First Impression – Sidonia no Kishi: Daikyuu Wakusei Seneki

Spring15-SidoniaKishi

The Knights of Sidonia have returned!

spring15-irenesAnd it’s about time too, we’ve had a spotty year for mecha the last few seasons and I for one, am glad to be back. The gang’s all here, from our naive but quite capable protagonist, Nagate, to his maybe-maybe not love-interest/ best friend, the he/she Izana, and who can forget the talking lady bear with claws for hands, Lala? Yes, the future is a very strange world, and despite everyone’s bland clothing style, quite colorful. The animation’s still pretty bad in the one-on-one interaction scenes, but the space battles are as epic as they ever were, and with a story like this, the weird animation can be forgiven. Last we left the massive city ship, they had just fought their hardest battle ever in their ongoing war with the planet-sized aliens, the Gauna. Nagate is known as a hero now, regaled by his former teacher and an inspiration to his underclassman. He’s still as clueless and awkward as before, but hey! At least you can’t say he lets all the all the popularity go to his head.

I find it very interesting that they started this season, the same exact way they did the first, with a space battle that turns out to be a simulator. However, this time our protagonist has moved up quite far in the world, from the forgotten rat of an underground kingdom, to the shining defender, one of the titular knights of Sidonia. Everything seems to be right as rain on the Battlestar Galactica seed ship Sidonia, people aren’t dying, no protests have happened lately, and people continue their normal boring lives aboard the vast ship that is continuously looking for a home. I’m always cautious about such introductions, especially in a series such as Kishi no Sidonia, which has been referred to by some as “Attack on Titan in Space”. All too often, such a bright beginning, can end up becoming…

Sidonia 201 (14)

Yeah, this probably wasn’t the best idea…

…a horror story? Well, it was definitely something I didn’t see coming. That tone and visuals went dark fast, with the red and black colors, the ominous presence of the room, that was all just sci-fi horror movie 101. We meet again, the jerk among jerks of this show, Norio Kunato, who if you remember last time, after a stirring talk with Nagate, was having a bit of an emotional crisis in regards to his life and his crappy ways. Now, I have to say, I wasn’t expecting this to happen to Norio when he went down into that hidden lab under his mansion. I mean, you knew it was going to be something bad considering his character was due for a dose of comeuppance in a big way in regards to his actions last season. However, to have his sister killed and her body and his own taken over by a blood parasite, and then to have his mind taken over by an evil mad scientist? Well, while I still don’t like him, I wouldn’t have wished that on my worst enemy.

Sidonia 201 (15)Sidonia 201 (19)

So, now Ochiai, the madman who almost destroyed Sidonia over a hundred years prior, is loose on the ship once again. And he’s not wasting any time, as he uses Norio’s status and company to get him all the components he needs for his dastardly plans. But what are those plans? Well, we get an idea that it has something to do with the fact that he seems to both admire and be perplexed by the Gauna, and believes that humanity are unworthy insects that should be beyond the restraints of being a single species, and become immortal and more like the gauna, etcetra, etcetra. Yeah…we’ve heard this before, and it’s never a good thing. Ochiai begins to make his move while inhabiting Norio’s body, using his silver tongue and his blood nematodes to slither and slink his way around Sidonia, and get whatever he wants, which happens to include the placental Shizuka, who we remember disappeared at the end of last season, only leaving Nagate’s name behind.

Sidonia 201 (22)Sidonia 201 (43)

There’s actually a bit of time lapse and mix up of sequences that was quite confusing to me on first watch. It takes a keen eye and someone who is really paying attention to realize that the end of episode 12 of last season, and the beginning of this first episode of this season are actually interlaced. Nagate’s visit to Norio was right before Norio’s ill-fated trip to Ochiai’s lab. And Ochiai/Norio takes Gauna-Shizuka from her observation cell, and thus she is gone by the end of the season finale. Everything comes full circle again, though that leaves poor Nagate to wonder where his sorta-alien, sorta-dead girlfriend went. And no one, not even Capt. Kobayashi is giving him any answers.

But it doesn’t take long for us to find out what Ochiai did with her, as we are introduced to the, what I’ve heard the fandom call, the best female character in the show. Tsumugi Shiraui, is a Chimera, and the working model of the failed prototype Ochiai tried to create over a century ago. She is a weapon of mass destruction created from the merging of humanity and Gauna, to try to build what is the best of both worlds. As a scientist, I’m fascinating at what he tried to accomplish, and yet I’m genre-savvy enough to know that trouble always happens when a scientist tries to play God. Which is a real shame since while at first suspicious of Tsumugi, I soon fell in love with her. She’s an adorable innocent child who just so happens to have been “fathered” by a murderous madman.

“Do you like my dress? It’s an original Vera Wang.”

While I acknowledge that Tsumugi can pack quite a punch and has more power inside of her than such a being with such a young mind should have, and can thus be a great asset to Sidonia’s arsenal, like Nagate, I’m a little disturbed by the purpose and circumstances of her creation. I’m guessing that in the coming weeks, we will get a larger idea of her purpose as a character and how that may or may not align with Ochiai’s overall purpose.

