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「恐怖の覇王」 (Kyofu no Hao)
“Ruler of Terror”

The arrival of Suisei’s 11th episode brings with it the official return of Commander Kugel… and with it, a bunch of developments.

First and foremost among them? Pinion getting the rude awakening we all saw coming. There ain’t nothing like seeing a hot shot get chopped down the size (how about that competition of warning shots?), and Pinion gets really tossed aside this week. With Ledo leaving to rejoin his former comrade in arms, Pinion and the rest of the fleet end up being incorporated into Kugel’s “New World Order,” and Gargantia’s next in line. Needless to say, things don’t look to well for their way of life, and it’s something that highlights both Ledo’s development over this series, as well as the continued commentary on society and what it means to really be alive.

Indeed, as the episode progresses, we find Ledo occasionally questioning the definitions on what a proper society should be—and thus indirectly questioning what Kugel’s doing as well. Most of his actions are still powered by his military past—as evidenced by his willingness to rejoin Kugel upon request—but the fact remains that he’s definitely changed as a result of his experiences on Gargantia. And well, that’s really what this series has been about for the most part.

Behind everything this series has given us so far, there’s been a constant reference to society in general, and Ledo is turning out to be the face of that commentary. In many ways, Ledo’s journey can be compared to that of say, a college graduate being thrust into adulthood… and what this series has really been doing—at least, the way I see it—is really challenging viewers to ask questions about their own values and about society in general. There’s a lot here about the importance of thinking for yourself instead of just accepting values imposed on you, and I can’t give enough kudos to Murata and Gen (whose previous works are really showing this week in terms of similarities found in Suisei) for how the aforementioned has been weaved into the story so far.

Notably, the above also brings onto the forefront the fact that the way Kugel went—that is, the reign of terror route—was one route Ledo could have theoretically pursued himself. Obviously, he chose not to go down that route, but it’s interesting to note how much contrast there is between the choices that could’ve been made by the two of them. To this end, there’s an interesting contrast between Striker and Chamber as well, as they seem to be based off archetypes of the opposite gender, and their names seem contextually fitting for their pilots. After all, the word “strike” naturally suggests a more aggressive nature (and “chamber” a more reserved nature)—both of which theoretically fit Kugel and Ledo’s personalities and decisions perfectly. Regardless, it was quite something to see the two of them autonomously communicating with one another and with others, and it looks like the ending might not be so much as just a clash between Ledo and Kugel (Man vs. Man) as it is a clash between Chamber and Striker (AI vs. AI) as well—which will be very interesting to watch.

Ultimately however, arguably the biggest topic this week results from Kugel’s admission that he knows of the Hideazue’s secret, his subsequent definition of the Hideazue as being formerly human, and the announcement of the definition of happiness as being the one that brings the greatest value to the whole. And it’s key to note because what’s lost beneath all this “Hideazue aren’t really human anymore” talk, is the fact that theoretically, the society that Kugel’s trying to make (which is identical to the Galactic Alliance, I might add) doesn’t make them anymore human either. Kugel and the Galactic Alliance members might have conscious thought, literal vocal communication, and the physical appearance of “what a human should look like,” but when you’re forcing people to live in a society where you emphasize stability and just pure cost-benefit efficiency… you can argue you’re not living at all. In essence, the Galactic Alliance is an entity filled with humans that look and act human, but are for all intents and purposes robots on the inside. In that context, they’re arguably no more human than the Hideazue at this point. I guess that’s why we have the Gargantians and those living on Earth taking a big part of the series’ spotlight though, because when you get down to it, Amy and the others are the only real “humans” here.

Looking forward, Kugel admittedly brings a factor I didn’t anticipate in the equation. As it looks now, it seems like the series may not end up revisiting the Galactic Alliance fight in space at all, as there are only two episodes left. It remains to be seen of course, but it looks like things are trending that way, and it’s a pity really if it does end up being glanced over. At the very least though, the anticipated (and predicted) reunion of the Gargantia fleet with Ledo, Pinion, Flange and the rest is coming… and also as previously predicted, it looks like that reunion will serve to really further the bonds between them—all thanks to Kugel. The best really is yet to come, although one does wonder if it might not do better with another episode or two of breathing space. Hey, at least we got Lukkage back!

June 16, 2013 at 2:13 pm
99 comments »
  • June 16, 2013 at 2:19 pmmianghuei

    OMG, I didn’t anticipate this turn of events! Our lady pirate friend and Commander Kugel. The new fleet being assimilated into this one. I wonder what did they mean by “major awareness strategy”?

    BTW, Zephyr, there’s a bonus 14th episode coming in the 1st Volume of the Blu-ray on June 26th.

    • June 16, 2013 at 2:24 pmZephyr

      I’d think it’s likely some kind of announcement to everyone about their existence and a kind of prior warning to people to either join up and die or something? Haha.

      And yeah, got that booked on list. If it ends up being available, it’ll be covered. Makes me wonder what’s actually going to be on it though.

      • June 16, 2013 at 2:34 pmUnknownVoide

        Major awareness strategy in context of military authoritarian regime equals “Setting the example”.

        basically Kugel wants to burn Gargantia to the ground, so the REST of the world see this as an example of what happens if they resist.

      • June 16, 2013 at 8:49 pmmianghuei

        One of the groups translated that dialog as “Missionary work”. So I think that’s it.

