Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet

Alt titles: Suisei no Gargantia

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roriconfan's avatar By roriconfan on Apr 25, 2013

Urobuchi strikes again and as usual the suckers bite it right away. This guy manages to present the dumbest of pretentious ideas as grilled steak. With some assistance from a hentai character designer he has all he needs for an auto-win, no matter how bad the show actually is. And trust me when I say, it is.

The setting is very interesting, as it is in all the stories he writes and never manages to develop in any way past shock effect and superficial philosophy. In my mind it is Xenogears meets Waterworld, populated by hentai people. You get mankind in the far future being in war with space squids. A spaceman takes a wrong turn and is teleported to Earth, which by now is covered with water and the people there are sailors with primitive (to him) technology. The plot is basically him trying to fit in and find a way to return to his fleet.

Here is where the notorious antithesis Urobucher throws in all his works, as he loves to place cute fuzzy girls next to amoral and emotionless monstrosities. On one side you have these silly happy-go-lucky girls who dress and act as if this is a hentai, trying to befriend (and obviously bang) the spaceman who is emotionless and has no clue about morals or the value of human life. Their interaction creates all the conflict in the story, which is basically OMG THAT IS MAKING ME THINK SOOOO MUCH ABOUT WHAT MAKES US HUMAN. And that is all you get since in his typical glory Urobucher only mentions the very basics of the philosophy in the setting, never elaborates or bothers to show more, and then contradicts everything in order to confuse you and make you think it’s all 2deep4u. Examples of the above include:
- The society of mankind in space. You get this infodump in the first 5 minutes of how they breed, fight, and aim to populate the galaxy but don’t really see anything about them.
- The morals of the Earth people. They claim to have respect for life but all you see them doing is killing each other and refusing the spaceman to defeat their enemies before they are all killed by them.
- The intelligence of the Earth people. They all act like they are retards, and not because they are at a lower technological level than the space people. Despite the numerous times the spaceman effortlessly wiped out their enemies, they still think they can overpower him, throw him to the sea, give him to their enemies as an apology, or believe there is anything on the planet that can overpower him.
- The abilities of the spaceman’s mecha. They are completely different in each episode; especially when it comes to radars.
• On episode 1 it requires from the pilot to walk around so the robot can map the area.
• On episode 2 it can map a huge area around it with perfect precision and no help from the pilot.
• On episode 3 it again has a problem to scan a few meters away from it.
• On episode 4 it can easily see what lies behind thick steel walls but not what swims a few meters in the sea.
• On episode 7 it magically can scan underwater just fine.
• It accepts to reveal top secret information to the spaceman just because there is nobody with a higher rank than him around. If it was so damn easy to fool computers, we would have added all classified information of any agency in the world to Wikipedia decades ago.
• Also, the robot seems to not even follow commands anymore as it kills aliens even when the pilot tells it to stop and shovels at your face philosophical revelations that are so obviously inserted poorly by the author just because there is no bloody way for a human to realize all that. We need an emotionless machine to do it for us.

Of course if all you want is fancy visuals, good ideas, and softporn then the show definitely works. There is a lot of shallow entertainment in it, sprinkled with shallow philosophy and fancy action scenes to interest the casuals. The budget is very high, the artwork is very lively, and we get stuff like a masochistic lesbian pirate harem, a beach episode, and a belly dance episode for no bloody reason other than fan service. They pretend those are there so the spaceman can integrade into the world but they are so goofy and full of fan service you just don’t care about all that. I mean as far as humor goes, the interaction between dumb barbarians and super advanced spacemen creates lots of humorous moments. The main objective of the show is not the space war but how a Space Marine tries to fit in Barbieland. You may wish for a lot more than that to happen but sadly nothing of importance really happens.

And yes, not even the revelation of what the aliens really are or the appearance of another spaceman and his own mecha manage to change that since the show has by then wasted a lot of time in belly dancing and just runs through a poorly thrown in final conflict that is resolved in a rushed and anticlimactic way. Instead of offering a couple of episodes for the spaceman to come to terms with the horrible (to him only of course; I find nothing tragic about it) revelation, Uobutcher just throws in his evil counterpart out of literally nowhere, just for the sake of offering a cheap resolve to whatever moral dilemmas the themes may have suggested up until that point.

