「無頼の女帝」 (Burai no Nyotei)
“The Villainous Empress”
With every action comes a reaction, every deed a consequence. As Ledo finds out the hard way, you just can’t go about killing a bunch of pirates without expecting any backlash, and the Gargantia comes under attack as a result. As expected though, Ledo ends up saving the day, but we get a whole lot of interesting development in between…
…as ultimately, the episode wasn’t as much about the battle as it was the events leading up to it and after it. Because when all’s said and done, there was really no way Ledo was going to lose in that situation, and the pirates were in many ways quite typical ones at that—well, as typical as it is to have her as an epic pirate and lobster influenced mecha. As such, the big things—at least to me—regarding this episode was the fact that Ledo is at least starting to garner some awareness that this world is completely different from the one he grew up in, the fact that he now realizes has to at least adapt somewhat to the way people do things on Earth, and the ultimate acceptance he gains from the Gargantia crew at the end. And it’s something that’s highlighted by the discussions between him and Bellows about weapons and killing people, the discussion where Ledo verifies he can theoretically wipe out the Gargantia too, and the thank you he says at the end—all of which were not only interesting to listen to, but really hammered in the difference in ideologies between Ledo and the Gargantia crew.
Notably though, the above also hammered in two other things for me—the first of which is the kind of “innocence” Ledo has. Granted, it’s not quite the right word considering all the things he’s experienced and done, but it’s something I feel is appropriate because he’s definitely being influenced—and quite easily at that—by his interactions with the Gargantian crew. It’s not quite to the point where he wouldn’t know if he was being completely used, but he definitely lacks the individuality that people on Earth (and especially members of the Gargantia crew) seem to have, and it’s something that really gives both a contrast between the two groups and emphasizes the large difference in Ledo’s life compared to those of people on Earth.
Speaking of individuality and uniquity… this now brings me to the second thing, which is greatness embodied in human form: Amy. Okay well, fine. I’m stretching the truth here a bit and she’s not necessarily the most original of characters (or THAT great) by any sense of the word, but in the context of the show, she’s demonstrated herself as a rather intriguing individual that really bridges the gap between the Gargantians and Ledo. Suffice to say, I’m enjoying the way her character is being done and the things she brings to the table, and it’s just a testament to how well things are being done so far in this series. And like I said last week, I really wouldn’t mind being stranded somewhere if it were with someone like her.
Overall, it’s just another great episode in my opinion. The technology aspect surprised me somewhat (those submarines!) on top of the fairly good development, and it’s something that combines with the mention of Ridget’s father (Chevron) to keep me intrigued as to how things are going to turn out and how the pieces of the puzzle we call Earth fall together. At the same time though, I do feel like I have to mention that there were bits and pieces around that people likely will find fault about—things such as the discussion between ideologies, the manner in which Ledo accepts it, and the rather stereotypical nature of the pirate enemies. So whether or not this episode ended up kind of “meh” or “great” will likely depend on your personal preferences. Regardless, I think we can all still agree that Suisei’s been a pretty good ride so far with its fairly unique take on sci-fi (again, the bit where the soldier’s thrown out of a war rather than into one), and I guess we’ll just see where things go from here.