      • June 16, 2013 at 9:06 pmc2710

        Seriously, they way you guys put it, makes it highly similar to gunboat diplomacy and it does have a certain “political overtones” that are quite apparent in today’s world

      • June 17, 2013 at 11:29 amMgMaster

        @mianghuei

        Yea,UTW had it as “missionary work” so I didn’t get the idea that they’re trying to burn down Gargantia to make an example of but more like just trying to convince them to join the Kugel Fleet – unless of course,they refuse to.

      • September 10, 2013 at 9:08 ambrajt

        For centuries, or rather thousands of years, missionary work in pretty much every religion meant the same as conquering by force. So I wouldn’t difrentiate that.

    • June 16, 2013 at 6:43 pmzztop

      I heard the 1st Bluray is coming in late August actually. There were some delays in getting the content ready for the initial July date, or so I heard.

      For OVA1, we can expect a nurse character:http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2013/05/03/yui-horie-to-voice-gargantia-ova-character

      and 15 yr old Ridget:http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2013/06/01-1/a-look-at-gargantia-ovas-young-ridget

      PS.The nurse character’s profile is already up on the Gargantia website. The name seems to spell ‘Storia’, correct me if I’m wrong.
      http://gargantia.jp/#character_20

      • June 16, 2013 at 8:45 pmmianghuei

        Looks like it’s 8/28 and it’s episode 1-4 + episode 14. Sorry about that mistake. :)

  • June 16, 2013 at 2:26 pmTaiyo

    I’m disappointed by the QUALITY of this episode. I hope it gets redone in the Bluray release.

    Perhaps Kugel is going through the indoctrination route?

    • June 16, 2013 at 4:54 pmskylion

      I’m glad to see I wasn’t the only one. Yep, Blu Ray always improves, I hope it is also the typical, save money for the talky talky episode, and bring out the big budget for the action later…

    • June 16, 2013 at 8:04 pmMegas

      Yeah, it looked terribly rushed – as if the characters were nearly flat. All that fog didn’t help either.

  • June 16, 2013 at 2:28 pmWuz

    This episode reminded me about a common rule regarding monsters, if you can’t see it, and the less you know about it, the scarier it is.

    • June 16, 2013 at 2:42 pmZephyr

      It’s true. Also why the quote “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles” is exceptionally true as well.

      • June 16, 2013 at 6:03 pmblack_cat1

        Isn’t it “Know the enemy, know yourself; 100 battles, 100 victories”?

  • June 16, 2013 at 2:30 pmTechim

    Watching this episode really gets me wondering, how long will Ledo continue to obey the chain of command when he sees certain orders as of the wrong nature?
    Will he eventually think & act for what he thinks is right?

    Anyway, is it just me, or does Lukkage seem to have…a slight interest in Pinion?
    & I don’t mean because of Pinion’s technical skills. =p

    • June 16, 2013 at 2:37 pmZephyr

      Theoretically, it would still fall under “technical skills”… if you know what I mean.

      • June 17, 2013 at 11:48 amMgMaster

        Rackage definitely has the package to work with that too.

        Okay…I should shut up now.

    • June 16, 2013 at 8:29 pmzztop

      Seeing that Rackage doesn’t have the red pledge mark on her forehead, I wonder if she has some ulterior motive for joining Kugel’s fleet.

  • June 16, 2013 at 2:33 pmUnknownVoide

    Oh boy this won’t end well…

    And with Urobutcher personally writing the finale episode…this won’t end well AT ALL

    I am 1000% sure that Kugel IS dead though, and that Striker is running the show.I already had suspicions before that Alliance was actually secretly controlled by all the AI they created.

    • June 16, 2013 at 2:40 pmZephyr

      It’s definitely a possibility he could be dead and Kugel’s last words led Striker to doing what she is now. I wonder though. The trinkets they used for the hologram and for testing Pinion aren’t exactly things a mech would be running around with though… but at the same time, Chamber’s request for virus verification could very well be a red flag.

      • June 17, 2013 at 2:55 pmMoonlight BlackCat

        It’s possible that test block is simply the future’s version of a Rubik’s cube. And Kugel altered it for this test. It might simply be a toy that he carried around to amuse himself on long missions. Like how Ledo makes flutes.

    • June 16, 2013 at 2:46 pmEdios

      I guess that could make sense, especially after seeing how strike personally decided to test Pinion, Kugel wasn’t even notified of it in any way, which would explain if he’s actually a dry corpse inside the pilot seat and his machine is running everything.

      • June 18, 2013 at 2:24 pmZnail

        It would even seem that the machine is doing so openly and it is only with Ledo it uses the subterfuge of the pilot hologram, that is why it didn’t bother with that with Pinion.

    • June 16, 2013 at 7:15 pmNolueur

      Yes, I totally agree, the writing is all over the wall that Kugel is dead, but before he pulls over the curtains to see who is running the show (Wizard of Oz) style. He will have to go toe – toe with Striker( in an attempt to protect Gargantia), which I forsee their combat will most likely result in serious damage to Chambers beyond repair.

      As for the last scene of the episode – Even though Ledo and Gargantia didnt see eye-eye, during his time aboard, you could say he has experienced something quiet unique, which he will be forever be grateful for, hence his decision to fight against Kugel | Striker.

    • June 16, 2013 at 8:15 pmMegas

      I love these guesses. It’s just the sort of twist that’s expected in Gen’s works. It was just too many flags set for it not to happen. Now it would be a greater twist for him to actually be alive. I just wish this “different” stuff he was talking about wasn’t total BS. The only difference I see is the length. The usual slow pacing is even the same.

