26 CommentsGargantia on the Verdurous Planet / By Scamp /

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet episode 6 – Shut up and dance for me

vlcsnap-2013-05-13-18h12m49s188A lesson on how writing episodics can sometimes lead me down really strange paths: I could now blag my way through the origins and history of bellydancing.

I was under the impression that Ledo asking Amy to perform the bellydance for him was not too far from asking for a private dance at a pole-dancing club. But bellydancing’s origins are not quite as explicitly sexual as that. It dates back from Egyptian times where it was seen as a fertility dance. It was still performed by dancers for a Pharaoh’s personal harem and all that, but it had much wider cultural acceptance as a form of social dance, performed by both sexes and often segregated. The sexual side was always there, but it’s only when western traders came into the region that the dancer became this image of Orientalist sexuality. The outfit Amy wears was popularised by nightclub owners when they realised the amount of money they could make out of something foreign that was just at the right level to not be too sexual to initiate moral outcry, although there has still been plenty of that. Nowadays there’s a large amateur bellydancing community. A big reason for this is the increased emigration rate means there are big communities of Arabs across the world and this is a way of getting in touch with their cultural heritage.

See? You’ve learned something new today.

vlcsnap-2013-05-13-17h59m03s127I enjoyed this episode a hell of a lot more than the last one. It covered the same points about Ledo trying to find his place in this new society and find some sort of employment, but doing it with less offensive unfunny jokes and more larger development of the rest of the cast. I’m really enjoying the relationship they’re starting to build between him and Amy, even if it does get in the way of my Ledo X Chamber ship. This was the first time they started to imply any sort of romantic relations between the two, what with the whole sexy private dance on the deck of a ship.

Think about the experience Ledo has had with women until now. He’s spent his entire life either inside a robot or inside this cloning(?) facility along with millions of other near identical people with such minimal human contact. He had a mother figure play him music through a see-through barrier. He talked to his fellow soldiers over an intercom. But that’s about it. The promise of reproduction was only offered as a form of citizenship, and even then it’s in the context of fighting the space snails, not pleasure or romance. Doubt the thought even entered his mind until there was all that ass flashing around in front of him.

vlcsnap-2013-05-13-18h02m14s238

I spend all this time at the start of the post ensuring that I don’t be culturally insensitive by doing my research and here I am posting pictures of giant asses rather than marvelling at their control of this ancient cultural form of expression. I should be pondering how it is that this dance lived through the flooding of the entire planet and how interesting it is that the more sexualised version of the dance as performed in nightclubs was the one to live through the apocalypse. Instead though I’m just raising my eyebrow at the fact there’s clearly a camel toe in that ass shot.

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26 Comments

  1. Madu_Scientisto
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    The dance scene at the bar depicts the usage of sex appeal to advocate consumerism and luxury goods and services, providing for another market in which consumers may spend their money. Ledo, being the desireless militant soldier he is, cannot rightfully blend into the culture and society of Gargantia without finding a job and contributing to the economy and the community. This entire scene was to demonstrate the luxury that capitalism and consumerism can provide for him, and to encourage and install thoughts of playing the money game into him.

    This can be analyzed even further. Are the directors telling the viewers that the world operates on money, that anything can be bought and one can live the life of luxury if they work hard? Or does it depict the evilness of cash, and how it leads people to recklessly spend their time and effort attempting to find something that they want?

    Might just be a fan service scene though.

    • Memmy
      Posted May 15, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      Something I found interesting was the difference with the framing. At the bar, it was usual fanservice stuff; boob, asses, more boob, close-up on the naked skin. Very few shot to display the face of the girls.
      With Amy it was different, a lot of close-up on her face, some medium shot to show her dancing and the surrounding and very few close-up on her cameltoe.

      • Gan_HOPE326
        Posted May 15, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        I think the scene at the bar would have been much better had it had a direction less ‘fanservicey’ and more oriented at actually showing Ledo’s growing interest in Amy. Wish more anime were earnest and intelligent in dealing with sexuality like Aku no Hana is – without all being so disturbing and mindfucking, that is. Still, I wouldn’t even had a problem with the belly dance fanservice had it not been for the crapfest that was episode 5. Without that, I would have condoned Gargantia like I condoned Gurren Lagann for all the closeups of Yoko’s ass and boobs. But now I am out of forgiveness. Be careful, Gargantia. Be very careful.

      • Pusswookie
        Posted May 15, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        Do you realize that you just included the word cameltoe in what [I think] was inherently meant to be a serious peripheral analysis [of the framing]?
        That’s some South Park shit right there.

