And the answer is… genocide!
I think these two episodes make more sense if you take them together. (Yeah, that was why I wrote one post on both, it’s not like I was lazy or anything.) Episode six presents the possibilities of Ledo’s new life on Gargantia. Initially, Ledo has no idea what to do with his earnings from his job. He has spent his whole life devoted to duty and has no idea what to do for fun. So his friend tries to introduce Ledo to the hedonistic pleasures of girls, food and fun, as represented by the somewhat gratuitous half-naked dancers.
The second episode issues the call back to the duty of soldiering: Ledo’s enemies appear, and Ledo wants to eradicate them. So Ledo has a choice: fulfill his lifelong duty as a soldier, or live the laid-back, carefree life of the people of Gargantia.
Quite frankly, this choice doesn’t seem particularly difficult. And it isn’t, for Ledo. He of course chooses his duty over pleasures. The people of Gargantia are not doing a good job at selling their lifestyle. The choice appears to Ledo as ‘save humanity’ or ‘live a life of indulgence and ignorance.’ So of course Ledo is going to choose a life that has a purpose.
And that’s the point. This is what it’s like to grow up. You’ve been told all your life, “You have to prepare for middle school!” “You have to prepare for high school!” “You have to prepare for college!” “You have to prepare to enter the real world!” Then all of a sudden you’re in the real world. Your job that you’ve worked all these years for seems trite and pointless. You blink and your friends’ idea of having fun suddenly turns into sitting around drinking. There’s no one telling you what to do next. You have this terrible, terrible freedom to do whatever you want. But you don’t know what to do.
And that’s what the situation Ledo’s in is like. Does he want his newfound freedom? Of course not. No one wants freedom. Ledo wants to have a purpose and be valued. But everything he knows how to do is suddenly worthless.
I appreciate how Ledo still speaks in broken Japanese. Most shows would have dropped with that by the second episode, but this show’s still going strong with it, although Ledo is of course improving.
Ledo is able to find a bit of validation through Chambers’ “Can it Blend?” experiment. He’s not alone in not knowing what to do. Also seeing the robots pulling in the fishing nets is hilarious.
Haha a teary-eyed lovers farewell.
Well that was convenient.