Suisei no Gargantia 11 + 12 — Happiness is Tossing the Weak Overboard

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Quite the ethical dilemma we’ve wound up in. Which is better: peace and love, or murder, crazy cults, starvation, and a stratified class system? So much subtlety here, I’m not sure which to pick…

It all depends on our definitions. Ledo’s captain aims to maximize happiness.

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Good question Chambers. What is happiness?

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“The strong and the weak support each other through rationality.”

Um… what the hell are these people smoking? That doesn’t even make a bloody lick of sense. Much less have anything whatsoever to do with happiness.

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It doesn’t help that the foundations of the captain’s reasoning have nothing to do with reality. The people on Earth live in terror of the Hideauze? Um, what? They love the stupid Hideauze more than they love their own mothers.

Urobuchi enjoys pulling these ethical dilemmas on us. Usually both sides are wrong in some way, and there are many shades of gray involved. For example, in Fate / Zero, for the most part. Or in PSYCHO PASS. There no one got a free pass, even if the final enemy turned out to be a vat of brains… oh wait, that’s just like Gargantia. Anyway, my point is, moral conflicts work best when there are two sides. It doesn’t exactly make for a compelling argument or conflict when you out-argue a stream of gibberish.

Further Thoughts

In case you haven’t realized, I wasn’t a big fan of the last two episodes. Well, of any of this show’s episodes. But when Ledo opened that hatch, I’ll admit I enjoyed it. Crazy twists like that are where Urobuchi is at his best.

The biggest question the twist raises for me is, which side does Chambers stand on? The other robot opposed Ledo even though her pilot was dead. Who is really in charge here? I am especially suspicious because, if you’ll recall, the other robot sent Chambers the captain’s biometric data. And Chambers didn’t say anything to Ledo. Perhaps she simply forged the data and I’m overthinking things, but I doubt it.

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Ledo’s right. Although there was this big stage drama of Ledo making all the choices, he never really made any at all. He had everything laid out for him and followed military protocol. As evidenced (very subtly, of course!) by all the captain’s duties being taken over by a robot.

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I like that girl who keeps yelling at Pinion. Wish she could have replaced either Amy or her two useless friends in a bigger role.

Next week is the last episode. Phew.

11 thoughts on “Suisei no Gargantia 11 + 12 — Happiness is Tossing the Weak Overboard

  1. Something…. dramatic is gonna happen in the final episode, considering we got a glimpse of that golden key on the Gargantia fleet, I immediately recalled Gilgamesh from Fate/Zero summoning his noble phantasm which pretty spells an eschaton scenario for me.

    I was disappointed with PSYCHO-PASS ending in the sense it took the safer route in just ending things in a gray matter with a sequel bait attached. I really hope this isn’t the case this time.

    1. Yeah, I have no clue what this golden key is going to do, but it’s probably going to be something crazy. I imagine something involving cooperating with the Hideauze…

  2. I heard Gen only write the first and last episode’s script and only contribute idea for episodes in between…
    Thus I don’t know whether to happy that such twist pulled pretty well this episode or not…

    Though the news is rather old so I don’t really sure…

    1. Huh, interesting. I assume he laid out the general flow of the story for the rest though, even if he didn’t write every line.

  3. You’ve got authoritarian socialists on one side, and voluntary socialists on the other. I guess it’s technically an ethical dilemma, but does anybody honestly think that authoritarianism is good?

    You’re right that Urobuchi usually makes both sides wrong in some way, but in this case the “bad” side is ridiculously awful, while the “good” side has no significant faults. It doesn’t make for much of choice.

    1. I don’t think there’s really any gray area in Urobutcher’s work so far? Let’s take Psycho Pass for example.
      – Makishima wanted to throw down the robotic-like living that his city/country has, but his method of indiscriminate killing is definitely wrong.
      – Sybil System way of doing things, labeling people as criminal before they even did it, even doing it to underage people, is definitely wrong.
      – Kougami… just because the law didn’t judge a bad guy properly, he goes to judge that bad guy himself. Imagine if people in our current society do that too.
      – Moe Akane is the only normal person?

      1. Moe Akane is wrong too, since she decides to accept the system as it is. Sure, she gives some speech about how it’ll all come tumbling down, but in the end she’s supporting the system that is definitely wrong, as you say. Perhaps it’s not so much there are many shades of gray, it’s more there are many shades of black and no shades of white. Which amounts to the same thing, more or less.

      2. I can come up with a rational argument for the actions of all four of those standpoints. I don’t think any of them are definitely wrong; they all make sacrifices in one area to receive benefits in another.

        There are clear advantages and disadvantages to each course of action, so while each side is extreme, a gray area still emerges. It might not be directly stated, but I think most viewers at least subconsciously recognize that a blend of all the systems would be the most effective.

  4. “Um… what the hell are these people smoking?” The setting reminds me of Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now creating a horrific dictatorship for no apparent reason.
    The Galactic Alliance system may maximize to happiness as long as there is a deadly threat from the Hideauze. They need a militaristic society there in order to survive. On peaceful earth things are different. Society needs to adjust. Perhaps some social criticism of Japanese postwar society?
    There are some impressive scenes here and there. E.g. the dried Hideauze skins at the end of ep. 10 or the “culling” of those poor people in ep. 12. But everything feels very rushed.
    “I like that girl who keeps yelling at Pinion. Wish she could have replaced either Amy or her two useless friends in a bigger role.” Totally right. She’s not that chubby, either.

    1. Maybe it could be seen as a criticism of the postwar society? Seems a bit of a stretch though, I’m not sure exactly how it would apply. You’re right that the application of a dictatorship to the peaceful life on Earth makes no sense.

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