Suisei no Gargantia Episode 8: Separation
‘Fairlock entrusted me with Gargantia. I want to meet his expectations.’
Synopsis: On his deathbed, Fleet Commander Fairlock entrusts Ridget with Gargantia. Meanwhile, Chamber finally gets a fix on the location of the Galactic Alliance, but they’re so far away that Ledo will never be able to get home. As preparations are underway for Fairlock’s funeral, Shipmaster Flange announces that he’s leaving Gargantia. Ridget struggles to keep other Shipmasters from following suit. Pinion has plans of pillaging the ocean floor, so he joins the like-minded Flange. Amy is sad when two people she cares about are leaving as well, Melty and Ledo…
What an episode. I’m not sure what I expected from this episode… I think I was expecting the shit to finally hit the fan and a storm to ensue. That did not happen. What we received instead was a slower paced and somewhat more melancholic episode than normal, an episode that highlights the unity of the Gargantian people and the struggles that separation brings. Now of course this episode was pretty much a set up for the next, I mean, we all saw that preview, the shit’s going to be hitting the fan next episode, but this episode proved to be the most emotional episode so far. Also, I’m thinking that instead of breaking my heart by killing everyone, Gen Urobuchi is just going to tear my desperately desired romance a part and send them in different directions across the oceans… Come back to me Ledo and Amy! Why you no goodbye kiss?!
Speaking of Ledo… has anyone else noticed that he’s been getting a nice tan? Tans aside, I think we should talk about Ledo’s problem. So (and we all knew this was going to happen) it turns out that it’s going to take over 6000 for Chamber’s S.O.S to reach the Galactic Alliance. Bummer. Ledo has now lost his place in the universe again and the dilemma it’s causing within him is kinda heart wrenching. Ledo is stuck on Earth with nothing. No family, no job, no ideals and no one to live for. By going off to defeat the whale squid (Hideauze) he thinks he’s protecting Amy when in fact he’s simply breaking her heart. I can tell that this ‘I’m going to protect Amy’ quest is going to do a 180 turn and become an ironic ‘what I’ve done to protect Amy may in fact kill her’. I can see the finale ending with either Beval or Amy’s deaths and I can see the repercussions that with have on Ledo being extremely dramatic… But that’s just baseless speculation…
Commander Fairlock’s funeral. First off, I’m surprised how long a funeral takes on Gargantia, I mean, they started in the morning and finished well into the evening… Now that just might be my ignorance, I mean, I’ve only ever been to one funeral and that took only a few hours, but this affair.. well it was an emotional one I’ll give you that. Everyone on the ship came together to lay sand up the body of the deceased, a process which was not only symbolic (in terms of their world and their way of doing things), it was moving to watch. In human history we either burn or bury the body. That’s just the way it is. But on Gargantia everyone comes together for one final goodbye and send their beloved off into the ocean. It’s kinda beautiful, y’know?
Oh Ridget, why you stuck and pretentious? Okay, that’s slightly unfair, but it really annoyed me at the beginning of the episode when she dove immediately into work and ignored the fact that the man who raised hers’ funeral was taking place. I understand that people grieve in different ways but still… But I digress, Ridget, a character whom I originally did not like, received the most character development in episode 8. Bellows (who, even when at a funeral, never changes out of that orange bra and those green shorts…) is the catalyst for Ridget’s change and to be honest, her (Bellows’, that is) help was well needed. Relationships are under strain and people are beginning to think that their new leader can’t handle the job, and so, Bellows steps in, gives Ridget a pep talk and before we know it she’s out on deck leading her people the way she should have been from the beginning. I would say nice one Ridget but all the credit here really does have to go to Bellows, a woman who has been overlooked for too long and is actually responsible for a lot of the character development so far… don’t worry Bellows, I’m here for you!
Oh Amy, I’m sorry this is happening to you. Ledo is leaving, Melty is leaving and Amy is feeling more alone than ever. You really have to feel sorry for our usually upbeat and chirpy female protagonist in episode 8… It became extremely evident to me that the relationship between Ledo and Amy is stronger than I originally thought. I don’t think she ‘loves’ him yet, no that would be too soon, but I do think the seeds were being nicely laid out for a relationship to blossom and then Ledo just decides to up and leave. Nice on Ledo. When Amy started crying and Beval tried to comfort her… man my hear can’t take much more of this emotional shit! Amy’s loss was the second focus of this episode and it very quickly became evident that we wouldn’t be seeing much of Ledo’s problems being presented within episode 8 specifically. Also, you know Ledo gives Beval his newest ocarina (it is an ocarina right?)? Well doesn’t Beval already have another one of Ledo’s? Or did he give it back to Ledo? I’m having serious memory lapses here… Oh! And I’m glad that Ledo is finally acknowledging this ‘dead brother’ who was too weak too fight… As sad as it is he makes a good point, if this Earth ever ends up like the Galatic Alliance Beval won’t survive… and that saddens me.. Because, y’know, Beval isn’t actually that bad…
To conclude, this was a great episode. It was wrought with emotion and heartache and if the preview is anything to go by episode 9 is going to be AMAZING. I think I liked this episode in particular because it reminds me why I love anime so much in the first place, the drama. As a child I remember feeling melancholic whilst watching a funeral in Naruto, or whilst watching a dramatic battle in Naruto or seeing someone die in Naruto… yeah I watched a lot of Naruto… But I digress, it was the drama that captivated me, not the barbecues and slice of life aspects, the heart wrenching and melancholic twists and turns that keep me on my toes and my feelings awry. This was the episode, y’know?
P.S, Pinion is an ass nugget.