What’s that you you losers use for those crappy 4-koma anime? You know, the weeaboo term you employ to justify why nothing interesting ever happens but it makes you feel nice? The calm you supposedly feel that could just as easily be gotten by staring at a brick wall? Iya…Iyacake? Iyakishit? Iyashikei? Yeah, that’s the one. That’s what Gargantia is for me.
I’ve been holding off talking about Butch Gen in regards to this anime because his involvement isn’t as direct as it was in Psycho Pass and Madoka. He wrote the story, so we’re safe in calling this a big change in tone from his previous works and one that I’m enjoying a lot. The beat-by-beat script is written by different folks altogether, so the people who are praising Butch Gen’s dialogue have their sights misaligned. Each episode so far has been accredited to a different person. In itself not unusual, although it would explain to slightly strange shift in tone episode 3 had.
So who do I heap the praise on for this show being so well written? The dialogue has all the elements good dialogue should have. The world building happens as a natural part of conversation rather than making it feel like awkward exposition as the character talks to the audience. The way they speak feels natural and the way they express themselves goes a long way to developing and demonstrating their personality. Their interactions are structured around the specific themes Gargantia has been building since the start. They do all of this while still retaining their sense of humour. I guess a huge amount of the credit has to go to the director and main writer for having such strong creative control, but this attention to detail is so rare in any entertainment, let alone anime. Someone has really been honing this script.
I love everything about the way they portray Ledo. The changes to how he acts around people has changed slowly during the series. He changed from automatically reacting by grabbing his gun to a more relaxed greeting. He’s making an effort to speak in their language rather than putting up Chamber as a barrier. He’s been slowly shedding layers to the point that he’s basically down in his underwear. I don’t know if the moment in which he displayed the most of his soul was at the point when he was wearing the least clothes was deliberate, but I liked the visual metaphor of him stripping off his military layers. Also I like just watching Ledo wear less clothes because gosh is he ever cute…wait, did I just type that?
*cough* ummm deep thematic resonance something something
Gargantia has a real feel-good charm to it. I brought up Eeyuckyshit earlier because Gargantia makes me feel happy, but it doesn’t do so by being sickly sweet. What I don’t like about anime like Hidamari Sketch or Aria is that there’s no threat of events being anything other than perfect. I’m genuinely baffled that Aria chose to tell its story after they had already set up the planet and no more problems exist, because that seemed like a far more interesting story. The status quo remains the status quo and nothing is ultimately achieved. The true feel-good stories are the ones where people succeed from the lowest of circumstances and have something truly genuinely happy occur. It’s why I love something like Tokyo Godfathers. Where you can break someone’s depressing view of the world and truly make them feel happy, that’s true feel-good. That’s a ~healing~ story.
…now I hope Butcher Gen doesn’t go and kill everyone now.