Yo guys, I think Butch Gen might be into liberalism. I first had an inkling of this when Psycho Pass introduced us to a world where a bunch of brains in jars told us whether we would be naughty or nice, but boy did they ever make it super obvious in this episode of Gargantia. I do kinda love that Commie fansubs did this episode. This must be the natural trajectory of Butch Gen’s career. Start by brutally killing people, then slowly move away from that and into denouncing them commie scumbags. Someone needs to come up with a new nickname instead of ‘Butcher Gen’. I’m not very good at puns so I don’t think my version of ‘Gen McCarthyism Urabuchi’ will catch on.
Leaving aside the politics for a while, I did think this episode was much better written then some of the previous ones. For one, Pinion came off as something other than just a giant walking dick. He demonstrated a bit of humility and I enjoyed his back and forth with the dark skinned girl. I did find it rather weird that the criteria for whether he was allowed handle futuristic space lasers was whether he poked a future Rubik’s Cube with a stick or not. I wonder what the selection process is for hiring chief of engineering. They probably put the candidate in a room with a banana hanging just out of reach and a stick on the ground.
I also liked some of the conversations between Ledo and his new commander and them explaining their various positions on how they approached the natives. The captain probably killed a person or two and demonstrated the awesome power of his godlike robot. Ledo’s first actions upon hopping out of the robot was to kidnap a girl and hit her in the bum with a pistol. All right, so maybe you get one tumblr post about how this is yet another example of misogyny in the postal service, but you don’t get a Stalinist Regime born out of it, no matter what your Reddit-stalking, mens’ rights activist might say.
Oh yeah, Stalinist regime. I thought Psycho Pass was a bit overt with its themes, but that’s the king of subtlety next to evil religious group serves ridiculously posh meal to upper class as denoted by their ability to poke a cube with a stick. Somehow Sibyl reading your brain scans to determine what job you should be in came off as way easier to swallow a simple magic puzzle test then throwing luxuries at you. Sibyl presented a weirdly compelling argument why it should and could be implemented next to what we had now, and you had to really get to the core of what was important about self-determination to work out your standings on the subject. The author’s position on the subject was obvious from the get-go, but by making the alternative this psychopathic wannabe vigilante, it made you figure out for yourself what about liberalism was important.
Gargantia on the other hand presents the issue in a much more black-and-white manner. I appreciate more anime trying to tackle some of these much broader philosophical and politics concepts. Can’t think of the last one we got that wasn’t Butch Gen and was quite as obvious about this. Probably Eden of the East? That show had someone ‘saving the country’ by packing up all the NEETs, stripping them naked and carting them off to Dubai. That’s practically the famous Jonathan Swift ‘A Modest Proposal – Eat the Poor’ analogy. I just wish Gargantia was better at it. I mean, they end the episode by saying they’re going to destroy the happy wonderful capitalist society? I dunno, maybe this is what happens when you get different people to write every episode.