53 CommentsGargantia on the Verdurous Planet / By Scamp /

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet episode 5 – The most dangerous enemy

[HorribleSubs] Suisei no Gargantia - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_06.35_[2013.05.05_20.46.51]

Here is my visual representation of this week’s episode.

[HorribleSubs] Suisei no Gargantia - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_13.49_[2013.05.05_20.48.21]

This trope has always baffled me. Man walks down an empty street and a bunch of incredibly hairy cross-dressing men try to rape him. It makes me wonder is there some sort of cultural thing I’m missing here. Are there so many cross-dressing burlesque clubs in Tokyo that they’re so desperate for new members that they prowl the streets in search of possible new candidates but are also notorious sexual offenders? Or are they actually gangsters and I’ve got totally the wrong end of the stick. Like how we’re supposed to recognise the pompadour as a symbol of wannabe yakuza, there’s actually a notorious yakuza spin-off group that dresses as women and preys on people on the street and their thinly veiled threats of rape are actually them stealing all your money?

It’s not like I was expecting some sort of Wandering Son levels of delicacy to the subject of transgenderism or anything, although that has put a rather amusing image in my head of the people Ledo meeting a bunch of shy, socially awkward, effeminate dudes in wigs and schoolgirl uniforms mumbling something about would he kindly come see their Romeo and Juliet play. But if you’re going to be offensive, could you do it in some non-awful clichéd way?

[HorribleSubs] Suisei no Gargantia - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_12.03_[2013.05.05_20.48.11]

The episode as a whole felt really pointless. I was down with Ledo trying to find a job reflecting his desires to fit into this alien society. That mountain of cow shit is also an accurate metaphor for the job-hunting process. But the episode did so little to advance anything beyond that, and was really stupid to boot. Leaving aside the transvestites for a second, why were the girls putting on sun-cream? I can suspend my disbelief and assume that this society managed to invent sun-cream in its limited technological capacity, but the girls spend their whole lives flying from ship to ship out in the sun wearing practically bikinis anyway. But this is a beach episode, so obviously we have to have the sunscreen application scene because that’s in the worn out box of beach episode tropes, along with the comparison of risqué bikinis, the male lead not knowing how to swim, the cross-dressing rapists. You know, normal beach episode tropes.

The episode felt like one of those ones crappy harems do where they want to keep the status quo intact while waiting for the final plot twist to set up the finale. In short, it felt like a beach episode filler. Bleh.

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53 Comments

  1. Shadow
    Posted May 5, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    i told everyone that Red *or whatever you want to call him* will end up having a harem, everyone told me the same excuse “It’s Gen Urobuchi, man! This ain’t a happy story!” This episode totally proved them all wrong XD. I do still expect a mindfuck around episode 8-9 that will set up for some sort of sequel bait.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Butch Gen writes crappy harem. Next week: cultural festival episode! Or summer festival and the girls wear yukatas and at the end fireworks go off

      • blackice85
        Posted May 6, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        After this episode I wouldn’t doubt you.

      • Cirith
        Posted May 12, 2013 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

        I have just watched the first 1.5 minutes of episode 6:”The festival is about to begin”. I don’t know what they will do yet, but anyway I applaud your foresight.

    • ANON
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      seriously scamp? cultural festival? we all know the next episode would be the hot springs one.

  2. Ryuuho
    Posted May 5, 2013 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    I agree that it was a rather pointless episode. It seemed kind of like the last few seconds were foreshadowing that something is going to happen with Chamber though, so I’m curious to see how that will play out (unless it isn’t and I’m just thinking too much about it) I wouldn’t be surprised if he was programmed with some kind of “kill your pilot if he starts to display too much free will” feature though.

    Also, there was not a single screenshot of Ledo’s legs in those tiny shorts in this post. I’m disappointed.

    • Pusswookie
      Posted May 5, 2013 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

      I haven’t seen the episode yet, but that seems like an interesting twist.
      On an unrelated note, is the red tint on the girls’ shoulders, legs, and faces a not so subtle remnant of their lives outdoors, or is it to make them look more cute, because they strike me as somewhat….hentai-ish. I’m hoping for the former, as I’ve noticed that the red bits only seem to be where their skimpy cultural clothing doesn’t cover.

      • Leah
        Posted May 5, 2013 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

        Well, the character designer is a hentai artist (Hanaharu, check her out, she’s awesome), and it’s sort of a stylistic thing for her, but characters like Ridget don’t have the blush at all, so I guess it’s to illustrate how lively some of the girls are.

      • Erif
        Posted May 5, 2013 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

        “Well, the character designer is a hentai artist (Hanaharu, check her out, she’s awesome)…”

        Well, if you’re into hentai I guess.

      • Pusswookie
        Posted May 6, 2013 at 12:45 am | Permalink

        Erif, unfortunately we don’t know each other, and therefore you are grievously underestimating the amount of things I can masturbate to.
        I kind of wish that I hadn’t actually checked her stuff out, as it does bear a remarkable resemblance to the characters found in Gargantia. This…might to ruin a bit of my immersion, to say the least.

