Knights of Sidonia S2 ep2: madness is the new political party
A revolution is under way, and it’s happening so quickly that I doubt anyone actually knows who is in charge.
The Immortal Council dead, a Gauna hybrid roams the ship molesting pilots, there are two Ochiai’s skulking the grounds; the only thing truly consistent is Nagate’s dedication to his ideals and friends. It seems corny for sure, but it feels comforting in this barren world of clones, alien tentacle monsters and plant people. Sadly, one of the most human things about this episode revolved around the fear of Shirai and the brutal coup that concluded the episode.
The battle with the new Gauna certainly was a clustered and confusing affair for its participants. To not only be under the stress of time and resources that are the main factors in taking down a Gauna of such girth; but then to see what resembles the enemy come out of your own home and start firing on it, it’s madness. And for all of Shirai’s power, it would take just one scared pilot to take he down.
What I enjoy about that battle was just witnessing how odd it was to see the spectacle that was Shirai in action. What appears to be a monster in a strange dried overgrowth that resembles a torn wedding gown is such an odd sight. It’s one of the hallmarks of this show. You see things that aren’t just cute or grotesque, they’re often a combination of the two that is odd – even alien to look upon.
Upon the successful defeat of the new Gauna in a spectacular display by Shirai, Ochiai is quick to work on controlling how the population reacts to his new creation. He almost immediately makes her available for questioning, which works to almost neutral effect. On one hand, she gives a near perfect and calm performance and says all the right things. The next moment she sees Nagate and begins to bubble and preen like a preteen girl seeing her favorite pop star. It would be so bad if her sheer mass didn’t shake everything around her from the mere swaying of what I suspect are hips. So in the end, that little mistake is more than enough to make the majority of the pilots and mechanics she performs for to give her a negative response.
While the public relations for Shirai may be a miss, Ochiai is successful in convincing Kobayashi to cull his research out from the depths. Under the guise of Norio, he’ll be able to continue his controversial research. And I suspect for more shocking things aside from Shirai are on the horizon.
Meanwhile, the Immortal Council was on the move in an attempt to replace Kobayashi, but it appears they’re just a step too slow. They underestimated her guile, and she has each and every last one of them assassinated just as they’re done making preparations to replace her. Despite seeing the disaster of the past, she’s convinced now that Ochiai’s research is the way.
The only not military or political aspect of this episode involves Nagate and Izana visiting Shirai at her home in Kunato Heavy Industries. The actual Shirai, not the husk, can be a terrifying sight at first. And it’s a testament to Nagate’s open mind that he has no issue with the visit or returning. Though poor Izana didn’t handle the meeting nearly as well.
Going forward, I’m interested to see how this partnership between Ochiai and Kobayashi eventually fails. I just know it will. When one member of the partnership seekly wants to be the enemy, not defeat it, then conflict and failure will arise. With the rest of the Immortal Council dead, I also wonder how Kobayashi’s role will change. With the Immortal Council as her overseers and political foils in the previous season, you could see her in a positive like, despite her ominous disposition. With them gone, she’s totally in charge – a queen if you will. She may have been hiding her true colors this entire time, waiting for enough support and the right opporunity, not only to transcend the Immortal Council, but enact her own agenda independently of what anyone else wants. For now, she’s far less a villain than Ochiai. But it can only be a temporary state of affairs in my mind.
Nagate and many other cast members have been pretty far in the background in relative relation to the spotlight they had before. Shirai and Ochiai have taken over the show these past two episodes, and I feel bad that charactrers I hoped would get development are just kinda sitting around for now. I realize that Izana is somewhat a mascot character at this point. It hasn’t been given much to do aside from follow Nagate around. And the lack of cast development has always been one of my sore spots with this show. It’s bad enough that for awhile many of the characters looked alike, but on a show built on tragedy and despair, you need to care about as much of the cast as possible, else most all of the tension is gone. It was a stronger point of last season, now it’s one of the weakest.