Talking Points: Suisei no Gargantia – Episode 5

Talking Points: Suisei no Gargantia - Episode 5

Editor’s Note: I’m glad everyone has been enjoying Talking Points! These articles feel a lot more engaging to write because I feel like I’m writing ‘to’ people instead of ‘at’ them. That doesn’t really make too much sense, but I hope you all get the gist! I’ll be looking to expand on content like this in the future to promote discussion of a medium that we all enjoy and love! 

So in this episode of Suisei no Gargantia, Ledo gets a job. Wait. What? Nothing blows up or explodes? No one experiences a brief moment where they question their idenity? No way! This is Urobuchi Gen we’re talking about! To be completely serious though, this episode featured very nuanced character development and cute girls in bikinis, two things I really enjoy. It was a reminder that the Gargantia is a place of self discovery, and not of the angst that barred its teeth last week.

Amy, Saya and Melty in Bikinis

Most of the tweets this week had to do with the scantily clad females. I don’t blame them. It was a fun episode that didn’t really ask many thought provoking questions like the last few did. Instead we’re treated to stripping women and cross-dressing men, the perfect formula for scintillation and comedy. However, one tweet did catch my eye about how the narrative will be structured going forward. Let’s take a look at it:

@somekindofthing: Best #gargantia twist ending: nothing happens. It remains as peaceful as Aria from here on out.

Obviously, this tweet was using hyperbole, but it made its point. It’s an episode that was content with giving viewers a look into the world of Gargantia and how Ledo fit into the bigger picture. There was no calamity to deal with, or social issue to dissect. Instead, it focused on Ledo spending time with the friends he has made while he searched to find a job that he could do.

The premise seems innocuous enough, but it tackles one of Urobuchi Gen’s favorite themes, finding a purpose in life. Ledo, who has fought Hideauzu his entire existence, no longer needs to since he’s stranded on Earth. He’s stripped of his one goal and left to just carving flutes all day. Lost in the vast emptiness of boredom, he searches for a way to be useful. While being able to aid someone else is a nice consequence of his quest, his primary desire is to satisfy his own need to be constructive and find a place in the alien environment he is in.

While his job hunt might not be a significant plot point going forward, its important to note that this is a show written by Urobuchi. I’m surprised that a theme such as finding meaning in life is tackled in such a subtle fashion. Some sort of reality shaking catharsis seems more appropriate for his style. Maybe this is the first step for a writer whose obvious talent is gaining some maturity. Only time will tell!

That’s it for this week! How are you feeling about the fourth episode? Do you agree or disagree with the points made? Until next week!

8 thoughts on “Talking Points: Suisei no Gargantia – Episode 5

  1. Personally I didn’t mind the fanservice since it suited the light-hearted feel of this episode, although I do hope we don’t see too much of this over the course of the series, lest things get a bit too silly. As the fanservice itself goes, I was actually pretty impressed – I approve of bikini-clad girls who for a change aren’t stick-thin with ridiculously huge melon breasts. And of course, it was nice to see things balanced out with Ledo’s own fanservice contribution. An equal-opportunity episode, if you will. 😉

  2. Yeah, I prefer your “talking points” series of posts; it’s always nice to read your thoughts about the episode. So yeah, I get your gist.

    As for Urobuchi, it’s really nice to see how he can craft a good story using a peaceful theme that departs from his usual style; in fact he’s already proven himself as a good writer with how charming and classy this anime has been thus far (in my opinion that is). It really shows his capability as one of the best anime producers of our time.

  3. Most productive “beach” episode I’ve ever seen! Ledo continues to search for a job, and by extension, his role on Gargantia. We get to observe more about the side characters: Pinion slacking off, Saya and Melty ogling at shirtless Ledo and discussing food vs weight like normal girls, Bevel MacGyvering an automatic fanning machine, Ridgett the stern-looking overseer casually joining the party directly from finishing an inspection. Meanwhile, Ledo’s mission more areas in the floating citadel that is Gargantia, which includes, yes, a seedy red light district. We also get more windsurfer-glider action and Chamber filling in as substitute barbecue grill (not without vaporizing some meat first, to both hilarious and grim effect if we recount the fates of the pirates in episode two). And last but not least, of course, is the spotlight on renowned ero-illustrator Naruko Hanaharu’s vividly gorgeous character art. May this be his first of many more mainstream collaborations. Altogether, this is in my eyes one of the best episodes yet in this season of anime. Those who harp on “the plot going nowhere” and awaiting a sudden grimdark development have gravely mistaken how Urobuchi writes. He may have been made infamous to many people by Madoka’s devastating third episode, but Urobuchi has always carefully set up the tone, atmosphere, and intent in each of his works first episodes. From episode one, Ledo was presented with the prospect of having earned the right to eat, sleep, and reproduce in a respite from his life-long military servitude on an artificial paradise world Avalon, a prospect he didn’t very much care for. Circumstances brought him to Earth, a living paradise, where he didn’t really have much of a choice but to just that. To live.

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