As predicted in my post last week, the coming of Suisei no Gargantia’s eighth episode brings with it the changing of the guard as Ridget takes the reins of Fleet Commander. With this succession though, comes the departure of Pinion, Flange, Ledo, and a large portion of the Gargantian fleet—which combined with Fairlock’s funeral to make this week’s episode quite something to say the least.
Indeed, the funeral procession throughout the episode just gave me chills, and I’d think that I wasn’t the only one who was really feeling it as a result of how the Gargantians do things in situations like this. The fact that everyone was involved—literally—via each of them personally putting some of the sand that covers the deceased body was just exceptionally powerful, and really just showcased the tight knit culture the Gargantians have, as well as the fact that everyone is linked in some way, shape, or form (whether they wanted to or not).
In turn though, this is exactly why I feel like there’s definitely going to be an emotional reunion between most of the cast before it’s all said and done. Because at this point, their fates are inextricably linked. The departing members will reunite. The flute that Ledo gives Bebel, the fact that he shared his story about his younger brother, and the fact that he also takes the time to meet Amy and Bebel at the end just proves this inevitability. The questions that remain though… are just whether or not all of them will make it back alive—as it seems probable to me that a few members of the expedition (such as Pinion and/or Flange) may not survive—and under what circumstances will this reunion happen…
…because combined with the above departure and the assumed finding of some valuable clues regarding the Hideazue/treasure on the expedition to the whalesquid’s nest, there’s also the side development involving Chamber/Ledo’s reunion with the Galactic Alliance this week as well. Granted, the conclusion from Chamber this week that there’s no way they’d be able to return—after all, the SOS message will never reach in time (6500+ WHOLE YEARS!)—but there’s definitely a feeling here that this conclusion is only something impossible under the current circumstances. The key part of this conclusion is that they need some kind of navigational device to assist them… and I for one believe they may yet find that on their upcoming expedition. Still, I do have to add in that assuming this prediction ends up being true, I don’t think Ledo will end up returning to the Galactic Alliance regardless—or at least will return to Amy at some point…
…which is something that I feel fairly strongly about considering how I’ve pretty much managed to nip everything in the bud prediction wise so far. Notably though, that’s not to say I think I’m some godly predictor of future events or to brag or anything, but rather just a confirmation that this is a Murata Kazuya led work through and through. Having been familiar with most of the series’ he has worked on and knowing how his series tend to involve some kind of necessary separation and inevitable reunion, the fact that this necessary separation indeed happened this week lends strongly to the fact that he will likely continue this trend with this series as well. In turn, what this means is that the bloodbath that many people predicted as a result of Gen’s involvement will likely not happen (or at least not be anywhere near the same as his previous works)—and it’s something I’m admittedly fine with, considering how ill of a fit it would be for the series at this point, and the fact that he himself said he wanted to do something different this time around.
Ultimately, it’s just a great episode of Suisei no Gargantia this week as the necessary separation between the members of the Gargantian fleet set up the basis of what could be a truly spectacular ending. In the end, it’s not something that any of the cast wanted (even the ones leaving), but the basic thing is you gotta do what you gotta do, and everyone will come out stronger from this as a result. The separation between Amy and Ledo will be significant toward the development of anything between them (especially once they both realize the reasons for doing what they both did and feeling what they both did), Ridget will need to learn what it means to be a true fleet commander underneath arguably the biggest crisis the fleet has faced in a long time, so on… and so forth. As such, I really just can’t overstate how much potential there is in the coming episodes, and this is one of those series that could really leave its mark for a long time if Murata Kazuya can repeat the magnificence he’s pulled off in some of his other works.