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Gargantia ep2: starting over


It’s interesting to see humanity stare at itself in the mirror. The timeline of Gargantia isn’t set in stone, yet. But what we’re seeing are nearly two different species of people meeting for the first time. And in two episodes we see a humanity on the cusp of a violent extinction, then we see humanity attempting to pull itself up in a world that meets its bare minimu requirements. Space is no friend to the new humans, and Earth seems to have moved on from the humans long ago. Welcome to the new Earth, the verdurous planet of Gargantia.

The stalemate from the previous episode ends short of any violent fireworks display, technically its still a stalemate, but at least the people have calmed down from being on high alert. The leadership on this giant floating barge is now debating on their next course of action. HA! Good luck with that! It seems that they mean to take what they need from Ledo (Red?) and Chamber. They’re under the misconception that the machine in front of them is piloted by someone, and that Ledo is his companion.

We then get to see Amy’s home life. Looks like she has a sick little brother who likes dreaming and building model ships, it’s pretty classic stuff.

Later on in the day, negotiations continue as Amy brings Ledo (and Chamber) food in form of a raw fish. Heh, Ledo and Chamber view it as a disgusting marine creature carcass (which technically it is), I guess they enjoy eating delicious nano paste, or whatever space food they serve on their home planet of Avalon. Regardless, this is the start of some basic dialogue between the two. Ledo gives her his background story, stuff we already know, and Amy gives us the story of this new Earth that we know nothing about. Turns out that this set up would probably make Kevin Costner pretty happy. Earth is now pretty much all water. Bummer.

According to Chamber’s records, Earth froze over ages ago. And Earth was evacuated for it. Strangely, this make me think of a dying star, but with the way Earth is now, that may or may not be right. If I remember my planetary science (I used to be obsessed with this stuff as a kid), a dying star expands greatly as it’s dying. I suppose that could explain Earth losing so much heat that it ices over, and then gaining enough to melt ALL of it back to liquid form. On this Earth, the ice has melted and the ecology has changed greatly because of it. Humanity literally survives off of salvage, the ships and their materials. And as far as anyone knows, there’s no land out there. Everyone just seems to live on these derelict ships and barges, and survives off of the marine life. As far as for humans, this planet doesn’t seem very verdurous to me. Another knock against humanity is that they must rely on these “galaxy currents” to supply them with electricity. I might of missed a detail, but it seems that they need these phenomena to stay afloat as well. Basically, an active and mobile sea life is the only one for humanity. the fleet becomes immobile, or is unlucky enough to not make it to another “sea galaxy” in time, and they’re doomed.

Oh yeah. And pirates. They got pirates.

As the fleet leadership debates their stance on Ledo and Chamber again, they also send out Bellows and her salvagers to check the area where they found their new visitors. Unfortunately, a large and swift pirate fleet descends upon them. It’s damned effective as any of the ships used for protection are swiftly destroyed and the salvage vehicle is commandeered quickly and easily.

Amy sees her friends in danger and runs to Ledo and Chamber (I can’t believe I’m consistently referring to the machine as a character) for assistance. What happens from that point may or may not be viewed as a mistake to viewers. Ledo agrees, stating that their help can be used in negotiations later. The assault he unleashes is a military commander’s dream. This complicated hostage situation is solved with precision lasers and I.D. codes to perfection! Unfortunately, if I was one of those hicks that doesn’t even know what an autonomous A.I. is, then this is pretty damn terrifying. The lasers kill so completely that only vapor is left behind. Instant. Total. Death. Seeing this display of power can only change the game in negative ways as far as I’m concerned.

By the end of this episode, I think I got a chance to really soak in how involved and well put together this series is right now. It’s beautiful. It’s not being annoyingly coy with answers, instead it’s developing its plot without teasing. And the distrust among humanity comes across clearly.

The world of Gargantia isn’t helpless, but I sure get the sense that it’s hard and relentless. What real hope there is in this show is buried by the daily needs of survival from day to day. And I’m very intrigued at the possibility of learning how these people pulled themselves out of a Stone Age and near extinction, to the place they are today. How hard is it to survive in a world where there’s no land to farm or even traverse? Also, if we’re going with the whole Water World theme, are there any merpeople?

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