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Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet - First Thoughts PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 07 April 2013 21:51
Ensign Ledo is a Machine Caliber pilot in the Galactic Alliance of Humankind, fighting a seemingly endless war against the Hideauze, humanity's greates enemy, in the far reaches of the galaxy. But after an accident during a major offensive, he and his robot, Chamber, end up on a mysterious planet filled with a seemingly primitive tribe of humans...

I will not mention The Name that's associated with this one, but suffice to say their reputation makes this one of the more anticipated shows of the season, and I have to say that of the Spring shows I've seen so far, this is head & shoulders above the rest. The opening half is a truly epic space battle (with humanity getting its arse collectively handed to it), while the second moves the focus to a location that is literally far more down to Earth - primitive to Ledo, because his branch of humanity doesn't live on surface worlds anymore.

There are lots of aspects of this that may or may not have been inspired elsewhere. Sticking out particularly, the Galactic Alliance of Humankind seems to draw heavily on the Abh (Crest of the Stars), with some elements of the Starship Troopers movie in there (with Ledo's military service earning him citizenship and the limited right to visit Avalon, humanity's 'homeworld' - a giant station with hundreds of millions of residents). Some weapons seem to be out of Lexx, and the 'modern human cast away' aspect has some echoes of Jyu-Oh-Sei. But that's just the start of ideas that I've seen in other science fiction works. What Gargantia is doing, though, is weaving all those ideas together into a very interesting world, and that's a lot of the appeal right there.

Add in the beautiful presentation - it really is gorgeous to watch - and they mystery of how they're going to tie the war against the Hideauze into Ledo's castaway status (I assume that's were the series is going to go), and I'll admit to giving an involuntary groan when the closing credits ran - I really didn't want this one to end, and next Sunday seems a long way away.

THE GOOD: First show in a while to really grab me by the throat and not let go. Compelling viewing throughout.

THE BAD: Not entirely clear where it's going from here. I think I know, but it could very easily throw me for a loop in the next few episodes. We'll see.

Roll on the next episode, as I genuinely can't way. Best show of the season so far.

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet is streamed by Crunchyroll.

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