Knights of Sidonia Ep. 2: Goddamn shoujo aliens

Knights of Sidonia 0201

“Uguu, am I cute?”

Episode Summary
Eiko ends up dying to the Gauna, and it seems that the rest of the students are in dire straits as well. All of a sudden, Nagate recovers from his injuries and holds the Gauna back long enough for him and his classmates to evacuate the asteroid. Sidonia then destroys with one of its cannons, but the Gauna is not dead yet. In fact, it’s slowly making its way to the seed ship. In the meantime, Nagate withstands bullying from his classmates as well as his declining health as a result of the PTSD symptoms he gets whenever he’s reminded of his encounter with the Gauna.

Notes

• I would like to know why any appearance of a Gauna would lead to a spike in Higgs “particles.” I know the mechas and their weapons are also powered by these same “particles,” but still… Are we just using fancy terms because they sound cool or what? Probably.

• Eiko: “The nerve! Why should I have to make nice with people who became pilots on ‘special circumstances?'” No, you don’t have to, but man, it’s like being professional is an alien concept or something for such an advanced society. So she’s had to work hard to get where she is. Oh well, getting mad about it won’t change a damn thing. It’s a little weird to me that the anime is making the girl seem so unlikeable just minutes before killing her.

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• Immediately after Nagate gets an explanation on what a “biological ureteral [sic] catheter” is, we proceed to see a locker room full of blushing girls. Oh anime…

• I realize a Gauna hasn’t been seen in a 100 years, but where are these kids’ “fight or flight” response? Not a single one of them will try to save Eiko? Okay, they went to mine some ice, so they’re probably not equipped to fight an dangerous alien threat, but you’d think someone would at least try.

• I’m curious how a Gauna manages to survive in deep space. What does it subsist on as it waits for victims to come within striking distance?

• Much to everyone’s surprise, Nagate somehow recovers from his injury, and is now kicking the Gauna’s ass ’cause he’s the chosen one. After all, that one simulation he has played over and over has prepared him for this moment. See? Staying cooped up in your room and playing video games all day can pay off!

• That’s interesting: a Gauna can assume the form of whatever lifeform it has consumed. So not only is Eiko dead, our hero will have to fight against some specter of hers. The one downside, however, is that this anime has adopted a very typical anime aesthetic. Normally, there’s nothing wrong with that, but I mean, c’mon… the Thing morphing itself into an anime shoujo isn’t very frightening to look at.

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I can only imagine how much more awesome an Eiko-Gauna hybrid would look if the anime had an atypical style to it instead of the doe-eyed look we’ve currently got going.

• I notice that they say the Gauna has been “knocked back,” but not destroyed or eliminated. On that same token, how does a Gauna propel itself through space?

• Kobayashi insists to the students that “[c]ommunication with the Gauna is impossible.” Again, this is rather reminiscent of Ender’s Game. Of course, Ender never had to contend with a tentacled space beast that likes to swallow anime shoujos whole and assume their form…

• I know gossiping is a thing in high schools, but c’mon, this is just stupid: “They say when he’s around, the Gauna are sure to follow.” In any case, Sidonia is a strangely superstitious society. The handshake at the start of the series is the only positive example of it so far though. Every other case has been negative. At the moment, Nagate’s classmates think he’s bad luck or a “jinx.” As a result, they’ve resorted to playing pranks on him in order to… what, exactly? Make him quit the academy? Oh well, I suspect these kids do not know how to properly cope with this latest tragedy. They thus feel the need to scapegoat Nagate as a way to redirect their anger toward a single target. Mental health in Sidonia is probably not a big concern. I just wonder why such a highly-advanced society would believe in superstitions.

• Case in point, we now get the usual bullying hijinks like mocking someone in class or fucking with the person’s locker. This, I can understand. Saying stupid lines? Naw.

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• More girls in the changing room hijinks. Lame. That CGI though…

• Nagate seems to be suffering a bit of PTSD from his encounter with the Gauna, and seeing Eiko’s tombstone triggers him (we’re talking about actual PTSD triggering here too and not the hyperbolic nonsense you often find on Tumblr). Again, I don’t suppose Sidonia has much in ways of therapy or mental health resources to help these students cope with the fact that they’re perpetually at war.

• On another note, he and Izana seem to be getting rather close to each other. I know that Shizuka will become the love interest, but I wonder if things will remain platonic between these two.

• I still find it surprising that after being chased and defending themselves from the Gauna for a millennium, humanity still knows relatively nothing about their enemy.

• Two words…

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…vidya games.

• So the dead are put into the “organic converter reactor.” That makes sense. We’re in deep space, after all. If we can, we should recycle as much as possible, even if this means recycling the dead. Still, this casts a rather morbid light on everything in Sidonia. The air you breath, the grass you’re standing on, the food you eat once a week (unless you’re the main character)… all of them might have been recycled matter from a dead person at one point. Y’know how some people say we’re all made of dead stars? Imagine Sidonia has a construct of the dead. Maybe the human cloning and asexual reproduction are just echos of the same idea.

• Oh boy, that Gauna is boomeranging right back to Sidonia.

