Suisei no Gargantia – 05

Gargantia

Red, tired of being on standby, seeks out work, but there are no jobs available. An alarm sounds and Gargantia’s engines stop, signaling a “calm day”, when everyone but the repair teams relaxes. Red, Amy, and Bevel join Pinion, Melty and Saya for a grill party. Pinion sends Red on a mission to a seedy section of town, while Amy, Melty and Saya have a race to the top of the tower, where Red is chased and has to be rescued by Amy. Red completes his mission, and when he returns the party has grown much larger, and Pinion using a sun-baked Chamber as a grill.

As the last two episodes has shown, Suisei no Gargantia is not always going to be about a big battle, or even have any significant conflict that must be resolved. It’s executed its battles well, but its just as adept at slice-of-life, as this week is akin to a lazy sunday; at time to kick back and enjoy the beautiful day. Bevel asked Red what humanity where he’s from would do if the Hideauze were defeated, and Red isn’t sure, but this week his eyes are opened to any number of possibilities. That would be a time for celebration, joy and relaxation, and this episode has all three in spades. Everyone is having a lot of fun, enjoying good food and good company.

There’s a little bit of everything: girls stripping down to skimpy bikinis (even Ridgett partakes); said girls stripping Red down (and admiring with his physique); Red being chased up the tallest tower in the fleet by more admirers; a surf-kite race; a sketchy transaction that turns out to be a purchase of sauce. And perhaps most amusing is Pinion subtly tricking Chamber into serving as a grill, making Chamber the hero of the party, since without him there would be no food. And what was originally supposed to be a small, secret get-together became a huge shindig. It wouldn’t be the most exciting series in the world if every episode was this leisurely, but every once in a while is fine.

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Rating: 7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • Teaching Red how to swim was cute.
  • Chamber doesn’t get girls.
  • We like the idea that Pinion is relaxing even though he has work to do and has simply delegated it to his team. 
  • We want a surf kite. It would shorten our commute considerably.
  • The series doesn’t show Red getting sexually assaulted, only the aftermath, with his borrowed hawaiian shirt torn and covered in red lip marks. Kinda corny!
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Chihayafuru 2 – 17

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The match with Fujisaki begins, and Fujisaki jumps out to a huge lead, dominating the Mizusawa players with their superior speed, strength, and precision, a legacy that has been built in Coach Sakurazawa’s 12-year reign. Chihaya remembers what Kana calling Yamashiro’s reading “multicolor”, and is able to swipe her first card from Rion by “hearing” its color. She takes another by borrowing a move from Megumu, but jams her right index finger. Not letting the pain get to her, she swipes another card with queen-like speed, prompting Shinobu, watching in the crowd, to recall her match with Chihaya.

Fujisaki is the most focused, disciplined, and talented team Mizusawa has yet faced. Even Desktomu’s scouting notes can only go so far, and no amount of preparation is adequate for the match that begins to unfold this week. In this beginning, Fujisaki simply takes care of business. It doesn’t particularly matter to them who they’re playing; they’re the best, period. That’s not to say there aren’t chinks in the armor; the first one to rear its head is Rion’s very specific way of playing. She’s a brilliant prodigy to be sure, and quite possibly autistic, but the ability to hear colors and otherworldly game sense may not be enough against Chihaya, who has been constantly diversifying her game to overcome every weakness.

We breathe a sigh of relief when she finally snaps out of her funk, remembers Kana’s sage words, and snatches her first card with authority. When she sneaks under Rion’s hand for another score, the flusterer becomes the flustered and Chihaya builds momentum. She’s not the only one who won’t go quietly into the night; both Taichi and Porky have something to prove, and are going to give it everything they have. Never has Mizusawa’s back been more up against the wall, but there’s still a glimmer of hope that they can pull out a win…one card at a time.


Rating: 8 (Great)

Stray Observations:

  • Shinobu immediately deems the match she’s grudgingly attended to be a boring waste of time, but we imagine she’ll grow more and more interested if Chihaya can take Rion down and other Miszusawa players rise to the occasion.
  • She also doesn’t fathom just how much inspirational power and influence her position as queen carries. How can she, when she’s never bothered to use it?
  • Rion has never won a tournament, and this match is her first chance to be a winner.
  • Chihaya’s subtle, deft use of her injury to throw Rion off her rhythm was pretty awesome.