Home > Episode by Episode > Gargantia ep8: fools, or people with a dream?

Gargantia ep8: fools, or people with a dream?


I have accused several shows this season of not being engaging experiences.  Gargantia isn’t necessarily one of them, but I certainly found it to be lacking in the conflict department, as I thought the early part of this show was more of a series of misunderstandings and poor communication that fueled the drama. But this episode is giving us clear change in direction and tone. The cast is breaking up, there’s new leadership, and there’s the possibility of some very influential characters opening Pandora’s Box. This is Gargantia, and it’s going to a dark place.

With Fleet Commander Fairlock dead and passing on the reigns to the entire Gargantia fleet (or what’s going to be left of it) to Ridget, we see the rift already start to build among the various ship captains that make up the fleet. Some of them are quick to lecture to the new young commander, even as she does her best to manage the ship in its first few vulnerable hours.

Meanwhile, Ledo gets the first bit of good news from Chamber, as its finally able pinpoint Earth’s location relative to the Galactic Alliance. Unfortunately, the amount of time it would take their first S.O.S. to reach is more than sixteen hundred years. In effect, Ledo will never see the Galactic Alliance ever again.

As he’s forced to soak in all this news, the fleet is trying to soak in what will be its massive breakup, as more and more captains are petitioning to go along with Pinion and Ledo. And we start to see its effects as Amy has to say her goodbyes to one of her best friends. Her other best friend asks her to think of leaving too, since its pretty obvious that she wants to stay with Ledo. Though that just isn’t possible with her sickly younger brother needing to stay with Gargantia’s doctor. You can see she’s pretty torn up about it, and probably a little mad at Ledo. Matter of fact, I’d say it’s a safe bet that she is given her reaction when she starts talking about the situation with Bebel. And it’s quite clear that nothing will change Ledo’s mind either. He’s straighforward and sincere in his efforts and goals. The entirety of the Hideauze species has to die, or he has to die. I’ll talk about this more a little later.

Almost parallel to Amy’s struggles with Ledo, Ridget struggles to deal with the fleet that’s now a like a pack of dogs on a leash , and half the dogs are threatening to break off from the group and run away. She’s bound to lose some of them eventually. But it’s Bellows that steps in and lets her know that she doesn’t need to worry about that. She assures Ridget that she got the position for a reason, and has effectively already been running the show her self already. It’s just a matter of her now trusting the crew that is staying. She can’t worry about the ones that are going.

We get to see a unique event in the world of Gargantia now. The funeral of what is effectively the head of state in their world. And it’s a simple sea-worthy event. The commander is placed in a boat, and paraded throughout the fleet. The citizens all take turns placing a handful of sand in the boat as they pay their respects, in a way each person is helping to lay the corpse to rest. At the end of the funeral, the boat is sent into the ocean, where it sinks to the floor. After this happens, Ridget gives a speech to her remaining crew, a speech driving home the points Bellows made. And it goes over well, it looks like everyone has decided to move on and not sulk.

The episode ends with the ships now departing the fleet, and Ledo at Amy’s home, apparently getting ready to say goodbye.

This may be the episode where I effectively side with the Gargantia over Ledo. While Ledo’s heart may be in the right place, or the place that makes sense to him. If those whale squid are effectively the same species of beast that nearly drove his super advanced military to the brink of destruction, what makes him think his one machine will make a difference against a planet full of them? It’s insane. It’s already been shown that the whale squid rule the Earth, and that the humans have survived this far solely on the grace of them, and not f*cking with them. In my mind, if he and Pinion and their new fleet attack the whale squid nest, then they’re all dead. And the Gargantia may be in trouble by extension. There could be no more a catastrophic end to this series, than to see humanity wiped out not only in space, but on Earth where they’ve actually managed to live with their arch enemies in peace.  Believe me, it pains me to side with the hippies on this.  But even I see the benefit of a “live and let live” strategy here.

Another thing I’ve been thinking about is that I haven’t given up on their being some sort of time travel aspect to this show.  Though Chamber has discovered where Earth is relative to where the Galactic Alliance should be, it doesn’t mean they’ve actually discovered the Alliance.  I wish I could explain my theory better.  Just think Makoto Shinkai’s Voices of a Distant Star, and you may get what I’m trying to say.  I don’t remember these theories quite as well as I did back when I used to watch a ton of TLC and History Channel material (before they became crap and ran nothing but reality shows).  It may be crackpot, but I won’t be able to forgive myself if I don’t get this thought out and it turns out to be right.

In the end, this was a very good, emotional episode that moved things along quite well.  The cast is splitting up, action is on the horizon, and fans of Gen Urobuchi have the threat of a looming disaster to hold onto for suspense.

Further Reading:

  1. GP
    May 27, 2013 at 02:49

    Reblogged this on misentopop.

  2. May 27, 2013 at 20:10

    While I personally didn’t have any big issues with the last couple of episodes, it’s good to see things moving along at a faster pace now – especially given that this series doesn’t have all that much longer to go. I don’t know what’s going to happen next, but the unpredictability of Urobuchi’s works are what gives them much of their power, so I’m very much looking forward to seeing where the story goes from this critical turning point.

    • May 27, 2013 at 20:16

      What I like about Urobuchi’s work so far is that he always lays the ground work very methodically. People can’t use the word Deus ex Machina on him because all the elements are already there. Whatever is about to happen, we’ve been thoroughly warned.

  1. June 2, 2013 at 22:31

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