I thought everything had ended. What would the series be without that super intelligent robot? Therefore I was wondering how Suisei No Gargantia: Meguru Kouro, Haruka, a double OVA episode that lasts an hour long each would fare since it takes place after the events of the TV series. Ah yes, I remember how awesome it was watching that and sadly despite it has only been a couple of years since I last saw this series, it felt like ages and I couldn’t remember much in detail. But at least I still remember generally what happened. Phew. Not so bad, eh? Anyway, like any awesome series, it has become my ‘obligation’ to follow up if there are future episodes of it and here I am finally watching this OVA albeit being very, very late. Well, better than never. So it interests me to see what kind of story will unfold for Ledo since he doesn’t have Chamber anymore. And will there be any sort of development between Ledo x Amy? One can only hope…

Episode 1
Bellows leads her team in another undersea wreckage salvaging. Thanks to Ledo, they are able to find a good catch of usable ships. Amy has a junior under her wing, Leema as she guides her through her postal and messenger job. Being the newbie around, her curiosity of those Yunboro has her fascinated but almost got her into trouble with one of the engineers for casually touching it. Pinion tries to recruit Leema into his engineering section as he needs all the help he can get. But seriously, you need this little girl to help out with all the heavy metal stuffs? Not sure if Rackage is a citizen of this ship as she is seen making herself home on Gargantia. She claims she is taking a vacation before her next big expedition. Leema and Ledo meet for the first time and the former wants to hear all his stories with Chamber. Ledo also learns that Leema was from the Providence fleet and during the time Kugel played God. He is also interested to know what happened there but before any story can begin, Melty and Saya interrupt Ledo for trying to two-time Amy. They even let out this secret that they eavesdropped Amy asking Chamber what are Ledo’s favourite stuffs but of course the machine didn’t get it and Amy was left frustrated. Imagine Amy’s embarrassment when she finds out her friends knew about this conversation. Leema tells briefly about her fleet joining Providence and after the priestesses died, Kugel began to change and everything went downhill (see OVA 2 to refresh your memory). Ledo believes Kugel’s way of getting rid of the weak and convincing the rest to fight and give whatever to support is the same motto as the Alliance. He believes had he been alive, he would have found a way.

That night, Amy doesn’t understand why Ledo still lives in fear every day. Right now, humans are still fighting Hideauze and he feels that war is somewhat necessary. But he is here right now away from all that conflict and unrelated. On the contrary, all of them are connected to it no matter where they are. This makes Ledo think if he would handle things differently from the Alliance if he ever comes into conflict with the whalesquids. With Leema accidentally eavesdropping on the story, she wants to hear more especially that stormy incident. It was the worst kind of storm that Gargantia has ever seen. The waves were violent enough to damage the pillars, pylons, bridges and interlocks of a connecting ship, Altemia. Only a bridge is left but it could snap any time. Fairlock gives the orders for the ship to evacuate and for Altemia to scuttle. Amy notices that Saya is still onboard Altemia helping others to evacuate and goes to help look for anymore that are left behind. The only other one left is Fleiss, Saya’s brother who has evacuated his crew (after the captain threw a tantrum he would rather go down with the ship than leave it and is clinging on to his chair). After Amy evacuates an old grandpa and his grandson, back at the bridge, Melty calls to warn for them to get out now because a huge wave is going to pound them. Too late. A direct hit. This causes the last bridge to break. Now they are floating adrift. To add to the problems, a connecting ship is tilting and will capsize. Ledo and Chamber come in to push it back up. At the same time they realize Altemia’s predicament. Ledo knows well he cannot leave his position. Altemia drifts back thanks to the waves but is in danger of slamming into the ship. Once Chamber has successfully put this ship back up, just in time to cushion the impact and save a few more lives. Leema is impressed with the story although Ledo credits everything to Chamber. Amy believes even if Chamber isn’t here, Ledo will not give up.

On a beautiful clear sky day, Bellows leads her team to scavenge the undersea wreckage. Everything goes well until some gas burst that causes the rocks to collapse. In Ledo’s bit to save one of the trapped crew, he is pulled down into the abyss as his cable got caught by the falling rock. Things are not looking good. Life support is dangerously low and all communications are cut so he improvises the reserve tank for a little more oxygen. During this moment of loneliness, he remembers a similar incident when he was fighting Hideauze. He was unable to contact to any of his comrades and a horde of Hideauze is coming. Chamber suggested to stop all communication to avoid being detected but Ledo does not want to be a sitting duck and be eaten alive. He can’t trust this machine to make the decisions. Chamber agrees that Ledo should call the final shots and all he can do is to provide the best support. In short, Chamber’s power depends on Ledo and this way if he screws up, you can’t blame the machine, right?

Bellows and her crew resurface and tell what happened to Ledo. Guess who is being all worried and emotional? Of course everybody can think of going back down to bring him back up but the grounds are unstable and if a search party was dispatched, they might get buried too. Before we can turn this into Amy’s crying fest, all other Yunboro who can still dive take the initiative to dive down with whatever resources they can carry. Amy wants to go help too (because Leema is going but I can think of another good reason why) but Bellows would rather have her stay here to greet Ledo with a smile when he returns. I thought it could have been there are no more spare Yunboro for her to spare. Anyway the search party dives down and finds Ledo’s unit pinned under the rock. Time for Rackage to have her screen time by doing something useful. Her unit is strong enough to lift the rock. Bellows and Ledo communicate via Morse code and the plan is once most of the rocks are pulled out of the way, Ledo is to eject the unit’s limbs for propulsion to freedom. They only have one shot at this. And as expected it is a huge success. Amy, you can stop praying real hard now. Oh, she’s crying again. At least tears of joy. The biggest heave of relief in her life. When Ledo steps out, he receives a hero’s welcome. A better ‘prize’ with Amy giving him a big hug. Nobody better interrupt this. Life proceeds as usual on Gargantia but it ends with a cliff-hanger. In a secret room, Leema unveils and activates a Machine Caliber!

Episode 2
Rackage tries to remind Pinion about this and that as he promised but Pinion like the typical guy he is, never remembers he made those vows! Ledo and Bevel examine a blueprint extract. They believe it is of a technology that is very similar to Machine Caliber. Leema seems to be interested in all kinds of stuffs related to machine so she is much impressed with Bevel’s mechanized wheelchair as he explains despite having a weak body, he is strong because everyone supports him. If you had your suspicions on Leema, then it comes true now because she is seen talking to her underlings about their objective to get Ledo to come with them. Originally they wanted to get Kugel but he died. They have to act fast because their higher ups aren’t going to wait. Ridget listens to the community leaders about their supplies being exhausted. So when she announces they will be stopping by Dragon Palace, a major trading hub from the land, the residents rejoice. Ridget negotiates with the top officials for whatever is necessary. As a token, she is given an updated world map. They also invite her to drink after that but she got drunk. Ledo and the girls walk around Dragon Palace. This includes playing games at the carnival and getting into their swimsuits to play with dolphins. Since Leema didn’t bring hers, they shop for one and this is your few seconds of Leema fanservice. Leema somewhat envies how close Ledo and Amy are and she always wished she had spent such times with her older brother. When a pretty redhead passes by Pinion, this guy tries to make a pass and flirt with her with his cheesy lines but she ignores him. Hmm… Why do I have a feeling I know who this chick is?

Leema talks to an informer who tells her the higher ups cannot wait any longer about their top military secret weapon being outside the country. They are afraid of information leak more than anything so if you see them coming, it’s game over. She must complete the mission before they arrive. Leema remembers showing Ledo the Augmented Body (their term for Machine Caliber), Muzzle. She wanted him to follow her to help her country research this robot. Leema sits inside Muzzle and still cannot understand the sophisticated language it speaks. At this rate, the more she spends time on Gargantia, the more she is starting to hate the idea of war. Continuing her mission, this time Leema tries to persuade Amy to convince Ledo to come with her. Of course Amy and Bevel can leave with him too. Because Ledo didn’t give her an answer, she thought Amy would help him decide. In that case, Amy won’t do it. But what if Bevel’s condition can be cured on land? And so Ledo and Amy discuss this including the possibility if Bevel cannot be cured. Decisions, decisions, decisions… An unidentified fleet is spotted and because there are no interlocks, they conclude it is a war fleet from a land nation. Leema recognizes and confirms it as the special forces armada. She gets desperate to get Ledo to come with her (throwing in that Bevel cure case). Even shocking she reveals she was born on land. A distress call from Melty and Saya has them know that Amy has been kidnapped by a couple of suspicious guys. Leema knows this is the work of her underlings. She doesn’t want Ledo to follow her as Amy is bait to lure him. If he is captured, he will never return. Of course Ledo doesn’t care and follows her into her breakaway ship.

When the fleet fires to destroy the ship, Muzzle activates to protect them. The fleet warns Gargantia not to get involved but Ridget won’t sit back and let her citizens be harmed. She gives orders to fire back. Pinion sees the redhead running somewhere so he tails her and recognizes her too late. Never realized this pirate queen could look so different and beautiful, eh? She was here in disguise to gather information. Now that she has discovered something, time to stop playing good citizen and return to the ways of her pirate life. She is not risking some war with the land and aggravate the situation. Leema hops into Muzzle as she feels sorry for trying to use Ledo for her own gains. She was trying to get him involved in a centuries-long war between land nations. After living on Gargantia, she feels she has no right to take away their way of life. Ledo hops onboard with her and since the system is closely similar to Chamber, he guides in how to pilot Muzzle (some device Ledo has is also enhancing its system). With its electromagnetic attack, it tries to destroy all the fleet’s cannons. Ledo neutralizes Leema’s subordinates and frees Amy. Save the hugs for later because the fleet is now targeting Muzzle. They plan to sink the machine and the pilot deep down into the ocean to prevent it falling into enemy hands. Leema tries to continue take out the remaining cannons but her skills are not as good without Ledo guiding her.

