Home > Episode by Episode > Knights of Sidonia eps 5 & 6: we don’t need heroes, we don’t need champions; we need bodies

Knights of Sidonia eps 5 & 6: we don’t need heroes, we don’t need champions; we need bodies

Knights of Sidonia

Episode 5

I knew I wouldn’t have a lot to say about this episode the moment I knew the set up. Quiet episodes like these certainly can be fun to watch, but when it comes to the actual events, not a ton is actually happening. The show is nice enough though to give us some background while we’re watching Nagate and Shizuka struggle to survive and drink pee.

It seems that humanity encountered the Gauna race about six hundred years ago or so. They also found the only material that is capable of killing the gauna around that time. It seems clear that the gauna eventually descended upon Earth before either destroying it, or forcing the humans to destroy their own planet to contain the threat – which did not work. Now these things still stalk the galaxy for humanity.

Something that seems to recur in the narrative is the befuddlement of humanity at its failed attempts to communicate with an alien species. The gauna just seem to be creepy, murderous stalkers of humanity, and no one seems to understand why. The lines of communication just don’t exist between the two species. And even scientific study on them seems to be incredibly hard, if not non-existent.  Though, humanity has been in some form of contact with this alien species for nearing a thousand years, it seems like humanity’s greatest challenge and failure if they can’t find some way to understand their greatest foe.  It seems at this point though, that humanity can only seem to manage surviving.

And that brings us to basic point of this episode; seeing if Nagate and Shizuka can manage to survive until a miracle happens, or their machine can manage to procure enough Hyggs particles to power itself back to the Sidonia.  The challenge in this situation is Nagate’s somewhat inferior biology.  His system requires some form of physical nourishment daily, while Shizuka can manage a meal a week with her ability to photosynthesize.  And to make matters worst, not only is the Guardian their in holding enough rations only for one person, but its rationing is based on the requirements of someone who can photosynthesize.  Not only are their rations halved, they’re halved by something that is already 1/7th the nourishment level Nagate would already require.  In the end they survive, but it certainly is a miracle.  It’s only through the combined and moving efforts of all their 250+ fellow pilots that they’re able to be retrieved.

Overall, this was a decent episode.  I was afraid I’d be bored with well-worn routine of seeing two characters survive while stranded somewhere, but this episode didn’t let me down.

Episode 6

This episode could not have been more of a set-up for Nagate.  After the barely escaping a horrible space death due to dehydration and malnutrition, Shizuka and he get rescued, he gets a heroes welcome for single-handedly downing a Gauna and saving her, and they get a promotion along with his rival to full-fledged pilots.  All the while in the background, Sidonia’s leadership is weary of his very presence because of what he represents and who raised him.  I have a feeling that Nagate’s grandpa was probably very close with these people before going off into hiding and raising Nagate.  We’re given the feeling that Nagate’s clashing with the Sidonia’s leadership is almost a matter of fate.

I appreciate how we’re given two separate conflicts equally in this show.  There is the outside threat of the gauna, then there is the lingering threat of a splintering of the populace on Sidonia.  Though at this moment, it doesn’t appears there’s anything that constitutes a real threat to Sidonia’s hierarchy.  There are also more personal stories and conflicts being fleshed out, of course.

Though Norio pretends to put his hatred aside now that he and Nagate are teammates, it’s clear that he still holds a grudge for Nagate’s perceived thievery of his birthright.  The popularity, the prestige, the favoritism and the legendary mech that Nagate wields and enjoys are all personal slights against Norio.  Nagate may as well be waving them in his face and taunting him, it strikes him that deeply.

Putting all that aside for a moment, the biggest set-up is the love geometry in this show, and to a lesser extent in this episode, too.    Here’s how it seems to go.

Nagate likes Shizuka.

Izana likes Nagate.

Yuhata likes Nagate.

Izana and Yuhata don’t like each other.

Shizuka probably likes Nagate.

And all the parties involved are equally boring personalities.  I suppose Izana is a somewhat interesting character, but that’s only because of Izana’s ambivalent sexuality.  Yuhata is just kinda bubbly and annoying – though she appears to actually be quite smart.  And Shizuka has the personality of a rice ball with a pickled plum in the middle.  She’s just barely above being a completely boring person, though in American terms I think it’d be safe to call her a “basic b*tch”.  Given what I’ve read though, all this will get extremely twisted and interesting soon.  Matter of fact, it appears by the end of this episode the “bad thing” that I feared would happen has happened.  Norio has likely backstabbed Nagate into glory, and all of Nagate’s hard won prestige and respect are annihilated – along with the perceived love of his life.

As is to be expected, the episode build upon each other, and the narrative gets deeper and more sophisticated as we go.  Each episode has only spent the necessary amount of time on character and plot development, and action.  So it’s an even spiced stew here.  But I know that it’s only a matter of time before this show starts digging into twisted, stomach-churning horror that I know it has in it.

Further Reading:

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