Check-in Station: Knights of Sidonia S2 ep1 (behold an ugly new god)
Knights of Sidonia has been able to give me that special “burn” that I was only able to get from Evangelion. That special feeling of being in a world that is not only at the brink of existence, but at the edge of reality. A world that is dying and being reborn without humanity. It makes me forget just how cool and awkward the machinery is in this world. And I’m pleased to see the show continue on this trek towards the destruction. As morbid and dour as it sounds, the journey to see humanity destroyed or evolve out of existence is beyond intriguing to me. Leave it up to the show’s new villain to put it in clear terms anyone can understand.
Reading the source material past the part, I was very much looking forward to the new arrivals promised in this second season. One is clearly working towards the destruction of humanity in the guise of a human, the other could not appear more alien, but strives for the protection and understanding of it, even as a prisoner and pariah. But I’m getting ahead of myself. The beginning of this episode is about reintroducing us to the awkard Nagate Tanikaze, and his transcendant piloting skill. The mecha and the OS running them are all getting updated, as the leadership attempts to get more pilots to match Nagate’s skill. Afterall, if you’ve watched the first season, being named a pilot is practically being given a death .
And with little time wasted, we’re moved on to the horror as we see that bastard Norio take his final steps towards a foolish death. He enters the forbidden chambers of the long-dead mad scientist Ochiai. And no sooner do he and his retainer do this then they’re are killed – kinda. What we see after that Ochiai clearly reborn in Norio’s body, likely from the gross alien specimens we initially saw in the lab. From here on, we’ll see some amazing and horrifying stuff as he slowly attempts to take over the ship without the Immortal Council’s knowledge. That first step is stepping in and taking the Hoshijiro’s placenta clone, and using those gross alien specimens to take over the body of Numi, the scientist who watches over her. Man, I don’t want to even imagine how horrifying it must’ve felt to have some creature crawl into your paralyzed body through your eye!
What I find most telling about that scene though, is the conversation (more like a monologue) Ochiai has with Numi. Through his talk about how perfect the Gauna are as a species, and how he is bewildered by their attempts to imitate humanity’s incredibly innefficient form; we learn of his overall disgust with humanity. He talks of how humanity is a locust-like vermin that spreads throughout the universe devouring all of its resources and leaving feces everywhere. GEEZ! Humanity as vermin, reproducing, devouring, destroying and soiling all it touches; it is a truly harsh view of humanity. And in a way it is true. If you look at how people have taken over the planet and shaped it to its needs, you could see how we soil and destroy it. Even now, it’s widely believed that we’re changing the planet in a way unseen by any even in history. We’re possibly our planet’s own mass extinction event. Ochiai appears to be the extreme version of a Char Aznable. While Char eventually came to the conclusion that humanity had to leave Earth totally for it to heal, therefore he’d throw a massive extinction level even object at the Earth to make it uninhabitable, Ochiai just wants humanity erased from existence. He sees the Gauna as the last and only step in existence. My only question for him at this point though is his opinion of himself. No doubt he believes he’s the only one that really deserves to “ascend” to their level. And our new guest is proof of that.
As a new Gauna descends upon Sidonia, we see that the approach to their opponents has adjusted hugely. The new Gauna is massive and nigh impenetrable, with a a single solid core hidden behind an intricately weaved array of regenerating mass. Even with the upgrades and new supply of ammo to take down their unique god-like opponent, it looks like they’re about to fail. That’s when we see “her”, Shirai Tsumugi. In no time at all, Ochiai has unleashed her upon on the world. It will be interesting to see how the those who know of her existence will adjust to having a Gauna living among them, within the ship.
I’m pleased to see that time wasn’t wasted at all this episode. There were no tedious elongated reintroductions of characters, things moved along as if there was no break at all. While I’m happy to see Norio gone for good, it’s not at all worth trading him in for Ochiai. It leaves us at the dilemma that you find in so many other shows about survival, often it’s humans who pose the greatest threat.
- Check-out Station: Knights of Sidonia (killing people you just met long before you knew)
- Check-in Station: Knights of Sidonia ep1 (See? They really do all look alike!)