A young mecha pilot survives a battle, but ends up being cast off into deep space before waking up on a strange world in the first episode of Gargantia. A young pilot, Red, enters his last battle before he is allowed to take on citizenship and reproductive rights on a new world. The battle ends up in a complete defeat for his side, plus he is unable to save some allies in trouble and his commander sacrifices himself to help Red get away. However, at the last minute he is hit by an enemy as his fleet passes through a wormhole. He then wakes up in a hangar where a group of strange people are trying to open up his mecha. He then tries to escape only to find out exactly where he is.
I think this episode successfully pivoted on the type of story it was going to be. In the early portions, it looked like it was going to be about a soldier bored of war having to adapt to a different type of life. By the end, it had turned into a sort of fantasy adventure episode even if this fantasy world turned out to be Earth. Considering where Red was in his life at the beginning of the episode, this may turn out the best thing to happen to him as a person.
As for the rest of the characters, they do look seem pretty standard for the type of series that involves outlaws on the fringes of society. I mean there is the cute girl with a cute animal and that older woman who is the boss and probably muscle of the operation. Plus the other men seem like the types who would have jobs like salvaging. However, most of the dialogue in this episode was between Red and Chamber, the computer on his suit. Chamber really filled the role of an interesting character, even if he was very logical in his conversations and also seemed able to command Red to some extent. That was the standout part of this episode in my mind.
For production quality, this was among the best produced episodes I have seen so far this season. Production I.G. definitely brought their best team in making this. The two different settings in this episode could have thrown in some inconsistencies, but they did well to combine deep space battle against alien monsters with the grittiness of a ship at sea.
Reasons to Continue Watching: Outstanding level of production and a fantastic setting
Reasons to Drop: Little prospect for action and lots of misunderstandings coming soon
My Verdict: This was easily the best of the first episodes to date. It was really fun to watch throughout as well. So I will definitely be continuing this one.