• I never imagined a bear’s vocal cords would sound like that though.

• I wonder what he means by when he says that the Solar System has been destroyed. Like literally destroyed, i.e. the Sun is no more? If so, damn, how did the Gauna manage that?

• Welp, it looks as though Izana’s already jealous after just seeing Nagate walk and talk with Shizuka just once. That seems a bit drastic. I mean, talk about assuming the very worst right off the bat. Then all of a sudden, it’s Norio’s turn to get his blood boiling because Akai’s squad is here to see Nagate and not him, but at least he’s got a legitimate case. After all, he’s the silver-haired, elitist asshole of the story.

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He’s gotta be the villain. Izana, on the other hand, is being a bit of a drama queen.

Closing Thoughts
I guess the show will be interesting whenever the Gauna threat is real, and kinda dull otherwise. I still like the show overall, but the interpersonal relationships are not very compelling so far. The thing is, Nagate doesn’t have a lot of personality at the moment, but the show doesn’t have anyone to take the reins until the hero can come into his own. No, I’m not criticizing Nagate’s character; in fact, his current lack of a personality makes total sense. Because he hasn’t interacted with anyone but his grandfather for much of his young life, he’s currently shy and withdrawn. As a result, his character won’t really develop for a while. We won’t really see him open up to others for a while. What I’m trying to say, rather, is that no one else is really all that interesting. As such, we don’t really have anyone to carry the early portions of the show. For example, take Simon in Gurren Lagann. He starts off rather unsure of himself, but luckily, Kamina is around to assume the role of the main character at the start of the series. This thus allows Simon time to grow up and come into his own naturally. Nagate’s got no one here. He’s the most interesting character so far, but he’s also all alone.

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17 thoughts on “Knights of Sidonia Ep. 2: Goddamn shoujo aliens

  1. Di-Dorval

    Judging by the concept art we see between cuts the show would have an amazing style if it was drawings. It’s too bad really.

    And yea the show isn’t very good at handling characters interaction and once again the humor is cringey at best. Also that was a lot of vomit in that boot.

    I always thought Izana would be the love interest.. maybe they will play with the twosex thing after all. ”sorry you’re just a bro to me”

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      Judging by the concept art we see between cuts the show would have an amazing style if it was drawings. It’s too bad really.

      It would be difficult for any studio to translate the concept art to animation 100%. I’d imagine if this hadn’t been 3-D, it would have just looked like any other anime.

      Reply
      1. Di-Dorval

        Oh there is many western animation that look that way though. They are mostly shorts but it’s duable.

        Reply
        1. E Minor Post author

          But that’s western animation. With anime, only one or two shows in any given season get the budget to look fancy.

        2. Di-Dorval

          Yea I was basically saying that its too bad the show had to restrict itself there. CG is pretty much always an economical choice. Though I guess people having weird shiny skins suits their photosynthesis abilities (I know it dosnt work for the MC) !

  2. Boytitan

    Hopefully the silver hair dude or one of the elites if they don’t all die will bring some personality to the show. But with humanity getting it’s ass kicked for year then being reduced to drifting scraps with out a planet for a extra 100 years I can see why they have a lack of personality.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      But with humanity getting it’s ass kicked for year then being reduced to drifting scraps with out a planet for a extra 100 years I can see why they have a lack of personality.

      I don’t see how any of that has to do with having a personality.

      Reply
      1. Boytitan

        Because futuristic societies that are getting curb stomped by aliens usually are devoid of individuality for the most part look at the dozens of clones for example,It takes a sense of self worth to develop a personality and these people barely have a home and are just surviving not much for them to value.They go as far as to recycle humans who die.

        Reply
        1. E Minor Post author

          look at the dozens of clones for example,

          And they’re just one example. There are plenty of non-clones. What’s their excuse?

          It takes a sense of self worth to develop a personality and these people barely have a home and are just surviving not much for them to value.

          We don’t know that they’re “just” surviving. The last Gauna hadn’t appeared in a hundred years. Plenty of time for people to develop a personality.

          They go as far as to recycle humans who die.

          Bad thing to us. Not necessarily a bad thing to them. Plus, what does this have to do with forming a personality?

      1. Anonymous

        I wonder why they’re calling/translating it as Higgs Particles instead of Higgs Bosons (whirchare an actual thing), though.

        Honestly, I really wonder if the CGI is a bad choice or not. judging from what little I’ve seen of the manga (planning to read it from the start after this season ends), it translates the art style very accurately.

        Reply
        1. E Minor Post author

          I’m wondering how Higgs bosons can power anything.

          Yeah, but animation is a whole different monster. It’s easy to keep the art style in tact for manga when you don’t have to worry about having things move.

    1. ChaosCallMe

      I took a look at the image. It’s not actually as bad as I thought it would be. Maybe the nipple shot was unnecessary, but to me it’s not as played up for fanservice as some might think. Uh, I guess the monster was pretty cool. But hey, as long as they don’t play a rape theme into it (which would be completely unnecessary and rather pointless), and just stick with the violent primal instinct of that alien blob, I don’t see why it should be cut. Unless I’m mistaken, this is a major part of the plot?

      Reply

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