“Thank you.” -Ledo
Summary: As Ledo slowly learns a little more about life on Gargantia, the whole city (island?) is attacked by pirates seeking revenge for the men Ledo slaughtered. Thanks to Amy and Bellows, Ledo is able to adapt and wards off the pirates without a single casualty, leading to him taking his first steps towards becoming a member of society on this water-bound future earth.
Impressions: Well, that was cool. Suisei no Gargantia so far has managed to get better with each successive episode, as this week features battles with pirates! In giant lobster mecha! Weird, but cool none the less.
After laying waste to the pirates that were attacking Bellows’ ship, Ledo becomes even more of an outcast. As it turns out, the power to kill a bunch of people at will with magic laser beams isn’t such a great thing after all. In the tenuous balance of power that exists between the pirates and the people living on Gargantia there’s no room for such an obvious display of power like what Ledo does. The pirates survive by posturing that they’ll kill people to get what they want, and the crew of the Gargantia survives by making themselves seem like a target not worth attacking. But now that Ledo has asserted that actually he (and thus Gargantia, where he’s staying) has the most power, the pirates will have no choice but to attack twice as hard to reclaim their position at the top of the food chain.
Bellows also explains a little bit about how the people on the Gargantia survive by pooling their resources; the whole “give water to those who catch fish”. To ensure the survival of as many people as possible, it’s important for them to all work together. It’s also part of the reason that Amy becomes so upset that Ledo kills so many people without really batting an eye. While for him, having grown up knowing nothing but war, killing is second nature, for Amy and the rest of the crew, taking a life (especially a human one) is a great crime. Even though the pirates are the enemy, there still just people trying to survive in a cruel world, and as such are just a touch sympathetic. Ledo learns a great deal from the two ladies, and starts to understand a bit more about this world that he’s been tossed into. It’s great to see how he’s starting to change just a little from where he was just two episodes ago.
Anywho with the pirate fleet coming after them, the crew has little choice but to ask for Ledo’s help in defeating them. They lack the necessary fire power to do it by themselves, and since the pirates won’t be satisfied until blood’s been spilt, Bellows suggests asking Ledo for his help once again. Clever boy that he is, Ledo uses this opportunity to negotiate for what he wants, namely to be able to stay on the Gargantia for the time being. He does so by using the same concept that Bellows taught him not so long ago, of giving water to those who bring fish. He can protect the fleet in exchange for being allowed to stay. I liked his simple reasoning behind choosing to side with the Gargantia, that he simply likes their moral code better. Ledo’s been an interesting character so far, and I still can’t tell if he’s really a conniving bastard who’ll use people to get his way, or simply a naive boy who’s trying to figure out how to get home (or some combination there of).
Of course, the highlight of the episode was the battle between Ledo/Chamber and the pirates. Rackage, the pirate queen/leader, is wonderfully evil, and it was quiet the twist that the girls who looked to be her prisoners at first actually turned out to be her minions. She and the rest of the pirates launch a very effective attack against Gargantia, even using submarines filled with weird frog/lobster Yunboros that scale the walls and fight (I like that the different factions have different Yunboro designs; it a really nice touch and it helps differentiate whose who in a battle). With Ledo slowly taking out ships while trying to avoid major casualties, the Gargantia is left to defend themselves. Which they do. Instead of just waiting for Ledo, the people of the giant floating ship do take matters into their own hands and fight back, but with little effect. For a second it almost looks like Ledo is going to lose, what with being just one man and a robot after all, but he pulls it off brilliantly in the end. When Rackage flees/escapes her ship, Ledo follows and in a move that reminded me eerily of something that would befall Team Rocket, he spins her around so fast in an effort to get her to surrender that she ends up being blasted into the ocean some distance away. With their leader defeated, the rest of the pirates are quick to peace out as well, and make a hasty retreat.
And thus the day is saved. My favorite part of the episode by far though is at the end when Ledo says his first words in the language that Amy and the others speak. Hearing him say thank you was very touching especially because I got the impression that Ledo’s native language doesn’t really have a word that would be similar. I’m glad that he’s really trying to prove his worth and that he’s willing to learn and change. I hope that it’s a trend that continues into the future. Looking forwards to next episode, I think we’ll probably see more of Ledo adjusting to a life of peace (and hopefully learning more new words). I’ve got my fingers crossed that we’ll see more Ledo and Amy (who I’m glad hasn’t turned out to be a complete hyper idiot character; at least so far) since I think they have real potential as far as cute relationships go. As long as the upcoming episodes continue to be as engaging as these first three, I think I’ll be more than happy to continue to anticipate each release of each episode like I have been.
Final Thought: I continue to find the fact that Ledo doesn’t know where food comes from/what actual food looks like to be hilarious. It also shows just how well the show is though out. In addition to the fact that Ledo can’t understand the language (too often do series with a similar premise just accept the fact that there wouldn’t be a language barrier), he’s probably only ever seen packaged foods. Every time we’ve seen him eat, it’s been out of some astronaut looking contraption, and he’s been living like that his whole life, so of course he’s not going to know what fish looks like, are that meat comes from dead animals. It’s really clever actually, and makes Ledo a more thought out character than just a weird alien super-solider.