Jeez, I wonder if my life was wrong up until now. Oh, my evil counterpart has formed a cult full of retards and is killing innocent people in a sea covered in creepy mist. Well, no reason to ponder about the meaning of life anymore; the answer is clear.

If that is not lazy writing, I don’t know what is. If you are fans of heavy titles such as Haibane Renmei or Ghost in the Shell, then this will seem to be nothing more than an ephemeral parody of science fiction. Plus belly dancing.

Just like all Urobucher shows, characterization is paper thin. Just to imagine how uninsteresting the characters were and how unexisting their presense is, think of this. The only one everybody got to like in the end is THE ROBOT which is not even alive and talks without any emotion. Yet pretty much does EVERYTHING in the show, from winning in all the battles with plain firepower, to offering moral monologues and self sacrificing because it was programmed to do so (aka the author said so). The spaceman inside the robot didn’t really do anything during the whole show aside from gasping and asking questions. Every other Earth character is like that too, only they are ten times dumber and the females amongst them are there just for fan service. The only one who gets actual development is the female pirate leader, and even her became a completely different character out of screen and with no real explanation.

In all, it is just another pop corn show you will like for its presentation but will forget soon after it is over.

"OMG I killed people!"
So what, you killed dozens of pirates in the first episodes.
"That doesn't count, I wasn't feeling like a human back then."
And now that you do, do you care?
"To hell with real humans, I only feel compassion for these evolved monsters which have no emotions or individuality."
They are technically not even people you know. They are now a different species, like we are to apes.
"We are still cousins!"
I am not sure if it means anything at this point but do you know Hideause look like fish?
"Yes I do."
What have you been eating all this time on Earth?
"OMG!"
*TROLLFACE* UROBUCHI *TROLLFACE*

And now for some excused scorings.

ART SECTION: 9/10
General Artwork 2/2 (looks very nice)
Character Figures 1/2 (generic hentai bimbos)
Backgrounds 2/2 (detailed)
Animation 2/2 (smooth for the most part)
Visual Effects 2/2 (flashy and cool)

SOUND SECTION: 7/10
Voice Acting 2/3 (corny but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Music Themes 3/4 (not great but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess)

STORY SECTION: 5/10
Premise 2/2 (interesting)
Pacing 1/2 (erratic)
Complexity 1/2 (seems complicating but plays out quite light)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 1/2 (cheesy)

CHARACTER SECTION: 6/10
Presence 1/2 (generic)
Personality 1/2 (cheesy)
Backdrop 2/2 (simplistic but it presents all there is to them)
Development 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
Catharsis 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)

VALUE SECTION: 3/10
Historical Value 0/3 (none)
Rewatchability 1/3 (low because of too loose plot)
Memorability 2/4 (very interesting setting but the rest are mediocre)

ENJOYMENT SECTION: 4/10
Art 1/1 (looks great)
Sound 1/2 (sounds ok)
Story 1/3 (good ideas but handled poorly)
Characters 1/4 (they are archetypes without free will)

VERDICT: 5.5/10

5/10 story
9/10 animation
7/10 sound
6/10 characters
5.5/10 overall
erwindesmond's avatar By erwindesmond on Jul 1, 2013

Well What do I have to say about this anime.

Wel first of all this contains no spoilers just general info.

Firstly if you would like theres a manga of this anime under the same name look into thad if you would like.

My opinion:

Episode 1 was NICE in general for any mecha fan not nice but Uber Nice XD.

The mecha desighn is new and i havent seen them before episode 1 was visualy astonaushing to watch graphical speaking it was splendid afther i downloaded the 1080P version from nyaa.eu ( ive watched every episode in 1080 ).

Everything from the background to the Laser was superbly drawn and animated.

The sound wasnt off by a bit if i was in theyr place i would've probably hear everything the same it wasnt like something break sounds like a neck snapping or something it was just i gues nice but i gues every anime has thad so i have it a 8.5  as u can see.

