Anime Review: Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet; Silver Spoon; Wagnaria!!

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet

anime_gargantiaEnsign Ledo comes from a group of humans that no longer have a planet to call their own. They live in space ships and stations. During an engagement with their mortal enemy Ledo is separated from the main fleet and loses consciousness. Upon waking he finds himself surrounded by primitive humans, by his standard that is.

He is now on a planet with oxygen. A planet covered by water. All the people still alive live on ships that band together and form small floating colonies. Err, ya ever seen water world? Anyway Ledo must find a way back home to rejoin the war he was bred to fight in. Along the way he may learn a few things about humans, his enemy and maybe even himself.

This show was clean, though I will admit it had a few rather suggestive moments. Two different episodes come to mind. One entails a number of the he girls wearing skimpy bathing suites while enjoying some time off at the “beach”, or rather their version of what going to the beach would be. The other has has the same girls doing some dancing on a stage. While the clothes were truly no worse than the swim wear the dance itself was meant to be provocative, though again nothing was actually shown or happened.

Overall I liked the show. I felt it could have been done better. It felt like it was either too short to complete all the subplots or they should have just extended it a few episodes. I know that doesn’t really make sense, it is kind of hard to put into words. But there were plots that feel like never finished them and forgot about them, or maybe intended a second season to finish them off but never got the green light. Either way there were some things

I can’t say if I would list it as a show I like. The things about it I did like they didn’t do much with. For example I really liked the idea of the flying or gliding around that the mail courier girls do because the concept of flying to me is very interesting, but they don’t do much with it. So it’s not like it was a bad show in those regards, just didn’t catch my attention long-term.

Summary: Interesting show. That is about all I can say.
Seasons: 1
Season length: 13 episodes
Episode length: 22 minutes
Content: Generally clean.
Language: Japanese with English subtitles

Silver Spoon

anime_silver-spoon

So here is an interesting show. While technically this is about kids in school, it is certainly not your ordinary school. The story revolves around first-year student Hachiken, who comes from a prep school (in other words he is on his way to a nice college) and enrolls in Oezo, an agricultural High School. There students learn about farms, agriculture, raising crops and animals. As such most of the students grew up on farms and are in school to learn how to take over the family business.

Hachiken finds things the way most of us probably would: confusing and stressful. Who knew he would have to get up at 4am by attending an agricultural school? Probably every other student except him. Hachiken’s sole purpose for attending this school was because it was a boarding school far from home so he could get away from his family. Even though school life is tough, he perseveres through it and pushes on towards graduation.

Along the way he has many experiences. And along the way we experience many things that we wouldn’t normally experience in everyday life. A few of which should be considered before letting children watch. The show itself is clean, but there are a few (very few) edgy scenes of the guys, I could not find any edgy scenes involving girls. In addition to those things, this story is essentially about life on the farm. And that includes watching animals being killed.

I will admit, I fell in love with this show during the first episode when they decapitated a chicken and splattered Hachiken and a few of the other first-years with blood, all the while talking to them like it was nothing out of the ordinary. They didn’t actually show the head being chopped off, but the blood splatter was very clear. They then proceeded to hold the chicken up (again while talking like nothing was going on) on screen, with the spurting neck blurred out. Nothing disgusting but I certainly wouldn’t recommend it for young children. And just for the record, I didn’t love the fact they killed the chicken, just the way they did it “on the farm” style like it was an everyday thing, and the poor white face of Hachiken.

A few episodes (I think 3) show the guys in the bath. The most I ever saw shown was a “close up” shot of one of the guys sitting on a stool, from behind and to the side. Nothing was actually visible. Had it been girls it would have been totally inappropriate but being guys (at-least for me as a guy) it was nothing. Unrelated to the bath scenes, one guys’ partial butt-crack is shown after he falls in the forest and tears his pants. That is the extent of the “naughtiness” of the show that I could see.

One last warning for those that might watch with young children, there are a few episodes that have Hachiken imagining things like getting his fingers bit off by various animals when he is told to interact with them. It is similar to the chicken scene, nothing is shown except some blood and the blurred out area where his fingers used to be. It is brief and then he returns to reality.

I really enjoyed this show and can’t wait for season 2, which is supposed to air in 2014.

Summary: Really great show! Not a good choice for young kids but a very interesting storyline.
Seasons: 2
Season length: 11 episodes
Episode length: 22 minutes
Content: Clean, but maybe too bloody for young children
Language: Japanese with English subtitles

Wagnaria!!

anime_wagnariaWhy does it seem all Anime shows need to be about school life? Well not all. Wagnaria!! is about life at a “family restaurant”, that is a diner in American vernacular. Sōta is a 16-year old high school student who finds himself working at a diner. At the diner works a number of people who each have their own quirks. Popura is a 17-year old high school student at Sōta’s school, who assumes she is a middle schooler because of her short size.

Next up we have Mahiru, a shy high-school girl who has androphobia, a severe fear of men. Because of that fear she is constantly punching Sōta anytime they run into each other. Sōta is asked to help her over her phobia and ends up being the target of her many punches whenever she is confronted by various men and boys.

Then there is Yachiyo, the chief of the support staff at the restaurant. She is only 20 but carries a katana around everywhere she goes, even while on duty. Whenever she is asked about it she does not understand the question as “it is normal for a girl to be able to protect herself”. Yachiyo has an unrealistic admiration of their boss, Kyōko, who once saved her as a child. Kyōko, although the boss, could care less about doing any work. She simply walks around eating the food in the restaurant.

Early in the show a new girl shows up who is “lost” and decides to stay at the restaurant. Aoi is one of the most useless people on staff. There is practically nothing she can do that does not end with somebody else cleaning up the mess caused by her. Additionally there are a couple guys to round out the cast.

So with all this, we have a bunch of young kids running a restaurant. Most of the stories take place at the restaurant itself which provides for some very entertaining scenes. Many of the scenes would not make sense if the show was primarily taking place at a school. While the story is about students, there are very few episodes which have anything to do with school life.

The show was clean and very fun to watch. It was refreshing to see a show that broke the stereotype for Anime. I realize there is not much about the story itself in this synopsis, that is because there is not much of an ongoing theme. Each episode is by itself a entertaining piece of fiction without needing to follow a specific plot. There are a few ongoing plots, but they are kind of background stories rather than the main point of the show. If you are looking for a show to make you laugh, I highly recommend this one!

I recall no inappropriate scenes other than one of Sōta’s older sisters. She is always drinking and usually has her top open in her drunkenness. Yes, I know that sounds inappropriate, but for underwear she has more what would be called a full night-gown. There is far less skin shown than you would find at the beach and my personal opinion would be that the way they show it would still be considered clean.

Summary: Very entertaining show about a group of kids working at the same restaurant and their adventures.
Seasons: 2
Season length: 13 episodes
Episode length: 22 minutes
Content: Clean.
Language: Japanese with English subtitles

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