Oh good, the cold opening reminds us that Nagate had to drink Shizuka’s piss in order to survive. Boy, and I had forgotten it and everything! Silly me. Anyway, word of the pair’s rescue begins to spread across Sidonia. We see that Lala is certainly more than elated to hear the good news. Norio, on the other hand, appears calm, but I imagine he’s fuming a bit on the inside. On a related note, a young child who looks like Norio in every way addresses him as Norio-sama. That’s a bit odd. Does the Kunato family look down upon individualism or has the guy actually cloned himself? Oh well, for now, it doesn’t really matter. When the news broadcast continues to sing even more praises for Nagate, that’s when Norio reveals his true feelings.
Meanwhile, our hero and Shizuka have finally arrived back at the ship, and as a result, they have to go through a decontamination process. Like before, the characters feel the need to cover up their private parts to no one in particular. I just think this looks silly, and it’s not as though there aren’t alternatives to the show’s unnatural self-censorship. First, the anime could just show these characters from the shoulders up or from the back, and our imagination would thus fill in the rest of the picture. Or second, they could just show us nudity because c’mon, the characters are essentially taking a bath. You’re going to be naked during a bath. Yes, I’ve often criticized anime for unnecessary fanservice, but really, there’s a difference between the camera lingering on the body of girl in middle school in a show like Noragami, and, well, a science fiction dystopia in which you would think nudity isn’t such a big deal anymore. But ah well, let’s just be honest: they probably couldn’t make CGI dongs and nipples not look silly.
Afterwards, we get some pretty gruesome implications as Izana explains about the stench. Nagate is surprised — as am I — that Sidonia is back to looking as if nothing had happened despite the horrific incident from three weeks ago. I still wonder where the ship had gotten the necessary manpower from, especially since the incident killed off so many of its inhabitants. Nevertheless, not everything about the ship’s recovery has gone swimmingly. After all, if you’ll recall, the dead in Sidonia are “recycled” through an “organic converter reactor.” According to Izana, the reactor has been operating at maximum capacity since the incident, but “it still isn’t enough.” I can only imagine that a bunch of bodies are sitting around somewhere, which would explain the stench. I’m surprised Sidonia doesn’t have some sort of technology to freeze those bodies until they are ready to be “recycled,” but oh well, it is a dystopia, after all.
In any case, a monument has been erected in honor of the late Akai squad, which is where our hero heads in order to pay his respects. To nobody’s surprise, Yuhata is here as well, though I suppose it is a bit of coincidence that she and Nagate would decide to come to the monument at the same time. I wonder if she’ll end up developing feelings for the main character as well. Granted, she’s already obsessed with his piloting prowess, but that could always develop into something more if she becomes a more prominent character in the story. There are some “anime-isms” you simply can’t escape even if Sidonia no Kishi is supposed to be a gritty story about a dystopia, and one such “anime-ism” is the need to surround the main character with a bevy of female candidates for his affection.
Elsewhere, Kobayashi meets with that ghastly council of talking skulls. They warn her that since Nagate is trained by none other than his rather infamous grandfather, he’ll eventually abandon Kobayashi in the end. Obviously, this implies that our hero’s grandfather had abandoned Kobayashi at one point in the distant past, but how this will somehow translate to Nagate himself is beyond me. Perhaps Kobayashi is destined to do something unethical, which would necessitate a bit of distancing between the paragon of goodness that every anime hero seems to represent nowadays and the mysteriously-guarded Kobayashi. After all, when she informs the council that the ship has entered “a region of strong Gauna presence,” one of the talking skulls chastises her: “We could likely have avoided them, but you decided to throw caution to the wind.” Mostly, however, the council seems to be afraid of Nagate. What exactly are they afraid of, though? What could Nagate do to upset the order and balance in Sidonia? Lead an uprising against the council?
Still, our unsuspecting hero continues to relish in a hero’s return. This includes partaking in some delicious karaage cooked by none other than a bear in her practically always empty diner. Whoops, my bad: Shizuka joins him for the meal. News of anti-military sentiments are spreading throughout Sidonia, but Kobayashi knows she can use Nagate’s current darling status to her advantage. As a result, he is named a full Gardes pilot along with Shizuka, Norio and one of the eleven clone sisters. Kobayashi then stands before the student body and praises the group for their efforts in retrieving the Kabizashi spear. What’s funny here, however, is that besides our hero, none of them really did much of anything during the mission. What’s even funnier is that I’m sure Norio is smart enough to realize he had just inadvertently ridden his rival’s coattails to the top, a fact that will just infuriate him even further.