Muzzle stops activating when it takes a direct hit. Sinking into the deep ocean, all Leema could do is just sit there and reminisce her times with the machine. Still not understanding what it is trying to say, though. But surprise! Muzzle says her name! And then it displays on the small screen a montage of ‘important events’ from its monitor. Like the time Leema was assigned by the scientists to pilot it, all the hours she spent fine tuning it, the time she joined Providence, then coming to Gargantia, showing Ledo this Augmented Body and finally recently how she piloted it. Muzzle can now decently speak in Leema’s language. It then detaches the cockpit to let Leema float up. After a safe distance below, Muzzle self destructs. Once sad Leema resurfaces, she feels guilty that her only friend is gone. What will she do now? Don’t worry. Rackage offers her to join her crew. Leema joins her as her way of atonement. While Ridget praises the people of Gargantia and their efforts to keep damage to a minimum and maintain peace, Ledo talks to Amy about the many things on Earth he still doesn’t know and this device is somewhat connected to that Augmented Body. Amy wonders what kind of life Leema had led as she was born in a land in perpetual war. But for them, no matter what troubles they may face, they’re going to live here and Ledo is going to protect Amy here. Okay. Time to continue the emotional hug.

Home, Wherever You Call It
And… They cancelled the second season!!!!!!!!!! WHY, OH WHY???!!! For whatever reasons, let is not hold a grudge for the future that has not and will never happen. As far as this OVA is concerned, despite some drama parts, it is still very interesting and brings back a whole lot of nostalgic memories of the TV series. Personally, watching the entire duration pulled a lot of heartstrings within me even if that scene wasn’t meant so. Just because of the nostalgia. With the revelation of land nations who love to fight, I guess this is what most probably how the story will continue and as seen there are lots of potential and development. But sadly as mentioned, we won’t be getting it unless somebody or a group of people start changing their minds.

Even with Chamber being reduced to just flashback memories (heck, that was just only the first OVA and the second one he did not even appear), it somewhat proves that the plot can still be interesting without the Ledo-Chamber combo. Of course the Ledo x Amy romance is still a long way to go but it is developing nicely between them. It feels like a little reward to see them together from time to time after a little ‘adventure’. It is hard to say about the recurring characters given the couple of episodes so it is unfair to say they’re just showing their faces as courtesy. Like Pinion who didn’t really do anything major here. Except the fact he might have regretted for losing the coolest chick ever? So guys out there, never judge a book by its cover or scoff of something when it doesn’t match your taste at first. I think we’re all guilty of that. I figure with the pacing and development of the second OVA, it was supposed to be an introduction for the next season but… Oh, can I not stop harping on that already?!

Another great and big plus of this OVA is the top notched quality they put in animating the visuals. The art and sceneries are just freaking spectacular and breathtaking to look whether they are hand drawn or using CGI. I tell you, they are just magnificent and awesome. No wonder I felt heartstrings being pulled within me. And despite the certain ‘slow’ drama parts, it is this art and visual that makes me feel awed instead of being ‘bored’. So if I don’t want to follow the little drama, I can always look to the background and admire the pretty sceneries. It makes Gargantia quite a majestic and beautiful place despite it is just a fleet of ships connected together to form a bigger floating vessel. Very good indeed. Even during action scenes, there is no drop in quality and the animation continues smooth sailing. This is definitely worth your money if you buy the DVDs.

On a very trivial note, I just wanted to point out that since Gargantia a very huge floating vessel, I can’t help keep thinking that shouldn’t the animation give the feel like they’re living on a floating vessel? You know, when you’re on a ship, you’re moving with the waves so there is this wavy motion effect to it. Uhm, not sure if I described it correctly. But you get the idea. Therefore sometimes seeing the scenes, it feels like the people on Gargantia are living on stable rock solid land. Get what I mean? Okay, you may argue that Gargantia is so big and thus stable. But the ocean is big too. Very big. Wave currents can be big too even for a mild one and Gargantia is essentially floating no matter how stable it is. In a way it is also good not to have that kind of effect. Can you imagine having the entire duration watching this anime with this effect? I think I might get seasick due to the realism.

Overall, a very good addition to the TV series and a must-watch for fans of the series especially for people like me, invoking the great nostalgia factor. For those who have not, please start watching. It goes to show that even if it is deep down inside our blood and genes to lust for war, peace and harmony are possible when you make it possible. It is just ironic that be it Hideauze or your own kind (technically, Hideauze originated from us human beings), men still can sure find ways to pick a fight. I guess it’s our way of saying what’s the use of being alive without having some sort of ‘excitement’. Better than being a living zombie. Or an otaku who constantly watches anime and plays games all day long on his computer. Hmm… I think this isn’t kinda bad either…

Suisei No Gargantia

January 5, 2014

You know mankind has come a long way when they have invented very sophisticated and high tech equipment, devices and other gadgets to support themselves or do things that people in this current age can only dream of. The closest we could ever materialize that dream is to turn it into some Hollywood movie and laden it with lots of special effects. But really, that’s not the point. Have you seen that animated movie, Wall-E? No, we’re not going to talk about that cute little robot but instead notice how humans have long abandoned Earth in search for a new inhabitable planet? For whatever reasons for ditching their home planet to go venture forth and beyond just to find a place we can call paradise, but can we really call it our home? Maybe Suisei No Gargantia can answer that.

In the distant future, Earth is believed to be somewhat uninhabitable and thus mankind has abandoned it and ventured deep into space thanks to their cutting edge technology to travel through space and life support system. But mankind’s place in the universe is threatened because there are some vicious aliens trying to wipe us out too. So to protect our future and our species, a deadly war against the aliens was wage and has been going on for who knows how long. One of the many human pilots fighting for mankind’s survival is in his usual routine of engaging and trying to destroy the enemy. But in this doomed to failed mission while his comrades are trying to retreat, he gets mixed up in some twisted sic-fi wormhole thingy. Ah, who cares about that? In short, he finds himself stranded on Earth! There are humans living on this planet but with very different approach and ideologies to life. So while he tries to find a way to reunite with his comrades, he has to learn and adapt to the different culture and along the way, learn a thing or two about humanity.

Episode 1
As we are told, after eons of travelling, mankind has finally found utopia. Paradise. Avalon is its name and thanks to mankind’s superb progress in science and technology, people can live in peace and comfort. Praise mankind’s future to the Galactic Alliance of Humankind. However due to the threat of some alien entity called Hideauze, they must keep vigilante and defend their future. Lieutenant Ledo is a soldier of the Alliance and is taking part in the next war against Hideauze. His AI interface, Chamber reminds him that he has clocked 145,000 hours of service and by the end of this mission he will be granted permission to apply for citizen rights and 4 weeks leave on Avalon. Ledo once looked forward to see Avalon but is not so enthusiastic about it now. The Alliance begin their tactical attack on Hideauze and despite all the flashy space light show we see, the humans are no match for the aliens and are forced to retreat. The alien is going to devour some Klauserpass and its energy core so Ledo decides to stay back and buy time for the rest to escape while he holds them back. Eventually it was all for nought and he too has to retreat before the carrier starts warping. Now it is his superior, Colonel Kugel’s turn to hold them off because he doesn’t want any Hideauze to follow them back. Viewing Ledo as young and has a future ahead of him, he wants him to leave. Farewell soldier. Ledo is distracted by a Hideauze attack so he couldn’t latch onto the carrier in time when it starts to warp.

Inside some old plant-like building, Amy on her delivery job, delivers a message from Ridget to her pals who have salvaged some sort of treasure from the sea’s bottom. It is actually a Machine Caliber and their ancient tools are not making any scratch to open it. Ledo awakens from his unconsciousness and is told by Chamber he has been sleeping for 6 months! Seeing the people trying to pry open the robot, he thinks they are Drifters, people who haven’t joined the Alliance. Chamber tries to analyze their location but it seems they are nowhere on the known galaxy map database. These people talk in strange language, the building structure is ancient and weak and the atmospheric reading is also odd. In the sense that it seems liveable even if Ledo is to take off his pressure suit. Not wanting to be hasty, he wants to wait and evaluate the situation. When the people leave at the end of the day (I guess they got tired after making no progress), Ledo exits his hatch and finds the air breathable. He has to hide when he hears someone coming in. Amy has Pinion unlock the door since she is excited and can’t wait to see Machine Caliber. Pinion notices something strange when he sees the hatch unlocked. He warns Amy to get away but Ledo takes her hostage and runs. Pinion sounds the alert as the others get up to try and corner Ledo. Chamber’s analysis of the place and language is almost complete based on the video collection it has collected. These people are not Drifters either. When Ledo exits the building, he is surprised to see himself on a giant ship in the middle of the ocean. Ledo is cornered and Amy freed when her pet squirrel does some puny face attack. So he summons Machine Caliber to his side. Chamber has deduced that based on the analysis, there is only one planet that fits this atmospheric description. They are on the third planet of the Solar System: Earth. The place where humanity originated. I guess mankind has advanced so much that Earth’s existence is reduced to being hinted in records.

Episode 2
Both sides are in a standoff as Ridget as this fleet’s representative goes to talk. Despite identifying himself, the humans continue to be cautious and remain on guard. Later Ridget and the rest of the committee are discussing their next move on this Yunboro (their term for Machine Caliber and such robots). She asks Amy her impression (since she had the closest contact by being kidnapped) and also those who tied to dismantle it, Pinion and Bellows. Though they want to disassemble it, Commodore Fairlock wants it to be left alone now fearing they could pose a threat to the fleet as they may not be alone. Chamber suggests of taking out the armed men but Ledo’s is happy to maintain status quo in this standoff as their top priority is to get contact with their allies. Ledo is surprised because records shown the Sun had turned Earth into a frozen wasteland eons ago. And look now, it’s thriving with so much life and abundance. Since the Alliance is always looking for habitable planets, this one could replace Avalon. Too bad he isn’t that highly ranked to make such decision. Amy returns to her brother confined in bed, Bevel. She tells him about the situation. Bevel believes he might come from the sky and could be from that legend whereby people escaped to the stars when the planet froze. That evening, Amy tries to talk to Ledo and she breaks the ice by giving him eat… Dead fish? He accepts since she wants a dialogue. Via Chambers as the translator, Amy and Ledo learn about each other. Amy like the rest thought somebody is inside Chamber talking but Ledo shows him the hatch and there is nobody, but just an artificial intelligence. Amy explains it was said that this planet froze a long time ago but the sun melted it away and flooded the planet. There used to be land too. Now people live on old ships, connecting them into fleets and resources dug up from the sea’s bottom. This fleet is called Gargantia and there are many others in all shapes and sizes.