    • Posted May 5, 2013 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

      Because Pinion never explained what he was doing to Chamber, I just saw the last few seconds as him being totally clueless about his role as a heat plate, and as more of a joke than anything dark. On the other hand, “kill your pilot if he starts to display too much free will” would be a very Urobuchi thing to do.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      I seriously doubt there’s anything going on with Chamber. That was just a joke they did.

  3. Posted May 5, 2013 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    It all makes sense now … Gen Urobochi sets us up for a story that seems interesting, and then makes all of it irrelevant and turns it into a generic crappy harem!
    For a 13-episode series, this is pretty leisurely pacing (although not as bad as say, Aku no Hana)

    • Scamp
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      I liked the pacing of the first 4, but this was blergh

  4. Leah
    Posted May 5, 2013 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Poor Chamber. He has been putting up with everyone’s bullshit for far too long. I mean, being used as a grill? Poor guy.
    I wouldn’t hold it against him if he snaps next week. I thought that he might become one of those A.I.’s with feelings at first, but the popular theory of him going full HAL on us sounds more likely every week. Whatever he does, he’s still my favourite character.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Robots With Feelings. I can’t see Chamber doing anything rash. What’s the point anyway, he’ll still be stuck on the planet

      • Leah
        Posted May 6, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        What if he manages to contact the Alliance, though? Ledo surely will side with the Gargantias, so what will Chamber do?

  5. Leah
    Posted May 5, 2013 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    Also, I would totally read a manga where the main characters are a mafia full of manly cross-dressers.

  6. Redcrimson
    Posted May 5, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    I knew someone would eventually make a “huge pile of shit” joke about this episode.

    Seriously though, as far as anime beach episodes go this was downright tolerable. Some of the jokes were at least funny, and it did introduce at least one interest plot point. And at least nobody’s bikini top came off. That’s a good sign, right? Right?!

    • Scamp
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Good point, they did forget to have someone’s bikini top come off. What a terrible misstep on their part

  7. Posted May 5, 2013 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    I actually didn’t mind this episode. Yeah, beach episode. Yeah, drag queens trying to seduce Red. But knowing other shows, this could’ve been much worse. It’s a minus compared to the previous gigs, but it seemed like a “calm before the storm” deal that Urobuchi likes to do.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      But there you’re comparing Gargantia to crappy harem anime where it’s obviously going to come out on top. You’ve got to compare it to actually good anime. Would Attack on Titan have a beach episode? No!

      …I would so watch an Attack on Titan beach episode

      • Kiseki
        Posted May 6, 2013 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        I would love to see Mikasa’s six pack featured in a beach episode.

      • Posted May 6, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        There is no beach inside the wall. A private swimming pool will be good enough.

      • ANON
        Posted May 6, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

        have you seen the latest episode? one of those rich people had a house in the middle of a lake, which means a “beach” episode is possible.

      • Posted May 7, 2013 at 2:05 am | Permalink

        lakeside != beach

  8. Cirith
    Posted May 5, 2013 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    I would be more accepting of that trope if they weren’t always sex crazy and ready to molest attractive characters. Btw I find Ledo’s reaction peculiar, I would have expected puzzlement as his first reaction.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Fear of cross dressing rapists is universal across the galaxy

  9. Adreme
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    I find I don’t mind this episode as much for the sole reason that I figure its probably the first purposeless thing that Ledo has done in not just the series but probably his entire life which might be interesting in a character development standpoint later on.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Doesn’t excuse the episode being stupid and boring though

  10. Canary Paint
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    Yeah… The gays guy are a bunch of cross dressing rapists hidden somewhere in the recesses of boatland. Pretty fuckin’ lame…

    Almost forgot… The one scantily clad girl finally gets to admit that she should be ashamed about not being anemic, which if I remember correctly was good for her so that she can avoid disappointment in her future love life.

    I am getting bored with this one. Only the memory of the epic space battle buoys me.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      For a second there I thought they were going to subvert that trope but lol nope all anime girls need to go on diets no matter how absurdly thin they are

    • Gan_HOPE326
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      And no matter whether they live or not in a post-apocalyptic world where food is grown on ships and should be probably rationed. Meat should be such a rarity that they’d just stuff themselves with it without a second thought. You know, being one of the like two times in the entire year they’re going to eat it.

  11. Pusswookie
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 4:02 am | Permalink

    All I could think off throughout the course of this episode was “A-1 Steak Sauce, Yeah, it’s that important.”

    • Posted May 6, 2013 at 5:53 am | Permalink

      Now I wonder why A-1 Steak Sauce hasn’t sponsored an anime by A-1 Pictures.

      • Pusswookie
        Posted May 6, 2013 at 8:02 am | Permalink

        I have a sneaking suspicion that the purpose of this whole episode was to show A-1 Steaksauce that the good folks at A-1 Pictures are willing to advertise if they’re willing to talk money.
        “I’m just saying, it doesn’t HAVE to be granny’s special sauce. It could be something more…beneficial, to the both of us.”

