Suisei no Gargantia – Episode 2

Dear lord. Four hours late, and the thread is already this huge. Clearly the cost of maintaining any social connections whatsoever is far too high.

Why would they do this to me, anyway? Why would they put two of the most hotly anticipated shows of the season (and also HenNeko) up on Saturday night? Just to prove my commitment, I guess.

Welp, I’m here now. Beer in hand, episode at the ready. I guess I’ll just have to apologize in the only way I know how.

Episode 2

1:59 – Now this is interesting. Chamber deliberately lying to Ledo?

3:57 – Just realized her eyes are supposed to be the color of that sea/sky horizon. Ermahgerd it’s almost like his future connection with her will represent his breaking away from faith with his rigid hierarchical society or something. Also, this is the most un-Urobuchi opening I’ve ever seen.

(That was a lie. The camera still respects the female characters, it could definitely be less Urobuchi)

3:26 – Aw yeah. Thought my visual symbolism stab was reaching? Check out the exact shot this OP closes with.

4:25 – I like that the Earthlings have their own prebuilt vocabulary for mechs that they refer to Chamber with. One of the thousand nice touches writers can use to imply a world and a history without wasting narrative space

5:46 – Another nice parallel here, though I don’t yet know what it will amount to, is that even on earth itself, humanity has been reduced to scattered peoples only kept alive by their fabricated mini-worlds. I don’t know how that will become thematically relevant, but I doubt it’s a meaningless choice

6:20 – “Conditionally agreed.” Does that mean Chamber has the authority to override Ledo if he disagrees? It would make sense – in a society that treats humans as worker bees, there’s no better worker bee than an actual programmed machine

6:25 – Goddamnit does Urobuchi load his dialogue well. “We thought the sun’s unusual activity had turned it to a frozen wasteland, but look around us.” That sentence both explains the Alliance’s position and the current state of the earth while also furthering the immediate conversation.

7:00 – I like his little physical gestures explaining how his weapon works (clicking through settings to weaken the beam) while Chamber attempts to convince him to cede control of the situation by reentering hibernation. I think, if anything, Urobuchi is only becoming better and better as a storyteller. He really is on another level from most people in the industry – even if other people make great things, the finesse of craft and economy of storytelling on display here is remarkable

13:17 – There’s something really funny about Chamber describing himself as “super strong.”

Also, I really hope they remain as dedicated to the language barrier between Ledo and the Earthlings as they’ve been so far. Both the compromises of understanding that forces, as well as the potential for conflict when Ledo’s motives possibly begin to diverge from his only interpreter, are rich veins for drama.

14:20 – We’re probably gonna need an Amy “AI’s are awesome” dance gif

17:24 – “Extensive contact with the abnormal is profitable to no-one.” I don’t know this guy yet, but it sounds weird hearing such a direct reflection of Chamber’s likely soon-to-be position coming from the other side.

21:25 – That is one weird-ass propulsion system. Some kind of energy source that continuously draws the mech towards itself?

22:00 – Holy shit, they just killed so many people.

And Done

Promising first episode justified! Not that I doubted it would, what with Urobuchi and all, but still, the craft and care of each element of this show certainly outdoes Pyscho-Pass on a moment-to-moment basis, both in being more distinctive and accomplishing more at once, plus the characters are a little sharper. Not only that, this show exists in a world far removed from his usual sensibilities – though those last few moments prove he’s still not the most cheery of guys. But yeah, this episode did great work in establishing characters, relationships, and a variety of potential conflicts – Ledo versus Chamber, Amy versus the whims of the Gargantian command, Ledo/Chamber’s efficient problem-solving versus the idea of mercy as a thing that should exist… etc. It was also beautiful, and there were tons of moments that accomplished one neat thing visually while adding another narratively. Much like Madoka, this seems like it’s going to be a show I can look at and marvel at the beauty of a gifted writer at the height of his powers.