Knights of Sidonia ep7: now things get nasty
I don’t know how Nagate does it. Guilt or not, I would have taken the time to break every bone and joint in Norio’s body, or die trying. I don’t find much more astonishing and disgusting things than putting one’s personal goals and glory above the lives of others. I’ve seen many a TV show, movie or play try really hard to make me hate a character and just fail. I have no such issue with Knights of Sidonia.
I’m not always the hugest fan of the story telling method of flashbacks. I’ve made it quite clear in my many other posts, especially regarding Gundam, that I loathe filler and recap episodes and material. Though for dramatic effect, it does work here. Last episode, we saw as Nagate experienced the horrible news of the mission’s failure the way we did. His short term amnesia left him once again, completely disoriented and ignorant; just as we were. And at the beginning of this episode, it makes the effort to explain to us why Nagate’s now hated, why Shizuka is dead, and why Norio is exposing himself as exactly the kind of person I hate. HATE!
You see there are Gauna, and then there are hive Gauna. Basically, it’s a cluster of Gauna that form one huge, gross, powerful mess. And they’re controlled at their center by a master Gaua. You bust up this master Gauna and most of the battle is won. If you don’t bust it up, your battle efforts are essentially like throwing fruit at a brick wall. All you’re really doing is wasting resources and eventually hurting yourself. As Norio’s squad (which consists also of Nagate, Shizuka and some other loser) moves in for their crucial task, the rest of the force distracts the hive and works on finding and hopefully destroying the master Gauna. Norio’s squad’s task is to sever the tail with explosives ,which for reasons of plot and scifi stuff will severely reduce the size of the placenta (man that word always grosses me out). To my great amazement, Norio actually takes the opportunity to defeat the Gauna, and nudges it aside to figuratively cut the legs out from under Nagate’s career. After having all of them set charges, with the intent of detonating them all simultaneously to cut the tail, Norio hails Nagate on a private channel (this makes no sense) and tricks him into detonating his bombs before everyone else. With the tail uncut, everyone is forced to give a temporary retrograde to form a new plan and regroup. Unfortunately, Nagate is too dumbfounded by his mistake to get the f*ck out of the way of the still intact massive tail. His Guardian severely damaged (again!), it’s Shizuka who shoves him to safety, while she herself smashed from her Guardian and impaled in the cold depths of space by the Gauna’s tentacles.
Pretty much the rest of the episode boils down to consequences and reactions to this moment. Nagate spirals into depression and isolation following the return of his memories, the anti-militarization movement reinvigorates, and morale is pretty low despite fending off the Gauna temporarily. But most of all, the hatred for Nagate is at an all-time high. Even after the bear cook lady (I really can’t remember her name) forces him out of his room, he’s only met with disdain and even abuse. The saddest moment is when he runs into Norio and isn’t even able to fight him at that moment. Instead, he’s given another low blow by Norio, as he states that Nagate is to blame for Shizuka’s death. Does Norio not understand what it means to be a leader at all?! Sure, I gave Akio’s squad massive amounts of sh*t for folding because of a relationship, but none of them tried to sabotage the mission! They made bad decisions trying to save their teammates, what Norio did is basically an offense worthy of death.
What a piece of sh*t!
In the end, what matters most is survival though. While all this has been going on, gears have been moving in the background. Yuhata is promoted to the head tactitian for the entire colony, even though her heart’s desire to be a pilot in her dead brother Akio’s stead. And the Gauna have been flushed out. This prompts another sortie, and reveals a new more twisted threat. The Gauna have new toys to play with, the Guardians of the dead.
This episode was pretty good, but felt like a huge tease considering what’s on the horizon. The intermingling of humans and Gauna in this show is a huge thing, it’s practically the reason this whole show exists. The sight of Gauna using – or should I say possessing these machines, is a shocking and disturbing thing. It’s creepy, it’s probably considered a desecration of the dead, and it can be incredibly hurtful to anyone who personally knew the pilots that once piloted those machines. We’re still sitting on some big mysteries here, and those mysteries likely won’t be addressed, much less solved for a very long time. What exactly are the Gauna? Why do they attack? What’s the deal with those “humans” that sit in those pods and seem to be immortal? Why’s the cook a damn one-handed bear?! And everything involving Nagate’s past and genetics. Instead, it almost feels like the show’s distracting us with this creepy stuff. and in the end, that may be the whole point. None of this fighting may be addressing the issue. Perhaps its the science of this universe that will solve these issues, and not the fighting. But for now, none of that matters when your immediate decision is fight or die.