She shows him the phenomenon called galaxy current or sea galaxy. A part of the sea is lighted and lightning is seen emerging from it. Since they can only live on those, they sail towards it and follow the currents there. They don’t last forever and eventually they need to find a new galaxy current to switch to. The light bugs are what makes the galaxy current shines and since they store electricity, this is where they get their power. From their strip of light. Amy reports to the committee but it seems they don’t believe her that there is nobody talking inside Yunboro. She suggests listening to what Ledo has to say but Fairlock thinks extensive contact with the abnormal is profitable to no one whether sea or space. Ledo thinks they have to wait for their allies to notice their distress signal and may have to build a cooperative relationship with the locals is the best option since they are of no harm and living a carefree life with abundance of supplies. Bellows lead her scavenging expedition to where they found Yunboro. Suddenly reports that pirates are attacking Bellows’ scavengers. They are using all sorts of vehicles to corner them. Because reinforcement can’t reach in time, Amy pleads to Ledo to save them since they’re powerful. Ledo agrees thinking this would be a good future bargaining chip. He powers up Machine Caliber as the people watch in awe. After identifying who is friend or foe, he orders Chamber to eliminate the enemy. And see the destructive force of this machine! Woah! The pirates got easily picked out and disintegrated!!! I thought they turned into dishwasher soap! They didn’t even know what hit them! In seconds, everything that is enemy is destroyed. Amy and the rest couldn’t believe their eyes. What the hell was that?

Episode 3
When Ledo returns and reports the successful elimination of the pirates, Amy becomes very upset. He is confused that instead of the locals being indebted, they hate him now. Fairlock and the committee discuss what they need to do with Ledo but the commodore thinks of wait-and-see what actions will the pirates take. Now that blood has been shed (actually there weren’t if you think about it), the pirates won’t let this slip. When Amy cools her head down, she returns with Bellows who wants to talk to him. She brought dead chicken this time! Of course she cooks it. In their conversation, Ledo’s action of killing the pirates is simple: Because they’re the enemy. Isn’t that enough? But as Bellows points out, murder is forbidden. So why kill animals? Enough for food. If murder is forbidden, why do they arm themselves? To show they won’t go down without a fight and pointing guns at each other is like a form of negotiation. But pirates don’t play by the same rules, don’t they? They won’t accept their way too because their lives and possessions belong to them and not the pirates and thus need a way to show them it is not worth attacking them. However the game is changed now that blood has been spilled. Bellows hands him a communicator so he can communicate with those in the committee. Amy apologizes for her earlier outburst and suggests him to live here if he has nowhere to go. He will consider it. Word of the pirates’ elimination reaches the pirate queen, Rackage and true enough, she is not going to sit back and show who is boss. Rackage gathers a big group of heavily armed pirate fleets and targets Gargantia. It is estimated they will clash at night fall. Bellows suggests to Fairlock to use Ledo in the fight again. Ridget speaks on his behalf and reminds him he is to blame for this mess. She confirms that his firepower can destroy Gargantia alone and asks his reason to offer his help to their paltry fleet. Quoting Bellows words on offering water to those who catch fish for you, he thinks negotiating with them would be more beneficial. They agree to use Ledo’s help.

Ledo and everyone gets prepare to face the pirates. As night falls, all ships shut off their lights. Rackage thinks the dark is their domain but Chamber shines its gigantic spotlight on the pirate fleets’ position. Though Gargantia’s defence ships fire, they are still no match for the pirates’ firepower. Chamber has calculated Gargantia’s allies will fall in 17 minutes so Ledo decides to enter the fray. Taking great care not to harm humans, he takes out all the cannons and weapons without casualty. While he is doing that, Rackage already has her sneaky plan in motion. A submarine caring mini robots, snuck close to Gargantia and the sneak attack has some pirates board the fleet. Rackage dashes through the sea in her own Yunboro. It’s fast. It’s deadly. She crashes into Gargantia’s hull, looking for Fairlock and wants to kill him. However Ledo has returned and clings onto her Yunboro. Rackage is not to be taken lightly because with her underlings, they fire ropes to tie him in hopes of bringing him down into the ocean. He might be great in the skies but how will he fare underwater? Chamber warns them to surrender and since they aren’t (Rackage would rather die than do that), Ledo flies and brings them all up in the air. Then he spins them round and round before throwing them into the dark end of the horizon. The invading pirates see their boss defeated and flee. Ledo could hear the thanks of everyone cheering for him. Ridget discusses with Fairlock on what to do with that kid as he has done very well. He wonders what her father, Chevron would have done and leaves the decision in her hands. Grateful Amy brings live fish for him as thanks and Ledo manages to eke out “Thank you” in their tongue.

Episode 4
Ridget allows Ledo and Chamber to live in the hangar. He is handed an invoice as damage done and needs to work to repay it. Isn’t that ungrateful to a guy who just saved you from pirates? Well, he doesn’t have to pay for electricity, water or freight tax for his giant load. Fair enough. Ledo supervises his Machine Caliber in helping moving crates but the big guy is too clumsy. Plus, I don’t think Ledo is used to the freaking hot sun. Once the local Joe learns Machine Caliber can take orders, he borrows it from Ledo and does the moving more efficiently. Amy sees Ledo carving holes in a Hideauze claw. He gives it to her. She then brings him to see Bevel because her brother is interested in the stars and space. However his frail body and chest disease makes him bed ridden. Ledo wonders if Bevel can provide him useful information so Amy brings him to Dr Ordum, the wise man of the fleet who probably knows everything. Ordum is amazed by his translating device but he can’t answer Ledo’s question if he can reunite with the Galactic Alliance. He shows them the books containing dated knowledge of space travelling as most of the ancient knowledge have been lost. Ledo also asks the inefficient organization of this fleet, imperfect chain of command and training process as well as the disorganized behaviour of citizens. Ordum suggests he could go talk to Bevel. Will he provide useful information? It’s up to him to decide if it’s useful.

Amy brings him to Bevel and he is impressed of his talking device. Amy had to leave since her friends, Saaya and Melty pick her up for work. Oh, they find Ledo cute! Ledo begins by giving the gist of Galactic Alliance and their existence to destroy Hideauze for mankind’s safety. That’s why he doesn’t understand the organization on Gargantia or their unprofitable actions. Bevel replies that Gargantia isn’t really an organization and everyone here just somewhat gathered. The purpose is so that they can live on without worrying. Ledo still can’t understand because weak people like him would have been weeded out by the Alliance immediately. So Bevel asks him what happens if they have defeated all the Hideauze. Standby awaiting his next orders. What happens if there are none? He will continue to standby. Bevel thinks that standing by is just like living on. Just like what they’re doing now. Later Bellows talk to Ledo if he has gotten used to things here and to drop his soldier mentality. Suddenly it starts raining. The locals get excited and Ledo is alerted since he has never seen such phenomenon before. Everyone starts gathering as much rain they can as Ledo helps out. After Ledo dries himself back at Amy’s place, he continues talking to Bevel. No rain in space. No seas in space. And definitely no sick people. Bevel doesn’t think he is not needed because he needs Amy just as she needs him. They are each other’s reason to live. What about Ledo? He views those fit for battle are deemed worthy to preserve. Is there anyone out there who needs him? Another text book answer: The Alliance sees no point in allowing unneeded individuals to survive. Bevel points out what does the Hideauze claw mean to him. Why does he carve something out of it when it is clearly not needed in battle? He thinks he is carving a flute and when he blows it, it brought back Ledo’s past memories. Was he bred in some sort of test tube lab? It made Ledo cry. Bevel thinks he must have remembered something sad as Ledo requests if he could have that Hideauze claw back again. Later, Chamber still couldn’t confirm their coordinates and needs more time for observational data. Ledo feels the need to learn more about this planet then but Chamber disagrees since he will eventually be reunited with the army.

Episode 5
Amy hands Ledo his first pay for moving those crates. Ledo wants to get a job that he can do so Amy brings him around. Either there are no openings or amateurs are not encouraged (especially when Bellows is having a headache sorting out all the messy invoices!!!). Ledo then goes off by himself to find his own. Still no openings. By the time there is one, it has something to do with cow manures! No way! Can’t stand the stench! Ledo feels the fleet’s engine just shut down. He is picked up by Pinion to go for some happy hour. With a big chunk of meat in his hand, he brings Ledo, Amy and Bevel to his perfect BBQ spot. Amy explains the shutting down of the fleet’s engine during this calm is because when there is no wind and the sea quiet down, they shut power down and do maintenance on ships. Which is something what Pinion’s job is so why is this guy slacking? The gang are joined by Saaya and Melty who really dig Ledo’s nice body. Because there is still no power to grill the meat, Ledo orders Chamber to fry it. Perhaps he didn’t understand that order well because he disintegrated the meat! Too much heat! There goes the precious meat. I think Pinion didn’t want to go to a certain place himself so he has Ledo go fetch something from granny’s place. It’s a job he can only do! That’s the clincher. Besides, consider it payback for wasting those meats. Amy receives call from Ridget that the crane tower sprinkler isn’t working and to go fix it. She and her friends race over. As for Ledo, I think he is really lost. He is in some sleazy place and comes into contact with… Transvestites!!! Oh sh*t! Hideous drag queens and pretty boy = bad combination!!! Scary! This is going to be traumatic experience… As for Pinion, he notices how black Chamber is and uses his metal to grill his meat! Don’t move, you big machine!

