The reason episode 2 came out so soon after the TV broadcast of episode 1 was because there was some pre-screening event where they had a limited batch of Blu-Rays of the first 2 episodes for ridiculous prices on sale. I guess the assumption from them was a limited release like that would be seen as too precious to go sharing on the interwebz, but they underestimate the dedication to pirate. That means I got to see that TERRIBLE opening song almost a week before I was originally supposed to. Because HOLY SHIT is it ever THE WORST. It reminds me of that OP for the new Last Exile where they replaced the awesome techno bagpipes of the original to some generic genki shite. It says something bad about anime music when the last genuinely great song I can remember being used for anime OP or ED is by an English band from the early 70’s.
I brought up in my Valvrave post that there’s a point to casting the main characters in Gargantia as teenagers. There’s a very deliberate contrast between the girly and Red/Ledo (Red’s a weird name, but if that is how it was supposed to be pronounced then I don’t want to be ‘That Guy’ who still insists on calling Light from Death Note ‘Raito’) which wouldn’t work if they were adults. Kiseki pointed out in my last post that the official site for Gargantia says Red’s age is 16, so the count his AI gave for his time in service was his exact age. In other words, he’s been in service for as long as he’s been alive. The kid is military through and through, with everything being done through protocol. He’s a lot like Sagara Sousuke from Full Metal Panic. His uptight manner wouldn’t feel so strange if we didn’t have someone his own age next to him who acts like how teenagers are supposed to act. Or at least, a slightly idyllic genki version of how teenagers act. That wouldn’t have the same impact if he was just a gruff military adult soldier, because regardless of war or peace, a grumpy military sergeant is the same personality.
Another thing I’ve seen floating around about this series is that “it’s Butcher Gen so obviously everyone is going to suffer horribly and die before the end”, which I’m not really seeing at this point. Gen’s stories are structured to a fault. You can usually see most twists a while before they actually come because it’s so deliberately foreshadowed and paced. Madoka Magica did start off nice and fluffy, but there was a very definite sense that something underneath was off. The way Kyubey was shot and how eerie the witch worlds felt showed that something was up long before episode 3 arrived in all its head-munching glory.
I’m not getting that with Gargantia so much. The one ‘dark’ side comes out in the technological difference between him and the Gargantia fleet. Or more specifically, how militarised he is versus the fleet. This came to a head with his disintegration of the pirates. The complete disintegration of someone has always been fascinatingly horrifying for me because it’s so clean. It’s like how when the military try to control the press images of the war, they produce videos of high tech weaponry and no dead bodies. When everything is that clean, it seems so efficient and easy to put down as a job well done, which is what makes it frightening. That’s where the conflict is in this series. The difference between Red and the fleet. I suppose they could change tone and the series could end with him making friends and then space snails invading and killing everyone and it would make perfect sense within the tone they’ve set. But I dunno, just not feeling that right now.