Keep that in mind as you watch Norio walk up to Nagate and choke out the following words: “I know we’ve had our difficulties, but we’re comrades now. Let’s put the past behind us.” Heh, sure thing, buddy. In any case, we continue to see Nagate stuff himself silly with food. I realize he’s different from the rest of Sidonia society, because he can’t photosynthesize. Nevertheless, the amount of food he consumes is just downright comical. I suppose this will be a running gag throughout the rest of the story, but hey, I guess it beats the previous gag where our hero was incredibly clumsy and kept getting himself into embarrassing situations as a result of it. Nevertheless, the current scene becomes somewhat cringeworthy when Shizuka suggests that the four new Gardes pilots hold hands in real life as they would in space. Yeesh…
Speaking of cringeworthy, Yuhata not only runs up to Nagate, but she even body-checks Izana out of the way in order to talk to the hero of the hour. Ah, as predicted, every anime protagonist must fashion himself a veritable harem these days even if he’s in a science fiction dystopia. Unfortunately for Yuhata, her attempts to flirt with the guy is cut short when he suddenly runs after Kobayashi and the music gets all tense. You’d think our hero would wait until after the festivities to bother the captain, but no, he feels the need to pepper the masked woman with a bunch of questions now. Why does she favor him? Why does she only show her face to him? Why did his grandfather never allow him to visit the surface? Why does he heal faster than other people? Still, those questions remain unanswered for now as Kobayashi expresses nothing but her hopes that Nagate will become one of the knights of Sidonia and protect the ship. Oh well, back to the harem!
Naturally, Shizuka awaits the guy when he leaves the elevator by himself. Somehow sensing that he’s returned, Izana also stops by… along with Yuhata who body-checks Izana out of the way again. Welp. Yuhata tries to rope Nagate into riding a bathysphere alone with her, but the clueless hero invites the rest of the haremettes along for the ride. Still, when they get to the bathysphere, Yuhata gets all violent with everyone in an attempt to ensure that she rides the damn thing with Nagate and Nagate alone. We are then treated to an oh-so-funny scene in which a door smushes Yuhata up against Izana. Oh boy, my very own futuristic cat fight between a girl who should still be mourning her dead brother and a hermaphrodite! C’mon, who cares? Seriously, I hope another Gauna shows up soon because this is stupid. I know the characters had just gone through a serious conflict, but these scenes are so mundane. I don’t care who the main character bangs. Hell, he can bang all of them as long as I can have my science fiction dystopia back. I mean, other than their haircuts, the girls practically all look the same anyway.
In the end, Nagate and Shizuka end up riding the bathysphere alone and… ugh, I just don’t care. But hey, the last time a couple rode a bathysphere alone, they died. Obviously, our hero can’t die. After all, he’s got a harem to attend to. So I’m sorry, Shizuka. Not only does it look as though your days are numbered, you’ll have to die alone. But it’s okay! We’ll replace you with an equally compelling candidate for Nagate’s harem! Maybe it’ll even be a Gauna-turned-loli, because uguu, monster girls are so kawaii. Anyway, Shizuka shyly suggests that they get off at the next stop, but our smooth hero cuts her off. The situation thus reminds the girl of their time together in the deep of space: “Looks like we got separated from the others again.” Heh heh, you wanna drink my piss again?
Oh thank god. A new Gauna has appeared to deliver us from this purgatory that is anime romance. Oh yeah, we also see a scene in which Norio bitterly comments on Nagate’s sudden rise to fame, but screw that guy. I want to see more of the Gauna. In fact, it’s not even a single Gauna: “It’s an amalgam of numerous bodies with a thick, unified placenta.” Not only that, this new hive-type Gauna wasn’t detected earlier because “its placenta was in stealth mode.” H-how does an organic alien creature go into stealth mode? Oh well, this still beats riding a bathysphere and drinking piss.
Sadly, the story immediately jumps ahead to an injured Nagate stumbling out of his hospital bed. He then runs into the eleven clone sisters outside, and they immediately react to him with hatred. Izana is conveniently around the corner to lead our hero back to his room. She stays mum on the details, however, forcing Nagate to turn on a nearby television. Oh, what a coincidence! Nagate turns on the TV just in time to hear an interview with Norio. Then bam, in the scrolling text below the footage, Nagate learns that Shizuka has died. Ahahaha, you can’t be serious. She was just saved! The story had just devoted an entire episode to her rescue, then she gets killed offscreen in the very next one. You can’t be serious! Not only that, I was just joking about the bathysphere thing, but it’s clear that the damn ride is cursed!
Most of all, however, I really dislike how we didn’t even get to see this encounter against the hive-type Gauna. Seriously, what the hell? I know this allows for Shizuka’s sudden death to come as a huge shocker, but man, I would have rather seen some real action instead. What a disappointing way to end the episode.