    • June 16, 2013 at 8:51 pmMagoiichi

      I did call out Chamber a few times as possibly turning on Ledo.Chamber has been acting suspicious for the past few episodes.

    • June 17, 2013 at 11:58 amGermanguy

      If a Master AI was in Control of some sort of Habitat Space Ship, watching over many Human Sleeping Pods on his Travel over many Years. That would explain the “Clones” we see in Episode 1 before Ledo awaken. just count how many Hair colors you see…

      So the Hideauze destroyed the Black Hole Device, so the Alliance was forced to trust a Master AI and travel with normal speed in Sleeping Pods, where many would not make it, and the survivors getting cloned to compensate the Fighting power… Or they send extra a “Fighting Squad” with Clones to do the Job and the real Humans stayed “forced” on Old Earth

      • June 17, 2013 at 2:23 pmMagoiichi

        Let’s not forget that “utopia” place from Episode 1 that was promised to the soldiers if they survived enough battles. Nothing has been said about that place since then.

    • June 17, 2013 at 5:31 pmAngelus

      AI’s ruling the roost? Dead people inside a sentient mech/suit? And even floating cities made of old ships joined together? Someone is reading too much Iain M. Banks (RIP).

  • June 16, 2013 at 2:39 pmewok40k

    In a Kugel we see a “dark mirror” of Ledo himself, a path not taken by him and a contrast to show how much Ledo has changed by his time in Gargantia…

    • June 16, 2013 at 3:20 pmRuler

      I also find the fact that Kugel was forced into quarentine inside his Striker because of his illness quite interesting. This could explain why he has gone down a different route. Unlike Ledo, who could leave his mech and freely interact with and be influenced by Gargantia’s people, Kugel never really had any direct contact with the locals who fished him up. This could explain why his beliefs are generally unaffected, because there was always this barrier (and not just in a physical manner) between him and the people. It also made it so they began to worship him as some sort of mythical being shrowded in mystery.

  • June 16, 2013 at 3:10 pmjhpace1

    Kugel’s dead, in my opinion. Hologram only? Striker is running the show, including trying to turn Earth into a new Galactic Alliance depot.

    Nobody’s talking about the six or seven people tied up, shrouded,and hooded that Pinon was led past – I got goosebumps, thinking about Ledo’s former little brother. Are those six about to be dumped over the side as “non-compliant”?

    As for the cult taking over everything, and painting people’s foreheads. Military strategy to tell the blues from the reds.

    • June 16, 2013 at 3:36 pmAbsaroka

      I agree, Kugel is likely dead. Chamber seemed suspicious of the virus excuse even. It would easy enough to project his image and voice. Given the AI’s sophistication and abilities I’m amazed they they haven’t overridden their controls and killed all the humans and then the war would be a strictly biotic Vs. abiotic war. There is probably a master AI that is running the whole Alliance to make sure everything is efficient. Question would be are there multiple distinct AIs or are they all the offshoots of a single program. Chamber claimed not to know about the true nature of the Hideauze while the Striker did know if only because Kugel was cleared for that information.

      • June 16, 2013 at 4:02 pmewok40k

        Interesting take… reminds me of the old pen and paper RPG called Paranoia with AI running shelter-city in post nuclear world…

      • June 16, 2013 at 4:04 pmUnknownVoide

        But it IS that already.

        Biological exoskeletons versus technological exoskeletons.

      • June 16, 2013 at 7:39 pmNolueur

        You raise an interesting question in regards to the possibility of distinct AIs.
        My take is well since the show is pretty much over, the possibility of the latter has no chance of being how the story will follow.

        I might be wrong though, for instance during the episode when Ledo learnt of the true origins of the Hideazue. Chambers only validated Ledo’s access to the information only after Ledo stating he was currently the highest ranking officer on the scene. Could say Kugel, given his Commander status give commands to Chambers? I think so, but to what degree. Which then leads me to think can Striker do the same, which will play right into the other possibility of the AIs (all offshoots of a single program).

      • June 19, 2013 at 1:23 amStranger

        Protoss Vs. Zerg?

    • June 16, 2013 at 8:53 pmMagoiichi

      All theories including my own points to Kugel being dead, but who is in control? The AI or the Hideauze, that is the question :p

    • June 17, 2013 at 7:01 pmNobody

      I’m saying that if he is alive;

      His “native” problem is that he has come into some contamination that is going to be turning him into a hideauze. Talk about a good way to troll your fascist genocide overlords.

    • June 18, 2013 at 2:47 amPy687

      While I think the typical twist here is for Kugel to be dead and Striker to be in charge, at this point, it would be too much trouble to write it in. We only have two more episodes left, and doing so only brings up questions about AI intelligence and introduces complications into what is otherwise a unified and focused show.

      That said, I think Zephyr summed up my thoughts on the episode. The only thing I can add as a current college student taking biology and psychology, and being interested in some philosophy, I really appreciate the issues being brought up in Suisei, and I’m very impressed with its consistency with real life.

  • June 16, 2013 at 3:36 pmGoukaRyuu

    I really like your comparison of Redo and Kugel’s actions here, and the fact that Ledo himself could have followed the same route. It reminds me of something in a book on writing I have. Basically to tell a really good story you need to compare your characters to each other, especially the hero and the opponents (the main one most of all) and the allies. You need to compare what each character values and think about how this causes conflict. You also need to think about what the central moral problem of the story is, because a good story makes all the important characters variations on the moral problem. For example, the hero and main opponent shouldn’t just be good and evil, that makes a very basic and in many cases uninteresting story. Make them both realistic by having things they value and justifications for their actions. The characters should be different possibilities on how to face the moral problem. I think Gargantia is doing that really well. I look forward to seeing how this ends and to what Urobutchi will be doing in the future.

