Alliances across galaxies form in ‘Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet’

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Kailanianna Ablog, Reporter

In a universe where man has taken to space, the Japanese anime series, “Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet,” throws 16-year-old Ensign Ledo, a lieutenant in the The Galactic Alliance of Humankind (GAH), light years away from his home and stranded on Earth.

Born to fight, Ledo is one of many soldiers trained in the art of war against the Hideauze,  alien life forms that evolve at alarmingly fast rates. In a society where the weak are exterminated, there is no room for emotions. Soldiers are armed with machine calibers or “yunboros,” military robots equipped with artificial intelligence systems. The pinnacle of living under the GAH is citizenship and permission to live on Avalon, a space colony where soldiers who have completed 145,000 hours of service live and procreate.

At the end of his military career, the only thing standing between Ledo and citizenship is one last mission for which he must destroy a Hideauze nest. Armed with his machine called Chamber, Ledo fares well in battle. However, when Ledo’s commanding officer Kugel calls a retreat, Ledo insists that he stay behind to give the rest of the group time to escape through a wormhole. Grabbed by a group of Hideauze, Ledo does not reach the wormhole in time and is knocked unconscious as both he and Chamber are whisked away into deep space.

When Ledo regains consciousness, he finds himself on Earth, which has been completely covered in water after the most recent ice age. Chamber, who is still operable, tells Ledo that he cannot find the signal from any GAH base.

Ledo eventually learns that he is on a ship, the Gargantia, one of the community ships humans on Earth have created for survival. Other humans on the ship are reluctant to trust Ledo, who is an alien to them, with the exception of Ami, a mail carrier who welcomes Ledo with open arms. It is on the Gargantia that Ledo adapts to survive in the new environment, learns about the human condition and comes across revelations that will change his life forever.

“Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet” is an amazing tale of adaptation and self-discovery. With an equal balance of exciting action and effective story-telling, viewers will learn the importance of knowing one’s origins, the consequences of one’s sacrifices and what it means to be human.

This anime is recommended for teens 12 and older due to mild language, violence, and adult situations and humor. “Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet” includes 13 episodes with two fillers and can be watched on Netflix, Hulu and Crunchyroll.