Back to the story this setting is I 'BELEVE' new i havent seen anything thads quite a lot like thad of course theres a small amounth of anime whitch have the same basic setup but comon whitch dont these days.

The story was well thought of and put into action according to the story so theres no time gap or informative gap wel onlee a minor thing tho thad isnt realy a gap it just doesnt have anything to do whit the anime itself but it would like some clearivicaion of it or images thad thing is ( AVALON ) not a spoiler bcuz its a name ;) so yea basicly the story was nice.

Onlee at the end i just wished they would explain or continue a little longer to see where the future brings them just to like close the ending completely i havent read the manga yet i will start today so maybe they clear it up there if not wel what ur gonna do imagine it yourself.

So overal this was a GREAT mecha/sci-fi romance adventure anime its definetly on my top 5 of my 'spring' 2013 anime Ya spring... actualy 'winter' 2013 anime so ya I would reccomend it a lot!

10/10 story
9/10 animation
8.5/10 sound
9/10 characters
9/10 overall
KingArthur13th's avatar By KingArthur13th on Jul 1, 2013

Alright let's get to it. Gargantia as I called it, is far from the best series this season or this year and the only real reason anyone says it's such is mainly because of the ending. Give a series a great ending and all of a sudden that makes up for the rest. It's impossible for me to think that way. Gargantia certainly had a great beginning and a great ending but the bridge in between the two cliffs was pretty damn shaky. If anything the series was only good during it's first two episodes and it's last three episodes, everything in between those episodes can be summed up as "meh." The story of a soldier stuck on a foreign planet, attempting to coexist with the natives makes for an interesting premise.

No doubt, this series had a lot of potential but it went downhill after the beginning but managed to make its way back up near the end. Suisei no Gargantia focuses on two major pieces, Ledo attempting to integrate into Gargantia society and the raging war between the Hideauze and the Galactic Alliance, whose battle originated on Earth. At first one would think we would actually see a lot going on between the Avalon (Galactic Alliance HQ) and the Hideauze but actually, they seem to be nothing more than set up or backdrop in how Ledo was shaped as a character and how he will integrate into the Gargantian lifestyle. So we can say that the Hideauze add to story but are not the most important piece to this series, what's important is how everyone will come together in a hippy-dippy friendship at the end. That's pretty much what this show is all about, getting involved with new people and forming friendships even with your former enemies.

This show doesn't really deliver on character development and most of them make a lot of stupid decisions that just doesn't make sense and sometimes seem counter productive. Besides the first two episodes and the last three, Gargantia is pretty much filled with half naked, belly dancing girls in which one of them, the female lead Amy is infatuated with the main character Ledo. The series isn't short on fan service but it doesn't really throw it in your face (well except for the belly dancing and beach party episodes). Worst of all, Amy isn't really of much importance despite being the female lead and she could easily be forgotten but every episode, we're given a small reminder that she exist. The characters are incredible hypocrites for no apparent reason what so ever. In the beginning, they're worried about killing other people even if those people were attempting to kill them but in the last episode, the Gargantia is seen killing hundreds of people like it was an extermination. Ledo kills the Hideauze without a second thought but when he learns the truth, he all of sudden is shocked about what he has done but when you think about it, you wonder why does it even matter what the Hideauze truly are? 

All in all, this show isn't completely dead, the action is worth watching and Ledo's moments of inner conflict are interesting to see but the overall story seems to have taken an arrow to the knee. I recommend watching it as it seems a lot of people have taken great joy in watching this series but I am left unsatisfied with how things played out. I like the beginning and the ending but not much of what was in between. Most of the time, the shear shock value is what kept me watching which isn't a good thing btw.