    • June 16, 2013 at 4:55 pmskylion

      Let this be a good sign. With all that in mind, even K-ON is a good story…

    • June 18, 2013 at 5:20 amSherrisLok

      I don’t really think that Gargantia is doing this well. To me the show clearly portrays one side as right and the other as wrong without taking into account the different circumstances both are in. Gargantia’s way of life has been presented as flawless (given their level of medicine, you don’t see people dying from contagious diseases, for example) whereas the Galactic Alliance has been demonised (brain-washing and others) with no thought given to the fact that perhaps the way they run the society is necessary for survival.

      The last bit of the episode (when Ledo is issued an order to destroy Gargantia) left me laughing. It’s so illogical and was only put there for the unnecessary drama.

  • June 16, 2013 at 6:10 pmUlilo

    I didn’t notice in the first episode, but Kugel looks like an older Ledo. So the army of the Galaxy Alliance is basically composed of clones of the perfect soldier?

    • June 17, 2013 at 11:49 amGermanguy

      If you recall Episode 1, the Scene where the Men and Woman stand in front of a Podium. You will see that there is only 2-3 Hair colors. Looks like they are Clones, made only for battle

      Strange is it not? Hideaze use Whalesquid as Hosts. Allianze use Clones for Fight. But someday the DNA of them will get to corrupted. Because they can be all brothers and Sisters, if they “reproduce”…

      a bit Sick

      • June 17, 2013 at 11:50 amGermanguy

        perhaps this DNA corruption killed his Little Brother of Ledo. How knows

  • June 16, 2013 at 6:14 pminfinite

    I don’t know if they meant for it but I couldn’t help but see Kugels fleet as a socialist state.

  • June 16, 2013 at 6:30 pmzztop

    This ep got me thinking:
    1)How’d Kugel get to Earth in the 1st place? Perhaps the same wormhole accident as Ledo?

    2)Wonder how many fleet people Kugel had to vapourise to get his point across… >_>

  • June 16, 2013 at 6:34 pm†Croos†

    Then later we found out that when things are in a PINCH-chii*:
    Kugel: Ledo….
    Ledo: ….
    Kugel: I AM YOUR FATHER!
    Ledo: !!!
    Ledo: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    • June 16, 2013 at 7:49 pmJIks

      awful.

  • June 16, 2013 at 7:09 pmrh75

    I’m seeing a Machine Caliber vs Machine Caliber battle coming up. Ledo has been ‘corrupted’ too much by life on the Gargantia. Why did he return to Kugel’s side and command? Simple, he had just been given information about his enemy and it was tearing him apart. Look at how happy he was to join up with his commanding officer. Kugel allows him to throw away his confusion, and return to being a soldier. Stability was his main reason for joining Kugel. However, by having Ledo target Gargantia, Kugel/Striker has set up a situation where Ledo has to kill his friends or protect them. Gargantia is a threat to the ‘New World Order’ because they allow people to be themselves, and that can’t be allowed in a society built on blind obedience.

    “Don’t question authority or else” is Kugel/Striker’s motto.

    • June 16, 2013 at 7:46 pmNolueur

      I think it wouldnt have mattered even if he wasnt tainted by the humane side of the inhabitants of Gargantia. The fact is that Ledo is soldier and Kugel is still his superior.

      • June 16, 2013 at 8:38 pmrh75

        What I meant was that Ledo is being tested by his superior. Kugel/Striker must know about Gargantia and what they stand for. They also must know it has effected Ledo in some way. This test is to see if he has become a liability that needs to be removed.

        And no. The excuse of “I was just following orders” doesn’t work. In the Grand Alliance and Kugel/Striker’s fleet it might because they can get rid of troublemakers. When the troublemaker has their own Machine Caliber, it becomes messy. Ledo is being asked to kill his friends on Gargantia and him being a soldier won’t matter. It’ll come down to his own moral compass and Chamber’s.

  • June 16, 2013 at 7:34 pmkatsudon

    Things have gotten super intense since that massive reveal a few weeks ago, no idea how it’s going to end… But I doubt it’ll end well. (Here’s hoping not everyone dies)
    Also, is Commander Kugel basically Dingo from Zone of the Enders 2? Can’t leave the cockpit, looks rather similar to one other… Only major difference here is that Jehuty is wayyyyy stronger than Striker.
    Anyways, looking forward to the look one!

  • June 16, 2013 at 8:43 pmThe Truth is in the Axe

    This is like one those questions where “If you can have a bunch of religious fanatics to worship everything about you, and you have the power to overpower all of them, would you have them?” Kugel seems to be fascist route with this endeavor.

    The difference between the routes that Kugel and Ledo seems to be is that the former is a commander and the latter a grunt. Kugel’s probably used to managing a bunch of obedient people because he knows that’s where his true strengths are. It’s probably common attitude in the military environment that they both grew up in. Ledo is the guy who gets led because he finds it natural to be open to all kinds of authority showing him around stuff, while keeping in mind self-preservation.

    It could be that illness is a major part in Kugel’s decision for complete domination of people’s minds and livelihood, but I think it’s also significant that Chamber is aware of the social implications of Kugel’s actions. Striker also seems to be in on Kugel’s plans by partitioning and evaluating everybody.

