Home > Episode by Episode > Gargantia ep6: comes alive!

Gargantia ep6: comes alive!

I haven’t really loved Gargantia up to this point. It’s beautiful, well written, has a wonderful concept and execution and decent characters. So what’s the problem. The show was just content to be itself. Its main character had no personality or motivation. And the show was just content to slowly pull Ledo out of his shell and teach him about the world. He was as much machine as Chamber. So what’s my point, this episode seeks to correct that. For me to feel passion for a show, the show has to show passion for itself. I think that’s what’s happened with this episode.

After the BBQ and Ledo’s successful acquisition of the “treasure” last episode, he’s left contemplating the usefulness of all the money he’s been given. It’s funny to see that his mind can’t comprehend his wages and he starts to assume that he’s been grossly overpaid. Thankfully Amy always comes around just in time to reel him in. Speaking of which, we see that it’s prime fishing season for the Gargantia, and Ledo wants to use his piloting skills to get a Yunboro in the water and contribute. Too bad it’s not as simple as he’s been used to experiencing. Chamber is a super super A.I. with systems specifically tailored to Ledo’s success. A grunt diving Yunboro is a dumb machine in every sense of the word. And all he manages to do is flounder in the ocean. Once again, it’s Chamber that ends up getting chosen for the job. Though like most tasks that require finesse, he’s not suited to the task and it yields quite disastrous results.

Amy takes Ledo to lunch to help show him how to use his wages, though it’s not easy getting Ledo to take in life’s finer points. While she dines on a diverse plate of seafood, Ledo is content munching on a piece of seaweed bread. It’s what I imagine is the plainest food you can get on this ship. Their lunch is interrupted by Amy’s two best friends who remind her that she’s gotta hurry up and get ready for the festival that people have been talking about.

Left alone and back at the hangar fixing another ocarina (I’m calling it an ocarina and that’s that), Pinion finds him and tries to wine him and dine him at a restaurant. His objective is to use the idle Ledo and his machine for salvage work. While doing this he asks Ledo some very important questions. Questions dealing with his desires and motivations. He questions Ledo’s ability to be trusted when he can’t even express himself, therefore no one has a chance to know him. All the while, he’s letting Ledo taste the best food the Gargantia has to offer. And in the background we see the Amy in her friends belly dancing on stage, with boobs, butts and thighs on display. This is a classic debauchery scene right here, and I loved every moment of it. While much of this show is subtle, yet beautiful, this scene is quite blunt with how seductive and feverishly paced it seems. It builds up nicely to show the viewer how Ledo’s senses are being overwhelmed by all he’s being introduced to. To make things even more entertaining, we see Bellows arrive, proposing just as Pinion is doing, that Ledo join her salvage team. It turns into a battle between college recruiters, as they attempt to entice a promising prospect to join their alma mater. I really enjoyed all this.

The atmosphere is somewhat ruined though, as the main course is delivered and Ledo freaks the hell out. It turns out that the Hideauze are very similar to the new squids that roam this thawed out, renewed Earth. But even that moment adds to the concoction of hormones, emotions and senses. Fear, lust and hunger all come together inside Ledo, and you can actually see a change in him. There’s a fire in his eyes, and a purpose in his heart now. Rather than waiting on standby for a pirate attack, or some news from the Alliance that may never come, he’s got a job with Chamber that he can do. And he knows why he wants to do it. The important thing is not that he has to do something. It’s not an order, or just some logical conclusion that makes the best use of his time. It’s something he desires to do that give him purpose. Finally, I can see some passion in this show that I haven’t seen since the first episode.

Between Bellows and Pinion, Ledo takes what I think is the wise decision of Bellows. But more on that in a moment.

After the Dinner of Debauchery as I would call it, Ledo finds Chamber, who has made a royal mess of fishing in the prime area. Ledo commisions a plan that calls for a net and the help of several locals to real in as much of the fish as possible. And the plan works perfectly. This shows that he’s comfortable in his position on the Gargantia finally, and it also shows that he understands how things are done around there. There’s so much growth from him in this episode that I couldn’t help but smile.

Later that night, he’s with Amy looking at the sea. They talk about their day, the sea and Amy tells Ledo that he needs to practice his flute playing more. It’s something Ledo can do with all the spare time he has with the fleet. It’s something normal people do while they’re not working. It’s a hobby. And it’s a very basic and important thing for Ledo to learn. He then thinks about how Amy has to practice her dancing, and actually requests a viewing. I think Ledo is actually starting to discover his sexual desire. It’s a beautiful scene.

They then go to see Amy’s brother, where Ledo tells him of his decision to join a salvage team. The most important words spoken during that conversion were the ones he said stating his desire to do salvage work.

The next day (I assume) we see Ledo doing salvage work with Bellows by what looks like an old tanker. the precision work is done well by Chamber under Ledo’s guidance. And Bellows is more than happy that she won out on their assistance. But the scene with the calamari at the restaurant gains new significance when we see one of the whale squids Bellows previously mentioned show up during the salvage. It’s apparently not just Ledo’s sight that see a Hideauze in these creatures, even Chamber’s sensors go off when they see it. And I have a feeling this salvage work is going to be the key to moving this story forward.

I adore this episode. It seems to tie a bow around Ledo’s progression up until this point. His humanity was poked and prodded at in previous episodes. But in this one, his humanity is culled from a hole, like a snake charmer would do to a cobra. I love how his desires were teased and played with to get a reaction out of it. All of this episode seemed to play with his instincts and senses beautifully. And the scene of Amy dancing with the blue ocean, and the green haze rising from it was one of my favorite scenes aesthetically so far this year.

It’s far too early to say this show will be great, but it’s performed quite well up until this point. I wonder many things going forward though. I wonder if or when Ledo’s desire take an ugly turn. I wonder when or if his burgeoning humanity will be exploited. I wonder how closely the squids on this planet are related to humanity’s ultimate enemy. I find that notion very interesting, I’ve seen and read hypotheses that believe that if we didn’t evolve into highest, most dominant intelligence on this planet, squids may have been the next choice. If the Hideauze aren’t aliens, but just our neighbors taken to space and continually competing with us for existence, I’d find it to be a good twist. The options are for this show to end on breeze, or with a bang. The breeze would be if Ledo never contacted the Galactic Alliance, and lived his days out with Amy and Chamber defending the fleet and having kids. The bang is obviously either the Alliance or the Hideauze come visiting Earth looking for him. The latter choice being more likely, but perhaps less poetic. Either way, there’s all the time in the world to enjoy this so far excellent series, even if there’s possibly an invisible clock ticking on Ledo’s time in paradise.

Further Reading:

  1. May 13, 2013 at 01:24

    This wasn’t my favourite episode to date – so far I think I’ve liked episode 5 the most – but it did have a lot of things I found really interesting. Ledo’s reaction to the squid was particularly telling I think, since rather than being played for laughs, his panic seems to signal some form of PTSD, or at least something along similar lines. He’s pictured here sweating, breathing heavily, arm shaking, yet I’m assuming he’s fought plenty of actual, rather larger and more threatening Hideauze in the past. Yet his immediate reaction is one of panic, and probably not simply out of surprise. I’m really curious to see if the show will take this idea further.

    • May 14, 2013 at 16:02

      That’s a good point about the PTSD. He is a soldier afterall. And his last memories of a real battle weren’t pleasant at all. I really hope they run with that idea, too.

  1. May 19, 2013 at 22:51

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