6.5/10 story
9/10 animation
7.2/10 sound
5/10 characters
6.8/10 overall
shiftr's avatar By shiftr on Jul 4, 2013

I will try to make this review spoiler free if you are on the fence about watching Gargantia, and for some reason or other, decided to use my review as a reference for whether or not to watch it. In case I do include spoilers, I will give fair warning beforehand. If you have seen it and are just casually browsing or looking for second opinions, everything is open to discussion :)

Story

The story unfolds with a space setting in which humanity has left earth in search of another hospitable planet to colonize. This new planet is called Avalon. The story focuses on the perspective of one soldier, Ensign Ledo, of the galactic army, fighting against the bane of humanity, the Hideauze alien race, which is hellbent on destroying humans. In a rapid turn of events, Ledo, who is retreating from the front lines of a critical battle, is stranded in a wormhole and transported to a verderous ocean planet and discovered at the bottom of the ocean 6 months later (Cryo-sleep) and rescued by what seems to be fellow humans in a large ocean fleet. Surprise, the planet is Earth post-ice age where there is no land, so people have to travel in giant fleets which double as mobile cities. 

This is the premise and essentially the first episode. I started watching this show because I love scifi and mechas are pretty cool. Ledo befriends these people with the help of his AI mecha, Chamber. The story focuses initally on Ledo's assimilation into this civilization which is very different from his. I thought this was an interesting route for the beginning of the story but hardly surprising, because the way that Ledo was raised in his space-age civilization is much different from those who had made their homes on earth. The earth humans are very easy-going and more carefree, a stark contrast to how Ledo initially presents himself. Early on, there are several aspects of Ledo's society which are explored indirectly as Ledo learns more of these earth humans. 

The story was very interesting mainly because a lot of philosophy is hidden within its meanings. Unfortunately, these philosophical topics are cleverly disguised by the stagnance of the first few episodes. The plot goes on hiatus while the characters and Gargantia (the fleet) are explored. However, an interesting turn of events later on in the story makes things pick up quickly in the last 5 or so episodes. So although the story began quite plainly, it picks up in the end and makes it worth the watch.

Animation

One thing I realy appreciated about the animation is that I thought the CG on the mechas was very well done. I felt as though for the most part, it fused very well with the rest of the animation. The color palette was very bright, which made the characters and the ships/mechas fit very well with the beautifully done ocean. However, in the misty episodes, I thought the bright color palette didn't fit very well with the darker themes, which took away from the animation a little bit. Character designs seemed vaguely familiar, Amy was a very cute female lead, and I think Ledo looked the part for a young soldier fighting for a cause he did not really understand. The rest of the characters had very nice designs as well. I would say there was a fair amount of fanservice in terms of huge breasts, and also a *dance* scene and a beach/swimsuit scene. Fanservice in these types of shows I feel detracts from their overall value because of the serious underlying tones, so it was kind of annoying that it was there but not overly so. Opening animations were pretty. So was the ending animations. I particularly liked the lightbugs and the aurora borealis shown in one of the scenes. They brought the ocean to life, which was very crucial because it is SO easy to forget that the ocean is little more than a filler background. I think the animators did a very good job. So in terms of animation, the only thing I really did not like was that the color palette was super bright, which could give you the wrong ideas about the tone of the show. 

Sound

I think a faster paced opening theme would have made the show a lot more exciting to watch. However, I did like both the opening and ending themes as standalone songs, they were beautiful. The one thing I did not like was how Ledo learned the human language. It did not seem to me like he had any trouble with it, but if you put yourself in his shoes and are forced to communicate in a language of which you have never heard of,  how are you going to be able to pick it up that fast? By the last few episdoes he was extremely fluent, which kind of bothered me. Also the pauses in his words as he was learning the language did not seem sincere. However, I don't speak Japanese so I don't really know about that. The voice actors of the support characters were pretty appropriate. Pinion reminded me of Kamina (TTGL), his voice and tone, and by extension his attitude, which made me happy because Kamina is one of my favorite characters.