    Prediction: Gargantia gets invaded. Some fanatic finds the sick kid in bed, and like a repeat of what Ledo’s childhood was like with his own sickly friend, kid gets offed for not being a “contribution” to society.

    And the Lesbian Pirate Queen thwarts the plans of Kugel!

    • June 16, 2013 at 8:57 pmsilver_huskey

      >”Prediction: Gargantia gets invaded. Some fanatic finds the sick kid in bed, and like a repeat of what Ledo’s childhood was like with his own sickly friend, kid gets offed for not being a “contribution” to society.”

      No, not Bebel! Though that thought randomly crossed my mind at one point.

      • June 17, 2013 at 1:11 amThe Truth is in the Axe

        like, if Urobuchi really wants an emotional death count….it’s probably Bebel. And it would be horrifying because it is a cruel thing.

        I mean, what does it say about an advanced society that really pushes human existence based on utility? Society is supposed to get better and more awesome, and part of that kind of proof is in letting disenfranchised people finding a way to live out a decent life despite what kind of physical disability they have.

  • June 16, 2013 at 8:47 pmMagoiichi

    Team Rocket and Mistress Lukkage is back! <3

    You telling me you don’t recognize the Hideauze symbol Ledo? Are you serious? That guy may be Kugel, but he definitely not working for the Alliance.That man is a spy! Or brainwashed at the very least.

    Also, the “disease” that Kugel supposedly has, I call bullshit on that too.For one, if he’s been inside the cockpit the whole time, he should be dead.I highly doubt that Striker can just magically give the pilot the nourishment he needs to survive because if that was the case, Chamber would be able to do the same thing.

    Another thing that points to Kugel being full of shit is when he said that Hideauze acts out of the base instincts of hunger and something else.Those Hideauze were totally acting out of hunger with that coordinated attack they were executing.Not to mention in that video of the past with them practically forming their own faction.

    Maybe that part was never in the video, only the audience knows about it, which would mean Ledo doesn’t.I’d accept that as the reason why Ledo didn’t recognize the symbol.

    • June 17, 2013 at 11:57 amMgMaster

      I’m almost certain Striker’s running the show but what I’m also curious is how Kugel died – as in I find it somewhat hard to believe that he could catch a disease that wasn’t shown in the show up till now at all,especially seeing as Ledo didn’t get any and they should both be physically adept humans.

      • June 17, 2013 at 2:20 pmMagoiichi

        Yeah, I didn’t even think about the AI being in control when I made my post.Striker being in control supports how suspicious Chamber has been acting the past few episodes.

        But if Striker is in control, why would it use the Hideauze symbol for its fleet? Unless the HIdeauze are behind the scenes and in control.

  • June 16, 2013 at 8:55 pmsilver_huskey

    I’m okay with the Galactic Alliance and the Hideauze out in space never being seen or brought up again. Ledo is effectively stranded on Earth, there’s no way he can rejoin the fight nor will the Alliance ever pick up his emergency signal. In 6500 years humans out in space may not even exist. So what we effectively have is a micro version of the war returning to Earth.

    A few episodes ago it was Ledo annihilating the Whalesquid/Earth Hideauze before learning of their true nature and how the war really began. His rose colored glasses were effectively shattered when he learned everything he’d been told by the GA was a lie. He even admitted himself he was brainwashed.

    So he spends an episode brooding over the revelation while Chamber urges him to fight, using machine logic. Destroy or be destroyed, it’s as simple as that. Before Ledo can fully contemplate his own feelings further (given Chamber’s response) he discovers Kugel. To hell with thinking, his commander has arrived. Not only is it nice to see a long-lost ally but being with a fellow space castaway has to be comforting. Except…

    The Galactic Alliance returns to Earth, or rather it is being recreated by Kugel. The stark contrast between the Kugel fleet and Gargantia was not lost on Ledo. Even the creepy fog of the fascist fleet was strikingly different from the sunny live and let live fleet. The humans aboard the feet and those who are effectively subjugated are systematically broken down and stripped of their individuality. Their purpose in life isn’t survive and prosper, it’s to serve the “greater good,” shaped by will of the few. Efficiency, extreme order and complete obedience is the name of the game here. When Ledo first arrived on Earth he would have accepted this world without question because it was the only way of life he knew. Seeing a different way of life and knowing he was lied to about the nature of the war have given him quite a few reservations.

    So the ending could be quite predictable if Urobuchi doesn’t toss in a last minute plot twist. I can’t see Ledo willingly destroying Gargantia. Even if he had a difference of opinion before he left the people left a strong impression on him. Hell, they even gave him a place to stay, fed him, paid him (thanks to Chamber’s work) and even accepted him to a degree. It would be somewhat of a scumbag move if Ledo responded to their tolerance by wiping the fleet out.

    Ledo had a chance to learn about what he’s been really fighting for, seeing his former life without the blinders on and deciding what type of person he wants to ultimately be. Is it better to stick with what’s comfortable and known (the GA) or venture into a seemingly chaotic and unstructured world (Gargantia)? We know our silver-haired MC will probably pick Gargantia, I’m just curious to see how he justifies the choice.

    Even with Gargantia’s ups and downs, I still feel the overarching theme is and always has been present. Finding one’s own way in life when suddenly being given an unprecedented amount of freedom. The show is a metaphor for a confused young adult who feels adrift in the sea of life after being cut loose from the highly structured world of school. With Ledo being the person, Gargantia being the freedom and the GA being the structured world.

