Knights of Sidonia – 08-10

The first Knights of Sidonia.

Wow. It feels like so much progress has been made in these last three episodes.

 

 

The Immortal Council

Masking her emotions.

Where to begin? Well, I think it appropriate to start with some of the back story that’s been revealed to us. The Immortal Council’s formal name and their immortality is made known. This wasn’t too much of a surprise, since those guys in the pods have always spoken with Captain Kobayashi as if they knew about all the history of Sidonia and had experienced it firsthand. The exact details of the immortality technology are not explained, but it appears to be some sort of combination of drugs and clones for backups in case anything does happen to the originals. That’s pretty big news if you ask me, and it makes me wonder why the council is keeping all this a secret. Surely an army of soldiers resistant to injury and aging would come in handy. They would not only be hardy but also have an infinite service life assuming they don’t fall on the battlefield.

Nagate begins his life.

Following up, we learn a lot about Nagate. He is a clone of his “grandfather,” Hiroki, and thus inherits the same resistance to physical harm. However, Kobayashi also had him modified to be genetically immortal without relying on drugs. Apparently this kind of genetic modification goes against the council’s rules, which again makes me wonder why they so insist on keeping it a secret. Sure, revealing that near-immortality is possible would make the concept of a seed ship sound ludicrous. But we must not forget that FTL is still not possible in the Sidonia universe so even if lifespan isn’t a practical limiting factor in interstellar travel, speed is. My guess is though, that the council just wants to keep immortality to themselves because they are selfish bastards. Which would also suggest that they have the same kind of immortality that Nagate has, explaining why they have outlawed it to anyone else.

Hiroki takes back his “child.”

As for Hiroki, it is shown that his strong sense of justice conflicted with Kobayashi’s willingness to do what is necessary regardless of sacrifices, and led him to rebel against her and the council. I’m not sure what he expected when he escaped into the bowels of Sidonia though, as it was inevitable that Nagate would one day venture to the surface and get caught by the authorities. And if Nagate ever does start displaying the same kind of defiance, I have no doubt that Kobayashi will resort to extreme measures to assure his obedience since she sees him as a very strong wartime asset. That said, it appears that the Captain does have some semblance of affection towards Nagate and Hiroki. It’s just that her own sensibilities won’t allow her feelings to get in the way of achieving her goals. In effect, she’s closed her heart off to others in order to make the kinds of cold, calculating decisions that she makes all the time. It must be hard to deal with giving the order that takes the lives of so many others if you remain sentimental, after all.

The Gauna

Fusion of man and Gauna.

Moving on, there is a lot to be said about the war with the Gauna. Firstly, we learn that the last time someone managed to throw out all the Kabizashis, Sidonia was almost completely annihilated by the Gauna. This would appear to disprove the claim that the Gauna only pursue the weapons since the Gauna attacked even though the Kabizashis weren’t on board. But then it is revealed that the very same person who disposed of the Kabizashis also developed a human-Gauna hybrid weapon which, while very effective at destroying Gauna, was difficult to control and ironically attract the very enemies it was created to fight. And the thing that specifically draws the Gauna is a special kind of radiation that both the Kabizashis and the hybrid emit. This explains the long-running mystery of the Gauna’s attraction to Sidonia and also addresses how the Gauna-Shizuka that Nagate and co. managed to capture constantly has her eyes on the location of the Kabizashis when she has no direct line of sight on them.

Hawk moth.

So now that we know this, surely it would be trivial for the Sidonia crew to design proper containment to prevent the radiation from reaching the Gauna? Our own civilization at present is nowhere near as advanced as the humans in Sidonia, and we are more than capable of containing concentrated radiation sources. Assuming that the Kabizashi tips and the body of the hybrid are the source of the radiation, it should be a cinch to keep it from leaking out of the seed ship. After all, it is the dispersion of small, hard to contain radioactive materials that is really dangerous. This is the same reason why properly function nuclear reactors and nuclear waste sites are really quite safe while nuclear reactors that have suffered a meltdown and nuclear waste sites that are leaking are a disaster. Evidently this isn’t the case though, so my only guess is that the Gauna-attracting radiation penetrates any kind of barrier thanks to sci-fi shenanigans.

I’ll pass on the tentacles.

