Sunday, July 28, 2013

Anime Review: Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet

Yeah, I got nothing to say as a overly long winded intro that only serves to give a brief description of what is going on in my largely uneventful life. And so I'm here to review an anime that I first heard about from my broth yesterday, and we spent almost all of the day watching all 13 episodes. Good thing too, because otherwise I would have been at a lost as to what to talk about seeing as I haven't beaten Shining Force III Scenario 2 yet. Anyway, on to an anime about a boy, his robot, and a Kevin Costner-less water world.

In space, there will always be giant robots.
In the distant future, abnormally low solar activity caused the Earth to be frozen over and humanity abandons it for a greener planet. However in that search, the Galactic Alliance of Humankind comes face to face with a bizarre alien race known as the Hideauze. Human survival can only come from the complete annihilation of the Hideauze. This is the only world Ledo knows of. Born and breed only to annihilate the enemy, and even the promise of shore-leave on Avalon, the paradise city ship at the center of the Galactic Alliance, rings hollow to a soldier who's every waking hour is on the field of battle. However, that all changes when after a devastating defeat at the hands of the enemy, Ledo and his AI assisted mech Chamber are flung from their escape wormhole, and are deposited at a random location in space. They are found by a salvage crew on a ship that is unaffiliated with the Galactic Alliance (they don't even speak the same language); however, their technology level is far inferior to the Alliance and their ship is rusting and full of hole, yet is capable of maintain a perfect breathable atmosphere and precisely 1G of gravity. Lost and confused Ledo, searches the ship for an answer to his questions and discovers that he is not on a space ship, but a fleet of old seafaring vessels called the Gargantia on ocean covered planet, a planet called Earth.

When you see one giant robot, you kind of get use to them.
The series is really good, with the first episode you get prepared for a massive space opera ala Macross Frontier or Heroic Age, but as the series goes on it becomes more of a fish out of water story (ironic considering the setting). The series focus on Ledo and his attempts at understanding and adapting to a culture, philosophy, and a way of life that is completely foreign to him, and while this story has been done before, there is plenty of nuance to the characters and the cultures of the Galactic Alliance and the Gargantia that help keep it fresh. It helps that Ledo isn't a complete bore of a character, he is intelligent, adaptable, and doesn't go into situations half-cocked most of the time. His screw ups come from using his rigorous military training in situations where a nuanced approach was required. Besides, his reactions to the offering of fish carcases is just priceless. The rest of the cast is equally excellent, as while they fall into standard archtypes from an ensemble crew they each have little bits of characteristics that keep them from being complete cliches. Amy, the cheerful, upbeat love interest, is also very patient and intuitive, and Pinion, the meat head moron mechanic, also has a sense of responsibility as when he screws up he royally, he willingly takes all the blame.

I offer you dead flounders as a sign of friendship!
I really have nothing bad to say about the series. It is the type of series that takes you off guard with the direction it eventually goes in, but not so much that it feels like we started watching one series and ended up finishing another. And there are plenty of twists and turns, some of which can be guessed, while others took me completely by surprise. However, it was a good kind of surprise where it still makes sense with the context of the series. Honestly, while I can't think of anything bad to say about it, part of that might be because I haven't let it sit for that long, and I did see the entire series in one afternoon. Perhaps if I take my time with it or watch it again, I might come up with something more definitive to say, but right now, it's all around excellent.

Since I can't really say anything bad about it, I guess that makes this a Must Watch! It's the kind of feel good, charming series that I just almost instantly fall in love with. The writing is excellent, the cast is amazing, the story is full of surprises, and all the little touches that they add throughout the series are just awesome. Must Watch

Check the series out at Crunchyroll:

Until next time

-Crescent, I'd tap that ass.

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