Knights of Sidonia ep2: the stinkiest of heroes
Knights of Sidonia
If there’s anything I find intriguing about this series, it’s the science (or scifi) behind it. Despite the confusion some of the concepts cause me while I’m trying to actually follow the story (you know, all the clones), I’m very happy all this stuff populates the world. Everything from the logistics of how this space colony/ship works, to the genetic engineering that goes on heavily within the populace. Hell, even the presence of a third gender in this series is an amazing concept to me. People like Izana (I have no idea how many are like “it”) can actually have a choice of gender and start life as a blank slate (like most of us) and continue that for years until they choose a mate. Genetically, biologically, socially, it’s all very intriguing and fascinating. And it’s something I give heavy thought to when I think about how it would affect the society I live in now.
But I am getting a bit ahead of myself, that discussion is one for me to tackle once the series is completed. Instead, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on this stuff bit by bit as I watch this series. This is a dark, action scifi show, so if there aren’t intriguing scifi elements behind it, then the show is already a little bit dead from the beginning. There are still the issues of this world to understand (which after reading a sizable portion of the manga I still don’t really get). As the episode begins, it picks up back at the catastrophic skirmish with one of the Gauna. These demigod like tentacle monsters that seem to be mindless, but at the same time have a bone to pick with humanity waste no time killing one of the young trainees in horrible fashion, eating her alive. There’s something about how this show seamlessly goes from reality to dream sequence to flashback and back to reality again that is confusing and disturbing at the same time. To see poor Eiko get knocked into a dream-like state, have her life flash before her eyes, and then awake to a nightmare was a great example of the stuff this narrative will drive home as the plot thickens. It’s sad that not only is she the only death of this unfortunate encounter, but that it’s just too early for anything to be done about it. Nagate is thought to be dead or at least a lost cause until he miraculously revives and mounts a furious attack. And the Gauna itself is stopped moments later by a mass driver projectile knocking a few light years away.
The repercussions of the battle are a temporary reprieve from the Gauna’s onslaught, but also the traumatizing of Nagate, and the realization that their century of peace has been shattered. The beat up Nagate spends most of the episode dealing with seeing Eiko murdered. His main response being to vomit and pass out. This doesn’t help his popularity at all, because his very basic, almost primative genetic make up already makes him an oddity to his fellow trainees. Getting back to what I was saying at the beginning of this post; most of the current populace was genetically engineered to handle the scientific miracle that is human photosynthesis. This means that their normal gastrointestinal systems are hugely supplemented by their ability to directly process sunlight for energy. This allows them to require one mere meal a week. But Nagate has our standard biology, which of course means he has to eat several times a day, and allow the bacteria in his body to break down much more food, and therefore produce much more gas. To a populace not use to this kind of thing, he’s basically a big stinky pile of walking manure. There’s something about him though that is getting a lot of attention. The leader of the four ace pilots commissioned to kill the Gauna that will be returning to attack Sidonia in three days makes the time to find and talk to Nagate. This is sure to only further piss off Nagate’s self-appointed rival Norio Kunato.
Oh yeah, and a new character also arrives to see Nagate. Her name is Shizuka Hoshijiro, and if I remember right, she’ll be painfully important later on in the story.
I paraphrased a lot, but I think the point is getting across. Nagate is really important and special. And it seems only the smartest or most privileged know this. What his secret is, I can’t even begin to guess. But he’s got a gravity that is bringing the world to him. It’s just a matter now of if this world manages to use him, or if he’s able to use it for something good.