Moving on, there is the elephant in the room of the Gauna-Shizuka. The big question is how much of the creature is Shizuka and how much of it is just a monster. According to Numi, she is nothing more than Gauna flesh, but clearly she is developing an advanced intelligence that was previously thought impossible from Gauna. She’s slowly learning to talk and write, partly from observing Nagate and partly on her own, which is considerably more communication humans have ever had with any other Gauna before. So far though, the Gauna-Shizuka’s words have mainly been restricted to Nagate’s name, so I suspect that perhaps the creature only possesses Shizuka’s dying memories of pushing Nagate out of the way as well as the rush of emotions she felt for him in that moment. And that kind of individual relationship does not necessarily mean that the creature won’t act violently towards anyone who isn’t Nagate.

In the end, there’s still too much unknown for us to draw a clear picture on what exactly is going on with the Gauna. But I have to say that is part of what makes Sidonia so good. It manages to build a highly fascinating universe and continues to tell an intriguing story while keeping us hanging. I just hope the payoff at the end will be satisfying enough with all this build-up. Speaking of the end, I will continue to assume that the show will end with the humans and the Gauna communicating and reaching some sort of understanding, allowing them to at long last end the centuries long war and find peace. That’s certainly what the build-up appears to be leading toward, and with the latest developments of humanoid and Gardes-type Gauna, this kind of resolution might not be too far away.

A giant Gauna approaches.

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A mechanical engineer who spends too much time watching anime and reading manga.
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12 Responses to “Knights of Sidonia – 08-10”

  1. skylion says:

    OMG. The concept of Gauna-Shizuka is so freakin’ incredible! Some factions have been wanting to talk to the implacable enemy. This thing has her eyes on the big nasty weapon, and it is willing to try to communicate! I was on tenterhooks when they announced the approach of the F-ing big super Guana.

    This is the freakin’ story right there. Do this right, yo! Do it right!

  2. Irenesharda says:

    Sidonia (along with Black Bullet) is my favorite anime series of the season. I just love how in depth this world is and all the history and mystery it has. Learning the truth about the immortals as well as the Gauna has been interesting. I personally think that Kobayashi is not as cold-hearted as you might think. She seems to have actually cared for Saitou, maybe even to the point to loving him considering how much she was willing to risk to make sure she didn’t lose him again after he disappeared and the tear she shed when Lala confronted her. I have a feeling that Kobayashi doesn’t want history to repeat itself with Nagate, and that’s why she took him in, and has said that she will push to change her ways so that he won’t push her away like Saitou did. I don’t think she loves Nagate like she loved Saitou, but she might see this as a way of making amends toward the man by taking in Nagate.

    It’s actually rather obvious that the Gauna are not attracted by the kabi, or at least not the kabi alone. When the Gauna destroyed Earth (and the rest of the Sol System) and then pursued and attacked Sidonia and the other earth ships, it was long before they even discovered the kabi. And while they do seem to concentrate on the kabi at times, there’s got to be something else we’re not seeing here yet. Some have suggested that it’s the Hyggs particles themselves, which the Earth would have been developing at the time of attack and it’s also what the ships run on as well as the Gardes frames.

    Gauna-Hoshijiro was so adorable. She’s like a baby that’s learning at an increased rate. She’s learning to write now, and also to make herself look more appropriate (that was a beautiful dress she made). That scene where she was trying to repair that broken marker was just so cute. And it looks that Nagate’s admiration of her has only grown, and he really cares for her, tentacles and all. Much to the ire of the other girt and a half in his harem that can’t believe that their greatest competition is a piece of mutated Gauna placenta. :P

    It looks like another battle is on it’s way, and this time it’s against a larger foe than ever before. We are nearing the end and I’m hoping we’ll get another season. They’ve just brought up too much to just leave it now. Also, I really need to see Kunato get his. That bastard hasn’t suffered enough yet. It would be sweet if it was Gauna-Hoshijiro came out and just straight-up murdered him with a smile on her face. Or what if he gets turned into a guana-human hybrid too? that would just be too perfect.

    • Sumairii says:

      I was trying not to sound too harsh about Kobayashi, but your thoughts are more or less spot on to my own opinions on her. I want to again stress that I think she is just suppressing her own emotions to accomplish her (and perhaps the Immortal Council’s?) goals.

      What you say about the Gauna and the kabizashi makes sense, but perhaps that’s not the only thing that draws them? I think it’s clear that they are in fact attracted to the kabizashi. But it could just be that they are also attracted to other life forms in general. Their attack on the shuttle was one anomaly that could have been explained away by the shuttle’s (relatively) close proximity to Sidonia, as the demilitarization faction claimed. But there’s still the matter of their initial contact with mankind on Earth, during which as you noted, the kabizashi were not yet in the picture. So it might make sense that they are seeking contact with other life in addition to being drawn by the kabizashi. Heck, maybe the kabizashi are a form of life in themselves? We know that “artificial” ones can be harvested from the hybrid’s corpse.

    • Joojoobees says:

      I agree about the destruction of Earth and the hostility of the Gauna. If they were only hostile because of the Kabizashis, they would never have attacked Earth. The Gauna can be motivated to destroy the Kabizashis, without that being the only reason they attack.

  3. Kyokai says:

    I’m so glad I continued with this. However, I worry about Nagate, someone should give him a lesson on harem because he sure doesn’t shy away from double-timing, not to mention, Vocaloid Hoshijiro always waits for him in an unhealthy way. ><

    I’m really looking forward to the big showdown between humanity and Gauna.

    • anaaga says:

      TBH that vocaloid Hoshijiro made me all mushy inside. That whole learning-to-write thing was so adorable I couldn’t help shipping her with Nagate (and I’m a big Izana shipper)

  4. zztop says:

    I forget, but who were the other 2 men in the photo? The one to Hiroki’s left, and the evil mohawk guy.

    • Sumairii says:

      I want to say the mohawk dude is Ochiai because that’s the captured guy who had his brain removed in the flashback. But then his present-day clone looks nothing like that. Could just be due to the lack of mad-scientist persona since they sealed away his memories, but I’m not sure.

      The one on Hiroki’s left could be the previous XO before Yuhata, Seii (dude with the now short grey hair who was always beside Kobayashi). This is just a guess though, since he hasn’t kept the same appearance even though he should then be one of the Immortals.

      • Irenesharda says:

        I am actually a little confused with Ochiai. The guy with the mohawk in the picture is definately the one they called Ochiai in the past. However, the one in the present looks nothing like him. However, isn’t that guy the same guy who is sort of the captain’s assistant? Isn’t he the same guy who in episode 1, got Nagate and took him to the captain and also takes him to the hospital from time to time? If so, what if that guy has multiple consciousnesses that occupy the same body? Is Ochiai in the subconscious and those electrical impulses are what bring him into actual consciousness, shifting the two? Sort of like the Yugi/Atem situation in Yugioh?

        • Sumairii says:

          I thought they said that they had just erased/sealed his memories to make him obedient or something. Then again, that might not be too far away from the concept of suppressing an alternate personality as you say.

  5. BlackBriar says:

    Color me impressed with how compelling this series become since its start. My interest kept building as the story takes us farther. Wow, the higher-ups in Sidonia will do absolutely anything to preserve themselves. From there, I can see a lot moral values getting stamped out for the sake of the “ends justify the means” scenario.

    A part of me had a feeling the original Shizuka survived. Something is not right when a character with significant screen time suddenly gets axed. Given how brutal the attack on her was a few episodes back, she had to have been treated with Gauna DNA for recovery and her mind was taken over as a side effect. I wouldn’t put it past the idea of her body undergoing mutation as well.

    Let’s say the Gauna-Shizuka is an exact replica of the original from appearance to memories. Once she matures psychologically as progress is shown thus far, can she in fact be eligible enough to replace her? It would be like “same person but different anatomy” There are bound to be debates about this if ever brought to the table. Certainly around the fact of her not being human. In that respect, one must ask: which is more important, the body or the mind that inhabits it?

    • anaaga says:

      Given how brutal the attack on her was a few episodes back, she had to have been treated with Gauna DNA for recovery and her mind was taken over as a side effect

      *Muv Luv Alternative flashback* Oh god, the horror! I don’t want to see it again!

      I’m not so sure about that, but the one thing that pique my interest is the reason for the Gauna to “copy” Hoshijiro. There were many soldiers that were eaten, so why this one only? Is it because she was inside the cockpit when her guardian was swallowed? But aren’t there other soldiers who suffered the same fate as Hoshijiro?

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