Suisei no Gargantia – 08

suisei8

Before Fleet Commander Fairlock passes away, he gives command of the fleet to Ridgett. It’s a surprise even to her, and not popular with other ship owners, who are eyeing Flange’s imminent departure. As Fairlock’s funeral procession makes its way from one end of the fleet to the other, Amy and Saya say goodbye to Melty, and Amy learns Ledo is also leaving. When Bevel confronts him, Ledo tells him his mind is made up. Ridgett manages to say goodbye to Fairlock before his sand-filled boat slides into the sea, and she asks the assembled citizens of the fleet to lend her their strength. Ledo says goodbye to Amy, and Flange’s fleet pulls away.

As that summary made clear, this is an episode of many goodbyes. Gargantia is about to say goodbye to Flange’s fleet, a huge loss that affects everyone aboard, but then Fairlock’s death means they must also say goodbye to him, while Ridgett says goodbye to her training wheels and assumes command. Amy and Ledo also say goodbye, but because as Amy said, they hadn’t made much progress as a couple anyway, and she can’t leave Bevel, the Doctor, and Saya behind. Heck, even Melty is leaving. All these goodbyes, and the deftness with which the episode juggles and presents them, made this the saddest episode of Gargantia yet, but also one of the best.

Bellows, Amy

After Fairlock dies, the rest of the episode’s events wrap around the central event of his wonderfully conceived funeral rites. He is placed in a boat at the bow of the fleet and sent aft, as people fill the boat with sand one by one. He’s then sent down a slide at the fleet’s stern, and sinks to the bottom of the sea he plied his entire life. It’s a gorgeous centerpiece without a speck of melodrama. In fact, the episode does a great job showing the pain everyone with cause to feel pain feels (Pinion and Ledo, notably, don’t shed any tears). Even Amy tries to keep it together, but can’t. Her new friend is going away and may never return, after all.

This was an episode full of solemn grief, and every emotional moment is earned. But Ledo has Amy’s welfare at heart, and doesn’t believe he can adequately protect her or anyone else if he stays on Gargantia. In a way, he has the same problem as Ridgett has earlier in the episode – he can’t see beyond himself, his own abilities or weaknesses or obligations. But Ridget is going to seek help from her colleagues and friends to become a better leader for Gargantia. Ledo is going to go kill things underwater to line Pinion’s pockets.

8_great
Rating: 8 
(Great)

Stray Obervations:

  • Just wanted to note again how badass that funeral ceremony was. We’re also glad Ridgett didn’t miss it.
  • The schematic on the wall in Ridgett’s office, with the lights going out on the connections to the Flange ships, is another subtle way of showing the loss going on in this episode. And when a couple lights come back on, it’s a relief.
  • The pic of ‘Lil Ridgett is adorable.
  • We’re wondering if he and Melty will meet up on the new Flange fleet; though she hasn’t shown more than a superficial attraction to him.
  • Amy and Ledo don’t have a long goodbye, or even spend their final moments alone. It’s almost a non-goodbye. Though we can’t imagine they’ll never see each other again.

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.

7_very_good
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!

Suisei no Gargantia – 04

Bevel, Red

As Gargantia welcomes a new ship to their fleet, Red and Chamber are put to work moving and storing cargo, partially in payment for the collateral damage they caused as itemized in Ridgett’s invoice. The organizational nature of the people on Gargantia as inefficient and undisciplined, but when he meets the fleet “sage” Dr. Oldham and Amy’s brother Bevel, he learns that they’re not a strictly military organization. Bevel realizes Red has fashioned a flute, and when he plays it Red gets a flash from his childhood that brings tears to his eyes.

With no battles to fight for the interim, Red gets restless, and the longer he observes the people of Gargantai around him, the more frustrated he gets with their lack of organization. He’s come from a society (if you can even call it that) in which even children are put through drills and conditioning immediately to become useful fighters in the war with the Hideauze. The purpose of humans where he’s from is to fight the Hideauze, and the war stimulates their development. The frail and weak are “culled”, as Chamber coldly puts it. Red can’t help but initially view someone like Bevel as useless, it’s just the way his worldview developed.

What Red still needs to fathom is that the Gargantia doesn’t exist solely to fight their enemies, in this case pirates. Their mission is to simply survive and do everything they can to live in peace. Again, Red’s from a place where it’s understood that the only way to survive is to be of use to the Alliance and to fight the Hideauze, but that isn’t the case on earth. Red starts to understand this when he watches Gargantia mobilize to to fight, but to catch precious rainwater, crucial to survival. And in the absense of orders, he’s on standby, just like Gargantia when there’s no emergency. Bevel also teaches him there are other ways to be needed beyond military service.

8_great
Rating: 8 (Great)