.amazon.com/Burne-Hogarth/e/B000APHOOK/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1.

takashichea moderator on April 24, 2013 at 5:52 p.m.

@Marshal Victory:

Oh, I guess I went overboard a bit after a trip to Esher Girls Tumblr yesterday. I wound up there when I was looking up Highschool of the Dead images to poke fun at the excessive fan service. Thanks for the links. I'll take a look at them.

To be on topic, uh... those female characters have a lot of blush on their faces in this show.

Marshal Victoryon April 24, 2013 at 9:06 p.m.

@YotaruVegeta: @takashichea: yeah if their doing the blush red cheeks thing for sex apeal its not for this side of the pond.

Dig Deeper into Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet

A sci-fi anime series created by Gen Urobuchi that is set on a water world.

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