Characters

The first few arcs in which the plot remained stagnant were probably designed to allow for character development. In this department I would say character development was not as good as it could have been. Ledo does not budge much from his teachings as a soldier *******until later********, which gets annoying, however, he is not overly arrogant or condescending at all towards the earth humans (much less advanced than the space humans) so he remains as a likeable character, but not very relatable. His decision making at crucial moments was too quick, which made him very unlifelike. Amy is also likeable and cheery and thankfully does not have any annoying characteristics of female leads. However, she has little to no development, and neither does much of the rest of the cast; most are very one dimensional characters, or play a very small role, and make their exit soon after (I'm looking at YOU Fairlock). Overall, I felt that not many characters were fleshed out or memorable at all (Except Pinion, because he actually has a back story and some development). Of course, I can't forget one of the most well liked characters, the mecha CHAMBER, who was Ledo's Pilot, and friend. Chamber has an interesting development but he was limited because of the fact that he could not behave in the same parameters as humans. However, the ending is very consistent with his role as a robot; he doesn't overstep his logical programming to become humanized. I really appreciated that aspect of how he behaved until the very end. Anyone who sees this show will understand just how awesome Chamber is. 

Overall

The best part about this show is definitely the ending. I don't think it needs a season 2 because Gargantia was very well wrapped up, and there were no questions left unanswered. Some plot twists were very intriguing albeit predictable to a certain extent. However, they contributed to making the show as good as it was. I would recommend to this show simply because it turns out to be pretty good, considering the vast amount of world-building that had to be done in such a small amount of time.

SPOILER ALERT>>>>>>>>The only thing that kind of disappointed me was that we never got to see Avalon, it remained as simply a concept in the first episode and was quietly forgotten. Perhaps this was done intentionally, but I think the show would have benefitted from at least a glimpse of the planet<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

8/10 story
7/10 animation
6/10 sound
5/10 characters
7.7/10 overall
theSentinel's avatar By theSentinel on Aug 31, 2013

This anime got a 10 from me, but it takes some serious explaination.  So this will be long and in depth.  Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet,  I hurt myself a couple times trying to say it at first.  This anime was pretty good.  so I was writing this while watching the last couple episodes, and sh*t got so real that I had to change everything, so here I go for the second time.

at first I was drawn into the anime, it was fun, kind of funny, cool, ect.  It explored many different themes and, unlike many anime, actually did a good job of explaining things logically for me.  I was impressed.  Normally, I dislike themes about pacifism, it makes me feel less a part of the anime and it seems more like a lecture or some crap.  GotVP had this theme too, but they handled it exremely well.  Here is why:

--they didnt dwell on mistakes involving this theme
--they didnt try to cram it down the viewers throat
--they showed how it can naturally be a part of life, I guess you can say they rationalized it well.

I was very very impressed by how they took something that most animes do poorly and made it look good. 

Now for a little while it seemed like it might be headed in the wrong direction, but it did not. I was worried up until the end, but my worry was unfounded.  There are also several great twists which add even more themes to the series.  They paved the way for some great character developement and some sick truths.  Furthermore everything matched up.  Everything built into the end.  It doesnt seem like it, but trust me it does.  now to the more direct part so you can gain a better understanding.

Story:  
--started with simple themes of life and started building heavier themes up from that, everything fit and made sense, they explained every point very well.  Extremely impressive

--similar to the themes, the conflicts and moods matched.  Started light, but got heavy and weighed on the hearts of the characters, brought out great story development and finished perfectly.

Animation:  Production I.G. made the animations gorgeous

Sound:  the voice actors were very solid and the soundtrack was great, not Attack on Titan great, but still a 9.

Characters:  I came to love the characters, and they had so many unique and great ones.  Even the bad guys were interesting and well placed.  They also focused on the right people.  obviously the main character needed the most building, but they somehow gave every secondary and most minor characters a special place in the anime.  Only the best animes are able to pull this off.   

Overall:  GREAT START, GREAT DEVELOPMENT, GREAT END, what more do you want?! Most people will enjoy the vast array of themes that come out in this anime, and they did it all in 13 awesome episodes.  this gave me the same feeling as Fractale, but Fractale was done by A-1 Studios and they have a tendancy of screwing up, which they did to Fractale.   I HIGHLY RECOMMEND  Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet.

GO CHECK IT OUT!!

10/10 story
10/10 animation
9/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall