Sidonia no Kishi: Daikyuu Wakusei Seneki – 03

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Memo to Sidonia – you may be taking this whole “moeblob” thing a bit too literally…

Sidonia no Kishi is nothing if not consistent.  When it does characters, it’s clumsy and stiff in every way.  When it turns to sweeping plots, action scenes and hard sci-fi intellectual navel-gazing (no other recent anime has a better claim to use the name “Lem” in its plot) it soars in every way.  It’s just rare that we see that dichotomy illustrated so starkly as it was this week, with the episode split straight down the middle.

What’s also rare is for a series this bad at characters to have one that’s so good they really stand out, but Izana does.  He/she is really the only character on this show I care about, the only one with any real pathos – Tanikaze could hardly be a more stereotypical bland lead.  And when the usual trope of every girl falling for the bland lead kicks in with the mass-produced harem like Yuhata and the triplets (I really think Ro should have been named “Gyo”) things get positively awful, especially when Sidonia tries to be funny.  It’s no better at it than Plastic Memories, but at least it doesn’t try as often.

Izana really is important, because it’s Izana that makes me edgy every time Sidonia sends it’s dewy youth (and Seii) off on another glorified suicide mission.  Consequence is a vital narrative tool, of course, and it’s nice to have someone who’s death would really impact you in addition to the more abstract overall tragedy of watching these clusterfucks play out.  The addition of Tsumugi theoretically tilts the odds, of course, but my sense of Ochiai is that genius or not, he’s so megalomaniacal and overconfident that his judgement in battle (or anywhere else) can’t possibly be trusted.

As things stand, the fate of Sidonia is entirely in the hands of the two sociopaths, Bunrakunato and Kobayasahi, and they decide to sail off to the Lem system to take on a massive Gauna that’s threatening a human colony there – though neither gives a whit about the colonists themselves.  The game here is genocide – the new buzzword among despotic immortals is that the Gauna must be wiped out completely.  For now Tanikaze is as usual merely swept up in the wave, though he has token reservations about the notion of blindly trying to wipe out a species.  Where is resistance to these twin terrors going to come from now, with SEELE dead?  Perhaps Kuma-san – who we’re conspicuously shown agonizing over what’s going on at the top of government – may end up being more than a confidante for the kiddos and comic relief.

The aim for the Gauna in this skirmish seems to be to lure Sidonia to attack, then further lure Tsumugi into a trap (and not Izana, either) – suggesting that the Gauna have figured out that the chimera are the real threat.  This implies (again) that there’s a good deal of reasoning and creativity behind the Gauna’s actions, which only deepens my curiosity to find out just what the hell they really are.  Is Bunrakunato really so cocky as to have walked right into this, with Kobayashi’s blessing – or did that massive brain of his foresee this and devise a trap to spring from within the trapSchmoo-magi hasn’t had a chance to play with Izana’s cat yet, so I suspect she’s going to survive this one way or the other – but as usual, look for a healthy chunk of the human pilots to join the choir invisible.

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6 comments

  1. G

    IDK if you read the manga and I dont want to say too much but what you see in the anime is pretty accurate to the manga! Tsugumi and her extension is the same there! We blame anime when it dont follow it. But when it does is it fair to blame it for being a honest adaption!A good question / debate!

    But besides that I thought En coming back was nice. BTW the Honoka sisters are like 20 x stronger than normal Sidonians! So the dor balsting thing was not a surpriser to me!

    I see you and other people think of this as Evangelion / Seele > I dont get that at all! And I am an Evangelion Fan!Later will get rid of this notion!Hopefully!

    I am surprise that the importance of Capt Kobayashi is not mentioned more!

    The cooperation between Kunato and Toha industries too!

    I hope you listen with headphones because the SFX / OST is amazing!

    I dont mean to disagree with you because we are usually quite close to the same takeaway of a show!But this review I do!

  2. D

    This article felt more like a prologue to whatever you'll write for ep 4. XD I mean come on, did not the preview to ep 4 influence a lot of what you had to say at the start about Izana?

  3. Not even by a 10th of 1 percent, as I didn't watch it. Not to mention this is all stuff I've said about Izana before.

  4. D

    Well damn, I didn't think she was so relevant this episode as to dedicate a portion of the article towards, since, as Gerard Jerry above pointed out, there was way more to talk about this episode. But I hope haven't made you anticipate anything, even without dropping spoilers.

  5. The point is that what this episode made me want to talk about is how clumsy the character interactions are, and how unfunny when trying to be funny. From which it's natural to note that Izana is the glaring exception.

  6. E

    Sidonia, that was Shigatsu level comedy this time. I was mildly amused observing how bad the character moments were, but that part with the girl hitting him made me go ughhhhh…

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