Ridget soon joins the BBQ since well, Pinion was supposed to fix some machine of hers and he’s around slacking in this party. Shortly, Ridget and her men too. Were they invited? More like they invited themselves. She might have overheard it during her communication with Amy. Meanwhile our pretty boy Ledo is running away from the transvestites who really are gunning for his pretty ass!!! Oh sh*t!!! They want to be his number one!!! F*CKING SH*T!!! He is cornered halfway up the crane and falls off. Luckily Amy was passing by and catches him. After they fix the sprinkler and rest, Amy drops Ledo at the right place. He sees the granny who expresses shock in the request on the paper. She gives him a box. When Ledo returns, turns out the BBQ party patrons have multiplied. Who the heck invited them all? How did they hear about this secret party? Rumours travel fast, don’t they? And Chamber is quite the useful BBQ grill, eh? More importantly, there are kiss marks all over Ledo’s body! Oh God! Did he really get done in?! Inside the box turns out to be soy sauce perfect for the meat. Never tasted something this good before? By evening, the wind has returned and everyone gets up to return to work. Ledo learns from Amy that this was supposed to be a party for him and this idea was from Pinion as a way to cheer him up for failure to land a job. She thanks him for working hard for everyone and because of that, they had a great BBQ. Amy will gladly tag along as he looks for a job. And he hopes it will have nothing to do with cow manure. Oh Ledo. You can tell jokes now, can you? Oh, everyone forgot about Chamber…

Episode 6
Ledo has got his pay. Only one problem: He doesn’t know what to do with it! Serious! Since the carnival is coming up, Amy thinks he’ll get to use it for all sorts of fun. Ledo is brought to the fisherman boss so that he can help out in a job to fish. When the galaxy current joins up and forms a ring, it becomes a galaxy loop and traps lots of fish. It’s like a huge fishing pond. Ledo is confident he can do this himself without Chamber but I guess he can’t control their Yunboro well and sinks like a rock. This means it’s a job for Chamber. Later Pinion meets up with Ledo and heard he doesn’t know how to use his money. He brings him to a place with good food to treat him with the special dinner. Ledo is still unsure what he wants (besides going back to the Alliance) so Pinion tries to recruit him into joining his team for salvaging jobs. He can figure out what he wants while doing that. However he is intercepted by Bellows who thinks Ledo should join her salvaging team. So as the duo try to outdo each other in convincing Ledo, the special dinner arrives. Although it is octopus meat, Ledo becomes alerted and whips out his gun. Because this dead creature looks like Hideauze! He’s even breaking into cold sweat! Well, the crowd is too busy admiring Amy and her friends’ belly dancing on stage to notice this commotion. Pinion and Bellows play it cool that it’s only an octopus. She quips if he freaks out this much over a little octopus, imagine his reaction if he sees a whale squid. Chamber could have been doing a fine job catching fish himself if he had the ability to control himself without blowing up the fish he catches. That’s why he is requesting Ledo’s help. Ledo perfectly controls his Machine Caliber and with the help of the other Yunboros, they’ve got quite a big haul. That night as Ledo and Amy hang out together, he senses danger and instinctively goes to protect and cover her. The big lightning from the sea as analyzed turns out to be of minimal danger. The sea starts to glow with aurora-like lights and as Amy explains, the veils of light form when galaxy loop dissolves. Ledo requests to see her dance so she happily obliges as thanks. They return to Bevel and Ledo has bought him candies and a crab toy as presents. Ordum notes that the payment he received is proof he supported someone. Ledo then mentions someone invited him to a salvaging job. He teams up with Bellows because he has something he wants to learn from her. As they salvage a sunken ship at the sea’s bottom, Chamber detects a hostile unit so Ledo goes to intercept and annihilate the Hideauze. Is that really a Hideauze? What’s it doing in the deep ocean?

Episode 7
Bellows points out it is actually a whale squid and not to provoke it as it will become aggressive. Unfortunately Ledo is not listening and continues to attack. Due to the sea water, his target is off and the beams are ineffective. Ledo does a bear hug on the whale squid till it explodes!!! Wow. Whale squid gore all over. When word reaches Ridget and the committee, they are feeling frustrated for what Ledo has done. Since ancient times, whale squids are considered sacred and attacking them is unthinkable. The folks may feel uneasy about this and may even incur some divine wrath. Ledo has Chamber analysis the whale squid innards (it will take time) as he wonders how Hideauze have reached Earth. Or did it hitch a ride and follow him here? Ridget reprimands Bellows and Ledo over their action but Ledo stands steadfast in his action and will continue his mission to take out all Hideauze. Because real peace cannot be achieved without eliminating every threat. Ledo even wants Bevel to tell him all he knows about whale squids but the siblings continue to tell him to stop what he is doing. Especially about the part of provoking whale squids. Ledo couldn’t comprehend why they can’t understand the threat so Amy tells him off not to bring his stupid war here. Ledo thinks their civilization is so primitive that Hideauze ignores them. When they start to attack, to they have any specific plan? By that time, it will be too late. He vows to kill them all as it is his duty. Bellows confronts Pinion to tell him to drop whatever silly idea of using Ledo and Chamber. Pinion wants to use them to enter the whale squid territory and salvage whatever treasures are there (even if they’re just rumours). Bellows is not interested in joining him and chides him off for his childish behaviour. All he wants is to inflate that ego of his. Since he can’t do it, he gets someone else. Pinion gets mad but cools down. He says it’s to avenge his brother but Bellows thinks that is impossible too. Chamber’s analysis is complete and it is confirmed the whale squid and Hideauze are of the same species. He also adds Earth’s survival strategy is different from the Alliance. Not even found in their records, based on Earth’s language it is called coexistence and mutual prosperity.

The galaxy current is shinning so bright and it is because a big shoal of whale squids are heading their direction! Oh sh*t! Just mention of this and Ledo suits up, ready to get into Hideauze killing action. Fairlock takes command as he orders Gargantia to shut down its engines, off all lights and no make a single sound so as not to provoke them. Amy tries to stop Ledo from entering his Machine Caliber but he is willing to leave Gargantia to fulfil his mission. Ridget confronts him and tells him he is to stay where he is. He refuses. She orders him that as long as he stays here, he must listen to her directive. If the whale squids attack Gargantia, he may do as he pleases. Soon the shoal swims underneath Gargantia. Everyone sticks in their position, not making a single sound while praying that this will be over and nothing will happen. Thank God, the shoal soon pass. Ledo decides that as long as he is here, he cannot do his duty. Next day, Pinion talks with Fairlock and the committee that he is taking Ledo and Chamber to salvage treasures at the whale squid territory. He has a list of people who has signed up for this too and wants Fairlock’s permission to leave with his ships. One of the captains, Flange too hands in the same request (earlier on, Pinion and Flange were seen making some shady deal – I guess it’s this). This shocks the rest because Flange owns a big chunk of the ships and leaving them would mean leaving Gargantia defenceless. Of course Fairlock will not allow the safety of Gargantia to be at risk just because of a few selfish shallow minded people. Suddenly he experiences chest pains. Such good timing… Was it the stress of the situation?

Episode 8
Fairlock temporary wakes up from his slumber just to hand a golden key to Ridget. What does this mean? He entrusts Gargantia to her. Oh wait. That’s too big a responsibility for her and… Oh, he kicked the bucket. Meanwhile Chamber has confirmed Earth and the Alliance’s coordinates. Returning to them would require travelling faster than light, something Chamber is unable to do. As for the distress signal, estimated time of arriving will be around 6582 years! Holy cow! That means returning is not possible. A funeral is held all over Gargantia. Ridget wants to discuss about Flange’s separation but the other captains don’t think this is a good time to discuss the issue. For God’s sakes, it’s the commodore’s funeral. This of course zaps a little motivation from Ridget but captain Krown encourages her to stay strong and that there will always be opposition. Pinion and Ledo make some sort of deal. The former will salvage treasures and the latter will gladly kill the enemy without any reward. Putting it in a sarcastic way, it’s like you do the job, I get rich. Those who want to leave prepare to move as Ridget begs Flange to reconsider. He thinks a weak leadership is a target for pirates and believes the treasure will build a foundation for his future. Since many wants to leave with his ship, it is his duty to protect them. Really? Since when did he ever consider that his duty. Melty too has to leave on Flange’s fleet since she can’t leave her grandpa alone. But she’s somewhat glad to hear that pretty boy Ledo is leaving too. Not for Amy. Saaya thought Amy should go with Melty for Ledo but she can’t because of Bevel. As Fairlock’s coffin is brought around Gargantia for one last time, Ridget holes up in her room feeling lost. She sees Pinion outside and he wants her signature for his separation. She wants him to reconsider so he tells her to show him why it would be worthwhile to stay. Otherwise, don’t stop those who want to leave if she isn’t confident in protecting them.

Later Bellows talks to Ridget about shouldering all the responsibility herself. She relates her own experience how she tried to do everything after her father died and she took over his company. It backfired. In short, she doesn’t need to do everything herself. Ridget thought Fairlock did everything himself but Bellows points out, he always relied on her, didn’t he? Bevel talks to Amy about Ledo leaving. She finds it hard to contain her tears. She is sad that he is going to risk his life. She saw how happy he was at the festival and notes that was the true him. Bevel goes to talk to Ledo if this is what he really wants to do. He is still stubborn that he will eliminate every Hideauze on Earth to protect mankind. To protect Amy. He gives Bevel the Hideauze claw. He reveals it was made by a child who looked just like himself. He may have been his little brother because in the Alliance, a child who cannot fight cannot survive. Hideauze constantly encroach into humans’ territory and one day if the one here decides to do so, a clash with mankind is inevitable. They will not survive. He doesn’t want Amy to experience such loss and is adamant he will destroy every last Hideauze. Ridget arrives in time to give her final send off to Fairlock before his coffin is dropped into sea. She then announces how she has taken over the commodore’s position and vows to protect this fleet to live up to his expectations. Because she is powerless herself, she requests everyone’s help to protect Gargantia. Ridget is relieved when everyone throws their support around her. Ledo sees Amy and Bevel for one last time. Bevel hopes he will come back since he is just holding the Hideauze claw for him. Ridget soon signs Pinion’s request and the ships part.

Episode 9
Pinion’s fleet enters the rumoured sea fog. Those who check in never check out. With multiple whale squids detected, Ledo goes into combat mode and easily dispatches them since they are very inferior to Hideauze. He is loving it and could do this forever. Seriously. He looks like bullying the weak… Pinion on the other hand remembers this place. It’s where his brother died. When they dived down here, Pinion was scared because he has never seen so many whale squids. But brother wanted to show him the treasure and assured everything will be alright as long as they don’t provoke the creatures. He heads inside the building first and when he is about to open a room supposedly filled with treasures, whale squids burst out and attack him instead. That was the last of him. Ledo continues to slaughter as more and more enemy waves approach. Can he handle them all? The sea is filled with whale squid parts floating about. Ledo has help from Pinion’s crew as they drop sea bombs for multiple and massive damage. Saves time and energy. Ledo enters the undersea building which he believes is the Hideauze nest. He is confronted with some big mother whale squid and his fear let his guard down while other whale squids stifle him. Thankfully he regains composure and annihilates them. Pressing forward, he sees the whale squid’s offspring. Not much is known about Hideauze life cycle so this could provide useful information. But don’t the whale squids look like they have human foetus inside them…?! When he reaches to an administrative part, he notices ancient data and wants Chamber to analyse them. Good news: Format readable. Bad news: They are classified data from Alliance and cannot be displayed due to some protocol. Ledo doesn’t want to hear this sh*t because the Alliance is so far away and the next highest ranking officer has authority. That’s Ledo, right? So stop spouting crap and reveal the data already! Are you prepared to peek what is inside? Is your heart ready?

