Suisei no Gargantia – 01
「漂流者」 (Hyoryu Sha)
One of the more anticipated series of this season, Suisei no Gargantia finally makes its official debut… and it’s quite the show. After all, there’s nothing like being thrown into the midst of an epic battle to start things off—which is precisely how this series gets the ball rolling. The first episode’s just chock full of enough spaceships, piew piew action, mecha, and aliens—all done quite well, I might add—to last a lifetime, and it’s something that really hammers in the fact that this season’s likely going to be a golden one for fans of the sci-fi/fantasy genres.
Going back to the episode itself though, what Suisei’s debut ends up being is exactly what the premise described. In many ways, they managed to do quite a bit with the first episode, but notably did so without making it feel rushed at all. Not only do we get an introduction to our main character in Ledo (Redo/Red seems to be acceptable as well), we also get a big glimpse into the world he’s lived in all his life too, as well as the scenario that humanity has been thrust into in this futuristic setting. And to say the least, it’s not pretty. Judging from Ledo’s 145000 hours of service time (about 16.5 years) and the fact that the official website lists him as 16, it’s quite clear that at least some of humans born into this world are trained to be soldiers from birth. Combine that with all that propaganda in the opening speech about the greatness of the Galactic Alliance of Humankind and the “reward” Ledo gets in terms of being granted the “freedoms of visiting the home world, sleep, food, and reproduction…” and well, you have the basis here of a world I sure wouldn’t want to be a part of—even with all the supposed elements of paradise present on Avalon (which is quite the fitting name, if I do say so myself).
Suffice to say, there’s a lot we can garner here from just the first half alone, and it’s something that makes things exceptionally interesting when you take the second half into account. Because when you’re suddenly thrown from an epic war to a planet that doesn’t seem to know much about it (and one that you thought only existed in stories no less!), it creates quite a contrast, and begs the question of how things are going to work out. And that my friends, is the prototypical million dollar question, and one of the big reasons I wanted to watch this show. Sure, UroGen being involved played a big part also, but it’s just exceptionally interesting to see how the story develops from a premise like this—especially when you consider that many series with sci-fi/mecha/war elements tend to have developments that are the opposite of what we get here in Suisei. Indeed, as many fans of the aforementioned genres have probably noted by now, the main character is usually thrust into a war, rather than out of it—a key distinction that allows for in depth character development in ways we don’t usually see. Having to deal with potential PTSD… the uncertainty that comes from being thrust into an unknown environment… there’s just a lot here that could come from this series.
Notably, all of that just comes from just assuming the series will take a linear path—which is something that you can’t quite make, especially with UroGen waiting in the wings as the person responsible for the series’ script and series composition. Given his propensity for killing people off and making rather grimdark scenarios, its entirely possible that Ledo ends up bringing the Hideauze (“the Hideous” also seems acceptable) back to Earth just when he’s getting used to life there—a development that could really bring this series to great heights. At the same time though, it’s also quite possible that this could be one of the only series Gen has ever worked on that ends up being peaceful throughout and focuses purely on the initial premise, which could be quite exceptional on its own too. Ultimately though, you just don’t know which one of these to expect, and it’s this uncertainty that was another part of what drew me to this series.
Overall, this episode’s just a superb introduction to what’s likely going to be one of the season’s better shows. I get the feeling I’ll have a great time covering this series, and I hope you’ll all join me for the ride.
OP: 「この世界は僕らを待っていた」 (Kono Sekai wa Bokura wo Matteita) by 茅原実里 (Chihara Minori)