Monday, November 10, 2014

Super Robot Profile/Review: Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet (find it online for legal free here or here-though on this occasion, I watched a DVD purchased at Wal-Mart of all places) is a pretty great space opera turned fish out of water slice of life story turned psychological drama turned what the heck am I even saying at this point?

My sister and I were drawn to the series because it had a picture of a robot on the front, honestly; we're suckers for basically any mecha or super robot series that doesn't have "Gundam" in the name. (Nothing personal against Gundam; we just aren't as into it because everything in it starts to look the same after a while.)

For a series whose story significantly comes from a guy whose common English fan nickname includes the word "butcher," big chunks of it are pretty lighthearted and even cute.

Not quite that cute, mind you, although considering that this is part of a sequence (from a chibified net movie thing) explaining that one of the characters has spent his entire life either fighting, in battle simulations to prepare him for fighting, or having hypnotic sleep programming to strengthen his resolve for fighting, this is cute in a disturbing-as-hell way.

Anyways, this is one of those series that's kind of hard to talk about without ruining things (even comparing it to one of the series I'm thinking of comparing it to would probably be a spoiler, for one or the other if you've watched the other or the one-though this series is much lighter-hearted than that one), but I will say that the robot('s AI), Chamber, is way cuter and more lovable than a space death machine has any right to be.

(Also, as with a number of other slightly odder mecha franchises, my instant response upon finishing the series was to wonder how in the world one would try to integrate its plot into a Super Robot Wars game, because that's just a thing I think about a lot. It wouldn't be quite as tricky as Star Driver [which would be really darned tricky and I want to see it so bad], but it'd be quite the task unless there was a lot of time travel/sideways reality hopping.)

There are a lot of offbeat mecha series I've talked about; this one is one of the better ones, and while this might just be a small reference pool thing, it feels fresh and different from a lot of other things I've watched.

Like mecha and/or nautical vessels?

It has 'em.

Like ocean views?

It has 'em.

Like disturbing plot twists that aren't attached to a kill-'em-all series?

It has 'em.

I like this series quite a lot, is what I'm saying.

-Signing off.

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