Suisei no Gargantia – 01

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While retreating from a failed all-out attack on an alien enemy’s base Galactic Alliance pilot Lt. Red (Ledo) and his mobile weapon Chamber are swallowed up into a space-time distortion. He wakes up after six months of hibernation to witness several humans trying to open his hatch. Hungry for answers, when they leave Chamber alone for the night he gets out to explore, but he is discovered by locals Amy and Pinion. He grabs Amy as a hostage and runs, but he ends up outside, where Chamber ascertains that they’re on a giant seagoing ship on Earth, a world mentioned only in legend.

Not that it was hard, but this series kicks Majestic Prince out of the water for pure space battle porn, starting with a battle to end all battles that not surprisingly goes pear-shaped for the humans. We went into this episode with high expectations. The director helmed and drew several episodes of the original Eureka Seven. It’s produced by Prod I.G., which usually does top-notch work. And the series comp and script were penned by Urobuchi Gen, who we know is capable of excellent stuff, having also written Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Requiem for the Phantom.

Amy, Red

Throw in some great female seiyus (including the voices of Kotoura, Sasami, Koko, Mei, and Erza), and what looks like a huge budget, and you have all the ingredients for success. And succeed it does. The opening battle is a tour de force of sci-fi mayhem, with a lot of different weapons and formations and tactics flying around the screen. After that thrilling and auspicious start, the episode slows down and takes its time; we go from a fantastic hi-tech world to somewhere that wouldn’t be out of place in a Miyazaki film, only with battleships that float rather than fly. We can be lucky to see one of these worlds in a series; this one has both.

The rolling-out of characters is also kept to a minimum, allowing us to get a feel for what we’re in for. Red is a fish-of-out-water, but he’s not alone; his trusty mecha Chamber is there to help him, and it won’t be long before he can communicate with the natives, the vast majority of whom are quite attractive. Swift, fire-haired Amy in particular is a great contrast to silver-haired, cool, calculating Red. They’re ideal stand-ins for their respective worlds, and it should be fun to learn more about this new world Red finds himself in, and  what he does with the adventure fate has handed him.

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Rating: 9 (Superior)

Stray Observations:

  • Nothing says “implacable foe” like when an attack that massive and well-coordinated still fails.
  • We liked what Colonel Kugel said before heading to his death. He’s not about to let Red die for him before his time.
  • This episode flowed very well throughout, and we loved the shift from the breakneck space battle to the slower and more casual pace of the second half on Earth.

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