Suisei no Gargantia – Episode 11

Oh boy Gargantia. We’re really in the shit now, aren’t we? All the dominoes set up, three episodes remaining, and at least half a dozen narrative, character, and thematic conflicts to be resolved. Ending this gracefully will take some doing, but I actually wouldn’t have it any other way – I think the different issues we’re juggling here are going to bounce off each other quite nicely. Let’s kill some squids.

Episode 11

0:40 – That’s right Amy. You don’t need no goddamn man in your life!

1:29 – Kugel’s looking ragged. Extremely likely he spent the six months Ledo was at the bottom of the ocean developing his cult

3:13 – Look at how happy Ledo is! Thank god for the Galactic Alliance – things were so much simpler back then!

4:53 – Episode title: Supreme ruler of terror. Feeling healed yet?

5:28 – “Welcome, envoy of the sky, clad in blah blah we’re a crazy cult.” Well that wasn’t hard to guess

5:56 – Nice visual there – their entire world is a pyramid with Kugel at the top. Anyone care to take a guess at their societal structure?

8:59 – “Pinion of the Sea of Mist.” Oh god fucking damnit. Pinion’s continued relevance to the plot is pretty aggravating – he’s basically chaos itself, and doesn’t do anything to help contrast the various viewpoints of this show against each other

10:10 – And the lobster? Well, I hope they’re going somewhere with this…

10:59 – This actually seems okay. I was fine with Pinion’s character until he went plot-crazy last episode and made a series of terrible and unnecessary decisions. We seem to be back to blunt but pragmatic Pinion now, who’s a solid character

12:02 – “Former humans, you mean.” Very nice that the higher-ups knew, and it wasn’t a big crazy secret that would change everything. Because as Chamber outlined last episode, it wasn’t and it doesn’t

13:15 – Okay, let’s plot out this philosophy a bit

“The weak and the strong support each other through rationality and each have their own ways to contribute and build a society.”

“Happiness is the realization of a circumstance in which the individual renders service to the entire group and the cost-benefit performance of that is at the greatest efficiency. As such, happiness is commensurate with the degree of stability of command.”

Alright, it works better laid out like that. So yes, Kugel is creating a society based around giving all potential resources to the realization of a predetermined societal goal which is supposed to be commensurate with “victory” or, in this case, “happiness.” It’s based on strict hierarchical control and absolute denial of the self. It’s an extreme, but not an unreasonable or unrealistic one

16:23 – Goddamnit Pinion. Their ruse was solid, but still, nice fucking negotiations asshole

18:23 – “According to your work, you receive a fair amount of rations from society.” No safety net here!

19:51 – “He has retreated into his cockpit to become a symbol.” It’s cute that at the top of a pyramid of self-denial, the leader has literally made himself cease to exist

20:44 – “Maybe I should have never left this cockpit.” Curse this ability to examine values from multiple perspectives!

22:15 – Oh come on, zooming the camera in to Amy herself? We get it, Gargantia

And Done

Interesting episode! It consolidated the existing conflicts pretty gracefully, but was mainly interested in talking about Galactic Alliance philosophy. Which is something I’m still working on taking apart – not the philosophy itself, which is pretty straightforward and basically the realization of a military-industrial complex as moral absolute, but the different elements of our own societies that it’s digging at. It rejects currency and individual goals, but idolizes individual effort. No compromise, no safety net, and all accomplishment (and the idea of happiness itself) is tied to realization of a central principle. Honestly, there’s plenty of stuff that reminds me of – theocracies and corporate philosophies seem like the big two, with their system combining a lot of Objectivism with a lot of piety and self-denial, which seems like it’d be an uncomfortable mix, but is certainly working out for them. Either way, not my scene (if you’ve got a few minutes, listen to that one, it pretty much covers the gist of it) – not a bold stance or anything, but I’m a pretty big fan of safety nets and self-actualization, myself.