      • Posted May 17, 2013 at 8:24 am | Permalink

        Agreeing with Gan_Hope324. The level of male-gaze this episode was reasonably defensible, considering the subject matter. Unfortunately I am all out forgiveness after episode 5. Given the show more than enough slack already, it needs to cut this shit out. I’ve almost forgotten Amy is a character rather than just tits and ass, and that is actually all her friends are as far as the director seems to be concerned.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 16, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      Well since this episode seemed to be portraying the ability to buy good using your own money rather than a rationing system of the Alliance, we can safely assume that Butch Gen is not a communist. He’s pretty anti-government in general given what Psycho Pass seemed to be implying.

  2. gedata
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    well, I was right about this week’s episode having a festival after last weeks beach episode, thankfully Gen left the fireworks and yukatas out.

    oh and here, http://i.imgur.com/ojZuhpq.gif

    • Seppuku33
      Posted May 15, 2013 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

      The second they said, “festival” I rolled my eyes and braced for more silly forgettable antics. I agree this episode covered everything that the last one did so in a more effective manner, which makes the last episode completely pointless. If they were going to cover the main plot points then why not just air this?

      Speaking about Ledo’s lack of experience, for a split second I thought he going to pounce on Amy when they were alone. Since he’s so deprived of female contact and from seeing all those jiggling girls earlier, I thought he would unleash his beast. That would have moved the story in an unexpected direction. Ledo has a lot of discipline and that carries over to his libido I assume so no worries about Ledo appearing on your local sex offender registry.

      I’m digging that there is relationship building between Amy and Ledo. This makes me think that he really won’t want to return. His re-socialization into the accepting culture will lead him to remain after all is said and done.

      What do yall think will happen?

      • Cirith
        Posted May 15, 2013 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

        I think he will be forced to return, but since he now knows another way of live he won’t be satisfied with his life in perpetual combat and will probably be very unhappy. If they have alcohol he will probably become an alcoholic and someday die in a meaningless battle.

      • Scamp
        Posted May 16, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

        It’s actually a bit like Clain’s reaction to girls in Fractale, where he completely panics on sight of some boobs. Using this as reference, I can hereby conclude that the next episode will have a bunch of the girls yelling “Ledo no ecchi!”

  3. ANON
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    all I could think about when they were showing all those scenes where ledo was staring at the dancers was that, wherever we end up as a species, in outer space fighting space snails or on a post-apocalyptic water world in floating rusty steel boxes, we could be certain that an adolescent boy’s raging hormones will always do its job.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 16, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Hormones are the cockroaches of the human system: They’ll live on through anything

  4. Redcrimson
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    I thought the interweaving images of the girls dancing with Pinion asking Ledo about his “desires” was actually rather clever. I actually wish more anime would treat sexual attraction with even a fraction of that kind of subtlety. No awkward blushing. No tsundere BS. No browbeating the audience into accepting these characters’ attraction to each other.

    I’m not sure dressing them like that was entirely necessary… but I’ll call it a net positive.

    • luffyluffy
      Posted May 15, 2013 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

      I agree actually, I thought that scene had exceptional directing, with the tension mounting and mounting until tasty octopus

    • Scamp
      Posted May 16, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      Yeah I’d cast it as a net-positive too. The show is rather male-gazey anyway, which is why I’m not overly keen on heaping praise on the direction, but I see what you’re saying

  5. Sunny
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    The character designer is a hentai artist, and Hideauze are… You know where this is going so finish the sentence yourself!

    • ANON
      Posted May 15, 2013 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      tentacles are delicious.

    • Pusswookie
      Posted May 16, 2013 at 3:12 am | Permalink

      …giant stroboscopic squid.

  6. Black Dalek
    Posted May 16, 2013 at 2:45 am | Permalink

    When chamber talked about nanobugs as remanents of the lost technology… then last scene… Hideauze.. were created on earth?

    • Mr.RR
      Posted May 16, 2013 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      I’d say so. I’m willing to be a fatal weakness to their enemy resides under the sea or in some of them ancient books (cook and eat them).

      • Black Dalek
        Posted May 17, 2013 at 2:44 am | Permalink

        mhhh andromeda strain anyone?

    • Scamp
      Posted May 16, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      I thought that too. Some sort of Planet of the Apes twist where the space snails chased off the humans from destroying the planet

      • Posted May 16, 2013 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

        Since the first episode left me with the impression they were intelligent plants, I’ve been expecting to learn that the conflict with the Hideauze is all a misunderstanding: their first encounter with humanity involved the discovery that they were part of our cuisine.

  7. R1CK_D0M
    Posted May 16, 2013 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    Yo I fucking called that the aliens would attack at the end of episode 2. HAHAAAA

  8. Posted May 17, 2013 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    So when is Anime News Network going to go paranoid and deride Gargantia for “sexualizing minors”?

  9. FlyingSnail
    Posted June 8, 2013 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    I still kind of wish they didn’t sexualize my opinion of Amy. As posted earlier, I would’ve much rather see Ledo and his reaction to the new environment he was dragged into, than the fan service they turned Amy into. These are just my own personal thoughts on it though. Romance > Fan service.

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