I really enjoyed Gargantia episode 5. It’s got fine girls in skimpy bikinis (Hanaharu wau), giant robots, ocean-side BBQ, a light-hearted aero-plane race, a foot chase up a spiral tower, high-vantage landscape shots (complete with water-umbrella-rainbow-all-that-jazz), unconventional use of beyond-high-tech, fine weather, sunshine, relaxing in the shade, girl talk, retro scuba suits, teasing the AI, sauce, party, and this:
 This episode gets to the heart of Gargantia, and its true meaning as a statement of sociopolitical solidarity with Japanâ€™s young generation of much-maligned NEETs and freeters. Urobuchi has said the show was intended as a statement for these young people about to enter the world.
And frankly, itâ€™s a little too on the nose. Itâ€™s not even subtle.
Hereâ€™s Ledo, poor guy finding himself uncertain about his life for the first time. Heâ€™s been raised in a strict, regimented educational system that prioritizes efficiency and is dedicated to only one thing: passing exams, er, killing space monsters. But in this new world, vaporizing people is looked down upon. He has his Masterâ€™s Degree in Space Monster Vaporization and itâ€™s completely unsuited to the needs of the post-wormhole economy.
And on top of the unemployment heâ€™s saddled with massive debt he doesnâ€™t even begin to know how to pay off. Sure he has some neat technological gizmos that allow him to do cool things, but what can he *himself* do? Heâ€™s not sure, and it seems that no matter where he looks on the ship, thereâ€™s no place for him.
I think it’s not even subtle since the beginning. And for people watching anime this way, it’s not the first time we’ve seen a show that served this up like that roasted hog with an apple in its face. It’s been a while since people are cheeky enough to adopt post-bubble philosophies into their stories–probably in the early-mid 00s.
For the sake of completeness, please read this from our dear Butch, who too had to struggle to make a living and get to the point he is in his own career. I suppose he’s just enjoying the fruit of his labor!
Update: Added this quote from ANN’s interview of Kazuya Murata, director.
What do you hope people take away from the experience of watching Gargantia?
For the Japanese audience, I would like â€œyoung people who are about to enter societyâ€ to take the message, â€œDon’t worry. Try. You can do itâ€. For the larger audience in the world, I want them to have the message, â€œWhatever could happen, we, human beings, will be alright. If we all together open the path, the future will always be ahead of usâ€.
Looks like they really want to get that message across. That said,Â Murata is probably a good reason why the show has such a positive vibe.