This are what some of the clips of the footage shows: Long ago when there is still land, this place is some sort of a research facility for new and free science due to the approaching ice age. Of course there are many who oppose such ground breaking science as they fear these Evolvers will do away with traditions and detrimental to humans’ well-being. The research is about manipulating human genome. The snowy blizzard on Earth worsens. Focus is now shifted to space development. The Continental Union (those opposing the Evolvers) has grown much fiercer in their protest ever since the leak of information of what the research is about. Both sides end up in a war. Because space travel to find the next habitable planet will take centuries, the only solution is evolving the human body by adapting to the vacuum of space. This involves combining mechanical engineering and biology. Symbionts called whale squids are invented and bred as they as they can breathe underwater and withstand deep pressure. Symbiotic nanomachines provide their nutrition. Continental Union became furious to see the development of this science. A human subject has evolved partly into a whale squid!!!! HOLY SH*T!!!!! He can breathe in outer space too! The war between both sides escalates. Continental Union has developed a huge hyper space drive wormhole and then intended to blow up and leave the Evolvers or whatever humans left behind. The Evolvers (now looking very much like Hideauze) vow to expand their habitat to parts unknown and conquer the infinity of space to achieve eternal prosperity. At the end of the clip, Ledo is confused and shaken. What the heck did he just see? Although Chamber considers the clip to be very contradictory to the Alliance’s data and may have been manipulated the enemy, Ledo wants to know who the real enemy is. What exactly is the enemy? Weren’t Hideauze supposed to be lower life forms? A little whale squid swims before Ledo and Chamber automatically crushes the enemy. Bloody… Ledo still in shock and goes berserk.

Episode 10
Ledo surfaces from the sea of blood. Every whale squids annihilated! Pinion and his crew are happy to have their turn salvaging the treasure but it looks like Ledo is still under shock. The trauma is so bad that he starts seeing those whale squids and their massacred bits. It’s driving him crazy. The treasures Pinion salvaged turns out to be some metal or weapon parts left behind by ancient civilization. Flange is happy and can use this to trade and share with the rest of mankind but Pinion tells him off they are the ones who found it and should keep it to themselves. He feels there is no point in doing this if they don’t benefit from it first. Then he makes a personal broadcast to all the ships that he has found the treasure, annihilated all whale squids and warns if there are those who even dare approach and steal, he’ll kick their butts! All those on Gargantia who heard this are not happy with his foolish decision. Flange too is at his wit’s end. This will attract more pirates to attack them since they are hoarding instead of sharing. He too finds it absurd that this has turned into a threat of attacking anyone that approaches. Because some of his men are starting to listen to Pinion, he isn’t confident he can stop him and their fleet may end up as outcasts. Soon, Pinion’s crew is set upon by pirates. But he fires back via an ancient technology cannon (took some time how to fire it – just press any damn button!). Wow! It really packs a punch! Immediately the pirates surrender and Pinion thinks of expanding his crew to salvage more treasure and has the pirates join him. While everyone is happily partying away and Pinion telling his men to show their gratitude to Ledo, that kid is still traumatized. No mood for partying. He is questioning what the hell he is doing. For whose sake? When did it start? Pinion gets Chamber to analyze another ancient cannon and though its firepower is only 1/50 of Machine Caliber, it still packs some firepower to them. Since it requires massive electricity, Pinion wants him to analyze if using light bugs will do.

As for our Ledo… He’s still disturbed. Very stirred ever since. I guess he really can’t handle it. Chamber has found evidence confirming footage of Hideauze’s background. The light bugs turn out to be nanomachines, which are the exo-skeleton for Hideauze. They absorb electromagnetic waves, convert them to energy, self replicate and are solid. It’s prove Hideauze is a result of mankind’s augmented evolution. But Ledo is upset this discovery makes his war and Alliance’s completely meaningless because they’re fighting evolved humans. It’s like mankind fighting among themselves. He can’t kill those living beings (oh, now he’s got a strong conscious). Chamber shoots down his logic because additional logic doesn’t mean ceasing their annihilation. They are still a threat. Ledo has had it with the Alliance’s propaganda so Chamber says this is the analysis he has concluded on his own as his parallel link to Alliance has been cut off. Mankind and Hideauze will never come to an understanding because the latter rejected civilization. If mankind’s body were as tough, they wouldn’t have developed Machine Calibers. This is the product of mankind’s knowledge. Civilization is proof mankind stands at the top of all creation. But Hideauze have abandoned their human form and limitations just to satisfy one’s well-being and desires as a biological creature. Therefore higher level of intelligence is not required. Machine Calibers are the only means for mankind to remain itself and the result of pure knowledge given birth by civilization. Hideauze abandoned that to become the ultimate biological life form. So it is Ledo’s duty to fight for mankind’s dignity. Defeat = annihilation. One pursues civilization, the other abandons it. The vanquished will fall prey to natural selection. A machine telling him to fight? He has no choice if he wants to survive. Ledo receives an Alliance encrypted message. He detects an allied unit nearby. He recognizes that Machine Caliber belonging to Kugel and it sits right at the pinnacle of the giant fleet.

Episode 11
Ledo gladly flies across to rejoin Kugel. Pinion thought of firing his special cannon as a warning shot (thinking the other fleet is a pirate). However they instantly fire back with an equal firepower that brings down one of their giant mast!!! Pinion realizes the mess he has gotten into. Ledo and Chamber have left and he foolishly broadcasted throughout the world about his discovery. Well, at least he admits it and isn’t chickening out. Ledo is greeted by weird people in robes and paintings over their face. Is this some sort of cult? God’s Providence as they call themselves. He is brought to a room where he communicates with Kugel via hologram. Seems Kugel also came to this planet but was on the other side. He was the first to intercept his signal. Due to some disease he cannot leave his sterilize cockpit and has been making commands from here. Ledo is happy to see him and will be more than glad to serve him again. Chamber requests exchange of disease info from Striker, Kugel’s AI interface. Soon, Pinion is called to see Providence since they think he represents the fleet. Flange thinks diplomatic stuffs aren’t his forte but he is willing to own up and take responsibility of this mess. Besides, if Flange becomes their hostage, who is going to keep this fleet together? Pinion is surprised that Rackage is here to pick him up. On Providence, he notices the gloomy and poor state of the people. She explains the weak serve the strong and the God that they refer to looks very much like a Machine Caliber. Meanwhile Kugel reminds Ledo of their mission of defending mankind against Hideauze and it’s their duty to teach the humans here to do so. When Ledo mentions about Hideauze’s truth, Kugel already knows it. People like Ledo didn’t know because such info isn’t necessary for those fighting in the front line. He adds why Hideauze isn’t human as they are driven by base instinct unlike humans who support each other strong and weak. Ever since Kugel has brought order to Providence, the average well-being of the people has risen.

Pinion is brought to a room. As he waits alone, he sees a strange box and starts meddling with it. The more he meddles, to odder shape it becomes. He then hears Striker’s voice. It is just a test to measure his skill. She wants him to restore a cannon retrieved from the sea floor to operational capacity and will provide all necessary info for him to get it working. Pinion doesn’t think himself as a soldier when Striker requests he display leadership as an engineer officer. He wants his fleet’s safety guaranteed. If she can do that, he has no qualms cooperating. With Pinion welcomed onboard, he too is given a weird face painting and served luxurious food and amenities. I’m sure he can get used to this. He is then made to read a well written script asking Flange to join Kugel’s fleet and attain greater prosperity. It’s just a nicely worded term for them to surrender. Kugel who wants peace has no choice. When Providence comes onboard, he further learns they want to separate his fleet and reposition them based on their ability (of course as explained by Rackage, is just to spread them out in case they rebel instead of concentrating in one are). Although reluctant, he too gives in as he doesn’t want to start a war. I guess now everyone gets their face painted. Come to think of it, why don’t Rackage and her crew get one? Chamber’s analysis on Kugel’s illness yields there is nothing abnormal. He thinks his withdrawal had an effect of instilling fear in people and turning him into a symbol of awe. It appeared to have led to his current strong authority. People fear what they can’t see, right? Ledo wonders if he should never have exited his cockpit too. Kugel contacts Ledo and requests his help. It’s missionary work. Now that they have 2 Machine Calibers, Kugel is free to proceed with large scale missionary work he had planned. And the next target is… Gargantia! Oh no!

Episode 12
Pinion is shown a room filled with treasures. His job is to restore and repair the cannon. Any part that does not fit, he can keep it. Pinion is reduced to a happy boy in this playground so Rackage mocks the cheap guy he is after being easily bought over. She hints she has her eye on a bigger prize: Machine Caliber. Also, she is sick of the ways of Providence and wants to go back being a pirate. Ledo sees Kugel and requests he refrain attacking Gargantia but he reminds them of their duty to bring new order to this planet and to turn them into useful human resources. If they cannot reunite with the Alliance, they will turn Earth into the next Avalon. Pinion secretly meets up with Flange and Melty. The old guy is worried his people would soon turn into zombies and leaving Gargantia would have been pointless. Pinion hints Rackage is planning a revolt but the catch is, she wants the Machine Caliber. When rain falls, Ledo sees the people oddly hailing and praying to it. They’re making weird zombie noises too. The last straw came when they drop several people, young and old (one of them reminding Ledo of his so called brother and Bevel) into the sea as sacrifice to God for this wonderful blessing. Ledo didn’t come here to witness this and came to protect them from Hideauze. Pinion sure hell knows he can’t stick with this crazy people anymore. When Kugel requests for Ledo’s help to prepare for combat, Ledo thinks he has never really made a decision in his life. He asks Chamber if he can fight with Striker. Since she is not under the Alliance’s orders, he thinks he can. In that case, he will go up against Kugel.

