Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet

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Fish out of water stories in Mecha animes usually follow a specific formula. What happens is that a person from a “normal” world falls through a portal and arrives in a world where Giant Robots are more common place. This series is much different. In this show, the character brings his own Giant Robot to the party.

Ledo is an Ensign with the Galactic Alliance who is paired with the giant robot, Chamber. Together the two of them work to destroy the alien race called Hideauze who’s goal is to eliminate humanity. During a mission he is knocked into a wormhole and awakes up on Earth. Here, the people live a much different life and are at first hesitant on welcoming the strange visitor with a giant robot. A young messenger named Amy helps him to adapt to their way of existing and shows him that their is life outside of the battle field.

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The set up of this anime is the most interesting part of the series. Here we see a world this is basically a more pleasant version of Waterworld (Yes, the Kevin Costner flick). Unlike that film though everyone is very vibrant and full of energy and color instead of dirty, drab, and antisocial. The world also has kind of a steampunk feel to it which I know will get a lot of people interested in knowing more about

The characters in this series are very fun and offer a unique perspective. Ledo who only knows how to be a giant robot pilot for combat but for the most part such skills are not needed in this world. He now has to learn how to get along in this new world and be able to help the new friends that he makes. Amy is the energetic girl who helps Ledo to get accosted to this new world, teaches him compassion, and also thinks that he is pretty cute. There’s is a more sweet than passionate romance. Also, support characters like the feisty salvager Bellows helps to give support to our two main characters and are also interesting on their own. A viewer will easily walk away from this series with a favorite character.

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The robot of this series is a character himself. Chamber acts as a translator for Ledo as he gets used to the language on the planet. He also offers the whole, “AI learning about humans” aspect that is sweet in this case. He kicks a lot of butt but is sadly overpowered on this new planet. Its only later in the series that he actually gets a decent opponent but it takes a while to get to that point. One more fight where he actually had a challenge would have been nice.

What I really like most about this series is that its so self contained. Yes 2 OVAs have been created since but they aren’t necessary to fully enjoy this series. Its a simple 13 episode series that tells a good story about a young solider, his giant robot buddy, and the cute messenger girl that wants to be his special someone. Its the kind of mecha series that is approachable even to those who aren’t fans of giant robots. One of the biggest difficulties that anime fans (and more specifically mecha anime fans) face is being able to recommend a show or movie that isn’t heavy or requires explanations before watching. This one is easy to pick up, enjoy, and its currently on Netflix. Grab a friend and check it out.

RATING: B+

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