There’s been plenty of visual eyecandy in each episode so far, but the visual gimmicks that I love the most in Suisei no Gargantia are the sunburned cheeks and shoulders. It’s such a small detail, but it makes so much sense; Amy is a courier, running and flying around, while Bellows works on salvaging machinery from the ocean floor. They’re out and about, so yes, they would be tanned and sunburned.
Other than a “throwaway” incident in episode 2, it appears that the females in Gargantia possess sufficient influence and agency as the males in the fleet. Bellows is respected and valued as a leader, Ridget appears to be the XO of the fleet, and even the pirates have their queen in Lukkage. Maybe I’ve just been reading too much young-adult fiction where they treat the women merely as breeding animals, but for a dystopia, that’s not too bad…
Of course, three episodes in may not enough time to provide a comprehensive worldview. These four women could just be the stand-outs, maybe all the other female crew do nothing but scrub decks and catch fish, who knows. And, as I mentioned, when the pirates boarded Bellows’ ships, one of them tore the top off one of her crewmates. Maybe it’s a throwaway incident, or maybe it’s just a way to emphasize how pirates continue to rape and pillage even in a dystopic sci-fi Earth; yet the fact remains that oppressive and chauvinist attitudes still persist.
The pirate empress Lukkage was an interesting addition to the mix. She’s dressed like a Carneval performer, has two female slaves in chains, yet operates a destructive mecha like a pro. (Though, really, it’s hard to take a mech called the Surfing Lobster that seriously.) Her defeat to Ledo, while inevitable and feeling more like a comedic effect more than anything, just drove the point across that he’s essentially undefeatable. Lukkage had a fleet of thirty pirate ships, plus submarines with underwater mecha; that’s not something that great boobs alone will get ya. Lukkage’s smart and wily and fierce. If there’s one thing I learned from One Piece, you don’t get to be pirate queen that easily.