I decided against taking an in-depth look at Susei no Gargantia and instead focus on how the show has improved in its second outing. Surprisingly it’s a bit more enjoyable than the debut, but there are still problems that linger.
Letting Amy, performed by Hisako Kanemoto, have a much larger role in this episode added some much needed character to the show. Kanemoto’s voice acting does much to liven up the atmosphere. I’m not saying the performances behind Chamber or Ledo are bad, but their monotone quality desperately needed Amy’s bubbly atitude to create some contrast and texture in the dialogue.
The overall visual direction improves as well. There seems to be much more detail in the backgrounds, now manicured with extensive amounts of CG that highlight many of Gargantia’s moving parts. Lighting and color selection help frame the beautiful visual set pieces. These two elements give the show a much more cohesive look that’s both bright and lively.
My favorite part of the episode though is the exploration of the language and cultural divide between Ledo and the crew of the Gagantia. There are little nuances in the script that depict how human life in space is different than life on Earth. At one point Amy offers Ledo some fried fish, which he is hesistant to eat because Chamber describes it to him as a corpse. He reluctantly accepts the gift after he see’s Amy eat half of it. The whole moment serves as a lens, as the script gives the audience a bit of food for thought: How different is life in the celestial heavens?
Now the one thing that hasn’t really changed is the action sequences. They are still slow and plodding and dont do much to change the pacing of the episode. The final scene where Ledo takes on the pirates moves just as quickly as the twenty minutes of dialogue before it. Sadly the only reason I haven’t moved this down to the ugly is because the terrible sequence was placed at the end of the episode rather than the beginning.
I’ll be really disappointed if the action continues to be this sluggish. Sure, my expectations might be a bit inflated because mechas and pirates are involved, but the choreography in these moments don’t even imitate mediocrity. These are harsh criticisms but I’m glad the sequence only takes up a fraction of the episode.
The series as a whole has a lot of potential, and I hope it can continue to improve on its weaknesses. If it does that it might become something truly special by the time the conclusion rolls around. Production I.G., please don’t let me down!