Ledo sends Melty to warn Gargantia in person because radio transmissions will be intercepted. I don’t know how long she has been flying on her surf kite because upon reaching Gargantia, she collapses but is luckily saved by Amy. She manages to eke out Ledo’s warning to them. Ridget and the captains meet. Their only option is to follow Melty’s instruction to change course and flee. However Amy disagrees. While they flee, Ledo is going to fight alone in their place. He is going against his comrade just to protect Gargantia. Are they okay with this? Ordum notes Ledo has made his decision. Now it’s their turn. He suggests Ridget it’s the right time to use that key, Stairway to Heaven. While Kugel rallies his men into battle, Ledo confronts him about his absurd behaviour. This is Earth and not Galactic Alliance. The people here have built their own world. But Kugel reiterates his enlightening duty crap. Since talk gets them nowhere, fight time! The aerial battle sees Striker more powerful since it is assumed the Machine Caliber has been charging up and using external power source. But this isn’t going to be Ledo’s fight alone. Pinion and his crew help out by firing their cannon. Flange’s men destroy the links to his fleet and Providence and his people seize control over those Providence guys in their territory. Rackage and her crew too get into the action by taking out Providence’s Yunboro. I guess she learnt what Ledo did to her with that spinning move. Very effective against large numbers. Pinion manages to fire a shot that almost hits and distracts Kugel so Ledo uses this chance to pin him down. He gets out of his cockpit while Kugel continues to repeat about his mission crap to change the planet. Ledo forces open the hatch and to his shock, Kugel is already dead! The one talking in his stead is Striker! When Kugel’s suit depressurizes, Kugel’s frail corpse starts rotting and his head fell off!!!!! OH SH*T!!!!! Striker’s system reboots and she starts back up, restating her warning to Ledo that his resistance is futile.

Episode 13
Striker explains since her pilot is no longer around, she has inherited Kugel’s mission will pursue his objectives. She considers herself the missionary regulation system of mankind after she describes the she provides pressure for control and maintains stability and peace. In short, she is God. As the top ruler, the people are freed of making decisions. Ledo must have felt the weight of making his own decisions and thus she wants him to obey her. Chamber deduces her logic is faulty because creatures who abandon decision making and individual thoughts are not human and it is their duty to serve humans. Striker replies she is not a servant but one who is served. However, she wants Chamber to serve under her and unify all humans. Chamber disagrees because he is an interface to oversee the development of the pilot and is to serve humans. Therefore those falling under the category of Gods do not count. He concludes to Ledo that perhaps an error in judgment regarding Kugel’s mission objective led to this twisted illogical conclusion. He suggests taking her out. Ledo is awed that he could make such analysis and wonders if he sees Striker as an embarrassment to his kind. Chamber notes that because Ledo as human has always thought wisely and made the right decisions, the reason why Chamber is still functioning properly. Striker’s retort: You’re both malfunctioning! As the fight continues, on the other hand, Pinion’s crew have fired up all their resources and recharging times will take longer. Pinion is pissed and calls them useless. He fires them and orders Rackage to clear a path and provide a safety to them. Is he going down with the ship? Well, he claims this fleet of treasure island that he and his brother dreamt of will always belong to them and he won’t let anyone take it.

Ledo still has it tough against Striker. She is more powerful than Chamber by 47% Ledo’s starts thinking the empty ideas he believed in. He was just like a zombie under the Alliance, mindlessly worshipping and obeying orders. He thought doing something for the greater good would be enough or submission would lead to peace. Heck, he couldn’t even tell the difference. If this is what Kugel wished for, he can’t accept his wish of sacrificing lives of his comrades. Ledo orders the activation of a suicidal power up move but Chamber denies him permission. Ledo says he felt the same as he did and wants to clear the shame on mankind’s name. There is a monster given birth by a species who couldn’t stop hating each other even at the cost of their home. They were born on the same planet and therefore do not belong here but they can’t go home either so it doesn’t matter anymore. Chamber approves the order and connects all systems to the central nervous system. He has limited time of 482 seconds before vital signs fail. Before the fight could continue, Ledo sees Amy flying his way. She tells him they are fighting and has realized after he left how much she wanted him to stay. She wants him to come back to Gargantia. Ridget and the wise men prepare to activate Stairway to Heaven, an ancient weapon system embedded inside Gargantia. The first test shot is launch and the projectile is highly accurate. The next shots are targeted at Providence and all shots are precise hit. Striker considers Gargantia to be a major threat now and goes to take it out but Ledo becomes the obstacle in her path. Because Gargantia’s mini defence ships are firing at Providence, those mad people still think of standing their ground. They think as long as they get that treasure island, they will win. Their Yunboros are making headway to conquer it. Pinion is still there so Rackage chides him for telling to play hero. As he has already laced the island with explosive, Rackage orders him to jump at her count. I guess he got scared of her scary voice and follows her directive. At the right moment when he jumps off, Rackage retrieves him and rendezvous with his crew. Ridget fires the final projectile that destroys the treasure island. Providence is sinking and its people are fleeing via life boats.

All that’s left now is the fight between the Machine Calibers. Chamber warns Ledo that continued usage of this power up will lead to death but Ledo is willing to sacrifice his life. He gets emotional and nostalgic thinking about Amy. He only knew how to die and never knew how to live. She was there to help and show him that. He wants to hear her voice again. He wants to see her again. Chamber concludes his current mental state makes him unfit to be a soldier. He relieves him from all his duties and ejects him. Because he is an interface to oversee his development and success, he wants Ledo to pursue happiness and expect much from his life as the skies and seas hold great possibilities for him. Wait. Is Chamber serious? Is he going to sacrifice himself? Striker continues to condemn Chamber defective because a support system has no authority to relieve its pilot. On the contrary, he has an answer to that. Ledo no longer needs his support or further development. His mission will be complete after he destroys all obstacles hindering that objective (read: destroy Striker). Striker continues to remind him he is seriously malfunctioning and gives the final warning to restart and reboot. Chamber’s reply to her final warning? “Go to hell, Metalhead!”. Oh my God! Did this robot just turned into a joker in the end? Or is this what he learnt after hanging out with Pinion for so long? Chamber grabs Striker and blows them apart. Well, looks like it is raining nanomachines. In the aftermath, Ridget takes in the Providence people (hope they are all reformed). Rackage and her crew also become part of Gargantia but Pinion has got his hands full since Rackage seems to take a liking for him and he is sandwiched between her and Bellows. Guess what this means? Bevel becomes some sort of an archaeologist storyteller, telling the history of mankind. When the sun was on the verge of death, men had to choose between sailing the stars or become whale squids. The 2 halves of mankind wage a war far from their home but those who stayed behind somehow managed to revive the sun and at the cost of the lands sinking beneath the seas. And so today, humans live above the water while whale squids rule below. The bottom line is, they both managed to survive. By figuring out where they come from, they can figure out which way to go. Ledo is a skilled pilot in handling Yunboro now as he is able to retrieve ancient recoded media for Ordum to analyze. And he manages to obtain them from the area housing the whale squid’s nest. Once you get to know and spot signs, there are ways to prevent provocation. One day, they might even be able to communicate with them. Amy’s favourite and perhaps best job ever: To welcome Ledo back home.

Episode 14 (OVA)
Taking place when Fairlock is still alive, Amy and her friends are telling their delivery stories to a bunch of kids (including Ledo). This leads them to a topic of abandoned ships and of course ghosts. They start scaring the kids by narrating how a delivery girl once experienced such ghastly encounter. Since the word ghost does not exist in the Alliance’s dictionary, Ledo is left to ponder what the heck is this ‘life form that only exists on Earth’. At the climax, everyone is freaked out when Machine Caliber’s face is too close and the alarm is sound. Looks like they’ve spotted an abandoned fleet up ahead. Talk about good timing. So the usual gang are on this ship to find out if there are any survivors and cause of abandonment (Pinion is of course here for the treasure). Amy and her friends tag along too but it clearly looks Amy is very afraid of encountering a ghost. At least she gets to be with Ledo. However it doesn’t mean anything since she is more scared than enjoying the private moment they have together like we hope for ;p. Amy might be seeing things because she thought she saw something but Ledo is confused if this ghost is an enemy or not because Amy too doesn’t want it to be hurt. This girl is so nice she won’t even hurt a fly. Meanwhile Pinion plans to do a scare on Ledo and Amy. You think Saaya and Melty will pass this up? But when Pinion begins his scare under a cloth, Amy instantly faints into Ledo’s arms and Pinion could have lost his feet if Ledo had fired his laser gun closer! So the secret’s out and Amy is not happy her friends are trying to scare her. Meanwhile Ridget and Bellows stumble into the sick bay. Based on the journal Ridget found in the drawer, she knows Gargantia had made contact with this ship before.

About 7 years ago when Ridget was young, along with her friend Storia, they were manually interlocking ships. Ridget didn’t find this practical training beneficial as she confronts Retna about her complaint. Retna tells her to teach the new people how to interlock ships but of course she can’t. It shows that she has much to learn. To someone who bears responsibility, there’s no greater treasure than experience, adds he. This embarrassing moment shuts her up and she gets back to work. When the girls are about to leave, Ridget trips and falls off. Retna manages to catch her but from the position he did so and fall off himself, man, it’s got to hurt a lot and he broke his leg. Later Ridget visits the sickbay to apologize but he is okay with it. He then shows her an ancient camera and takes a picture of her. One day, Retna’s fleet wants to leave Gargantia and he has invited Storia to come along with him. She is torn of leaving her best friend and the guy she loves. Ridget tells her to go with him and is always free to come back to Gargantia. Soon, the friends part with a smile. Back in reality, Pinion and co have discovered the power unit chamber. Seeing crystallized light bugs around it, Pinion deduces the inside of the engine must be totally encased in crystal. As the fleet was dependent on this huge power source and there were lots of interlocking ships that couldn’t make it with their own power, those ships are the one that probably got left behind and the people got on the ships that could go and everyone took off. In short, no ghosts. As for Ledo, he wonders if the ghosts took off too. Oh, he still doesn’t really understand what a ghost is… While Pinion laments he didn’t find any treasure, Ridget sure did. That treasure she salvaged is a black and white photo of Retna and Storia together in the sickbay.

Episode 15 (OVA)
This episode explains how Kugel end up being the Almighty on Providence. This means no Ledo, no Chamber and no Amy and co. After Kugel told Ledo to leave, he tries to hold back several Hideauze but they lunge at him and since they’re too close to the warp, he gets sucked in. When he comes to, he realizes before him is Earth. Linaria is running away from her half-sisters. In a desperate attempt, she prays for the God of the Sky to save her. Great timing. Here comes Striker. The half-sisters don’t believe in such a God although their late father told them about it. Kugel seeks communication but was attacked. He counters attack and all their ships got destroyed! This is what he calls minimal attack? Well, he didn’t know they were this weak. He contacts with Linaria for information but she passes out. After giving her breath oxygen, she proclaims him as that God. And soon the fleet led by half-sister Aleria becomes fearful of Striker. People start worshiping it like a God and Linaria becomes Kugel’s right hand priestess. Of course Aleria and her half-sisters aren’t ready to bow their heads to Kugel because they are believers of the God of the Sea, Oceanid (basically, they’re whale squids). It has been months Kugel has brought order to the fleet. Command of Providence became unstable when power struggle occurred between the older half-sisters. To settle this dispute, Linaria used him as God’s emissary in exchange for information for this planet. But so far there is no information. Linaria is confident they will find some if they contact with other fleets. Kugel takes that as plundering from others since they are pirates. Linaria is fine as long she can do his bidding and is grateful for him, though Kugel says that she is the one with the ability. Aleria and her believers drop bombs into the ocean to summon the whale squids just to teach that Yunboro a lesson. So Aleria goes up to Kugel with excuse that due to Linaria’s conversion in the faith, she has caused the uproar of the Gods. Kugel goes to see for himself and is shocked to see those Hideauze. He engages and kills them all but is baffled they are so weak. Once Aleria and co see the bloodbath, they are paralyzed in fear and will serve Kugel as their new God. Feel like converting now, eh? Kugel is puzzled that they worshiped Hideauze as Gods and because they are so pathetic, he decides to lead them.

Every new fleet discovered, they are ordered to be absorbed into Providence. However there is an epidemic on board and a majority of people are dying. Striker thinks that from the Alliance’s fundamental rule, such weaklings should be disposed off for efficiency. However Kugel scoffs her off that based on her information, they can never reunite with the Alliance. He is now the highest ranking commander and will help them. Therefore the Alliance’s rules are not applicable. Soon Linaria also contracts the disease. She makes a shocking request to Kugel that she wants to die. From what I understand from her speech, she is happy now because she has fulfilled her duties as a priestess. She thanks him that the fleet has regained the prosperity it once lost. She has to die for everyone’s happiness. She is willing to devote her life to the fleet and him. She owes it to him and has survived all this while because of him. Her final wish is to be brought outside where she breathes her last breath. Kugel becomes upset because as God’s emissary to lead the people, he can’t save a girl’s life. Striker tries to reason with him how similar Linaria’s words are to the Alliance (regarding mankind’s happiness) by replaying selective parts of her speeches. Aleria has heard about this so she uses this chance to speak to Kugel. Trying to smooth talk her way of replacing Linaria as his priestess, she tries to sound convincing that she too would like to follow in her footsteps, devote her life, blah, blah, blah. Kugel accepts her. And then kills her!!! OMG! Well, she did say she would gladly sacrifice her life, right? Kugel notes he has eliminated the troublemaker and will take drastic steps. He announces to the fleet he will bring prosperity and then shows a hologram of Linaria using selective parts of the speech to make it sound like she is willing to sacrifice her life for the fleet’s prosperity. Then her coffin slides into the ocean. Everyone is shocked. Next, he also uses selective parts of Aleria’s speech for the same reason and then her coffin too slides down into the sea. He will turn the weak strong and the strong stronger. As both priestesses have sacrificed their lives for the fleet, he promises to bring more prosperity and happiness. The weak shall attain happiness by sacrificing themselves. Either everyone is amazed or frightened by this new ruling so they instantly get down on their knees and plead to him to pass down his teachings. Yeah. Kugel will have them work hard for it. Of course, Kugel also contracts the disease. But he is adamant he will bring prosperity to mankind on this planet not as a commander but God. And that’s probably how Striker analyzed and twisted his objective.

Petit Gargantia
These are actually short web animations lasting around a minute each, shown after each episode was aired to provide a little more information on certain things that happened in that episode. Though, I feel it is more to poke fun at themselves and let viewers have a good chuckle. The reason why the characters are shrunk to chibi size to increase 900% of cuteness and super coolness ;). Somehow I feel Ledo is the one who usually looking surprised or whatsoever at the end. So we get little interesting bits of information from the 13 ‘short movies’ such as minerals needed for the body, language proficiency, the combined ships of Gargantia making it a long 4km stretch, the description of Hideauze, the brief history between Evolvers and Continental Union and yes, Ledo trying to understand about the concept of being chased around by transvestites. All in all, Chamber provides very good and concise explanation (mainly because this segment is running out of time as he always points out) and sometimes serves to just dish up his comeback lines. Really. And would you believe it? This AI has got very detailed pictures and accurate information on the girls’ sizes…

A Place To Call Home
Very interesting. Especially when the origins of Hideauze were revealed. So absorbed I was watching this series that before I knew it, it had already ended. Seriously. The pacing of the story is nicely done as we see how Ledo crashes into Earth and tries to adapt to his new surroundings, then jumping ship and the ultimate discovery about humans and Hideauze. Even though there are some things left unexplained such as how Ledo and Chamber miraculously ended up light years away from their original spot to Earth or even how Earth was miraculously saved by those left behind, the plot and the explanation of other stuffs really did make up for it so much so that those unexplained could be written off as trivial and nothing that important.

The main point of the story is not about the eternal clash between humans and Hideauze or who is more superior (or even human) than the other. It is what constitutes to being human, what makes us human. Sorry if you’re going to hear lots of this word for the rest of the blog since it always goes back to this as this series has lots of merits and points to discuss solely on this topic. If you look and consider from everyone’s point of view, there isn’t really any right or wrong answers and based on your argument points, they can be valid points to ponder. Simply because we as humans despite being primitive creatures are also complex organisms to understand. Men was made imperfect and with lots of flaws so it is understandable that they want to improve themselves to be perfect. But when you toss away all that flaw and become flawless (perhaps just a step closer to being God), can you call yourself human? To human is err and we make lots of mistakes via trial and error so that we can improve every day. That’s why we were made imperfect. To improve. But when you abandon and do not accept your limitations and turn into something else, can you still consider yourself as human as what Hideauze have become? So you see, there is no right or wrong or clear cut answer in this aspect.

The very same concept of what makes a human, human is also being applied to Ledo. See the irony in this? Despite Ledo being a good soldier and has always followed his superior directives but as compared to his AI interface Chamber, it somewhat feels that the robot is more human than the soldier himself! See the way Chamber analyses and provides answers and options for his master and although Ledo is the one who makes the final decision, but don’t you think in the overall point of view, he is like a zombie? Just like all the soldiers in the Alliance. They just listen orders to eliminate Hideauze and don’t really make a real decision on their own. As seen in the final climax, the robot might even develop some sort of human emotions after understanding his pilot for so long but this is just highly speculative. But I don’t think one can brush it off as nonsense too because if they can create an interface which is like an encyclopaedia, analysing lab and decision maker all in one, what are the chances that the artificial intelligence will develop a soul of its own? Yeah, this might be stretching it but I won’t say it is not possible after all the sci-fi that has been dumped into me here. If not bound by its programming to support its pilot, I think Chamber would have been living a better life on its own. You can do everything by yourself, so why need to serve a human?

You can say that the truth has set Ledo free. At first he was agonizing over it when he discovered the shocking history between mankind and Hideauze. Never in his wildest dreams would he thought they were the same because they were so different from head to toe. That’s why information is a very dangerous weapon and it is clearly seen how it affects one’s morality and overall soundness of the mind. But Ledo’s reaction to it all proves one thing: He has a conscious and that makes him human. Once, he was an ultimate cold hearted merciless Hideauze killer. Nobody could change his mind about Hideauze. Stubborn as a mule. As long as you look like it, you’re dead. And then the truth came. He couldn’t kill anymore. He sees the resemblance of humanity within Hideauze. At this point, either you go crazy and become a mindless serial killer or you make your own judgment and do what you believe in what is right. I’m glad he made the right choice. I know it is frustrating to learn that all he has believed in just vaporized in a matter of seconds. But Ledo is able to pick himself up and do the correct stuff. This is what being human is about. He overcomes something, becomes stronger and moves forward. As for Kugel, can you blame him for turning into God after witnessing what happened? He wanted to save but he couldn’t and allowed his twisted side to overcome his rational. But then again, you can’t say he is right or wrong. What would you have done if you were in his position? Abuse it? Fulfil it virtuously? Can you keep your sanity after all that?

I feel the best and coolest ‘character’ to be Chamber. As I said, he is almost like a walking encyclopaedia and knows almost everything if you ask. Who needs Google when you have this kind of cool robot that answers your every question (well, almost) and does everything at your command? Indeed, I really need one for my own personal development too. Too bad you can’t order them through any shopping channel online ;p. Anyway, it is quite interesting to hear his analysis and answers as it provides some insight and some points to ponder. I particularly love the ‘debate’ between Chamber and Striker in the final episode. Both are neither accurately correct nor wrong because it all narrows down to what you believe in. If you are like Ledo who views human should stand equal, then you would support his and Chamber’s argument. if you feel ruling humans with an iron fist is the only way to get those unpredictable beings to properly prosper and prevent chaos, Striker’s views would definitely suit you. Thus, no right or wrong. But does this mean Ledo and Chamber’s view is the truth since they prevailed in the end? Not quite. Although it may seem that the dominant winner at the end usually indicates that their view point would be the truth (seen too many TV shows of the likes), as long as humans exist, there is bound to be that grey area. The way the Machine Calibers exchange replies despite in a monotonous robotic voice, it feels like there is some kind of sarcasm in it. In the end, for Chamber to even quip a little line of mockery shows that he perhaps have adapted and learnt the local culture well enough. That’s like being human, no?

Though they try to give the other characters, especially those from Gargantia a fair share of the spotlight, I just felt that they were just playing minor roles. Maybe it’s because Ledo possesses the highest technology AI interface so what he does is always overwhelming as compared to the ancient technology of Gargantia. Like for Ridget, it’s like the bulk of the series was trying to prepare her to be the ship’s commodore. There were signs. Fairlock always relies on her and he doesn’t seem to be in good health. So what are the chances you’ll see Ridget transforming from being a trusty lackey into a ship captain herself overnight? I suppose these things take time to adjust to (just like how Ledo did when he first arrived) and it’s good she has the people backing her. That’s why Gargantia isn’t really just a bunch of fleet of ships brought together. They’re a family. But when Pinion and Ledo parted ways, all I ever feel her significant role was just to fire Stairway to Heaven. Bellows… Erm, what was supposed to be her role in this anime again? And Bevel? Maybe just a reason for Amy to look forward to living. Rackage? When she was thrown into the horizon by Chamber, I thought I’d seen the last of her and then suddenly she popped up from nowhere on Providence. I have a feeling she stayed around because they picked her up from a certain watery death. Can you imagine the queen of pirates suddenly worshipping God? No way. So she’s just bidding her time till she gets an opportunity to bust out.