    Random notes:

    Oh, Production I.G. your animation issues strike again. First Psycho-Pass, now Gargantia.

    I’m on the fence about Kugel being dead. On one hand, if can’t leave his cockpit how does he eat or drink? Unless he puts himself into cold sleep when he’s not needed and effectively leaves Striker to command. Or he could be dead. It was his robot!

    I can’t blame Pinion for the quick about-face. If I saw another mech on the same caliber as Ledo’s I would surrender too.

    • June 18, 2013 at 5:36 amSherrisLok

      No. Just no. Gargantia is not ‘the real world’, it’s a Neverveverland of phantasy where everybody is nice to you and you spend your days hanging out with friends and ordering a big robot around to do stuff on your behalf. The real world and society is more like the Kugel’s cult fleet where one’s standing depends on their abilities (whether they are ‘weak’ or ‘strong’) and if you cannot contribute, you lead a pretty wretched existence.

  • June 16, 2013 at 9:04 pmCarVac

    Clearly people in this world haven’t heard of the Prisoner’s Dilemma, where everyone taking the individually advantageous choice in the short-term leads to long-term suffering.

    • June 18, 2013 at 5:40 amSherrisLok

      I don’t see a link there.

  • June 16, 2013 at 9:11 pmc2710

    Brace yourselves lads. The suffering continues.

    That aside, I can’t help it to see the image of Emperor Palpatine in Striker, Dooku in Kugel and Vader in Pinon.

    Ledo may well turn out to be Luke.

    Your opinion guys?

    • June 17, 2013 at 11:37 amMgMaster

      Nah,let’s leave the Star Wars play to Valvrare this week.

  • June 16, 2013 at 9:15 pmSuperscooper

    My guess would be that Ledo would try to resist the plan to destroy or assimilate gargantia but the command lies with Kugel therefore chamber will not follow Ledo’s command for a while. As I recall there is a rule that the “sickly” cannot be allowed to exist in the alliance and Ledo will use this rule to take command from kugel since he has a disease. Just throwing that out there

  • June 16, 2013 at 10:32 pmCybersteel

    END CARD

  • June 16, 2013 at 10:46 pmFlareKnight

    There’s a lot that isn’t certain going into this last episode. Can we even be sure that Kugel is alive? For all we know Striker is pulling a Wizard of Oz on us. Striker itself can act as a god figure for the people and when they need to see a human face, well here’s a hologram. Of course Kugel very well could still be alive in there. Being isolated in his unit would help to distance himself emotionally from what he’s doing and make it easier to apply this very matter of fact standard without getting influenced by the locals.

    As to the Hideauze discussion, I almost think it doesn’t matter much anymore. There’s no way for humanity to communicate with them. How much intelligence is still there? Is sentience still there? It may be impossible to ever find out. Right now though I don’t think wiping out the Hideauze on Earth is the top priority. Think it’s more about humanity starting to take steps forward. Kugel’s fleet isn’t the right path, though I think Gargantia remaining unchanged isn’t the best either. Think taking the tech they’ve used and starting to develop their own technology is smarter. Who knows what the future holds, but just taking what they’ve found and using it won’t take them very far. If they remain stagnant then eventually the space threats or the Hideauze on Earth may take them out.

    The last episodes should be interesting. What will be the trigger to make Ledo act either against Kugel or Striker? Can he get Chamber to cooperate? Should be fun to find out.

  • June 16, 2013 at 11:55 pmmokh

    Ledo will save Gargantia
    woooooooooooooooooooooow

  • June 16, 2013 at 11:58 pmstardf29

    I personally can’t wait to see how Lukkage plays into all of this. If Kugel’s got some kind of grand plan to “take over” the Earth, our pirate queen who’s been playing along this whole time could be the major wrench thrown into those plans.

    • June 18, 2013 at 3:14 pmdustShadow

      I also wonder about that. Is she going along for the ride or is she pulling the strings to some extent? Is she pursuing her own agenda and/or is she going to flip over to the Gargantia side? As someone else also noted: she doesn’t have the initiation marks on here forehead.

  • June 17, 2013 at 12:25 amjamoe

    “The definition of happiness as being the one that brings the greatest value to the whole.”
    That’s Utilitarian Ethics in its original form, a cost-benefit analysis! Quantitative not qualitative; the ends justify the means.

  • June 17, 2013 at 1:45 amJoybot

    Ohh no!! This is totally the worst than I have expected.

    Ledo vs. Kugel?

    It seems that Kugel has grown somewhat, corrupted? That, he wanted to be the king of earth? I dont know. But hopefully, Ledo can reason with him lol. I think I am totally on the wrong side of the guesses but the illusive ideas kept surfacing to mind when and after watching this episode… :P

  • June 17, 2013 at 2:42 amsherry

    I don’t know why, but I think I’d actually like for Kugel to be ‘saved’ in spite o everything.
    He is not a bad guy per se, he is only following what he’s been taught his whole life (he is at least 10 years older than Ledo, so he’s been leading the Alliance way of life a lot longer) and I think he sincerely think he is doing the ‘right thing’ even though it looks twister to us watchers. As Ledo realized at the end of the episode, staying all this time inside that tiny space never going outside must have been so terrible!

    I also wonder how did he end up with an endemic disease? I sort of imagined that while asleep in their cockpit they should have been protected from any and every thing while they are inside…?

    Several people said that Kugel was already dead and that his Striker was the mastermind, but while it might be a possibility, from what I saw in this episode between Kugel talks and the way the Striker communicate and obey the given commands (and also seeing how Chamber is), nothing indicate to me that Striker is the ‘big boss’ nor that neither him nor Chamber should be able to do something like this, ultimately, they are only AI here to support their pilots.

    • June 17, 2013 at 10:56 amRob

      Maybe Kugel is real but his projected image is false? Maybe he’s disfigured in some way. Could some Hideazue virus have infected him during the battle?

  • June 17, 2013 at 7:18 amReddyRedWolf

    At this point we should realize two AIs are bluffing each other.

    Endemic disease? Please pass relevant data. (Checks on Ledo as he lived for months outside. Sounds fishy.) Kugel not showing his face inspires fear. Why isn’t a human who isn’t in suspended animation still active inside your cockpit.

    Define: Happiness? That is the Alliance propaganda definition. We’re not now in the Alliance are we? Heck I encouraged my pilot to be happy before we left. Take a four week shore leave and pick a girl to get laid. We found a bunch that cooperates for the happiness of the whole community. I’m made to ensure my pilot is a successful human being and I’m serving man. That is paradise for a machine like us. Your humans by what I’ve learned are not happy. In that they appear to have lost human dignity.

    For that matter I’ve been trying to reach the Alliance for months until I find out where in the middle of nowhere we are. And you have been maintaining radio silence? Why?

    • June 17, 2013 at 9:07 amGermanguy

      Perhaps the AI cannot “fake” Radio voice of the Pilot. Thats why. Striker AI is still suspicious. Sure the Pilot gone back into the Cockpit, and never came out. 1. He is in deep sleep Mode, 2. he gone back to Die and AI took over

      Btw, how do you eat and well… inside the Striker/Chamber Cockpit all this years? :)

  • June 17, 2013 at 8:04 amboki

    - Kugeltopia (a.k.a Alliance) Militaristic Communist/Fascist
    - Hideauze: Collectivist Transhumanist
    - Gargantia: Free Market Capitalist/Pacifist

    • June 18, 2013 at 5:47 amSherrisLok

      Gargantia: hippie anarchism/nomadic tribal society

  • June 17, 2013 at 8:06 amzztop

    ‘Hey!DAD!! Col. Kugel won’t come out of the cockpit!’

    If you look at the situation from another way,doesn’t the situation make Kugel look like some kind of NEET?

  • June 17, 2013 at 9:03 amGermanguy

    Guys, the Writers tried to hide an Important “Deus Ex” Tool…

    You all saw it. What i am talking about?

    The Key, that the Old dying Fleet Commander give the New one. It is not an old normal Key, it has no Rust on it..

    Perhaps this Key will turn a Big Part of Gargantia into a “Giant Gundam!!”.. Ok Joke aside, but this Key is mysterious “out of our Eyes and Silent!”…
    My Experience Senses said that it will play an Important Part in the Finale

    If i am allowed to guess into the Blue.

    Gargantia are the descendants of this “Carrier” from Episode 1/2. i am not sure if the Whalesquids come to aid Gargantia, that aint gonna happen. Not after Ledo’s slaughter. Btw and it looked like the Whalesquid Nest was protecting the Facility under Water from this new Clan

    The hole Wormhole collapse to soon, and all stranded on Earth. But in different Time… Or Strike AI is trying to Fake the Commander Older in a Hologram

    • June 17, 2013 at 9:09 amGermanguy

      The Key, i am talking about: http://randomc.net/image/Suisei%20no%20Gargantia/Suisei%20no%20Gargantia%20-%2008%20-%20Large%2002.jpg

      Nobody noticed it? Its to complex for a Key found somewhere in the Water

      • June 17, 2013 at 9:18 amGermanguy

        and the Head Logo smell fishy. Hideauze?

      • June 17, 2013 at 12:12 pmGermanguy

        after i got the “Master AI” idea into my Head… Perhaps this Key is the Key to activate the Original Master AI on Earth. The Gargantia are descendants of the first Allianze Humans, stranded on Earth. because Hideauze destroy the Blake Hole Jump. And Allianze was only capable to sent a Spaceship controlled with a Own Master AI, with Sleep Pods after them in Normal space… While on Traveling the Master AI done Cloning to compensate the Death Pods. So only few survived for Battle (that explain the Clones) Brilliant

        So Striker and Chamber are against their own creators… And this Key, can possible shutdown the AI of both Mobile Suits…

        Hope i am on the right path… if this is it, it was well hidden. You have my Respect

        But then i wonder if they go and explain this, or just chamber talking it trough

    • June 17, 2013 at 10:43 amGermanguy

      Well, perhaps this will happen in Episode 12

      Striker Unit will lead of course, Chamber will follow. As always

      But, striker will command chamber to attack, and not doing anything aggressive him self. When it happen, then it really are suspicious. Perhaps Chamber or Ledo will then insist that Striker should fight, too. Or do the first strike. Then perhaps Ledo and chamber will get behind the Striker secret

      and, in the meantime, Pinion should not fix a dam weapon. Is he that smart?

  • June 17, 2013 at 11:47 amweird d

    This episode really hammered the contrasts, not only between the characters, but between the ways of life. Compare the alive Gargantia and its vibrant colors with the dull background and subdued inhabitants of Kugel’s fleet, and you know that the Alliance definition of happiness is utter BS.
    I was also a bit surprised at the cult-like attitude of the people there. At first I wondered if Kugel somehow got a God complex, but he seems to ‘honestly’ impart his (skewed) Alliance outlook to the people because he believes in them, rather than for personal gain. The people probably did see him as a god of sorts, and he definitely used that, but it doesn’t look like he started believing it himself. Still, the fact he’s stuck in his cockpit due to a disease strikes me as odd, there may be something going on here.
    As for Ledo, it’s probably going to come to a clash with Kugel, not only because of morals, but for personal reasons. Remember that according to Alliance rules, useless people are discarded; Bebel had openly admitted that he’d be considered as such, so if Gargantia is taken over, Ledo will have to take a side. The bigger unknown here is Chamber, who as a machine, is apparently unable to question its allegiance.
    And finally, Pinion… I really loved seeing him taken down a few pegs (look at his face when he realizes the other side has a bigger gun), but he had his moments. First by volunteering to go because he’s more expendable to the fleet, bargaining for its safety first and above all, and not swallowing the propaganda he’s being fed. He’s always come off as self-serving, but he don’t think he’s going to side with Kugel at the expense of his friends, no matter what he could possibly gain from it.

  • June 17, 2013 at 1:43 pmbakakubi

    Let the “healing” begin!

    Seriously though, love how things are developing right now. Pinion, at the very least, showed that he is capable on certain aspects, even though he’s still quite incompetent in other areas. Well, I guess it shows that he’s human, abet not such a good one. Can’t wait for the next episode, hopefully it’ll be amazing.

  • June 17, 2013 at 7:26 pmbuubii

    It’s stupid that’s people thinks Kugel is dead since all UrobuchiGen’s Series always focuses on conflict between Human, Even in PsychoPass, SybilSystem is also Humans too,
    so its not gonna end stupid shit like Ledo VS AI.

    And Chamber always waiting for Ledo to order him before doing everthing. Striker should also have lower priority than Ledo, so if Kugel really dead then she have to followed Ledo’s order instead.

    • June 17, 2013 at 7:35 pmbuubii

      The only reason they make Kugel stay in cockpit is that they want to distinguish between Ledo that have chances to interact with people on Earth face to face and Kugel that dont have those chances.

  • June 17, 2013 at 10:14 pmBakapooru

    Rackage doesn’t have any markings.

    I predict she is somehow controlling Kugel/Striker and she needs Pinion to help fix the treasures. She is a pirate first and foremost.

  • June 17, 2013 at 11:28 pmHal

    I figured Kugel would return as he made such an impression in the first episode, and that the next time Ledo saw him he wouldn’t be as kind as he use to be back when they were fighting together in space.

    Since he’s a few years older than Ledo, I guess you could say that he’s more stubborn to detach himself from the beliefs that he was raised on, which is why he’s giving off more of a “dark image.” It makes me wish that this series could have had just a few more episodes to emphasize such a character that contrasts with our young protagonist, but they’re doing a hell of a job so far.

    It makes me feel anxious for the people of gargantia, especially the ones who are sick or too weak to do things. Ledo had said that those who got sick or weren’t adequate to the development of mankind were disposed of, just like his little brother. And that could only mean poor Bebel is in danger of the same fate if he continues to let this carry on without question.

    Though that’s probably unlikely given how much he’s been exposed to the facts and personal experience of living in gargantia for a time.

    And I also get the feeling that Lukkage will turn the tables and join Ledo and the citizens of Gargantia in the end. She seems to give this wild card vibe of seeing things on a neutral plane, which means she goes by her whims more than just simple facts.

    Again I really wish this series could go on for just a bit more as there is so much to talk about and see, but so far this a pretty good series.

  • June 18, 2013 at 12:41 pmTomer

    A bit disappointed. The last couple episodes were leading down an interesting philasophical debate about the morality of the choices of and war against the hideazu, but instead they decided this boring path with an obvious bad guy/good guys setup and predictable conclusion.

    Hopefully I’ll be proven wrong

  • June 18, 2013 at 12:48 pmchad28

    No comments about the animation quality this episode?

  • June 18, 2013 at 3:19 pmdustShadow

    I find it interesting that a lot of people have lamented the fact that Urobuchi Gen doesn’t chose sides in the dilemma’s he has presented in many of his previous serie. But now that one party is presented as somewhat overly utilitarian, there are accusations of being too black-white.
    Question: was Kugel’s (or Stryker, or Lukkage (?)) order for Ledo to assimilate Gargantia or to destroy it? Apparently there’s some confusion between different translations.

    • June 18, 2013 at 6:37 pmNobody

      The context that I understood was an attack to test their military coordination in a real life simulation (conquer), the key being that it is supposed to be without the assistance of stryker.

      The implication that I got behind why he would do such a thing is that he wants to measure if they are good enough to to be delegated to go out and bring their own people back.
      His objective is to consolidate all of human life on earth under a single organized rule. The only hindrance is how spread out everyone is vs. how fast his people can move. Having multiple groups acting on their own like city states beneath an emperor would make this assimilation process much quicker.

  • June 18, 2013 at 6:55 pmMichael

    This line of thought reminds me of John Ralston Saul’s ‘Dictatorship of Reason’. Excellent book and a look at why we think the way we do.
    I am glad we reached this point finally as i think it is the weakest of Gen’s shows.

    Next thing the liberal media is going to tell me is that Muslim’s are human as well! Yeah, right.

  • June 19, 2013 at 1:24 amStranger

    Nice to see Luggage actually be somewhat relevant again.