If placental Shizuka was basically an infant/toddler in mind and personality, than Tsumugi is basically the next stage of that, with a personality of a young child of about 5 or 6. She’s wants to please her father, she desires friends, and to be accepted. Her excitement and desire to explore the world are quite heartwarming. It’s just too bad that the world that she was “born” into is such a shadowy one. Ochiai has plans and he has his poison “claws” spread wide, we don’t know who is under his control and who’s not. I am suspicious of the captain, considering her recent secrecy and dubious actions this season so far, either Kobayashi is showing another hidden side of herself, she’s been taken over by Ochiai’s parasites, or there’s an entire other angle going on that we’re not yet privy to. And whether it’s by her own will, or Ochiai’s, it looks like the meddlesome Immortal council isn’t so “immortal” anymore.

Sidonia 202 (51)

This show’s greatest strengths were and are again, in two areas: plot and scope. The story, the background, the world-building, the characters, the setting, the battles, all of it together constructs such a rich hard-core science-fiction experience that I really can’t get enough. Last season was all about learning about our main characters and our introduction to this new world. This season, with the foundation laid, a seditious plot has arisen and it has taken off running.  It’s no longer just the obvious monsters without, that Sidonia must fear, but the hidden monsters within.

On a technical note, the animation quality has remained the same between seasons, people still look stilted and battle are still beautiful to behold. The music by Noriyuki Asakura is still great, with another wonderful performance by angela for the Opening, and while the Ending wasn’t as great as the previous one, I still liked it very much, and it suited the more sickly tone of this season. I have had high expectations for this series since the start, and I’m glad that the new season hasn’t disappointed in the least. I’m curious as to when we’ll finally get a chance to find out what exactly the titular “Planet Nine” is, and how will these event lead to battle?

Sidonia 202 (85)

header-spring15-irenes

But enough about that, let’s talk about me! Hey guys, this is IreneSharda here. Yes, the same one that many of you have probably seen in the comments and lurking about for the last two years or so. I’m glad to meet you all, and I hope that we can have a great time together as we delve into anime worlds known and unknown.

I’ve never done blogging before, so this is a new experience for me and I ask for your patience. I’m happy to be joining Metanorn’s team and they have been nothing but welcoming. My interests delve into a little bit of everything, but I have a love especially for mecha, sci-fi, action/adventure, and romance. You’ll be seeing me around even more often than before, and I for one am excited at the prospect!

About

A Chicagoan biochemist, teacher, and an aspiring virologist, with a love for science only rivaled by my love for movies, animation, and anime. Both a lover of action/adventure and romance, I'm a girl who walks the entire spectrum. Mecha, Sci-Fi, Psychological Thriller, Romantic Period Piece, if it's has a good story, I'm there.
Blinklist BlogMarks Delicious Digg Diigo FaceBook Google MySpace Netvibes Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter

33 Responses to “First Impression – Sidonia no Kishi: Daikyuu Wakusei Seneki”

  1. skylion says:

    As an armchair science fan, I was quite pleased they used the word, nematode in an anime. That was enough to distract me from the larger scope you put some very kind words to. So, as a for reals scientist, what is your take on this usage. Does it stack up? Do we have a grounding in real science, or is this a flight of fancy?

    Yeah I really do wish they would spend some more time working on character rendering. Given that the battles and technical pieces are so very well done, the rest is a bit embarrassing. Show by Rock looks good in comparison! I might be kidding about that….

    Viva La Fresh Meat! Welcome to the Team! Thanks for joining us, and I can see that you will be doing well on this show.

    • Di Gi Kazune says:

      skyloins are still a tastier source of meat. 😉

    • IreneSharda says:

      Thank you, I couldn’t have done it without all the support.

      As for the nematode, I don’t know why he would call it that, since it really seems more like an organism with tentacles. Nematodes are worms with cylindrical bodies that are mostly bilaterally symmetrical, this thing clearly has several parts to it, with only the tentacle-looking things that actually resemble nematodes.

      However, I do wonder how it is they control the body and also seem to have a personality of their own, as seen with Kunato’s sister. And also, considering they’re probably alien in origin, no one can really be sure what they can do. 😛

  2. Overcooled says:

    Congrats on your first post! I get the feeling yet another writer is going to want to steal my Mad Scientist title now…

    • skylion says:

      Yeah, we need to work out the Scientist Grade around here. I don’t know who to trust for a specific job, or even a level of specific madness. I guess Suma should qualify as more a Mad Engineer? But both OC and Irene dabble with biological bits and pieces…..

      • IreneSharda says:

        Well, let’s see, of us, Suma can blow you to bits, OC can do sinister things to your brain, and I can throw your body’s homeostasis out of wack. You’ll have to pick your poison. 😀

    • BlackBriar says:

      As if keeping an eye on Sumairii wasn’t enough, huh?

      • skylion says:

        He makes explody things….and racing things….