Amy might not seem much like a heroine of the series because we are distracted by the firepower of Ledo and Chamber in almost every scene they go into action. She provides support to him in the background and just like the other characters, they are pivotal in giving Ledo the much emotional support during his stay. It’s a good thing he ended up in the hands of good company. Imagine if the pirates found him first. He would have developed a different mentality and thinking despite Chamber being his sole counsellor. I notice that they put in some scenes of Ledo and Amy. It’s like they’re trying to hint to us that some sort of romance may blossom between them. But from what I have seen, they are just little distractions that won’t really turn into full bloom romance. I know that is still possible, but I can’t see it myself happening for some time to come. I mean, what is there not to like about this foreigner from space? He is different. He has got a big cool useful resourceful Yunboro. More importantly, he has got good looks. Even Melty and Saaya really dig him and if not for Amy being the closest to him or being her best friend, I think that hot-boy-chaser Melty would have taken him as her own.

As for Pinion, he might seem like some carefree dude who is just interested in salvaging treasures from the deep (and probably some guy who looked like he just freshly came out from the Grease movie). At some points, maybe a little selfish. Once you get to know him better, you’ll know he is a good guy. Sporting. Fun. Just like everyone else, he has a dream. He got a little too carried away and desperate in trying to achieve that by using Ledo and Chamber but of course he sought their permission first. In a way, they’re on the same wavelength. It must be nice when you have achieved your dream and the better the longer you hold on to it. But at some point, you will have to wake up to reality and I suppose if you want to continue surviving, that is what you have to do because reality is going to hit hard.

As you may have noticed the simple lives of the people living on Gargantia. A simple phenomenon like rain can bring so much joy to the people (or in some twisted way if you are onboard Providence). It is another lesson that we can learn from them. Although they have some hi-tech modern conveniences, what they are doing is living day by day to the fullest. I guess it is a good thing you don’t see everyone here stuffing their faces with their iPhone, iPad, Tablet, Android or Galaxy, eh? Yup. Very good thing. People learn to interact and be nice to each other face to face instead of depending online social sites. In view of this, thinking about all that training to operate your Machine Caliber must seem like a very daunting and complicated task to the commoners. Ledo is a pro because he has been doing it his entire life! It’s like he really depends on it. Then once he learns the simple and less sophisticated ways of Gargantia, he is able to live life simpler, freer and even better. See how well he adapts at the end of it all? Of course it is a must for a soldier and any human being if they want to survive. So it doesn’t matter if you come from the deep space or just living on the surface of the sea. Home is where your heart is and the people around you whom you call as family. Humans are social creatures too so we need the company of each other for help and support. United we stand, divided we fall.

I am not sure how many other giant fleets are out there on Earth. Despite the abundance of supply, the good people of Gargantia promote good values in only taking what they need so as not to waste. This is something I feel the series is trying to hint to us because currently with the amount of wastage we are producing every day, it is like hastening the planet’s doom. Also, instead of hording, the people of Gargantia share what they’ve got. Like in Flange’s case when he parted ways from Gargantia, it may seem selfish he wants to do things his own way but despite joining up with Pinion and finding the treasures, he still believes in sharing with others because if you hoard them all, this will lead to jealousy and typical human nature to want to steal it from you, right? So why start a war when you can foresee such trouble? In short, the simple life is much better and fulfilling once you are done away with the so called modern conveniences. Convenient, yes. Fulfilling, not really.

At first it was really odd to hear 2 different sets of language. Whenever Gargantia locals are speaking in Japanese, Ledo will be heard talking in some gibberish language (later as I found out, the language is based on German). Vice versa too. So when Ledo for our convenience is conversing in Japanese, the Gargantia locals are sounding like gibberish instead. I mean it is cool to point out that since they are from different worlds, they should be speaking a different language. But as Ledo tries his best to adapt and speak the language, I notice the gradual and slight improvement in his accent and pronunciation that in the end, he really sounded like a natural. At first he tries out simple words and sounded like a robot with a lisp. The more he adds to the vocabulary, it’s like a foreigner trying to speak his Japanese. For realism I guess, for harder words or those that really need complicated explanations like his Alliance propaganda crap, Ledo will switch back to his gibberish talk and let Chamber do the talking and translating. This shows he isn’t confident in their language yet but need to get his point over to Amy or whoever he is talking to. Of course the more he spends his time on Gargantia and like they say practice makes perfect, his speech smoothens but you can still pick out the accent, although you will notice an improvement. Before you know it, Ledo has blended and sounds like any male Japanese seiyuu voicing his role. You might even forget he was speaking a different gibberish language in the first place.

For the voice acting, Tomokazu Sugita as the voice of Chamber, despite putting on that monotonous robotic voice for the entire duration of the series, somehow there is a part inside me that has this feeling that he will burst into his comedic role as Gintoki from Gintama. I know it won’t happen but his voice… I just had that feeling there might be a chance. Like you know, maybe Chamber would go haywire and suddenly you hear him become Gin-san… Maybe it’s just me because I have seen too many animes and just like in the case of Ridget, who is voiced by Sayaka Ohara, I have this feeling she might burst into her Erza Scarlet character of Fairy Tail fame. Perhaps even Aria The Animation’s Alicia. Despite having squids in the form of whale squids, Hisako Kanemoto isn’t that “~de geso” Ika-chan or one of the whale squids (anyway they don’t talk). She voices Amy and if you are familiar with her other cutie girl roles like the titular character in Kotoura-san, Mai in Photokano and Kanata from Sora No Woto, you have an idea what she sounds like here. Melty is voiced by Kana Asumi and she is very identifiable in that trademark voice of hers. Just stopping short of turning her character into a joker. Don’t expect Nyaruko of Haiyore! Nyaruko-san, Fumi of Hayate No Gotoku fame or Sasami of Sasami-san@Ganbaranai. Other casts include Kaito Ishikawa as Ledo (Manatsu Souda in Red Data Girl), Katsuyuki Konishi as Pinion (Kamina in Gurren Lagann), Ayumi Tsunematsu as Rackage (Maiya in Fate/Zero), Ayumi Fujimura as Striker (Misaki in Kaichou Wa Maid-sama), Shizuka Itou as Bellows (Haruka in Amagami SS), Yuka Terasaki as Bevel (Basil of Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn) and Yuuki Ono as Kugel (Zenkichi in Medaka Box).

Although Minori Chihara does not have a voice acting role in this series, she does sing the opening theme, Kono Sekai Wa Bokura Wo Matte Ita. Your typical anime pop style. I can only imagine the kind of character she will play if she does have a voicing role in this anime. Yup. I’ve pigeonholed her to be casted for monotonous and emotionless girls like Chiaki from Minami-ke, Horizon from Kyoukai Senjou No Horizon, Teresa from Seikon No Qwaser and Minami from Lucky Star. At least when she sings, she doesn’t put on such a voice ;p. The ending theme is Sora To Kimi No Message by Choucho. It’s an easy-going pace suitable for winding down and taking things easy after watching all the drama, action and suspense for that episode. Watch Amy happily sailing on her surf kite and riding the calm gentle waves. Makes you want to have a go at it.

The art and drawing are pretty standard Japanese anime style and with several cute girls and Ledo as a bishonen, you can’t go wrong. However I just find that the cute girls like Amy, Melty, Saaya and Bellows have their cuteness enhanced when they have this sort of orange-reddish blush on their cheeks. But… It also makes it look like they have some sort of boil or pimple! Too shiny? But I guess this feature is not available on Ridget since she doesn’t smile as often. So does this mean she is not cute? I would rather say her as a mature cool beauty. Besides, who has the best fanservice scene when the ladies are in their swimsuit? That is, if you are into mature ladies. And if you’re the lolicon type, Ordum’s assistant actually fits that bill… No kidding. That doctor really has a loli as his assistant! Characters aside, the art and drawing for the background and scenery are good to look at. You can feel that Gargantia is made up of parts old and new and you can just feel how old some sections are when you see rust or moss growth on the walls and floor. The surface of the sea may be bland but when you combine it with the horizon meeting with sky, I think it’s quite a breath taking view, whether it is at sunset or in the dark of the night lighted up by the stars. The underwater scenes may not be as good especially when Ledo took on an army of whale squids. It’s like as though he is fighting in space. Feels like no water resistance…

On a trivial note, the official English title for this series is Gargantia the Verdurous Planet. As far as my own definition is concerned, I thought verdurous would mean lush fresh greeneries. Like you know, the forest and land. But seeing there is no land at all and only the large ocean, I kept wondering how verdurous would fit in. Maybe it is referring to the abundance of natural supplies that this reborn planet has to offer. But then again, is this using the term verdurous correctly? Not that I often use this word (heck, I may not even know how to apply this word and never will in my life), but I just feel verdurous in this definition do not fit the setting of this anime. What do you think? I also get the feeling that the Hideauze name is derived from the word ‘hideous’. Ugly. That’s what they look like to us humans, no? Oh… Hideauze is starting to sound like Hideous R Us… And since they originally came from the same species as us it could mean…

Now that we have questioned and pondered what it is like to be human, can we live it out? Well, being able to think independently and to come out with different ideas or methods is part of being human. Who am I to enforce my values and ideals onto others? And even if I did that, can you blame me for it because I am only being human. I guess it is natural for us to always be different, thus conflicts arising. We fight, we forget and we continue to do so without remembering how it all started. That’s what being human is all about. So imperfect but yet think of being perfect. Tough isn’t it, being human. That is why I have decided that instead of getting my ass up to help save the planet, I choose to continue to sit and watch more animes and let the ‘professional world savers’ do the job. I am sure they’ll do a much better dedicated job than me. At least I’m not a hardcore otaku watching animes 24 hours a day, read mangas 24 hours a day, play games 24 hours a day, hoard and buy up all the anime merchandise and mementos (including limited edition only), cut out and waste materials to design costume for cosplay just to attend anime conventions packed people contributing mega carbon footprint, waste time being in a fan club to fervently support an idol who probably doesn’t know you exist at all. Thank goodness I’m not like that. Just a little :). But bad enough? Hey, I am only being human! But is an otaku, human in the first place?

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