  12. TheVoid
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 4:37 am | Permalink

    The way the girls were acting when Pinion sent Ledo to go off and get that sauce made me think that this is the normal process they go through to get that stuff, which just furthers why I don’t like Pinion. On top of making Chamber into a grill and calling him a tin can.

  13. Kuddlesworth
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Every anime has to have a some beach episode so its nice that they put is so soon on in the series to get it out of the way.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      I know right, I wasn’t so keen on Madoka’s beach episode either. Oh wait…

      I wish more anime did what Girls und Panzer did and shove the beach episode onto Blu-ray specials so folks like me don’t have to watch all the crappy fanservice

  14. Nazaren
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    I was hoping it would go in the direction of “How Ledo spends his money + hijinks” instead of… whatever that was. “Ledo wants to contribute + unrelated bs”?

    Well, I was actually hoping it wouldn’t be filler/Special-esque…

    Meh, I can take it or leave it.

  15. The Big Guy
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure if this is filler or not. If this show is about Ledo adjusting to a new life with an entirely different culture, this works just fine as we learn quite a bit about the ship, how these people live (farms on a boat, for example), and how they find entertainment. If this show is about Ledo fighting lesbian pirates and aliens, this is filler. I tend to go with the former.

    One thing I’ve heard around the internet that I tend to agree with is that this is a great example of fanservice done right. The show certainly does not throw the swimsuits in your face with awkward camera angles and such, but instead integrates it naturally in the show. Cool stuff.

  16. Cirith
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Oh one thing:”I can suspend my disbelief and assume that this society managed to invent sun-cream in its limited technological capacity,”
    They have mechas and maintain giant ships, they are backwards in comparsion to Ledos society and have probably lost quite a bit knowledge, but they are still quite advanced.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      Fair point

    • Gan_HOPE326
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      Still, advanced or not, sun cream feels a bit… unnecessary? OR so necessary that they should use it all the time (depending on the state of the ozone layer). You’d expect them to run on a tight budget of resources though.

      • Cirith
        Posted May 6, 2013 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

        Yeah their normal clothes expose plenty skin and they seem to spend a significant amount of their time in the sun so the scene doesn’t make much sense.
        I just think it’s easy to underestimate their technological level and production level. They seem to produce plenty pure white paper (look at bellows working) which is quite a feat on a boat and look at their swimsuits and clothes they definitely have decent textile production.
        Btw they really seem to have no resource problems, though you would expect it with autonomous ships.

  17. ANON
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    UP NEXT: Ledo finds a job… at MgRonalds.

  18. Posted May 6, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    “Gen Urobuchi explained on the official website that the message of the story is aimed towards those in their teens and 20s, who are either about to enter into society or recently have, and is meant to cheer them on and to encourage them that “going out into the world isn’t scary”. He also said that the feeling of this work will be different from others he’s been involved with.”
    “[…] Urobuchi was put in charge of writing the first and last episodes once the green-light was given for a thirteen-episode series in order to set the theme for the other writers.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gargantia_on_the_Verdurous_Planet

    Interesting read, explains a lot if true, so Urobuchi only wrote episode 1 so far.
    It was a really mediocre episode, I didn’t like the beach parts of the beach episode and the job hunting parts also didn’t really appeal to me, however the whole aspect of bending into a society is beeing presented pretty good thus far.

    • Posted May 6, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

      Still, if he’s intending to be a healing-type writer… we better brace the deck.

  19. fathomlessblue
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    I know I’ve been unfairly grumbling since the promo materials that Gargantia appears to be nothing but a slightly more competent version of Shang-ri-la, but even I was surprised to see the show go toe-to-toe with me on every count. Stay classy, Gen!

    • Scamp
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

      Hey, at least the trans folks in Shangri-La weren’t crazed rapists.

      Wait, actually I think they were. Never mind then, Gargantia is just Shangri-La

      • Pusswookie
        Posted May 7, 2013 at 4:43 am | Permalink

        Watched Tokyo Godfathers today because of you. Much better trannies.

      • fathomlessblue
        Posted May 7, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        Even though the transsexual duo in Shangri-la were just exaggerated as here, at least they were part of the main cast & actually developed a surprising amount of depth by the end. Both had a gentle & sincere maternal side that slowly turned them into the most likable characters in the series. It was definitely a Tokyo Godfathers/(better side of)Fire Emblem-type scenario, where the actual humanisation of the characters ended up outweighing their negative tropes.

        @Seppuku33

        Shangri-la was alright-to-decent. It started off rather rocky, & the ending fell apart as many shows do, but I recall there being some good character moments & intrigue throughout. It’s hardly essential viewing, but I couldn’t call it an outright bad show either. At the very least it has a worse rep than deserved.

    • Seppuku33
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

      How was Shangri-La, really? I haven’t seen it.

      Also I didn’t mind this episode. The first half was pretty good and I enjoyed the race. Also, the scenery of the fleet is pleasant to take in.

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