        • Di Gi Kazune says:

          Sumairii~~ Where should I leave this consignment of Thanatonium? :3 The nitrous for the cars are coming later as well as the glyceryl trinitrate. ~~

        • BlackBriar says:

          Now I know who to talk to should I, one day, want to get my hands on some dynamite.

    • IreneSharda says:

      Thank you, and I wouldn’t say you’re a “mad” scientist, it’s just that few truly can comprehend your brilliance! 😛

      I’m a scientist, but I loved the arts just as much, that’s why I’m the keeper of the Athenaeum, a place that promotes both poets and scientists. 🙂

    • Sumairii says:

      Honestly I should ask Kyo to change my title to “Rocket Scientist”. I might as well be one for all intents and purposes.

  3. Samsura says:

    Komrade! My heartfelt happy to you good job! We now start to work at same time! Good to be reading your nice post!

  4. Di Gi Kazune says:

    My information was correct! Now.. to get someone to do Owari no Seraph… 😛

    • BlackBriar says:

      That’s already being handled by Karakuri. Though I’m not expecting frequent posts since she has to adhere to a strict school schedule.

  5. Kyokai says:

    Yet, another fresh meat crops up and I’m feeling very nice with all this freshness around Metanorn. 😀

    Congrats on your first post, Irene! And of course, welcome yet again to the robust team. 🙂

  6. BlackBriar says:

    I got the hint the moment your name disappeared from the top 20 list. So this is where my fellow vampiro aficionado has gone to. Congrats on joining the team, IreneSharda! You’ve never done blogging before? Forgive me for saying this but you could’ve fooled me on that one. Often times, your comments tend to be frighteningly large and detailed. This post itself serves as a testament. Nice job. Now that you’re on the team, a few survival tips are in order: Don’t do anything to warrant Kyokai’s Death Perception and if any whips start cracking, make sure they’re directed at skylion, Fosh and Highway. 😀

    I also see you’re following the trend of changing your avatar to represent what anime you’re watching for Spring.

    Only two episodes in and everything’s changed drastically. Among all that’s transpired, I didn’t peg Kobayashi as the type to instigate a silent coup d’état. I was under the impression the pulling of strings was all Ochiai’s handiwork.

    While my pity goes out to Norio’s sister for her sticky predicament, I’m not as sympathetic to Norio himself. Yes, his fate is rather gruesome but a great deal of it well deserved for being self-centered and pig headed. Not to mention his culpable attempts to dishonor Nagate last season indirectly lead to Hoshijiro’s death. So, no tears will be shedding for him any time soon. With the inclusion of Seraph’s Ferid Bathory, Takahiro Sakurai sure is playing some douches this season.

    • IreneSharda says:

      Thanks BB, and no, I’ve never really done blogging before,but I do like to write a lot,so it works out. And I will keep your “tips” in mind. 😛

      I changed my avatar since I thought maybe it should be more anime themed. But then I couldn’t find a decent anime version of Dark Phoenix, so I decided, to go with the seasonal flow. I really liked the shot of Leo’s eyes in the OP anyway.

      I can believe that Kobayashi could do something like that, considering she’s been a grey figure since the beginning. However, she used to be a lot more friendly and nice and talkative, so now I’m not sure.

      And oh Norio, I wanted him to get his just deserts for so long, I just didn’t think it would end up like this. Though, I think he looks a little hotter now that at least he’s pure evil and not just petulant. 🙂

      • Di Gi Kazune says:

        Or you can change your avatar regular like skylolion. whom shinobu is unhappy about his unfaithfulness. 😛

      • BlackBriar says:

        Thanks BB, and no, I’ve never really done blogging before,but I do like to write a lot,so it works out. And I will keep your “tips” in mind. 😛

        I have no doubt about the liking to write part. Your comments in the past have proven that. The ones left on Seraph’s First Impression knocked me for a loop.

        That reminds me. Since you’re on the team, prepare yourself for an eventual date with the hot seat. Bring lots of aloe.

  7. IanDK says:

    Here’s hoping for some more good sci-fi, which is what I really enjoyed from the first season of Sidonia. The execution of the battle in Ep. 11 was a particular standout for me, fictional physics or not. That shot where the squadrons overtake the planetbuster torpedo is still one of my favourites.

    Slightly worried having seen the direction the manga has taken from this point onwards, but again, hoping… (been missing my sci-fi fix since the days of BSG…)

  8. Highway says:

    I have to say I’m somewhat disappointed at the “puppet masters” type of plot line that they’ve introduced. For one, I find that type of story not very interesting “oooh, they’re a bad guy, but the other people don’t know it”. And for two, it’s Kunato, who is awful in the first place, so now his stupid awfulness has led him to be taken over by some other consciousness. Because he’s a dumbass. And for three, things crawling in people’s eyes are totally ewwwwwwwww.

  9. Foshizzel says:

    Nice post Irene! I am happy to have you on board as a fellow mecha fan! YAYYYYYYY!

    Wow this new start is freaky and yesss it turned into a horror anime FAST, but I like this new creepy turn the series has shown and I really hope they can keep that tone going.

Leave a Reply to Sumairii