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Sakugan | Episode One Review

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Yo the first episode to Sakugan was legit.

Far in the future, the human beings were pushed into the deep underground world called Labyrinth and they are living shoulder-to-shoulder. The Labyrinth has several colonies with severe settings such as one having an insanely high temperature, while another is full of gold and silver. Among those, in a colony of Pinyin, resides a curious nine-year-old girl named Memempuu and her father Gaganbar. As “workers” aiming for survival, they live with the lowest profession of riding a working robot to dig ore.

One day, Memempuu pestered Gaganbar, a cave examiner who makes maps of the internal part of Labyrinth, to go travel together with her to find her mother. As a “marker,” Gaganbar holds the most dangerous yet attractive profession. One step outside the colony is already deemed to be a dangerous area and meeting a huge mysterious creature that loiters the cave, one’s chance of living will be cut down to five percent. Since it is a dangerous racket to explore the unknown world, the map they hold is valuable and can be sold at a high price. However, is the price for their curiosity higher? What could be the cruel truth that is hidden among them? What awaits at the end of the test? In this travel story between a father and a daughter surrounds adventure with family love.

There was plenty to like about the anime. The art style is something I really like, everything about it looks so clean and fluid. The animation as well follows suit and that’s something I really like as well. I will say, without a shadow of a doubt, Sakugan has one of the best art styles and animation for an anime this season. The two protagonists, a father-daughter duo in Memenpu (daughter) and Gaganba (father) have immediately made a positive impression on me. They seem to be two individuals who are polar opposites of one another and as a result they tend to frequently squabble and you know what? It’s extremely entertaining. I think they’ll be a strong partnership for the anime. Despite being opposite personality types, one thing that was made abundantly clear throughout the first episode was that Gaganba is a father figure I can get behind. He’s overprotective, but understands that his daughter will have to spread her wings one day.

Later we learn that the reason why Gaganba acts the way he does is because he’s already lost someone close to him (Memenpu’s mother) but also *spoilers* Walsh and Lynda at the end of the episode. He fears losing his daughter and that’s something I can get behind.

I ALSO WANT TO MENTION. How dare they hit us with the feels the first episode. Seeing Walsh and Lynda go out together really hit me right in the heart, their final moments together albeit brief was really impactful. Walsh complimenting Lynda one last time, and Lynda smiling back at her father one last time. It cannot get much more emotional than that for the first episode.

It’s abnormal for two supporting characters to have such positive effect on the main characters in the first episode. Well for me I think it’s abnormal anyway. Walsh offered Gaganba advice, he told him want he didn’t want to hear. Walsh telling Gaganba that he needs to put his trust and support into his daughter no matter what is important because eventually Memenpu will need to spread her wings. Then we have Lynda who was everything Memenpu wanted to be. Someone who is independent and someone had the full support and trust from her father no matter what. Gaganba taking that advice to heart at the end of the episode, is in many ways, very poetic. Gaganba is allowing Memenpu to fulfill her dream of being able to adventure. He’s also putting all his trust and faith into his daughter, as suggested by Walsh. But he’s also staying true to himself because like Walsh says before his death, “He’s the best person in the world to protect you”.

Even though Gaganba says he won’t put his all trust into his daughter, the fact that he allows her to go on her adventure so long as he comes with her. To me, this very much indicates that he’s putting all this trust in Memenpu. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of adventures this father-daughter duo goes on together, I wonder what challenges they’ll face and I wonder how they’ll overcome them. We already saw a death in the first episode, I wonder if we’ll see something similar. I mean, if they really want, seeing Gaganba sacrifice himself to save Memenpu is something I definitely see happening.

Anyway, overall this was a great first episode and I do think that all first episodes should strive to be like Sakugan’s. I’m excited for what’s to come!

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